Blogosphere Monday – Rachael’s Crusade.

February 7, 2011

Blogosphere index

So, another week, another upcoming blogosphere event to promote.

This time around, it’s the second Writer’s Platform-building Crusade, organized by Rach writes. I’m not quite sure what’s involved in the crusade, other than:

  • It’s a way for writers who blog (or bloggers who write) to network with each other.
  • There will be crusader challenges.
  • Participants will be grouped together by genre.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops though.

Rachael’s blog also has other interesting stuff, including contests, random factoids, cover pages, tea tips, interviews, and revision plans, so go check it out!

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Blogosphere Monday: Tossing it out.

January 31, 2011

Blogosphere index.

Well, you meet some of the coolest people doing blogfests.

I didn’t really have time to do the full circuit, (or anything close to it, ack!) on the Top Ten Songs blogfest, but I did manage to drop by for everyone who commented on my entry, at least. And one blog particularly caught my eye: Tossing it Out.

There’s cool stuff over on Arlee’s blog about Nanowrimo, the philosophy of writing prompts and what it means when you say that you don’t have anything to write about, but definitely the coolest thing at the moment is the A to Z challenge:

Read the rest of this entry »


Blogosphere Monday: And this time, concentrate!

January 17, 2011

Blogosphere index

I’m still feeling the blogfest love, so this week I’d like to spotlight one of the founding homes of the ‘Show me Yours’ blogfest“…And this Time, Concentrate!”

At this point, Summer’s blog has lots of cool stuff on gaming, pictures of snowy weather, advice for writers, resolutions about books to read and discussion of writing goals. Also some kittens, and Summer’s ‘Show me Yours’ is still halfway up page 1.

More than anything else there, though, I really love the paraphrased quote up at the top of the blog, from which it gets its name.

So, enough of my rambling on. Go follow the link and read Summer’s rambling!

Oh, and I’d like to give Misa a very special Blogosphere thanks for sending a Stylish Blogger award my way! Whoo-hoo!


Blogosphere Monday: Donna Hole

January 10, 2011

Blogosphere index

I’ve been introduced to so many great writing bloggers over the past week, (or should that be blogging writers?) over the past week, that I’ll have lots of choices for Blogosphere spotlights for months to come. That’s because of the two blogfests that I took part in, of course, ‘Show me Yours‘ and ‘New creations‘.

This week, I’m going to feature Donna Hole, who’s got lots of good fiction serials up at her spot, as well as discussion of query letters and agents, author interviews, some fun blogfest entries, and plenty of eclectic videos. Go take a look!

I’m also pleased to plug Donna’s blog, because she apparently spent several hours browsing through mine yesterday, giving me great feedback on lots of stuff, including every Star Patrol Blogisode so far! Thanks a bundle, Donna!

Which brings me to another topic. I’m happy to announce that I’ve started making a few changes based on reader feedback over the past few days – at Donna’s suggestion, I’ve drawn up an index page for the Blogisodes, and I’ll be adding another to group a lot of my posts together by subject matter – so that you can find my posts for Nanowrimo 2010, fanart, beat sheets, or conventions without having to make your way through the tag cloud, if you’d rather not. It should make it easier for anybody trying to find a particular post in one of those series.

Also, more than one person has asked how they can be a Kelworth follower. It seems that WordPress.com doesn’t allow quite the same followers matrix as blogspot does, (too bad,) but I have a shiny new widget up in the top right called ‘Follow that blog!’ It’s really just a subscription widget dressed up as something that it’s not, but it’ll let you know when I’ve got new bloggage up. I’ve also got a widget for ‘most viewed recently’, I’ve turned on the rating controls so that you can let me know how cool I am on a day to day basis, and I’ll probably be experimenting with some more widgets.

And it’s only 2 days now until I announce the title for my fantasy review project!!


Late New Creations Blogfest, and a very small fire.

January 6, 2011

First, the blogfest entry.

I’m entering the ‘New Creations’ blogfest late, because I’m still catching up on ‘Show me Yours,’ but I couldn’t resist the fun of actually contributing something for this one. I really like the idea of writing community blogfests, such a great way of networking and having fun together in the blogosphere. I’m going to need to remember to keep watch for more.

