Links of the week #31

It’s Saturday and time to review the treats from the week. The hubs is back with a music pick for you to enjoy.

Write Fresh

Maggie Lawson at Stacy Green – Turning the Page : Thriller Thursday: Margie Lawson – Visceral RULES!

Character Descriptions

Megan Ward at Writerland : How to Write Kick-Ass Character Descriptions

Story / Conflict

Roz Morris at Nail Your Novel : If something matters in your story, your characters must earn it

Show/Tell & Editing

Aimee L. Salter at Seeking the Write Life : “Telling” is Another Word for “Let Me Explain”

Corinne Duyvis at The Other Side of the Story : Guest Author Corinne Duyvis: Fast Drafting, Fast Editing


Shannon Donnelly at Writers In The Storm : Tips on Subtext ~ What Is It REALLY?


Mary Keeley at Books & Such Literary Agency : 9 Tips for Writing a Perfect Synopsis


Cassandra Carr at Hot Blogging with Heart : Thursday Thirteen 8/9/12- 13 Reasons an Author Shouldn’t Be an Island

Cara Bristol : More to promoting fellow authors than being nice…

Writer Business

Caitlin Muir at Author Media : 11 Places to Get a Free and Legal Photo for Your Blog

Roni Loren : Want Private Inspiration Boards? Alternatives to Pinterest

Marketing for Romance Writers : MFRW’s Annual “Write-place, Write-time” Submissions 2012 <– How cool is this! AND a pitch camp

John Yeoman at Writers’ Village : How to Use Strategic Guest Posting to Sell Books

Caitlin Muir at Author Media : What Every Author Needs To Know About Alt Text

Writer’s Life

Laurell K. Hamilton : Don’t Let Perfectionism Stop You <– a must read

Julie Glover : Ergonomics for Writers: Tension on the Page, Not on Your Back

Music from Jeffrey

This is ‘Shoofly Pie’ by The Wood Brothers from the album ‘Smoke Ring Halo’

It’s a team of two brothers.  One plays guitar and sings, and writes most of the tunes, and the other plays bass and sings.

The bass player, Chris Wood, has been a part of a very successful instrumental group called Medeski, Martin and Wood.  They are definitely an influence on my Jazz trio and on me personally.

Apparently, Chris and his brother never really played music together until later in life.  They’ve added a drummer, who also sings, and it seems they’ve really clicked.  I’ve enjoyed their previous albums but this one really stands apart.  It’s not quite as loose while still feeling greasy and funky.

They have a rootsy sound which allows them to cover a lot of ground.  From blues to gospel to southern soul to funk to folk, they’ve got it all in there in one shape or form.

I’m anxious to hear their albums from here on out.  I really think they’re on to something!

What you might have missed here:

Six Sentence Sunday #28

Flash Fiction #19 – His Brother’s Girl

Links of the week #30

No surprises, I found fabulous stuff this week to share, but the hubs forgot to send me a music clip. I’m not going to leave you hangin with nothing, though. I’ve included a clip of one of the hubs all time favorites. A song writer that has greatly influenced my husbands song writing and double score that the performance was recorded near our own Detroit Rock City.

Act 1 / Opening Lines

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story : In the Beginning: Which Type of Opening Works Best?


Tiffany Reisz at The Other Side of the Story : Guest Author Tiffany Reisz: Forget He Said, She Said – Three Easy Tricks for Better Dialogue

Angela Ackerma at Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind : Guest Post: Showing Emotion In Dialogue-heavy Scenes

Conflict / Stakes

Kara Lennox at Writers In the Storm : Raise the Stakes


Rachel Thompson at Molly Greene Writer : 5 Book Promotion Tactics That Really Work!

Writer’s Life

Kait Nolan : Boing Boing! Increasing Your Resilience And Bouncing Back

Writer Business

Jen Talty at Bob Mayer’s Blog : The difference between lending, borrowing and pirates.

Music I know Jeff loves

Elvis Costello & the Attractions at the Royal Oak Theatre, Detroit on 22nd May 1978

What you might have missed here:

Six Sunday #27

Shelton’s Homecoming by Dianne Hartsock QandA / Giveaway <–comments are still open for the giveaway!!

