Monday, July 31, 2006

Around the web in 90 seconds...

I can’t wait for the Hotlanters to start posting about the RWA National Conference. In the meantime, a few interesting blogs to check out:

John Baker has been asking “Five Questions” to all kinds of bloggers about why they blog. Some very interesting answers. Many writerly types.

Paperback Writer has an interesting post called Extending Your Writing Range. She writes about the journey to becoming a writer and a ‘novel recipe.’

Anne Frasier asks if writers are broken.

Tamara Siler Jones has a great dialogue going on about perfectionism, fear, and being good enough over at tamboblog. See posts from July 27 to 29.

Amy Durham at tappity tap talks about the worst writing advice she’s ever heard. She also asks readers to share their own worst advice.

Melly at All Kinds of Writing traveled to her hometown in Northern Israel a few weeks ago and has been keeping us posted on what’s happening and how she feels. From reading her posts, I’ve developed a whole new perception and understanding of the calamity in the Middle East.

Writers Unboxed has an interview with editor and YA author, Victoria Holmes.

Finally, I’ve been memed by Rene from A Little Cheese With That Whine:

1. When did you first start blogging and why?
My first blog post was September 26, 2005. I thought it would be a great way to interact with likeminded people who were interested in writing and publishing. It was and is.

2. What don't you talk about?
I try to stick to the subject of writing. However, since I am more than just a writer, other aspects of me are revealed as well. I try to stay away from controversial subjects (politics, religion, etc.) – except if they relate to writing and publishing. I’m not here to be right or to argue, I’m here to learn and meet interesting people (I have).

3. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?
The person people know is real and is me, but there is a lot more to me than what I expose on my blog.

4. How do you use blogging to build friendships?
Friendships have just naturally developed because I’ve met many people with the same interests and goals that I have. As I get to know about them, I’ve learned to care more about them and what happens to them.

5. How would you describe your writing style?
I try to keep a natural flow to my writing style for all my writing – blog, non-fiction, and fiction. When I read, I enjoy conversational and informal prose, so I tend to write the same way.

Have a great week all!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The tiny bagel maker...

"The tiny bagel baker crawled into the noisy cafeteria for the CEO."

That's my Story Starter idea to get the creative juices flowing. Great for some free writing...

Thanks to for the link.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quick Pics

Hi y'all:
I've been wrapped up in other things and unable to post, so here's a couple of quick pics for your amusement. It's Cairo discovering the kitchen tap. (He's such a cutie!!) (To know my obsession with my pets is to know me)

And Piffy wants her two cents worth included too...

Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Big Deadline

Big deadline at work. Will be back tomorrow or Saturday to discuss my character development idea.

To keep you occupied while you eagerly await my next post, here are some fun things to do and read:

Robotube Games
Fish Tales
Various Flash Games
Various Java Games

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes, by Stephen King
Fiction Workshop for One

"It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." ~ Robert Benchley

"I don't like to write, but I love to have written." ~ Michael Kanin

"However great a man's natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once." ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." ~ Oscar Wilde

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." ~ Cyril Connolly

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." ~ Peter de Vries

"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped." ~ Lillian Helman

"You must write every single day of your life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads….may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." ~ Ray Bradbury

"The first draft of anything is sh*t." ~ Ernest Hemingway

"You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing." ~ Doris Lessing

Quotes scooped from Ink.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Family Grows

We live on a dead-end street about 3 km from a main road. Mostly, it's awesome. It's countryside, makes me feel like I'm going home to the cottage every day. Unfortunately, however, our road becomes a dumping site for lazy, cheap ignoramuses. It's bad enough having to look at tossed beer bottles and dumped building materials when I walk my dog but, even worse is when they leave an unwanted pet.

This weekend someone dumped a kitten. He sat all night beside a bowl of food left with him. Two little girls found him and went door to door to see if anyone owned him. Nobody said they did.

When I heard about it, I dragged my DH across the street to have a look at him. He was about 3 or 4 months old, a male, and not very happy. I think the reason he was not very happy is because the two little girls hadn't left him alone for a minute and were dragging him through heaven and high water. There was also a cat and a dog in the house which didn't please the little guy either.

