Monthly Archives: February 2011

Links We Like

Inspired by the sassy dames over at AdHoc Mom, we’ve decided to give you a weekly roundup of links that caught our eye. Some will be related to writing, some will be entertaining and some will be slightly kooky. So without further ado…

Restless Lori:

So Am I an Author Yet?
The third post on writer C-C Lester’s blog was Freshly Pressed and in it she ponders when she can legitimately (in her mind) put “author” on her immigration forms at the airport. I suspect that time is now.

The Literal Hen House
Morgan is one of those rare mommy bloggers who is also a fantastic writer. And now she has chickens. In her backyard. In the city. I find this utterly fascinating.

Watch the 150 Greatest Movie Lines
I am a freak for the Academy Awards – everybody who knows me will not bother trying to call me after four o’clock eastern on Sunday night. Around this time of year, great little retrospectives like this one come out and remind me all over again why I love the movies.

Restless Bjas:Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Beth Revis (Across the Universe)
Beth writes science fiction and fantasy novels for teens. Her debut novel, Across the Universe is pretty awesome, and so is she. I have spent a lot of time on her site lately as she has some kick-butt resources and advice for writers–even links to her query (that rocked!). The best Q & A from the site:

Q: I wrote a book! I’ve queried it! But no one cares, and I don’t have an agent yet. What should I do next?

A: Write another book. I’ve never heard a fellow writer say, “I wish I hadn’t written a second book,” but I’ve heard more than one say, “I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time on the first one.”                       ~Beth

Quick Brown Fox
If you’re in Ontario, this is a great blog with creative writing course and workshops for writers. I check it frequently as Brian does a terrific job of posting Literary Agents (and new agents on the scene) who are looking for “stuff.”

The Orangutan and Hound
Well, because if you like animals you will love this video. Humans are not the only beings with interspecies friends.

Restless Maria:

Think you could animate a historical or literary figure, write a play based on that person’s actual or imagined life, and tweet it as live social media theatre? That’s what the good folks at @reorbitproject are up to. (My dear friend Nicola Danby is tweeting as the Who’s notorious drummer, Keith Moon.) This is the flashiest of flash fiction!

This is the most beautiful way to art-ify your writing. I’m thinking of applying it to my story about Eleanor the Assistant Copyeditor to see what happens. Try it out!


Filed under Friday Links

The Writers Are Getting Restless

Most writers – aspiring and seasoned – know that conferences are an essential resource. Last October, Maria and Beckie headed to British Colombia for the highly regarded Surrey International Writers’ Conference (I was already booked at a highly intoxicated Serbian wedding).

It was, by all accounts, a great success and we plan on attending a different conference this year. At our meeting last week, we discussed what we hope to get out of a writing conference and also debated locations. Here are some highlights, which I suspect are common for other writers, too.

Writing is a solitary endeavour and even with a critique group, writers need a kick in the ass infusion of inspiration. Being around like-minded people provides the necessary perspective and encouragement we sometimes lack. The Restless Writers came back from B.C. fired up.

Not only is a conference a fantastic place to meet agents and editors, it also provides an opportunity to interact with your peers, some of whom may become future critique partners, colleagues or friends. I’d been stalking interacting with @ironic_mom for a couple of months on Twitter before she attended Surrey with her fellow Word Bitches. They connected with the Restless Writers at the conference and an informal affiliation was made (like sister cities, or Bennifer).

The idea of not waking up with miniature fingers exploring my ears and nostrils – for even one morning – is worth the price of a conference for me. This also applies to solitary peeing, but that’s for another post on another blog…

Las Vegas. New York. Hawaii. Boston. La Jolla. These are just a few of the destinations from which we have to choose. Many conferences are held in the late winter/early spring, when a Canadian writer is in dire need of some vitamin D. Although most of our time would be spent in a hotel conference room, I suspect we’d find a way to extend our trip by a day or three.

What about you? Are you planning to attend any upcoming conferences? Which ones tickle your fancy? We’ll keep you posted on our progress and if we end up at the same place, let us know!



Filed under Group meetings, Inspiration, Motivation, Writing resources

Practice makes perfect

Girl at pianoGetting back to thinking about writing as a happy chore

When I was a little girl, like other little girls, I had to take piano lessons. This was not a happy time for me. My piano teacher, Mrs. Kimpton, reduced me to tears on many occasions. It wasn’t her fault though; I take all responsibility for each week’s emotional drama. The problem was that I didn’t practice.

I was supposed to practice 30 minutes every day, starting with scales, working my way through the Royal Conservatory lessons, and experimenting with Hooked on Classics.

But here’s what usually happened: I would get home from school and either watch TV, read a book, or chase muskrats at the creek behind our house. (Yes, it’s hard to believe I was a tomboy once, considering what a delicate flower I am today.) To me, practicing piano was a chore; it was something I had to do. And there were so many other more enjoyable things to do instead.

As a consequence, I never ended up loving to play the piano. Although I enjoyed the end product, I was happier to be done, than to be doing.

Fast-forward to today, and I’ve fallen into some of those same bad habits.

The Restless Writers have monthly (-ish) sessions. The day after last month’s session, I promised myself that I would write 500 words a day, just like those classy and committed Wordbitches out west.

One day into a week filled with work, freelance commitments, household responsibilities and an attempt to fit in some exercise, I was telling myself, “Okay, you can skip today, but you absolutely must write 1,000 words tomorrow.” The next day was worse. I’m sure you can see the inevitable word-count snowball coming a mile away.

Our meeting’s on Friday—and if I don’t write a novella by Thursday evening, I’ve got nothing for my girls. Sigh…

So my lesson for today is to get back on track. Get back to writing a little every day. And get back to loving writing a little every day. Don’t let writing become a dreary chore—write for the beauty of language, the pleasure of creation, the excitement of story-telling.

Every session with the Restless Writers is an opportunity to get motivated. Here’s to backing up that motivation with action, and thinking about writing as a happy chore.

Have you ever considered writing a chore? And does that thought motivate or de-motivate you?



Filed under Motivation, Trials and Tribulations

Be yourself

On the eve of a very busy week ahead, I offer this:

“BE YOURSELF; Everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde

To all you Restless Writers out there, here’s to a great week and to awesome wordcounts!



Filed under Inspiration