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                      W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                    http://www.writing-world.com


Issue 9:15           8,799 subscribers            August 6, 2009
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SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages 
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================
 
THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER - Writing Rituals, by Dawn Copeman
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers, by Aline Lechaye
FEATURE: Bylines from Near and Far: Travel Writing in 2009-2010
by Myrna Oakley
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
================================================================

Ingredients Matter
------------------
Recently I received an e-mail from a frustrated writer.  I'm not
reprinting it verbatim; rather, I'm offering a version of many such
e-mails I receive.  They run something like this:

Dear editor, i have writen a realy good novl based on my
experiences as a... but I canot find a pubisher.  all my freinds
say i am a realy good riter. can you help me find a pubisher. i no
my book will be the next hary potter. 

Dear reader, I would like to claim that such e-mails are rare, but
they are not.  They make regular appearances in my inbox.  To them,
I tend to give the same polite and gentle reply, to wit -- "I'm
very sorry, but we are unable to recommend specific publishers."  I
then refer the writer to the appropriate set of links on
Writing-World.com, and that is usually the end of the matter.

But for the frustrated writer, it is not the end of the matter. 
And so, on behalf of those writers who have yet to send me an
e-mail like the above, I'm going to say something that I know a
great many writers really don't want to hear:

GRAMMAR MATTERS!

Now, before I attract the ire of the "grammar police" -- those
self-appointed guardians of "perfect grammar" who apparently have
endless time to patrol the web for the slightest "infraction" --
let me hasten to point out that I am not talking about "perfect
grammar."  (I got one of THOSE e-mails recently, too, taking me to
task for the allegedly incorrect use of the word "hopefully" in an
earlier editorial -- which was, I'm happy to say, NOT incorrect.) 
Even the best writers are likely to misplace a comma, use a word
incorrectly, or forget exactly how one uses a prepositional phrase.
 I will be the first to admit that my grammar ain't always 100%
perfect.  And there is also the question of "usage" vs.
"perfection" -- if one strives too diligently toward the latter,
there is the risk of losing any sort of individual "voice" and
sounding, instead, a bit like Commander Data.  

I am also not talking about one's ability to "tell a good story." 
Most of the writers who send me e-mails like the one above are
adamant about their ability to "tell a good story."  And this may
be absolutely true.  However, there is a distinction between
"writing" and "telling."  Good story-telling is an essential
ingredient in writing.  Correct, effective grammar is another such
ingredient -- for by definition, writing is the communication of
one's story by the WRITTEN word.  To be an effective (and
published) WRITER, one must be able to handle not just one of those
ingredients, but both.

Many would-be writers (you know, the kind who come up to you at
parties and say "I have this great book that I could write someday,
when I have the time...") seem to think that "writing" is pretty
much the same thing as "talking," only on paper...  The problem is,
when one talks, one doesn't have to worry about where the commas
go, or how a word is spelled, or whether it should begin with an
initial cap. 

Many such writers (or would-be writers) also harbor the belief that
"editors" exist to clean up grammar, spelling, and punctuation --
and that, therefore, writers need not trouble themselves about such
trivialities.  I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this
simply isn't true.  Given the choice between a marvelous story that
requires hours of correction, and a pretty good story that is
flawlessly written (or even "pretty well written"), the editor will
go with the latter every time.  Editors are an overworked species
as it is -- and given that there is never any shortage of material
in the in-box from which to choose, they will invariably choose
that which offers quality at the LEAST amount of effort.  In fact,
the sad reality is that if an editor comes across a submission that
reads like the e-mail given above, they won't even bother to read
past the first couple of sentences to find OUT whether it contains
a "marvelous story."  Even if such a story is there, the labor
involved in bringing it out of its ungrammatical cocoon simply
isn't worth it.  

Grammar -- including spelling, punctuation, and a grasp of where to
insert (or omit) capitals -- is not some esoteric, elitist
requirement imposed by editors and publishers who want to close the
doors in the faces of "good storytellers."  It is simply a tool --
an essential tool in every writer's toolbox.  In any career, if you
do not know what tools you need or how to use them, you will not
succeed.  If you aspire to become an auto mechanic, you will be
expected to know what a lug-nut is -- and what tool you would need
to remove one.  If you don't, you won't get the work.  

