Tag Archives: top 5

Tuesday’s Top 5

Have you ever written a post and then wondered why you haven’t had any comments on it, only to discover that you forgot to hit the ‘Publish’ button and it’s been sitting as a draft for almost a whole day?

Yeah, me neither.

On with this week’s Top 5.

Anthony Lee Collins is one of the most regular commenters on my blog, and an incredibly interesting person. He’s been writing in the same world, with many of the same characters, for the last 22 years, and he does so in an incredibly interesting (and unusual) fashion: he posts each chapter online as he writes it. This means that he is writing novels in a serialised format. I’ve long been interested in his process and his reasons for writing this way, and this week my curiosity has been assuaged. The always-amazing Laura Stanfill hosted Anthony Lee Collins for a guest post titled Writing and Publishing Fiction One Piece at a Time.

I’ve recently come across an interesting new blog called Already Not Published. The author (I’m afraid I haven’t come across her name as yet) has a great post about unintended meanings in fiction. As she says: “The meaning that was intended, the messages the writer wanted to impart are secondary. Once you put it out there, there’s no telling what people will read into your words, what messages you have unintentionally portrayed.” Check out the whole post: Ride the Lightning.

Have you ever stopped to think about what your core values are? Ever tried to write them down? Kim “The G is Silent” Pugliano wrote about Core Values this week when she tried to help a friend and found herself thinking, “I don’t even know what my core values are; how am I supposed to identify hers?  What the hell ARE core values, anyway?” As always, Kim’s post is funny, touching, and a all-around great read.

If you know anything about Bridget of Twinisms, you know that her life is one long, wine-fuelled adventure after another. So when she went for a nice, quiet dinner at her friend Christin’s house, it should come as no surprise to find that things weren’t quite as peaceful as she would have hoped. Midway through the meal, the smoke alarm informed them that carbon monoxide levels in the room were at dangerous levels. Read all about Bridget’s Deadly Dinner to find out what happened next.

Janelle, the resident Renegade Mother, has a sense of humour that I can’t help but love. When she recently read the Occupy Wall Street Official Statement, the first thing that occurred to her about it was that many of the statements could so easily be applied to the way children behave in the home. So she brings us the official Occupy Single Family Homes with Children statement, which includes such gems as:

  • They have sold our privacy by telling inappropriate facts about our family to their friends’ parents, mostly in the form of what mommy said to daddy last night, without concern for what that behavior may do to our future as respectable figures in the eyes of the community.
  • They determine economic policy without concern for our savings, selfishly eating obscene quantities of food every.freaking.day, outgrowing their clothes on a regular basis, and demanding character-building activities such as sports, music, and social events, which they enjoy for 3 weeks and then refuse to attend.
  • They keep tight control of the media by demanding the same freaking book every single freaking night and requiring us to watch shows that don’t say “fuck.”
Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

Are you looking for a way to get the inspiration flowing and kickstart your writing? This week, Vivacia from A Wannabe Writer’s Blog brings you 20 Tips on Mugging Your Muse. She’s got a heap of different ideas, from Succeeding with Sneakiness to using Passion to Make Perfect, so there’s bound to be at least a few that appeal to you.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing I have a tendency to act out the scene as I go. I speak dialogue out loud, my own facial expression changes to match the way my characters are feeling, and, on occasion, I even stand up and act out the physical movements of my characters. (What would it look/feel like to do [insert action here]?) Billie Jo Woods talks about these things in her post this week, and wonders whether her writing packs a greater emotional punch when it makes her laugh or cry or cringe as she’s writing it. Go have a read: Please Pass the Tissues, Emotional Writing Happening Here.

If you’ve ever read any of Bridget’s posts on Twinisms, you’ll already know at least two things about her life: (1) Boxed wine is awesomesauce, and (2) Alaska sucks. (There’s also something about having two sets of twins or something… So hard to keep track of the little things.) So I was both amused and disappointed this week to discover that she’s been lying to us all along. And now she’s spilled the beans (with pictures and video footage to prove it.) Here’s Bridget with her confession: Alaska — Not Sucking.

This was a big week for Tracy from Sellabit Mum: She wrote and published her 1000th post. Yes, you read that right: One thousand posts. All I can really say is: “Holy dooley! That’s amazing!” (I apparently lost the ability to exclaim anything normal or interesting once my children were born.) Tracy looks back on the last four years, considers where she is now, and considers the question: I wonder if I’m really ‘just’ a blogger and not a writer.

On a more touching and sadder note, the lovely Worrywart wrote an amazing story about Ashlee. She may not have known Ashlee, but this post is full of passion and love. I leave you with this excerpt:

Several tables were set up. A small group of serious women served food from large foil containers. It smelled delicious. There were flowers lining the perimeter.

A wedding? 

Rounding the corner, ASHLEE was written in flowers. Her yearbook photo rested against a nearby shrub.

She was 17. She took her own life.

9 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

This week:

Kay Hudson is Reading about the Craft of Writing.

