August 27, 2019
This is just pure fun and a great way for you (or, for authors, your characters) to get the upper hand. Pun intended. Here is yet another gem from The Art of Manliness – how to win at arm wrestling. Check it out!
How to Win an Arm Wrestling Match
March 5, 2019
In the debate on whether or not the Oxford comma is necessary, I say it is. (And will cut you if you disagree. Ok, not really.)
So what is the fuss about? The Oxford comma is the comma used before the coordinating conjunction “and” or “or” in a list of three or more items. It is a stylistic serial comma.
In a 2017 class action lawsuit involving diary drivers, labor disputes, and the Oxford comma (see what I did there?), a Maine court recently ruled in favor of the comma. Read all about it at The Write Life blog. Yes, this happened a couple of years ago, but it illustrates the comma’s important.
February 5, 2019
Authors do a TON of research on any given topic. I, myself, will research even the smallest, insignificant detail just to make sure my writing is authentic. I’ve been known to haunt libraries and used bookstores for information. These days it is so much easier to utilize the internet. Scour, really. There are countless rabbit holes to fall down. But sometimes, you want a more refined search.
You may have heard of Google Scholar, a search engine that allows you to search literature.
Here are some other online databases that might be helpful.
- Google Books Ngrams Viewer – a graph showing how words/phrases have occurred in a corpus of books over the selected years.
- IMDb – Internet Movie Database – movies, television, and video game
- Encyclopedia Mythica – mythology, folklore, and religion
- Omniglot – encyclopedia focused on languages and writing systems
- AnC – American National Corpus –
- Worldcat – a network of library content
- Encyclopedia Astronautica – a reference web site on space travel
- Acronym Finder – searchable dictionary and database of abbreviations (acronyms, initialisms, and others) and their meanings.
- AllMusic – music albums, artists and songs; reviews and biographies
- Animal Diversity Web – database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology
- Web Gallery of Art – virtual art gallery website
Wikipedia offers a list of academic databases and search engines that are ” useful in an academic setting for finding and accessing articles in academic journals, institutional repositories, archives, or other collections of scientific and other articles.”
January 22, 2019
Found this neat little gem.
YearCompass is a global movement that mobilizes people to sort out their last year and plan their next one in order to have a greater awareness of their lives. New Year’s resolutions don’t work; planning your year does.
YearCompass is a booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals.
Best part…it’s FREE! It’s not too late to start planning and executing your ideas, projects, and ambitions.
Check it out. https://yearcompass.com/
January 15, 2019
I saw this website called The Written Word on social media recently and bookmarked it to look at later. Glad I did. It’s an onomatopeia dictionary. I had no idea I needed one, but clearly I do. What a fun, handy site.
Onomatopeia is a word formed by imitating the sound or action something makes. Think hiss, buzz, boom, argh, bay, arf, cackle, drone, splat, clink, etc. As writers, we strive to have readers experience our stories as if they are actually there. We do this with creative uses of words. The sounds some words make aid in visualizing what’s happening. Such as a cat caterwauling just before its lightsaber ignites with a pssshhew and engages in battle. Ffffkrrrrshhzzzwooooom..woom..woooom!
August 21, 2018
Here is a quick, easy blog from Grammarly on the difference between a simile and a metaphor. There is even a quiz to help test you on your knowledge.
August 14, 2018
I accidentally stumbled over this while looking up a particular rule on writing numbers. It’s a number-to-word calculator. If you aren’t entirely sure how to write a number out, this tool might come in handy.
April 10, 2018
Here is a one-stop info shop for today’s publishing scams. This Reedsy blog touches on vanity presses, scams, contests and more authors should avoid. They also give some helpful tips on how to sidestep these pitfalls. Check it out!
November 14, 2017
Here is another gem from the Art of Manliness. What to Do If You’re Being Followed. Not only is this great tactical information for everyone, it’s excellent research for writers. This blog post helps you identify if you are being tailed, the reasons for someone to follow you, how to lose someone on foot and by car, and how to make yourself less followable. You’re welcome.
May 16, 2017
One of my Ruby sisters, Shelley Coriell, has an awesome and simple characterization trick which really hones in on a character’s goal/motivation/conflict. The eight-line Persona Poem is a quick exercise meant to draw out your characters and make them dimensional, no rhyming necessary. I’d never heard of this technique and just had to share it on MuseTracks.
I think you’ll find this as handy as I do.
Check out the blog post on The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood.