Women’s Fiction, etc.

An ongoing discussion for readers/writers of Women’s Fiction

Archive for May, 2008

Neophite Adventures

Inspiration has been elusive lately.  I haven’t been able to come up with a label for this blog, let alone finish the chapter I’ve been chipping out of stone the past couple of weeks.  For me, creativity comes from being outdoors, and with the Holiday weekend approaching, a road trip was in order!  For Gary and I, that’s motorcycle camping somewhere I can fly fish and he can bicycle his guts out.

We had reservations at Silver Lake – in the Sierras above Mammoth, but as of Thursday morning they had two inches of snow on the ground.  Brrrr.  I quickly reconnoitered, and was lucky – I got reservations in Kernville (in the mountains outside Bakersfield) at our favorite campground on the Kern River. 

We left Friday to sprinkles and stop ‘n go traffic through L.A., which graduated to a full-blown rainstorm at the Grapevine.  Pelting rain and 42 degrees.  We passed a wreck; a car had rolled, helicopter hovered, emergency vehicles flashing warnings to traffic. 

            Down the hill it was sunny and 72 degrees, and I looked back at the Mordor-like clouds sheeting rain – beautiful.  We rode an empty two lane happily through fields of grapes, alfalfa and groves of nut trees.  Odd clouds ahead though, with a tan horizon.  The wind picked up as we rode into a sandstorm!  Gary’s from West Texas, and has told me of them, but I never would have dreamed I’d see one in California. 

            Everything wet became mud, and my bright yellow motorcycle no longer was.  I sit writing this in “Cheryl’s Diner” Saturday morning drinking coffee, my point to this blog obscured by tangents. Then again, maybe not.

             Inspiration has returned, like the signs of spring I see all around me.  Starved for it?  Here’s a suggestion, go to www.smithmag.net/sixwordsThey have a challenge; describe your life in 6 words or less.  Sounds impossible, but once you get started, it’s like writing odd poetry.  The introspection tapped me directly in to my muse, and I created of a couple while riding in the rain.  The title to this blog isn’t just about writing…you’ve heard the term ‘old soul’?  That’s not me.  It may not be my first time, but you can still see the creases from the wrapper.

 

I think I can, I think…

Mistakes; life in disguise.

I learn slowly, remember long.

Hawk heart, unfortunately same size brain.

End comes, I go.  Smiling.

 

Give it a shot – you may not need an adventure to find inspiration!

 

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Reader’s / Writer’s toolbox

 At Stephen King’s suggestion (no, he’s not a personal friend – it’s in his book, On Writing), I created a file on my computer entitled “Toolbox”.  In it, I keep my tools for writing.  One section is for websites that come in handy for reading or writing.  I’ll share the best with you here.  More can be found at: http://www.writersdigest.com/101BestSites/

Here are my favorites:

 Reading-

http://www.amazon.com/  – (of course)

http://www.bookspot.com/reviews/ – For reviews by NYT, and many others

 

http://bookmooch.com/ – A free online used book sharing site – Did I say FREE?!

 

http://www.biblio.com/ – find/purchase out of print books

 

 Writing

http://thesaurus.reference.com/ – The best online thesaurus I’ve ever found

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/ – The best dictionary I’ve found

 

http://babelfish.altavista.com/ – Online translator – popular languages (no Swahili-sorry)

 

http://baby-names.adoption.com/ – Names – listed by country as well.

 

· Quotations:
http://www.quotationspage.com/
http://www.bartleby.com/100
brainyquote.com

· Slang:
http://www.slangsite.com/

· Movie Cliches
http://www.moviecliches.com/

· Rhyming Dictionary
http://www.rhymezone.com/

· Lyrics
http://www.azlyrics.com/index.html

Urban Dictionary
http://www.urbandictionary.com/

Slang Dictionary
http://www.alphadictionary.com/slang/

Language Dictionary
http://www.alphadictionary.com/langdir.html

Alpha Agora: A forum for discussions on dialects, slang, accents, etc.
http://www.alphadictionary.com/bb/

Internet Acronym Server
http://silmaril.ie/cgi-bin/uncgi/acronyms

RhymeZone Rhyming Dictionary and Thesaurus
http://www.rhymezone.com/

Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster Online
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

 Word Spy – The Top 100
http://www.wordspy.com/topwords.asp

Words
http://www.answers.com/main/words.jsp

A.Word.A.Day
http://wordsmith.org/awad/

WA’s Curious Words Page
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/WarrenAllen/words.htm

· Grammar
http://www.grammarlady.com/
http://www.junketstudies.com/rulesofw/
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/
http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/cws/wworkshop/writer_resources/grammar_handbook/gram…
http://www.bartleby.com/141/index.html

· Ask Jeeves
http://www.ask.com/#subject:ask|pg:1

Agent Query
http://agentquery.com/
http://firstwriter.com
http://writersmarket.com – I use this – its’ the BEST!
http://longstoryshort.us – critting queries free!

Check out agents – scams
http://agentresearch.com/agent_ver.html
http://anotherealm.com/prededitors
http://sfwa.orge/beware

· Thesaurus
http://thesaurus.reference.com

· Maps
http://geology.com/state-map

 Critiquing

http://writing.com -great, especially for new writers.

Inspiration/ideas
http://refdesk.com
http://book-in-a-week.com
http://smithmag.net/sixwords
http://thestorystarter.com
http://writingfix.com

Romance sites
ghttp://groups.msn.com/romancewritingtips
http://rwa.com
http://coffeetimeromance.com
http://romancedivas.com

Market/event listings/writer organizations
http://forwriters.com
http://www.wga.org/
http://writing.shawguides.com – writing conferences

Just plain interesting!
http://coolstuff4writers.com
http://eighteenquestions.com
http://writersfm.com
http://writesideout.com

 I collect these like baseball cards – you can’t have too many!  I’m always looking for new helpful sites, so I’d love to hear your favorites.

 

 

 

RWA – A Shameless Plug

For any writers who may read this – I just wanted to recommend membership in a wonderful organization, Romance Writers of America.  Look it up online – chances are there’s a local chapter not far from you. 

 

First, let me say that membership is not restricted to Romance Writers.  I’ve met members in my chapter who write Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Westerns, etc.  I joined for several reasons:

·        Writing is, for the most part, a solitary endeavor.  My husband and friends support me, but none of them really understand my passion.  It’s amazing to attend a monthly meeting with 100 other people who do.

·        Education – we have speakers at every meeting, covering different aspects of writing: plot, characterization, dialog, etc.  I’ve learned so much –free!

·        Classes.  My chapter, as well as many others Nationwide put on low cost online classes.  Everything from Query writing to forensic facts… and lots in between.  You’re bound to find one that would help your writing.

·        National Annual conference.

·        Networking – when (not if) you get published, you have a ready-made network of readers, and buyers.

·        Recognition

 

I’ve even met an agent through my chapter to whom I’ve submitted a partial manuscript (fingers firmly crossed!)

All this in just four months of membership – believe me, I’ve sure gotten a “bang for my buck” of dues.  You may want to look into it!