Flash Fiction #18

Links of the week #27

Thanks for another fabulous week bloggers. I keep learning from you each week and I appreciate all that you do. Hubs is back this week with his second pick (see his 1st pick in last weeks post) in his snazzy theme: Really great drummers who are also really great singer/songwriter/guitarists.


You all know Roni’s and Gene’s weekly mashup, right? Agreed, they rock. Well thanks to Jenny Hansen’s A Plethora of Amazing Links That Rocked My World I found a new mashup to love by Reetta Raitanen : Link Feast For Writers , vol. 15

Plot & Story

Dr. John Yeoman was at The Write Practice : The Secret to Writing Powerful Stories

Angie Dicken at The Writers Alley : The Swell To A Black Moment

Lisa Cron was at The Sharp Angle : How to Grab the Reader’s Brain: The Facts of Fiction <–fabulous

Jami Gold : Blogiversary Winners & a Gift for All <–with a must see downloadable spreadsheet!

Write Fresh

Marcy Kennedy : How to Use Sound to Make Your Novel Stand Out In A Sea of Noise <–includes links to posts on smell, taste, and touch


Moody Writing : Give Characters Interesting Anecdotes

World Building – Setting

Cindy R. Wilson at The Writers Alley : Making Your Setting Come to Life


Juliana Haygert at the NA Alley : On Pitches <–she filled the post with links & a craft book

From Reeta’s link above I found Elena Johnson : Query Letters <–a full list of posts for all the parts of the query & a free ebook titled From the Query to the Call


Lisa Hall-Wilson : 8 TIPS FOR SELF-EDITING

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story : You’ll Have to Go Through Me: Eliminating Filter Words

Writer Business

Toni Kelly over at Nights of Passion : Website Revamping <–1st in a series of posts 🙂

Molly Greene : Amazon Book Tags: What, Where, Why & How To Use Them

Music from Jeff

He’s back this week giving you insight on another drum he admires

“Her Song” by Brian Blade, from the album “Mama Rosa”.

You should also look for the song “After the Revival”  I couldn’t find a video link for that one, but it’s my favorite song on that record.

Brian Blade is one of my favorite drummers.  I first heard of him as a jazz player in the early 90’s.  I’ve seen him play jazz and was absolutely blown away.  He’s such a passionate player – paying tribute to the legacy of music while still having his own voice.  That’s VERY difficult to do in jazz music because the legacy is so rich.

BUT THEN, I heard him playing with Seal.  I didn’t know how versatile. Again, blown away.

AND THEN, I heard him on an Emmylou Harris (folk singer) album.

AND THEN, I heard him with Joni Mitchell.


This guy can do anything and still sound like himself.  That is incredibly rare and very special when you come across it.

THEN, he decides to make an album as a singer/songwriter.  Of course, I immediately bought it and again, I am blown away. Great songs, great guitar playing, great singing (very cool sounding voice) and, of course, great drumming. I think Brian was blessed with severe talent and a wonderful soul. He is also a part of the Black Dub group I’ve sent previously. Enjoy.

What you might have missed here:

Flash Friday #15
Six Sunday #25

Links of the week #26

Wow, did that week go fast or what. Hot and fast. The only way to recover from that kind of week: relax with a good book.  So, now that you know what I’m doing today, well, for as long as I can anyways 🙂 below I have as many fabulous blogs as I was able to read this week. And Jeff is finally back this week. His music pick this week even has a follow-up pick for next week.

Act 1

The Writers Alley : Showing C.A.R.E. in Your First Chapter

Margo Berendsen : 17 tips for starting a story

Characters Development

Adrienne de Wolfe was at The Creative Penn : 20 Tips for Writing Lovable Romance Novel Heroes


At Joan Swan’s : Martina Boone: Using GMC to Add Romantic Tension

Kara Lennox, a.k.a. Karen Leabo was at Writers In The Storm blog! : Is Your Conflict Strong Enough?