The same applies to writers.  Writing for publication is a
profession, and if one is not equipped with the tools of that
profession, one will not succeed.  Publishers will not open their
doors.  Editors will return one's submissions unread (or, in this
day of "forget the courtesy of rejection letters," toss them in the
trash).  

Again, I'm not talking about writers who make a few mistakes.  It's
like the difference between baking a cake and adding, say, only
half a cup of sugar when three-quarters of a cup is called for --
versus not knowing the difference between the sugar and the salt,
or assuming that when the recipe calls for three eggs, it makes no
difference if you add six, or none.  The ingredients matter, and
grammar is an essential ingredient to good writing.  Without eggs,
your cake will be inedible; without grammar, the best story in the
world will be unreadable (and unpublishable).

But there is good news, if you've read this far, and that news is:
It's never TOO LATE.  Never suppose that just because one's school
days are in the distant past, it is too late to learn this
essential writing tool.  Classes exist.  Websites exist.  Books
exist.  There are many ways for a writer, at any level, to build
new skills and hone existing tools.  If you are serious about
wanting to succeed, you must be serious about equipping yourself
with the skills that you need -- and I firmly believe that YOU CAN
DO IT.  By doing it, you will be taking the steps needed to
progress from being a frustrated writer to being a published one.

-- Moira Allen, Editor
        
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and genre analyzes loaded with editors' tips and insights into
subjects and writing styles they're looking for right now.  Get a
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THE HERO'S JOURNEY: Ever wanted to be able to structure a
best-selling story or novel around your character's hero/heroine?
The Hero's Journey is the way to do it. 
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THE INQUIRING WRITER, Writing Rituals, by Dawn Copeman
=================================================================
Last month I said that no-one had replied to my Inquiring Writer
question, which immediately brought in a flood of replies from you
saying how much you enjoy the column and the newsletter. So thank
you!

Also, last month I wanted to know if you had any writing rituals. 
Dan Anderson certainly does.  He wrote: "I write humorous but
literate mysteries.  My never-fail approach to get into a
productive writing mood is to wait until it is dark each evening,
read some poetry to get my imaging, metaphor and simile juices
activated - particularly Philip Larkin - and down a shot of 30
year-old single malt Scotch whiskey.  Don't go overboard on the
Scotch, otherwise you'll have a more laborious editing job to do
the following day."

Kathy, however, starts her writing every day in a completely
different manner.  She writes:" Being a Christian writer, I always
seek the Lord in prayer before I begin a writing project. God is my
ultimate audience, so I write in the direction I feel the Spirit is
guiding me. Also, I don't wait for the mood to be just right to
write. I have to just do it. Once I get started, the words seem to
flow."

The strangest writing ritual I came across came from Aimee.  It
sounds very good actually.  Aimee wrote: "I am a venerable
multi-tasker. It's more than that actually - in every activity I
undertake I find some way to complete it and another at the same
time. I read and walk (treadmill or outside) for example.

"When it comes to putting fingers to keyboard, I have found I am
most efficient when sitting on the floor in front of my son who,
when paid well, will methodically rub my shoulders! My mind relaxes
into the task at hand allowing my fingers to create! He's generally
multi-tasking too -- watching some TV. program that he might
otherwise have had to pass on. As for payment ... it's often in  
less chores, TV, dessert or in some cases, $1 per ten minutes of  
'work'. At 12, it's the best job he could get and I reap the
benefits!"

For Perle Champion to be able to right, it seems she needs 'noise'.
 She writes: "My routine varies: I need white noise in various
forms. I write at the coffee shop with coffee close at hand, the
bar at happy hour with a vodka martini up close at hand, the table
on my balcony with traffic passing below (coffee in the morning
wine in the afternoon), birds in the trees, and the stereo playing
something foreign (so I don't pay attention to the words). I
carry a small pad w/pen on my morning walk for the stray epiphanies
that strike randomly when you're nowhere near a pad and pen."

