Archive | Otherwhere

Well Hey, Otherwhere, It’s Nice to See You Again!

I’ve been remiss in providing you with Otherwhere links for quite some time now. The problem is not that I don’t have enough, it’s that I have too many.  And when I start to corral them, I get overwhelmed.  Okay. Deep breath. Here we go (and forgive me if they are not in any particular order):

Finding your voice from Jen Louden (she’s doing a cool self-guided retreat on this, too.

Having empathy for characters not like you

The Ultimate Summer Reading Flowchart

Three Easy Edits for Better Emotional Impact 

When You Don’t Want to Write

How to Get Unstuck

Great Advice and Ideas from Asian-American Writer’s Workshop

8 Literary Gardens to Escape to This Summer

How I Organize My Time, Tasks, and Creative Ideas (from Sandra Pawula)

Okay, I could go on…and on…and on. But my cats are begging me to feed them and besides, this ought to be enough to keep you busy for awhile, no? Do weigh in on what you’re looking at on the web in the comments.

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Otherwhere: Almost Summer

It has come to my attention that next weekend is Memorial Day. Could somebody please tell me how that happened? And, though summer doesn’t officially start until after the solstice, we all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of long, lazy days, right? Well, if someone could show me a universe in which adults actually got to enjoy long, lazy days I’d move there in a nanosecond.  In the meantime, how about some fun links to peruse in those stolen moments of your busy, crazy days? Here goes:

Writing

How to share your work and get discovered.

Creating your character’s world.

How to gain more confidence.

Tips for writing that novel.

Some words on setting.

How to start writing a novel if stuck.

Should you let your creativity rest?

Travel Porn

In honor of upcoming workshops I’m teaching, here’s some Oregon Coast porn (there’s still a few spots left in my Sitka workshop) and France porn (one spot left, but we have someone seriously interested so act now if you are, too).

Author Blogs I Like

Rachael Herron

Emilie Richards

Kathleen Tessaro’s nice piece on how she got published.

Joshilyn Jackson. (Lots of fun, but hasn’t been updated for a couple of months.)

That’s all I’ve got for author blogs (though I feel like I’m forgetting a couple of obvious ones that I read). Do you have any that you read? What I like in an author blog is getting a glimpse into their life, besides stuff about their books.  I don’t mind some self-promotion because, duh, that’s the point, but I do like a bit more than just marketing.  Share your favorites in the comments.

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Otherwhere: May 9th

pencil_notebook_writing_237689_lI have a veritable cornucopia of links for you today, so let’s dive right in. Here goes:

Writing

Finish that novel already! (I know, it’s not that easy.)

Writing historical fiction

For the love of it

Write great YA fiction

How to become a ghostwriter

Writing setting (a topic dear to my heart since I wrote my MFA critical thesis on landscape as character).

How to make comments and use track changes in Word.

Reading

The late science fiction writer Octavia Butler was a genius in many ways. Here’s a quote about how she read.

Travel

France porn. (We still have a spot left in our France retreat!)

Food

I’d much rather write than cook, but every day the same need arises: figure out something to fix for dinner. Here are some imminently makeable but not-necessarily-good-for-you ideas.

That’s it! That’s all I’ve got! What have you been browsing through lately?

 

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Otherwhere: Special Toto Edition

Yes, Toto. As in, the song Africa.  Maybe you have to be a certain age to appreciate that song. Or maybe not, because the tune is lilting and ubiquitous.  Anyway, you’ll have to scroll down to find out what I’m talking about.

Lots going on lately, as in many great links, and I’ve not been good about doing this post regularly. So here goes:

Writing

You should write in third person.

Five tips for more powerful writing.

Share your talent.

Keep up with your passion while you earn a living writing.

When to start a sequel.

How to use a plot planner.

7 tips for writing strong character motivations.

Walking is good for the writer.

Time saving tips for writers.

Life

The coolest moment in life (an homage to Prince).

10 ways to do your own impossible daily (I do #1 every morning).

Are you addicted to dopamine?

Okay, you have diligently looked over all my links and now here is your reward–a link to the band Toto singing their huge hit from the 80s, Africa. No, wait! Because I love you SO much, I’m going to embed the video in this post. You don’t even have to click away to view it! (And let me give thanks to Kay over at Mason-Dixon knitting, whose post this morning originally reminded me of this song.) You know you want to watch it.

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Otherwhere: Good Stuff

I’ve been collecting goodies for you, a lot of which came in the last couple of days.  Also, please note my non-link related question at the end.

Here goes:

Writing

Analyze your novel as if it were a dream.

I could not live without the TK.

On beating not-writing.

How to organize your day.

It isn’t conflict that drives the story after all. (READ THIS ONE.)

Best and worst.

Women Fiction Writers (Amy Sue Nathan’s blog)

A new platform for serialized work.

The importance of words.

Structuring story with Robert McKee.

Marketing, Etc.

Be shameless about sales.

Be your own publicist.

Other Creative Stuff

You knitters out there will appreciate this.

I can’t help it, I love nutty Russians.

My buddy Roy has a great story to tell about a long-lost penpal.

I read this blog every morning.

Okay, basta!  Here’s my very important question: if I were to start a Facebook group (that might or might not be closed, I’m not sure), would you be interested in joining it? I’ve long been pondering a way for my loyal commenters and others to have an easier way to talk to each other. Thoughts? What are your positive/negative experiences with such groups? And while we’re at it, what is the secret to life? (Kidding about that last one–unless you have the answer.)

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Otherwhere: Oh Glorious Sunny Days

Yeah, the title has nothing to do with the content of this post, but everything to do with how I’m feeling.  It is a perfect spring day in Oregon and here are some of the great links I’ve read this past week, or maybe a little longer.

