Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: Unusual Musical Talent

I went to a local coffee shop to watch my brother-in-law play guitar and bass guitar. Being a resourceful guy, he utilizes his feet for bass playing, while playing guitar with his hands.

What's a toe bass player doing on a blog about writing?

Well, besides being pretty cool, it's supposed to make you think. Do you have enough music in your current W.I.P.? Do your characters have any unusual talents? Where are you going in the world to gather ideas?

At open mic night, not only did I see my brother-in-law, I heard other musical talent, saw people dressed in various hats, and looked at the paintings of a local artist. I took in the general decor of the café (cozy, complete with comfy chairs and well stocked book shelves) and watched people walking by the window (especially the cute couple in the court yard who posed by the Spanish architecture, taking pictures). All of it feeds my writerly brain. What feeds yous?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Lina Lamont Fan Club: Poll: Who is your favorite Star Trek captain?

Nissa, over at The Lina Lamont Fan Club, is hosting a poll. If you're a Star Trek fan, check it out. Here's the start of Nissa's post:

The Lina Lamont Fan Club: Poll: Who is your favorite Star Trek captain?: "A lot of people think I'm a Whovian. Actually, I'm a Trekkie from childhood, I just find it easier to blog about Doctor Who. But in honor ..." Read on!

Talking about Star Trek, here's the dumb little cartoon I made at YouTube. Mister Spock goes into a Starbucks and orders a water. I won't tell you to enjoy it because you won't. LOL But I had fun and it was easy--too easy. Now I can spread my stupidity in just minutes in a whole new way!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Moon Drenched Fables Closing but Moon Washed Kisses Stays Open

Sadly, a lovely online magazine story site is shutting down. Moon Drenched Fables  put up their final issue. If you've been following me for a while you might remember me mentioning in the fall of 2010 that they published my story, "Black as Night and Azure Blue." You won't find it there now, as they don't have back issues. But do go and read the current stories, say goodbye, and vote for the best of the issue.

Their sister site, which focuses on romance, called Moon Washed Kisses, will remain open. Like Moon Drenched Fables, it takes fantasy (as well as other romantic genre), so that's nice for whimsical readers and writers like me!

half moon

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Thank you, Joylene Butler for this award! You are so sweet!
Her blog is "A Moment at a Time on Cluculz Lake"

The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 8 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Seven Random Facts About Me:
1. I have a thing for biplanes and every time we watch a movie with one in it I ask my husband, "When are we going to get our biplane?"
2. I used to be a La Leche League Leader (volunteer breastfeeding councelor).
3. I own a small gong because who wouldn't want to own one?
4. I guess I've liked steampunk since I was a little girl, but I didn't know the term for it. Did they even have that word back then?
5. I need music, but I'm unmusical. My singing is horrid and I can't play an instrument.
6. I guess my love of languages is like my love of music. I love to listen to languages: English(modern, Middle-a.k.a. Chaucer's, and Old English) and foreign languages, but I can barely handle English and I've failed at learning three separate foreign languages.
7. I love ginger--ginger tea, ginger candy, ginger anything.

I pass the award to:

1. A Karabu Creation
She discusses conflict in stories in a recent post, but poke around her blot until you find the blue sheep. You won't be sorry.

2. Writing Thrilling Fiction
You'll want to see Friday's post and her pic of the week- weird statue! Get over there!

3.Anthony J. Rapino
The Professor awaits your call. To find out what I mean- read June 17th post. ;)

4. Medeia Sharif
Find out what Medeia has recently read and learn about her own novel coming out in July!

5. The Word is My Oyster
On Friday Lydia asked what we're reading. But don't forget to also check out her Medical Mondays where she answers writers' questions.

6. Writ, Written, Wrote
Ripping up a piano??? You'd better read Friday's post.

7. The Lina Lamont Fan Club
Go visit my favorite Whovian Fangirl in the Galaxy and she what she has to say!

8. Diamond- Yup, Like the Stone
She's a psychiatrist and a writer. So she always has something interesting to say. Be sure to check out her Mental Health Mondays in addition to her other super posts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random Things in My Writing Space PLUS Editing on Your Kindle


Random Things

I thought I'd take an item from my own list from last week's post and tell you some random things in my writing space. I don't actually have a writing space. My computer is a little tiny thing that I can balance on my knees if I want to. So, I write any place I need to be.

Cupcakes (made by my niece, Jasmine)

Currently I'm in the kitchen, having just made coffee and fed the kids and cats. In my writing space I can see through my kitchen window that looks out at the neighbor's side wall and their bathroom window--which is thankfully shut, a sink with a drainer full of clean pots and pans, a colorful box of Annie's brand of bunny shaped cookies, two home grown zucchinis, and a copy of Coraline (the graphic novel adaptation) by Neil Gaiman.

