Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Monthly Roundup...(February)

I can’t believe that another month is about to end. This year is just speeding by. Which is more than I can say about my writing. The faster the year goes, the slower my writing seems to become.

The number of query letters that I have sent out this month is dismal. My excuse - life got in the way. Plus, it is a short month - those extra two or three days could have made all the difference to my stats. (yeh, right - who am I trying to kid…)

But, what I did send out got results. So here’s the numbers (try not to laugh !!!)

3 queries sent out with two positive responses

1. Book Review query that was accepted and will be published in Inkthinker’s Notes in the Margin.

2. Query sent for online travel project that I found on forum. Got an e-mail back today saying they’d like me to work on part of the project.

3. Query sent for a paid blogging postion I found advertised on, a site that lists blogger jobs. So far, no response. But I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.


So what, you might ask, did I do this month? Well, I wish I knew. The month just seemed to fly by. I did

- paint the bathroom (finally)

- spend 5 days trying to work out ‘Where’s Wendy?’ But it was worth it - I was a runner-up (okay, there were only 5 of us and I think I was 5th) and as a result have the opportunity to have lunch with Wendy (if I ever get to New York). If you ask me, having lunch with a columnist for Conde Nast Traveler magazine is worth a trip to New York!!!

- wrote 6 posts for Vagablond blog (this is unpaid so am not including it in my stats)

- worked at the hospital…lots of bad bugs there at the moment so spent a lot of my non-work time outside in the fresh air!!!

- lost valuable writing time (?) watching TV, eating, socializing, and sleeping…


But all is not lost. I do have 10 query letters sitting in the computer in various stages of completion…

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Tuesday Question???

The other day I posted about garden offices and it got me wondering about where freelancers write. I’ve always had to have a specific place to write - even with a laptop, I still have to go into the study to write. I tried the coffee shop and the library but it just didn’t seem right. I guess I’m just a creature of habit….are you ?

The Tuesday Question: Where do you write ?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

It's a sunny day in New Zealand...

Too nice to be inside...

A Sign From Above

And creativity has been misplaced...

At a Loss for Words

So I might as well go to the beach...

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Office Space...

Is your home office a corner of your living room or bedroom ? Or are you looking to find room for a home office ?

Then maybe a garden office is for you…

i-scape manufactures and sells purpose-built garden offices. provides an easy-to-assemble free-standing office for your backyard.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Take a Nap...

One of the great things about working from home is that you can nap when and wherever you want.

Office workers don’t quite have that luxury. But with more and more research indicating that productivity and creativity can be increased by napping, some businesses are starting to come to the party and providing ‘napping pods’.

Me, I think I’ll stick to the couch…

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Friday, February 23, 2007

12-Step Program for Email Addicts...

Is email taking over your life ? If you answer yes to one or more of the following, then maybe it is:

Do you feel a compulsive need to check your email whenever you're near a computer ?

Do you plan your vacation around locations that can provide internet connections ?

Do you sit and wait for email to arrive and if none arrives, send one to yourself ?

For those who answered yes, don't despair. Help is at hand.

Marsha Egan, an executive coach from Pennsylvania, has designed a ‘12-step program for email addicts’.

Step 1, of course, is recognizing that you have a problem. Other steps include establishing a time table for checking emails and keeping the inbox empty.

Egan is also planning on holding ‘e-mailers anonymous’ monthly teleconferences....

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The 2007 Travvies - Don’t forget to vote…

Upgrade: Travel Better has just posted the list of finalist for the first annual Travvies Awards.

There are some brilliant travel blogs listed in the six award categories:

Best Travel Blog
Best Destination Blog
Best Informative/Practical Travel Blog
Best Group Written Travel Blog
Best Single Written Travel Blog
Best Photography on a Travel Blog

Voting is now on and continues until 6pm (CST) February 28, 2007. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and vote…

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

5 Reasons Why I Blog...

Well, it seems that I’ve been tagged by both Susan (The Urban Muse) and Yvonne (Grow Your Own Business) to post on why I blog. I’ve already read a number of other posts on this and I’d say that we are all in it for the same reasons - motivation, learning, conversation, entertainment, and self improvement.