The Other Side of the Story : Going Both Ways: Outlines for Plot, Pantser for Character


From @smoulderingsea #editortips on 7/3/12 : Using “S/he could tell that…” to interpret another character’s actions is a cheap way to avoid breaking POV.


From @smoulderingsea #editortips on 7/2/12: Challenge yourself to write a query pitch/blurb in only 150 words. It’ll force you to cut out anything extraneous and focus.


Seeing Creative posted about her experience with SmartEdit!! 🙂 : Edit Smartly

The Other Side of the Story : The Spit Shine: Things to Check Before You Submit

Music from Jeff

My hubs is a drummer, you knew that right? Okay, so his theme this week and next is…

Really great drummers who are also really great singer/songwriter/guitarists.

The first one is obvious:

“Rope” by Foo Fighters, from the album “Wasting Light”

After having seen them live together, we both know just HOW MUCH they rock.

What I really like about Dave Grohl’s approach is that he released the first album under the band name with no attention to himself.  He could have easily used his post Nirvana fame to push the project through, so to speak.  Instead, he decided to let the music do the talking.  I think that’s admirable, but I also think it was a smart move.  It gave people the chance to judge the music purely on…the music.  What a concept!  No preconceived notions or other celebrity crap – just music.

Over the years, the band has been extremely successful at taking Dave’s songs and making them their own.  I think this album is one of the best examples of this.  They all play their roles to a perfection and sound like a BAND.

That freakin’ rocked!

What you might have missed here:

Six Sentence Sunday #24

Flash Fiction #14

Links of the week #22

Back to my regular patterns this week. I have writing links for you and a music pick from Jeff. The video is a funny clip from Fred Armisen’s show “Portlandia”

The coolest thing: Kristen Lamb you are awesome! She has created a place for writers to not be alone 😉 you can chat with other writers in your genre and it’s a place to learn from WRITERS. Hurry, click away, come back to my list later I Bring You…A Gift–A New Era for the Digital Age Artist

Cassandra Carr : Thursday Thirteen 6/7/12- 13 cool phone apps for authors be sure to check the comments too

Aimee L. Salter at Seeking the Write Life : The Three Things You Need to Make Your Book GREAT

Roni Loren : How To Write Love Scenes That Don’t Suck – A Free Class!


M J Wright : Worldbuilding: top tips for tantalising titles


Shannon Donnelly was at Writers In The Storm this week : When to TELL the Story


Sharla Rae at Writers In the Storm : Does Your Story Lack A Heartbeat?

Scene Breaks & Transitions

Janice Hardy from The Other Side of the Story : Moving Forward: Writing Smooth Transitions


This week via Stina Lindenblatt and her cool links FridayI found Margo Berendsen : 21 ways to make your plot more compelling

Book Trailers

Lynnette Labelle : Do Book Trailers Sell Books?


Jami Gold had a fabulous post this week with a big collection of ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing

Social Media

Kristen Lamb : Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage? Fallout from the IPO Debacle & How It Affects YOU

Music from Jeff

“Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood” by St. Vincent, from the album “Actor”

St. Vincent is actually Annie Clark.  I think she got her break playing with the Polyphonic Spree.  She’s a wonderful singer/songwriter/guitarist.

Her music is so interesting to me.  I can hear the influences, but the way in which she stirs them up and spits them out is very unique to her.  I think it starts with her guitar style and musical knowledge.  She’s not the average singer/songwriter nor is she the average guitarist.

I’ve heard that she writes the tunes on the guitar and then deconstructs them in the studio.  I really like that idea and the end result.  Sometimes it can be a little too out there for me but then, after a few listens, I’m back in again.  That’s the point, it seems – draw the listener in right away but also give us something to discover over time.  I think all truly great music does this.

I’ve also seen some clips of her playing her songs stripped down to just voice and acoustic guitar.  It’s clear that all the studio production is merely a means to create interesting layers to already great tunes.

Plus, she has Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley’s drummer) on drums.  Musically, you can’t go wrong with that guy in your band!

