All Things Writing

The Craft of Writing


Crossword Anniversary



The 100th anniversary of the first crossword by Arthur Wynne.

PS Who remembers the NY Times crosswords by my man, Eugene Maleska.

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Finding the Way In 02

Scarecrow 03As I said, all my sulking was making me not like myself very much, so I got to work. I got out the articles that could have been mine – at least in my own mind! I examined the way in on the articles that worked and learned some new things while rediscovering some things I knew but hadn’t seen how to apply. It all goes something like this:   Continue reading

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Finding the Way In 01

Scarecrow 01Call it the angle. Call it the clothesline that will support your information. Call it whatever you want. It’s the organizing idea of a piece of writing. I call it finding the way in and to me, it’s the most difficult part of writing. To be honest, there are times when I just can’t find it. I can live with that. At least I can until I see an article on a topic I wanted to write about. Suddenly the way in is so obvious! Even if it’s not a way I would have chosen, I can see that it works. And the worst part of that moment is that at least five other ways flash into my mind in what can only be called a bleem. If you’re a writer, you’ve surely had this disheartening experience.

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Managing the Juggle

TheJuggle_sThe fantasy of the freelance life is that you are your own boss, free to call the shots, work as you like, and pick the assignments that suit your interests. All of that is true when the economy is booming and there’s a lot of work to be had. When things are tight, it’s a bit more frantic with a lot less choice.

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Book Proposal Sample Chapter

Working on the sample chapter for a book proposal. It’s amazing how many times a sentence can be tweaked before it “sings.” But once it does… I guess that’s the moment writers live for – that moment when it just sounds right.

I don’t know about you, but for me, once the first section is set, it all falls into place. I know that’s supposedly because my vision is clear then, but it’s more than that. I can have a detailed outline that tells me each thing to cover in sequence, along with a killer topic sentence, but that’s still not the same as when the first section takes on a life of its own.

I think moments when it all clicks are the reason I’m a writer.

So many things to write about! I want to write about them all!



Tackling HTML and CSS

I’ve noticed I can add CSS to my blog to make it do what I want. That has not made sense to me until now!

Yes. Going with the theory that knowledge is power, I am tackling HTML and CSS – in the most basic sense. Continue reading


The Value of Giving Up

There is value in giving up. I’m sure of it. I mean, how many hours is it worth to get the image for your blog to fit in the blasted little square? I’m not sure, but I know  it is not the number of hours I’ve spent futzing with it.

Help_mI’ve been a financial analyst, so I know the mesmerizing quality of figures run through various scenarios. I’ve already admitted to being blog-stat-enchanted. Neither of these practices come close to the effort I will put into something that “only needs a tweak.”

There in lies the fallacy.

There is no such thing as “only needs a tweak.”

In the spirit of the original cookie to a mouse, each tweak inevitably leads to another. and another. and another. Maybe this is because I have no real idea of what I’m doing. I’m ready to admit that freely. However, as a writer, I need an online presence. I also need a way to promote my book through the site I created for that purpose. In order to do that, I either need a lot of green – so not happening – OR I need the stubborn determination and dumb luck to do it myself. Continue reading


Blog Stats

What can I say? I’ve been studying my blog stats like a miser counting his gold coins.

I’ve read everything I can find on click counts, views vs visitors, the use of ….more in posts, linking internally, linking externally, linking extra terrestrially. I’ve also read and practice the publicize tips through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest… People who haven’t seen me in years are starting to hate me!

But those stats. Those stats are so alluring.  Continue reading

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Has anyone else noticed that writers don’t just write any more? Maybe they never did, but I distinctly remember not doing a lot of what I now do when I first started freelancing. What am I talking about? This whole social media – presence thing.

In the past two weeks I have created a podcast, burned a feed, submitted the podcast to iTunes, pleaded with them to help me switch to a different feed, tweaked the feed, and seen it all appear in iTunes – pretty much as I’d envisioned it. Continue reading

The RIGHT stylus

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