Blogging allows me to:

1. Remain motivated. Before I started this blog, my motivation and determination to write fluctuated as much as the weather. With blogging, I have been able to maintain my motivation to become a writer.

2. Continue learning. Five months ago I didn’t even know what a blog was. Since then I have learned so much about blogging, HTML language, and internet technology.

3. To have conversations. This is a great way to get together with other people from around the world to discuss topics that interest you. I’ve learned that there are so many aspiring and established writers out in the blogosphere who want to meet with others and talk about writing, etc.

4. To be entertained. It’s not all work. There’s a lot of entertaining and fun stuff out there to keep everyone amused. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine.

5. To improve. Posting everyday forces me to write whether I want to or not. Learning to write concise, topic centered, short posts provides practice for the FOB pieces that most magazines run.

So there you go. I’m hooked. Hope it’s not an addiction…'Hello, my name is Liz and I'm a blogger'.

I’m tagging Kristen over at Inkthinker, Karen at A Writer’s Blog, and Linda and Diane over at The Renegade Writer

And anyone else who wants to be tagged - it’s on me…

Meanwhile, I’m off to paint the bathroom…

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tuesday Question???

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find I can more on sunny days that rainy days, more on warm days than cold days, and more on blue sky days than cloudy, overcast days. So I guess I’d be a pretty useless writer over in some parts of the States at the moment. What about you…

The Tuesday Question: Does the weather affect your writing ?

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Interview with Glenda Watson-Hyatt, author of I'll Do It Myself

If you’re looking for inspiration, you don’t need to look any further than Glenda Watson-Hyatt, author of I’ll Do It Myself, an autobiography of living with cerebral palsy.

Today, I’m hosting an interview with Glenda as part of her ‘40 blogs in 40 days’ virtual book tour…

1. I'll be honest here. I haven't yet read your book, I'll Do It Myself. So can you talk a bit about the book and about living with Cerebral Palsy.

In my autobiography I'll Do It Myself, I intimately share my life to show others cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence. Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain and can vary so much in terms of abilities and functions affected, from very mild to extremely severe. Essentially, cerebral palsy is a crap shoot. For me, the lack of oxygen at birth resulted in a lack of muscle control and coordination. My physical movements are jerky and involuntary; one body part or another is in constant motion. My left hand has some function, while my right hand is generally in a tightly clenched fist. I can’t walk without support, and my speech is difficult to understand. Finally, my head control is tenuous, and swallowing takes a conscious effort.

However, this has not stopped me from living a full life. I was integrated into a regular classroom long before mainstream was a buzzword. I went on to earn the Canada Cord, the highest award in Girl Guides. I attended my neighbourhood high school and then went on to university, graduating after seven long years with my Bachelor of Arts and a 3.64 grade point average. I am now married and run my own business.

In I'll Do It Myself, I share how I accomplished all of this, the bumps and bruises along the way, and the lessons learned.

2. Tell us about your writing. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. I have always enjoyed writing. Because of my speech impairment, the written word would is my connection with the outside world and it is my way to contribute to society.

When I write, I keep the readers in mind by writing in a way they can relate to and understand; so they don't need a dictionary at hand. I try to present my readers with a different perspective so that they have an ''Aha, I never thought of it quite like that before" moment.

3. Any tips on getting published?

First, and most importantly, keep writing! And blogging is an excellent way to do that because it gives you a platform for writing and it is amazing who may read your blog. My blogging buddy Andy Wibbels has a motivating story for writers: a publisher stumbled across his blog about blogging for small business, liked what she read and offered him a book deal! Just like that – a writer’s fantasy! Since releasing Blogwild!, he has received mega media attention.