What you might have missed here:

Six Sentence Sunday #20

Spotlight: Sara’s Smile by Sandra Bunino ~ Q&A and Giveaway

Flash Fiction #10

Links of the week #20

Happy Saturday! What? It’s Memorial weekend? OMG, what am I doing inside. I have weeding to do, plants to put in the garden, roses to train, books to read, a MS to edit…and more blogs to read 🙂 I have a pretty collection for you today and don’t forget to listen to Jeff’s music selection today. You won’t regret this listen, it’s powerful.

Writer Business

Suzanne Rock at Romance on a Budget shares a tip Do you have Business Cards?


Darcy Pattison at Fiction Notes had some great reminders 5 Plot Fixes for Peace Makers

Alan Chin posted this week Writing Tip #36 Story Starter Questions. Very interesting collection of 12-questions. A quick test to see if your plot is missing something.

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story had a brilliant line at the beginning of her post on plots this week: “The house is story. Decorating is plot.” Loved the rest of the post too Author, We Have a Problem: 4 Tips on Plotting Your Novel


Writers It The Storm had Tiffany Lawson Inman yesterday!! Dialogue is King


Janice Hardy is talking my kind of talk. She uses some simple math and cut and paste to help her in trimming her MS. Interesting read even if you don’t need to trim Break it Down: Trimming Words From a Too-Long Manuscript

Query & 1st Pages

Roni Loren answered What Will Make An Agent Gong Your Pages, tips from the DFW Writer’s Conference


DIY MFA spelled out the different ways to punctuate dialog. It’s easy to see the differences in this post: Demystifying Dialogue: Perfect Your Punctuation and went on to the Nine NO’s of Dialogue


Vickie Motter from Navigating the Slush Pile described the points of the pitch and how it’s different from your query: May Conferences: The Verbal Pitch. Don’t miss her next post either for help with the twitter pitch Speaking of pitching…

Social Media

Ashley Barron added another post in a series and this one includes hashtag strategy #helpful 🙂 Blogging: Twitter & The Hashtag

Roz Morris was over at Author’s Electric this week with some good reminders: How to get on well with Twitter – by Roz Morris

Music from Jeff

This is a tune called “Surely” from the group Black Dub. It’s Daniel Lanois’ passion project.  He’s a super famous producer (U2, Bob Dylan, the list goes on and on) known for his warm and unique sounds.  He’s also a great guitarist, songwriter, and singer.

He formed this group after he heard the singer, Trixie Whitley, during a recording session.  Her father was a famous singer/guitarist/songwriter named Chris Whitley who, sadly, passed away several years ago.  It’s clear that she has music in her blood – an incredible talent.

The drummer is one of my absolute faves, Brian Blade.  He became known as a jazz player but has since played with quite a vast array of artists (Seal, Joni Mitchell, etc…).  He has his own groups – a jazz group where he plays drums and a solo outfit where he sings, writes the tunes and plays guitar.  He’s an unbelievable musician!

So, you can see that with this sort of line up the music is going to be amazing, and it really is! With all of these unique voices they still have such a great group sound.  I think they record live together most of time which is very cool and a bit of a lost art.  I think it really comes through on the record – a live vibe, real musicians reacting and playing together in the moment.

Hope you enjoy it!

What you might have missed here:

Six Sunday #18

Flash Friday #9

Links of the week #19

It’s Saturday, so again I have collected a bunch of wonderful posts from this past week. Enjoy and don’t forget to see, at the bottom, what Jeff has selected for us to listen to this week.

Write Fresh

Marcy Kennedy made it easy to understand where to put descriptions and where to cut in How to Use Taste to Make Your Readers Hungry for More

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story made me smile with this post title Did I Just Say That? When Characters Say Dumb Things. My characters can say some pretty dumb things and I love it. Do you?


Susan Bearman at Write it Sideways gave advice to remember Fall Out of Love with Your Main Character


Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story talked plot yesterday and I’ve read these ideas before, but this post looks at things from a new angle The Best Advice on Plotting I’ve Ever Heard: Two Tips That Will Make Plotting Easier

Writer Business

Aimee Salter over at Seeking the Write Life provided some levity: Top 10 Reasons You Need An Editor

Rachel Kent at Books & Such gave a refreshing list Qualities Agents Look for in Clients

Sara Megibow was at Romance University this week laying it all out Sara Megibow Sells Romance – Who is a “good” literary agent?

