Archive for September 16th, 2008

WMBTSG Day Fifiteen Drawing: And the winners are…

Marnini (that’s Maribeth again)!!!



You have each won a special edition hardcover copies of Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by Jordan Rosenfeld.


To reread about what you’ve won, click here.

Please send me your snail mail address at writer mama at earthlink dot net.

Thanks everyone for participating! And don’t worry, there are still 15 chances to win!

Thanks for your help spreading the word about the 2008 Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway.

We are only half way through the fun…if you can believe that!


The Write Attitude: Setting Up a Reward System

By Jennifer Applin

There are many steps involved in becoming a successful writer and each should be rewarded. Rewards are tangible expressions of gratitude, but also great motivational tools. You don’t have to wait until you have your name in print or a book deal to give yourself a pat on the back. Set up a reward system that considers ever the little accomplishments important. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Include variety. In a life that’s filled with routine, nothing is worse than your reward system becoming mundane. Keep an incentive list that includes categories for no-cost rewards and those that involve spending some of your hard-earned money. Examples in the “free” category include reading a book, watching television, or going for a run. These are great for meeting your smaller daily goals. Those with an attached expense can vary from fairly inexpensive such as downloading a few songs from iTunes or a Vanilla Latte; or more expensive such as a new wardrobe or a small vacation. These are fitting for meeting your larger, long-term writing goals.
  • Make it meaningful. When it’s time for a reward really consider what would pack the greatest punch at that moment. Although you planned on soaking in the tub after you finished that query, maybe your body is screaming for a nap instead. You hoped to get a pedicure once you finished that article, but if treating the family to a movie sounds better, go for it. This is your reward. Make sure it’s meaningful and has a great impact.
  • Think of others. Your reward system should also include those who help you meet your writing goals. Have your children been taking over the cooking? Has your spouse been picking up the slack at home? Although the entire family will benefit when you become a successful writer, they should be rewarded throughout the process as well. Again, it’s doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. Just simple expressions of thanks will go a long way in showing your appreciation and keeping them motivated to help.

Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. Aside from writing for many regional publications, she is regular contributor to and She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones, and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting, and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.

WMBTSG Day Sixteen (Comment to this post to enter today’s drawing)

Welcome to day sixteen of the Writer Mama Back-to-School Giveaway. Today’s giveaway is The Mind of Your Story by Lisa Lenard-Cook.

I’m in the middle of reading Lisa’s novel, Coyote Morning, and it’s cool. It’s really cool. This is a book that succeeded in sucking me right in. I admire an author who can do that as quietly and skillfully as Lenard-Cook without a trace of device manipulation. (That’s years of craft paying off, my friends. Lisa is the real-deal.)

The Mind of Your Story: Discover What Drives Your Fiction
By Lisa Lenard-Cook
Writer’s Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58297-488-0
$19.99 hardcover, 272 pages

How do you create a successful fiction that captures readers from its first page and never lets them go until the final page is turned? The secret is a delicate balancing act between allowing a story a mind of its own and holding tightly to its reins.

Award-winning author Lisa Lenard-Cook takes you through the entire writing process, showing you how to:

  • nurture your ideas—the seeds of your fiction—so they bloom more fully
  • develop nuanced characters with distinct voices that intrigue readers
  • manage your story’s “mind”—carefully pacing your scenes
  • navigate the intricacies of the revision process—so your own edits are more efficient and effective

Combining practical advice with down-to-earth candor, The Mind of Your Story illuminates the often-elusive elements of fiction and helps you turn your creative obsessions into that mysterious yet undeniable connection with readers.

About the Author
Lisa Lenard-Cook’s first novel, Dissonance (University of New Mexico Press), won the Jim Sagel Award for the Novel while still in manuscript and went on to be short-listed for the PEN Southwest Book Award. The book was also a selection of the Durango-La Plata County Reads! countywide reading program and NPR Performance Today’s Summer Reading Series. Her second novel, Coyote Morning (UNM Press), was short-listed for the New Mexico Press Women’s Zia Award and, like Dissonance, a Southwest Book of the Year. Lisa is on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and is the fiction columnist for the Web site Visit her Web site,, for information on upcoming appearances and classes. Lisa lives in Corrales, New Mexico.


Today’s question:

Let’s talk about fiction some more! Do stories have “minds” of their own? Are we but channels for such stories to “pour” through us? Have you ever experienced this sensation? If not, would you like to? Tell us how ficiton happens…for you.

If this is your first post in the giveaway, please read “Da Rules.”

You may post your comments until midnight PST on September 16th.

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