As a freelance writer, find smaller magazines, journals and newsletters (in-print and/or online) to write for, even if its for free, to build up your portfolio. Be sure to include your portfolio on your website or blog – for that publisher who stumbles on to your blog! My virtual portfolio is at

If you have book in mind that you are very passionate about and committed to, consider self-publishing. This route gives your complete control over your project and, even though initially financially risky, there seems to be potential to make more money, at least for the new, unknown writer who works hard. I am glad I self-published because I was able to tell my story, my way, rather than having to please a publisher whose main interest is book sales.

4. How did you come up with the idea of '40 blogs in 40 days' virtual book tour? And how is it going? How many countries have you gotten to?

Last October, I came across a post on the Church of the Customer blog in which Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba asked readers to help plan their upcoming book tour called “40 Talks in 40 Days”. The idea appealed to me, but all that traveling didn't! Then the idea hit me: I could visit forty blogs instead. A book tour without lugging around heavy book boxes and without the jetlag sounded good to me!

The viral marketing phenomenon is starting to kick in as bloggers are reading my interviews on other blogs and are either contacting me to host an appearance or are mentioning my book on their blogs. The momentum is building now and I sense amazing things are about to happen. Hopefully book sales will soon follow. Overall, participation in and support for my virtual book tour have been fantastic.

So far on this tour, I have visited blogs in my home country Canada, Australia, all over the United States, and now New Zealand! With four weeks still to go, who knows where all I will visit. My current schedule shows which dates are still available if any of your readers are interested in having me visit their blogs.

5. What next? Any new projects on the horizon? 

Since my book I’ll Do It Myself began as a dream when I was ten and has taken me thirty years to get to this point, I’m going to do all I can to promote it.  My next promotional strategy is to create a Flash movie using childhood photos to put up on YouTube.  

I’m also planning to develop an e-course “Accessibility in Action”.  Over the years, I have found that people have fears when interacting with those with disabilities because they simply don’t know what to do and they are too embarrassed to ask.  I want to address those fears by providing practical information and a safe place to ask questions

Meanwhile, I will wait for the seed of my next big dream to be planted. 

Liz, thanks so much for hosting today's appearance of my virtual book tour. I would to invite your readers to follow along for the rest of my virtual book tour. Thanks again!


Hope you feel inspired. I know I do. Thanks Glenda. Good luck and happy travels...

By the way, Glenda didn't mention here that she types all her manuscripts using her left thumb...I gave it a try and, believe me, it ain't easy....

The Book, I'll Do It Myself, can be purchased at Glenda's here.

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My do list...

With so many things to do, I thought I’d better make a ‘to do’ list:

- post on this blog every day

- paint the bathroom (have to get it done before more wet weather arrives)

- update and add a couple of posts to my other blog - Travel New Zealand

- work four shifts at the hospital

- write up two posts for Vagablond

- find out who won the ‘Where’s Wendy?’ contest at The Perrin Post (I answered 2 questions spot on but the other three were wild guesses - the Carribbean is not my beat)

- start writing a commissioned article for a print magazine (been stalling for some reason)

- send out at least 2 query letters (am way behind on my quota)

- exercise (am in training for the annual City to Surf, a 12 km fun run/walk)

- sleep ????

Okay, that all looks way to tiring.

I need a break.

I'm off to Borders...

But I’ll be back later today. I’ve got a truly inspiring interview lined up with author Glenda Watson Hyatt, author of I’ll Do It Myself…

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bestseller Interviews...

I discovered a new blog the other day called Bestseller Interviews. It’s a blog worth keeping an eye (or RSS feed) on...

I don’t know the blogger’s history, but his plan is to provide interviews with many top selling book authors.

Interviews coming up include:

- Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth Revisited and E-Myth Mastery
- Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
- Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Dealing with Darwin
- Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, authors of Citizen Marketers and Creating Customer Evangelists

If you’re a fan (like me) of Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers, then you’ll want to check out his interview. Michael talks about the benefits of authors and prospective authors creating a blog to help build their platform.