Laura Stanfill talks about Time Management for Writers.

Howlin’ Mad Heather is asking people to vote on her 33 Films, 33 Years Poll.

Mommy Rotten has Play Group Anxiety.

And Renegade Mama Janelle is pretty sure that You are Not Your 401K.

Sorry for the short and sweet links this week. Unfortunately, I’m a little time-poor at the moment so will simply hope that you trust my judgement when I say that these are all fabulous links and you should click through and read more.

9 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

Jess Haines is one of my favourite authors. She writes of the H&W Investigations series, the first one of which I reviewed here. I’ve been following her blog for some time now, and always find her to be funny, a little snarky, and very open about her writing and her views. This week she posted about The Taste of Success — it’s a very personal and honest look at the realities of money, writing, publishing, and making it all happen. In her own words: “Well, you know what, self-doubt? Fuck you.”

Dan Thompson talked about an interesting sci-fi phenomena this week: the danger of missing the call. When you’re projecting your story into the future, it will quickly become dated if you miss an important element of future technology. As he says: “A story written in the 1930’s with flying cars can still feel like the future, but one that leaves out computers is fatally dated.” This article, titled What Are We Missing? is a must-read for any sci-fi writers out there.

Abigail of Oh My Words! revealed this week that she is in awe of a friend of hers who knows all the words to R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It. And fair enough, too. I’m pretty impressed that I know about 70% of them — and that’s more than enough to impress my lyric-challenged husband. In the spirit of this song, Abigail looks at a few other songs with lyrics that are just as tricky to Sing Along With All the Right (Oh My) Words when you know them as when you don’t.

It’s the same old story: Boy likes Girl, Boy pulls Girl’s hair, Girl goes home crying and is told, “It’s okay, it’s just because he likes you.” But have you ever stopped to consider why we think that’s okay? What makes it okay for a schoolboy to be hit, kick, taunt, or otherwise hurt a girl to show his affection? What would you think if he was an adult? And if society says it’s okay when he’s six years old, how can we turn around and tell him it’s not okay when he’s sixteen? I’d never considered any of these questions until reading this great article from the Queen of the Couch: You Didn’t Thank Me For Punching You In The Face.

And on a less serious note, Renegade Mama brings some of her trademark snarkiness to Valentine’s Day with her post: Yo, Hallmark, I got some Valentine’s for ya. After all, who hasn’t at some point wanted to give their partner a Valentine’s card that reads, “If you leave your boots on the living room floor one more time I’ll fucking cut you.”

2 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

I’ve posted links to blog posts with advice on ways to get over the infamous Writer’s Block in the past. (As a note: “infamous” does not mean “more than famous”. Just in case you were wondering.) Now, I don’t believe in Writer’s Block, but if you do, then this post may help you. With such great advice as “Wallow in Self-Pity”, how could y0u go wrong? I highly suggest you check out the rest of Peri Kinder’s Top 5 Ways to Get Over Writer’s Block.

While that advice is obviously going to be useful to those people writing a first draft, what about those people currently working on revisions? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered as well. K. Marie Criddle’s drawg this week is a truly inspired piece of awesome. Check out what happens when she tries to edit her work while in a non-neutral mindset: Revising for the weak minded and easily distracte–SHINY.

Have you ever sat down and thought to yourself: You know, grammar is seriously sexy. (…yeah, me neither…) Julie of byanyothername clearly has. She published a post this week titled Today call me Laid — but it’s not about S – E – X. No, this post is about the correct usage of the verbs “to lie” and “to lay”. Because as she says: “There’s nothing hotter than the proper conjugation of verbs.”      Warning: References to Moby Dick, Jersey Shore and Ryan Gosling. 

Shawn Ledington Fink starts out her post on Ways to Just Be With your Children by saying:

It’s not easy being a parent. No matter if you work outside the home, inside the home. No matter if you have one, two, three or fifteen children. No matter if you have a small house in a big city or a big house in a small city. No matter if you have money or very little money. Raising children is hard work — at least it is if you are doing it right.

This post touches on a number of concerns that have been playing around in my head recently, and suggests 25 “unplugged” ways to spend time with your kids. While I wouldn’t necessarily use all 25 of her ideas, this post really got me thinking. If you’re a parent and you’re struggling to come up with interesting ways to connect with your kids (sans TV, computers and consoles), check it out.

Finally, I’d like to share a post on parenting that really touched me this week. Tracy of Sellabit Mum is a Stay at Home Mum of three girls who believes that we should get on with raising our children according to the needs of our own families, rather than participating in so-called “Mommy Wars”. But she wasn’t always a Stay at Home Mum. Like many of us, she was once a career-focused woman who didn’t think having a baby would change her ambitions. But then it did. Check out her beautiful story Why I Stay at Home… (And if you’re a softie like me, have a box of tissues handy.)

