Friday, June 30, 2006

Out in the blogosphere...

Melly over at All Kinds of Writing brings up a good question. Is there such a thing as evil? Personally, I believe all characters, good or bad, have some motivation to behave as they do. We may not agree with the behavior, but at least we should understand it.

Uncle Pepek has a thought-provoking picture and poem on her blog. What if Never should come again?

Michelle Rowen guest blogs about Doubt Weasels over at Fog City Divas.

Bonnie Staring talks about being married to your words. Do you get defensive when editors edit your work? How far will you go to keep your perfect prose?

Darren brings up an interesting point over at it must be tuesday. Fictitious blogs. Wouldn’t books like Bridget Jones’s Diary and Adrian Mole have made great blogs? In fact, how do we know anything posted on blogs is true?

Well, it’s time for a Canadian long weekend. Canada day. I’m off to Ottawa with DH to visit with family and friends. Hope everyone has a great weekend/long weekend as the case may be!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some links, just because

Just some interesting stuff I found on the ‘net.

At Sternest Meanings, you can enter text and a generator will come up with a witty comeback in an anagram. Here are some examples:

webuser: The Writing Life
sternest: Win elite fright.

webuser: Write every day
sternest: Weary, dirty eve.

webuser: Nienke Hinton
On keen in thin.

webuser: I'm writing a bestselling novel
Revolting, gainless nimblewit.

webuser: I write because I have to
Wit or achieve beauties.

All About Romance
Articles and info for writers and readers of romance novels.

Random Word Generator
My words: instance, divided

Character Building Workshop

Free creative thinking tools

And how much fun would this be? An evening with Harry, Carrie, and Garp.

Monday, June 26, 2006

How to become a published author - 25 steps

James D Macdonald’s
Rules for Writing

According to James D. Macdonald, there are twenty-five simple steps to becoming a published author.

Here are the steps:

1. Black ink on white paper.

2. Place your name and address in the top left-hand corner of the first page.

3. Place the title and byline, centered, half-way down the first page.

4. Put a running head (your name, the title, and a page number) in the top right hand corner of every page.

5. Your pages should have one-inch margins.

6. Doublespace your text.

7. Use Courier 10 or Courier 12 only.

8. Type on one side of the paper only.

9. Continue until you reach "The End."

10. Rewrite.

11. Rewrite.

12.....21. Revise

22. Obtain the guidelines for a market that accepts material similar to what you have finished.

23. Follow the guidelines scrupulously when you submit your material.

24. While you are waiting for your rejection slip, start again back at step 1 for your next work.

25. When the rejection slip arrives, send the manuscript to the next market on your list, that same day.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday's Excuse Not To Write (and an excuse not to cleanse...)

Cleanse is postponed due to chronic insomnia. I will not go without food and sleep at the same time. Thanks for your feedback, everyone! Meanwhile, here is some Friday humor. Have a great weekend!

Reprinted with permission from 101 Excuses Not to Write.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A fine morning

The sunrise this morning from my office window.

It's just after five a.m. and I've been up for hours. One of those nights when thoughts fight for attention in your head, so, forget sleep.

A couple of things have me excited.

After reassessing my life, I hired a personal trainer. I start today. She has a variety of programs including an outdoor 'bootcamp' which should offer me enough variety to keep me interested. I get plenty of aerobic exercise walking my dog twice a day and hiking, but I need to work on some resistance training. I've heard over and over again (even from my GP) that this will help me lose weight, get into shape, and increase my energy. Let me at it.

Today is also the first day of a 10-day cleanse my DH and I doing. It's called the Master Cleanse and consists of drinking a tonic of water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. On top of that, you drink an herbal laxative tea every evening and a morning expunger of sea-salt water. I know a few people who have done it and they say it really increases your energy but is hard to keep up for the full 10 days. We'll see how it goes.

Finally, I have been playing with my new software all morning (night?). It's called Liquid Story Binder and, oh, what fun. Organizational trees, outlining windows, timelines, and chapter building. You can include sound and graphic files associated with your text. I've been working hard on the structure and GMC of my WIP, so I've input a lot of my data to the program. 30-day free trial. Okay, I admit I have an addiction to new software. Hey, gotta have some fun right?

Two questions: What do you think of the Master Cleanse? And, do you use any software for your writing?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Get back into life

I’ve been dealing with emotions and thoughts around death lately. Last week, a friend committed suicide; a couple of weeks ago, a friend’s father died; and a couple of weeks before that, a friend’s daughter died. Last year, two suicides and a death from cancer.

Naturally, such events make me sad, but they also make me re-evaluate my life. I find myself feeling guilty when someone dies prematurely, as though I should be living life more fully. And I should. Not because someone else never had the chance, but because when my final day comes, I want to look back at a full life.

I find life often turns into a daily grind: work, chores, rest, sleep, work chores, rest, sleep. I get so wrapped up in it and so tired from it that I cease doing the little things that give me joy. These things include writing, bike riding, sitting on the beach, reading, meeting with friends, going out with my husband, as well as others. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.

Well, enough feeling sorry for myself. It’s time to get back into life. For starters, my DH and I are planning the Canada Day weekend up in Ottawa, where he’s from. He’s already booked a hotel. We’re going to socialize with old friends, sit in outdoor pubs, and dance late into the nights. We’ll explore some of the lovely sites Ottawa has to offer by day. I’m really looking forward to it.

What are some of the things you’ve let slide that really bring you joy?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Writing Goals

Last time I asked about whether you set goals when you create your characters. Today, I want to know if you set goals for yourself. I’m referring specifically to writing, but am also curious if you set goals for writing as part of an overall strategy to reach life objectives.

Personally, I write out goals for myself at the beginning of each year. I review my previous year’s goals and see how well (or poorly) I did in achieving them. My strategy usually consists of an evolving set of goals. For example, if I want to write more, I may start with a goal of 5 hours per week and work my way up during the year. I call my strategy my ‘2006 Plan of Action.’ It includes a mission statement, writing goals, work, family, and home goals, spiritual and ethical goals, social and cultural, physical and health, mental and educational, and outreach goals. Sounds like a lot, but I usually feel successful if I improve even just a little in each area.

I got the idea from Vicki Hinze, an inspirational writer with a great blog and website full of information about Hinze as well as a library of great articles (free membership required – but well worth it). Vicki let me reprint her article, ‘Why We Need A Plan.’ You can find it on my website, here.

It really helps me to find out how other writers write. Do you have a schedule? Goals? Is it easy for you to find time to write? Do you write every day (at least one word, as Maya Angelou advises)? What advice would you give to those trying to get a schedule in place?