A Very Special Tabhartas (tribute)…

Welcome to Rudan Thursdays where we talk about…things! Anything from books and movies, to blog posts and authors, to food and drink.

I’m taking a break for a bit to enjoy my family and catch up on my novels ~ the ones I’m writing :P  So, for the final time in 2011 I’d like to pay tribute, or tabhartas, to those posts I’ve enjoyed recently.

Without further ado…

Marcia Richards shares a real life love story in her post, A Love Story.

The gals over at WITS ran a short series of inspiring posts featuring bodily fluids titled, Inspiration vs Perspiration In Writing, and Sweat Equity. Must read, as always.

Jami Gold explains fast drafting and how it might work for you in her post, “Can You Fast Draft?

Ashley March posted a fantastic blog on Letting Your Character in on The Secret over at Roni Loren’s site. Check it out!

Victoria Mixon posted Story Climax: The Whole Point over at Jami Gold’s place.

Pam Hawley posted a very inspiring blog over at Marcia Richard’s site about goals and aspirations…it’s really stuck with me. Check it out: The Pink House.

Kristen Lamb wrapped up her invaluable series on structure with Structure Part Eight: Balancing the Scenes that Make Up Your Novel.

Kerry Meacham posted the uplifting, Our Entire Life is Still Ahead of Us, on his Sweet Tea Tuesday blog. This post came at the perfect time for me…hopefully now is the perfect time for you!

Sierra Godfrey brings it home for you in her guest-post at Roni Loren’s place, How Low Can You Go? The Important ‘All Is Lost’ Moment. Nice.

Diana Murdock calls to your soul in her post, Who is the Better Half? Me or Me?

Amber West will have you giggling under your desk with her post, How To Brighten Your Day By Annoying Others. Seriously, I laughed so hard…literally LOL’d

Carrie Spencer Woodie The Woodchuck-finally!-explains Press This. Yes!

Jenny Hansen brings a little common sense to the table with her post, Are You Playing to Your Strengths?

Jen Talty breaks down Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet in her recent post.

Art Holcomb guest-posted over at Storyfix.com about how we writers need to get out of our own way. You said it brother!

Laura Drake over at WITS recently posted about Writing and Hershey Kisses, my two favorite things :P

Kristen Lamb posted this gem, How To Hook A Reader and NEVER Let Go, and it’s stuck with me ever since. I guess she really knows what she’s talking about :P

Jami Gold recently asked, Are All Cheap eBooks Crap? A thought-provoking post, as is Jami’s usual style.

To Marcia, the Gals @ WITS, Jami, Ashley, Roni, Victoria, Pam, Kristen, *breath* Kerry, Sierra, Diana, Amber, Carrie, Jenny, Jen, Art, Larry, and Laura ~ Slàinte…your health!

~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~

Here are two blogs I follow quite closely, and are easily my favorites.  Both are entertaining, informative, and brilliantly written.  I could not decide which of their numerous posts I wanted to highlight, so I said the hell with it – post their entire blogs!

And here they are:

Gene Lempp ~ Unearthing the Future. Gene posts Designing From Bones on Wednesdays, where he bring the past to life, and Blog Treasures, wonderful posts from around the blogosphere, on Saturdays. One of the very few blogs I follow where I dig everything I find in my inbox. Slàinte to you Gene ~ May 2012 shine on you.

Anil Balan ~ Ghost Cities, Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural. Anil posts on everything from media reviews, true stories, and tall tales to urban legends and history. Again, one of the very few blogs I follow where I eat up everything dished out. Slàinte to you Anil ~ Many blessings to you in 2012.

And please, boys, keep posting those awesome blogs!

~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~  ~*~

May you all have a very happy holiday, and safe New Year. I wish you the best in 2012 and will see you January 3rd! :)

To Your Health!

Welcome to Rudan Thursdays where we talk about…things! Anything from books and movies, to blog posts and authors, to food and drink.

Today I’d like to pay tribute, or tabhartas, to those posts I’ve enjoyed recently. Without further ado…

On Tuesdays, Jenny Hansen blogs about techie stuff, and this post on QR Codes is really cool. You can do so much with them, most especially use them for marketing that ah-mazing book you just published!  More recently, Jenny blogged about how physical therapy relates to writing. Really great insight, and fantastic ideas. Check it out!

Back in October, Steena Holmes posted a thinker, asking Do You Know How To Say No? This is an essential skill for the guilt-ridden writer to learn. It’s OK to say “no” to friends and family sometimes ~ sometimes, it’s even critical to do so. I gotta go re-read this one..

