Mini Link Feast – Mothers, Daughters, Introverts & Utopias


Old habits die hard. Reading blogs is still one of my favourite pastimes. But with no deadlines for writing and author platform links, I have focused more on the deep stuff, the blogs that really make me think. I hope you’ll find these links as interesting as I did.


Long Live The Introvert: Why Being “Anti-Social” Is Also A Skill by Lisa Rivero

Want To Know Yourself Better? Ask Yourself These Questions by Gretchen Rubin

10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know Before She Turns 10 by Lindsey Mead Russell

Would You Change Anything About Your Past by Marcy Kennedy

10 Healthy Processed Foods by August McLaughlin

Feminism, Motherhood & A Demanding Career by Shannon Lell

Mommy’s Hierarchy Of Needs by Shannon Lell

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend by Anne R. Allen

U – Is For Utopia by Margo Lerwill


Have you read something really profound or touching recently? Please share the links in the comments.

Link Feast For Writers Vol. 11

Writing blogs are a great way to learn about the craft and marketing our work. Enjoy the posts I’ve hoarded, some older, some recent.


On Writing (Character Special)

Drop The Drama Bomb by Mario Acevendo at Writers In The Storm

Spice Up Your Writing With Optimal Learning Styles by Jan O’Hara at Writer Unboxed

Ask Your Character: Why Do You Matter? by Donald Maass at Writer Unboxed

Depth of Character by Donald Maass at Writer Unboxed

First Impressions by Diana Peterfreund

Giving Your Character A Unique Voice (Film Script Writing)

5 Tests To See If Character’s Voice Is Working by Christopher Boone

Character Development Sheet

What Makes A Female Character Strong by Jami Gold

10 Antagonist No No’s by Lynn Viehl

16 Villain Archetypes by Tami Cowden

Top 10 Mentor Characters by Alexandra Sokoloff

Where Are All The Female Mentor Characters by Stella Carter at Jezebel

How To Kill Characterization (at Drying Ink)

Myers-Briggs As A Tool For Authors by Fae Rowen

Chinese Element Personality Types For Fun & Writing by Fae Rowen

Creating Character Depth With Astrological Signs by C.J. Winters

Character Trading Cards by Lynn Viehl

Using Tarot For Creative Writing by Janet Boyer

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dialogue by Ali Luke at Write To Done

Create a Rough Sketch Of Your Work In Progress (

12 Ways To Create Suspense by Gail Carson Levine

What Everyone Knows & Team Mundane by Catherynne M. Valente

Practical Writing Tips From 22 Brilliant Authors (scroll down to get the advice. My favourite bit was: “Write the first chapter LAST”)

Writing Quickly: A Secret Strategy by Ava Jae

Trend Tracking Versus Jumping by Lynn Viehl

Write Books That Change Lives by Ingrid Sundberg

Book Series Sell by agent Rusell Galen

Do You Read Like A Reader Or A Writer by Janice Hardy

Fighting Writer Fatique by Lynn Viehl


Your Author Platform

How Much Interaction Should Writers Have With Their Readers by Jody Hedlund

Hustling: How To Spread Word About Your Book by Chris Guillebeau

Convention Schmoozing 101 by Mary Robinette Kowal

How To Write Free Content That Gets You An Avalanche Of Traffic by Danny Iny

How To Keep Your Book Talk Fresh by Roz Morris

3 Selling Tactics From The Internet Marketing Gurus by Lindsay Buroker

89 Book Marketing Ideas (Author Media)

How To Launch A Book Without Losing Your Mind by Elizabeth S. Craig



How Long Does It Take To Get Blog Readers? by Nina Amir

Top 10 Blog Traffic Killers by Michael Hyatt

How To Get Better Results With List Posts (Pushing Social)

3 Guaranteed Ways To Get Your Blog Post Read (Pushing Social)

Put Some Thought Into Your Blog Comments: No Vanilla Adjectives Please by Susie Lindau (check out the comments too)

How To Write A Good Blog Comment by Nathan Bradsford

Find Your Blog’s Unique Voice by Jeff Goins at ProBlogger

How To Promote Your Blog Like The Big Guys by Leo Baubata

How To Get Serious About Promoting Your Blog (Pushing Social)