So, first, an ending sentence for a book or story finished last year. As it happens, as I reviewed the stories that I finished last year, all the strongest contenders for a closing sentence were from the Straight Dope short fiction contests. Maybe there’s something about trying to write a two thousand word contest story that helps me end it on a high note. The one I’ve picked, somewhat arbitrarily, as the favorite, is this one, from ‘Devin versus the Distinctive Sweater.’

Just in case something else should happen with the damn thing if he forgot it for a few hours.

And now, a brand new sentence to start off a new story, which is how I often get into trouble with new Works in Progress, but anyway:

I didn’t see how I could possibly concentrate on the blue magic, shut up in a stifling little room with no windows like this.

In other news – I had a fire in my kitchen last night. Not a really big one, but it’s frustrating me, especially since the whole thing was my fault. It started with a pot on the stove, not enough water in the pot, and me spending far too much time commenting on other people’s blogfest entries, actually.

I realized that something smelled a bit funny. “That’s weird, it’s almost as if…” Suddenly clued in and rushed over to the kitchen doorway. There was a cloud of smoke starting to obscure the stove, and orange flames licking around the bottom of the pot.

I remember wondering why the smoke detector hadn’t come on, since it usually reacts to the slightest whisp of something burnt before I can even smell it. Filled a plastic one-cup measure up with water from the sink and tossed it into the pot. This quickly turned into a cloud of steam, and set the smoke alarm going, but didn’t actually make a dent on the flame. I tried again, with more water, throwing it underneath the pot, and that helped. I think I needed a third cupful of water at least to put things out, and noticed that a little river of leftover water was carring some soot and ash across the stovetop to the far corner.

It took a while to get rid of most of the smoke, with two windows open in my apartment, (not that pleasant on a January night like we’ve been having lately,) and there’s still a faint smoky smell when I come in from outside. The pot got dumped into the garbage – possibly I could have cleaned the thing off until it was usable, but I just couldn’t cope with leaving it around. I’ve still got some scrubbing to take care of, and a lot of things that were in the kitchen have got little specs of soot that landed on them.

But aside from that, no damage seems to have been done, so that’s good. And hopefully, I’ll be a lot more careful with stoves in the future.


Blogosphere special: the “Show me yours” Blogfest!

January 3, 2011

Blogosphere index

Okay, today is the day of the Show me yours Blogfest, in which bloggers share a 500-word passage from their Nanowrimo 2010 writing and go comment like mad on each other’s excerpts!

So, here’s mine. It’s from the very beginning of “The Angel’s Charlie,” and does a really good job of setting the scene, I think:

Nothing made sense when Richard opened his eyes.

It wasn’t like things had been that clear in the moment before he opened them either, really. The last thing he could clearly remember was driving home after a late night in the office, and then… well, he’d still been sitting down, but somehow it had been obvious that he wasn’t in a car anymore. As far as he could tell now, he was in the chapel of a church, which hadn’t been the case for far too many months, really, and it definitely wasn’t Ottawa Street Baptist, either.

He started to explore the material available in the back of the pew in front of him. Old-fashioned looking hymnal, so probably not an evangelical denomination. Catholic? No, the decor didn’t really look Catholic… maybe Anglican. Aha, little visitor’s cards to drop into the collection plate, with spots for name and address. But they’d have the name on the card – yeah. ‘Episcopal church of the Good Shephard’, and an address on Delaware Street. It didn’t really ring a bell, except that he thought something was slightly off with ‘Episcopal.’

“I’m afraid that there won’t be a worship service for a while, young man. Are you in need of prayers?”

Richard looked up quickly to see an older man in a sedate uniform standing near the chapel doors. Quickly he rose to his own feet. “Not really, reverend… though a good word with the Lord Father is always appropriate, I suppose. Maybe we could pray together, before we leave, actually. But – but I have to say I’m a little confused, not sure how I got here.”