..Ok, back. Now, where was I? Ah, yes…

Ever wanted to go on vacation…maybe somewhere exotic…but just couldn’t see a way over the expenses to do it? Well, look no further my friends. Patricia Sands tells us this very affordable, and not so unique it turns out, way to make it happen. A big thanks to Marcia Richards for hosting Patricia and sharing the love!

Writers In The Storm, or WITS, is one of my fave blogs to read ~ they always have fantastic info, insights, and guest posters. Recently, they hosted the one…the only…the Naked Editor, Tiffany Lawson Inman. If you haven’t had the experience of Naked Editing, I suggest you check this out now. Tiffany has this idea that thrillers are not the only genre that can have thrilling page turners. She talks about how to make even the sappiest romance an on-the-edge-of-your-seat read.

In her post, The Dark Side of Metrics – Writer Friend or Ticket To Crazy Town?, Kristen Lamb cautions us writers on placing too much importance on our social media numbers. So put down the Jack and/or the cancer stick… and relax.

Elizabeth Spann, over at Mystery Writing is Murder, shared a post by Victoria Mixon about Fair Play. Y’know, letting your reader in on the joke or at least giving them a hint? If you want ‘em to stick around for 10hrs (average time it takes a reader to finish a novel), then you gotta give ‘em something. Great post!

To Jenny, Steena, Patricia, Marcia, the Gals @ WITS, *breath* Tiffany, Kristen, Elizabeth, and Victoria…Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

Before we get to the link love, I wanted to let you all know I’m adjusting my blog schedule from three days a week to two days. With the family and day job schedules picking up, and NaNoWriMo looming, (not to mention the holidays are comin’ up hot) I have less and less time for my novel and blogging. I’ve made the decision to cut back on blogging, because, let’s face it, my novel is much more important! J

Anyhoo…For the time being, I will incorporate my Slàinte Sundays with my Rudan Thursdays. I truly enjoy sharing my cyber finds with all of you and am not willing to cut them. So while I won’t be able to share every week, there will still be plenty of link love goin’ around ;)

Ok, let’s get to it…

On craft…

Jenny Hansen shares Writing Lessons From The Late Great Stephen J. Cannell.

Kristen Lamb continues her series on Structure with Part 3 – Introducing the Opposition.

Jody Hedlund guest posts over at Jenny Hansen’s blog, talking about plot ideas and structure, very helpful with NaNoWriMo coming up.

Amber West has some great NaNoWriMo tips for all of those pantsers out there. Check this out.

On publishing…

Bob Mayer offers a tribute to the reader in his post, Readers Rule: The Ultimate Gatekeepers Publishing and The Rise of the Author.

Kait Nolan shares her Open Letter to Barnes & Noble about PubIt!

On motivation…

Jenny Hansen offers great tips on critique partners or groups via Dan Rockwell over at Leadership Freak. And I swear I’m not stalking Jenny, she just has so many awesome posts, how can I not share them?? ;)

Sonia Medeiros says ‘let there be blogs’ in her post on blogging and blog fatigue. Did she write this just for me?

Kristen Lamb reminds us to keep our heads in the game, and breathes new life into that blog fatigue by sharing boring statistical information on blogging and its benefits.

Lyn Midnight is a girl after my own heart in her guest post on spiraling out of control, over at David N. Walker’s blog. No, Lyn, you are most definitely not alone.

On networking and social media…

Jen Talty, via Bob Mayer’s blog, talks about the importance of branding.

Techy Tips

Carrie Spencer – finally! – shares much-needed information on ping backs, via her pal Woodie, cause he knows WordPress. I’ve been waiting for so long! ;p

Just for fun!

Shéa MacLeod shares creepy crawly stories in her post, The Queen of Fire and Darkness Meets the Scorpion King.

Jenny Hansen talks about her undies fetish, interest, um, ok, she’s talkin’ about g-strings people. You gotta go check it out.

Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb need your help with campaign slogans. They’ve got awesome options to choose from, go cast your vote! Piper/Lamb 2012!

Natalie Hartford brings us the compliment to the tow-hitch stripper pole: The Tow Hitch TV!

Gene Lempp teaches us about the Ancient Silk Route in his latest post from Designing from Bones.

Marcia Richards tells a true story of ‘sweet revenge,’ a family’s quest for justice, and making a difference the American way. I got chills reading this. Amazing post!

