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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Writer Mama Giveaways Start Tuesday

I am afraid this post will be brief. I've been a bit under the weather with the nasty bug that's been going around.

But I wanted to remind everyone that Christina Katz Annual Back-to-School Book Giveaways are coming. Starting Tuesday, September 1, 2009 she will be giving away a ton of great books, mostly on writing. You can find the list on her blog. I've won before and so can you. Just stop by an leave a comment on each day's post for your chance to win.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Think Outside the Bridge?

As an aspiring writer, I spend mega amounts of time reading about the right way to create novels, essays, and query letters. What should the exact word count be on that young adult novel? What kind of font should I use to submit my manuscript?

Then someone sent me a picture of this spectacular water bridge, (scroll down a bit to see it) and I laughed with the sheer joy of seeing something so creative. I mean, when you think of building materials for a bridge, water isn't generally numero uno on the list. Sometimes I forget that breaking-the-rules creative part in striving to do things the "correct" way.

Cool bridge. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Win a Restaurant in Essay Contest

Ever dream of owning your own restaurant? Kyle Caballero is offering the public the chance to win his in an essay contest.

For the $200 entry fee you get to explain in 250 words why you should own a restaurant. The winner gets Caballero's Landeck Tavern in Landeck, OH. They will start accepting entries on Monday, August 24, 2009.

The deadline is October 31, 2009 and the contest will be judged by "an independent group of journalists." You can check out more about it on his website The winner will be informed on November 25, 2009. Be sure to read the official rules if you're interested.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Christian Romance Publisher Seeking Submissions reports that publisher Torn Veil Books is seeking christian romance submissions.

Looks like a new company, so you might want to do some research or wait to see what they first publish. They do clearly outline their royalty structure.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dirt is Good For You

I am happy to announce my essay "Straight to the Bottle" will be available in a collection of parenting essays called Dirt is Good for You starting September 9. It's available for preorder on right now if you want to check it out. 

If you ever felt like you screwed up with your kids, this book is a great little guilt-reliever. If you've never felt that way, well this book will horrify your socks off and you shouldn't read it. It's a collection of the popular "Bad Parent" columns has published over the last few years.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do You Really Want to Be in A Critique Group? Really?

It's critique week! Seeing lots of great posts around the blogosphere on critique groups and here is another over at Warriorwriter's Blog about what how a serious writer conducts themselves at critique vs the accolade-gathering, I'm-not-really-here-to-crit-anyone else writer. 

I love the analogy with Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares show. I haven't seen it, but now I must watch some episodes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How to Give and Take Critiques

Sunrise by Tricia Grissom
Good morning.

Check out this excellent guest post from Rick Daley over on Nathan Bransford's blog about the do's and don'ts of critiques. Love the sandwich approach.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to Write When you Despair of Being a Writer

Write like you are an adolescent and the words burn you like acid, the fumes rising out of you the only way to stave off anger and despair and the angst of growing into yourself.

Write like you are a woman with breast cancer who survived. So the woman with a lump the next month or the next year or next decade knows that you lived, that you breathe and go on and she will too.

Write like they’ve dropped you in a deep, dark hole and your words are the only light rising out of it, the only breath that might set you free. Write like your countrymen have no voice and yours are the only words floating up to heaven that tell they are tortured and raped and buried in the deep places of the earth. Write so your political leaders will scream and call for your blood, so they label you a traitor and hunt you.

Write like you are a young mother with postpartum depression, and the way your doctors tried to cure you almost drove you mad. Write so they will see it and change how they treat other women.

Write like you are founding a country based on equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and you want others to know about it. Write so its citizens will fight for it and cling to its ideals in good times and bad.

Write like the President will see it. Like he will change environmental policy forever because of the words you create, the urgency. Write what you learned about history so he can design his government in the best way.

Write so that you can show how all men are created equal, and women too. Write so they can see you are smart and strong, not less because you are a slave, or a woman, or a jew or a white man who doesn’t get it. Write because it is a weapon and a benediction, because it will end a war and bind up a nation’s wounds.

Write so you can tell us how it was in the camps, in the attic, in the small quiet spaces no one sees but you.

Write so we can see each other for the first time and for the thousandth. Show us we are not alone. Write because the words are so powerful they burst from your skin like ripe fruit. Like yours is the last pen in the world, with the last bit of ink, and generations to come will see your words and do better.