Thursday, November 30, 2006


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

Happy Writing,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


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...)

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

Happy organizing,

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

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 have everything it takes to win, and win big. Keep it up. Don't slow down.

But 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....


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,

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.

Happy, healthy and prolific writing,


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.

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

Happy writing,


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 Huge variety and it looks as if they add postings regularly:

Happy writing,

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!

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


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.

Give it your best shot....


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.....

Happy Writing & Good Luck,


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 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's the curse of the writer.

Stop by and read...good stuff!'s Novel section:

Happy Writing (and plotting and synopsizing and querying),

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...

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

Happy (prolific) writing,