Links of the week #21

My list is  a little short this week, but the links are prime grade A stuff. I’m changing things up this week as well and giving my hubs a break. Please let me know what kind of inspiration the video at the bottom gives you.

There is a theme this week and it’s hitting home with me. How are you sitting in your writing life? Do you need to be reminded of a few of these things too?

Aimee L. Salter at Seeking the Write life: Don’t Compare and Don’t Compete

Jenny Hansen: The Worry of the Artist: Am I Good Enough?

Kristen Lamb: Learning to Drop the Donkey–Is Perfectionism Killing Your Career?

Charlotte Carter was at Writers In The Storm this week: Determination

Ruth Harris at Anne R. Allen’s blog: How Writers Can Learn to Cope: 6 No-Fail Strategies for Achieving Mental Toughness

I’m rounding it out with Jami Gold’s post Are You in This for the Long Haul?

Writer’s Life

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story: Leave Yourself Notes: Ways to be a More Productive Writer, Part 5


Lynnette Labelle provided a fab list:  The Editor’s Dozen: Common Mistakes Writers Make


Double link for Janice Hardy this week, is anyone surprised 🙂 The Joy of Discovery: Keeping Readers Hooked Through Story Revelations

Kara Lennox was back at Writers In The Storm this week Plot Fixer: Part 3 — A Lack of Goals

Story Telling through Movement

Jeff will be back next week with a new music pick. This week I wanted to celebrate the start of So You Think You Can Dance season 9.  It’s going to be another tremendous season, but I wanted to share one of my all time favorites from the show. Chelsie and Mark from season 4 performing NappyTabs “Bleeding Love,” this is their finale performance. Chelsie is now on Dancing with the Stars and Mark is the head dancer for Lady Gaga.

I love many things about dance, but the best part has got to be the story telling. The cross over link for me between my dancing and my writing is the story. NappyTab’s choreography here is superb, but it’s the way Chelsie and Mark feel the story through every cell in their body. The title is Bleeding Love and that’s exactly how I feel by the end.

I hope you enjoy their performance AND I hope it inspires you to write.

What you might have missed here:

Six Sentence Sunday #19

And a double pimp for Stacey Kennedy: Spotlight: Beg For It by Stacey Kennedy & Cover Reveal: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy

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

ROW80 check-in #19

When stress and doubt fill you up where do you turn? Do you escape into a good book, call a friend, or maybe watch those around you for a new idea? For the past 7-weeks I’ve been wittling away at my to-do list, making progress, and forgetting to have fun.

I need balance.

Not a break, not a complete retooling, just a little balance. Life can’t be all about work and study.

This week I’m going to continue working on the list below, but each day I’m going to make a concerted effort to break up the stress in an effort to find balance.

The Goals – week-7 results

  • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done
  • Write 2,000 words each week– not done, added 486-words, maybe it’s because of the next line or maybe it’s because of what I mentioned in the opening. Regardless, writing makes me happy. WEEK-8 PRIORITY
  • Spend time editing at least 2-times each week– I edited 4-days this week
  • Finish reading current craft book and start another– when in doubt read craft books. Finally I got back to this book, only took 8-weeks to do it, but timing can be an interesting thing.
  • Participate in Before You Hit Send Self-Editing Workshop in April– the workshop is over. I did put some of my new skills to work this week while reading my friends draft, yeah.
  • Turn 2nd-draft chapters to my writer friend for her critique– I’m a smidge closer than last week
  • Workout a minimum of 200-minutes a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep and my calorie limit 190-minutes this week and everything else was pretty good, I’m going to consider this really close to done.
  • Study one of the Nia 52-moves each week (the 52-moves is like the ballet bar for Nia lovers)Cha-Cha-Cha.  In place, step left-right-left, then right-left-right, in a one-two-three count. Keep your feet close to the ground. Feel free to use your hands and arms to express yourself. Find your own rhythm and play with speed. Benefits: helps develop speed and coordination.
  • Finish the Sanjana bars and start the Opal bars (i.e. studying the song/movement structure)– I created more enlarged simplified notes to hang on the mirrors this week. Eek, only a few weeks left of this round. I better get a move on.
  • 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– I made progress here. I know, shocking. I finally logged into the PMI database and entered the credits I’ve already earned. I also looked up the courses I’m going to take over the summer. I still have a few more credits to plan for, but I’m about ready to get started. Thank goodness!

