Finding Joy in Writing: Blog Awards

Do you give/receive blog awards?

I suppose once you have a zillion followers, blog awards could feel anticlimactic. And since each award requires a response of some kind—often a time-consuming response—it could theoretically get to be a drag to have too many rewards to respond to.

sunshineawardBut I happen to think blog awards are a lot of fun.

  • They tend to ask personal questions that let me get to know the blogger a little better.
  • They point me to other writers I may not have discovered.
  • They give me a venue (if I’m the award-ee) for showing off some of my friends’ blogs.
  • The also give me a nudge in the self-esteem department—a jolt of knowing that someone actually reads this stuff and likes it enough to give me an award!

So…I want to thank Kerri Cuevas for giving me the lovely Sunshine Award and pass this award on to some other great writers who share their thoughts online.

Rules for the Sunshine Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Write a blog post about it with the answers to the questions (below)
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers and let them know

My Answers (or: Random Stuff About Me)

  • Favorite Color: Green! all shades except possibly the weird shade of split pea soup (even though I adore split pea soup, especially with carrots and potatoes and onions and such)
  • Favorite Animal: Depends on the day. Currently–orcas. And dragons, but that goes without saying
  • Favorite Number: 4
  • Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Coffee
  • Facebook or Twitter: You have to choose? I like them both, but for different situations/types of communication
  • My Passions: Crocheting, writing, gardening, writing, hiking, and writing. Did I mention writing? <grin>
  • Getting or Giving Presents: Giving
  • Favorite Pattern: I’m more a solids gal, myself…
  • Favorite Flower: Gerber daisies

Sunshine Award-ees!

Check out these awesome blogs for great writing tips, tales, and camaraderie.

  1. Julie Musil
  2. Jill Kemerer
  3. Laura Deal
  4. erica and christy
  5. Your Muse Is Calling
  6. KT Hanna
  7. Scribbler’s Cove
  8. Writing, Reading, and Life
  9. TL Conway
  10. KM Weiland

What about you? Do you participate in awards? Why or why not?

And another question: I fear sometimes that awards can be “clique-ey”—the better known a site, the more likely people are to give it an award, which then draws more people to the site. (That’s not the question…) Do you ever feel left out of the whole award thing? Do you wish you’d get on the award radar?

Ali Luke, Writing Coach

I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach

And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love. This week, Ali Luke joins us all the way from Great Britain (don’t you love the web?) to talk about her approach as a writing coach.

For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Ali Luke…

AliPaul-Web-Watermarked-024-300x200 How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?

A coach can help you at almost any stage of your writing – but, ideally, you’ll want a reasonably firm grasp on the basics (like spelling, grammar, and the “rules” of your chosen genre). You might want to take a writing class or read a couple of books on writing, practicing your craft on your own before hiring a coach.

That’s not to say that a coach will expect you to be perfect! But when you’re paying for one-to-one tuition, you probably want to be at a level where you can work on more advanced things than editing out basic mistakes.

If you’re feeling stuck with your writing – perhaps you’re struggling with a new project, or you simply feel like you’ve stopped improving – then that can be a particularly good time to work with a coach.

What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?

I tailor my coaching very much to the individual client, though I specialise in the writing itself and practical suggestions. Goals vary in size and scope from client to client, but a few typical ones include:

  • Writing a sales page or about page for the client’s own writing business
  • Finishing a short story or making progress on a novel
  • Getting a guest post onto a major blog in the client’s niche

We tend to work on skills as part of a goal: for instance, if a client is writing fiction, we might work on dialogue, or if a client is blogging, we’ll look at calls to action. Although writing exercises can be useful and fun, I think it’s more rewarding to work on skills in the context of a real piece of writing that’s intended for publication.

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Blog of the Week: Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

Beach Reads with Bite

So reads the header for one of my favorite writing blogs, but don’t let the genre-specific title fool you.

Jami’s blog is written for all types of writers, not just those in the paranormal world. She blogs about everything from writing craft to platform-building to industry news, and—in the post featured below—the ethics of writing fan fiction. For thought-provoking content and great discussion in post comments, you have to check out her blog!

When Does Fan Fiction Cross an Ethical Line?

by JAMI GOLD on MARCH 6, 2012

Swedish sports fan with painted face

Fan fiction, also known as fanfic, refers to stories written by fans about the characters, situations, or world of existing works created by others.  This definition sounds broad because the world of fanfic is broad.

On some level, everything from Wicked, inspired by The Wizard of Oz, toPride and Prejudice and Zombies could fall under the umbrella of fanfic.  In other words, fanfic can be a legitimate and respected form of writing.

But do some uses of fanfic cross an ethical line?  And if so, where does that line fall?  When does a work honoring another’s creation turn into exploitation?

Read more here…

Fueled by chocolate, Jami writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy stories that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply.  Just ask her family—and zombie cat.

10 Signs You’re Adjusting to Ebooks

Ebooks: I know, I know—electronic books can never provide the same tactile satisfaction of holding an actual book in your hands.

A ebooks’ pages don’t crinkle (unless you have an app for it). You can’t savor weight and slick cover of a trade paperback, or appreciate the ruffled look of rough cut binding. Worst of all, you can’t (usually) loan them to your friends. But even this die-hard book lover is finding that e-books have certain advantages.

HikingArtist-dot-com 2Photo Credit

Are e-books winning you over? Here are ten signs that you might be adjusting to reading on a screen:
  1. When you read an unfamiliar word in a hard copy book, you try tapping the page to look up its definition.
  2. When you pick up another copy of the book you’re reading, you expect it to sync to furthest page read.
  3. You try to buy a book online, and are frustrated that you have to wait days—DAYS!—before reading it because (gasp!) no Kindle or Nook versions are available.
  4. You turn out the light while reading in bed, expecting the screen to brighten automatically.
  5. You put your magazine away when the flight attendant announces that “electrical devices are prohibited until the plane reaches cruising altitude.”
  6. You’re extraordinarily excited to learn there’s an app that allows authors to digitally “sign” electronic copies of their books.
  7. You stop packing an extra suitcase for your reading material, because you can load it all onto your phone/kindle/computer
  8. When you travel, you preferentially choose e-books BECAUSE you can load them onto your phone/Kindle/computer.
  9. If you travel outside your 3G network, you panic: how will you sync your Kindle library? What if you finish your book? The horror!
  10. You still adore used bookstores—but recognize that they have an unfortunate drawback: they only carry analog book editions.

What about you? Are you a convert to ebooks? Please share your thoughts in the comments!