12/8/10

Writer's Group

Well, I must say that I had a great time at a friend's writer's group. The storytelling was all wonderful and a fellow writer I only recently met, is a very good writer indeed! I won't name her here because I haven't her permission-- but what a short I read by her last night. It's very Canadian and I'm sure it could go on to win prizes in short story competitions!

Also, as a group of all gals I had fun just sharing and shooting the you-know-what, with gals that were of all age groups but we all had writing in common. The more we spoke, the more we found there were other avenues of our lives that we had in common! It was phenomenal! I had a blast!

This post is for those ladies, you know who you are! I look forward to meeting with you all again in the new year! Happy Holidays!

12/7/10

12 Blogs for Writers/Freelancers

Much like the 12 days of Christmas, I have gathered some of what I consider to be the best blogs for writers or freelancers.

Remember, this is my biased opinion- but they're in no particular order.

The Renegade Writer, by Linda Formichelli
She's really active and her blog posts are all relevant to writers everywhere. If you're looking for advice on getting past the fear of querying,how to compose a follow up email, etc. You better believe that she's got a blog post to cover it!

The Urban Muse by Susan Johnston

She's on twitter, facebook and has an amazing blog. She seems to be very interactive with her readership as well, recently giving readership a competitive opportunity to be a guest blogger on her own blog!

Make a Living Writing by Carol Tice

She's got really down-to-earth tips about writing as a business. Keep an eye on her she's got posts that are jewels!

The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn

The archives alone are worth the visit! She's very knowledgeable!

Writer Beware Blogs by several authors

Great for getting information about questionable websites, writer's job engines, etc. Really great for those times when you want to educate yourself but don't want to commit to anything timely.

About Freelance Writing by Anne Wayman

Very thorough, covers just about any topic. Varying degrees of information make this site a best in my opinion because it benefits not only the new freelance writer but also the more experienced ones as well.

Freelance Switch by multiple authors and a cartoonist!

Freelance Switch is not just for writers, but all freelancers. They host people advertising for freelancers and you can have your own information posted on their site. While I wouldn't (and didn't) post to the business side of the website, I love the blog. It's a refreshing blog feed that has a lot of random, but related blog entries. Since there are a handful of writers and a cartoonist, the feed is up to date and never stagnant.

Freelance Copywriter's Blog by Sally Ormond

A great blog for the nuts and bolts. She checks you back into reality and gives it to you straight about the grammar, punctuation and even the why of what you're writing. While new wrtiers definitely benefit from her, even more so do experienced writers, reason? Some, not all-but some experienced writers tend to get into writing ruts, or write well for business and forget the details. Here, Sally gives you the reminder to slow down and think about what you're writing!

Business Writing Blog by Lynn Gaertner-Johnson

Business writing can be tricky business since there are some pretty strict formats out there. Lynn gives you the fine details right down to whether or not you should be placing that comma where you did.

The Writer's Manifesto by Monika Mundell

Not only blog entries by Monika but also by a plethora of writers. Check it out if you have the time!

Daily Writing Tips by a team of writers

Constant sources of help for your writing. From grammar to punctuation they cover it all... and if you like them check out the Daily Blogging Tips

Bad Language by Matthew Stibbe

An absolutely hilarious writer who keeps his readers up to date with new technology and interesting concepts.

Finally, Tips for Freelance Writers by Chris and Eric Brantner

Really easy going, based on the premise that all writers start somewhere... and it's usually around their 9-5!

Well, that's my 12 Blogs for Writers! I invite comments or feedback. Don't like my list? Tell me, or suggest a blog you think should have made it on this list!

12/6/10

Winter and Values.

It's winter time and I do not like snow one bit! Well, I like the looks of it and I like the smell of a winter day... but I distain the cold weather and the harsh winds that come with it. Yes, that's right-- I said distain!

Originally I come from a coastal city that has mountains and a beautiful protected harbour. We had hurricane warnings, but the winds were never THIS cold. This cold Yukon wind, the kind that raises the hairs all over your body, making you feel as if you were made solely out of cold hard bone; the brittle kind that rarely gets calcium. How awful.

The weather has warmed up recently, but there are residual effects both physical and psycological, that have me scarred until such time as the warmer weather becomes prominent...snow, and the month of the year, make that highly unlikely. It's December afterall, and what kind of December would warm up, bring out the sunshine, and give you a tan... not the Yukon kind.

Some say that I'll get used to it, and once I have-- I'll be a sourdough. Well, I may one day become a sourdough, but I don't think I'll ever get used to this weather. If I did it might just change my outlook on life and my entire value system.

How so?

My values are based on what I percieve to be good, bad and neutral. Usually you learn these things based on experiences of pain (all kinds) and joy or enjoyment. For me, healthfood is good for the body but bad for the tastebuds. The ocean is good all around; it gives me seafood, a calm feeling and inspiration as an artist. I also love to go sailing every now and again.

So you see, I feel that winter and snow are very, very bad. I don't think that's bound to change. Reason being that I do not like downhill skiing, do not like walking in snow with the frigid wind finding its way down my jacket collar, nor the effects it has upon my skin. The weather I do love is that pounding of rain on my roof, the light sprinkling of rain during a summer jog, or the moist and fresh smells from the forest after a rain. I like the look of a sheet of rain on lake water, the way you can track the cloud's movement by watching the pattern on the water.

You see, I like water. I don't just like water, I like that I like water. I like how that influences and calms me. It's also a part of where I grew up and who I've become over my lifetime.

So, I suppose the message is--while most people who live up north eventually "get used" to the nothern weather and the changes it brings, I won't. I won't, and that's okay with me. So long as I can continue to travel to the coast once a year and see the ocean, so long as I can enjoy the rain when it comes, I will; that's who I am.

But when you wish me luck and that I get used to the weather, you're wishing away the person you see in front of you. Just so you know. If you want to help, wish for more rain in the spring or fall... that would make the winter months more bearable.