Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 1

The Freeze-Dried Fiction Contest with Margaret Atwood

The Freeze-Dried Fiction Contest with Margaret Atwood
I’m back!

My vacation was fabulous, but it’s equally fabulous to be back in my writers cave surrounded by my books and cats and dust and post-it notes.

This morning I read the most fabulous story by Margaret AtwoodThe Freeze-Dried Groom (currently free on Wattpad)and then discovered there’s a fiction contest associated with it.

Margaret Atwood leaves readers guessing about what will happen to the characters in the story. Will the protagonist, Sam, be the killer or the victim? (Or, perhaps, something else entirely.) Who is the mysterious woman he is romancing?

Instead of leaving readers guessing, she has invited them—invited us!—to continue the story and answer the questions ourselves. 

The Freeze-Dried Fiction Contest with Margaret Atwood

Here is a link to the rules and regulations on Wattpad: What you need to know and how to enter.

To be eligible, your story must be between 1,000 and 5,000 words. You need to use the tag #FreezeDriedFiction (or #Freeze-DriedFiction) and post it on your own Wattpad account between October 1 and October 31, 2014.

To learn more about the prizes, as well as who is eligible to apply, visit the link I gave above (“What you need to know and how to enter”). 

That’s it! Wow, a post under 300 words. I don’t expect this brevity will last, though. There are a number of writing related issues I want to chew over with you in the coming weeks and months. Cheers!

Photo credit: untitled by Thomas Leuthard under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Tuesday, September 9

The Royal Order of Adjectives

The Royal Order of Adjectives & Going On Vacation

Lists are powerful.

I don’t know what I’d do without them. Lists of names for characters, lists of locations, lists of interesting words (like rutabaga).

Today I’m making lists of another kind, lists of items I must remember to take with me on vacation.

Yes, I’m leaving the country and won’t be back until the end of the month. I probably won’t post here again until I get back.

The Royal Road of Adjectives

Before I leave, I’d like to mention something I came across: the Royal Order of Adjectives. I hadn’t heard of it before—maybe that doesn’t say a lot for the school system—but, apparently, there’s an accepted order that the various kinds of adjectives should adhere to.


Here’s the handy-dandy graph, complete with examples. This is from’s page dedicated to adjectives. It’s the best primer on adjectives I’ve come across, highly recommended if you’re into that sort of thing ... which it seems I am. Now. 

The Royal Order of Adjectives (click to enlarge)

For example: A delicious little square vase of old red Italian silk roses.

It’s interesting to play around with the adjectives in the chart and see what sentences you can come up with!

While you’re doing that I’m going to slink off to parts unknown. I’ll miss blogging here, but it’ll be nice to have a short break. I’ll be back, with renewed vigor, at the end of the month. I might even have a few stories to tell! It’s amazing what crawling out of one’s writer’s cave every once in a while can do.

Photo credit: "Serpent" by Daniel Zedda under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Monday, October 1

A Creative Shift Is As Good As A Vacation

A Creative Shift Is As Good As A Vacation

Today I wanted to pass along the link to: Why You Need A Creative Shift Instead Of A Vacation, As Explained By Joss Whedon. It seemed appropriate, especially as this is (sigh) the last day of my (very fun!) vacation.

Perhaps that's true. Perhaps all one needs is a creative shift--write a humorous short story between 100,000+ word fantasy sagas, paint something. Learn to knit. Although I do think a creative shift can rejuvenate our muse, sometimes there really isn't anything like getting away from one's daily routine and traveling somewhere you've never been.

Like Portland! :)

Other articles you might like:
- Want Help With Editing? Try Free Editing Programs
- 8 Tips For Blogging Success
- Are You Writing The Right Book? 5 Ways To Find Out

Sunday, September 30

Writing Rules! Advice from The New York Times

Writing Rules! Advice from The New York Times

So far my vacation has been delightful! It's my first time in Portland and I'm sure it won't be the last. The food has been villainously great, Powell's Books was completely and utterly amazing. If you're any kind of bookworm, it's heaven. The place is enormous, I actually got lost! (They gave me a sticker, 'I got lost in Powell's'! It was great to know I wasn't the only one.)

