Friday Links: Techniques and Toys for the Writer’s Toolbox

TGIF! Welcome to the end of yet another very weird week. My brain keeps turning over that old blessing/curse from Confucius: May you live in interesting times. For better or worse, I’d say recent weeks/months/years certainly count. But it’s Friday and I feel bruised and beaten up after a long few days of too much desk time, way too much coffee, and far too little sleep, so that’s about as much as I’m going to say on the social/political front today.

What I do have for you is a great collection of links for the week. Like last week, there’s a bit of a mishmash, but I feel many of them will help you load up your writer’s toolbox — both literally and figuratively — and to tackle your writing goals. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of reading goodness to distract you, too, if that’s where your mood is. Wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with all things word related. Enjoy!

The Mental Health Benefits of Writing, Backed by Science – In case you were worried that writing was driving you crazy.

Novels Bring World War II to Life for a New Generation – A look at the recent uptick in popularity of WWII-era novels for young adults.

Laptop Buying Guide for Writers – K. Tempest Bradford pulls together a few of her podcasts that talk laptop features and her recommendations specifically for writers.

Faerie-led: Thoughts on Writing Meaningful Fantasy – A thoughtful look at the genre.

Apple Begins Paying Out on Ebook Settlement – In case you haven’t heard, you might have some extra book money floating around.

Think You Couldn’t Possibly Lose Your Amazon Publishing Account? – Important read for self-pub/hybrid folks, but interesting for all.

A Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block – A very handy, helpful graphic, worth saving for future emergencies even if you always feel inspired and ready to write.

49 Underrated Books You Really Need to Read – Have read and loved a number of these, but better believe my TBR list just got longer.

New York Taught Me to Be a Better Listener – Interesting read. Note that this didn’t have to take place in New York, the author just happened to have her learning experience there.

Serial Reader app – Looking to squeeze some classics reading into your life? This free app sends you classics in short installments, a new 10-15 minutes’ worth of reading each day. Huge and growing collection of titles. So far just for iOS, but an Android version is in the works.

Friday Links

Weather seems to have been the cause of quite a few problems this past week, with people not where they’re supposed to be because snow has them stranded elsewhere. I know there’s more snow on the horizon for the middle of the country and the northeast, along with some nasty cold temperatures, so here’s wishing you all a warm and cozy weekend, wherever you are.

If you’re homebound over the next few days, hiding out from Mother Nature, I have links to keep you occupied. I hope you find them entertaining and maybe a bit inspirational. Enjoy!

How to Listen Between the Lines: Anna Deavere Smith on the Art of Listening in a Culture of Speaking – Wonderful piece with some terrific words of wisdom, especially important for writers.

16 Gorgeous Locations from Pride and Prejudice You Can Actually Visit – From the films, obviously, but still beautiful and worth a peek, or a trip.

5 Non-Writerly Apps for Writers – A nice assortment to give a try.

Joan Didion on Writing and Revising – A podcast of an interview held at The New York Public Library. It rambles a little in places, but there are some real gems in there and Didion, as always, is funny and intelligent.

‘Drowned in a Sea of Salt’ Blake Morrison on the Literature of the East Coast – Of Britain, that is. On the relationship between a location and its weather, and the writing of the region.

Friday Links

TGIF! Are you ready to kick off the weekend? I have a long to-do list, personally, but I’m hoping to squeeze a little personal reading time into the schedule. How about all of you? Reading? Writing? Chores? Maybe a weekend getaway?

Whatever your plans, I’ve got some fun Friday links for you to enjoy in your spare moments, both reading- and writing-centric, with a few things that skirt the fringes. I hope you find them interesting and, perhaps, a bit inspirational. Enjoy, and happy writing!

Opportunities for Writers: May and June, 2014 – A round-up of contests and calls for work.

YA Historical Fiction for Downton Abbey Fans – A nice list of suggested reads from various decades.

Literary Rebels You Need to Know – Some of the lesser known writers out there bucking the status quo.

