Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fun!: WriteFix's Random List Idea Generator

Here's the deal:

You've become disciplined enough to set aside time daily to write and now that you're settled for your daily writing time....but nothing's coming out.

Whether you're stuck, in need of thinking outside the box, need something completely unrelated to your topic to get you writing, need a journal topic...or whatever...here's a really fun place to play while you await that blessed, blasted muse: The WritingFix Random List Idea Generator.

Just click on the button until you find a topic you like and use it however you want. Maybe you can make a list of 100 things that fit that topic. Or choose one list item you've come up with and run with an essay, flash fiction story, short story, greeting card...or whatever your brain is thinking.

Try it--it's just plain fun. (scroll about 1/3 down the page for the generator button)

http://www.writingfix.com/leftbrain/randomlistgenerator.htm#list

Happy writing & listing,

Beth

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Newsletter: Writing for Dollars

Some of these wonderful links I post are easy to come by when you subscribe to a bunch of writing newsletters delivered free to your email box.

One such newsletter, Writing for Dollars, has tons of stuff for writers looking for markets, craft advice and resources. Sign up for free on their website at: http://www.writingfordollars.com/

Even cooler--with signing up (free!), you'll receive a link to the ebook 83 Ways to Make Money Writing by Beth Fowler. Haven't had a chance to read it yet--if you do, give me your thoughts here.

Happy reading, writing and ezine subscribing,

Beth

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Published Authors: Free Publicity

Today's post is for all you published authors.

Not published yet? Keep this in your file of "things to do after I get that contract".

Monica Poling of OnceWritten.com offers published authors the opportunity to submit a first-person, "tell us about yourself" -type essay of 500 words for publicity and to share with us unpubbs how you made it.

There are lots of sample essays here: http://www.oncewritten.com/MeetTheAuthor.php

When you're ready to write your essay, find the scoop here: http://www.oncewritten.com/About/TellUsAboutYourself.php

Happy essaying,

Beth

Monday, December 18, 2006

Article: How to Get More Writing Done

Procrastination...

To some degree, we're all afflicted.

Today's resource is a GREAT article to help you streamline, prioritize and get some writing done--the important writing that will keep your career moving.

The link will take you to the Inspired2Write newsletter--good reading all the way around. For the article, "How to Get More Writing Done", click on the third link down:

http://www.inspired2write.com/newspage.html#top

Excellent suggestions to keep in mind for the upcoming new year and inevitable writing resolutions....

Happy non-procrastinating,

Beth

Friday, December 15, 2006

Article: The Magic of Goals

Because I feel like your mom today (or that person in your life who nags--nicely), here's another article on goal setting from Holly Lisle, romance author.

No dessert until you finish reading....

How to Get There From Here: The Magic of Goals by Holly Lisle
http://hollylisle.com/fm/Workshops/setting_goals.html

Happy writing (and be nice to your brother),

Beth

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Article: Setting Effective Writing Goals

Because it's never too early to start planning those writing goals for the new year...and you can't be prodded too often...check out Moira Allen's article on Setting Effective Writing Goals.

In fact, while you're at her site, writing-world.com, be sure and peek around the corners. It's one of my absolute fave sites for any/everything writing related....

http://www.writing-world.com/basics/goals.shtml

Happy goal setting,
Beth

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Article: Bust Through Holiday Stress and Keep Writing

Another great article from Cheryl Wright's Writer2Writer Monthly Newsletter (subscribe--free--at www.writer2writer.com).

Cheryl Malandrinos gives some excellent ideas and points to keep yourself writing through the holidays to minimize stress and maximize output....something we can all use more of all year round!

http://www.writer2writer.com/holidaystress.htm

Happy Holiday Writing,
Beth

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fun! Personality Quizzes

Whether you choose to use these fun, short, interactive quizzes to get a better grip on yourself or to waste time, you're sure to find something mildly entertaining at this site.

