Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Places--Cautionary and a Contest

Two great sites to check for scams, bad contests (only looking for the fee money) and really bad agents (remember anyone can say, "I'm an agent")  are Preditors and Editors and Absolute Write. Both contain a wealth of info about legitimate agents, contests and markets as well.

And here's a blog contest with oodles of great prizes that's easy to enter (but hurry, ends Monday): Author Michelle McLean. In general, Michelle's blogs are chockablock full of info too!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Places--A Couple

First off, here's one that's new to me, This is for the genres of sf, fantasy and horror and is not always updated, but I spotted a couple of markets I'd never heard of before.

Last week I mentioned a contest on Guide to Literary Agents, a blog on Writers and I realized that Writers also provides a wealth of information, articles, markets, contests, all for free! (Although, an aside, Writers Digest's own contests have fees. I consider WD contests about the only "fee" contests that a newbie might consider entering, because of their reputation.)

That's it for this Sunday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If Winter Comes... all know the rest of the quote and here's a little I'm looking forward to:
Unlike during the summer, these are store bought.

January is always the toughest month for me. The holidays are over. Where I live, in the Northern part of the U.S., the sun vanishes far too often. This January and part of February has been particularly difficult. Three close family members had big health issues, two with broken bones and one taking radiation treatments. (Each is doing okay and going to be all right, in time.)

What I've noticed is that I'm even more distracted than usual. And less effective than usual. Gone is much of my focus. So, I sat down for a very few moments and tried to remember what worked in my life to recreate creative focus, even in a snowstorm of "this has to be addressed NOW" emergency distractions.

One, lists work for me. Even if I don't refer back to the list, keeping one keeps me on track.

Two, deadlines work for me. Deadlines for contests, etc. are better, but even self-imposed deadlines keep me going.

Three, forgiving myself works for me. Life intervenes and guilt about what's not accomplished is an energy suck.

Dear readers, do you have suggestions for what works for you when the distraction monster gobbles focus?

Next post, a bit of lying.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Places on Valentines Day

First up, Aubrie mentioned in my comments another great, updated often, site,, which is primarily for genre: horror, sf and fantasy. Aubrie has several good blogs (how do you do it, Aubrie?) but two favorites for me to visit are Book Reviews by Aubrie and Author, Flutist, Teacher, Aubrie Dionne.

Next, for markets and contests and great writing advice (and I'm not just saying that because I've had an article published there) go to

Last, if you're looking for an agent, check out (often) Guide to Literary Agents Editor's blog. Even if you're not, this blog contains a wealth of info and some great contests with agents as judges (why not get a free critique from an agent?) and fabulous prizes.

That's it for this Sunday, hope you're all submitting and succeeding!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...

A rose for all my friends.
For some of you, my faithful fellow bloggers, this post will come a bit early. For some it will be "on the day." Whichever, here's a yummy, full of brain helping anti-oxidants, recipe to wish you all a

Chocolate Walnut Shortbread:
1/2 c. walnuts
1 c. white flour
1 stick unsalted butter, or baking margarine, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 c. chocolate bits (mini baking choc. bits work best, but any chocolate is great)
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 teas. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Pulse walnuts in grinder until finely ground. Transfer to bowl, add flour & stir thoroughly. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, add flour mix and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate bits. Butter 8 inch round cake pan, place dough in pan, cover with plastic wrap and press until dough is spread evenly in pan. Cut with sharp knife into eight wedges, prick all over with fork. Bake until golden and firm in center, 30-35 minutes. Recut into wedges and prick again. 

Can eat when slightly cooled. EAT!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Places

This first post on various places to go to find contests and markets is focused on the short story. Jim Murdoch of The Truth About Lies pointed out, one of the best places to go is Duotrope's Digest. This site is user friendly and updated often. A blog that is fantastic for short story markets is Sandra Seaman's My Little Corner, again she posts new places often, including flash and contests, plus interesting news and tips about the writing world.

Finally, yes, this market listing is a whole big dollar an issue, BUT Kathy Ptacek finds and lists so many different markets in a vast array of formats (e-publishers to anthologies) all organized for quick referral that she deserves a mention here. And because I've found several markets last year alone that I sent to and sold to. So check out the Gila Queen's Guide to Markets.(For my artist fellow bloggers, her listings include artwork.)

Most of all write, so you can submit! And because you are writers!

What do you think, dear readers, does this, my first "Sunday Places" help? Or not? Something else you'd like to see? Or add? Let me know.