Monday, March 8, 2010

It's time...

I've been watching things here a while and most of those who stop by are also faithful followers over at The Troll's Bridge so for now, I'm going to be posting there instead of here and there. No need for y'all to stop by both places.

The Bridge is where most things are happening anyway. I've spotlighted authors and will continue to do so, there's guest posts, markets, contests and all sorts of other info there so join us there.

I'll leave things up here in the archive.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Writer's Toolbox

Imagine you're browsing along the how-to write shelves of your favorite bookstore. Now, as you trail your fingers across the spines of the books lined there, you come across one called "The Writer's Toolbox."

Intrigued, you slide it off the shelf and make your way over to the chairs where you settle in with whatever "chino" your drinking. You open the book and start to read.

What do you want to find there? What would you hope to see?

Let me know in the comments.

In the news...

Publish America will now send your PA book to Random House.  I'm sure Random House is thrilled.

See why this is not a good thing here.

Be sure to check out the comments along with the link to the original source at the bottom of the post.    Then tell your friends.

And while you're at it...bookmark Janet Reid's blog.  It's a great place to spend a few minutes each day catching up on things.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Somehow I totally spaced out the last four or five days.  I'm guess I need to write myself a daily checklist so I won't forget to stop by and blog. 

So...for starters...

Thanks for the recommendations.  It's always interesting to see what others like.  Don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but if you like fantasy...check out the Green Rider series by Kristin Brittain.

Next...what did y'all get accomplished this week? What have y'all written or submitted?

Not only did I get some writing done, I just sold another short story.  Mirror, Mirror will be in an upcoming issue of Bewildering Stories.  I'll  let you know more soon as I do.   Needless to say, I'm excited.

And finally, what's on the agenda for this coming week?  What are you planning on getting written?  Where are you planning on submitting, if you are that is?

Now, I'm off to write myself a note to be sure to check in here more often.:-)

Have a great week y'all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let's talk books...

Okay guys...

I'm in the mood to read so...what do you suggest and why?

And if you happen to know a good steampunk novel...or even a bad one, mention it. 

My suggestion is Steamed by Katie MacAlister.  It's a steampunk romance...  Not my usual fare but I liked the world.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Goals for the Week

Time to get our week planned. 

What y'all got on the agenda?

Me, I have to tweak story I sold Friday and send it back to editor, and work on novel.  But I also want to work on a short and get it sent out. 

Do tell....

Friday, February 19, 2010


It's been a strange week here but I have made more progress on novel revisions.

Plus, Tuesday night while chatting with my publisher we happened to get on the topic of romance novels and I had to whine about the one I have languishing away because it doesn't follow the typical "romance" formula required by the vast majority of romance publishers.    Wow, what a run on sentence!  Should I fix it or not???  Nah...not this time.  

Anyway, after much discussion I pulled out the old synopsis for it and sent it to her.  Not long after, I got a definite, "Yes, I want this book." from her.  So...since it's been sitting for about 4 years it needs to be worked on but at least it now has a home.  Needless to say, I'm quite happy.

I've also been working on getting some short stuff that market research.

Now, tell me about your week!

P.S. - I just sold a short story today.  It's been a really good week.:-)

Don't forget...

Find more videos like this on AdGabber

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


That's right, we all do it sometimes...and sometimes it's fine. Just as long as you don't over do.

Stop by Under the Troll's Bridge for some new ways to procrastinate.  And while you're there...share your favorite method of procrastination with us.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Monday...

Time to set goals for the coming week.  So, what do you have planned? 
I've been doing research but plan to get lots of writing done this week. 

Share with us.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Free Romance Writer's Course

I got this in an email today and thought y'all might be interested.  If so, hurry and sign up, there is a limit to the number of students.

Romance Writing Workshop

Also...sign up for a free newsletter and email alerts for when things like this show up unexpectedly.  I promise not to give out your personal info even under threat of chocolate deprivation.:-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back it up...

Today's "Back Up Your WIP" day.  So, if you haven't yet, take a few minutes to back up all those things you need to take care of.  You don't want to loose them do you?

Monday, February 8, 2010


Time to get started with the week.  And while I seem to be always running behind, I am making progress.

First, some news.

I'm guest blogging over at The Wulver's Stane about writing lessons from pirates.  Stop by, say hi and check out his blog.  I think you'll enjoy it.

