Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Article: Writing Breaks Nurture Creativitiy

I subscribe to this notion though "vegetating in front of the television while watching endless reruns of the Simpsons" isn't quite on the list.

It's definitely of value to get away from writing sometimes and get fresh air. Who knows what ideas will pop up?

And not that I'm in the mindset of taking a writing break--far from it. I'm having the time of my life working on three articles simultaneously--but the real post I wanted to share is on my school PC, and I'm on the laptop. Anyone know an easy way to share bookmarks between two non-networked PCs? (besides emailing them)?

Writing Breaks Nurture Creativity at

Happy writing breaks,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Question for Freelancers: To Share or Not?

Quick question for all you freelancers out in the audience (or just readers with an opinion and logical reason for believing so):

I'm working on a query which requires me to interview a source for background info (for the query and subsequent article). I've heard from a few (writers and non writers) that I should share my final draft of the article with the source before publication.

I've used lots of quotes in my other freelance articles but never share prior to publication--we all know how editors cut, rearrange and sometimes alter the writing before it hits print.

What do you think? Opinions welcomed.


Seth Godin's Advice for Authors

Came across this post indirectly but found it a quick read. Gives some thought to some important issues faced by authors. While I enjoy his style and insight, I don't *totally* agree with every single item...but I'll let you decide what to keep and what to pass by yourself (You don't believe everything you read on the web, do you?)

Seth Godin's Advice for Authors

And while you're there, his blog is just as entertaining...Seth Godin's Blog

Happy authoring,

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Market:

Sometimes you've just gotta have fun writing. And here's the perfect market... is a company that designs and creates wild and wacky buttons, stickers and magnets and ships them all over the world. Not your traditional slogans, either--we're talking laugh-out-loud funny here.

Besides the fact that we all need humor, they pay $50 for exclusive rights for every slogan they use. Not bad for a few minutes of thought.

Visit their writer's guidelines here:'s Writer's Guidelines and their main site here, just for

Happy (and funny) writing,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Bonus Post: Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency Blog

Good blog from the POV of the literary agent....excellent insight and things to consider...

Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency Blog

Happy writing (& follow the rules),

The Value of Networking

Let's face it--writing is a lonely job. Not necessarily in a bad way (though the stories of authors battling depression lie in the back of our consciousness), but what all that alone time with words does is help create nervousness, panic and sometimes fear in the heart of the author when it comes to speaking up on behalf of yourself and your work.

And nothing--nothing outside of not writing--can be more detrimental to your writing career. I actually got my start in freelancing (in a national magazine no less) the first time I publically admitted I was a writer, so the value of networking resonates deeply with me.

Whether you're published or up-and-coming, never underestimate networking. Interestingly enough, as I considered this topic, I read a new issue of one of my fave writing ezines, the Fabulist Flash, which happened to have the entire issue focused on networking. Gregory shares the best insight in his weekly newsletter. Sign up yourself for free while you're there.

The Fabulist Flash vol. 123: Networking

Happy, happy networking

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Article for Unpubbs: Be Your Own Editor blog

Ok, unpubbs. Listen up (myself included, though I already knew this stuff): this blog post, courtesy of the entertaining and informative Be Your Own Editor blog, is solid in its reasoning for why you can't live in a cave while writing to become published. Build yourself, your credibility, your readership and your experiences with words on the road to publication and you'll do yourself (and your editor/publisher) a great service.

Curious? Read more: Every Writer Needs a Website. Yes, Even You

Hang out at the Be Your Own Editor blog for other great writing topics.

Happy Platforming,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog: Dear Author

Great blog I came across by accident. This particular post was shared with us thanks to editor Cindy (Hwang's) mention (in the featured interview) of my friend Donna MacMeans' upcoming release from Berkeley (scroll to the last little bit about "The Education of Mrs. Brimley).

For those of you who think editors live in golden castles in the sky, read Cindy's interview here and get a dose of reality: Cindy Hwang interview

(not that you shouldn't TREAT them like royalty...)