Launching A Successful Blog Tour by Alan Rinzler

Hosting Your Own WordPress Website by Melinda Van Lone

Must Have WordPress Plug-ins by Annabel Candy

If I Started Blogging Today, I Would… by Annette Gendler

The New Style Of Blog Writing by Mary Jaksch

Shakespeare on Blogging by Leanne Shirtliffe

How To Figure Out What Content People Want (at Social Triggers)


Social Media

8 Ways To Grow Your Social Media Footprint by Jenny Hansen

Why Authors Tweet (NYTimes)

Twitter Success Tricks from @thewritermama

Content Creator’s Twitter Evolution (Writer’s Digest)

Control Your Social Media So It Doesn’t Control You by Elizabeth S. Craig

Triberr Review: Useful Tool Or Shiny Toy? by Linda Adams

Tumblr For Writers by Ava Jae


Collected Wisdom

Blog Treasures by Gene Lempp (June 2)

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig (June 3)

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas (June 1)

Writing on the Ether by Porter Anderson (May 31)


Deep Stuff

What’s the First Thing You Do When You Open The Computer? by Seth Godin

Expand Your Circles by Amber West

Email Sanity: How To Clear Your Inbox When You’re Drowning at Zen Habits

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: The Princess Culture by Margot Magowan


Fun Stuff

Male & Female Eye Candy (collection of actor photos)

FictFact – Track Your Favorite Book Series

Bookmarks From Hell by Lynn Viehl

10 Signs You’ve Attended Too Many Writing Workshops by Lynn Viehl

The Vampire Smythe (short story by Lynn Viehl)

Dark & Devastating Secrets (shot, funny story by Lynn Viehl)

Armor-ella (short fairytale retelling by Holly Lisle)

Talk Like Yoda You Must

Happy Belated Talk Like Yoda Day! (it was yesterday May 21).

Yoda is the ultimate mentor character. Wise and mysterious with a great sense of humour. Yet Jedi he also was and fearsome with his light saber as we saw in the prequel movies. The special speech pattern thing was the final touch to make him truly memorable. Yoda either put his verbs to the beginning of the sentence or to the end.

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

If your Yoda Speak perfect is not, these links check out, yes? And scroll down a little you should some hilarious Star Wars videos to see, hmm.


Yoda Recording for Tom Tom GPS – Behind The Scenes (2:07)


Darth Vader Being A Smartass (0:47)


Star Wars Gangsta Rap (warning: foul language & totally non PC)


Darth Vader In Love (6:49)


Comment leave, please. Your Yoda Speak practice (or not). Think what of the Star Wars movies you did? Who your favourite characters are?

Kickstart The Week With Feel Good Music

Music has the power to evoke feelings, and the right kind of music takes us to our happy place. To celebrate the Monday, I’ll share four of my feel good songs. Enjoy.

To start with a cheery pop tune, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten has some good lyrics for writers. “Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.”

The classic is James Brown’s soul song I Got You (I Feel Good).

An old favourite is Groove Armada’s hit My Friend from year 2001. The video takes you from a boring office to the beach and partying with friends. Ah! Do you remember hearing this song?

I tried to include a mandatory Monty Python song but unfortunately it couldn’t be embedded. So click here to listen Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life from Life of Brian.

What songs get you to good mood? Do you listen to music that reflects your feelings? Or do you use music to cheer you up or otherwise change your mood?

Eleven Questions Meme – part 2

I was tagged a second time to play the 11 Questions Game by Marcy Kennedy. I’m posting the questions a day late since I had to catch up with my sleep debt yesterday. My apologies. Today I’ll blog twice. Link Feast shall be posted in my late afternoon. And tomorrow I’ll do the second part of Marcy’s tag, the Lucky 7 Meme.

And then the fun part. For recap, this is how the game works:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Here are Marcy’s great questions and my answers:

1. If you could have one magical power, what would it be?

I would love to be able to fly. The feeling of freedom would be even more giddy than you’d get by driving a car or riding a horse.

