Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ok, so it got to be too much...

You know, this blog has been a complete and total blast. I think I've learned more blogging than maybe some of my readers have...

But maintaining three separate blogs has been tough, especially when I'm getting more and more writing gigs. Something had to give...

BUT...don't fret! I'm not giving up on this blog. At least not the content. What I'm doing is integrating FountainPenInc into my personal blog, . In the time I've been absent here, I've been posting there. Slowly, I'm transferring all the good stuff from here to over there as well, so that it'll be sorta like a one-stop-writing shop. You can get all these great resources (updated daily), a posting or two on my progress (currently a work for hire book) (like everyone runs to that!) and all kinds of new stuff I'm interviews with my friends...many of whom happen to be your favorite authors.

There's lots going on, so come visit:
(or, if that's too much, visit me at & click on BLOG!)

Thanks for reading, hope to see you in the new digs soon...

Monday, June 18, 2007


Just so no one think I'm slacking (which I've been known to do on occasion), I'm headed out on vacation for the next week or so.

Keep writing & check back soon...more great stuff to come!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More Character

Sorry for the lax in posting lately. The end of the school year always flies by in a whirl of folders to be cleaned and desks to be moved.

I'm still fleshing out some of my character traits for the next fictional WIP, and found another resource to give me questions to ponder in that vein:

Character Trait Chart and Personality Components by Sandy Tritt

Lotsa good stuff to consider....

Happy charactering,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More on Character

Thought-provoking, wonderfully descriptive article on how to make your characters come to life in myriad ways from one of my fave writer's writers Tami Cowden:

Characterization (three separate articles) by Tami Cowden

Happy Character building,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Another Great Contest....

Today's contest listing is terrific!

Romance Junkies is hosting their fourth annual contest for romance writers and the final editor judge is none other than Chris Keeslar of Dorchester. Aside from the fact that Chris is super-nice, Dorchester would be a great place to break in to.

Check it out now....

Entries are accepted through August 1st. Get yours in today!

happy writing,

Friday, June 01, 2007

Brava Novella Contest

Do you write a little spicy? Love the Brava line? Here's your chance to get noticed.

The 5th annual Brava Novella contest information is now posted at the Brava website-- Check out the sidebar of book covers of previous winners for inspiration.

Every year this contest is one of the most talked about contests in romance writing circles. The entry length is just 750 words--why not give it a try?

Happy Brava-novelling,

Writer's Resources

Because I'm truly trying to practice what I preach, I'm posting again--putting up good stuff as I find it.

Something in Timothy Hallinan's bio caught my eye (his educational background) from the last post (see below) so I checked out his site, only to find a wonderful collection of articles for writers on the writing process. Very good stuff.

Timothy Hallinan's Writers' Resources

Happy Writing,

Setting as Character

Short, thoughtful, succinct article on how to use setting as a character to enhance your story...

Setting as Character by Timothy Hallinan

Happy Writing,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Short Deadlines for Contests

Today's post is courtesy of Donna Caubarreaux's Writing Tips emails. Donna is a true writer's writer and sends all kinds of amazing goodies to my inbox that no writer should be without.

This particular post is a compilation of rapid-approaching romance writing contest deadlines. Check 'em out if you've got something in a box you've not sent out in some time....