Music from Jeff

Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars.  Even though they are only a duo, they have a collective group sound.You may remember seeing them on the grammy’s this past year.  I think they won a bunch of ‘em.

They’re a great songwriting duo whose voices blend perfectly.  What’s very cool about this group is that, while they have a great vocal blend, their individual voices are fairly distinct.  With a unique voice it can often be difficult to blend with anyone else, let alone another unique voice.  It’s a rare and special thing when this happens and I think they realized it right away. Plus, they seem to write songs well together…another tricky skill.

The whole album is quite a bit more mellow than this tune but I’ve been enjoying.  They also have a really cool version of ‘I want you back’ by the Jackson 5. They contributed a few tunes, including one with Taylor Swift (that certainly adds to her lacking credibility), for the hunger games movie.  Those tunes (even the one with Taylor Swift) are very good as well.

p.s. they are not a couple.  They are each married to other people.  I think they get that question a lot because of how close they seem to be.

Hope you enjoyed the links this week. Did you miss my Flash Fiction from yesterday? And last, don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my six sentences from my WIP.

Links of the week #18

All kinds of good stuff this week, a whole truck full. I even got some funny at the end. Lastly, please, oh please, don’t forget about Mother’s Day tomorrow.

Writers Life

James Chartrand of Men with Pens was at Write to Done last week with How to Find Your Daily Writing Motivation

Rachelle Gardner 9 Ways to Outwit Writer’s Block

Write Fresh

Sarah Baughman posted last week at Write it Sideways: Working Past Wordiness For Fresher Writing

When Margie Lawson is at Writers in the Storm I get excited and yesterday is a perfect example of why: Smart Writers Expand Time – From Margie Lawson! Power words, visceral responses and time. Oh, my! Fantastic post.


Alex O’Hurley wrote a great post this week about How to Write a Bad Review

Writer Business

Laura Drake posted at Writers in The Story this week regarding 10 Tips for a DIY Author Website. If you haven’t created your site yet check out this post and get to it. If you have a site I still suggest checking it out. You might pick-up something new.

Mary Keeley at Books & Such posted What an Agent Evaluates During a Prospective Client Interview. Fingers crossed I can put this information into action one day. There is a great suggestion in there for you and your crit group too.

Social Media

Suzanne Rock over at Romance on a Budget explained the differences between your Facebook personal (friend) page and your Facebook fan (like) page Budget Marketing: Facebook Fan Page vs. Personal Page

Rachel Kent at Books & Such posted Why Do Readers Connect with You Online?<–interesting


Lynnette Labelle gave us The Three-Act Structure – Part 3 this week. Perfect timing Lynnette, I’m working on an Act III this week.

Music from Jeff

This week, Jeff has brought us something funny. I know you wont care about the bad language because it’s Tenacious D.

What you might have missed here: Six Sentence Sunday #16  ~OR~ Wicked Allure by Leslie C. Ferdinand ~ Q&A ~OR~ Flash Fiction #7

Links of the week #17

Yeah, yeah, it’s May, hooray. Okay, I get it. I’m working on my sourpuss, do you see it? Oh! I know what will help: some good writing links and some music from Jeff. Say no more…


Thank Janice Hardy for bringing this brilliant idea to my attention Don’t Finish: Ways to be a More Productive Writer, Part 3

Gabrille Bisset was at Niina C’s this week talking about How To Write Hot Sex Scenes

Fae Rowen posted on an interesting topic this week over at Writers in the Storm, captivating: The Vibrational Energy of Crystals ~ for You and Your Characters

Susan Hanniford Crowley posted about What A Writer Needs, Part 13 – Just Breathe at Nights of Passion<– excellent reminder


Lynette Labelle provided some caution with: The Three-Act Structure – Part 2

Roni Loren offered up some great advice in Before Fingers Touch Keyboard: My 6 Pre-Writing Steps

Kara Lennox was back this week at Writers In The Storm, man I’m loving her posts!! Plot Fixer – Part 2: How To Fix A Weak Opening

Music from Jeff

Did you miss Jeff’s first share last week? He’s back again this week…

“Death of Communication” by Company of Thieves  from the album, “Running From a Gamble”.