Next, stop by Under the Troll's Bridge.  I posted some really nice markets this past Saturday.  I think you'll enjoy them.  One is an anthology, another is a spec. fic. poetry mag.

Now, what do you have on your platter for this week?  Working on anything special?

Me, I'm still writing and revising dragon novel for my May deadline.  Plus, I've got a short story to ponder and critiques to do for Abandoned Towers.  (I'm on the Editorial Team there.)  (If your short stories are getting rejected and you don't know why, submit to Abandoned Towers.  Each story gets editorial feedback even if we don't accept them.)

Have a great week y'all.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Weekend Update...

Make progress this week?  Get anything written, revised or sent out?  Did you get an acceptance letter or even a rejection letter?

Tell us about it.

Me, I finished my very first ever zombie romance flash fic piece and sent it out to Dreams & Nightmares.  Special thanks go out to my readers and critiquers and the certain individual who shall remain nameless for urging me to send it out.

I also managed to get quite a bit of revision done on the dragon novel.  And that's a good thing since my deadline is the end of May. 

And, while I didn't make it to the final round of the Reading Writer's contest, I'm still happy with where I ended up.  There were 388 entries and my piece made it to the second round with the best 40.

Now, what about you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I spent most of today either writing or revising.  So, in honor of all that revision, here's some revision links.

10 Helpful Editing Tips

Fiction Editing

Line Editing in 10 Easy Steps

Even if you aren't revising something big, these are some nice tips that apply to short stories also.


And when you take a break today, stop by the Troll Bridge for a brainstorming guest post from The Wulver's Stane.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Monday, Monday...

Time to prepare for the coming week.   And I totally spaced on the Friday praises post so be sure to let us know what you managed to get accomplished last week.

I found this great link on twitter today and thought y'all might like it.   

Show up as your own project manager, by Marla Beck. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday Free For All

Today's all about links. 
This one starts today so if you're interested, hurry on over.  It's a five day email thing on preparing a great book proposal.  Even if you don't have anything ready now, you might want to save the info for later.

Here's a very nice "Dos & Don'ts for Online Publicity." 

And, in case you missed the Book Trailer Workshop, here it is again.

Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See

Ten Top Writing Tips

And, since it's Friday... Write Naked!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rules for Writing

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
  Somerset Maugham

The last couple days I've connected in some form or fashion with several writers who have said their story isn't going the way they planned.  And boy do I understand that!!!    There are a couple things to remember though. have to do what works for you.  Some of us are plotters.  Some of us write without a idea of where we are going or where the story will end up.  And that's cool.   Whatever gets your story written is what you need to do.

Some folks like long drawn out character profiles filed in before they start writing.  Others like to get to know their characters as the story happens.  Again, whatever works and gets the story on the page.

Some writers come up with a bare glimmer of an idea and write not knowing what they'll end up with.  Others worry about word counts and genres before putting a word down.

Most writers write a rough first draft without editing any at all. Others, like myself, have to edit and revise as we go along.  Again, it's whatever works and gets the story written. matter how you's the story that's important.    The story you are trying to tell is more important than how you get it on the page.

I say don't worry about how others write.  Write the way that works best for you.  Sure, when it comes time to market the piece, there are some general principles that have to be observed but that's for another post.:-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Week - New Goals

What are your plans for this week?

I'll be writing like crazy, I am to get at least 2,500 words on dragon novel.   I'll also be blogging, and getting some stuff together to learn how to make book trailers.

Stop by the Troll's Bridge for links to a free "how to" workshop for book trailers, conference info and lots more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Friday...

Time to update us on how you did this week.  So, let's hear it.

Bonus links...

Here's a very cool post about steampunk.  And while I couldn't do it, steampunk romance anyone?

I love this post on infusing your life with positive energy.  I seriously need a "No Energy Vampires Allowed" sign.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

POV Characters - Just how many is too many?

Okay y'all....

I need some input. 

I'm working on a fantasy novel that will be about 100k when finished.  How many POV characters do you think is too many?

I've read several books lately that have had so many pov characters it got confusing to keep up with them.  But on the other hand, I've read some lately with multiple POV characters that are excellent. 

So, what do y'all think?  Three, four or more?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pondering Harry Potter

A couple years ago for Christmas I gave the kids the Harry Potter series of books.  When they orignially came out, they weren't interested but that changed.  Recently though, my son has started rereading the series. 