Jess Witkins offers an interesting post on Sleep Paralysis. Pretty scary, actually. My husband has this happen sometimes.

To Jenny, Kristen, Jody, Amber, Bob, Kait, Sonia, Lyn, Jen, Carrie, Shéa, Piper, Natalie, Gene, Marcia, and Jess…

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

On Craft…

Kristen Lamb brings us part 2 of her series on story Structure: Plot Problems – Falcor the Luck Dragon & the Purple Tornado.

David N. Walker gives us an in-depth look at how we can build our characters into full four-dimensional people.

On Networking and Social Media…

Sonia Medeiros asks what I sometimes ask myself: Got Blog Fatigue?

Kristen Lamb wraps up her series on the three critical people to know on Social Media with ~ The Closer.

Roni Loren rants about blogging and building platforms…this could also go under “Motivation,” ‘cause I gotta tell you, I was relieved and inspired when I finished reading it…Thanks Roni!

On Motivation…

Jenny Hansen over at Writers In The Storm Blog wraps up their Fear series with this finale on phobias. Don’t look at the spider pic…just scroll down right past it…

Jenny Hansen is back with tips and insight from New York Times Best Selling Author, Susan Mallery.

Jillian Dodd, hosted by David N. Walker, inspires us with her story of the journey up Mt. Fuji…or almost up :p

Just For Fun…

Shéa MacLeod gives us a snapshot at Mermaids and how the different cultures depicted them. Very interesting!

Marcia Richards tells the story of a haunted prison where hangings and murders were the norm.

Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb are back bringing their vision of America to you, the people. Let’s hear it for Piper-Lamb 2012!

Natalie Hartford brings yet another nifty gadget – the Drill Blender. A must have for anyone on the go.

Gene Lempp explores the beginnings of theatre.

Jess Witkins shares a spooky experience with a Ouija board.. *shivers*

Steena Holmes shares the latest on the Bandit Creek series…whoa, wait, a ménage??

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

To Kristen, David, Sonia, Roni, Jenny, Jillian, Shéa, Marcia, Piper, Natalie, Gene, Jess, and Steena…

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

It seems like this week’s theme was overcoming fear, which I appreciated since I’ve been struggling with that. (If you’re a writer, than you have too – so read up and kick fear’s a$$!) We have quite a bit on craft as well, and a TON that’s just for fun! Enjoy!

On craft…

David N. Walker continues his series on character outlining. This week’s post is about those other guys, the supporting characters.

Kristen Lamb begins her series on novel structure with Structure Matters. A must read.

Elizabeth Spann discusses outlining and its benefits in her post, Changing Our Book’s Game Plan.

Annalise Green gives her take on outlining in her post, That Outlining Thing, Or No Pants!

On publishing…

Bob Mayer stresses the importance of team building in his post, Reamde, Pottermore, Hyperion and other mistakes from publishing “experts.”

On motivation…

D.A. Watts at Writers On The Storm Blog continues their series on identifying and overcoming fear. These are excellent posts and I strongly suggest you read the other posts if you haven’t already.

Jenny Hansen follows it up with her post at Writers On The Storm Blog asking Do You Fear Your Dreams? These posts are so inspiring. Fear is the noose around a writer’s neck and these ladies are shoving it into the spotlight so we can all face it together. Totally awesome!

Kait Nolan inspires us in her post on facing and overcoming fear, Explore Your Ragged Edge.

Pam Hawley visits David N. Walker and shares her views on facing fears in her post, Sticking Our Necks Out.

Gary Gauthier is hanging out with Marcia Richards and talking about ways to beat procrastination in his post, How To Turn Your Goal Into A Reality. Great post, Gary!

Marcia Richards puts in her two cents on fear in her post she shares on Sonia Medeiros’s blog, Fear Not.

On Social Media and Networking…

Jenny Hansen offers 8 excellent tips for expanding your network with social media.

Kristen Lamb gives us a much-needed refresher on tips for branding our names and building our platforms.

Roni Loren talks about how she built her author platform and what she would do differently in her interview with Laura Barnes in her latest Savvy Sensation segment. Very insightful!

Techy Stuff…

Carrie Spencer, via her good buddy Woodie, shows us how to add HTML code in our blogs on WP in this segment from Woodie Knows WordPress.

For Fun!

