Friday Favorites

Short list this week, but some pretty interesting stuff. Take a look. 

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From Steve Laub’s Blog: When The Outlook Is Bleak

In the constant ebb and flow of this industry we have authors celebrating and authors in tears. Ask any agent and you will hear the same. For every author excited about their new contract there is another experiencing bitter disappointment. Read more…


From Booster Shots For Your Search For Story

Things to keep in mind as you plan, draft, revise and dream, in no particular order… because there is no particular order:

An “idea” for a story is NOT a story.  Any more than a seed is a tree.  You have lots of watering and fertilizing to do before the seed becomes something that will live. Read more…


Another good one from The Secret Weapon Of Crafting Effective Heroes

I promise this isn’t a sermon.

This isn’t even remotely religious, other than this short snippet of scripture – as in, THE Scripture – which sets the stage.  It’s from First Corinthians 13:13, and it sticks in the brain as much as it rolls easily off the tongue: But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

True that. You may have heard this one at a wedding or two.  Say what you will, those guys could write. Read more…

What Makes Greatness?

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This week has been overrun with news of tremendous accomplishments. From the amazing feats of the human body as manifested by 30th Olympiad Games in London to the nail-biting suspense of NASA’s $2.5 billion flagship Mars probe, Curiosity, showcasing the dedication and determination of the human mind.

From my small corner of the world, I look out and marvel at this greatness. I marvel at what the human body and mind can accomplish when the desire to succeed is strong enough. I believe that it isn’t a simple want that generates this strong desire. I believe the desire is born from a need buried deep within the individual. Something essential to the human spirit.

Stretching the competitive muscle is a good thing. We aren’t all Gold medalist. Some us of take the Silver or Bronze or 9th place and on that day we may have achieved our personal best. Sometimes, regardless of our best effort, we crash, even before liftoff. So how do we rise to the greatness that lies within?

We get up when we fall. We heal when we break. We put one foot in front of the other. One breath, followed by the next, builds a life. We live in today and hope for tomorrow.

Each of us is on the path to greatness as only we, within our own parameters, can define it. I must be the one to decide what is my personal best. You decide what is yours. When we reach that place of giving all we can give, we’ll know it in our hearts. Part of my journey is to identify the needs that reveal my deepest desires and nourishes my spirit. All it takes is for me to decide.

How about you? Are you ready to decide? Are you ready for your personal best?

Friday Favorites

Some great stuff on the Internet from last week and this week. Find the topic that interests you. 

© Kipuxa | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

From Stephanie Lauren’s gutsy keynote speech at the 2012 RWA National conference. Hat tip to Passive Guy.


When Linda Winstead-Jones approached me to give this address, I asked if there was anything specific the board wanted me to speak about, and she replied: well, it’s usually inspirational, and sometimes funny, but it should really be a reflection of the individual author.

I thought: Oh, good – then no one who knows me is going to be surprised if I talk about the business – our business – and perhaps, given where we stand now, in the middle of 2012, that might be rather apt.  Read more…

A timely note from Bob Mayer’s Blog on lending e-books vs. piracy.


There is always chatter on writer loops about websites Pirating eBooks. This is a huge problem and does often take revenue from the author and publisher. Read more…

A follow up FAQ to Roni Loren’s blog on the photo copyrights.


So I’m still recovering from RWA this week. I have a fun combination of a sick child, a cold, and lingering jet lag. But I thought I’d pop in really quickly to answer a few questions. I’ve been getting a boat load of emails since my photography post. Most have been kind words–I appreciate that–but many have also had additional questions about the post and/or copyright. Read more…

And last, but not least…if you’re submitting after a pitch at conference, some tips from Rachelle Gardner.


As I read through the daily deluge of queries, I often become aware of how many times I see the same mistakes over and over. Most of them are not huge errors, but when an agent sees them repeatedly, they become more noticeable. So I’ve come up with a list of the most common querying blunders. Read more…


What I Learned This Week

This week I had the opportunity to attend the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Anaheim, CA. What I learned was much too vast to put in any one post or even several posts. However I will recap the highlights that will stay with me for a lifetime. 

  • I learned that best-selling, award-winning authors work hard for their success. They work harder than most any professional I know. [I learned I don’t work nearly hard enough.]
  • I learned that romance authors are the most generous and giving of souls. [This was not a new revelation, but to experience it en masse was humbling.]
  • I learned that giving and receiving a simple “Thank You” with a smile is very, very important. [“Thank You” is a woefully inadequate phrase for the gratitude I feel for those who gave so much to me this past week.]

When it’s my turn, I hope I can give back at least a portion of what I’ve received from the amazing authors I met this past week.

Did you have a week of learning?


Friday Favorites

Some fun links to check out. 

© Kipuxa | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Hat tip to The Passive Voice for this one. I haven’t tried it out the all way, but it looks like a blast for kids. Be sure to follow the help tips. From the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: My Story Maker – What happens when a pirate meets a fox in the woods? You have the power to decide — meeting new characters, going on great adventures and creating your very own story along the way. Read more…

From When Passion Kills Your Plot – I wanted to call this one, “The Great and Silent Story Killer,” but I chose to put the real two-by-four-between-the-eyes point in the headline instead.
Because passion is an intoxicant.  A promise without a plan.  And its addictive. Read more…

From Roni Loren’s Blog: Figuring Out Where Your Pacing Went Wrong- Last week I received the edits back on my third book, FALL INTO YOU, from my editor. Those emails are always a little scary to open. You pretty much say the “please don’t hate it, please don’t hate it” prayer a few times before you click. Read more…

From Bob Mayer’s Blog: Thoughts from Thrillerfest; Discoverability; Nightstalkers and Whatever – For those who check my blog out and follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a bit of ‘ghosting’ on my part.  A fading out.  At West Point one of the keys to getting through Beast Barracks and Plebe Year for some was to ‘ghost’.  To not be noticed. Read more…