Many others of you, it seems, have writing rituals that revolve
around objects. For Jenny to start writing, for example, she needs
to be perfectly organised.  She wrote: "I need to be able to put my
hands on the necessary materials INSTANTLY. This means I must know
where my writing book is, where my sketchbook is, that my pens and
pencils are where they are supposed to be. If I am not certain in
my head where everything is, I will just slide off and not do
anything."

For Jackie Walker the needed object is gummy bears.  She wrote: 
"I've heard friends say that all writers in the old days were
smokers. I don't know if that's true, but I imagine it's because
they had to keep their hands busy so that they could quiet their
mind (kind of like yoga). I don't smoke. But I DO have to have a
packet of gummy bears and a cup of hazelnut coffee in order to get
any writing done. I have to be continually popping those candies
into my mouth to keep my mind going. And I don't think I'm
conscious that I'm putting 50 gummy bears in my mouth right in a
row. But if I DON'T have something to keep munching on, I will
procrastinate until I do. Not exactly the healthiest habit...
but it's better than smoking!"

"I like nothing more than to start my scribblings by sitting at a
table devoid of mess and clutter and with a brand new A4 pad in
front of me," writes Abby Williams. "From drafting my work on paper
I will then proceed to using modern technology and do all the
editing on computer.  Maybe the clear table helps psychologically
to clear my mind too - apparently in Feng Shui a cluttered house is
thought to lead to a cluttered mind."  So that's where I've been
going wrong!  You should see the state of my desk!

For Shaunna Privratsky her ritual nearly caused her a serious
problem.  She wrote: "For me it was a special type of pen.  I
couldn't write with anything else.  Then, one by one, they started
running out of ink.  I went to the store to buy more, and they
don't make them anymore!  I looked everywhere, called around and
even called the company, but they just aren't available.  The "new
and improved" version is too clunky and fat and felt all wrong.

"Did it make me stop writing?  Of course not.  I found a suitable
and even cheaper type of pen that works.  It's not the same as my
'magic' pens, but it gets the words on the page.  

"For those really special ideas, I still have one good pen left..."

Many of you find that you can only write at certain times of day,
however, inconvenient it might be.  "Writing, for me, is a solitary
and sacred time," writes Jason Ferris.  "However, finding this time
seems to be more of a challenge than the actual writing. My
solution was to write in the evenings, after the kids had been
put to bed, and the days events had wound down. This sometimes
meant starting at after midnight! Well I now seem to be in this
habit and although I find this time productive, I am finding the
following days long and tiresome. Writing until the wee hours of
the morning has been beneficial to my writing but detrimental to my
life."

Candice can sympathise with Jason.  She writes: "I envy those who
say they do their best writing in the early morning hours. I would
love to have that opportunity. Instead I do all of my writing after
10:00 p.m. That is the only time that I have to myself and it's not
always consistent.

"I have a 4 year old son that wakes up at the first crack of
daylight and I sell Real Estate as a day job (which right now is
marginal at best). I think I would stick to a more consistent
writing schedule if I could write for a few hours in the day
instead of late at night when I am usually exhausted. For now I
just do what I can and try to make the best of it."

Someone else who has an unusual writing time is Tony, but he is
delighted with his time slot. He writes: "As a work-from-home dad
with three kids, some of my best writing comes at 4-5 am with a
fresh pot of coffee and weirdly enough-with the day being Monday. 
I can write other days of the week, but there is just something
about the early part of the week and early am with new coffee that
makes writing seem so much fun!"  I think I like my lie-ins too
much for that one to work for me. 

I also asked if you had different routines for different types of
writing and Corrie Ann Gray certainly does.  She shared them with
us: "When I'm working on my novel that has scenes that take place
in the 1940s I listen to music from that era. It gets me into my
main characters mindset. 

"When I work on one of my current screenplays I pull out pictures
of the actors that I hope to will play the main characters.  When I
can visualize the characters I immediately get into a groove with
the dialogue changes, personality quirks, etc.

"My rituals change with the projects; however, I will admit my best
writing transpires when I am in my favorite pair of flannel pajama
bottoms and t-shirt. It's a writer thing.  I don't know what I'll
do when they disintegrate."