Why not do a few from the POV of your character?

http://www.personalityquiz.net/

Happy Quizzing...
Beth

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blog: Miss Snark, Literary Agent

While we're on the subject of blogs, here's a fun one from a slightly off-kilter agent's POV...not sure how seriously I take the postings but they're still entertaining if not so much informative:

Miss Snark, Literary Agent
http://www.misssnark.blogspot.com/

Happy Blog-reading,
Beth

Friday, December 08, 2006

Article (Fun): Feng Shui For Writers

I've been getting into feng shui lately just because I think it's a subconscious way of getting me to clean (and the girls in the office have been thinking of redecorating our space).

If you've even been interested in applying a little (read: simple) feng shui to your writing space and life, check out the article. Short, sweet, makes sense and stuff you can do today.

A little feng shui can go a long way (I think I have a career in copywriting...)

Feng Shui for Writers by Kathryn Weber
http://www.redlotusletter.com/Writer.html

Happy, peaceful and inspired writing,
Beth

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Of fudge and goals

Wind, snow, fudge, presents, candles and goals.

Yep, pretty much sums up December.

While I can't help with the wind, snow and candles (I have a great fudge recipe courtesy of Aunt Nancy Lou), I can give you a push in the right direction toward creating 2007 (yikes) goals.

Interesting article, interesting site with lots of resources to read over coffee or lunch...

Goal Setting 20 Minute Tutorial: The Blueprint (it's only 7 steps...)

http://www.about-goal-setting.com/goal-setting.html

what are you waiting for? ......goal-gett'em (oh, that's bad).

Beth

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Article (Promo) : Build an Audience for Your Book With a Blog

While I'm still on the topic of blogs (don'tcha just love 'em?!), here's a great article with suggestions and ideas for using your blog to the best of your abilities when it comes to promoting and marketing your books.

Build an Audience for Your Book with a Blog by Jimmy Moore
http://www.writersweekly.com/this_weeks_article/003218_01182006.html

Good ideas...

Happy promo'ing,
Beth

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs and More...Blogs....

Just re-discovered a fab corner of the internet where all you junkies (like me!) who can't get enough writing-author-editor based blogs can hang out and spend time waiting the arrival of your muse:

Romancing the Blog (http://www.romancingtheblog.com/blog/)

Just visit....start reading...who knows how long you'll be there!

Happy reading & blogging...
Beth

Monday, December 04, 2006

Resource: Writer's Calendar from organizedwriter.com

Very cool resource for writers...and it's free.

Julie Hood of organizedwriter.com (a wonderful resource itself) has put together a 2007 calendar for writers & you can download it now free (in case I hadn't mentioned it).

Better than an average calendar, Julie includes a focus area for each month (i.e. accounting and taxes for March, queries in October), a checklist of activities to keep writers on task and big spaces for each day to plan out what you'll be writing, when and to whom you'll be submitting.

While you're there, check out Julie's site--just the perfect place for us creative, slightly-less-than-organized types...

Organized Writers' 2007 Writer's E-Calendar
http://www.organizedwriter.com/calendar.htm

Happy Writing and Organizing...

Beth

Friday, December 01, 2006

Promotion: Chapbooks

Though I'm not yet published in fiction, Judy Bagshaw's (of Writer2Writer, where I do a monthly book review) article, Chapbooks: Nifty Little Promotional Tools, shows writers how to promote your fiction through the use of chapbooks. Now I'm thinking of how to promote my non-fiction/freelance writing in the same manner. Really good stuff.

http://www.romancewriter2writer.com/chapbooks.htm

Happy promoting,
Beth

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Markets: AskMen.com

So, if organizing and list-making aren't your favorite things to do, entertain yourself with a new market opportunity or two...

AskMen.com for freelancers

http://www.askmen.com/media_kit/job_postings/index.html

Happy Writing,
Beth

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fun: Backpackit.com

While we're on the topic of organizing, here's a place where you can put your to-do lists online for you to check, update and change on a whim (avoids losing all those scraps...)

http://backpackit.com/

There's a free option where you can create five pages or upgrade (for a fee). Just plain fun....

Happy organizing,
Beth

Sunday, November 26, 2006

NaNoWriMo Inspiration #1

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. I've wanted to for the past few years and always found a reason not to--but not this year. (Ironically, needing to finish my M.Ed thesis by December 4th wasn't ample excuse this year...lol).

