Category Archives: writing tips

New Year’s Resolution: 1 Short Story a Month

Seconds into 2012 at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. (Yes, that's Stevie Wonder.)

Sure, it’s a little late to start talking about New Year’s Resolutions, what with it being the end of February and all. Nonetheless, I have an awesome 2012 Resolution, and I’m writing to see if you want to play along with me.

Here goes: I’m sending an unpublished short story to publication every single month of 2012.

As for length or genre or type of publication, that’s up to you. I personally, am choosing to have fun with it and go for as wide a range as possible, like walking down an all-you-can-eat buffet and sticking my finger in every dish as I pass. (Not that I’d ever do that in real life, though a great buffet, if you were so inclined, is the one at the Wynn. Yummy.) So far, I’ve sent a sci-fi story to Asimov’s for January and I’m finishing up a literary-fiction confection for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers (February).

Worried about the anguish of rejection? Don’t be. At the end of the year, I’m going to publish whatever isn’t already published on Amazon e-books. Each short story will go for a dollar. And then I shall get rich or at least get a lot of practice.

Won’t you play along with me?

Ikea’s Toilet Roll/ Magazine Holder

Racken $19.99

Racken $19.99


Sheer Genius.

$19.99 to make your dreams come true!

Stores up to 8 rolls of toilet paper AND reading material. Though I can’t tell where the magazines go from the picture. With all those toilet paper rolls, maybe they only left enough room to store a Kindle.

Buy yours here!

NOTE: I think I may have jumped the gun on this. Upon further investigation, it seems that this contraption doesn’t hold magazines at all. Somebody should invent something that does. Please, people, make the world a better place by inventing a dual holder for the universe’s two most valuable objexts!

Never Suffer from Writer’s Block Again

If you’re ever stuck and find yourself reaching for the Cheeto’s, use this zero calorie writing aid instead:

I would like to say that it’s worked for me, but I’ve never gotten around to using it. Ye olde deadline is the best writing tool I’ve ever used.

PS. My awesome journalist/blogger/editor/superhero freind Pj Perez sent me this tip.

PS2. Thanks for letting me borrow Watchmen, Pj. I’m halfway through and will get the book back to you asap.

Can’t Get Enough Valentines? Write a Romance Novel!

If the reality of Valentine’s Day left you feeling unfulfilled, why not write it the way you wish it’d happened? And if you’re going to do write a romance novel, you might as well learn from the pros.

Without further ado, here’s the link to Harlequin’s Writing Guidlines

Really, this website makes it so easy for aspiring writers that the Writer’s Market should be contemplating it’s relevancy. eHarlequin even offers a manuscript critique service for those writers who have more money than talent (not that that’s a bad thing).

Come to think of it, maybe I’d be better served to abadon my literary novel and write a few juicy bodice-rippers. Something tell’s me it’d be more profitable.

Novel Writing Software

I’m thinking of buying this computer program: Power Writer. What do you guys think? Have you heard of it? Is there another software that you would recommend?

The One Key to Making it as a Freelancer Writer

Publishing & the Profit Motive

I just read a justifiably indignant NY Times article criticizing the wrongdoings of the publishing industry. The quote below summarizes author Timothy Egan’s complaint:

Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.

As an impoverished, struggling writer, I more than empathize with his point. However, the one thing that Egan is forgetting is that book publishing is a for-profit industry. If Barbara Bush’s dog will sell more books than a struggling artist’s poetry, then a publisher is wise to favor the former, even if it hurts our personal sensibilities. Or look at it the other way, that dog book just bankrolled 10 garrulous memoirs. Without the best-selling fluff, the publishing house couldn’t afford to take a loss on you.

In these tough economic times, it’s very important to remember the profit motive. Though it’s not romantic, I highly advise considering potential readership before launching into 10 years of toil. But that’s only if you want to get published.