lunch hour links for writers — 10/21/09

Before we do anything else, we must say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the lovely Ms. Ursula K. LeGuinn! Today is her 80th birthday, and all of us at helluo librorum extend good wishes for her health.

basement cat wrestles with moral gray areas Today, in honor of my ethics class, basement cat wrestles with those moral gray areas. Remember October is basement cat month here at helluo librorum, so every week I’ll be featuring another of my favorite basement lolcats. Fear him, because basement cat wants your soul. I, personally, have no use for it.

If you’re not trolling for souls this evening, you don’t want to miss Audrey Shaffer’s Open Chat Wednesdays at the Writer’s Chatroom. From 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. EST, you can take your questions and writing related issues to a group of vibrant writers who are encouraging and helpful about topics from plot issues to marketing your novel.


We’ll start this week with a some humor tweeted by @BookEndsJessica where author, Kit Whitfield, gives new writers an interesting Publisher-Dating Dictionary. Just in case you’re wondering how editors and agents are interpreting those phrases in your query letter, Kit likens the whole experience to dating with some amusing results.

Go to the Rose and Thorn Journal and visit their new web page! It is beautiful and very user-friendly. Congratulations to Kat and Angie for a superior job!

Skip over to the BackSpace blog where Lisa McMann gives An Introduction to Web Promotion that details the benefits of MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites in promoting your novel.

Author Hilary Wagner is working through the copy edits for her novel, and she gives you a crash course on Translating Editor Language at her blog.

My good friend, Kelly Bryson, also talks about the pit-falls of styles when she asks the burning question: Why a Style Sheet? Or, How to Pretend to be a Professional Writer.

Brian, The New Author, talks about pitching your novel and the need to be prepared in his post A Pitching Good Time! Brian worked hard and prepared for his opportunity to pitch his novel with excellent results, so stop by and pick up valuable tips on how to pitch!

Jennifer Neri gives some great information on the setting in your novel when she talks about Walking the Landscape and evoking not just a description of the setting, but also the mood and the people.

Jonathan Danz has a great post on Free Podcasts and Print Books Living Together, Mass Hysteria! where he talks about the merging of print with other other media.

Over at Editor Unleashed, the topic is Agents and the Trust Factor. How does a writer protect themselves from unscrupulous agents? Maria Schneider has a few tips for the uninitiated.

Speaking of protecting yourself, now would be a good time to talk about Preditors & Editors. I had a tip this week that Darkhart Press is no longer recommended by Preditors & Editors due to several complaints filed by various authors. Preditors & Editors does not revoke their recommended status for any publisher without documentation, so always check their site before sending your manuscript to a publisher or agent and check with them again before signing any contracts.

I suppose this would also be a good time to plug the advantages of having a literary agent, but if you insist on going it alone, stay apprised of the publishers’ status. There are a lot of wonderful small presses that are really picking out new talent and working well with their authors. Use every available tool to stay apprised of the situation and be careful.

One agent you don’t have to worry about is Nathan Bransford, and he’s posted the winner of his latest contest with The Winner Is…(And Thoughts on First Paragraphs). There were so many wonderful entries, I’m not sure how he managed to a) read them all and b) pick winners. It was great fun, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to compete.

However, I believe my poor first paragraph contained a trope. When I expressed my dismay to Jen K. Blom, she suggested the therapy of tweeting a paragraph with all the tropes. We were limited to 140 characters per tweet, so I’ve placed the tweets in order for your reading pleasure:

White@jaekaebee He pulls his hairbrush out and drags it through his curly chocolate-brown locks, staring …

@jaekaebee . . .pensively at his reflected, honey-golden eyes . . .

White@TeresaFrohock . . . through the blood spattering his mirror. He has awakened to find his latest lover’s head perched like a vulture on . . .

@TeresaFrohock. . . the softly shimmering wood of his dresser.

@jaekaebee . . . With a gasp, he woke up, the white satin covers flurrying blindly around his head like a snowstorm. "Buddy! He whispered,…

@jaekaebee . . . "Are you okay?" Looking around, he realized it had only been a dream. Oh, his heart! It hammered so!

@TeresaFrohock . . . Buddy sat up beside him, the flesh peeling from his cheek. During the dark and stormy night Buddy had turned into a zombie!

@TeresaFrohock . . . “BRAAAIIINNNNSSS,” said Buddy.

Please, please, no need for applause. Thank you, thank you.


Thanks to @thecreativepenn for tweeting that Red Blade Press is now open for dark speculative fiction short-story submissions. They are not accepting submissions for novels. According to their web site, there is a very narrow deadline for submissions:

Only submissions received between September 17th 2009 and November 30th 2009 will be considered. Any submissions received outside this timeframe will be deleted unread.

So if you have a short-story up to 7,500 words, check out the Red Blade Press.


Looking for more links? Check out Andy Shackcloth’s Sunday Wash-up where Andy posts the best links that he can find on the Internet and a reason for each.

More great links can be had at Pimp My Novel every Friday. For those who missed it, here is last week’s post entitled The Day of Internet Addiction.

That’s it for this week, and I certainly hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, but just in case roll through the sidebar and visit a few of the folks there. I’ve added a few new links you might find interesting, and I will continue to update and add links as I wander across the Internet in search of next week’s lunch hour links for writers . . .

Have a great week!


About T. Frohock

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