Remember, publishers love authors who have a platform

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Writer's voice...

Reading aloud is a great way to proofread your writing. But let’s face it - most of us don’t like doing it. Reading your work aloud often feels stupid and awkward. The answer - let the computer do it for you…

Turns out there is a lot of text-to-speech software (TTS) available. Apparently it’s easy to download and even easier to use. So if you don’t want to hear your own voice, give it a go.

A quick ‘google’ search came up with these…

Read Please
Next Up
Natural Readers

But I haven’t had time to try any of them. Has anyone else used text-to-speech software. What do you think? Any recommendations?

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Join the Carnival...

Looks like it might be carnival season…

Seafarer over at Family Travel posted about the Carnival of Family Travel and she’s helping to host the first Carnival of Cities over at Home Turf Media (I’m thinking I might submit a post on this one).

And over at Pick the Brain - Getting Smarter Every Day, I discovered the Carnival of Entepreneurs.

Think none of these carnivals suit your writing topic. Then head over to BlogCarnival and check out what’s coming up. There is a carnival out there for everyone.

So what are you waiting for…

Join the carnival and let the world see your work…

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lonely Planet Bluelist winners announced…

This year’s Bluelist winners have been announced. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. But that’s okay . I‘m already working on a new bluelist for the next competition…

Meanwhile, here’s a list of the winners and their bluelist:

Asia Pacific Winner: Lisa Burns - By the seat of your pants…literally

The Americas & Canada Winner: Doy Quint - Travel the Solar System (Without Leaving Earth)

Europe, Middle East & Africa Winner: Baxter Jackson - Skateboarding’s top seven cities

Additional Winner: Sylvia Dubery - Growing old gracefully

Check them out…

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Weekly 5 Top Blog Posts for Writers…

1. 5 Tips for bloggers for hire - for anyone wanting to be a hired hand

2. A Dozen Ways to Get Your Career Started As a Freelance Children’s Writer - for anyone who wants to write for children

3. How to Conquer Writer’s Book - The Ultimate Guide - great resource on articles dealing with writer’s block

4. The Two Essential Components of Phenomenal Success - two things you need for successs

5. 7 Ways to Tap into Enthusiasm - ways to find out whether you are into the story idea

Plus an interview with a travel writer…In Travel Writing, Even Vacation Is Work

I’ve finally started updating my links list (in no particular order). Check it out. There might be some names there you don’t recognize. This list is only the tip of the iceberg though. My RSS feed list is so very long….to much to read, too little time.

Think I’ll go for a walk down the beach instead…

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Five things I learned from ‘Query Letters that Rock’…

Well, I’ve read and re-read the Renegade Writer’s ‘Query Letters that Rock’. I’ve attacked it with a highlighter and written comments on the sides. And now it sits in the place of honor next to the computer.

Why ?

Because it has all the answers to helping me write better query letters.

If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, then here’s a few tips that worth considering…

Tip # 1: When choosing a subject line for your email query, keep it simple and to the point - ie ‘QUERY: Article Subject/Your Name’. This clearly shows what’s coming and who it’s from. And by adding your name, it makes it easier for the editor to find it again.

Tip # 2: Indicate a word count in your query - this indicates that you have a well thought out plan for your article.

Tip # 3: Indicate flexibility in your word count - indicates that you are willing to work with the editor.

Tip # 4: Write a query, even for a Front of the Book article.

Tip # 5: Don’t wait for a particular day of the week to send out your query. All day’s are equal. Send the query letter whenever it’s ready to go.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more tips and helpful information in this book. Check it out…

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Tuesday Question???

After my posts over the weekend about ‘independent bookstores’, I thought I’d keep to the same theme for the Tuesday question.

Tuesday Question: What’s your favorite hometown independent bookstore ? What’s the best independent bookstore you’ve found in your travels ? What makes them good ?