Finally, I also asked if you had previously had a ritual but had
now abandoned it and Mo Irvine has done just that.  Mo wrote: "I'm
actually over 100,000 words into writing a novel at the moment, and
up until a couple of weeks ago, I would have said, definitely yes,
I have to follow a set ritual before starting writing.  

"My ritual always used to be to play a computer game for an hour or
so. Any kind of game with a little bit of action would do - and it
could be on the PC or maybe even the old Nintendo. Once I'd got
that out of the way, I could settle down to write my daily word
count.

"However, two weeks ago I had to go to my doctor's office and have
some tests which entailed me sitting in a comfortable lounger for
over two hours before having more blood drawn. So I loaded my novel
onto a pen drive, took my laptop with me, and loaded the work onto
the laptop. At the end of the two hours I was surprised to find
that I had written well over 1500 words, with no preceding ritual
whatsoever -- other than having blood taken first! 

"I think I've proved something to myself. What? Probably that my
biggest pre-writing ritual is prevarication." Ah, that one, I use
that ritual all the time!

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with details of their rituals,
there just wasn't enough room to publish them all.  

Now this month's question comes from Anne, who writes: "I wrote an
e-book that I want to give away for free. And I searched for sites
where I could submit it. But several of the sites I found asked me
for money. So I have to PAY them to GIVE away my book! That is not
fair, is it?

"Can you tell me of any sites where I can give away a book? I just
wrote it for fun, and to get my name out there."
 
Can you help Anne?  Email me with your replies or your questions to
put to the Writing World community to editorial@writing-world.com
with the subject line Inquiring Writer. 

Until next time, 

Dawn, 

Copyright (c) 2009 Dawn Copeman

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================

Australian Writers In Uproar at Changes to Import Rules 
-------------------------------------------------------
Writers in Australia are furious after it has been revealed that
the country is considering making it easier to import books
published in other countries into Australia. At present, under
Australian copyright law, bookstores are forbidden to import
foreign editions of books if a version has been published in
Australia within 30 days of publication elsewhere in the world. 
Critics say this is why books in Australia are amongst the most
expensive in the world. For more on this story, visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/koln4d
 
Dead Writers are the Hottest Thing in the US
---------------------------------------------------------
In an attempt to boost flagging book sales in the recession,
publishers, it seems are turning to literary heavyweights to help
them out.  Recently discovered or reworked works by authors such as
Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway. Graham Greene and J.R.R. Tolkien are
being hailed as saviours of the book industry as, having an
established fan base, they are guaranteed to sell. 
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/mzmgr8

13 Year Old Girl Sets Up Blog to Encourage Teen Reading
-------------------------------------------------------
Sophie Epstein loves reading and was so moved to try and encourage
more reading amongst teenagers (and the population in general) that
instead of just sitting around mulling she decided to try and do
something about it instead.  The result is the very professional
mrsmagooreads.com where she reviews young adult books, interviews
writers of young adult books and runs competitions to inspire more
teenagers to get interested in books. We're not the only ones to be
impressed by this site; Random House now sends out advanced review
copies to Sophie.  To find out more about this, see the item ran by
local TV station ABC-7/KGO-TV at 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-PCTvYOFMM or visit the site itself
http://www.mrsmagooreads.com.

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MAKE STEADY MONEY AS A TRAVEL WRITER: Secrets of Selling Travel
Stories Without Traveling, by Jack Adler, specialist in consumer
travel reporting. Examples of published articles, sample topics,
how to develop a specialty, write queries, use your background and
area plus much more. 288 pp, $14.95.  
http://www.rdrpublishers.com/catalog/item/3014102/6693813.htm

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CROSSxCHECKING: Editor with over 10 years experience with online
publications! Critiques of writing strengths and weaknesses -
readings & exercises - line/copyedits. Don't take our word for it.
Read one of our critiques at http://crossxchecking.blogspot.com

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WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
=================================================================
 
ContentCurrent Hiring Writers
-----------------------------
ContentCurrent is currently hiring contract writers to do article
writing, paid forum posts, and custom writing tasks. You can choose
the hours you want to do and all work is paid for. As a Content
Current writer you will be able to pick the writing tasks that you
like and there are thousands of writing tasks waiting to be
completed right now. To apply to be a ContentCurrent writer visit: 
http://www.contentcurrent.com/write
 