I signed up and started strong. Finished about 2K words in a few days but then reality smashed me in the mouth and slowed me down. I don't actually think I've written since like November 6th, but those fun first days reminded me of how much I love and cherish that writing time early in the morning before the family gets up. Something to look forward to soon as the thesis is done...

As a NaNoWriMo participant (even with the extent of my participation), I got some wonderfully motivational emails to keep me going. Found them extremely thoughtful and amazingly true to my writer psyche. Here are some excerpts from the first:

*******
[as a writer on a roll beginning a new project], You are looking good, feeling great...and you *are* going to be victorious....you have everything it takes to win, and win big. Keep it up. Don't slow down.

But this...is not for those doing exceptionally well. It's for the rest of us---authors with underdeveloped word counts, overdeveloped novel-guilt complexes, and sensational procrastinating abilities. Because we are the ones who are going to begin having serious misgivings....

Why?

Because it turns out we are too busy to do this. Or because a crisis has brought some novel-eating turmoil into our lives.Or because our stories are really, really bad, and we're wondering why we're sacrificing so much of our time to produce a consistently crappy book.

It all adds up to [a] ...wall..a low-point of energy, enthusiasm, and joie de novel that strikes most [authors on new projects] between days 7 and 14. This is when our inner editors, who largely turned a blind eye to our novel flailings [at the beginning] return to see how things are going. And their assessments are never kind.

The plot is draggy. The characters are boring. The dialogue is pointless, and the prose has all the panache of something dashed off by a distracted kindergartner.
If you're feeling any of these things---or find yourself starting to feel them this week---know that nothing is wrong. In fact, you're likely on track....Just lower your head, pick up your pace, and write straight into the maw of your misgivings. If you are thinking about quitting, DO NOT DO IT IN WEEK TWO.


If you have to quit, do it in Week Three.

I'm serious.

Because if you quit [now] you're going to miss an amazing moment---the moment when your novel begins to click. You'll miss a genius plot twist you can't foresee right now that will suddenly elevate your book from a distressing mess to a sort-of-tolerable mess. And then you'll miss the euphoric breakthrough that follows that twist, when your book improves itself all the way to not-half-bad.
Not-half-bad will make you scream, it feels so good.


And you know what? The more you write, the better it gets. So make it a priority to write in torrents this week. Allow your characters to change, and have change forced upon them. Follow your intuition, even if it leads away from where you thought your book was heading. And know that writing a novel is like building a car.

Your only job [in writing the first draft] is to create a clunky machine that will eventually move people from one place to another. If your beast rolls at all at this point, you're doing great. Pretty prose, snappy dialogue, brilliant metaphors---they're all part of the high-gloss paint job and finishing touches we put on *after* the body is built.

Keep plowing onward, brave writer! Good things are coming.

Thanks to Chris Baty & the NaNoWriMo team for the great, thoughtful emails. Here's hoping next year there won't be a thesis to compete with.

Happy Writing,
Beth

Monday, November 20, 2006

Article: Writing Smarts for This Holiday Season

Just discovered The Writing Playground site & finding it fun for moments when awaiting the muse. Founded by 5 RWA members who seem to have a mind of their own (and penchant for fun), there are all kinds of interesting nooks on their site to check out.

I found it surfing for an article on how to help us writers get through the holidays with a minimum of stress and a maximum of pages produced. Danniele Worsham's article, Writing Smarts for this Holiday Season might have been originally pubbed in 2003 but the advice & insight are just right and just in time for any holiday stretch.

http://www.writingplayground.com/school.html

Happy, healthy and prolific writing,

Beth

Markets: The Passionate Pen

If yesterday's contest listing didn't offer a specific market/niche you were looking for, today's posting might be just what you need to get your work into print.

The Passionate Pen website--a gold mine for romance writers--has an extensive listing of romance publishers from short, sweet and inspirational to dark and erotic. From major publishers to small press to epublishers, there should be at least something to grab your interest.

http://www.passionatepen.com/romancepubs.htm

May you find what you're looking for...

Happy writing,
Beth

Contests: Writers-Editors.com

Just in time to get all that 2006 writing you've done into the light of day...