But don't dismiss the entire blog for the sake of one post. Lots of good reading here--for readers and authors alike..the Dear Author Blog.

Happy Reading,

Friday, January 19, 2007

Market: Reader's Digest Humor

Have a short, funny story you think would be perfect for Reader's Digest? You know, something you've overheard, a joke that makes you laugh out loud or a work-related chuckle? Here are what they consider for their humor columns:

All in a Day's Work — Humorous happenings on the job
Humor in Uniform — Amusing stories about life in the armed forces
Laughter, the Best Medicine — Current jokes and one-liners
Life in These United States — Funny stories from everyday life
Quotable Quotes — Wit and wisdom from famous contemporary people

Keep it short, make 'em laugh and if you're chosen, payment ranges from $100-$300. Not bad for a few lines of funny.

Reader's Digest Humor Guidelines and Submission Form

Happy...or perhaps funny...writing,


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bonus Post: Review of Bylines Calendar for Writers

Still procrastinating about setting writing goals? No time, no vision...blah blah? Here's your solution:

1. Read review of Bylines Calendar for Writers:

2. Visit and purchase calendar:

3. Plant butt in chair and don't get up til your goals are done!

Happy goal-ing,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ezine: The Motivated Writer

Came across this last week and set it aside to read at a later date--until today when it was forwarded to me again, making me take notice. Since us writers always want to know about other writers....

The Motivated Writer ezine (monthly, free subscriptions):

Happy writing (& reading up on other writers...)



I've somewhat slacked on the market postings here, but here's one for romance writers of stories between 7,500-10,000 words to check out:

A few details:
To work with us, your story should be in MS Word, pdf, HTML, or text format, and around 10,000 words long (no less than 7500, no more than 12500). We accept all range of romance subjects, whether suspense, historical, time travel, paranormal, contemporary, etc...

We offer $0.01 / word up to $100 for the non-exclusive rights to publish your story in any medium. We're solely web-based at the moment, but would like to eventually publish print anthologies of some of our favorite submissions, and possibly audio recordings as well. You may send us a story that has already been published, provided that your existing agreement with another publisher would not be violated by having it also published with us. If we decide to use your submission, we will schedule the release date on our site, and you will be required to sign our non-exclusive rights to publish agreement. We will mail you your payment one week before we use your story.

Worth checking out.

Happy romance writing,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Workshop: Fiction to Freelance in 8.2 Seconds

Yeah, yeah. So I've missed a week or so. Happens to the best of us. After a short vacation away, getting in the groove of anything was almost too much energy to expend--writing included.

Lucky for you I've had my morning caffeine and I'm back. And with a way cool post, too. I know--shameless self-promotion, but I'm REALLY excited about this one. I've never taught an online course before and it's a topic several of my writing friends have been asking me about for some time. And a topic you'll hopefully be reading about from yours truly in an upcoming issue of RWR.

Fiction to Freelance in 8.2 Seconds is the course I'll be teaching this June via the Hearts through History RWA. There's a wealth of other monthly workshops there--check them out. I took one last year on incorporating more sensuality in writing and had a great time while learning valuable tips. (I hope someone says that about my workshop...!)

Here's their main workshop page:

And here's mine:

Come on, sign up...we'll have a great time!

Happy getting-back-into-the-groove,

Friday, January 05, 2007

Blogs: Grey Matter

Today I'll step down from the soapbox of resolutions and goals & share a blog sent to me by a writing friend. Normally, I'd just list blogs to the right =====> in the blog section, but this one's kinda neat: it features the writers of Grey's Anatomy.

A confession: I rarely, if ever, watch anything on tv aside from the Simpsons, a few sitcom reruns and sports (but a friend has me hooked on The Office as of late), but the blog is more about their being the writers behind the show, how the feel about certain things, how they interpret being creative for millions...and admit it, we're always curious about other writers. It's just our nature.