The First Line Seeks Submissions 
--------------------------------
The First Line aims to jumpstart the imagination to help writers
break through the block that is the blank page. They welcome
fiction and non-fiction submissions. View website for details.
http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm
  
Heartland Boating Seeks Submissions
-----------------------------------
HeartLand Boating magazine is devoted to both power and sailboating
enthusiasts throughout middle America. Primary readership areas
include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. They welcome
submissions. View website for more information.
http://www.heartlandboating.com/writers.htm

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UNPUBLISHED GUY - *Nearly serious* diversions for writers.
Whether you are a casual or more active writer, this site
will ease you into the writing mindset with a healthy dose
of educational schadenfreude. http://www.UnpublishedGuy.com

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FEATURE:  Bylines from Near and Far: Travel Writing in 2009-2010
=================================================================
by Myrna Oakley

Those who harbor a desire to explore and write about nearby or
exotic locales will find that it's a different world out there in
2009-2010 for marketing travel articles.  

Newspapers across the country are downsizing, eliminating sections
and cutting staff; other papers are ceasing publication altogether.
 Magazines are also downsizing, cutting staff or closing, so
freelance writers are seeing many of their traditional markets
disappear.  That means more competition for getting those plum
assignments.  Don't despair, however; there are still many print
and online opportunities for travel writers.  Take this quick quiz
to see where you fit into today's travel writing field.

1.  Have I identified my beat? Do I have one primary beat or
several beats that interest me? 

In other words, what are your specific areas of interest and
expertise, and what geographic regions and travel-related topics do
you like to explore and write about? Some freelancers are
constantly on-the-go to the most exotic locales they can find on
all seven continents.
Have-laptop-cell-phone-suitcase/backpack-will-travel is their
motto.  Other writers prefer staying closer to home, mining their
own geographic regions for article ideas from weekend or scenic
rambles, the best local eateries and coffee shops and cozy inns, to
hiking and backpacking and exploring historic and renovated sites
like vintage hotels, timber barons' mansions, railroad depots and
covered bridges. We also need to factor into our marketing efforts
the fact that many folks are vacationing closer to home in these
economic times.  For up-to-date information for all things related
to inbound and outbound travel as well as emerging trends in
travel, see http://www.travelmole.com and 
http://www.mediakitty.com. The bottom line: Work from your
established beat, track current trends, and expand your beat to
other areas of interest as you work to build resource networks and
get those article assignments.

2. How committed am I to providing quality content for my editors
and their readers? How well am I positioning my travel article
ideas for the appropriate markets and the right readers?

Again, this is where your knowledge and expertise translate into
credibility for your editors. You know your beat. You have
established a network of reliable sources throughout your
geographic area, your region, and/or your travels abroad. Writers
who know their readers and who slant quality content directly to
those readers and the corresponding markets will succeed in today's
freelance world. Stay current with trends and magazine markets by
logging onto http://www.woodenhorsepub.com. Publisher Meg Weaver
offers a free weekly online marketing newsletter as well as other
subscription services, including a database of over 2,000 magazine
guidelines and current editorial calendars.  The bottom line:
MaryAnn Bekkedahl, Executive Vice President and Group Publisher,
Rodale, suggests, "It's all about the content. Quality content
attracts quality readers who attract quality advertisers. Together,
quality readers and advertisers drive the revenues that can be
re-invested in quality content."

3. How would I describe the readers I want to reach, inform, and
inspire through my travel articles? 

Whether you have been writing and marketing travel articles for
awhile or whether you are planning to explore this freelance avenue
for the first time, you've probably thought about your preferred
readers.  For example, are you an avid member of the active
lifestyle set?  Or are you more the soft adventure or
on-the-beaten-path type of traveler?  Does the affluent and wealthy
traveler mirror your lifestyle or is the budget traveler a better
fit for your travel style?  There are even markets for couch
potatoes, the armchair travelers who'd rather read that great
article on Istanbul or Morocco or the Grand Canyon than travel
there. There are also markets for the low-risk travelers who prefer
staying at well known hotel chains and generally dine close to the
inn rather than venturing down to the pier to take in the local
seafood café overlooking the water. 