8 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

Stephen Watkins has a great post this week where he addresses the various types of ambitions a writer may possess. In many cases, when asked why they write, writers tend to wax poetic about the way they “have to write or they’ll die” and other such over-dramatic statements. While I understand the sentiment, the reality is that we probably have more concrete ambitions with our writing than mere survival. Stephen looks at three types of Writer’s Ambitions, what they mean, and which are most important to him.

Regardless of where our ambitions lie, however, there our times when we have to choose between spending our time writing and spending our time with our families. Tess Hardwick captures that conflict, and the fact that it really isn’t, beautifully in her post It Is Only Now…

Stephanie of Momma Be Thy Name freely admits that she has often been accused of being “overly altruistic, naive, and trusting”. She blames this over-optimistic attitude on Growing Up Sesame and struggles with the questions all parents face:

So what do I teach my children? To be skeptical? To be paranoid? To be distant? To skip down Lollipop Lane oblivious to society’s shortcomings? To steal off to a cabin in the woods and never return?

We’d all like to protect children from the negativity of the world, but how do we do that when we live in a world where language that was once taboo is common place. Heather from Prawn and Quartered touches on this issue in her post Strong Women Are Not (Necessarily) B*tches.

My main objection to the increasingly coarse standards of culture is the desensitization process. If kids see this kind of thing plastered across magazines and TV shows their parents watch, they will think it is acceptable too.

And finally this week, I bring you a great story of fear and redemption. If you have ever visited Bridget at Twinisms, you’d know that she has an aversion to crafts that borders on the phobic. Her take on craft is best summed up by her comment when discussing New Year’s Resolutions: “Take up crafting — Yuck. Don’t be gross.” But despite her distaste, this week finds her not only participating in, but apparently even enjoying, a craft project. How did that happen? Well, let’s just say she was Craftnapped!

I’m not here. My morning and my blog have been hijacked by my so-called-friends. At our Thursday morning coffee they made me do…a craft. It was the worst morning of my life. I can’t talk about it. My “friend” Brooke now has a hot glue gun to my head and her crafty fingers on my MacBook typing out a play-by-play of the awful events.

17 Comments

Filed under Top 5

Monday’s Top 5

My first link this week isn’t a new post. It’s been around for a while. (Since last June, actually.) I first came across it about a month ago, and have seen links to it in various places since then. But that doesn’t mean that (a) everyone’s seen it, and (b) I shouldn’t share it.

Right?

So, to all the writers out there: Ever wanted to find a way to write faster, while simultaneously increasing the quality of your writing? Then Rachel Aaron has the best info around. She shares the method that helped her go from Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day. Note: This is not really about writing a set number of words per day. It’s more about how to use some self-knowledge and research to dramatically increase the quality and quantity of your writing.

#

Anthony Lee Collins posted a very interesting article on writing, re-reading, and the importance of having both something important to say and the capacity to say it well. Check out his post about Ellery Queen’s novel The Door Between, Writing in Balance.

#

Ever heard of the idea of having a Totem Animal? As Howlin’ Mad Heather explains,  “for those who believe in such things, the totem(s) can serve as a companion through life, a symbol for one’s personality, a reflective spirit for time of trouble.” If I was going to choose a totem animal for myself, it would possibly be a tiger. Or a raven. Or… actually, that may require some more thought. Nevertheless, Heather has a great post on Prawn and Quartered talking about her totem animals and her Life as a Honey Badger.

#

It’s not long ago that I discovered Jennifer of Kvetch Mom, and she made my Top 5 lists almost immediately. She continues to amazes me every week (sometimes every day) with her insightful and beautifully written prose. This week alone, she had three posts that could have made it into my list of favourites. But in choosing one, I couldn’t go past this sweet, tear-inducing story about her son. Here’s a brief excerpt from Everything Possible:

I asked if he still played with any of the boys he used to mention on occasion. He said, Not really. I’m different from them. Twisting my thumb gently, he buried his head against my shoulder. That’s okay, I said. I pretend like I’m friends with the boys so they won’t notice, he said softy. And then, Sometimes I like girly things. His breath warmed my chest as he waited for my response.

#

Finally, I’d like to welcome Bridget of Twinisms to my Top 5 list. (Seriously — if you’re not following her blog yet, you’ve got absolutely no excuse.) As you may be aware, her husband deployed to Afghanistan a couple of months ago. She’s now counting down the days until he returns, with only her two sets of twins, her battle buddies, and a house full of boxed wine for company. When her Army-wife friend asked for her advice for a spouse dealing with their partner’s first deployment, Bridget whipped up a little something titled Deployment Advice.  This is not just great reading for Army wives — it should be essential reading for everyone. She’s got advice on Communication, Helping your Kids, Keeping your Sanity, and more.

Remember Murphy’s Law of Deployment. As soon as your soldier leaves, everything will break. The car, the dryer, the toilet. It happens to all of us. It’s not just you. The Gods aren’t  plotting against you, I promise.

#

And I realise that’s my 5 already done, but I’d also like to leave you with this great clip. It’s so inspiring I could watch it over and over and over again.

12 Comments

Filed under Top 5