The Genre Debate: ‘Literary Fiction’ Is Just Clever Marketing – Another round in the genre vs. literature wars. Nicely put.

Speed-Reading Apps Are Great for Speed, Terrible for Reading, Study Finds – A look at how speed reading may cause you to remember less.

Friday Links

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a terrific week and that you have even better plans for the weekend. Here in the U.S. we kick off Daylight Savings Time, so don’t forget to spring forward Saturday night before you go to bed. Yes, we lose an hour, but we gain all that lovely evening light. Makes me think of reading outside after dinner as a kid, no flashlight required.

So, I come bearing links to help you get in the weekend mood, including lists and lists of book recommendations. Wishing you many happy hours of reading and writing time ahead!

The Morning News Tournament of Books – This takes place every year and pits some of the most critically acclaimed and award-winning books of the year against each other. Always interesting to see reader responses from the judges.

Advice from Artists on How to Overcome Creative Block, Handle Criticism, and Nurture Your Self-Worth – Everyone can use a little bit of this.

26 Characters: Celebrating Childhood Story Heroes – For anyone in the UK or planning to travel there this year.

Spritz Has a New Technology that Might Change Reading Forever – Speed-reading app. Not sure how I feel about this. Love the premise, but I suspect it might take all the enjoyment out of the process, and also possibly make me a little crazy. Still, interesting.

Stephen King’s Reading List for Writers – Not a definitive list, but one comprised of the best books he’d read over a 3-4 year period. This list is from his book, On Writing, but it’s interesting both as a recommended books list and as a peek at a successful working writer’s influences.

Friday Links

Happy Friday and happy first day of NaNoWriMo! If you’re participating, I wish you the best of luck. Remember that this is just a first draft you’re writing this month. Plenty of time to revise later. In fact, please remember this fact come December 1st. While you might be tempted to start submitting your finished project, what you have at the end of NaNoWriMo is merely the framework on which you should build your final draft. Revise, revise, revise.

Even if you’re not working on a NaNo novel, there are great pep-talks available at the website to encourage you with your own project. I’ve included a few in this week’s links. Enjoy and happy writing!

Pep-talk from Rainbow Rowell – Advice from this author of two adult and two young adult novels.

Pep-talk from James Patterson – Words of wisdom from the multi-published author of numerous works of suspense.

Five Series You Probably Missed as a Kid (But Should Read as an Adult) – A great assortment.

Google Channels Pixar to Change Storytelling as We Know It – Maybe a bit of an exaggeration in the headline, but still a fascinating look at some new tech.

How to Enter the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition – Written an adult mystery? Unpublished and unagented? Check out this contest.

Links for Friday

Greetings from my hot-and-sticky neck of the woods. My brain is a bit sluggish today, courtesy of the triple digit heat we’ve been enjoying since about Tuesday, combined with my AC deciding to give up the ghost on Wednesday. As you might guess, my laptop and I have been spending afternoons in coffee shops when at all possible.

None of which has anything at all to do with the Friday links, of course. But I do have a few for you, so I hope you check them out. Have a fabulous weekend, and I wish you comfortable temperatures wherever you may be. Happy writing!

25 Ways to Survive as a Creative Person – Some excellent tips.

We Are Many, We Are Everywhere – Roxane Gay’s terrific look at writers of color, along with an ever-growing reference list.

35 Modern Words Recently Added to the Dictionary – I take exception with a few of these, but there you have it. Amusing, at the very least.

He Hit Send: On the Awkward but Necessary Role of Technology in Fiction – How tech has changed some of the biggest tropes in fiction, and more.


As of last night, I am the proud owner of a shiny new iPhone. How does this affect you? Well, if you’ve sent me an e-mail since I turned off my Blackberry, the chances are you’ve received a message that it bounced. Rest assured, I’m receiving all e-mail. It’s just all agency mail was being forwarded to me on my old phone, and since it is no more, the messages are bouncing from there. Our tech guy needs to turn off the forwarding for me, so my apologies until he can take care of it.