Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Vaguely Unfamiliar







By Kristin Owens










Last weekend I sat in the luxurious reception area of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The velvet couch was red, not burgundy. The Chihuly art glass installed in the ceiling glistened with multicolored hues; they weren’t blue. 

However, the hotel smelled the same . . . eau d’expensive fragrance pumped throughout fifty thousand square feet of overindulgence. Two for three, apparently my memory grew a little faulty over the past ten years.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fearless Writing: Not Just Good Advice

By Ronda Simmons






Sometimes, even though it shouldn't be, writing is hard and joyless. Sometimes we just don't love it like we used to.

This happens when we care too much what other people think. Worrying that nobody is going to like what we have written, is the easiest way to turn the writing life into hell on Earth. 

In the end, the only thing that matters, is that we are writing what we want to write, what we have to write, whether anyone else cares or not.

When a writer is too concerned that their writing isn't good enough, he or she cannot enter the Flow, that sensation of losing track of time and place and just falling into the story as it unfolds. You know what I mean, you've been there.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Top Ten Highlights from the 10th Annual NCW Retreat





By April Moore

The 10th Annual NCW Member Retreat, October 22-25, proved to be a fun, productive, and relaxing event. No surprise. Fifteen dedicated writers with lofty goals + the revitalizing powers of Rocky Mountain National Park is a recipe for bestsellers. While there were many highlights from the retreat, here’s my top ten:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Uncommon Virtue: Steinbeck, Jobs, Watson & Crick







By John Garvey









John Steinbeck's masterpiece East of Eden is 600 pages long, and I'd fight like hell to prevent it being shortened one paragraph. The year following its publication, scientists James Watson and Francis Crick described, for the first time, the structure of the DNA double helix in Nature magazine. 

Scientific American reported sixty years later that "Regardless of the report's brevity, the announcement changed the world of medicine and science forever." Fast forward to 2007. Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in what "is considered by many to be one of the greatest business presentations of all time." (Carmine Gallo, The Storyteller's Secret)

What do these three things have in common? Brevity.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Library Resources for Writers

By David E. Sharp













I might have mentioned, in addition to being a writer, I am a librarian. (Only a zillion times, right?) I use a lot of library resources in my craft. They're free. They're in-depth. And they're useful.


Some folks have a musty image of the library. Dusty tomes, shushing old ladies with horn-rimmed glasses, and facelift-tight buns. 

Well, sit on my virtual book cart and buckle up! It's time for a refresher on how your library can help you be awesome!


Welcome to the library of the future.
Oh, wait. That's from last week.



Friday, October 20, 2017

How to Write One Book A Year and Keep Your Day Job







By Ronda Simmons








Anthony Trollope did it. Can you?

Mr. Trollope was an English novelist of the Victorian era most well-known for a series of books called The Chronicles of Barsetshire. 





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Two Great American Pastimes








by Laura Mahal





Isn't she beautiful?
Whether the hashtags you follow are #MSWL or #MLB, you've got terrific taste. Writing and baseball have quite a lot in common, if you stop to think about it. 

Both make for outstanding careers, but you've got to have heart and a helluva level of commitment to make it to the big time.


Batting Averages and Rejection Rates


In baseball, a batting average above .300 is considered quite good. This means the batter hits the ball less than one out of every three times he steps up to the plate.

A writer should consider it an extraordinary success to earn acceptances for 1 out of every 3 submissions. Generally, the rate of rejection is much higher than that lofty goal. Some studies show that only 4 percent of authors seeking agents land one.

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