LOTS of Tuesday Tips: Getting Your Writing in Shape

So, whilst engaging in my early morning marketing (Okay, checking Facebook), I realized that the newest issue of WOW! Women On Writing was out. Wheee!

There are TONS of great articles, as always, but I’m a little partial to Get In Great Writing Shape for FREE! When I found all those university classes for free, I knew that info would make an exciting article. Because who doesn’t want FREE stuff?

So, I added a few more resources for FREE stuff for writers: conferences, books, professional memberships, and all those great giveaways that make me go wheee! Wheee! Wheee!

I hope you’ll go wheee, too. Because really, who doesn’t love free stuff?

Ooooh! A Baby Bobcat! (Or How I Found a TON of Stuff, Writing and Otherwise)

Isn’t that the cutest bobcat kitten? I took this picture at a state park, a year or so ago. Now the little kitten’s all grown up and back in the wild.

Now, I hope you don’t think I’ve gratuitously posted a kitten picture just to pique your interest. There’s a writing tie-in. Eventually.

So, last week, I decided to get my carpets cleaned. Not the way I usually clean them, with my steam cleaner mostly smashing dirt and such back into the carpet. Oh, no. I contacted Super Cleaner Guys who will move ALL your furniture and leave your home spic ‘n span.

That was Mistake Number 1. Because one has to get super-prepared for Super Cleaner Guys. I moved TONS of stuff out of rooms, into bathrooms and shoot, I said to myself, might as well take this stuff down to the basement rather than lug it back into the room where it’s just hanging out, collecting dust.

That was Mistake Number 2. Because everytime I moved something, I found more dust. Goodness, I said to myself, that’s a lot of dust. Actually what I said was more like, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! IT’S THE ATTACK OF THE GIANT DUST BUNNIES!

I survived. But I still had to move all the stuff back. Well, I said (and really, it was more like a growl) I should go through all this stuff before I put it back in the bedrooms and the offices.

I found quite a bit of stuff, writing and otherwise:

*My Michael Buble CD (Oh, Michael, I missed you and your honeyed voice!)

*The remote so I could turn on the CD player and listen to Michael Buble (Whew! I’m not gonna lie-I had a hard time figuring out how to operate remote-less.)

*A note with the words: Psalm 51 ( I think because “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew in me a steadfast spirit.” is within that psalm. It’s a very moving psalm. I’m glad I re-read it.)

*Notes from a talk that editor Cheryl Klein gave, almost three years ago. (She discussed the theme of the Harry Potter books and stressed how important it is that your plot support your theme. What lesson does your character learn through the plot?) But I wouldn’t have checked out her swell website today and found that she has a forthcoming book! On plotting, revising and publishing for children and young adults. Wheeee!

*Issues of Writer’s Digest from 2008 and other outdated kid’s magazines (which I recycled to friends). Amongst the WD articles I skimmed before recycling(because there’s always a few you don’t get to), I read one about giving critiques and the do’s and don’ts of critique etiquette. Which brings us to kittens.

Say there’s a member of your critique group who shares a piece of writing wherein you are so offended or so confused or so non-plussed, that there’s simply nothing on the positive side to say.
Give ’em a kitten.

Finding Something Friday: Writer Beware

I expect if you’ve been writing, you’ve been taken advantage of, writing-wise, somehow, some way. Which is really annoying, because writing’s hard enough as it is.

That’s why a group of brilliant writers banded together to bring the world Writer Beware. You’ve probably heard of this site, and know you can go there to get valuable information about scams and scoops, and help with your “problems or pitfalls” in publishing.

But did you know Writer Beware had a blog, brought to you by the same three authors? Not only do they bring you up-to-the-minute publishing news, but they also have links to tons of great blogs-agents, editors and info. It’s a quick way to find some of the best writing resources available on the ‘net.

Which is really swell, because I’ve got enough to do, producing scathingly brilliant writing.

