Category Archives: Writing Tips

Haiku Day via the May Blogathon; Poetry Abound!

Today is “Haiku Day” on the May Blogathon. My contribution is below.

Sitting reading books

A place far away is home

My mind wanders there

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Higher Education and The New Yorker

Anyone that is currently working in higher education, has obtained graduate degrees, or reads The New Yorker will appreciate this. At times, I think the comments are funnier than the piece.

Enjoy and share your comments below.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:  Is there a Doctorate in the House?

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Help with Writing Query Letters

For some writers, composing an eye-catching query letter comes with little problems. For others  it’s one of the most nerve-wracking parts of being a freelance writer.

Below are some sites that I’ve compiled to make the process of birthing the perfect query letter a little more manageable.

From Writing World: How to write a successful query letter

From About.com; Freelance Writing:    Sample Query Letter

From Agent Query:    How to write a query letter

From HiWrite:    Query Letters

Your Turn: Please share any other sites that you have found useful when it comes to the how-to’s of composing a query letter.

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Blog Roller

What I’m reading around the blogosphere today:

Write it Sideways: 23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger

The Book Designer: Fair Use, The Rights of Personality, and Unintended Consequences

Real Simple: 16 New Etiquette Rules for the Tech Age

Psych Central: Are Depressed Poets Still Creative?

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iPad? iPod? No Thanks.

I feel that it should be against the law for me to not want to have an iPad. I mean, it’s 2010, technology is evolving faster than it has before with electronics. Nevermind an iPad, I don’t even own an iPod. I know…crazy isn’t it? I’ll give that a couple of seconds to sink in.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi…welcome back.

I don’t own nor want an iPad or iPod. Reason why you ask? Because I consider myself  “kinda-sorta old-school” in the sense that I get tremendous joy from holding my books and magazines. I utterly adore taking an hour-long trip to Staples to pick out new highlighters, pens, and pencils to mark up my literary finds. Or exhausting a good part of my afternoon sitting in the big comfy chairs at my local library skimming through potential books that may come home with me.

The smell of a new book ignites a fury of plasmic ions within my blood that speak to each other in Latin. Not really, but you get the point. So to hold a plastic device that renders no need for my highlighter is of no interest to me.

As for the iPod, I appreciate that if I want to listen to music I don’t have to lug my Sony Walkman around with me anymore and flip my Michael Jackson “Bad” tape to side two…I can simply press the forward arrow to change songs. Except that when I read or write, I need total calm and quiet. I can’t have the T.V. on, or the radio, even the ticking of a Grandfather Clock will get to me after a while. If I had ear buds vibrating my vestibule I’d never get anything done.

While I would never turn away the iPad, iPod, even the Kindle as gifts that I would use in my spare time, you wouldn’t catch me in an Apple Store browsing either.

You will, however, catch me at Borders with a decaf coffee in my hand hiding at the corner table reading Lolita. Come over and say Hi.

Your turn: Share your thoughts on the iPad, iPod, and/or Kindle. Do they help you work or waste your time?

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Guest Blogger on The Alchemist

Today is guest blogger day for us blogathoners and Andrea Genevieve Michnick is my guest blogger. Andrea is a fellow blogger participating in the May 2010 Blogathon.

Today, Andrea focuses her attention on the book The Alchemist. It’s a book she’s read numerous times and each time she finishes it, she finds something new amidst it’s pages that she seemed to have missed.

Andrea writes:

Every once in a while, there comes along a book, movie, or piece of art that feels like it was written just for you. Don’t you agree? Well for me, that book is The Alchemist. It’s one of those books that many people talk about, but never understands until they read it for themselves.

I read The Alchemist for the first time in August 2008. Then again in June 2009 and now I’m going to read it again this month. It’s a book that has different meanings depending on where a person is in their life. The first time I read it I thought it was a silly fable and the second it inspired me more than any piece of written ever has in the past. I hope when I read it again this year it re-instills a sense of hope and encouragement. I like to write about things I think about and more importantly things that give me inspiration to pursue my dreams. My hope is that through my writing others can be inspired to find their purpose and pursue dreams.

Throughout the past year I have been living through my Quarter Life Crisis and if there is one thing I have learned it’s that life is a journey. Little things like this book remind me of that through subtle signs and quotes:

“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”
The Alchemist

I often find that creative types have a hard time with living in the present. I am one such person. I like to look to the future and think about the “What if’s?” that lie ahead. I get excited by seeing others success and wish life would speed up and my dreams would be right here at my finger tips too! Coincidentally, its when I read books like the Alchemist that I realize my dreams INCLUDE the present. Living each day striving to find a balance, a focus and a path is all part of the dream.

“The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.”
The Alchemist

I’m curious to learn from other creative types and freelancers what books inspire you? How do you keep motivated to pursue a life of your dream

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AndreaGenevieve is a 20-something blogger living and working in Washington, DC. Personally, Andrea writes and thinks about inspiration and the life of someone living through a Quarter Life Crisis at ThinkingMiss.com. Professionally, she writes about higher education, social media and Gen Y on TechAcademy (www.andreagenevieve.com)

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Good Reads in Blogs

Here’s what I’ve been reading for Monday morning.

From Time.com: Is the internet the secret to happiness?

From Julie Ortolon: 5 tips for authors who blog.

From The Creative Penn: 15 ways modern art galleries can inspire writers.

From The Urban Muse: 5 ways for writers to avoid an online scammer.

What have you been reading today?

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