Reaching Out to Other Writers Improves Your Health and Decreases Stress

writers first aid logoIf the demands of home, work, writing, social media, marketing and all the ‘shoulds’ that writers are bombarded with are getting to you… then this video will make you feel a whole heap better!

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal, urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others. Stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case.

So take the time to reach out to other writers in the online community. You helping them, will also increase your coping ability and quality of life.

Writing Historically Based Books: Author Philippa Gregory

The-Other-Boleyn-Girl-by-Philippa-Gregory“Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl which was made into a tv drama, and a major film. Now, six novels later, she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.” Sourced from her web site, http://www.philippagregory.com

These videos are on how she researches her books and is drawn to work on the main characters. It’s a fascinating process, which I enjoyed hearing about. If you are a lover of research or historical fiction, you’ll be inspired by watching these clips.

Micro-Blogging: An Idea to Experiment With

In the 1930s, broadcast radio introduced an entirely new form of storytelling; today, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter are changing the scene again. Andrew Fitzgerald takes a look at the (aptly) short but fascinating history of new forms of creative experimentation in fiction and storytelling.

By the way, I’ve been struggling through a lengthy migraine. I am taking some recovery time off, so comments are switched off for this post. I’ll be back in a few days. Cheers everyone!


BlogTamingMonthCommuniCATE2

Not Your Average Romance Writer: Nora Roberts

Visit Nora’s web site at: http://www.noraroberts.com

Nora-Roberts-pic“Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson; October 10, 1950) is an American bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels. She writes as J.D. Robb for the “In Death” series, and has also written under the pseudonym Jill March. Additionally, some of her works were published in the UK as Sarah Hardesty. Nora Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 280 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone. Time named Roberts one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2007, saying she “has inspected, dissected, deconstructed, explored, explained and extolled the passions of the human heart.” Roberts was one of only two authors on the list, the other being David Mitchell.” Source” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nora_Roberts

Stephen King: Short Stories and Novels, How they Form

Stephen King“Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers.” Source: http://www.stephenking.com/index.html

Walter Mosley on Productivity & the Writing Life

Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 37 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.”

Write Your Story Backwards

meSometimes a much more surprising and interesting plot can be created if you start at the end of the story and work you way backwards to the beginning. This video will also start you through Cy’s creative writing playlist.

Cy Porter’s website

Nothing is Too Crazy to Write!

“For the author Margaret Atwood, it’s not a question of sitting around and wondering what to write; it’s a question of deciding which of the “far-fetched and absurd” ideas she’s going to try to tackle.” I love that! You can follow Margaret on Twitter: @MargaretAtwood and beware her correct advice: whatever you say online on Twitter or on a blog is “published.” It can come back at you. Discretion is wise.

Margaret’s Biography from http://www.margaretatwood.ca“Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid’s Tale (1983), The Robber Bride(1994), Alias Grace(1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood’s dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder(short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.”

John Irving: Excellent Inspiration on the Craft of Writing

According to Wikipedia (I could not get John’s site to load), John Winslow Irving is an American novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Irving achieved critical and popular acclaim after the international success of The World According to Garp in 1978. Some of Irving’s novels, such as The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, have been bestsellers. Five of his novels have been adapted to film. Several of Irving’s books (Garp,Meany, A Widow for One Year) and short stories have been set in and around Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. He won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1999 for his script The Cider House Rules.

The thrill of the blank page!

The Writer’s Craft

How John Works : this takes a few seconds to kick in, so don’t worry about the black screen, it doesn’t indicate death.

Shyness in the Marketplace

AMANDA-PALMER-MUSEIf you would rather devote your energy to writing than struggle to promote yourself, risking being openly criticised, this is for you. As someone who hates reviews, would rather read posts than comment and abhors bombing social media streams with book promotion, it touched me. I am nodding my head and agreeing: all I want is for my work to touch someone and resonate with them.

Just after the Boston Marathon bombing, writer and musician Amanda Palmer gave this talk on writers, shyness, the “wild west” of the Internet marketplace. You don’t have to be formally recognised for your work to have value; and that should never detract from your joy in being a writer.

Go shout down to your marketplace and do it with pride.

Amanda, thank you.

Amanda Palmer on the Muse in the Marketplace

My apologies for being unable to embed this video. It’s a WordPress thing.

Writing with Kids in Tow? Jodi Picoult Successfully Did

“Jodi Picoult, 43,is the bestselling author of seventeen novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), Harvesting the Heart (1994), Picture Perfect (1995), Mercy (1996), The Pact (1998), Keeping Faith (1999), Plain Truth (2000), Salem Falls (2001), Perfect Match (2002), Second Glance (2003), My Sister’s Keeper (2004), Vanishing Acts (2005), The Tenth Circle (2006) Nineteen Minutes (2007), Change of Heart (2008), Handle With Care (2009) and House Rules (2010).

Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism – and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent – led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher – before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale…”

“In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults; the Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year; a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America; Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007; Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She wrote five issues of the Wonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Three – The Pact, Plain Truth, and The Tenth Circle, have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen release from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available on DVD.

She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with three Springer spaniels, two donkeys, two geese, eight ducks, five chickens, and the occasional Holstein.” Source, her web site: http://www.jodipicoult.com.au

Essential Story Writing Tips from Kurt Vonnegut

Source: http://www.vonnegut.com “Most readers interested in the fantastic in literature are familiar with Kurt Vonnegut, particularly for his uses of science fiction. Many of his early short stories were wholly in the science fiction mode, and while its degree has varied, science fiction has never lost its place in his novels. 

Vonnegut has typically used science fiction to characterize the world and the nature of existence as he experiences them. His chaotic fictional universe abounds in wonder, coincidence, randomness and irrationality. Science fiction helps lend form to the presentation of this world view without imposing a falsifying causality upon it. In his vision, the fantastic offers perception into the quotidian, rather than escape from it. Science fiction is also technically useful, he has said, in providing a distance perspective, “moving the camera out into space,” as it were. And unusually for this form, Vonnegut’s science fiction is frequently comic, not just in the “black humor” mode with which he has been tagged so often, but in being simply funny.”

Maeve Binchy on Writing

“I could have papered the house with rejection slips!”

I had never heard Maeve speak before I saw these clips. I really enjoyed listening to her. This post is to encourage you and in memory of one of the world’s great writers, whose persistence paid off in spades! More are available on Youtube.

What Makes a Page Turner?

Tips for Aspiring Writers

Writing for a Changing World