Priorities this week: balance, writing, editing, fun, Sanjana movements and balance

Yesterday I posted links to some of my favorite writing links of the week. I left one out, so I’m linking it here today. Jennifer Crusie posted on the 16th The Telling and the Tale, an interesting conversation between her and Krissie about story telling and story. It’s a must read.

Hope you all have a great week, productive, less stressful and fun.

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

Links of the week #16

Lots of things to share this week and I even have a treat at the end, so stick with me


Jeaniene Frost posted a series of videos from the panel she was on at the C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo), quite the line-up on authors: Video snippets from C2E2

Writer Business

The lovely J.A. Saare shared some sad facts of the business this week in her post Support Authors and she has a new release which is a must read in my opinion

Write Fresh

Two favs together, must have been the last Friday of the month yesterday 🙂 Tiffany Lawson Inman was at Writers In The Storm yesterday 13 Step Starter Guide to America’s Next Top…Novel?

It must have been the week for favs coming together, because Margie Lawson was at Jenny Hansen’s this week with Uber-Cool, Unboring Writing! by Margie Lawson<– I’m going to be studying this post for a while


Lynnette Labelle posted The Three-Act Structure – Part 1 and she provides tips of what to watch out for


I just finished Angela James’ Before You Hit Send workshop and loved it!! I have so much to re-read and soak in, but I’ve got a plan of action now. YEAH!! This week Rachelle Gardner had a 3-part series entitled: Strategies for Writers. The last post is entitled How to Cut Thousands of Words Without Shedding a Tear. It was a great post and hit on several ideas I’ve been digesting.

Act 1

Roni Loren provides several excellent nuggets in her post this week entitled: Testing Your Opening Scene – 5 Steps  #atozchallenge she provides a test for your opening scene, a warning and a craft book suggestion


Jami Gold had a guest this week, Roz from Nail Your Novel- Tips for Writing Back Cover Copy — Guest: Roz Morris

Now for the treat, thanks for sticking with me…

I can’t tell you how many times I come across a song, fell completely in love, mention it to my DH (a musician), and he responds: “yeah, they’re great, you’d like their last album too.” If he thought I’d like them why, oh why doesn’t he mention it?!?!…lightbulb idea…I gave the DH (Jeffrey) an ongoing assignment: each week he will send me a video or clip of music that he is currently loving AND I will share it with all of you. He’s even explaining in his own words why he loves it 🙂

Music from Jeffrey #1

This a band called, Punch Brothers.  The leader, Chris Thile, gained popularity by playing in the folk group, Nickel Creek (also an incredible group).  He’s considered a mandolin prodigy.   He also happens to be a great singer/songwriter and an UNBELIEVABLE musician.  He assembled this group of musicians, who match his high level of musicianship, to form the Punch Brothers.

The thing that I love about this group is that, while they are all top-level musicians, their music is not drenched in music “wizardry”.  The tunes are fantastic, complex without being exclusionary. Plus, the way they play together is the very definition of the phrase, “this is how it’s done.”

From the album: who’s feeling young now

Did you see my Flash Fiction from yesterday? Be sure to come back tomorrow for two posts: my ROW80 check-in (I’ll have another clip from the Punch Brothers, this clip rocks and gives you a chance to see how different this group can sound) and my Six Sentence Sunday

Six Sentence Sunday #14

Happy Six Sunday. Thanks for visiting and I’d love to know what you think!! I’m continuing this week with another 6 from my Novella WIP. It has been a couple of weeks, here’s my last six to refresh your memory. I left Jake stumbling in his attempt to keep his thoughts on the job. He’s left the room with the excuse of ordering them lunch, instead he’s set out for a cold shower.

“Hey there, Jake, how’s it going with the little betty?” Keller jabbed.

“Just great”

“I’ve got the towels set out for you, go on, take a quick shower and calm yourself. I’ll have Anne order you two up some lunch.”

“Thanks Keller, I want to strangle you, but thanks.”

“Hey, don’t mention it, just remember to invite me to the collaring ceremony,” Keller joked.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!! I’d like to know what you really think of my 6. I need the advice, I’m a newbie and have much to learn. Don’t forget to check out the other Six Sunday authors. Lots of good stuff at Six Sunday. Try to find a new favorite today. happy hunting!

