Hey, There.

I’ve got some various reasons to start showing up here again, among those the fact that I do miss it. And some people from way back when on LiveJournal got together and said, “Hi,” online, which made me miss it a little more. But I realized I was tired of the design and feel of the site.

So, of course, rather than spending the time drafting and polishing a post of some profundity, I stayed up late changing the look of the blog.

It’s got colors!

And cute menu buttons!

And, thankfully, most of the old stuff I had here before, although I may be digging through my files this weekend to find a little of it, which seems to have vanished. Poof!

I have some ideas about what I might want to talk about, how I want to spend my blog time. But nothing fully formed or truly thought out.


A little Lewis Carroll for you…

“‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
‘I don’t much care where–‘
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.'”


November…WOOSH!!!! And Links from the Blogosphere

What I learned this past month is the futility of predicting what’s coming. Way back here, I talked about everything I was going to blog about in November.

Let’s just say, “Yeah, right,” NOT talk about the flu or pneumonia anymore, and move on. Okay? Okay!

Looking ahead, with zero predictions, I am so looking forward to opening up my writing projects again and seeing who’s doing what and how they’ve been keeping themselves busy without me. Hopefully, at least their creative juices have been flowing, and they’ll all be happy to share some output with me–their friend and author.

Meanwhile, I have at least been checking in at other blogs, and I thought–just to get the posting fingers warmed up again and wave a happy hand at all of you again, I’d post some links to what they’re talking about.

  • I always love Jama Rattigan’s Hawaii posts. Yes, you get some pictures of beautiful beaches and skies, but it’s the family and food that keeps me coming back for more. Okay, and the bears. And moose.
  • Sabrina at YA Bliss shares some great titles from her winter TBR list.
  • Jennifer Laughran addresses yet another writer fear with her usual and always welcome common sense.
  • Jennifer R. Hubbard reviews Colleen Mondor’sThe Map of My Dead Pilotsa nonfiction book that intrigues me, both for itself and for the feeling that it might be like reading more about characters from one of Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak mysteries.
  • Rebecca Schiller talks about using a mind-mapping program, SimpleMind, to work with Scrivener. I have never been able to get those circle-brainstorming map thingies to work for me, but I felt that way about index cards until Scrivener came along. Now I’m wondering if I just need computers to help me along–I’ll be taking a look at SimpleMind myself.
  • Julia Churchill posts at Greenhouse Literary about what happens after you sign with an agent. You know, besides the ultimate happy dance and celebratory dinner at that restaurant you really can’t afford.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and wishing you a peaceful and HEALTHY December! Oh, that for us, too, thanks very much!

Friday Five: Around the Blogosphere

A quick glance around the blogs to see what other people are saying:

  1. Jennifer R. Hubbard with a discussion on Little Women: Jo and Laurie or Jo and Professor Bhaer. Fact: I am now and always have been Team Bhaer.
  2. Because I loved the book but am feeling too lazy to write about it, this excellent review of Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor, from Thea at The Book Smugglers.
  3. Beth Revis on being afraid. She says it so well.
  4. I don’t know if you remember KidLit4Japan, the children’s and YA auction that raised over $10,000to help Japan after the earthquake and tsunami? Well, the author who organized and ran the WHOLE THING, Greg Fishbone, has a new book out, the first in his Galaxy Games series–Galaxy Games: The Challengers. Check out Debbi Michiko Florence’s interview with Greg.
  5. Go answer Nathan Bransford’s question: When Do You Let Other People See Your Work? Me, I use early critiques as motivation and thinking-fodder, but I know a lot of writers get nervous about sharing those first drafts. You?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thankful Thursday: From My Blog Reader

There are times when it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information on the Internet, especially when we tell ourselves we’re supposed to be keeping track of it all and applying it to our writing lives.


I have a long list of blogs in my blog reader, and on any given day, I can look there & find something to update or instruct me about the latest technology or publishing changes, to motivate and inspire me about the writing life, to reassure me that I’m not the only one wondering what it’s all about.