2. You have to give up one of your five senses. Which one would you choose and why?

I would give up smelling because even though it is a nice sense, it is not essential and life-altering. Although giving up smelling would also affect how we taste things since they’re connected. That’s why food tastes so bland when your nose is stuffy. Tasting is almost half smelling.

3. What’s your super-secret Hunger Games survival skill?

I’m not very survival savvy but if the environment was a broadleaf or evergreen forest with their normal plants, I would recognize a lot of edible berries and mushrooms.

4. If it wasn’t illegal and/or cruel, what exotic, wild animal would you want as a pet?

Either something really cute (like a panda or koala) or something beautiful and dangerous (like a wolf or a black panther). Having dolphins would also be awesome. But that would require you to be richer than a millionaire.

5. You’re given a chance to co-write a book with any author (living or dead). Who do you choose and why?

Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome. I would love to write with either Tanith Lee or Catherynne M. Valente because their work is simply beautiful and their ideas astonishing. I’d also love to be able to see how their creative process works.

But to be realistic, I would co-write with either my husband or good friend. We know each others and the way we work, and trust each others and can communicate well. Also, there isn’t a huge skill gap so we could both contribute about equally. With a really talented and experienced writer, I would likely be just a hinderance 🙂

6. An asteroid is barreling toward the earth. There’s nothing you or anyone else can do to stop it, and it’s large enough that it will pulverize the planet so that no one survives. It strikes tomorrow. How do you spend your final day?

I’d spend the day with my closest family doing pretty normal things, having fun with the kids, playing board games and enjoying the best food we could afford.

7. We all have one way that we’re terrified of dying. My husband is afraid of drowning, and I’m afraid of being burned alive. What’s yours?

Drowning would be a horrible way to go. But I’d add to that a Jaws twist. Ever since seeing that movie, I have been paranoid of something biting me when I’m swimming. That, or being stung to death by wasps would be my worst case scenario.

8. You can only have one dessert (including candy and all salty snacks) for the rest of your life. What’s the one you have to have?

This is easy. I’d choose chocolate. I could eat it every day and not get bored.

9. If you could bring one fiction character to life, who would you want to meet?

Rhett Butler. He is my literary crush. Such an interesting character.

10. Favorite kind of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate for me, please. It has the chocolate element, and I don’t like the taste of coffee (and I don’t want to get addicted to caffeine). Tea is a good choice too.

11. And because I loved this question–what are the three things and three people you’d want stranded on the deserted island with you?

It’s a great question indeed. My three people would be my husband and two children. The things would be harder. If I could state books in plural, that would definately be one item. But if each book would have to be picked separately, I’d pick three books. Two would be something both me and the kids would enjoy, like collected Moomin stories by Tove Jansson and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

The third book would be… hmm, it actually wouldn’t be any of the stories I mentioned in my response to Lynette’s questions about which books I can read again and again. I might pick a third children’s book, The Brothers Lionheart or Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren. The first is a really deep story exploring life after death and Ronia is just pure fun with the theme of friendship.

Thank you, Marcy. These questions really made me to think.

I’m a spoilsport this time and won’t ask new eleven questions. I don’t have the time to come up with good ones. But if you want to play, go ahead and answer Marcy’s excellent questions in my comments. Or check out my Monday post where I already posted 11 questions.

Eleven Questions Meme

WANA Blogosphere has been buzzing recently with a fun meme, writers tagging each others to answer 11 questions. I was invited to play by Lynette M. Burrows and Marcy Kennedy. Thank you ladies.

To keep this post somewhat digestible, I’ll save Marcy’s questions (and the Lucky 7 Meme) for tomorrow.

The rules for 11 Questions:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Here are the questions Lynette asked and my answers.

1. What book or series can you read over and over again without getting bored?

One series that has been with me since teenage is Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children set to Ice Age Europe. The heroine is Ayla, an orphaned girl adopted by the Clan. Her struggle is trying to fit in despite being very different from her new people, physically and mentally.

I’m still blown away by the amount of research Auel has done and shares in the series. Her writing contains info dumps by modern standards but all the background information is still really interesting to me. And to be honest, the sex scenes in the later books (parts 2-4) have something to do with the charm of the books 😉

A word of warning, though. In my opinion the series has only 4 books, not 6. The latest two were atrocious.