Your own travel style will help you identify your readers and the
corresponding markets for the types of articles you want to write.
For example, don't try to sell an idea on ice climbing with
crampons on Mount Hood to Outside Magazine if you're not a totally
extreme-adventure type of writer. Focus on the readers that you
best relate to and think of your readers as central to your
personal brand as a travel writer. This will give you credibility. 
The bottom line:  According to Ellen Levine, Editorial Director,
Hearst Magazines, Hearst Corporation, "Be your reader. Understand
from the inside out just what attracts her or him to a headline, an
image, a feature [article]. Is the writing, the visual. . . and the
voice compelling? Tell a story. Fill the [article] with what your
readers crave, what inspires them." Levine also suggests that we
need to be original and give our readers ideas and illustrations
that they can't find elsewhere. 

4.  How have readers' travel research and reading habits changed in
today's online and print environments?  Are there other ways for
travel writers to earn income on the web?

It's no secret that today's active travelers are savvy researchers
when it comes to planning trips near and far.  Above all, they want
current and reliable travel information instantly.  With the
internet blooming with travel information sites, travel blogs,
income-producing travel web sites developed by freelance writers,
and social networking options galore, travel writers also need to
explore these avenues and markets for travel writing.  Check out
http://www.travelwriters.com, a subscription site that offers
lively and informative bulletin board discussions among travel
writers as well as posting press trip opportunities for working
freelance writers.  For examples of one of the newest trends,
travel-writer-produced web sites designed to produce income, browse
these excellent sites: http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com by Ronda
Roaring, who lives in up-state New York; 
http://www.europeforvisitors.com, by Durant and Cheryl Imboden who
live in the Midwest; http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk, by a
writer couple who live in Scotland; and 
http://www.travelwiththegardener.com, by travel writer Yvonne Horn,
who lives in northern California. These sites offer hundreds and
hundreds of pages of travel information along with relevant
click-on advertisements related to travel. 


Additional resources for travel writers:
----------------------------------------
Obtain current information from local County and City Convention
and Visitor Bureaus and Visitor Information Centers as well as from
State and Country Tourism Offices and their web sites.  Another new
trend: A number of these sites are beginning to use Twitter to
engage and encourage travelers to ask relevant travel questions and
share travel information. 

Research and browse informative media and travel information web
sites like these:  http://www.bosacks.com, 
http://www.allthingsBritish.com and http://www.planeta.com (the
"global journal of practical ecotourism").

>>--------------------------------------------------<< 

Myrna Oakley is a Northwest freelance writer who writes Off the
Beaten Path Oregon for the Globe Pequot Press series.  She also
wrote Off the Beaten Path Washington (7th edition); Recommended Bed
& Breakfasts: Pacific Northwest (Globe Pequot); Visiting Northwest
Public and Private Gardens (Beautiful America); and Bed & Breakfast
Northwest (Chronicle Books).  She teaches Travel Writing and Novel
Writing at Portland Community College Community Ed. and she is
chairing the planning committee for the inaugural Northwest Travel
Writers Conference: Travel & Words 2009 
http://www.travelandwords.com, which will be held in Vancouver, WA
on October 16-17, 2009. 

For another great travel site (featuring a number of articles by
your intrepid newsletter editor as well), visit Moira Allen's own
"TimeTravel-Britain.com" at http://www.timetravel-britain.com.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Myrna Oakley

For more information on writing travel articles visit:
http://www.writing-world.com/freelance/index.shtml and scroll down
to check out our list of articles on travel writing. 

****************************************************************

WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of 
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 
2,000 writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia.
http://www.worldwidefreelance.com

****************************************************************

COLUMN - The Software You Need to Have, Part I
================================================================
By Aline Lechaye

A lot of software seems to have been written with the sole
objective of making the writer's life easier. Some of them are
silly, some are useful, and some are just plain... weird. A few
personal favorites: 

Focus Writer and Momentum Writer:
---------------------------------
You can't help it. You really can't. But there are just too many
distractions on your computer. MSN messenger running in the
background, games on your desktop just itching to be played, and,
oh yeah, the wildly complicated Microsoft Word 2007 toolbar, which
just screams, "LOOK AT ME! LOOK HOW MANY THINGS I CAN DO!"