So just to mention a few of my favorites today and to say thanks…

Obviously, these are just a few of the blogs I check in at every week, but they are definitely some of my staples.

Have any thank-yous to bloggers you’d like to share? Feel free to drop them in the comments.

Marketing Monday: Setting Up a Blog Tour & Adding a New Blog Feature

Before I get down to business today, I want to show you a few of my favorite books.

Wait, what’s that one out in front? Is it…? It is! Yes, two copies of The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide showed up at my house this weekend. Did I mind the rain and gray skies? Not after that delivery, I didn’t!

Okay, so if the book is here, this means I should get back to my marketing to-do list and get some things checked off. The book is due out January 15th, but I’ll have some copies before then that I can, and want to, use for marketing. I’d like to set up a blog tour for January…with giveaways! I’m keeping this simple, just hoping to visit a few blogs and let people know about my book, share some thoughts about critiquing and critique groups. If you’d like your blog to be a stop on the tour, I’d love to come by. I think interviews are fun, because I can talk about what you and your blog readers want to hear, but I can also do a guest post if that’s easier for you.

If you’d like to host me at your blog, please send me an email at beckylevine@ymail.com

The other thing I’m looking to do is add a new, probably monthly, feature to my blog in 2010. I’d like to host you, if you’ve got a story about a critique group or experience to share. (Obviously, I don’t want posts that are just rants or vents, but I’m definitely open to learning-experience stories as well as the more positive kind!) And if you’ve got a book out or coming out that you’d like to promote, I’ll include pictures and links to let people know about it. You can also donate a copy of an ARC or published book, if you’d like me to run a contest.

Again, if you’d like to guest blog here with your critique story, please email me at beckylevine@ymail.com

Next post, back to our regular, random programming.

Friday Five: Taking a Look around the Blogiverse

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of navel-staring the last few weeks, like I’ve been a little too wrapped up in ME.  But I do love touching base with a Friday Five. So this Friday, I’m going to point you to a few other people…enjoy!

1. Start at Susan Taylor Brown’s blog. All this month, she’s posting about 31 Blogs (You Might Not Know) to highlight blogs she enjoys that may have flown under our radar. Just a nice tidbit every day, but she’s bringing lots of wondering bloggers to my attention. Susan’s posts this month and her generosity at her blog are actually my inspiration for stepping back from the mirror today–thanks, Susan!

2. Martha Alderson is The Plot Whisperer. Last year, she filled December with wonderful posts about what to do about revising the novel you “finished” during NaNo. She’s back this year with the 2nd Annual International Plot Writing Month. Posts start here.

3. You know them as The Shrinking Violets, rescuers of all introverts. Who are they behind their superhero masks & capes? Robin LaFevers and Mary Hershey, wonderful writers and bloggers. For intensive writing advice and wonderful motivation, check out Robin’s and Mary’s individual blogs.

4. Do you want to learn about the publishing industry–about what’s happening today and what may very well be happening tomorrow? Jane Friedman is publisher and editorial director of the Writer’s Digest brand community. She has two blogs (maybe more!) at There Are No Rules and Publishing Passion. Jane has strong opinions and ideas about what publishing is doing and what it should be thinking about. You may or may not agree with all she says, but she is on top of everything that’s happening today, and she does a brilliant job of sharing all her knowledge and experience with those of us struggling to figure it all out. Her posts are not to be missed.

1. If you’re a kids or YA writer, you already know Jen Robinson. And if you don’t, well, you just head over and introduce yourself to her blog now. What if you don’t write for kids and teens? Well, Are you an adult who’s been hearing about this surge in YA lit and wondering where to get started? Do you have any kids in your life who love reading, or who are struggling to find that love? Do you have a list of young ones and teens on your holiday-gift list? Do you care about literacy, about promoting reading for all ages? Jen is a passionate advocate for literacy, for bringing books into children’s lives, and for continuing to read “young” books into our adult years. She knows more about kids/YA books than anyone I know, and that’s saying a lot. Her generosity of time and energy are epic. Get her blog into your blog reader now.

There. Now you have more links to add to your already busy lives. 🙂  Happy friday & happy reading!