Take up one idea.

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

~Swami Vivekananda


Writing Links Round Up 4/18-4/23

Here are the writing links I tweeted out last week.

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Being a Contest Judge Brings New Perspective to Submitting Work

Live to Write - Write to Live

FollowTheGuidelinesOn the flip side of being a contestant in a writing contest, I’ve also been a contest judge. I realized many of the challenges that those who run contests (and publishers) run into consistently.

First off, I admire anyone who takes the time to write and submit for a contest or publication. Whether it’s a short entry or novel-length, submitting work to be read (and judged) by someone else forces a big leap out of your comfort zone. Kudos for pushing yourself to submit!

My best advice for submitting to anyone at any time is: Make the most of your effort by following submission guidelines.

You’ve put a lot of effort into your story — you don’t want your story disqualified before anyone reads it, do you?  Of course not!

We writers are a creative sort, but one area not to express our creativity is in tweaking the physical appearance…

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There are no mistakes.

There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.

~Richard Bach

Help Your Favorite Author (and yourself)

R Lawson Gamble

There is a growing symbiotic relationship between authors and readers. Like horse and carriage, you can’t have one without the other. Of course, a relationBook Table at Museumship has always existed, but until recently it was always somewhat removed, stand-offish, like the maiden aunt who visits you once a year.

Over the centuries, readers have had to read the books available to them. Seldom have individual readers directly influenced the publishing industry. Sure, a publisher always tried to be aware of the general trends and proclivities of the reading public. But ultimately the choice of what to publish, and what not to publish, belonged to them, and they were tight-fisted with it.

Today readers wield direct and immediate leverage in regard to books and authors. In sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, and a multitude of others, it is the reader who decides what books and which authors will succeed. It is a much…

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Writing Links Round Up 4/11-4/16

Here are writing links that I tweeted out.

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Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links Apr 17

Live to Write - Write to Live

On the Beauty and Magic of Details

instagram first blossomI have always paid attention the “little things.” I notice things other people don’t, like the door-shaped opening nestled at the base of an old tree, the first tiny blossom on one of my modest houseplants, or the way my younger cat’s ears look like maps to some magical kingdom.

Details matter. Minutia makes the moment.

instagram cinder earsAs writers, it’s our job to notice the details. They are part of our stock in trade. We must absorb them and squirrel them away for later … the way the veins of a fallen leaf are traced in brilliant white frost, the way a husband places his hand on the small of his wife’s back to guide her even though she’d know the way to their favorite corner table with her eyes closed, the particular shade of emerald and lime green glistening on the back of…

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Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.

~Allen Klein

A short fiction trick

Entertaining Stories

I’ve been putting off this post for a long time, because it’s got to be a long post. The reason is it has to include a bit of micro-fiction to pick apart. Some of you might like the trick, some of you might like the story, but I’m going to post it anyway.

I’ve been seeing more posts about writing short stories on Blogland. Some of them are good, but most of them could be summed up by saying make them short. That’s so obvious as to be pretty unhelpful.

In order to share this trick, I have to give you a story to pick apart. Since I’m allowed to post an excerpt for promotional purposes, I’m choosing one from the Experimental Notebook. It isn’t my fault that it makes a complete story in 900 words. If you like the story, there are more in the Notebook for 99¢.

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Writing Links Round Up 4/4-4/9

Here are the writing links that I tweeted out last week.

Continue reading “Writing Links Round Up 4/4-4/9”