Friday, July 25, 2014

9 Links: This Week's Super Finds

discovery: woodland flower 2014
"A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind." --Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

The summer marches on and with it comes some pretty helpful information and a few laughs. Thought I'd share some of the latest discoveries I've stumbled across in the hopes that they benefit you as much as they have me.

1. Need help in managing your writing time? Check out How to Keep Your Writing in Your Over-the-Top Busy Life: Helpful Techniques from the Experts, by Mary Carroll Moore at How to Plan, Write, and Develop a Book.

2. Along the same lines, did you ever wonder how Jerry Seinfeld motivates himself to be a productive writer (his specialty of course is jokes, but his technique could apply to any field)? Can you say calendar? You'll find Jerry's Productivity Secret at Life Hacker.

3. Stumped for ideas? Melissa Donovan shares thoughts on Questions, Curiosity, and Writing Ideas at Writing Forward.

4. When you are struck with that fantastic idea that lights up your life but you don't know how to go about developing it, why not start with an outline? 7 Steps to Creating a Flexible Outline for Any Story, by K.M. Weiland at Writer's might be just what you need.

5. Along the same lines, Alan Gratz reinforces the idea on the Highlights Foundation blog with Why You Should Be Outlining .

6. While you're writing that next best-seller, you might begin thinking about your author bio. Do you have one yet? Ann Allen at gives great tips with her post How to Write an Author Bio When You Don't Feel Like an Author...Yet.

7. Next to finishing the next great work and dashing off the best author bio imaginable, you might want some insight into industry news for the writer. If so you don't want to miss Elizabeth Spann Craig's Resources for Writers--Industry News.

8. Want a quick review of history--in 17 syllables and 140 characters? Featured on we have a unique approach: History in Haiku, by historian H. W. Brands.

9. And finally, on a frivolous note but evidence of the power of social media? A lost sock was found at the Oklahoma City Airport and the word is out. Sound trivial? Why does it matter? Well, you see it was found by an avid knitter who recognized its value, a hand-knitted sock made with love and quality wool. Who was the knitter? Where was the sock's match? And could they be lovingly reunited? The plea has gone out on every social media site from the US to Canada to Europe (according to Andrea Vlahakis, here). Check out the whole story at Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's The Knit Signal. And be sure to read the resulting comment thread, especially the part about the banana. If you're like me, you'll get your laugh for the day over that one!

Ah, only on this thing called the internet. Entertainment abounds.

Any great web-surfing discoveries you've came across lately? And what about you, are you missing a sock?

Happy weekend, all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How Things Change

"Grandma! I backspaced but it didn't erase!" --Angelica, 6 years old

Pulled out the old Royal manual typewriter the other day for the kids to play on. Remember when that's all we had to type our manuscripts on? Or are you too young to remember, too?

How things change! And, when it comes to typewriters vs. computers, it's a good thing for a writer, that's for sure.

Just thought I'd share. Hope you're having a great summer. What changes have you seen as a writer that you celebrate?

p.s. if you could peek at that piece of typewriter paper she's working on you'd see: my desk, magazines, hair salon (it's a game we play), Kristoff, Sven, Anna, Elsa...any idea what her favorite movie is?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

28 Things to Do in the Meantime

evening sky, July 2014

"Meantime is middle time. It is an intervening or intermediate period. We associate meantime with a pause, a hiatus, an interlude, a recess from strictly specified action." --Elizabeth Harper Neeld, A Sacred Primer

July is meantime month. With all the summer activities, family time, the great outdoors--where does writing fit in? Sometimes it doesn't! But that's okay. For, in the meantime...

So far in our neck of the woods, July's meantime for us has meant the Ft. Thomas, KY, Fourth of July 5K Firecracker Race/Walk. Hubby ran; I walked. He placed 2nd for males in his age group; I placed 3rd for females in mine. But don't give us too much credit--there were only six people in his age group, seven in mine! The highlight of the day was when our six-year old granddaughter, who was helping at the water station, handed cups of refreshing water to, among others, her grandpa and grandma. (btw, Ft. Thomas has lots of history, especially Civil War era. It's also home to the Blue Marble, a darling children's bookstore that has even replicated the great green room of Margaret Wise Brown's classic, Goodnight Moon. Want to experience a delightful youtube reading of the book? You'll find it here.)

July to this point has also meant a family road trip one state over to a quaint little pre-Civil War canal town, Metamora, Indiana. There we experienced a train ride, canal lore, antique stores, and a number of farm animals in the fields of a nearby farm. We also stopped in a used-book store where I found a treasure: Hospital Sketches, An Army Nurse's True Account of her Experiences during the Civil War, by Louisa May Alcott. This particular volume is a 1993 reprint of work originally published in 1863. I have a number of books on my shelf pertaining to the Civil War, but not one like this. I'm looking forward to a great read.

Ahead, July also means birthday celebrations, movie nights, family needs, and simple stop-and-take-stock moments. After all, we're right smack in the middle of the year. Half the days behind us, half ahead.  What goals have we made progress on? What might we re-evaluate? Maybe our writing has by necessity slowed down. Maybe the itch is there but not the time. Maybe...well, maybe we should just say in the meantime.

"In the meantime" (phrase): during the intervening time; until a later time."

What are some things we can do "in the meantime"? Consider the following 28 possibilities:

1. anticipate
2. abbreviate
3. accomodate
4. aerate

How about:
5. allocate
6. annotate
7. appreciate
8. approximate

9. calculate
10. celebrate
11. contemplate
12. cooperate

Don't forget:
13. decorate
14. delegate
15. deliberate
16. demonstrate

We could say more:
17. generate
18. illuminate
19. incubate
20. initiate

21. liberate
22. lubricate
23. marinate
24. meditate

25. percolate
26. punctuate
27. recreate
28. resuscitate!

But please don't exaggerate, frustrate, hesitate, infuriate, procrastinate, vacillate, or vegetate!

(see what a good rhyming dictionary can do for you?)

I dabbled in some wordplay in my meantime. What are some things you do in yours?