Labor of Love (U - P/5)
Heart of Louisiana Chapter
Postmarked by May 29, 2007
Synopsis, prologue, first chapter not to exceed 50 pages total.
First Prize is a complete read by Kristin Nelson, Agent (If you checked out Brenda Novak's Auction for Juvenile Diabetes, Ms. Nelson's Proposal Read is now at $600., and the first prize in this contest is a 'complete read'...)
Knock Our Socks Off (U - P/5 - EO)
Black Diamond RWA Chapter
Received by May 31, 2007
First five paragraphs not to exceed 150 words.
Opal's Erotic Romance Contest (U - P)
Opal Carew, Author (Contest is Free!)
Received by May 31, 2007
Beginning of your erotic romance book up to a maximum of 5000 words
The Maggies - Unpublished (U)
Georgia Romance Writers
Received by June 1, 2007
Synopsis + first chapter not to exceed 35 pgs total.
American Title (U)
Dorchester Publishing
Received by June 1, 2007
First three chapter of finished Paranormal + 2-7 pg synopsis.
Reveal Your Inner Vixen
Maryland Romance Writers
Postmark/E-Deadline by June 1, 2007
One scene that showcases the sexual tension between the hero and heroine, not to exceed twenty (20) pages.
Colorado Gold (U)
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
Postmarked by June 1, 2007
First twenty pages + synopsis up to eight pages.
Lone Star (U - PC/5)
Northwest Houston Chapter of RWA
Postmarked by June 4, 2007
First chapter up to 25 pages.
Happily Ever After (U - P/3 - E)
Mid-Michigan RWA
Received by June 6, 2007
Enter last chapter-epilogue up to 27 pages plus 1-3 pg synopsis.

Happy Contesting & winning, of course!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Develop Your Author's Platform

Gonna try something new here.

I'm forever coming across really great resources to post here in everyday emails and by visiting other sites only to bookmark them for later use and forget what they are and why I thought they were great.

I'm going to *try* posting 'em from now on as soon as I come across 'em.

Here's a start: a good, short, succinct article on ways authors can get more press and publicity--essentially building an author's platform for your work & livelyhood. From Patrice-Anne Rutledge's The Web Savvy Writer's Blog--if you're not signed up for her free weekly emails, do yourself a favor and sign up when you visit.

15 Favorite Ways to Develop Your Author's Platform

Happy platforming...

Character Name Generator

Today's post is just plain goofy fun.

I don't write sci fi or wizards or dragons, but the character name generator on the Dungeons and Dragons website makes me want to do something a little paranormal. Just pull up the name generator, fill in a couple (as many or few as you like) of the boxes and see what you get. What's fun is not using the generator literally but as a springboard to other names that might fit better with the genre you're in.

Character Name Generator

Happy naming (who knew all those vowels and consonants worked together that way!)


Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Character By Any Other Name...

...or any name, for that matter....

If you're like me (or even if you aren't), you may have some story bones in your mind, a few plots floating around on the edge of your thoughts, some type of fictional writing in your cells every moment of the day, but until you find that perfect name for your character, you'll never get that first paragraph on paper to your satisfaction. (what can I say?!).

Looking for fun places to check out names for my heroine, I came across a wonderful page of naming websites. Really thorough and good personal fave was the ethnic tabs for names at the site.

If you can't find a character name you like after checking out all these sites...well, I can't help!'s Character Naming Resources

Happy Naming and writing!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More on plot

Just checked an email account I've not visited in some time to find a really wonderful note from a fellow writer whose work has impacted the way I think about plot...always nice to get those notes!

In August of last year, I reviewed Martha Alderson's Blockbuster Plots, Pure and Simple, for the ezine. (see the review here)I'm not so great at plot so I figured it couldn't hurt...what it did was expand my view of plot development and help me, the visual learner, internalize plot as something dynamic, not static.

Martha sent me a nice note thanking me for the review and reminding me of the other array of plot-related information on her site. Since it's been a while since I visited, I checked it out this evening and got lost in all the good stuff! She's got a blog on plot stuff, all kinds of articles, a newsletter to sign up for and additional resources to enhance your understanding of the book. I don't need any incentive whatsoever to send writers there--I have no doubt you'll find something you can put to immediate use there. What I'm most excited about is that Martha will be visiting my RWA group's conference this fall and presenting on plot...yay! Better study up :)

If you want plot help, you're bound to find something great...

Blockbuster Plots review

Blockbuster Plots blog

Blockbuster Plots articles

Blockbuster Plots website

Visit, read and just try to not learn something new. I dare you. (Impossible challenge!)

Happy, happy plotting....



I know, I know. Are you sick of my posts on goals yet?

