Saturday, February 21, 2009

From the Front Porch

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Full-time writers used to lock themselves in lonely garrets, and it was just the writer and their typewriter. Now writers lock themselves in lonely garrets and it’s the writer, their computer, their yahoo group, their email friends, their blogs, their Facebook account and… well, you get the idea.

Today's writers aren’t nearly as lonely but they do have a lot more ways to procrastinate, thanks to the Internet.

Every morning before I write I check out my favorite sites. Mondays are a favorite for me. I always nip by Publishers Weekly to check out the week’s fiction reviews. (You click on Book Life and then Reviews.) No subscription necessary.

Then I head over to the BookEnds, LLC Literary Agency blog. There’s always a great article about some aspect of the pub business. It’s my favorite agent blog.

Onward to GalleyCat which keeps up with all the pertinent publishing news.

My favorite grog (besides this one) is Writer Unboxed which bills itself as being about the art and craft of genre fiction.

I also have two favorite author blogs: Ask Allison a blog by author, Allison Winn Scotch answers publishing questions and talks about her own writing process, and J.A. Konraths’s blog about author promotion and inspiration called A Newbie's Guide to Publishing .

After catching up, I’m ready to start my writing day. What are your favorite sites and blogs on writing? I’d love to know. (As if I needed more opportunities to procrastinate.)

Book Spotlight

No racy sex, drugs or rock and rock in the life of beloved short-story Flannery O’Conner, but the reviews say that Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor by Brad Gooch is worth a gander. (Did you know she loved peacocks?)

Lit Links

Lit agent Kristin Nelson demystifies the dreaded synopsis.

The secret to being a successful writer? Developing confidence.

A very funny blog entry from lit agent Rachelle Gardner about what NOT to say in a query letter for the Christian market.

Miss Snark's First Victim regularly hosts “Secret Agent” where a mystery agent critiques slush pile submissions.

Looking for a book publicist? Here’s a comprehensive list.

Poet and Writers has the BEST interviews with industry folk. (Supposedly they loosen their lips with wine.) This time they chat up four young editors.


I have a copy of The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir to give away. For a chance to win, comment on any blog entry this week. Let me know which blog, you commented on and email me at Last week’s winner was Pat Strefling.

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