Give me enough bookstores and I’ll make a list everyone can share…

Let’s talk…

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Writing Book Reviews...

I’m in the process of writing a book review for Inkthinker’s ‘Notes in the Margin’ newsletter. It’s been years since I’ve written a review, so I decided to do a little research and make sure I get it right. An internet search provided me with a few articles to help:

How to Write a Book Review

Quick Tips for Writing Book Reviews

Guide to Writing Book Reviews


I also checked out some book reviews

Inside the Cover Book Review

Book Review: Writing White Papers

Book Review: On Writing Well

Now I’m ready to write…

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Demise of Bookstores highly exaggerated ?

It seems that reports of the demise of independent bookshops maybe highly exaggerated…

I just discovered two new articles We’re not in it for the money by Teresa Mendez (CS Monitor) and Indie Bookstores tackle internet at Wired News that report while many of the older independent bookshops, like Cody’s Books in California and WordsWorth Books in Massachusetts have closed, new independent bookshops are opening all the time.

Mendez reports that the American Booksellers Association registered 90 new stores in 2005 and 97 in 2006. Want to know where - check out this list.

But in order to survive, they will have to adapt to the times, as suggested in a interesting article at The Publishing Contrarian.

Here’s hoping their numbers will continue to grow…and that they will survive…

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Want to solve a mystery ?

Did you like the Da Vinci Code? Like to solve mysteries ? Know your geography and art? Then maybe you should join the game ‘Where in the World is Wendy? at The Perrin Post. She’s not lost - she knows where she is, it’s just the rest of us don’t.

What do you win ? Besides stretching your mind, accessing your knowledge and trying some lateral thinking - lunch with Wendy in New York or wherever you live. Think she’ll fly out to New Zealand for lunch if I win…

Check it out…

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Where are all the bookshops’ going…

Whenever I arrive at a new place, one of the first things I do is check out where the bookshops are. Sometimes a town only has a Borders or Barnes and Noble, which is fine, cause I’m a great fan of these stores, especially if they have a cafĂ© attached. But what I’ve really looking for is the quaint little independent bookshop that makes you feel like you’re at home.

But if a recent article, ‘Bookshops’ latest sad plot twist’, in the Los Angeles Times is anything to go on, chain bookshops might soon be all you can find. One by one, it seems, independent bookshops are closing their doors.

People are still buying books, but their choice of where to buy has increased tremendously with the growth of the chain bookstores and the internet. Those looking for the out-of -print books no longer rely on their local bookshop to trace and order - they do their own internet search and get the books within days. And most independent bookshops cannot compete with the discounted prices that and warehouse bookshops can offer.

But some people, thankfully, think that independent bookshops can survive. I guess time will tell…

Meanwhile, here’s a few travel articles that might inspire you to add a independent bookshop or two to your travels…

Independent Bookstores: Cozy, Friendly, Full of Surprises

Busy Paris bookstore remains an open book to guests

World finds way to bookshop near Benson

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Food Blogs are finding their voice….

As a result of this week’s Tuesday Question, I was introduced to a brilliant food blog, Tigers and Strawberries, and a great post about a New York Times article, Sharp Bites, that states the

“…proliferation of blogs treating every menu revision, construction permit, clash of egos and suspiciously easy-to-get reservation as high drama is changing the rules of the restaurant world and forcing everyone from owners to chefs to publicists to get used to the added scrutiny…”

As Barbara Fisher at Tigers and Strawberries writes in her post

“…While we food bloggers may not get a lot of money for our writing, and while we may not be gaining a lot more than niche notoriety, there is an audience out there for what we write, and that audience is growing. While traditional media outlets and writers get a bit puzzled by this, it is plain to me that folks like the “democratizing” influence of the Web, and like to hear the words of knowledgeable “just plain folk” on all sorts of subjects, not the least of which is food.”