Which makes me ask... just what is it about HP and the series that is so fascinating? Not only to kids, but adults too.

Is it the characters? I mean, each character is fully fleshed out and practically real. They each have problems, hopes, dreams and things that make them special. They are, dare I say it, people we can relate to in our lives too.

Or is it the plotlines? There's been other stories about magic and wizards. So what makes this one so special?

The setting maybe? I have to admit, Hogwarts is really a cool place. I'd love to go there...not sure if I'd want to stay but definitely visit. When you think about it, Hogwarts is practically a character.

I forget how many agents turned down the first HP book before someone took a chance on it but she kept on until she found that one person.

I don't guess I have any answers for what makes HP such a hit but there are things we can take and apply to our own writing.

First...our characters have to be real. Not only to us, but to our readers. We have to give our reader ways to relate and connect to them. Cause...if the reader doesn't care what happens to our characters, they won't continue reading.'s not the plot or the idea that's terribly important, it's what we do with it.

Third...our setting should be real to our readers too. If we build a world, it needs to be fully formed and we should know them better than we know our own neighborhood. If we are using a place that already exists....then we need to make sure we get those details right. If we don't, there will be someone who notices. And when they do...they'll stop reading.

Lastly...never give up. Getting our work published isn't easy. But...the process is one we're going to have to deal with if we ever see our writing published.

Actually...I think I know the secret of the Harry Potter series.

It's called "suspension of disbelief." Even though we know there's no such person as Harry and no place like Hogwarts...for just a little while, we can go back to a time when we believed in magic and Harry and Hogwarts do exist.

So...I'm off to ponder what it's going to take to create a little of my own suspension of disbelief.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monday Goals

It's time to plan for the writing week ahead.  Having some basic goals to aim for gives us direction.  Sure we don't have to follow exactly, especially when the plot bunnies arrive unexpectedly but it's nice to have someplace to start.

So, what's on your agenda for the week?

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Friday!!!

So, how's your week been?  Did you get the things accomplished that you wanted?

For's been a fun week.  Plot bunny made an unexpected delivery that just had to be written this week since the deadline for submissions is today.  I've just about got it ready to go. Just need to tweak the end a tad.

Novel is going nicely.  Not as much progress as I planned but I got another story finished so can't complain too much.

Plus I've started the last blog I plan to start.  It's an eclectic  mix of writing stuff, contests, conferences, agents, links and whatever catches my fancy.  So, check out  my post on Chex Mix, Writing & Reading.

Glass Woman Writing Contest

Here's a really nice contest for us women writers.  Deadline is Mar. 21st, '10.  Up to 5k with no entry fee and a really, really nice prize.

Guidelines are here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I love writer and writing quotes.  That's one of the things I really like about being on Twitter, I always get new quotes and of course some old favorites.  I've seen this one before but came across it again not long ago.

"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning."  Peter DeVries

I've decided to make this my personal motto, goal or what have you.  I'm going to apply this to my daily writing life.  So, starting now, I'll be at the puter, being inspired at 9 o'clock.  (Except Sat. & Sun....a writer's gotta snooze sometime.)

What about you?  Got a favorite quote that inspires you?  How about sharing and if you don't, then feel free to borrow mine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday & Monday Together

I wasn't home much of Friday then got home really late so forgot to get a post up for our Friday praise and update.  Hopefully I'll do better this takes me a while to get in a new routine.

So, how'd you do last week?  Get what you wanted accomplished?

And what are your plans for this week?  I've got to rearrange  a few things but I'll post my goals Monday for sure.

Also, I mentioned anthology markets in my comment on the previous post.  Which reminded me I posted four spec. fiction anthology markets on my "Troll Bridge" blog the other day.  Stop by and check them out.

I'll be posting another contest there tonight so if you write Inspirational, you might want to check it out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Last minute contest info...

You still have time to enter the current Reading Writers contest.  Deadline is Jan. 15th so hurry.

I'm just curious...

Last year, I focused on working on my novel.  And only had two short stories published, which had been written the year before. 

This year, I want to do both.  Here's why...

Writing short stories teaches how to write tight and to a word count.

Having several short stories publishes is a nice thing to add to you query letter when you contact that agent.

Sometimes, being focused so intensely on one project gets old so having something short in the works is a nice change of pace.

So, how many of you are focused on writing novels only or, are writing only short stories? many of you are trying to do both?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Calling bloggers...

