Winter's Coming...

Yes. Gratuitous Game of Thrones reference. But it is. Just a nudge and a shove past autumn and it will be winter. Already I see my breath in the air early in the morning. The leaves are colorful. Pretty. Sure, but soon they will fall and I have a hard time abiding that. The leaves belong on the trees thank you very much.

Nonetheless, if this video doesn't get my chilly butt in the water, I don't know what will. Oh and they sure know how to have fun. Oh, and it reminded me of the wonders of Irn-Bru. Say it. It's good times. Enjoy.

15 Writer's Resources

I present you with a little of this and a little of that which I have found helpful on my writing journey. Some of these articles, blogs, and musings required a lot of digging through Google, others popped up on my radar precisely when I needed them, and a few were provided by thoughtful friends. This compilation is by no means comprehensive. In fact, it is just fifteen items for now. From time to time I favor a hearty look at an assortment of writerly reminders, cues, and like-minded groups of writers and readers—and I hope you find it useful.

A bit about world building from Elana Johnson's blog.

Baby name lists are fantastic if you're stuck for a name for a character. Sometimes I land on a semi-random name on one of these sites, use it as a place holder and it serves as a guide. Later, the perfect name comes to me. It may start with the same letter or have the same cadence, but the site with its thousands of names served its purpose.

Polish up your writing with active verbs to show not tell.

Darcy Pattison's Fiction Notes is chock full of great advice and notes on technical aspects of making words on paper tell a story.

Jennifer Laughran's Big 'ole genre glossary. Category vs. Genre. Magical realism? Fantasy or high fantasy?Your answers are here.

Kidliterati is a great community of readers and writers to hook up with.

Check out WriteOnCon from time to time to network with other writers and get feedback on queries and portions of your ms.

Miss Snark's First Victim hosts a monthly critique round with feedback if you dare enter the water.

To me, word counts are more like guidelines, until you're ready to submit. I follow the line of the story as it needs to be written and then go in later and cut the fat. But still, these numbers are good to know.

Pinterest. When I have the sense of what a character or a scene looks like, but the precise descriptive words aren't coming to me I scroll through subject specific boards on Pinterest to get closer to what I want to describe.

As so many people say, the synopsis is a dreaded affair, though I imagine there are a few folks out there who take easily to it, but for most of us, this How-to on Pub(lishing) Crawl is exceptional...

For that matter, the site, Pub(lishing) Crawl is truly an amazing writer's resource!

Michelle's blog, from first to last, offers terrific down-to-earth agent interviews—she asks all the questions I would. She also runs contests and has a great eye for the details.

And when the time comes, this blog post by agent Jenny Bent offers insight into marketing. If you have time, scroll through the other articles on this blog- there are several amazing ones, promise.

This too, by Sarah N, lights the fire under your tush to self-promote (along with many other great articles.)

There you have it. Maybe sometime I'll make a page for these writer's resources, but for now, if you have any fiction-writer's essentials, please share them! 


The Sweetest Thing

My number one beta-reader was inspired by my manuscript FAIRY CAKES and made this very thoughtful and very appropriate collage. Not only that,  but she sure helped me put a sprinkle of twinkle on each and every chapter. Thank you ;)

Fairy cakes

Applique shirt
$95 -

T shirt
$125 -

FOSSIL pendant

Stud earrings
$9.28 -

Blue Nile pendant

Neff hat

Neff miniature hat

Gift sets kit

Astek wallpaper

Wilton serveware

Williams Sonoma cupcake bakeware

Sweetly Does it ceramic bakeware
$24 -

Sprinklebakes by Heather Baird


5 Ways to Swap a Bad Mood for a Good Attitude

When the sun isn't shining and the birds aren't chirping, I can easily find myself in a slump, a funk, a downright foul mood. Thankfully that isn't me today, but while my mind is sharp, I write this reminder for myself —forever recorded on the internet so I can, yanno, reference the fact that I once saw myself out of the proverbial hole I sometimes find myself buried in.

Sometimes mismatched socks do the trick. 

1.       Three minutes jumping on a trampoline. No trampoline? Use the bed…bouncing is fun. It is like being a kid again. Before bills, career stress, having to think about things like schedules and insurance. 

2.       Two minute handstand. Can’t do a handstand? Use the same bed as above, lay on your belly by the edge and where you hinge forward, press your hands to the floor, keep your neck relaxed, and the crown of the head off the floor. Let your neck  muscles relax. Let ideas and thoughts pool right outside that little cranium of yours. You're upside down...see number one, it's kinda like being a kid. 

3.       Pour a tall glass of water. Close your eyes. Relax the muscles of the face. Drink with gratitude for clean water, your body, the phone that's not ringing, or the email that might be in your inbox. Whatever it is, drink in appreciation. Cheers!

4.       Step outside. Close your eyes. Relax the muscles in your scalp, neck and abdomen. Listen. Breathe.Open your eyes what do you see? The horizon? The mailbox? Birds fluttering around? Or do you see your castle and realm, a field of potential or a striped elephant with a flower in its trunk?

5.       Seek out scent. Lavender has relaxing qualities while lemon has uplifting…no lavender or lemon nearby? Smell some flowers, bake some cookies, stick your nose in a bough of pine needles, inhale what pleases you.

The Do-Gooders Award.
Perfect for my tomato bounty.
Cole? Isabel? This, I gotta read. Thank you Maggie.


Hello and Goodbye

First Draft. Printed. 

Hello Blog. You've been here patiently waiting for me to post? So loyal. And I will get back to blogging on the regular. Soon. Right now I'm regrouping. And editing. If anyone knows the life of a writer, editing chews up time (and sometimes spits it back out. Not pretty.) But I am very excited about this MS. It has whimsy. Magic. Cupcakes. (I'm so not over cupcakes and I'm so sorry if you are.) It has mystery and a little bit of mayhem. That's a lot of m's, but that just means it's Mmm Good.

This has also been a time for me to say goodbye. Goodbye post to Ladies Holiday, my other blog. The one I poured so much of myself into with three wonderful friends. It is such a bittersweet thing. I'll miss the team work and connection from Ladies Holiday, but moving in a new direction means I have more time to dedicate to other things (some fun, some chore-y.) If you're interested in what Ladies Holiday is all about check it here.

Interestingly this has also been a time in which I've been evaluating some things I believed, hoped for, and aspire toward. As we move toward autumn and seasonal change I suppose this is a natural progression, but myself, I prefer the sunshine, heat, and energy of summer. That's me.

What are you thinking about now in this shifting time? Do share. 
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