(P.S. There’s still time to comment for The Quick and the Thread. I’ll leave the giveaway open till Monday so weekend visitors can have a chance to win this fun read. But it’d be really, really swell if you commented on that post.)

Tuesday Tip: Clearing Contacts

I don’t really understand “the internets” all that well. But occasionally, I’m forced to figure out some internet-related glitch. So what I usually do is a. turn off my computer or b. scream at “the internets.”

Neither of these approaches worked very well when the Beneficent Mr. Hall had his Facebook account hacked into. Suddenly, very interesting, not to mention titillating messages were sent to his flock of friends. Which numbers about 10. Seriously.

Still. It was unnerving. Especially in light of the fact that the Beneficent Mr. Hall’s email account had been hacked-twice. Unfortunately, there were quite a few more contacts in that account, including business contacts. Um, oopsies!

So, what to do? For the Facebook account, he went all Terminator on it (I mean, who can blame him? The internet demons seem to have targeted him). He tried to terminate his email account, too, but couldn’t figure out how. So he cleared out all the contacts.

Which brings us to our Tuesday Tip. You never know when the internet demons might attack. You can have all kinds of internet protection in place, but you could still get hit. So, you might want to be careful about holding on to tons of contacts.

I go through my contacts and get rid of dated ones, but recently, I had a TON of editor/submission contacts hanging about in my email. Imagine if the editor at a Christian anthology received a very interesting, not to mention titillating message from yours truly.

She’d probably go all Terminator on me. So clean out those business contacts, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and change up your passwords once in awhile, to keep the demons on their toes.

And go ahead and scream at the computer. That always makes me feel better.

(P.S. If one of you, my personal and very bestest friend contacts, should get a very interesting, not to mention titillating message from me, please know that’s it’s not from me. Probably.)

Finding Something Friday: Got Any (Writing) Eggs?

I’ve come across more than a few good (writing) eggs this week, so I’m just going to throw them out there (carefully).

Calls for Submissions:

Writer’s Market is looking for article pitches for the 2012 edition. You don’t have to be that famous writer, where everybody knows your name. You just have to have a great idea about writing. And get that idea to the editor by 8/31.

Robert Brewer is also looking for ideas for his Poet’s Market 2012. Got a brilliant idea on how to market your poetry? Bet he’d like to see it (by 9/7).

Cup of Comfort for Christian Women’s deadline is right around the …um, next week! If you have a comforting story of faith, write it and send by 8/15!

Free Tips that Won’t be Free Next week:

How to Build a Rabid Following on Twitter, courtesy of blogging guru, Jonathan Morrow. Watch and learn!

Is This the Secret to Building a Popular Blog?, also courtesy of Mr. Morrow. Now, I can’t help it if you click too late. He’ll be pulling these great instructional videos any day now for his paid webinar.

A Bonus Freebie:

If you read Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers free newsletter, you know she is a font of markets, contests, grants and more. But have you checked out her Tweetbooks yet? When I renewed my paid subscription for Total FFW, I got this fabulous deal of 8 Tweetbooks with the price of my renewal. BUT, if you just want to see what the Tweetbook fuss is about, she offers a free download. I think it’s Poetry Markets right now. So you’ve got nothing to lose-and 20 markets to gain!

Want to Win a Book?

Blogger buddy Karen over at The Absinthe Road is giving away TWO copies of her poetry collection, Three Thousand Doors. Comment anytime during August.

Blogger buddy LuAnn is giving away a copy of Margaret Norton’s memoir, When Ties Break. Comment by 8/11 if you’d like a chance to win this powerful memoir.

Blogger buddy Donna is sponsoring a fun contest where you can win a book, or a critique and um, bubble gum. That’s right, bubble gum. You’ve got till 8/15 till the bubble pops on that one.

Oh, and I’ll be giving away a really sweet book myself next week on What Not To Do Wednesday. So I know you’ll be busy, what with winning books, writing pitches and essays, and downloading tips. BUT I expect to see you all back here, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to win a wonderful (writing) egg next week!

(Photo from stock.xchng)