Sites for Ideas and Inspiration

How to Find Strange Inspirations

With links to sites such as a book on strange phenomena, the Fortean Times, and the Museum of Hoaxes, this site is a must-visit for all who write about the weird, mysterious, and supernatural.



Adventure Cow

Have you ever read/played through one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books so popular among elementary and middle school kids? I’ve always thought the format would be a perfect fit for a website or mobile app, and this website promises to let you create your own stories as well as play through others’. I’ve signed up for a beta invite and will report more once I get to try out this site, but at first glance it looks like SO MUCH FUN!


Finish Your Novel

Author Timothy Hallinan writes:

I’d estimate that 98% of all the novels people begin are never completed.  Every person who abandons a book feels that he or she has a good reason, but my experience suggests that most of those books could have been finished – the writer just came up against something he or she couldn’t handle.

On this website, he provides advice to help writers of all stripes tackle just about every obstacle imaginable—along with his own inspirational tale of losing ALL his manuscripts in a house fire, rewriting one of his books in seven weeks, and going on to land an agent and a three book deal.


Enjoy! And definitely let me know if you have any other great sites you’d like me to add to the collection for next week!

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.

Blog of the Week: Patrick Ross, The Artist’s Road

artists road

Patrick Ross’s blog is a delight. Stories of his personal journey to put creativity and art at the forefront of life inspire me to keep up my own efforts; his frequent round-ups to blog posts, links, and Tweets provide more resources than I can absorb. He’s connected me with a number of other inspiring writers and bloggers.

And he provides all this great content while pursuing his MFA and teaching and writing up a storm elsewhere! I’m not sure how he does it, but I’m glad he does.

Here’s a sample of last week’s round-up of creativity links from The Artist’s Road:

Creativity Tweets of the Week – 02/17/12

By Patrick Ross

I’ve got blogging on the brain, most likely because I’m conducting two different blogging workshops in the next few weeks leading up to the class I’m conducting in April and May. So this week’s list of links on creativity and writing I tweeted this week includes a blogging category, because I was tweeting those as well. So be it.


Read more here…


Patrick Ross is a writer who has returned to an art-committed life. He brings readers insights he’s gathered on creativity and writing—including lessons from the creatives he video-interviewed on a six-week, cross-country trip across the United States. He is also an instructor with The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Blog of the Week: Jill Kemerer, Inspirational Romance Author

jillporch2 Jill Kemerer is one the reasons I love the Internet: a friend discovered through a kind word on Twitter, which led me to her blog and a world of inspiration and thought-provoking discussion. Jill’s blog gives writers a place to debate current publishing issues, get to know other writers, and cheer each other on toward the finish line. In short, she’s created a welcoming community in which to share coffee and chocolate and writerly wisdom.

Read on to explore one of her posts from this week!




What the Publishing Debate Means to Me

Traditional publishing. Self-publishing. E-publishing, Print publishing. A lot of sides have been taken, and I cringe at the continuing warfare. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it, but I don’t like it.

perfect strangerPhoto by mezone

I’ve been writing full time for years. Four years, to be exact. I’ve had the dream of someday becoming a published author for many years before that. Basically, publishing has been on my mind a long, long time. I remember my first brush with the business side of books. Way back in 1996, a thick paperback, How to Write a Romance and Get It Published by Kathryn Falk caught my eye at the local bookstore. Article after article about the writing craft, how to submit, and the writer’s life jammed the pages. I devoured it, and still have the poor, ripped, broken thing in my office.

Since then, computers and the Internet have changed aspiring writers’ lives. We no longer have to find a copy of Writer’s Market and search for agents or publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. We can e-mail a query, sample pages or a requested manuscript.

The competition seems to increase by the minute. More authors are trying to get published than ever before. It can feel impossible to land an agent or find a home with a traditional or e-publisher. So when self-publishing became a viable option, I understood why so many flocked to it and why they continue to publish their books themselves.

Read more here…