Another newer favourite is Diana Gabaldon’s time traveling saga starting with Outlander. Jamie and Claire are such a wonderful couple and 1700s are described in vivid detail. One similarity between Ayla and Claire is that they are both healers and use herbs for their trade.

Oh, and I just have to add L.M. Montgomery’s Emily series and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Timeless classics both. Emily is a heroine this introverted writer can perfectly identify with and Elizabeth has spunk, especially for a lady of her time.

2. What TV show character do you hate and why?

Hmm, I don’t watch much TV these days but I really disliked ditzy Cordelia in Buffy and Angel series. And I was irked by Alexander Skarsgård’s bad acting in True Blood season 4. He is perfect as an arrogant hunk but he can’t do sweet and romantic at all. He just looked goofty to me.

3. If you were a super hero, what is your super hero name and your special power?

Right now I would be Super Mommy and with a snap of my fingers I’d clean every spot in the house and manifest cooked, delicious meals. Also, I could magically stop kids from bickering and get them excited to play quietly for a while.

4. What is your favorite ear worm (song that gets stuck in your head)?

Most ear worms currently in my head are children’s songs and they get really annoying fast. I’ve been listening to a lot of Adele lately, especially Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You.

5. If you could be any character of the opposite sex in any story, who would you be and why?

I’d be the previously mentioned vampire Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series. First of all, he is a 2000 year old Viking and I could access his memories and experience history first hand. And second, I’d find out what it was like to be a vampire and still enjoy life with zest like he does.

Shannon Esposito put it really well when answering the same question: “I could see myself shirtless when ever I wanted to.”

6. What was the worst job you’ve ever had and why?

That would be my first job as a hotel cleaner. Cleaning is not very pleasant job (although hotel rooms rarely were very messy) and the rubber gloves dried my hands to parchment.

7. What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?

Moomins based on Tove Jansson’s books.

8. What mode of transportation (horse, automobile, bus, train, boat, airplane, space plane, etc.) would you never want to use and why?

I actually like traveling in all modes. My favourite is trains since there is usually enough foot space and decent light to read. Long trecks on horseback would propably get really uncomfortable as I haven’t ridden since teenage.

9. What job/occupation would you never want to try?

I would hate being a nurse or a doctor. I wouldn’t cope well with being responsible of people’s health and it would be tough seeing terminally ill people (especially children) and dealing with all the body fluids. My hat is off to the people working in the health care. The wages of nurses especially don’t reflect the importance of their jobs.

10. If you could tweet a warning or encouragement to one person in history, what would you tweet to whom and why?

The first thing that came to my mind was ‘Beware of Ides of March’. According to stories, a soothsayer warned Julius Caesar, even stating the location of danger, but he didn’t believe her. Maybe something more supernatural like getting words spoken to his mind would have made him reconsider.

“Yo Jules, the senators will really murder you in Theatre of Pompey. Brutus is in it too. Don’t go there.”

11. Tell us about one thing on your bucket list.

I want to travel to every inhabitable continent of the world. So far I’ve been to Europe, Asia and North America. But there are dozens of places in the three afore mentioned I want to go to.
Now, those were my answers but the show must go on. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone whose blogs I’m following has been tagged at least once already.

I love coming up with questions so here are my 11 for you all:

1. What is a recent book you liked and why?
2. How long have you known your oldest friend? How did you get to know each others?
3. Which word starting with letter M is important to you? What’s the story behind it?
4. Name three songs you are listening a lot right now.
5. What are your favourite ice cream flavours?
6. If you could have any one person (historical or current) as your mentor, who would you choose and why?
7. What’s the best way to jumpstart your creativity?
8. If you could listen to the music of only one artist/composer for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
9. I’m happy right now because…
11. Google quotes or aphorisms + a random word, and share a saying that speaks to you right now. What does it mean to you?

Everyone is welcomed to play. Go ahead and answer one or all of the questions in the comments. Or if you want to answer them in your own blog, consider yourself tagged 🙂


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