I need several (6 or 12 or so) serious bloggers who want to build a author platform by promoting their blog to contact me.

Y'all can email me here.

In or Out?

A friend and I were chatting today and he commented something to the effect that I like a pov that involves the reader, that puts the reader in the middle of the action verses one that sorta leaves the reader on the outside looking in.

And I had to admit he's very right. When I read a book, I want to be smack dab in the middle of the action. I want to feel the wind blowing, smell the smoke, hear the birds chirping or whatever is happening in the scene. I want to be taking part of the Main Character's adventure.

And isn't that why most people read? They (I) want to forget the jog, any troubles, the laundry and dishes for just a bit and live in someone else's world.

I think one reason mystery stories are so popular is because the bad guy gets what he deserves and good triumphs over evil.

Same thing with romance, there's a happy ever after ending that often the reader might not have.

Fantasy and science fiction take us out of our mundane daily grind and takes us to new worlds and adventures.

So, the question is, how do we apply this knowledge to our own writing?  I think it's a matter of being aware of the reader as we revise, that for a moment we look at our story not with the eyes of a writer but with the eyes of a reader.

What about y'all?  Do you want to be in the middle of the action or do you prefer the sidelines when you read?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Note on Goal Setting

"I will get published this year."

Many writers set this as one of their goals, however this is one of the things they really have no control over. We are not the ones who decides which piece gets published and when or where.

I've seen it in several places and even been guilty of saying something similar myself and I know better.

However, we do control the sending of that piece out and we can do a lot of things to give it the best chance of publication possible. Here are a couple things you can do...

1) Make your piece the best it can be. Polish each word/sentence until they shine. Have another writer read and critique it. Let it sit a couple days while you work on something else then go back and look at it with fresh eyes to catch anything that's been overlooked.

2) Do your market research. For speculative fiction, browse Ralans. Most everything else can be found over at Duotrope. Be sure to check out the publication websites. Read sample issues if possible. If it's an online publication, read their archives to see if your story will fit there.

3) Follow the submission guidelines. And please, no swirly pink font.

4) Keep learning and improving your craft. Keep writing.

5) Be persistent! When you get a rejection letter, and you will sooner or later, send the piece back out the same day. A writer friend of mine has a list of at least five places for each piece she is sending out and when it comes back from one, she immediately sends it to the next place on the list. You have to do the same thing.

Here's the thing. There are a lot of things you do control with your writing career. You have to seize that control and never let it go.

Now, I'm off to exert some control:-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Monday's Goals

Writer's need to set weekly goals. And then work toward achieving them By sharing these goals with others we share our journey and can receive encouragement, support and share our successes.

So, take a few minutes this weekend, plan your writing week and share your goals with us in the comment section.

Here's mine...

Polish the three short stories I have ready and get them sent out.

Get at least another 2k on mystery novel. (I'm going to change my progress meter so y'all can keep up.)

Plot out at least one short story.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Writerly Resolutions

Well, here it is, the first day of a brand new year. And that means time to plan all those things we want to get accomplished. So, here's a list of some of my new year's resolutions. (Stolen from J.A. Konrath's Blog.)

Finish the blasted book and its sequel. (First draft is almost done.)

Get and keep at least five short pieces out on submission. (Have three ready to go now, need to tweak a couple others.)

Finish every story I start. (I'm so bad about starting something and not finishing.)

Update my website. (Boy, do I NEED to do this!!!)

I will attend as many writing conferences as I can afford (at least one) and won't hide in the corner. I'll introduce myself to other writers, agents and editors. (I love writer's conferences so this won't be hard.)

Keep up this blog. (I've never been a journal/diary person so it's hard but I'll suck it up and just do it.) Each week day (I get Sat. & Sun. off.)you'll find something of interest. Whether it's contest info, writing tips and links or markets...there'll be something here.

On a more personal note...I plan to learn American Sign Language this year. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time but kept putting it off.

I've come across two really nice sites. One, has a "sign of the day" and a "phrase of the week." Today's sign is "sweetheart."

The other site, ASL University, has a really great fingerspelling gadget. I'm still on "slow" but I'm getting much better.

Now, what about you? Got some resolutions you'd like to share with us?

Remember, we'll be starting our Monday Goals soon so decide what you'd like to accomplish during the upcoming week and be ready to share it with us.

And, by the way...Happy New Year Y'all!!! May all your publishing dreams come true this year.