What was once the domain of restaurateurs, PR companies, and well-known food critics such as Ruth Reichl is now in the hands of the people - true democracy in action. The diners, it appears, are now in control…

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

The 2007 Travvies… (aka The Travel Blog Awards)

I’m hooked on Wendy Perrin’s travel blog The Perrin Post. Wendy is CondĂ© Nast Traveler's consumer news editor, so you know that she is the know and she’s willing to share. Her latest post highlights 'The 2007 Travvies' that are being run by UpGrade: Travel Better

Anyone can nominate their favorite travel blogs (nominations close 12 February). There are six categories:

- Best Travel Blog
- Best Destination Blog
- Best Informative/Practical Travel Blog
- Best Group-Written Travel Blog
- Best Single-Author Travel Blog
- Best Photography on a Travel Blog

Check out the nominations - there are some great travel blogs there that I have never heard of before but will definitely be visiting. As for my vote, so far have only tackled the ‘Best Group-Written Travel Blog’ - you’ll find my nominations in the comments. I’ll be revisiting UpGrade:Better Travel for the next 5 days as I contemplate my nominations for the other 5 categories.

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Weekly 5 Top Blog Posts for Writers…

There’s a diverse collection of articles this week, some on writing and some simply on life and living it. Enjoy…

1. Learn to be a Freelance Journalist

2. How to Make Money Freelance Writing For the Gaming Industry - for anyone interested in taking a gamble

3. Can a Straight Women Write for a Lesbian Magazine? - do you have to be part of the demographic to write for a magazine?

4. In over your head? Good for you… -sometimes it’s good just to jump on in

5. What we have most to fear is fear itself

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It's all about me....(today)

It’s been a good week so far.

I’ve had three short travel articles on New Zealand published over at

I started as a contributing writer over at

I’ve got a book review in the works for Inkthinker’s Notes in the Margin newsletter.

And I’m just about to register for the Australian Journalism Conference being held next month….

I’ve definitely earned my coffee at Borders…

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Book list is in...

According to a poll done by over at Writing White Papers, the top 10 books for writers are:

On Writing by Stephen King
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White
The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman
Bird on Bird by Anne Lamottt
If Your Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
On Writing Well by William K Zinsser
The Elements of Copywriting by Gary Blake and Robert W Bly
The Copywriters Handbook by Robert L. Bly
The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters that Rock by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell

So far, I’ve only read 2 out of 10. Think I’ll head over to Borders and see how many they have in stock. Wouldn’t mind reading Bird on Bird (read a review of it once and thought it sounded interesting). Also will look for Blake and Bly’s The Elements of Copywriting - I’m a bit clueless as to what copywriting is all about, so it might clear things up for me.

And while I’m at Borders I might as well read some magazines, drink some coffee, do some people watching, dream the day away…

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Tuesday Question ???

You know, I couldn’t think of a writing related question today. My mind just went blank. So if anyone else has a writing related question they want answered, email me at kiwi writer at xtra dot co dot nz and I’ll post it next week.

Meanwhile, let’s talk food. To be exact, food blogs. These are wonderful places to visit, with their mouth watering pictures and recipes. I’ve even considered creating my own food blog. But with my cooking skills, it would have to be called something like ‘Burnt Offerings’.

The Tuesday Question: What’s your favorite ‘food blog’ and why?

Let’s Talk…

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Let Google do the research for you…

Gathering information and facts takes time and effort. So why not let the internet do it for you?


By setting up ‘Google Alerts’.

It’s easy, it’s painless, and the information you get can be priceless.

For example, I am currently interested in sleep (probably because I’m not getting enough of it!!) So I set up an alert for ‘sleep’. I call this the incubation period. For a couple of days, I get daily emails on all things ‘sleep‘. After reviewing the alerts, I notice a trend toward a couple of sub-topics which help me narrow down my article idea. I create alerts on these two new sub topics and a couple of days later, I have enough information to write an informed and marketable query letter. All thanks to Google.

Google alerts can help you discover trends, find out what people are saying, discover experts, and find out what’s already been published. It’s a gold mine of information.