“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that, my son, though I assumed you walked in,” the reverend said, chuckling slightly. “When I saw you sleeping in the pew on a Tuesday night, I suppose I assumed – that you just didn’t have any better shelter from the cold. Perhaps I was wrong.”

“Yes, the last thing I remember, I was on my way home… do you have any idea how I’d get to Queenston Road from here?” The reverend looked blank. “The Research in Motion headquarters?” Still no real recognition. “It’s not too far from the big university campus.”

“Ah, well, then, you’re just down the street from campus,” the reverend told him more brightly. “I can point you that way, at least. And you can check in our parking lot to see if your car is there, of course.”

“Thank you.” Richard took a breath. “What about that prayer, then?”

“I think that would be a good idea.” The two men sat down on one of the nearby pews. “I’m reverend Hynes, by the way.”

“Richard Horwood, and nice to meet you.” Richard closed his eyes. “Father in heaven, I’m feeling very lost and confused right now, but I know that to you, the way that I should follow is clear and straight. Please guide me in your infinite wisdom, and lead me along the path that leads to your service. You have blessed me with many gifts in my life, I am thankful for them all and give praise to you. Amen.”

“Dear Father, your servant Richard is in need of aid,” the Father added. “You know what his needs are better than I do, or he does, so help him along his way, and give him the strength to carry his burdens for your sake. All glory to your name, Amen.”

UPDATE: Okay, as of this writing, I’ve given feedback to 15, out of the other 34 bloggers who’ve participated in this challenge, and it’s been a really fun experience. If I haven’t posted a comment to your excerpt yet – I’ll do my best to get to you sometime this week – and for the 7 people who signed up and haven’t posted excerpts yet, I’ll keep checking your blog too.

This event has been really very much in line with what I wanted to be doing with Blogosphere Mondays – finding other bloggers who are sharing their own writing, letting them know what I thought, encouraging them – and attracting new readers to my own blog as well. Kinda fortuitous that the whole thing happened to be scheduled on a Monday already!

Out of curiosity, I started tracking the length of the different posted excerpts – partly because mine was stretching the 500 word limit. Well, I wasn’t alone. 22 of the excerpts were more than 500 words, ranging from 505 up to 972 words. (My 567 was more or less in the middle of that pack.) And there was one person who was exactly on 500, and twelve who were less, going from 257 up to 498. Sorry, my numbers geek is coming out to play now.

Oh, and all 3 of the founding blogfest members were over the 500 word limit that they imposed – 533 to 647 words. 😉

Happy Blogfest, everybody.


Blogosphere Monday: Teralyn Rose Pilgrim

December 20, 2010

Sorry, today’s feature is going to be very short, because I’ve got a busy day and a headache. But I didn’t want to skip showcasing this week’s blogger.

Teralyn has lots of great stuff up about feedback, queries, finding an agent, and the energy and focus it takes to write. Check her spot out!


Blogosphere Monday: Quick Brown Fox

December 13, 2010

I’ve gone to three of Brian Henry’s Saturday workshops in the Hamilton area over the past seven months or so – in fact, it was the first of them which actually prompted me to start a writing blog of my own, and share this crazy creative journey that I’m on with the entire blogosphere.

So, this week, I’m happy to spotlight Brian’s blog: Quick Brown Fox It’s full of excerpts and news from all kinds of writers that have been through his courses and workshops, opportunities to submit your work, places to go to find an agent, local writers groups… and it’s a great place to watch for Brian coming to your town if you’re living in Ontario of course.

Myself, I’m already looking forward to heading out to Saint Catherines in the middle of January to learn about “Writing Dialog.”


Blogosphere Monday: Just Jen

December 6, 2010

(This is the first in a new weekly feature where I link to other writing blogs that I’ve recently discovered and try to use them as a springboard for my own thoughts and notions.)

Jen posted the first comment in a thread I started over in the Nanowrimo forums about my plans to get to a six-week writing workshop next summer. She was very encouraging, and I noticed that she had a blog link in her forum sig. Since I’ve been wanting to check out more Nano-er blogs, I gave it a click.

WOW.