Just to note, the last post was in November but it's still enjoyable reading going back over the posts. Get a glimpse of life behind the camera (and really, behind the actors):

Happy reading,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Bonus Post: Literary Agents

Just reading the latest issue of the Fabulist Flash ezine over lunch. Subscribe (for free, of course) and you won't be disappointed:

Editor Gregory Kompes does a fab job of bringing great, weekly writing articles and info your way, and this issue continues the tradition.

As of late, the writer's lament on my local RWA chapter loop has centered around literary agents. Two Fabulist Flash articles give writers insight into the arena of the literary agent: Why Literary Agents Are So Important To Your Success by Steve Manning and Query Letters: Ten Ways to Hook a Literary Agent by Lisa Silverman.

You'll need to scroll a wee bit to get to the good stuff. Like waiting for the center of a tootsie pop, however, it's well worth it.

The Fabulist Flash, Issue 121:

Happy agent-ing,

Article: Setting Goals for Your Writing Career by Lee Masterson

While I'm on the goal kick, here's another article to get you jump-started for 2007 and your career.

I haven't mentioned it because I have a deep-seated belief that writers are the most intelligent creatures on earth, but if you've already set goals for the new year, it never hurts to do an occassional reassessment and don't blow by these articles thinking they're not for you...

An excerpt...
Setting Goals for Your Writing Career
(c) Lee Masterson

By failing to plan, you are planning to fail" - Ben Franklin

True success - in every field - begins with a plan. I do not mean the plan to actually WRITE your book. That step forms only a portion of the total process required in creating publishing success. I mean the plan to get your book to the stage where you originally imagined you wanted it to reach.

Goals and plans are important for almost every aspect of your life. Your writing career should be no different.

The problem with goals is that many of the best plans fall by the wayside. People get distracted, better plans are made, easier plans are found or circumstances change.

The simple truth is, if you want to succeed, you should devise a plan that suits you and stick to it. You can always revise a plan as you go, or add to it or amend it, but as long as you stick to your basic plan, you will reach your goal.

Read the rest here....

Happy setting and resetting writing goals,


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resource: Writers Website Planner

If one of your goals in the new year is to create an author's website, here's an interesting site with lots of things to think about in the planning stage of your site. Not a lot of hands-on activities toward creating your web presence, just some considerations to take into account when designing the site of your dreams:

Writers Website Planner

Happy Planning,


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Article: The Motivation Factor by Cheryl Wright

Today's posting comes courtesy of Cheryl Wright, author and editor of the website & ezine for writers.

On the theme of goal setting & knowing what you want to achieve in order to achieve what you want, her article on The Motivation Factor is perfectly timely at the beginning of this new year. Be sure to check out the setting goals worksheet at the end of her article.

Here's a quick excerpt:

The Motivation Factor
© Cheryl Wright – All rights reserved

I’ve never been one for resolutions, mainly because I never keep them.

But goals are a whole different ball game. Goals can be measured, they can be changed, but most of all, they can be extremely motivating.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve set goals for myself. You could even call them deadlines.
No matter the project or how big or small it is, I always set goals for myself. This not only gets me motivated and writing, it also gives me guidelines that allow me to plan even more projects. This is a great way to keep moving ahead.

Perhaps I should go back further…

Read all the advice and insight here:

Happy Motivating...


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy, Happy....

...Writing, of course.

After taking a bit of time for myself, away from writing, school, teaching and basically life, I'm ready to go.

Ready to bring you some of the best resources on the web for writers to make your 2007 the most prolific, productive and positive as an author that it can be.

Sorry for the

I've got some cool ideas in the works for Fountain Pen, Inc in the upcoming year, but in the meantime, here's an awesome offering from Donna Caubarreaux, a true writer's writer. I intended today's link to be only to her Writer's Workbook, but for a treat, the link goes directly to her articles page where she offers a writing page generator (log for tracking your writing and setting goals), a realistic look at how much you can make as a romance author, an article about writing what you know and the mentioned Writer's Workbook--something great to check into at this early point of the year.

Donna Caubarreaux's Writing Articles

Donna's Writing Workbook

Get moving, get excited...this is your year!

Happy writing,