We took him home to see how he would get along with our doggie Epiphany (Piffy - also a rescue, but not from our street).

This is Piffy, an Australian Cattle Dog/Hound mix. We've had her 5 years.

The kitty was not impressed with Pif, but was VERY happy to lie down for a while. He fell asleep on DH's lap for a couple of hours. We decided to keep him. His name is Cairo.

Once he had a good nap and some food, we learned Cairo is VERY affectionate, and VERY playful - as every kitty should be. He likes to bop his head against my face, play with my nose, and wrap his paws around things when he sleeps. He purrs almost 100 per cent of the time, even when he eats, and chirrups like my kitty Feline used to do.

Welcome to my family, Cairo.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday's Excuse Not To Write

Reprinted with permission from 101 Excuses Not to Write.

I have discovered a great way to help develop characters. I will share sometime this weekend. In the meantime, have a great one. It's going to be hot and smeltering here in Toronto!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Podcast addict

Not long ago, someone memed me, and one of the questions was, what six things would you take out of your home if it was on fire. Well, one of my answers was my iPod. I love my iPod Nano. Only, I don’t have one song on it. There is room for four days worth of songs but, instead, I have it filled with podcasts. I am addicted to podcasts, especially ones about writing, authors, and books.

Surprisingly, there are not very many podcasts on the subject of writing. There are a few, however, that offer author interviews and the authors often talk about their methods.

I have made a list of podcasts on writing or books that I’m aware of in my sidebar. If you know of any that are not on my list but should be included, please email me at nienke DOT hinton AT

My favorites include:

Writers On Writing - Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, author of pen on fire – the busy woman’s guide to igniting the writer within, interviews various writers. Recent guests include Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander; Andrew Vachss, author of Two Trains Running; and Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers.

The Secrets: The Podcast for Writers - Michael A. Stackpole, an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author, offers tips, advice, and anecdotes about writing.

The Naked Novelist - Brendan Gullifer, an author “on the brink,” shares the heartbreak and highlights of getting a novel published. Past guests include playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Joanna Murray-Smith (great interview although the sound is a bit grainy).

I Should Be Writing - Mur Lafferty, a wanna-be writer, has tips, anecdotes, and interviews for other wanna-be writers. She says, “Let my stack of rejection letters and battle scars benefit you.”

Do you listen to any podcasts? If so, which ones?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In memory of my girls

Holly Lisle posted about the loss of one of her cats, Winnie, today. It made me think about how much I miss my girls, Feline and Billy. In fact, I was just discussing this with my DH last night. He said they're up in cat heaven, cuddling, with an endless supply of catnip.
Despite the fact that Feline died about 10 years ago and Billy three, I still think of myself as the girl with two cats. I still talk about "my girls." They will always be a part of me even though they are not physically with me. Those of you with pets will understand.

Billy, left, and Feline - my girls.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Goals & Dreams

Moira Allen talks about setting effective writing goals. She suggests that since writing is an unstructured working environment, a good way to be productive is to set goals.

However, since we’re all different in what we want, time we have, and dedication to our craft, Allen says, “To be effective, goals should meet three criteria: They should be measurable, meaningful, and attainable.

She also points out that goals are separate from dreams.

“Goals, by the way, are not the same as dreams. While you may yearn to become a six-figure novelist who regularly guests on Oprah, that's not a goal. It's a dream -- and the only way you'll achieve that dream is by setting measurable goals that will take you toward that dream, one step at a time.”

One of the changes I’ve made lately is to stop obsessing over word count. You’ll notice I’ve taken my word meter off the sidebar. Instead of worrying about word count, my goals consist of time spent on my writing. Publication may be my dream, but the real reason I ever started writing was because I enjoy it. I don’t want to lose that.

So, I’m curious. What is your dream? And, what goals have you set to achieve that dream?

Some links:
Goal Setting: Powerful Written Goals In 7 Easy Steps
Writing: Option or Objective - Setting Realistic Writing Goals
Setting Goals for Your Writing Career
Are You Achieving Your Writing Goals?
Goals Are Worthless If...
Setting Reasonable Writing Goals - (Or don't do what I do, do what I say...)
How to Get There from Here: The Magic of Goals
Goal Planning for Optimal Enjoyment