Company of Thieves is a band from Chicago.  My sound man is pals with them and we went and saw a bit of their set at the metro last month. I also heard one of their tunes during the credits of “Entourage.”  I immediately searched the net to find out the name of the artist and song and have been hooked ever since.

The creative nucleus of the band seems to be the singer and guitarist. The singer has a fairly clear bjork influence  in terms of her sound.  I think her voice may be one of those, you either love or hate it, scenarios.  Sometimes it sounds a bit “put on” for me but the music overall more than makes up for it.  I like her lyrics as well…sometimes a bit melodramatic but I enjoy a little melodrama every now and again. For instance, the chorus of this tune speaks to me as an artist:

Almost fooled me when you said to
Sell your soul for someone’s gold
Maybe then you’ll have a friend
Go on, sell your soul to be controlled
Maybe then you’ll have a friend

The guitarist makes some interesting choices with the types of chords he uses.  This enables the singer more room for interesting melodic ideas. Their songs don’t really have the typical “hooks” of pop/rock outfit but I think that’s why I like it. It’s not too crazy but not too “easy” at the same time…somewhere in the middle. After having seen them live, it’s clear that they can really play.  Seems silly to even have to mention this but, in this day and age, it’s rare.

This is a band who creates an overall “sound”.  As I think of further artists for this little project of ours, I can already see that “sound” is going to be a somewhat constant factor in my picks.

Hope you like ‘em, Jeff

ROW80 check-in #16

Can you say break through? It seems like forever that I’ve been tweaking my balance, organization, focus, and getting the hard stuff done first and finally this week it feels like I’m getting some where. There is still room for improvement of course. But wait till you see my word count this week, that alone makes me smile and I got several other things done this week too. Check out my list below and there is music at the bottom that you don’t want to miss.

The Goals – week-4 results

  • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done
  • Write 2,000 words each week– not only did I get 2,000 this week, but when I combine this weeks total with last weeks sad total I get over 4,954 words! Oh yeah, this week brought out 3,708 words and I’m into Act III in the novella WIP 😀
  • Spend time editing at least 2-times each week– just barely done
  • Finish reading current craft book and start another– made no progress again, WK 5 PRIORITY
  • Participate in Before You Hit Send Self-Editing Workshop in April– the workshop is over and I’m still in review mode.
  • Turn 2nd-draft chapters to my writer friend for her critique– gave my friend the heads up that I’m working to have something to her soon. This is a Round 2 goal and I don’t want to wait till the end of the round before I send her the first 2 chapters.
  • Workout a minimum of 200-minutes a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep and my calorie limit I got them all again this week. with an extra 45 minutes of exercise too, score.
  • Study one of the Nia 52-moves each week (the 52-moves is like the ballet bar for Nia lovers)Cross Behind. Start in Open Stance. Step back and onto the ball of your left foot, crossing your ankles as if making a small “x.” Keep your back heel high. Alternate sides. Repeat, but this time rise up onto the balls of both feet when you cross behind. Keep the “x” small by keeping both feet under your hips. Use the strength of your feet to rise up, keep your shoulders relaxed, your arms hanging freely, and exhale as you rise. Benefits: develops mobility and stability in your legs, which helps you move more efficiently.
  • Finish the Sanjana bars and start the Opal bars (i.e. studying the song/movement structure)– I revisited the Sanjana bars this week too. Two weeks in a row! Man it’s getting crazy around here.
  • Listen to the Nia sound track for the Sanjana routine each week and add Opal when I get to their bars– done
  • Plan out and start participating in the last of my needed continuing education credits for PMP certification– no progress and I’m ok with that…as long as I start participating by the end of the round.

As promised, I have another clip picked special by the hubby, see yesterday’s post for an explanation.