Goodie Bag of Tools for Writers

I’m off to California again, taking a poetry workshop, visiting Dad, and celebrating my birthday. I don’t think I should get all the presents. So let me offer you a few goodies for your tool box.

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about finding an agent. I neglected to mention some resources that can help you on your search, especially if all this agent biz is new to you. For example: The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents,  only $4.99 for the e-book, explains  everything you need to know to embark on your agent search. This does not include listings of agents, but you can find a list at the website. You can also find information about agents and listings at Writer’s Market, Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents  and Chuck Sambuchino’s 2014 Guide to Literary Agents.

Stuck for a word? It happens to me a lot lately. Actually I usually have a word, but I can’t use it three times in one paragraph, right? Visit to get a list of other words that mean about the same thing. Helpful hint on using thesauruses: If you don’t know what a word means, you probably want to skip that one.

If it wifi, WI-FI, Wi-Fi or what? Is it ebook or e-book? These are the things that drive copyeditors nuts and that all writers should try to get right. Two sources of the answers are the Associated Press Style Manual, the book favored by most newspapers and many magazines, and the Chicago Manual of Style for the more literary among us. AP also has a Facebook page, which gives out a new hint every day. For example, during the Olympics, they told us how to spell those fancy figure skating moves.

These links ought to hold you till I get back.

Now go write.

Three Tips: Get some style, tell it short, be inspired


It doesn’t have much of a plot, but if you want to know the proper format for all kinds of things, including dates, addresses, numbers, titles, and much much more, invest in a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style, the most popular guide used by editors. It’s handy to have the actual book on hand (I bought mine used), but if you don’t want to put out the money, you can subscribe to the online version at Give it a try and make your editors smile.


Can you tell your life story in six words? The folks at think so. Click on the site to find inspiration and regular challenges. You may find you don’t need as many words as you thought.


Try This

Do you know about Pinterest? It’s a popular networking site where people post pictures of all sorts of things. Looking at pictures and “liking” and reposting is fun, but you can also find ideas there. Click on, look at the pictures that come up and write about one of them. Or several.

Now Go Write