Saturday, February 26, 2011

Social Media For Writers - Follow Twitter

So I keep reading more and more about how writers need to use social media to promote their work.

If you use Twitter, check out The Writer Mag's Tweets for useful stuff. I'm trying to be more diligent about my Twitter Account. If you want to check it out, follow it, please do. I've been tweeting about many of my daily observations lately.

If you have ideas that you feel might go nicely here on this Creative Writing blog, drop me a message. Always looking for guest bloggers and/or ideas to help student writers and aspiring writers.

Friday, February 25, 2011

No Creative Writing Meeting Today

Alas.... scheduling conflicts have forced us to cancel today's meeting.
I was s-o-o-o-o looking forward to discussing our current Creative Writing Club writing projects.
The group decided to tackle the horror genre. The task was to write a short story of no more than 2,000 words with the setting in the Ballston Area of Northern Virginia.
One of us already has completed her draft. Maybe we'll share some of the projects (or parts of them) here on the blog.
Wanna join us in the exercise?  Let me know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Do you repeat yourself? Two links to frequency counters

Of course you repeat yourself. We all do. Some repetition is good to drive home your point in a story or essay, but too much is just too much.

So... I was checking through my Twitter Follows and found a useful site with word and phrase frequency counters. The Phrase Frequency Counter allows you to choose the number of words in a phrase to check (from 2-10). The Word Frequency Counter checks every word in your text. Both frequency counters allow you to cut and paste or type the writing sample you want analyzed.  

These are cool:
Phrase Frequency Counter
Word Frequency Counter

For example, when I cut and paste the text above (including the blog title) into the Phrase Frequency Counter, I found out that I used the phrase "frequency counter" four times, "phrase frequency" and "frequency counters" three times each. Plugging in the same sample into the Word Frequency Counter, I found that I used the word "frequency" seven times, and "you" and "to" five times each.

Good to know - especially when writing for the Web.

Cartooning Weekend

What happens when you take an hour to read a book on the old Calvin & Hobbes strip?

You spend a weekend cartooning.

Guess that's not too bad. Works with my children's book idea. The kids and I spent a couple of hours at the kitchen table sketching out ideas on Sunday.

I'm brainstorming an idea to use a strip to address plagiarism issues on campus. Thinking it could go in the student newsletter that's in development now. Oh yeah, I'll be helping with editing (put that J-schooling to good use, lol).

So.... that poem to my wife. She got a kick out of this line laced with a touch of Spanglish and a subtle nod to a Saturday Night Live skit:

(Maybe we should dance? Orale!)
Had we but time to cut a rug so fine. 
But, my back whispers, warning me... it groans,
“Don’t dance too much, or you’ll pop out your cooter bones.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Poetry prompt using words around us

I am always looking at signs, bumper stickers, graffiti, etc.
Here's a nice little poetry prompt that makes use of that habit: from @poetswriters

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Latest Writing Project

My son came home a bit down because he got a bad grade on a math worksheet. Late last night I rummaged through my library and found a book on math for his grade level.

My wife and I helped him put together some flash cards, but I also outlined the idea for a picture book about a little boy needing help with math. I'll have to pull out my sketch book to work on the art later. It's a good break from editing my Spiritual/Sci-Fi novel, "Harvesting the Alien Corn."

I did spend about an hour researching characters for the novel.

Just remembered, I have until Friday to get my attempt at horror writing done for my creative writing club - a short story set in Arlington, Va. I've got the general idea, just need to get it done.

Last, but not least, I returned to my collegiate roots on Saturday, writing a poem (for my wife). I used to love open-mike poetry nights at this cafe in Syracuse. Think I'll pull it off my flash drive and post some of it for my next entry.

Time for a little research (watching a foreign-language film).

Quote Of The Day: The Surefire Way To Never Meet Your Goals

This one is attributed to hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. This is so true. I have b...