Friday Links

Happy holiday weekend to those of you in the U.S., and happy Friday to everyone else! I am proud to say I’m avoiding the Black Friday shopping madness, though I wish anyone braving the crowds the best of luck. Instead, I kicked off my morning with a rather damp morning run (it started raining about fifteen minutes in), followed by a hot shower and a huge mug of coffee. I’m just dropping by to share some links with you all, and then I’m going to retire to my couch with more coffee and my copy of Donna Tartt’s THE GOLDFINCH. Wishing you all a wonderful day, whether you’re shopping up a storm, frantically working on your NaNo novel word count, or watching the clock for the start of the weekend. Enjoy!

Nicholson Baker’s Best Advice – Thoughts on writing from the author.

7 Habits of Serious Writers – Some more good advice on the writing life.

Girls Who Read – A great video by spoken-word artist Mark Grist that’s been making the rounds online. 

25 (More) Publication Opportunities for Emerging Writers – A list of publications accepting submissions.

92nd Street Y Presents an Online Archive of Digital Recordings – New web access to a wealth of interviews, readings, etc.



December Writing Challenge

For the past couple of years, I have issued a writing challenge for the month of December, and given its popularity, I am throwing down again this year. I realize that many of you are still neck-deep in NaNoWriMo, or perhaps focused on incoming family and Thanksgiving turkey prep, but December 1st is coming up fast and I wanted to get the word out before everyone vanishes into a holiday-induced food coma.

December is, arguably, the busiest month of the year. There are a wealth of holidays vying for time and attention, between parties and shopping and cooking and travel plans. Getting some writing done can be tough, no matter how disciplined you are. So my December challenge is all about squeezing in some writing time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. No word count goals, no mountains to climb, just a commitment to putting your writing high on your priority list.

Maybe some of you are finishing up with NaNoWriMo and are aware that 50,000 words won’t quite get you to the end of your story. Or perhaps you’re lagging on your NaNo word count and feeling discouraged. Others of you may have scoffed at the idea of writing a novel in a month and haven’t put hands to keyboard in three weeks in protest. Whatever your deal, if you consider yourself a writer, this is a challenge for you.

Starting Sunday, December 1st, commit to writing every day during the month of December. You don’t need to write a lot, though if you find the time to do so, more power to you. Instead, make sure you schedule in a writing date with yourself every day. Aim for half an hour, but if you can only steal 15 minutes, make do with that. The idea is to remind your brain that this is what you do, that it’s just as important as hanging wreaths on the door or holiday baking or picking up Aunt Dottie from the airport. You are a writer, and writers write.

Given the stress of the season, I’ll give you two days off, to be taken at your discretion, but if you can make it through all 31 days of December without a break, even better. So, go mark your calendar and get ready to start knocking off days. December is for writing.

Friday Links

Anyone else beginning to feel like there’s a mad rush toward the end of the year? I keep doing a double take every time I glance at the calendar. It’s a little disconcerting. I’m not quite ready for the holiday season, and yet it’s pretty much upon us.

Enough puzzling over the speed of everything. It is Friday, which means links! I’m quite pleased with this week’s selection, and I hope you all find them useful as well. I know quite a few of you are still plowing along with NaNoWriMo, but it’s always good to take a little break, and perhaps some of these will offer up a little fresh inspiration. Enjoy, and happy weekend to all!

The 10 Types of Writer’s Block (And How to Overcome Them) – Some handy tips for various stages of the creative process.

Stacked: 2014 Contemporary YA Books to Get On Your Radar – A terrific round up of some of next year’s YA titles, for anyone working on that to-read list.

Don’t Blame the Homogeneity of Your Novel on Historical Accuracy – A fabulous blog post from Mary Robinette Kowal on diversity in historical fiction.

On Sticky Notes, Character Wheels, and Russian Folklore, Or… Planning a Novel – A guest post in which author Jodi McIsaac discusses her system for plotting out her novels.

Doug Dorst Talks about Working with J.J. Abrams – An interesting interview about their book-within-a-book project and how it came together.

Friday Links

I’m officially off the grid for the weekend in an attempt to catch up with approximately 8 million things. But before I vanish, some links to keep you entertained. Have a wonderful weekend, get some writing time in (especially you NaNo folks), and enjoy!

24 Quotes that Will Inspire You to Write More – Take your pick; something’s bound to push your buttons.

Prize-winning Animation Lets You Fly through 17th Century London – Very cool, whether you’re interested in the period or not.

