Tag Archives: for writers

Sunday Inspiration: Pixabay

Did you guys know about this place?


Look at these photos.


They’re free.


They’re royalty-free.


Anyone need a book cover? A header image? Some way to grab readers’ attention? This place is amazing.

Road Trips

I love the Internet. Relevant to this post, how easy research is because of the Internet. Before anything I ever wanted to know was at my fingertips, I had to use the library, other people, personal experience, and hope. I remember once, when I was 18 and before research on the Internet was as easy as it is now, mentioning to someone I was writing a story set on Molokai. She gave me a weird look and asked, “In the leper colony?” I had no idea there was a leper colony, because the material I had on Molokai hadn’t mentioned it. Now, though, we have Wikipedia, which may not be the most reliable resource to begin with, but it does give me a place to start whenever I want to learn something new or research something I don’t know anything about.

I also love road trips. That love, and a massive crush on Dean Winchester, was what initially inspired Cass Gets Her Kicks.

The thing about Cass is that it takes place in a romance novel-style universe, where bad things don’t really happen, and even when they do our heroes and heroines get happy endings, anyway. That’s what’s so nice about HEA and HFA. So on real-life road trips, obviously I advocate being careful.

Planning for your road trip is nice.

There’s a .gov website to help with fuel economy, and sites to help with planning the whole trip or even suggesting trips and finding scenic drives. Now you can even plan ahead for roadside attractions.

I’ve been on a lot of road trips. By far the best things to come from them have been the unexpected discoveries. My friend and I turned around on a detour in Arizona when we saw a place called Bad Ass Coffee, and honestly it’s probably the best coffee I’ve ever had. When my mother was working in Andover, I went to see her, and one day we drove up to Vermont, where–at the rest stop, no less–we discovered Green Mountain Coffee. Now I can get it at Sonic, which is nice because it’s not always available in local grocery stores. We also checked out the Green Mountain Visitor Center while we were there, and oh my gosh those views were amazing. (On the subject of views, one of my favorites has always been from the first rest stop just past the Arizona state line headed out of New Mexico, the one on I-40 in Apache County.) I can’t remember exactly which state we were in, Vermont or New Hampshire or Connecticut or Massachusetts, but one of them had this place to get the most amazing sandwiches on a winding back road. I think I remember covered bridges being important that day? I do remember that the sandwich, turkey with cranberry spread, was incredible. In Ohio last year, on our way up to see the in-laws, we stopped at The Valley Marketplace and got amazing truffles, fantastic cheese, and some really great jerky, among other treats. The same year we discovered Bad Ass Coffee, my friend and I stayed at the Step Back Inn in Aztec, NM before we saw the ruins. That trip, we also discovered that Econolodge, despite the price point, has the best showers. When I was little–younger than my oldest is now, probably–we stopped somewhere in Arizona or maybe New Mexico had a roadside stand that served Indian Bread. I’m not sure if this is it, or if it even exists anymore, but I found this place on Facebook. These places are on Facebook now!

With summer in full swing, road trips are happening. Maybe you’re even thinking about your own. The Internet has resources, whether you’re planning to head out on the road yourself or send out a character. I’ve shared some of my favorites. I’d love to see some of yours in the comments below.

Things to Remember: Writer pt. 3

11. Figure out what you want to read and write it.

This is old advice, but it has held true as long as I’ve been writing. I think this is especially true in fandom, but it can translate to the world of professional writing, too. Maybe it’s not even what you want to read. Maybe it’s what you need to read.

12. Find out what a close friend wants to read and write it.

This is my foolproof writers block buster. I have a handful of close friends, and by “close” I mean “so close I know their kinks.” If I’m having trouble figuring out what to write, or finding the motivation to write, I can almost always write something for a friend.

13. Decide what you want your children to read and write it.

Replace “your children” with “children you care about” or “the next generation” if it’s easier for you. But for me, there are things I want my daughters to read because there are things I want them to learn, and sometimes it’s easier to learn a lesson from a book.

14. Pinpoint what you love and write it.

It’s easy to write about what you love. Even if you’re not an expert, even if you don’t even know very much. Knowledge comes as you write. So write, and learn, and discover.

15. Not everything written must be shared.

This is something I think a lot of writers forget. Some things are for your eyes only. Some things aren’t even worth re-reading. And some things are just too private to share. It’s all right to keep some things to yourself. It’s your writing. You can do whatever you want with it.

Sites I Love: Yarny

Getyarny.com is where you sign up, but yarny.me is where you work. I love this program. I’ve been using it since 2012 and a couple of months ago, when Yarny was shutting down, I was crushed. They’ve since moved to new servers and I’ve had no problems at all with it. Yarny is where I do most of my writing. It keeps track of word counts and the simple word processor makes it easy to avoid distractions. Editing can always happen elsewhere. Yarny is a writer’s best friend.

Things to Remember: Writer pt. 2

6. Find tools you love.

Pen and paper? MS Word? Yarny? Blog post editors? Whatever the tool, find one(s) you love and use them. Personally, I’m a fan of Yarny and, when things are very bad, ZenWriter. I do all my editing in OpenOffice (including formatting for books, and I even turned a series of blog posts into an ebook on the subject). And I do a lot of plotting/note-taking/reminders-to-self in notebooks and pretty journals.

7. Take notes.

See something funny or thought-provoking or inspirational? Write it down. Hear a piece of dialogue? Write it down. Want to remember a sight to describe later? Well, there’s probably a camera on your phone–snap that picture. The notes you take will become something whole.

8. Find inspiration.

Chase it down and sit on it if you have to. Words, sights, smells, sounds, feels–whatever it takes. Figure out what inspires you and keep those things close. Use them. Revel in them. Wallow in all the inspiration you possibly can.

9. Get to work.

Take those tools, those notes, and that inspiration, and get to work. Smash it together until you’re telling the honest story, the story begging to be told, the story only you can tell. If it’s not working, take it apart and reassemble it. Keep putting it together until it works. Keep going until you’ve finished, until you’ve done your best.

10. Don’t worry.

And don’t worry about what people will think of the work or you. Don’t worry about anything except the story you have to tell, and even then, let it tell itself, don’t worry about making it reveal its truth.

You can do this.

Sites I Love: 750words.com


750words.com is an online version of morning pages and it’s wonderful. I believe the site has transitioned to a pay service since I first signed up several years ago, but the cost is minimal and well worth it.

Things To Remember: Writer pt. 1

1. Write.

If you’re a writer, you actually have to write. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing original poetry or prose, journaling, writing fic, blogging, or just writing Facebook posts. You just have to write.

2. Keep writing.

And you have to keep writing. There will be times when you go a long, long time without writing. That’s all right. It happens. Make sure you start back up again and keep writing.

3. Make writing a habit.

Do it every day. Or every other day. Or once a week. Whenever you do it, make a habit of it. Once something’s a habit, it’s a lot easier to do it without thinking about it too much.

4. Make writing a priority.

We’ve all got other things to do. Work, school, families. But making writing a priority fits it in with those things. Make it important to you. Make sure the people around you know that it’s important.

5. Believe that you are a writer.

When someone asks, say you’re a writer. Believe that you are. Believe in yourself. It’s a lot easier to do what you want when you believe that you can, that you’re suited to it, capable of it.