The internet has been a great help to me when it comes to improving my writing. There are so many great resources available. At a recent session with my writing buddy, she commented about how many tabs I had open across the top of my browser window, and why didn’t I just bookmark them?Those are all things I want to go back and check out, but I don’t know if they are bookmark worthy until I check them out! The links I’m sharing this week are ones that made it into the bookmarks:
I love watching TED talks. I think they are a fantastic way to share ideas, get inspiration, or just learn some really cool stuff. One of the things the folks over there have done is to group up the various lessons into neat little bundles of information. The Writer’s Workshop being one of these bundles. You can sit down and have a full day of information, or just take a little peek when you need a refresher.
DIY MFA is the brainchild of Gabriela Pereira. She put together this program with the aim to allow any writer to continuing on their path, with out the commitment to a fulltime MFA program. She focuses on writing, reading, and building community. (And when I say she, I mean the whole team over there..) Be sure to check it out – there are tons of resources available for you!
One of my favorite movies is Elf. I find Buddy to be so endearing in his flawed innocence. His character is demonstrated not only through his actions, but also in his language, something all writers need to consider when crafting their characters. This includes their insults. Buddy’s self criticism has been one of my best loved lines since seeing the movie. (Along with the recitation of the sugar based food groups.)
I have come across a couple of insult related items that are great for adding flavor to characters.
The first lists colloquial insults from around the globe, lots of fun stuff here.
The second is a profanity generator from the mind of Chuck Wendig over on his TerribleMinds blog. (Note: this one contains foul language. Much, much foul language. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
What about you? Any favorite insults?
If you are out there on the Twitterverse you may already be aware of these writing hashtags. Both are Friday related, so I figured they would be a good fit for this week’s favorites.
The first is Friday Phrases. The associated website describes it best:
“#FP is a Twitter microfiction party held on Fridays. It stands for #FridayPhrases, but in order to have the maximum number of characters (out of 140) at our disposal, we’ve shortened #FridayPhrases to #FP.
We tweet out our best 140-character (or less!) microfiction with the #FP hashtag. We also retweet and comment on the #FP tweets we appreciate or enjoy. #FP is all about having imaginative fun and making connections with other creative tweeps!”
Even if you are not a writer, this can be a fun follow for readers.
The second favorite for this week is WriteClub, which holds writing sprints on Friday nights on Twitter (and some offshoots on other nights too). Again – they explain best on their website:
“#WriteClub is a Twitter hashtag where writers from all over the world come every Friday night (and randomly throughout the week) to join in support and encouragement of each other. We do thirty-minute writing sprints, with 10-15 minute breaks between. Start and stop times are tweeted from the host account, @FriNightWrites. “
I find these sprints very inspiring if I am getting in a slump as the group is very encouraging. It is also great to watch the word count totals go up for the entire group as the evening progresses. While writing is a pretty solitary activity, this helps to bring a sense of community to the process.
Any other Twitter activity you’d recommend to keep an eye on?
Spring and summer bring some writing conferences to our corner or Pennsylvania. Here are a few that are on my list:
Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group
This conference is held every March in the Bethlehem area. It has been on my list to attend for the past couple of years, but I always end up missing the deadline due to the beginning of the year craziness. Maybe next year…
This conference is held out in Lancaster in May and is on my list for this year. Looks to be a good line up, and I am pretty excited about attending! (Particularly if I can get my writing buddy from the mid-state to join me – hint, hint – you know who you are)
The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference
I attended this one last year and loved it. I came away totally re-charged with my writing. The only thing I would have done differently was to stay overnight at the conference rather than driving in each day. The evening activities are not to be missed!
And lastly, there is this little nugget I read about from Amtrak. They are beginning to offer writer residencies on their trains. Sounds like a pretty nifty way to get a change of scenery for writing.
Any other conferences you love?
So a little backstory on this one. I write (I need to post more of my writing on this site, but that is another topic). Or, I tell stories. I often spend trips in the car telling stories to my daughter based on her requests. This has developed some favorites (like the one about the horses and the dragons), and has led to more requests. Typically in the vein of “Mommy, tell me a story that has X and Y.” (Fill in the X and Y variables with any random topic in the mind of a 5 year old – things can get pretty interesting and challenging)
So, one of these requests was for a story with Fairies and Zombies. After writing this story, I went looking for pictures of cute zombies online, which is when I found this one, and fell in love with Charles Santoso’s work.
The cute zombie boy I found by Charles Santoso
His aesthetic is very endearing, cute, fun, and fantastical all at once. This is another one of my favorites, from a series he did after the Japan tsunami.
Hope – Charles Santoso
You can check out more of his work at his website or his tumblr.
I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do!