After I get back I'll post some pictures of Powell's and other notable destinations. Today I'm visiting Voodoo Donuts. I went by yesterday but the line up would have reached from one end of a stadium to the other. A couple of public events had just let out, so I hope the line will be shorter today. They're open 24 hours (imagine, 24 hours!) so I'm confident I'll have consumed their dark delights before coming home.

In the meantime, here's a link to an utterly fantastic article from The New York Times by Amanda Christy Brown and Katherine Schulten: Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well.

I hope you all are having an amazing weekend!

Other articles you might like:
- Learning Story Structure: Deconstructing a Novel
- The Key To Success: 3000 Words A Day
- Want Help With Editing? Try Free Editing Programs

Photo credit: Uniquely Portland Oregon.
(This site has a great description of Powell's Books and many more pictures.)

Friday, September 28

Away On Vacation!

Writing And The iPhone 5

I am off on vacation! A short vacation. I'll still blog--I've been squirreling posts away so I don't have to sit in my hotel room typing while my friends are off exploring the city. One thing I am going to do--or at least that I'm going to try to do--is treat this time away from my desk as an opportunity to see how easy it is to blog from the iPhone 5. (Not mine, a friend's. I haven't taken the plunge yet!)

I'm a bit of a foodie who loves street meat so I'll be prowling the city sampling the wares of food trucks and, generally, looking for good eats.

Before I go, let me leave you with a link to a terrific article by Joanna Penn: Lessons Learned From 1 Year As A Fulltime Author Entrepreneur:
I am seriously happy in my new life, but there have been some real challenges and lessons I’ve learned along the way that I wanted to share, as well as some action points if you’re considering making a similar move.

As ever, I just try to share honestly with you guys so I hope this helps you on your journey. I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment at the end of the post with your thoughts and ideas.
Cheers! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. :)

Other articles you might be interested in:
- The Key To Success: 3000 Words A Day
- Learning Story Structure: Deconstructing a Novel
- Branding: Not As Painful As It Sounds

Photo credit: kaoruokumura

Saturday, January 22

The Sandman: A Maria Ordin Adventure

I just published my first book! I shouldn't say that I've published a book since The Sandman comes to only 4,000 words or so. Oh, and IT'S FREE!

Here's my description:

Seven year old Maria and her parents go on a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. They have reservations at the best and most expensive resort in the world, the Dolphin Club. Little Maria looks forward to tanning on the warm white sand of the beach and swimming in crystal clear waters of the lake. Then something terrible happens, someone takes away all the sand from the beautiful beach and leaves behind nothing but mud and rock. Will Maria be able to discover the culprit and get the sand back before the Ordin's vacation is ruined?

When I was a little girl my father used to tell me a story every night before I went to sleep. Sometimes he would tell me about his life as a boy growing up in Russia, or about his little red hen who knew how to count, or about his two huge wolfhounds and how they caught rabbits. Other times he would make up stories for me, stories like The Sandman or How the Lion Got to be King. I loved all of his stories and asked him to tell me them over and over again.
A few weeks ago I asked my dad to tell me his stories one more time so I could write them down, but as I wrote a funny thing happened: the stories became longer and new characters sprang to life.
Although I have been careful to keep the main points of The Sandman exactly as my dad told it, I have taken a few liberties with the story, adding things here and there.
For the last few years it has been my passion to take tales I loved as a child and to retell them in contemporary settings and, where possible, include female heroes while preserving the original magic of the story. I'm not going to speculate on whether or to what degree I have succeeded, but if these stories are used to entertain a child before they close their eyes and drift off into the land of sleep then my efforts have been well spent.

You can find the book on:
- Smashwords
- It will soon be up on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.