My writing space could be at the kitchen table, my bedoom, our schoolroom (we're a homeschooling family), my sister's house (the girls take piano lessons with my niece), or my car (not while driving of course). Yesterday it was at this trampoline place we took the kids to. While there, I went over a chapter on my Kindle.

The Hitchhiker's Guide themed Kindle case my sister, Allie, made me

Kindle Magic

If you have a Kindle, you may want to read this next bit. You can convert any text to MOBI (the Kindle format). I put my work in progess onto my Kindle. I can easily take it with me, mostly I love to do this because it makes me see it differently- kind of the same effect as when I print it out, but I don't have to use ink. It allows me to make as many notes as I like--a feature I wasn't aware of until I got it.

I go here to convert, but I'm sure there are other places. I don't download their software. Here's what I do:
-Click, "read more" under "convert text or ebook to mobi format."
-Browse for the file I want to convert and upload it.
-Then it does the work.
-Download the converted file to the computer.
-Plug in the Kindle. A menu should open.  Open the documents file. Drag the new Mobi file into it.
Note: I have found that when I turn on my Kindle, the file name is a random jumble of numbers! I've no idea why. But the text itself is fine. So, no worries. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

42 Blog Post Ideas for Authors and Wannabe Authors

Instead of writing a blog this week (or last week), I'm listing forty-two blog ideas. So, this post is about nothing... or everything, depending on how you view it.

1. Review of a novel.

2. Post photos of a recent walk in nature and post captions.

3. Discuss something you read that has something to do with writing or that pertains to the type of books you write.

4. Talk about a new baby in your family.

5. Post a photo and host a caption contest.

6. Explain how to make characters more realistic. (seriously, I want to know)

7. Post links to all the agent blogs and other blogs of use to other writers.

8. Write about hats for characters. (I have a hat fetish in case you haven't noticed.)

9. Compare a novel with the movie they made of it.

10. Explain some of the more complicated rules of punctuation.

11. The same goes for grammar.

12. List the most common writing mistakes.

13. List the top clichés to look out for in writing.

14. Talk about naming characters.

15. Explain how to add more of the five senses in our writing.

16. Post a sample chapter of your work in progress.

17. Give out awards to other bloggers... such as me. ;)

18. Post pictures of your pet.

19. Write a poem.

20. Post a recipe.

21. Describe what random items are in your writing space and invite others to do the same.

22. Host a short story blog fest with a fun theme. This is a great fun and good for networking.

23. Host a guest blogger.

24. Interview an author.

25. Write about music in general, or in writing. Does your character play an instrument? Did you invent some sort of music for your mythical planet?

26. Explain the nuances of a genre- such as the types of speculative fiction, like high fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk...

27. Rant about a recent breakup, job loss, or other personal problem then go on and on about it for days and give names so that everyone in your real life will know who you're talking about. (I'm kidding. But some personal tales of woe aren't always bad. Blogland is a community of humans.)

28. Interview a musician or other artist.

29. Write a guest post as one of your characters.

30. Interview one of your characters.

31. Explore history, especially if you write about a time not our own. That way, when people Google something like- "California Gold Rush" they'll find your blog and learn that you happen to be writing a weird fantasy novel about that time period. Oh wait. That's not you. That's me. :)

32. Write about stuff in space, if you write stories about space. You'll attract googlers who may be interested in your stories.

33. Write about the history of space exploration.

34. Write about books and writers who write the same type of thing you write. So, if I Google Douglas Adams and I find you blogging about him, then I might be interested in reading your work.

35. Brainstorm words and phrases to describe color, gestures, voices, all sorts of stuff! Not only will you get your own writing juices flowing, but you will get super comments from readers and it becomes a conversation and you learn from them.

36. Brainstorm descriptions of people.

37. Explore first lines of great (and not so great) novels.

38. Study a topic, such as mythical beasts and tell us what you learned.

39. Make lists- lists of books you must read, of snacks you must have on hand, favorite crayon color names, 42 things to blog about, ten strange things about yourself then you never thought you'd tell anybody...

40. Writing prompts to help other writers when we get stuck or just want a writing exercise.

41. A "How To" post. -"How to get more readers" -"How to work through writer's block" -"How to make time to write" And then invite readers to add to the conversation.

42. Post a photo of your nephew's clubhouse and tell everyone that's where you live so they'll feel sorry for you and buy your book.

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