Technology is supposed to make our lives easier

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.

~James Surowiecki

Writing Links Round Up 6/20-6/25

Here are last weeks writing link that I tweeted out.

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Writers and Their Creative Outlets

Live to Write - Write to Live

Let Your Creativity SoarAs writers, we’re creative. Our muses love words and help us get stories onto a page.

If your muse is like mine, it enjoys exploring other creative outlets. There’s something about doing a different type of creative activity that can enhance creative energy. Being creative in more than one area of our lives can enable us to use creative energy throughout our day.

I feel that my writing improves when I do something that requires the right side of my brain. Some creative ventures lead to new story ideas, others help with a work in progress.

I find it’s all about being in the moment of creating something that enables the muse to jump up and down with excitement and churn the creative pot.

Here are some other-than-writing creative outlets I have tried:

  • Pottery – I have to mention this first because it’s the one thing I can think back…

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Man learns through experience

Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.

~Sai Baba

How to Write an Excellent Book

Live to Write - Write to Live

Quick post today because some of the best advice is often short and sweet.

Last week I had the opportunity to see best selling author Joe Hill at our local Barnes & Noble. We were treated to a reading, a sing-along (complete with kazoos), and an open discussion/question session. It was truly a delightful and informative evening.

Note: if you ever have the opportunity to see a visiting author, please grab it with both hands, you won’t regret it.

During the discussion/question period a young girl in the back row raised her hand. “How is it that you can always write so excellently?” she asked.

Joe thought and then replied. “The answer to that question is that I don’t write excellently. My strategy is to write one good sentence and then follow that up with another good sentence and then another one. Pretty soon I have a whole pile of…

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Summer Writing Vacation: Plotting

Live to Write - Write to Live

Two weeks ago I proposed spending my summer blogging spots talking about my process for writing a novel. Note, this is my process, developed afteOUR WRITING ROADMAPr years of classes, workshops, books, and practice. It works for me, but that doesn’t guarantee it will work for you. Perhaps it will give you some ideas, or help you get unstuck.

I am a plotter. I’ve talked about that on this blog, and others. What that means is that I map out my novel (or story) before I start to write. Actually, I count my plotting time as writing time, since it frees me up considerably and is the only way I can work full time while writing a mystery series. That doesn’t mean I don’t deviate. Right now, for example, I am rethinking the denouement of my 3rd clock shop mystery. But the map got me to where I am going.

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What Do You Do with Old Journals?

Live to Write - Write to Live

I’m in serious cleaning mode, as I need to pack up and move to an as yet undetermined location. (Place I’m renting is being sold, and I’m not interested in buying it.)

ANYway, as I decide, yet again, how to downsize, I’m coming across boxes I haven’t opened in more than 5 years.

I bet you aren’t surprised, since you know I’m a writer, that I have, um, a few journals. And these, um, few journals fill, well, a few boxes. I have books all the way back to my teen years (which really is only a few years ago), when I called them diaries.

Anyway, along with my TBR (to-be-read) pile of books that I am giving away because I don’t want to move crates and crates of books, yet again, I’m trying to decide how to treat all these journals.

Used JournalsAm I ever going to read through them?…

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Writing Links Round Up 6/13-6/18

Here are last weeks writing links.

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The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Frustrations of Formatting

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It is not my purpose here to talk about the technical aspects of formatting a self-publishRich w:Booked book. Experts abound, and I am eternally grateful for that fact. When I become immersed in the swamp of details or flummoxed by the idiot-syncrasies of Microsoft Word, I head for the chat rooms. This article is meant as an overview; my thoughts on the major challenges, how I deal with some of them, and perhaps as a sympathetic diatribe.

When setting about publishing a manuscript, my initial question is how first to publish it––as an eBook or a print version. Since my major publishing focus to date has been the eBook market, I lean toward publishing a Kindle as my first effort. I tell myself I may not even wish to publish a print book, or at the very least hold off a while, but ultimately the desire to own a…

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