Jenny Hansen asks Do I Have A Dirty Mind? Uh…yeah, Jenny, you do…and I dig it! :p

Steena Holmes announces a new release in the new Bandit Creek Series! 33 Books + 32 Writers + Multi-Genre = Awesomeness!

Piper Bayard announces her running mate for the 2012 Presidential Election…the Dream Team! Ok, seriously, how can we make this actually happen, ‘cause I’m so in!

Annalise Green offers a fun post on the dark side of Mermaids.

Gene Lempp gives yet another thrilling post from his Zoo Arcane with Slayer Spirits and the Unredeemed…muahahahahahaaa!!!

Jess Witkins shares her freaky and appropriate post, I See Dead People. (Cue spooky music)

Mums the word topic in this sweet post from Jillian Dodd, Is Bigger Really Better? (Get your filthy minds out of the gutter!)

I absolutely could not do this post without mentioning; yeah you guessed it, invisible porn! Piper Bayard opens her store and her heart in her post, Invisible Art? That’s Nothing. We’ve Got Invisible Porn. Bust out the credit card, you are not going to want to miss out!

Elena Aitken asks Fashion Forward, Or Totally Backward? in her post about models in magazines, and how ridiculous they all look.

Natalie Hartford shares the Urban Word of the week: Webtrovert.

Shéa MacLeod dishes on some of the sexiest paranormal studs around in her post, Zombies, Vampires, and the Delicious Mr. Spock.

Diana Murdock points out that tattoos aren’t just for gang members or street thugs…they can be inspirational, personal expressions of our inner selves. Awesome post!

Carrie Spencer shares a very cool video on pumpkin carving in her post, Get The Chainsaw Honey, Let’s Carve A Pumpkin!

And there you have it.

To David, Kristen, Elizabeth, Annalise, Bob, Deb, Jenny, Kait, Pam, Gary, Marcia, Roni, Carrie, Steena, Piper, Gene, Jess, Jillian, Elena, Natalie, Shéa, and Diana…  *takes a breath*

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week.

I apologize for the late post, however germs and illness are spreading through my household like wildfire and I have been struck low. I explained in more detail in my post from New Kids on the Writer’s Block.

That said, I will endeavor to carry on. Here are, in my opinion, the best of the best from the past week:

On motivation…

Laura Drake at Writers On The Storm Blog tells us how we can overcome our fears of failure.

Fae Rowan, also at Writers On The Storm Blog, shows us the other side of the coin, and tells us how we can overcome our fears of achieving success – of which group I am a part. Excellent post, very motivating!

Marion Spicher shares tips on achieving self-discipline, something we can all use!

Jenny Hansen asks a question that, I think, we all struggle with: Do Writers Need Validation? Really motivating post, I’m better for having read it.

Steena Holmes reminds us that we need to create boundaries and learn to stand up for ourselves, especially when it comes to protecting our writing time!

Diana Murdock talks about looking deep down inside ourselves and asking the tough question, do we really want this? Yet another thought-provoking post from Diana.

Marcia Richards offers five steps we can take in order to keep our dreams alive. Very important for those of us struggling to stay focused on our goals while juggling our crazy schedules and demanding families. And don’t miss her post on health and fitness where she shows us nine really easy ways to stay fit and not give up our routines. Impossible you say? Nope.

Elena Aitken shares an inspiring story of her nine-year old daughter’s self-confidence. A learning moment for all of us.

Cate Woods reminds us that as world creators and trend breakers, we writers need to think outside the box. Or just recycle it. Great post!

Piper Bayard, guest posting at Writers On The Storm Blog, explains the difference between what we writers think we know, what we need to know, and how we can learn what we need to know.

On craft…

David N. Walker gives us another well thought out post on craft, this time focusing on the Protagonist.

Kristen Lamb explains how editors can spot novel illnesses usually within the first 20 pages or so. Very enlightening!

James Killick shows us how we can flesh out really great characters by asking them, yes the characters, 10 questions.

On networking…

Kristen Lamb offers us a few informative and educating posts on networking and social media. She dons her stethoscope as Dr. Twuth in this first post to explain the changes recently made by Facebook, and why we should embrace them. The second is a post on Mavens and why they are not only helpful, but necessary. Finally, Kristen shows us why blogging really IS important, and NOT dead as some insist on insisting – as long as you’re doing it right. Hmmm…I hope I’m doing it right… Check out my post from my writer’s group blog for more great info on Kristen and all she has to offer.

Roni Loren, Fiction Groupie, offers us five ways to protect our brand. Very enlightening, I learned some things I need to change in the way I network. Great post!

