Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Links: September 11, 2011 Edition

In addition to my usual Sunday link roundup this week, I'll be responding to some recent blog awards which have been presented to me.

Glitter Lady presented me with the Versatile Blogger award  which calls for listing 7 random facts about yourself and linking back to 15 (!) blogs.  I also received this award from Ms. Saba at Of Thoughts and Words.
Annalise Green presented me with a 2nd Liebster Award which calls for passing the award along to several other blogs.  And I just saw that Kate Lineberger also presented me a Liebster!
Finally, Daina Rustin at Mystic Treehouse tagged me to list 10 random facts and tag back five other bloggers.

Whew! OK, so to keep this something vaguely resembling simple, I'll list a total of 10 random facts and tag back a total of five bloggers.  Everyone I tag back can consider themselves recipients of both the Liebster and the Versatile Blogger award.

But first, this week's links!

"Managing Feedback That Hurts" (Mary Baader Kaley) - Some of my favorite writing-related blog posts are ones which touch on universal themes, the ones which people in all walks of life can relate to. This is one of those, as Mary talks about techniques for handling feedback/critiques that go beyond the constructive into out-and-out negative/snarky territory. Great advice for writers. Great advice for people.

"Save the (Cat) Pantser" (Roni Loren guest blogging on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy) - I've been thinking a lot about where I fit into the whole plotter/pantser continuum this week as I go further down the road of starting on a novel. I suspect I'm more plotter than pantser, but I do also believe it's possible to plot the life out of a story. I liked reading this post, particularly since it fit so well with my own musings. 

"YA Writers: Read It Or Don't Bother Writing it" (Julie Cross guest blogging on Roni Loren's Fiction Groupie blog) - Starting to think I need a program to keep track of the bloggers...   OK, I digress.  This was a great post which has bearing beyond the YA field. If you want to write any genre and do it well, having a knowledge of the field will be a big benefit. I'm sure that there's someone out there who never read a mystery (for example) but wrote one and sold it. But that's like saying there's someone who decided to cut a cake blindfolded and didn't make a mess of it. Maybe it is barely possible, but why make life harder on yourself? Cross also included a nice list of YA novels from different sub-sections of that category to consider reading.

"Have You Given Yourself Permission?" (Jami Gold) - Another post dealing with the psychology of writing, this one specifically talks about giving yourself permission to do things like "have an off day" or even "write crap." Different people may need to give themselves permission to do different things.

"Writerly Advice from the Experts" (Laura J. Moss) - This recap of her visit to the AJC Decatur Book Festival both was interesting reading and also really made me want to get to a book festival or some similar event myself!

Additionally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Expect the Unexpected" - Monday, I took an unpleasant personal experience and used it as the launching point for a discussion of adding a bit of randomness to our character's lives to make them both more difficult and more realistic.

"The Chamber - First WriteCampaign Challenge" - In response to the first challenge from Rachel Harrie's Platform-Building Writers Campaign, I posted a 200 word flash fiction incorporating prompt start/end words. I've been very pleased at the reactions to this story.

"Paying it Forward... Liebster Awards" - I was presented my 1st Liebster earlier this week and I passed it along to five other blogs in this post.

"Stretching Out" - A discussion of moving from writing short stories to writing novels, including some of my own personal feelings about the topic. Additionally, I announced that I'm planning to start work on a novel shortly. (In fact, I've since started with writing some character descriptions and other notes.)

Now, for the random facts about me...

1) I love hockey. I didn't know this until about three years ago when my wife and I got some free tickets. We had NO clue what was going on half the time, but we knew that we loved it.

2) I never had surgery as a child, but I've had surgery twice in the last dozen or so years. (Tonsillectomy, Appendectomy).

3) I check my email like a crazed rat in a Skinner box. Refresh. "Darn, nothing new." Refresh. "Darn, nothing new." Refresh. "Whee, new email!"

4) I first sold something utilizing the internet in 1991 -- my childhood baseball card collection via USEnet.

5) I wrote a piece of computer humor in 1995 which was reprinted in a book and is, to this day, floating around the internet on various sites (usually uncredited). It's incredibly dated now, of course, but I'm a bit tickled that it's lived so long. I reposted it on my short-lived personal blog a couple of years back: "Vintage WWW Humor - Nine Types of HTML Authors"

6) I've been an Atlanta Braves fan since I was a kid, in large part because every darn game they played was on TBS in those years, so it was easy to follow the team.

7) I've been to Mexico and Canada but never to any other countries. I hope to change that some day.

8) I drink Diet Pepsi like it's a health elixir.

9) I won a city-wide writing contest my senior year of high school. That still represents about 95% of the money I've earned from fiction writing.

10) I went to a Waldenbooks for the last time tonight. I worked at one briefly about 20 years ago.

And to pass along the Awards...

Manifestations of My Mind (Babydoll/moviestareyes)
MuseInks (Amy Henderson)
Ten Cent Notes (Jordyn)
Write. Skate. Dream. (Jessica McKendry)
Writing Through College (Samantha)

Thanks for stopping in everyone! Let's make it a great week!


  1. Rock on about all your blog awards! Well-deserved my friend. Also liked your random facts. The obsessive checking of e-mail is funny. I do that sometimes and have now moved the craziness onto Twitter.

  2. Thanks so much! And nice random facts!

  3. Whee! Love the facts! We're pretty much the same on hockey. It's so exciting, but I have no clue what's going on. And if only Diet Pepsi *were* a health elixir -

  4. Thank you so much! I drink Diet Coke, but in pretty much the same fashion you drink Diet Pepsi!

    Writing Through College

  5. Congratulations on the awards!

    I'm an email addict too. Most of my time spent online can be traced to staring at my email screen, waiting for something to happen.

  6. @Barbara, if anything Twitter is worse. There's ALWAYS something new...

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

  7. Thanks so much for the passing of the award torch! I am honored. I share rat-in-a-Skinner-box malady with you, but mine is on Twitter (Barbara & I must be kindred spirits). Thank heaven, email is not my albatross.

  8. Congratulations on all of your awards.

  9. Thanks for including me in the links. :) And so sad about the Waldenbooks. It was depressing walking through my gutted Borders last week. :(

  10. Another great post, Michael! I guess I'm supposed to pass on my own Liebster... Thanks for the heads up. ;)

  11. Roni, our Borders closed quite a while back, before the chain got "serious" about the discounting. The Waldenbooks nearest us is down to their last few days; what was left was all at least 70% off. I was glad to get some bargains, but also hated seeing it go. I used to love the mall bookstore when I was a kid... *sigh*

  12. Thanks for the link love! Oo, and I see you did a post on stretching yourself - I'll have to check that out. The post I did today is on that topic with some ideas of different ways to push ourselves. It made my brain hurt. :)

    And if you ever want a side job of helping me keep up with my email, let me know. I have thousands of unread emails to entertain you. LOL!

  13. Thanks for stopping by, Jami! I read your post on stretching today. Nicely done, and covered a wider range than what I focused on, so it was neat getting another person's perspective on the topic.