Is Wikipedia Reliable for your Research?

I remember the days when the encyclopedia salesman would come to the door, selling leather-bound sets of books with gold-dusted pages. In those ancient caveman days, the biggest problem with the encyclopedias, was that they would quickly get outdated. Science, the global political landscape and technology are often always in flux, which caused the print version of the encyclopedia to be less valuable longer-term.
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Pros and Cons of Writing Movie Reviews

Since Fridays usually end up being movie night in our neck of the woods, I thought I’d focus on the pros and cons of writing movie reviews and how–especially if you’ve never written one–they can help your writing.

When you sit down and write any sort of a review–be it a movie, book or even a website review–it helps take you outside of your normal element to just “observe” the good, bad and the ugly in a product. Thinking critically, as every writer knows, is something that doesn’t always come naturally to us. If you write creatively and for businesses, sometimes different brain cells feel like they’re kicking in to give you a shift in perspective. With reviews, you can do a little bit of both.
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Oh, the Writer’s Life for Me… With Beer? Negative Self-Talk?

So here I am again, in the valley of a long series of peaks and valleys. Like most writers, I do not live a linear life. Linear — that mathematical “straight” line summed up by a series of experiences that happen at specific milestones. Grade school, high school, college. College sweetheart. Internship. Job. Marriage. 2.5 kids and a dog. First house. First divorce. Second job. And so on.

If you’re a writer or any other creative, chances are you do not live in a world made up of straight lines and right angles. We do things that don’t make sense to most people. We live in a world made up of daydreams and the occasional pot o’ gold because that is who we are and we’re usually fine with it — until something bad happens that reminds us that we still have to live in the so-called real world.

What is real? Is it living up to someone else’s expectations or your own? Do we have to put blinders on and move forward no matter what? Sure, there’s this little thing called “money” that we all have to deal with — I’ll never go back to eating mac ‘n’ cheese — but money is a flow. It’s a kind of a “chi” that we can get anywhere, but we have to block out the voices to focus on it, which can be hard when all you want to do is lock yourself in a room and hibernate through the winter with a tall glass of Guinness.

I remember the first time I talked to writer C.J. Henderson, who you may remember wrote Baby’s First Mythos. CJ is a personable fellow, but a very realistic writer who has lived several lifetimes like many of the rest of us.
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Just How Long Does it Take to Make a “Name” for Yourself?

Fame, fortune and glory. Something that every writer dreams of, but no one is quite sure what being “famous” actually entails. Do you know who Robert Bloch is? How about Leigh Brackett or C.L. Moore? Each of these prolific writers hit it “big”: Bloch wrote the horror fiction that the movie Psycho was based on, Leigh Brackett wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, and C.L. Moore’s groundbreaking contributions to fantasy and science fiction earned her the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Being a writer means that we have to continually remind ourselves why we write; to the fickle public it never matters “what” we’ve done. It always seems to be “when” we do it that counts. I’ll never forget the first time I joined a community of writers. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was enthusiastic about how far I’d go as a writer and was eager to share ideas with other writers like myself. Then, I got told off by a very snarky writer who had written two books over 10 years ago–that I wasn’t a “real” writer because, at the time, I had zero “paid” credits to my name. To him, he was the “expert” because he had been published before and had gotten paid for it–but he was also bitter. Very bitter.

It’s easy for us to sit back and laugh at writers like this. Unfortunately, we are those writers. In 50 years, who will be remembered? Stephen King? Probably. You? Me? Probably not–yet.
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Fiction Editing: the Do’s and Don’ts of Editing Professionally

Now that I have some time this week to post, I’m going to pick up where I left off when I was discussing editing. Recently, we’ve talked about what an editor does and what the difference is between content editing and copy editing. Now I’d like to talk specifically about fiction, because the fiction process is one that’s important to understand both on the writer’s side, but also on the editor’s.

DOs and DON’Ts of Being an Editor

    Don’t: Reject someone’s work because they have no experience.
    Do: Reject the work if the quality isn’t up to par.
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