17 Secrets Only Book Lovers Are In On


My Top 10 Picks for Writing & Creativity Websites

I know Writer’s Digest does a yearly list of the best websites for writers, but I wanted to share my personal picks.

1.  Refdesk.com

I like Refdesk because there’s just SO much on it.  It’s great for research, inspiration, and just a bit of fun to breakup your daily routine.  From encyclopedias to weather resources to the thought of the day, today in history, to daily diversions and photos, lists, etc,… There’s so much to explore!  Just make sure you set yourself a time limit, or you’ll end up losing track of time and not getting anything done. 🙂

2. Pinterest

I know everyone knows about Pinterest, but I have to include it because it is one of my favorites.  There’s SO much information and inspiration on there!  You can find writing tips, writing prompts, images, ideas for plot, characters, and more.  And you can make storyboards for your novels or make boards for character inspiration or general writing inspiration.  These are a few I have on mine:

Character Inspiration–Girls & Women

Writing Inspiration

Writing Resources & Reference

And this is one of my boards with research for my current wip, The Dark Night is Near:  TDNIN–Asylums & Research

3.  Ink and Quills

This has some great articles on writing.

4. Writing World

This website is full of articles and tips

5. Writer Unboxed

Another one with lots of great articles & topics!

6. writetodone

More articles

7. Freelancewritinggigs

This is a good resource for writing gigs

8. Writing Worksheets

I absolutely love this!  It has lots of great writing worksheets you can print out and use with your works in progress and other writing related things.

9. K.M. Weiland

This woman has lots of great advice and tips for writing!

10. Holly Lisle

She is moving her website, but I highly recommend “moving” with her.  Her website has been one of my favorites for many years, with tons of great articles about writing.

Anything you would add to the list?  What are your favorites?  Share in the comments!

Writing a Novel when you have a chronic illness

So, some of you will know what fibromyalgia is, and some may have heard of it but don’t know anything about it, and some few might not have heard of it at all.  If you haven’t, you can google it and find tons of info.

This post is not about fibromyalgia, but it’s a part of it, as it affects every area of a person’s life, which in my case, includes writing.

I started working on a novel during Nanowrimo (another thing not everyone knows about–look it up if you’re curious) 2015, and I’m still working on it.  It’s a historical thriller, set in 1890’s NYC, and I am enthusiastic about it.  I’m not stuck, I’m not procrastinating.  It’s just, my fibro is not always enthusiastic about my writing projects.

Some days I have the energy to get some good work done, which for me is 5 pages or more, and other days, I can push myself and just get around 2 or 3 pages (handwritten–I always handwrite my projects before I type them up), and some days I can’t get any work at all done, as much as I want to.  And I really do want to.

I’m participating in “Camp Nanowrimo”, which is a spring and summer version of Nanowrimo (which occurs in April and in July each year), where you have “cabins” and can set any goal you want, not necessarily the standard 50,000 that “wins” the original Nanowrimo.  I set my goal for this month at 10,000 words, and so far I’ve got a little over 3,000 written.  So yes, I’m behind on my goal, but I don’t rule out being able to catch up.  And all I can do is try my best.  And hey, sometimes, after a good rest, I find I have the energy to get some writing done when before I wouldn’t have.

Are any of you writers out there participating in Camp Nano?  Any of you writers with chronic illness?  Would love for you to share your story/what projects you’re working on, and/or tips in the comments. And never give up, no matter how far behind you are or if you think you’ll never be able to finish your project.  You just have to keep trying, and eventually you’ll get there.  And so will I.

July 23rd Edit:  As you can see from the attacked photo, I’m still far behind on my 10,000 word goal for this month.  But I’m not giving up on catching up still.  And even if I don’t get 10,000, at least I’ll have gotten some writing done, and that is the point.  Even if you can’t write much, don’t give up.  You will get there, slowly but surely.

File_000 (3)



For Writers & Aspiring Writers

This post is going to be my recommendations for the best writing books out there (in my humble opinion), including the best of the ones I’ve used for writing exercises and creativity.  I am going to include links to where you can purchase these books.  A lot of them may be available at your local library, though, if you want to check there first.

First group–Books on “The Writing Life” a.k.a. the inspiring books on writing:

If You Want to Write, by Brenda Ueland

This book was first introduced to me and then gifted me by my writing mentor, Mary Medearis, who had a best selling novel in 1942.  It’s super inspiring, makes a lot of sense, emphasizes the importance of “creative idling” and taking long walks.  I have tons of underlining in mine (same can be said for the other books I’m listing in this category, to be honest).

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg


Natalie Goldberg is a Buddhist, which you may or may not agree with (I personally don’t), but her advice on writing is great, and she gives a lot of great ideas for sparking your creativity.

Take Joy, by Jane Yolen


I’ve read a couple of her children’s books, too, and she is big on mythology/folklore and fun to read.  Her writing book is just as fun.  And inspiring.

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury


You may think of Bradbury as a science fiction writer, but that is not solely what he wrote, and his advice works for whatever type of writing you do or would like to do.  And the book has nothing to do with zen–it’s just a catchy title.

Second group–Books on the craft of writing and some on the business side of it:

On Writing, by Stephen King


A bit autobiographical, but lots of good stuff about writing and the creative process, plus rewriting/revision.

Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande


This is an old one, but it’s a solid book about writing and about making it a daily habit.

How to Write Your Best Story, by Philip Martin


This one is great and gives plenty of examples to illustrate the points.  It centers around these three key elements for making your story shine:
1. intriguing eccentricity, 2. delightful details, & 3. satisfying surprises

Making a Literary Life, by Carolyn See


Good book, fun to read!

Essential Guide for New Writers, by Valerie Story


This was another one that my writing mentor gave me, and it’s a great guide.

This is Not a Writing Manual, by Kerri Majors


I recently finished reading this one.  Despite the title, it was a lot of good advice about writing, and it’s very contemporary.

Writing Habit Mastery, by S.J. Scott


I also recently finished this one.  It’s a great guide for making habit of writing daily.

Third & final group:  Books on Creativity & living a creative life (works for writing or other creative arts):

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron


Also, if you do this one, check out her book Vein of Gold, which is along the same lines but with different questions and focus.

The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp


Like the Julia Cameron books, this uses creative exercises and questions to bring out your creativity in whatever form your focus lies.
Hope these help!  If I left anything out that you like, please share in the comments!

Update:  I totally went & left out some books that I meant to list, and they were what actually started me thinking about making this post.  Fibro brain–forgive me.  Here they are, and they are books that have exercises to do, and they’ve all got some great stuff in them!

What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, by Anne Bernays & Pamela Painter


Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink, by Michael C. Smith & Suzanne Greenberg


Writing for Self Discovery:  A Personal Approach to Creative Writing, by Myra Schneider & John Killick


And last, but not least,

Discovering the Writer Within:  40 Days to More Imaginative Writing, by Bruce Ballenger & Barry Lane