The story of Jen’s Nano experience this year could probably be made into a book of its own, or a movie. You have the earnest author, a co-ML for a big city, attending her midnight kickoff party, excited and pumped full of inspiration. And then, just like any good Act two break, disaster strikes.

A fire. Panic ensues, Jen scrambles around trying to get her puppies out safely, checks on the neighbors, then collapses into tears.

You can read the full story, and much more, over at http://jenniferksights.com/ There’s a lot of running around, arguing with Walmart people about prepaid Red cross cards, finding places to do laundry, and finally showing up at Nanowrimo writeins ‘to get her mind off things.’

Jen didn’t make it to 50k this year, but it sounds like she’s learned a lot about herself, and set a very ambitious list of goals for her ‘2011 year of writing’, which apparently started on December 1st and continues until November 30th 2011. (She says that Nanowrimo feels like it breaks up her calendar that way, writing-wise, which I can understand.) I wish her all the best.

And what does all of this have to do with my own life and writing? I’m not sure. Certainly I don’t expect to have a fire in my future, though nobody really does when it comes to that – I’m glad that I finally got my renter’s insurance sorted out, and I’ll try to keep in mind what she mentioned about the virtues of having offsite backups of important computer files. More generally, though, Jen’s story may underscore that having a high wordcount isn’t the most important thing, either in life or in writing, and that there are other ways of persevering through hardship than sticking stubbornly to your original goal.

UPDATE: I’ve thought of something else from Jen’s blog that I can apply to my life and writing. She posted a list of her goals for her writing year 2011. Now, I’m still comfortable with making year-long resolutions on the typical calendar in general, so I haven’t got my 2011 goals list, but on Stringing Words we have monthly project threads, which have been very helpful to me over the past year and a half, and I guess for some reason I’ve been reluctant to share my monthly goals anywhere else but on SW. So, here’s some of my goals for December 2010:

  • Write 4 new blogisodes. 1/4 done!
  • Finish new chapters of fanfic crossovers ‘Dragon’s Prey’ and ‘Children of the Molecule’.
  • Write 16,000 words
  • Do last 3 fanarts for 2010 goal. 2/3 done!
  • Post 6 short stories up for critiques. 3/6 done!
  • Come up with 2011 goals list.
  • Review last critique of ‘The Long Way Home’ and revise accordingly.
  • Repost ‘Long Way Home’ and post ‘Won’t somebody think of the children’ for Nano swaps.
  • Resume driving lessons. Called my instructor tonight!
  • Submit 2 short stories for publication.
  • Comment or reply on 10 new writing blogs. 1/10 done!
  • Complete reading and feedback on ‘A kiss to build a dream on.’ (79/247 pages done previously.)
  • Complete proofreading ‘Runaway with me’ and reviewing for consistency. (3/21 chapters done previously.)

End of September round-up.

October 1, 2010

I went to another Brian Henry Saturday workshop last weekend, and really had a great time. The topic was ‘writing with style’, and there was a lot of good material on subjects like:

  1. What does ‘Show, don’t tell’ really mean?
  2. Playful and spectacular first drafts.
  3. The tools of showing: Dialog, metaphor, gestures, and actions.
  4. Never explain yourself.
  5. How to get a reader to relate emotionally to your writing.
  6. Don’t waste your words.
  7. Revision as gardening – removing weeds and weaklings
  8. The building blocks of stories – nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs
  9. The rule of three in descriptions.

I always come away from a Brian Henry workshop thinking about the craft of writing in different and exciting ways. That alone is worth the time and money it takes to go.

Lesson learned: Don’t catch a cab from Queen street west on a busy Saturday night in the hopes of catching a bus leaving Union Station in fifteen minute’s time. The Tom Lenk show was still worth seeing, though.

I’ve handed out two ‘One Lovely Blog’ awards today, to:

And I have a new snazzy widget on the Kelworth Files – a tag cloud. Unfortunately, as of this writing it seems to have eaten my usual links table, and I haven’t yet figured out how to get that back. If you happen to know the WordPress trick to getting that back, please let me know.

Over and out for now.


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