Just for fun…

Natalie Hartford shares with us this nifty little device that is at once useful and chic.

The wait is over! Jillian Dodd shares with us the results of her labor of love. Her daughter’s room turned out absolutely fabulous!

You all know how I love me some stories. David N. Walker tells a very interesting tale of Ruth and Boaz. It has some intriguing messages we can all take from it.

Jess Witkins tells us about her dream team of super heroines. This was so much fun! I only wish She-Ra had been included…

How simple it would be if we could simply spray on our clothing? Carrie Spencer gives us the deets.

Wow…we have quite a few peeps here again, so rather than list them all out, I’ll just say…

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to those posts I enjoyed during the week. Without further ado:

On craft and the technical side of things…

Sonia Medeiros shares her lessons learned on the way to becoming a writer – valuable information.

Bob Mayer introduces us to Natalie C. Markey, a pro when it comes to the fine art of balancing writing and family.

Kristen Lamb reminds us not to treat the writer like a moron in her post, “Deadly Sin of Writing #7.”

Piper Bayard, the Pale Writer of the Apocalypse, shares her story of trials and tribulations on her way to becoming a writer…it’s an awesome reminder that we are all in this together.

What do you know about widgets? Take a quick and painless lesson from Woodie a.k.a. Carrie Spencer with Woodie Knows WordPress.

For fun…

Get ready for an awesome adventure in reading! 33 books…one series…all genres! Steena Holmes has all the deets.

Check out Carrie Spencer’s crafty side here – jewelry, t-shirts, and more!

Natalie Hartford delivers yet again in this hysterical post about the hottest new party trend…you gotta read this!

Come take a look in an ancient kitchen and learn the history of cooking from Gene Lempp.

On diversity…

Kait Nolan makes some great points about how certain traits in a character should not be written out, and about how important it is to give readers characters they can relate to.

Cate Woods talks about allowing kids to feel free to be themselves, and how they can relate to diverse characters in books…a thought-provoking post.

On life lessons…

YOU are the only one responsible for YOU! A must read from Marcia Richards.

A great point: Change doesn’t have to be painful. An excellent post from Diana Murdock.

To Sonia, Bob, Kristen, Piper, Carrie, Steena, Natalie, Gene, Kait, Cate (ok, how many of us are there?? LOL), Marcia, and Diana…

Slàinte…your health!

Your Health!

Welcome to Slàinte Sundays where I give a toast to and share those posts I enjoyed during the week.

Here are a few of fun ones…

First up, Marcia Richards post on uber sexy shoes. I just bought a pair of black, shiny heels for work and even though I wasn’t feeling so hot the day I first wore them, they cheered me up. It’s amazing what a pair of shoes can do.

Next is Natalie Hartford’s post on the latest in tailgating fashion. I have to say, I literally laughed out loud when I read this post. Very funny, you gotta check it out.

Then Bayard & Holmes, via Piper Bayard’s blog, bring us advice with everything from snoring to where to have your wedding. Very helpful, those two.

Here are a couple on craft…

Kristen Lamb teaches how to keep the story interesting in her post on Drifting in the Doldrums.

Bob Mayer shows us that hard work always pays off using his newest release, The Jefferson Allegiance, as an example.

Here are some thoughtful and heartwarming posts from some of my favorites…

In, “Can you design a room with LOVE?” Jillian Dodd explains the monumental task her daughter has set before her…good luck with that, Jillian!

“Who do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question asked by Barbara McDowell in her post on imagining what life would’ve been like had we made different choices or taken different paths. Very thought-provoking.

Elena Aitken reveals a little about herself…and her oh-so-perfect marriage in her post, “I was a child bride.” Everyone loves a good romance, Elena ;)

Diana strikes again in introducing us to her friend, Kathleen Mulroy. Kathleen guest posts talking about her struggles with her adopted-daughter, Katie. Once again, I was in tears from reading a post on Diana Murdock’s blog. Thanks for that, Diana.

Now we’ll wrap up with, in my nerdy opinion, the really cool ones…

Gene Lempp delivers yet again in his post, “Shadow and Terror” about the ill-fated voyage of Sir John Franklin and his crew aboard the doomed ships Erebus (Greek god of shadow) and Terror. Spooky and thrilling…I dig it!

To Marcia, Natalie, Bayard & Holmes, Kristen, Bob, Jillian, Barbara, Elena, Diana, and Gene…

Slàinte…your health!