Try it and see….

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Contract Meme for the Writer...

A meme on writing your own contract has been making the rounds and somehow landed at my blog (thanks to Writer in the Making!!!) So I guess I’d better play…

I, the undersigned, promise to ignore the procrastination bug when it comes knocking, avoid checking my email every 30 minutes, and stop visiting the cookie jar every time I get stuck for words.

I vow to write more, surf the internet less, and send more query letters.
I will maintain my ‘work-life balance’ by exercising more, playing more, socializing more, and, somehow, getting enough sleep.
I will continue to learn and improve my writing skills through blogging, networking, and actively participating in the online writing community.
And most importantly, I will try to have fun as I develop as a freelance writer…

Here’s a few other writer contracts to read:
Carson at Content Done Better
Alicia at WritingSpark
Katharine at Swan’s Blog
Laura at Writing Thoughts
Kathy at Screw You
Meanwhile, I’m going to tag Karen over at A Writer’s Blog, Yvonne over at Grow Your Own Writing Business and Terah at Traveler’s Pen to create their own ‘writer contract’, and anyone esle who wants to join in...

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Got something to say? Write a letter...

Feel you’re being ignored, not listened too, treated badly? Then write a letter and get it posted on the front page of your local newspaper. That will get you the attention you want. Of course you would have to be someone famous for the newspaper to want to publish the letter. Someone like Veronica Lario, the wife of the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. And there would have to be scandal…

But as the article ‘In Italy, Loose Lips Don't Get Kissed’ in the Washington Post says, the letter got results. Silvio offered his wife a public apology.

So letters do work. Remember that the next time that you send a query letter...

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Friday, February 02, 2007

The Traveler Next Door...

Terah Shelton over at Traveler’s Pen posts a weekly interview called 'The Traveler Next Door’. This week it’s me. Check it out…

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You're Never Too Old to Blog...

When I’m not writing and/or travelling, I work as a Registered Nurse in a ATR (Assessment, Treatment, and Rehabilitation) ward. Mostly I work with people over the age of 65 who are recovering from strokes, falls, multiply medical problems, and cognitive impairment. Working in this environment, it is easy to forget that not all older people are infirmed and require medical and nursing assistance.

So it made my day to discovered Don to Earth. Written by 93 year old Donald Crowdis, this blog is just his general thoughts on pretty much anything and everything - life, age, sex, politics, packaged dinners.

It just goes to show, technology is not just for the young…

I wonder how many more 90 + year olds are out there blogging…

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bill Bryson is coming to town...

Bill Bryson, one of my favorite travel writers, is coming to New Zealand this month to promote his new book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. More importantly, he is coming to Christchurch and I’ve got tickets to go and hear him speak. He’s not here until February 22 , so I will have plenty of time to re-read one or two of his books before he arrives.

Wonder if I could figure out a way to interview him…

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NZ Freelance Conference 2007...

The NZ Freelance Conference 2007 website is up and running. The conference is being held in Auckland, New Zealand on 2-3 May 2007. Check out what they are offering. You can register at online. I just have…

Still waiting on more information about the Australian Freelance Conference that is being held in Sydney, Australia between 31 March and 1 April 2007. Have pretty much decided that I’m going to head over to Aussie for that one too…

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Weekly 5 Top Blog Posts for Writers…

1. Writer’s Block: Unblanking the Blank Screen - help for anyone looking for the words to start with.

2. To Boast your potential, try saying ‘Yes’ more often
- you have more chance of editors saying yes if you’re open to opportunities and say yes to possibilities.

3. My Vote on Article Directories - the how’s and why’s of using article directories for new writers

4. 23 Ideas for Finding New Readers for Your Blog - the post might be aimed at bloggers but there are a lot of good points for here for any writer looking to promote themselves to magazine editors.

5. Harvard Business Review on Top Ideas for 2007 - another list of trends and ideas that might trigger off potential article ideas to send out to editors.

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