Friday, June 26, 2009

And you thought I'd forgotten. I don't know whether I'll be posting one this upcoming Friday as I'll be away and may not be doing much online reading, but we'll see.


This article has particular meaning to me because, as a young girl, I roamed the actual Acropolis before it was closed. I share the memories of that section of Greece with the international dog star Benji, and I intend to go back and re-experience the modern face some day.


While I haven't quite made up my mind on the whole digital vs. print publishing for my own books, reading breakdowns like this one definitely make a person think:

Query tip from Daphne Unfeasible:

And as a follow-up, we all need reminders that pros didn't start out that way:

Indie Bookstores: a good breakdown of why supporting them is a good thing, along with some ways to do so.


An interesting analysis of the urban fantasy genre in terms of its social implications and explorations.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's Interesting Links

I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in the way of interesting links this week. It's been a short week for me and then I was condemned to watch TV for a whole day and a half without my laptop by my youngest (who determined brain melt as the perfect cure for a cold ;)). Oddly enough, I did improve significantly, so maybe he's right.


One of the things I like the most about scientific fact is that it isn't. There is no more adamant an evangelist than a scientist who has bought into a particular line of scientific thought as Truth with a capital T. That's why an article like this one is going to catch my eye where the scientific community has ignored obvious problems in favor of what they've chosen as fact. The difference between faith and science though, is that eventually the evidence catches up on the evangelical scientists :).


Now this is scary. I wouldn't want my employment eligibility to be held against my password protection, but no way would I fill in the form explained below. Just what purpose does it serve for the City of Bozeman, Montana to have the ability to post on my sites? The article is shocking for two reasons: 1) apparently the policy was not known by leading officials and 2) there's no distinction between being able to view the information and revealing the password which would allow posting and modification of the information. Personally, viewing is bad enough, but the password is insane.


Breakdown on types of heros for the various Harlequin and Mills & Boon lines:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Interesting Links

It's still Friday, so I made it. This has been a crazy week with a major software release as my highest priority. Everything else fell by the wayside. Not sure where the time to find links came from, but they're in my file, so I guess I did:).


A wonderful summation of the writer life. Be sure to read the linked posts as well as they are also illuminating.

A Publishing Dictionary that highlights common terms and offers clear definitions.

Holly Lisle has put out a new non-fiction series on dialogue that has a lot of useful tips. Check it out here:
Holly Lisle's The Writing Craft: Dialogue and Subtext

Top 10 querying mistakes. These probably aren't all new, and some are a matter of opinion, but it's a nice summation. It hurts that I'm already violating the one on length, but sometimes the book requires. And yes, it is edited down as low as I can go, even with help :D.

Advice about agents from a RWA panel:

Stephen King's suggestions on how to be a published writer. Two interesting things came out of this essay. First of all, the site where I discovered it (creative commons license so available for reprint) is not the site I'm linking below. Why? Because the background color was too dark and too little contrast with the text color so I had to highlight to read it. But the content was good enough to search out another posting. And a word of warning about essays like these: times change. In 1988, his comment about when to get an agent was spot on. Now, the waters are much more muddied. Several agents have recently commented about preferring manuscripts that have not been shopped around to publishers because then the field is wide open, and more publishers are closed to non-agented submissions than in 1988.


I have an odd feeling a rammed earth structure might show up in a story of mine some day. Who knew all those years spent kneeling on the beach were actually research :D.

Twistable memory chips. Fascinating. We're not so far from the SF concept of monitoring people in the field so we know when the aliens have eaten them!

Is this science, social, or what? Not sure, but a fascinating case. Spain is making a historical artifact argument against a shipwreck recovered in international waters, claiming prior ownership. This opens a huge kettle of worms and takes the financial incentive out of both treasure hunting and archeological exploration, something that has (despite controversies) often replaced limited funding for such expeditions. Who took all the risks, both physical and financial, to recover these historical artifacts? Hmm, I guess I'm starting to come down on a side :D. Whoever you think has the claim though, for certain finds to be exempt from long-standing salvage precedents is going to shake things up for sure.


Why yes, I am a Trekkie. How did you guess? Oh, I can't say that until AFTER you read the link ;).

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday's Interesting Links

Would you look at that? Friday links posted on...FRIDAY???? ;)


I'm with Michelle Obama on the local foods front, but sadly it seems we share something else in common...a dislike of cooking. This is a good article about the social impact of that fact, along with some strong suggestions.

I haven't finished reading through this site, but travelling in just a backpack used to be a skill of mine, one I've apparently lost. So you bet I'll be reading this carefully :).

I'm a firm believer in helping where you can, but I have mixed feelings about people having to dress up to enable helping. I adored that movie about passing along help if someone helps you and getting the whole community caught up in a working together mentality. Whether superheroes help or harm that level of "anyone can be a hero" I don't know. I do know that I lived on superhero comics as a kid and that, along with Arthurian tales and Robin Hood, informed my outlook toward helping people.


For those writing YA novels, some tips from teen bloggers:

I started reading this essay because of the concept that stories have genders. Neil Gaiman doesn't so much explain what he means by that as state that they do. However, it evolved (devolved?) into an interesting glimpse into his process while writing American Gods.

Just a reminder for all us blog writers. And no, I didn't see the referenced meltdown either. I'm hideously behind in my blog reading :p.

BTW, this isn't a specific link but rather a project by Holly Lisle. She's taking small samples offered by volunteers in her Thinking Sideways class and critiquing them live. The videos are short and creative in format, and the information is solid. Even when I might not agree with the specific choices, I've agreed with the problems and the suggestions on how to target them. They also make good content to exercise to at the end of the day :).

Tongue in cheek guidelines for how to get by in conversations about SF/Fantasy classics you haven't read. This is especially amusing for me coming from having a literature degree that focused on minority and women's lit so I haven't read most of the dead white guys either.

Janet Reid gives a good baseline for deciding when to start querying your novel here:

A wonderful breakdown of how to analyze your novel to find its weaknesses. The premise was after a reject, but I see no reason not to take advantage of this advice before you send it out.


This is a cautionary post on book promotion services with suggestions for doing some things yourself:

Interesting discussion on the impact of distribution on a novel's success. Read the comments as well to get multiple perspectives:


Rhino baby at play. Just so cute and adorable with none of the strike terror in the hearts of men that an adult in full charge inspires :).

A promise for the future. I sure hope the kids today get the promised space advances because I still feel gypped.