I'm not!

What most people don't realize (but we, as smart writers, know implicitly) is that when you meet goals (or have tried repeatedly to meet goals and are hitting more obstacles than targets), you have to sit your behind in a chair and come up with more, greater, higher, loftier goals. (I know, grammatically incorrect...too bad).

It's hard to find the time to write down goals when all you really want to do is, well, write. But you'd never start a journey to Canada without a map (even if you live in Canada), so trying to start a new writing project, venture or dream without a goal is just as fruitless.

I'm at a goal-setting junction. Finished all the articles I've had slated for the first half of the year (with the exception of polishing an online lecture and following up on a possible research gig, but that's not til July), managed to sell more than I anticipated (namely, fiction) so it's time to retool the thought process. Good thing I found this excellent article from Holly Lisle on goal-setting....

How to Get There From Here: The Magic of Setting Goals by Holly Lisle.

My lunchtime reading...what's yours?

Happy goaling and re-goaling,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Website Advice for Pubbed Authors

Let's interrupt this character-building train of thought for a really great blog post my prolific and popular Serious Writing friend Rosemary Laurey shared with me. (Yes, a run-on sentence, and I don't care!)

Top 10 Peeves from Booksellers and Readers About Author Websites is posted on the Dear Author blog--chock full of good reading any day but really interesting today.

If you've ever wondered what readers and book sellers think of your website or how to make tiny changes toward a big difference, this is a good place to start.

Happy website improving,

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Characters. Again.

Yeah, again.

So I've decided to work with this lovely young lady character who's been haunting me for at least a year, on and off (mostly on when I decide to write fiction and off when I don't). I keep thinking I know her, only because I know the portion of her that will show up in my story (because it's scarily similar to myself in that respect), but this weekend I've been realizing new things about her: she just earned a degree (Masters? Ph.D?) in Russian (or some Eastern European language), she's had a rough go of it with her dad (along with her siblings) and has this immense crush on a real bad boy who's gonna, of course, be the hero.

Problem is, I know the story structure, just not how to get deep into her depths. In my search to solve my own character problems, I'll share with you a few links that have me thinking...

Four Methods for Interviewing Your Characters by Laurie Schnebly-Campbell (I can't believe I didn't have this one posted already--Laurie's stuff is priceless)

Seven Common Character Types
by Terry Ervin II

Create A Character: Bringing Personality to Your Characters by Leslie Oliver

Happy character creating,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Themes, part 2

Found more interesting reading on themes in our works of fiction. Cool stuff...lots of thought-provoking ideas....

Romance Novel Themes compiled by Megan Campbell

Themes in Fiction

Thickening the Plot by Dr. Vicki Hinze

Get busy theming,


I'm just starting to flesh out a new fiction idea for a short story and realized, in reviewing my notes, that I had a ready-made theme from all the bits and pieces of plot action coming to me. I'm pretty damn lucky--that's never happened before.

We all know the importance of theme to our stories. If you have trouble finding your theme, Anne M. Marble has some good advice to consider in pursuit of theme.

Themes and the Romance Writer by Anne M. Marble
Happy Theme-ing,


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Good Cause

Away from my usual references, today's post is one to support three causes I love most in the world: writers, editors and diabetes research.

Feel free to visit Brenda's site and feel free to pass this on to other interested folks...

----permission to forward---

Don't miss Brenda Novak's Third Annual On-Line Auction for Diabetes Research May 1 - May 31st at (Brenda's son has diabetes). There will be an amazing For Writers section that will include reads/critiques/lunches/teas/phone consultations with some of the biggest agents and editors in the business. There will also be plenty for published authors--publicity packages, lunch with Borders/Waldens bookbuyer Sue Grimshaw, Lunch with Levy Books, web site design, etc. The person who places the most bids over all will win a $1500 prize package that includes a brand new laptop computer and digital camera (even if that person doesn't actually win a single item)! For a preview of what will be available, there's a list posted at