50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers – Your definition of tough may vary, but regardless, if you’re looking for some good challenging reads, you could do worse than peruse this list.

Call Me Twitterer: Literary Twitter’s First Tweets – Check out some  of the first tweets from these bookish folk.

The Periodic Table of Storytelling – A great chart of TV tropes that provide an excellent overview of the elements of storytelling.

Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story

The following is a wonderful TED talk from filmmaker Andrew Stanton of Pixar, who’s responsible for such great movies as TOY STORY and WALL-E. He discusses the components of a great story, and how the staff at Pixar developed their unique and successful storytelling style.

Please note: Stanton kicks of with a joke in which he swears exactly once (out of the nearly twenty minutes of presentation). Fair warning if you’re offended by profanity.

Friday Links

Another very quick week. I always feel like time seems to accelerate when we’re this close to the holidays. It’s like a mad rush to the end of the year. Which means there’s lots to be done, so I’ll keep this short.

I’ve got a great assortment of links for you this week. There should be something of interest to just about everyone. I hope you all have wonderful weekend plans ahead, including a bit of reading and writing time. Enjoy!

YA Historical Fiction: Windows to the Past for Readers of the Future – Really interesting look at YA historical fiction in the current market.

Jeannette Cheney Talks about Killing Your Darlings – Over at Lucienne Diver’s blog; an up close look at what happens when you commit to improving your writing, even if that means taking out the bits you loved.

Only the Literary Elite Can Afford Not to Tweet – A look at how Twitter has become a major marketing force for writers.

Should Literature Be Useful?The New Yorker looks at the impact of recent studies claiming reading literature improves your brain, and asks if “improvement” is the only reason to do something.

Download Some of the Best of 2013 – The publisher’s site offers a free downloadable anthology of some of the best short fiction they’ve posted this year.

Assorted and Miscellaneous

Just popping in with a few brief announcements today, of the “hear ye, hear ye,” variety.

First off: If you have purchased an electronic copy of Nalini Singh’s novella Declaration of Courtship, the original file posted to the e-tailers accidentally included the epilogue from Texture of Intimacy. This wasn’t instead of anything — the full text of Declaration was in the file. The publisher is uploading a revised version so going forward the file should be correct. However, because Nalini feels bad that readers briefly thought there was more to the story than there ended up being, she’s going to write an all-new epilogue for Declaration of Courtship. Further information is available on Nalini’s Facebook page.

Next up, though the observant among you may have already noticed this, I’ve added a Wish List page to this site. The link is up above, next to the About Me link. This new page lists a few of the types of books I’m really hoping to find in my submissions box. This is different from my list of genres I represent; it’s a little more specific, going into the sorts of stories I’d really like to read at the moment. I’ll be updating periodically, removing and adding as my interests change or I find some of the projects I’m seeking.

Happy Book Day!

Declartion_CourtshipCongratulations to Nalini Singh, who has two new e-novellas available today: Declaration of Courtship and Texture of Intimacy. Both of these Psy/Changeling shorts appeared in the recent collection, WILD INVITATION, and now appear individually in digital format for anyone looking to add them to their e-reader. Enjoy!

A dominant changeling wolf, SnowDancer lieutenant Cooper is not known for his patience. But when it comes to courting the shy, sexy woman he wants in his life and in his bed, he’ll have to use every ounce of control in his body to keep both man and wolf in check…at least until he convinces Grace he only bites a little.

One of the most submissive wolves in the SnowDancer pack, Grace knows nothing can come of her sensual fascination with big, bad, beautiful Cooper. He might possess her over and over in erotic dreams that leave her aching for the rough heat of his touch, but she knows that in reality, he is far too dangerous for her to handle. Then Cooper decides to change all the rules…


SnowDancer healer Lara knows primal ecstasy. She wakes to it every morning, skin-to-skin with the hard male body of the quiet, powerful telepath who is her mate. Lean muscle and rough heat, Walker is the only man she has ever wanted to call her own. But being mated to a man formed in the ice-cold cage of the PsyNet has its challenges.

Born into a race where emotion is a crime, Walker’s will is a creation of cold steel. Scarred by the life he has lived, the terrible choices he was forced to make, he never expected to find happiness. Now, his heart belongs to Lara and he will fight to the death to protect the bond between them…even knowing he might have been too long in the ice of the PsyNet to give her what she needs.

Before Lara and Walker can claim the wild, beautiful promise of their future, they must first face the painful shadows of the past…