Writingcrocus_white_purple_246778_l

Your hero embodies the theme.

Fiction triggers-where do ideas come from?

Oh, right. And then there’s that matter of talent.

Make writing that first draft easier. (I could have used this with my just-finished mess WIP.)

Keeping goals and writing fresh.

How to show internal dialogue. (Please read this if you are a writer who loves to put thoughts in italics.)

If, like me, you are obsessed with the never-ending quest for the perfect journal, you’ll enjoy this post.

How free-lancers find ideas.

Marketing

Behind the scenes of a bestselling launch. (I was part of the “street team” that helped promote this book, and getting a bit of an inside view of the operation was fascinating.)

Blogging for authors.

Other Good Stuff

Keep a scratchpad handy. 

Practicing presence.

Laura’s Munson’s lovely tribute to the late Jim Harrison.

What have you been reading about lately?

Photo by lumix2004.

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Otherwhere: March 7

carrousel_evening_lights_223804_l

The writer’s life is a mad carnival ride

No snappy titles today, but I’ve got lots of great writing links for you. So let’s get right to it.

Are you trying to ride the news cycle with your current novel? Might not be the best idea.

I gotta admit, sometimes I wonder about this: is writing fiction a worthy endeavor?

What is your story about? When an editor asked me this, it clarified everything. (But then, I can be a bit slow on the uptake.)

How to read more!

Ever thought about applying for a grant for your writing?

The writer’s outlook on life.

Sharing is caring.

Marketing, then and now.

Maybe this is what’s wrong with my current WIP.

My son and daughter-in-law saw Hamilton last November and have been obsessed ever since. What you can learn from it.

Larry Brooks on structure and other things.

Do you need a pen name?

And finally, the seven things a writer needs to make a living.

What have you been reading around the web this past week?

 

Photo by manitou.

 

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Otherwhere: It’s Leap Day!

Academy awards, leap day, writing, research for writing, creativity

Academy awards, leap day, writing, research for writing, creativity

Happy leap day! Are you leaping about, as I’ve seen so many people doing on Instagram? (We humans are nothing if not predictable.) Or perhaps you are still recovering from the looooong Academy Awards show last night?

I’m actually doing neither.  Instead I’m sitting by the TV set, which is tuned to Doc McStuffins, with the most adorable three-year-old girl child on the planet avidly watching it as I write this. Okay, I may be watching it some, too.  Its one of my favorite kid shows.

So, while certain miniature people are distracted, here are the links I’ve gathered this week:

Paperback ponderings.

A publicist’s advice to authors of the traditional variety.

Using OneNote for your author’s toolbox. (It is one of my favorites.)

And another post on using OneNote.

Change your vocabulary, change your life.

What’s the premise of your story? Knowing it may help it win an Oscar.  (With thanks to Caroline for sharing the link with me.)

Novels to read to raise your game (weird British edition).

The Delirious Delights of Research.

What are you doing with your extra day? I hope it is something fun and wonderful.

(FYI to those in Portland, meet Debbie and I tonight at 5 PM at Noble Rot if you are in the mood to spend your extra day with some writerly chat. It’s our monthly Literary Libations.)

Photo by Dave_B_.

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Otherwhere: Phew!

Your DIY writing retreat here?

Your DIY writing retreat here?

What a great weekend.  Debbie and I did our publishing workshop with a terrific group of writers and on Sunday I met with my cousin and his wife to discuss fun projects.  And today, Monday, I’ve heard from my agent that the rewrite I submitted last week is off to the editor and long-lost students are returning, and it feels like things are happening again.

I’ve got some good links for you, too.  Such as:

Write your novel fast.  As discussed at our publishing workshop this weekend, if you write 1,000 words a day (which is not a particularly fast pace), at the end of two months you’ll have 60,000 words, which is a novel in many genres. Another month, and you’ve got 90,000 which is women’s fiction/literary fiction range.  See? You can do it speedily, if you set a steady pace.

Need to check your grammar? Try this.

Indie authors, do you hire help or do it yourself?

Seven things your mystery novel needs.

Literary or commercial?

DIY writer’s retreat.  (Or, if you want a retreat/workshop in France that’s not DIY, try this.)

Writing your first novel.

How to write a short story.

I’m more of an Instagram fan myself, but this article convinced me I need to return to my Pinterest boards.

That’s what I’ve been reading.  How about you?

Photo by mterraza.

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Otherwhere: President’s Day Edition

Yes, this will be my lunch today.

Yes, this will be my lunch today.

I had the most glorious Valentine’s Day yesterday because I mostly did nothing except read all day. (I got deeply engrossed in Heft, by Liz Moore, which I HIGHLY recommend. Just finished it this morning.  A beautiful, touching book.) I didn’t worry about work (the rewrite is finished, but I need to read it over and see how it works), or people coming over, or babysitting a grandchild, or anything.  I cannot tell you how rare this is–and how appreciated.

I actually think there are a couple reasons why I don’t do this more often. 1. because its just not possible, and 2. because when I do do it I like it so much I’m afraid I’m going to sink into sloth forever more. Thus, I am back at my computer this morning with a collection of links for you.

Here’s a follow-up to the link I published last week on older writers. I think this one is even better.

Where do you get ideas?

How writing thank you notes is the author’s best friend.

Is the indie gold rush over?

If you click on only one link from this post, choose this one.  It is an hysterical account of one man’s search for a literary agent.

More on theme from Stephen Pressfield.

The latest news from the digital front.

Need some ease in your writing? (Don’t we all?)

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got.  And now, since my hub has a holiday today, we’re off to eat fries at my neighbor’s restaurant and poke around one of Portland’s once-funky, now quickly gentrifying neighborhoods.

 

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