Check out the listing of writing contests at writers-editors.com. Huge variety and it looks as if they add postings regularly:

http://www.writers-editors.com/Writers/Contests/contests.htm


Happy writing,
Beth

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sample Query Letter: Jenny Bent

I'm in the midst of putting together a query letter for a short fiction piece I want to send out. While I enjoy (ok, love) writing nonfiction queries, the fiction version has me a little stumped--especially since my story is only about 5,500 words.

Googled "fiction query letter" and came up with this excellent, entertaining example from Jenny Bent's (literary agent) site--if you're in the market for putting a fiction query together yourself. Gives me inspiration....and I want to read the book myself!

http://www.jennybent.com/letter/index.html

Happy querying (don't be afraid...)

Beth

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Market: Common Ties Blog

Can you tell a good, personal story between 1,000 and 2,000 words? Interested in getting a short personal story in print? (well, at least blogged...)?

The Common Ties story blog is looking for your short, personal story to add to their common ties blog. With a payment of $200 (average) per story, there's probably something lurking in your subconscious (or desk drawer) that you can submit. Lots of excellent examples on the site, too.

http://commonties.com/blog/submit-a-story/

Give it your best shot....

Beth

Contest: My Hometown Helper

Jodie is a writing friend who has the BEST luck when it comes to winning stuff through writing contests. Half the battle, I'm convinced, is in finding those contests--ones where good writing really matters.

Here's one I just came across from Hamburger Helper. The coolest part of this contest is that it's not just for the writer: it's for the community that supports the writer. It's a monthly contest to fund community initiatives to deserving communities and continues through May of 2007. Stop over and visit.....

http://www.myhometownhelper.com/LearnMore.aspx

Happy Writing & Good Luck,

Beth

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Articles: Of Structure and Synopsis

I'm trying to put together a synopsis and query letter for a short short I finshed about a month ago.

Let me write a nonfiction query any day of the week and I'll have it done in ten minutes. Not so with fiction. Such different purposes...

If you find yourself in the same spot, stop over at FictionFactor.com and visit the Writing Fiction-Novels section. Lotsa great articles and ideas on how to structure your novel (for character issues..well, I'll look into that. I've got more characters in my mind than I know what to do with....)

Even if you don't have plot problems now, you will...trust me...it's the curse of the writer.

Stop by and read...good stuff!

FictionFactor.com's Novel section:
http://www.fictionfactor.com/novel.html

Happy Writing (and plotting and synopsizing and querying),
Beth

Monday, November 06, 2006

Couple of Notes

Just a couple of notes...

Be sure to check out the newly-added contest listing to the right.

Hope to be updating with daily writing resources..very soon. Life's been a wee bit hectic lately but it won't be long til we're up and running....

Happy writing...
Beth

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Challenge: NaNoWriMo

If you're a writer and haven't heard of NaNoWriMo, you've been living in a cave.

Time to wake up!

NaNoWriMo is--of course--an acronym for National Novel Writing Month, which, voila! happens to be November. From November 1-30th, participants (free, my friends) vow to do their absolute best to write a novel or 50,000 words in that novel, whichever comes first. Lots of advice, interactive stuff on the site to help you in your quest.

I just checked in on the site and you can still sign up. It's harder than it looks, though. I'm thinking for next year I'll propose the NaToYoInEd to run parallel to NaNoWriMo.

(National Turn Off Your Internal Editor Month, if you're curious).

Visit Chris & the gang at NaNoWriMo.org.

Happy (prolific) writing,
Beth

Monday, October 23, 2006

Because An Addict Is Never Cured

Hey, I love that title. And it's pretty true, too.

I'm back with another blog for writers (must be my mission in life) along the lines of the Writers-Loft blog I used to post (don't bother Googling, it's defunct.)

I miss sharing all those obscure little nuggets of writer insight, advice, markets and such with people I know can really use them--aka the writer--so I'm back, at the prompting of a few loyal (former) readers. Besides, when I come across a new market or contest or website and can't use it myself, sharing lessens the guilt.

So here's to another fun blog for writers...hope you find something interesting....

Beth