Links of the week #15

My list isn’t as long this week. Dear husband is out of town, gigging in Hawaii without me. Bummer. I’m staying home with the kiddos and my mother arrived yesterday…can you say time suck. Anyways, my list is shorter, but each one is a gem.

Kristen Lamb’s post from Monday struck a big cord with me, The Secret to Success–Quitting. As a pre-published writer (love this) I’m working on a million different things: getting words on the page, plotting, editing, character arch, my skills, my organization…and many times over the last few months I feel like I’m hitting a wall. Now, instead of thinking about persistence , I’m going to think about quitting and starting again.

Another week and still a lot going around about the the 50 Shades of Grey (my mom actually mentioned it yesterday :D). Kathy Kulig posted 50 Shades of Grey: Hot Lessons for Authors. Love this post, because there is something to learn here and Kathy gets to it. Oh, and she has the coolest header on her site.

Lots of RT recaps this week and each one deepened my ache from not being there myself. I had to link to Jeaniene Frost’s two posts this week, simply because they were entertaining and funny. RT recap, days 1 and 2 & RT recap, Day 3

Jennette Marie Powell tells a little tale with a happy ending, must read: The Book I Waited Years to Read

Aimee L. Salter over at Seeking the Write Life posted a topic I needed right now and you do too if you have any fears with your writing: Give Yourself Permission


Roni Loren provides some insight to her process and tips too The (Not So) Dreaded Synopsis  #atozchallenge


Janice Hardy explained why some days are easier to write and others I stare blankly at the page. Prep Work: Ways to be a More Productive Writer, Part 2

Social Media

Yesterday Kristen Lamb posted about hashtags and automation with twitter. I’ve actually been a bit worried about my twitter stream lately, ever since I joined tribes on Triberr. I love Triberr! Not only do I have quick access to many blogs I love, but I get to easily share them with my followers too. BUT, now if you look at my twitter stream on any given day, chances are you’ll see a slew of Triberr tweets before you’ll find one of my live tweets. Urgh. Okay, thank you Kristen for this timely post: Hash Tags—The Trouble with Twitter Tribbles

Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow for my SixSunday offering and, if you missed it, don’t forget to check out my Flash Fiction from Friday.

Links of the week #14

All kinds of good stuff this week and a fantastic book trailer

Writer’s Life

This post hit home for me, it’s from the Round of Words in 80-days blog: The Number One Way To Reach Your Goals: Write! by Belle DiMonte

Big thanks to fellow ROW80er Barbara McDowell who provided great links in her check-in this week Ali Luke over at Aliventures posted in January of last year: 7 Habits of Serious Writers, Ali has a great site and I’m having tons of fun there.

Gabrielle Bisset had Ginger Simpson Guest Post this week: Write with Purpose

Kristen Lamb hit the nail on the head this week with her post Stress Less, Write More


Roni Loren gives us some tips: How To Dish Out Backstory In Digestible Bites #atozchallenge

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story provided additional tips for dialog: Your Words Are Dead to Me: Infodumps Through Dialog


Leia Shaw was at Nights of Passion this week with a list of characteristics your leading lady will need to, well, please all the picky bitches. The post made me giggle, but it’s some serious stuff. Pleasing Picky Bitches by Leia Shaw

Carrie Ann Ryan was over at Louisa Bacio’s this week Getting into the Mind of My Characters with Carrie Ann Ryan


Two of my favs came together this week. Janice Hardy was at Writers In The Storm!! 5 Ways to Bring Your Descriptions to Life by Janice Hardy


Holy smokes Janice hit out of the park twice this week. This time on her site, The Other Side of the Story: Clarifying Thoughts: Revising Your Outlines to Make the Writing Easier

Social Media

Jenny Hansen is here to help again with Triberr. Her post this week has links to all her past posts on Triberr and this week she covers the most recent changes: If You Can’t Find Anything in the New #Triberr, You’re In the Right Post! #AtoZchallenge


Karen Rought over at the Midnight Novalist wrote a post this past Monday that made me giggle: Word Wisdom: Phrases I’ve Misinterpreted

Here at my blog you might have missed Spotlight: Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy you can also click here to go to Stacey’s site, once there you’ll find a Teaser (Chapter 1!) and the Buy links. I’m leaving you with Stacey’s trailer b/c it rocks and not many trailers do. This trailer is totally worth a watch.