Imagine a distraction-free world, where there is just you, soothing
background colors of your choice, and the words you're typing. Two
software that can grant your wish: Focus Writer (
http://gottcode.org/focuswriter/), which has a Mac version as well
as a Windows version, and Momentum Writer (
http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/momentumwriter/index.html),
which has a handy word count feature in the bottom left corner. 

With Focus Writer, you can choose the font and word size of your
text, so you can use larger text to avoid eyestrain; the drawback
of the software is that it has a somewhat distracting toolbar that
pops up whenever you move your mouse over it (moral: don't move
your mouse when writing!) 

Momentum Writer is nice in that it centers all text in the middle
of the page, so you aren't always staring at the bottom of the
computer screen. Another great feature is that you can install it
on a USB or even an iPod, so you can use it anywhere you go. 

Both software have auto-save functions, but Momentum Writer saves a
"backup" in a separate .txt file.

bookTome: 
---------
Sad, but true: a writer usually has more books than he or she knows
what to do with. Half the time you end up buying books you already
have, for the simple reason that you don't know what you do have. 

All that changes with bookTome. By entering the ISBN or book title,
you can import your books (complete with cover photos, publication
date, author's name, publishing company etc.) from Amazon.com into
your computer. 

What's more, you can enter the "location" of the book into the
database, so you'll know exactly where to find it. I find it
helpful to set location to "lent to Someone Somebody" when I lend a
book out, so I'll know who to get the book back from. 

Download the software from: http://booktome.shanemca.com/ (Windows
version only.)

Unstoppable Copier:
-------------------
Does your heart stop when your computer gadgets cease to work? If
not, imagine this scenario: you save all your word files on a USB.
Your articles, your stories, your blog posts. Everything. And one
day, for no reason whatsoever, your USB stops working. No computer
can detect it. No amount of fiddling can bring it back to life.
Oops.  

Apart from making backup files in future, you can try using this
software http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29, which
works on both Windows and Linux. You probably won't get everything
back in pristine condition, but hopefully you'll recover some
pieces. For the record, I once recovered five out of nine files on
a cracked CD. Good enough, I guess, considering that it takes up
several hundred dollars to get the same results from "professional"
companies. 

Don't forget to check back next month for more free software!

Giveaway: 

Paperbacks, hardcover books, and even audio books! That's what J.
Kaye's Book Blog is giving away this August. You must be a
US/Canadian resident, and over 18 years old to enter. Go to
http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/2009/08/reminder-august-
giveaways.html to read full giveaway rules, 
learn more about the books, and sign up for your free books.

>>--------------------------------------------------<< 

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who resides 
in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye@gmail.com.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Aline Lechaye

****************************************************************

THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

Certified Technical Writing Specialist 
--------------------------------------
This is a must bookmark site if you are looking for technical 
writing jobs.
http://ctws.certificationtestingservice.com/jobs/

Publishing Basics
-------------------
A great site for self-publishers (and with some help for 
subsidy/vanity publishers), with hundreds of articles, blogs, and 
other resources.
http://www.publishingbasics.com/

African American Literature Book Club
--------------------------------------
This site has links to some great writing resources for all writers 
but with an emphasis on African American writing and publishing. 
http://writers.aalbc.com/

*****************************************************************

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create a full-time living from ONE book!  By the award-winning 
author of The Well-Fed Writer. http://www.wellfedsp.com

*****************************************************************

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

Democracy vs. Theocracy: The President and the Senate Will Decide
YOUR Future, by JoAnn MacDonald

Einstein's Question, by Steve and Deja Whitehouse

Ginger High, by Melissa Burmester

No Teachers Left Behind, by HBF Teacher

Perfect World: The First Chapters, by Gerry Hines

Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.
http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
http://www.writing-world.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors@writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial@writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2009 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at
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