December 11

Many of you are writers, or know someone who is, at the very least. So today’s calendar window opens on a gift of riches: links dealing with writing and world-building and publishing, all from SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America).

The first is Patricia C. Wrede’s comprehensive Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions from the SFWA blog. If you’re writing a novel, this is an excellent place to start.

Next is a general link to a page of amazing resources, also available at the SFWA website. These cover everything from “keeping at writing” to “contracts” and “getting an agent” to “publishing technologies.” Something for everyone, indeed! Also, please be aware of Writer Beware, linked on the same page. It’s not all roses in the publishing world; there’s more than a few thorns and weeds. Knowing what to avoid can help you immeasurably.

Finally, here’s a tidbit on something I personally find vexing: writing synopses. Let Curtis C. Chen (author of the fabulous Waypoint Kangaroo–have you read it yet?) help you find the way through this difficult task with his essay, “Special Synopsis Sauce.”


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December 10

Seems like it’s time for another story. One full of hope, and love.
So this window opens onto a story.
I hope you enjoy this one.

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December 9

Today’s window opens onto something that I hope might be helpful for others the way it would have been for my past self.

“Past-me” was afraid to write science fiction, because I clearly didn’t know enough science; I wasn’t a scientist, after all. And I’d heard so many horror stories about how “tough” readers latched on to any perceived scientific flaw and ran the author through the wringer on it.

Then I heard–and I don’t remember exactly when, or where–that some readers will gripe about anything, real or simply perceived, to do with science. That some folks only think SF deals with men in space doing actual science stuff, and will grouse about anything else.

Which got me to thinking about the SF I’d read and loved. Yes, some had been about people doing “science stuff” in space. But some was just “people in space.” And others were stories about alternate histories, or were near future, so no “space” was involved at all! Basically, the SF I liked was still about–gasp!–people.

So, here’s a link to an essay by someone who has way more experience than me, way more credibility as a writer, saying pretty much the same thing. I wish I’d read this years ago, but I didn’t. So, today’s gift to you is also a gift to my past self, and a laying to rest of brain weasels: Go and read this. Let it sink in. Then feel free to write whatever the hell you wish!

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December 8


Because the holidays are about gift-giving, here’s a wonderful gift for the writer in your life (including yourself!). They’re even in red and green, the traditional evergreen and holly-berry colors of the season. Click on the images to head through to the storefront for The Literary Gift Company, which is full of even more great gift ideas for the word-lover in your life.

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December 7

For today, a quote. To help you de-stress.

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

–Terry Pratchett

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December 6

Today’s window brings us Grants! Free money to help writers follow their passions!
Are you eligible? Click the following links to see (please note that this year’s grants are over, but these repeat annually):

Writers with kids under 18

Older Writers

Diverse Writers

Working Class Writers

Gulliver Travel Grant

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December 5

Sometimes you just really need a good story to make you laugh out loud.

Here’s a great one for that.


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December 4

“Because I need a little Christmas, right this very minute…”

(here’s your holiday cheer image)

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