Grab Bag

What Would You Do If A Dinosaur Was Chasing You?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

This video should appeal to anyone who watched Jurassic Park or read the book (though it’s funny even if you haven’t). This is a prank that was played in Japan and aired on a TV show there.

Did you spot the human legs? I almost didn’t, and so I know I wouldn’t have seen them had I really been there.

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Top 5 Science Fiction and Fantasy Posts

I’m officially on a blogging vacation over the holidays, but I’ve put together my top-ranked science fiction, fantasy, and mythology posts for those of you who might have missed them or are back at your computers and looking for some reading fun.

What Star Trek Race Are You?

The Missing Hunger Games Line

Do We Need to Be a Little More Old-Fashioned?

Who’s Your Unicorn?

Yoda Was Wrong

I appreciate all of you who’ve read my blog throughout 2012, and I hope you’ll continue through 2013. I have exciting things planned, and I look forward to sharing them with you!

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Grab Bag of Links (March 3)

Go ahead. Reach your hand in and grab some word candy. You know you want to :)

For Fantasy and Science Fiction Lovers

Why Luna Lovegood Should Have Been Harry Potter’s Girlfriend by Ellie Ann on Slacker Heroes – I’ve never been a fan of the Harry-Ginny pairing. I always thought Harry and Hermione should have ended up together, but I have to admit that Ellie makes a really good case for Luna being the perfect match for Harry.

What Buffy the Vampire Slayer Taught Me by Julie Glover – Even if you don’t like fantasy, this post has some great insights.

The Castle of Vlad Dracula “The Impaler” by Debra Kristi – The real story behind the rise of the vampire myths is creepy and doesn’t sparkle.

The Meaning of Life

Playing to Your Strengths by Jenny Hansen on Gene Lempp’s blog – Why is it that we spend so much time trying to fix our weaknesses? Wouldn’t we be better off focusing on our strengths?

My Best Relationship Was In Third Grade by Emma Burcart – Excellent relationship lessons no matter your age.

For Writers

Leaping Smart: Useful Steps for Authors by August McLaughlin – Common sense is an uncommon virtue sometimes, which makes me grateful for the posts full of wisdom and common sense August routinely writes.

6 Simple Steps for Customizing Your Facebook Timeline by Laura Christianson – If you’re like me, you hope Facebook stops making so many changes. In the meantime, here’s a quick tutorial to help you get set up on the new timeline.

The Visceral Connect by Rachel Marks on Speculative Faith – Keys for making your readers feel the emotions your characters are feeling.

Jane Friedman’s Secret to Battling Procrastination – Time is a limited commodity. Jane Friedman has some good advice for making the most of it.

Do you have a favorite link you’d like to nominate for my next grab bag?

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Fighting Dirty, Forgiveness, and CPR for the Undead

Happy Saturday! I haven’t done a grab bag for a few weeks, so this one is bursting at the seams because I couldn’t throw away any of these treats. At least they’re all calorie free.

For Fantasy and Science Fiction Lovers

CPR for the Undead by Emmie Mears – Can vampires be saved or has all the sparkling made them a thing of the past?

Robin Hood: A Story Transcribed by Jessica O’Neal – This is the next installment in her great series on Robin Hood. This time she looks at the different ways Robin Hood (and other characters in his legends) have shown up in literature over the years.

Lady of the Lake by Lisa Hall-Wilson – The Lady of the Lake plays a central role in the novel Lisa and I are writing. In this post, Lisa looks at who the Lady of the Lake might have been.

Immortal Monday on the Epirus Bow and Mount Tartarus by Debra Kristi - What the movie got right . . . and what it didn’t.

For Writers

23 Techniques for Fighting Dirty by Jenny Hansen – Jenny’s posts on fighting dirty and fighting clean will help you put conflict into your novel and take it out of your marriage. Make sure you check out the Fighting Dirty Contest that starts after Valentine’s Day as well.

Why An Agent Rejects Your Query Letter – The answer might surprise you.

The Meaning of Life

3 Steps to Freedom – Grab Hold of Your Brilliant Future by Kristen Lamb – This post is one of my all-time favorites. It’s encouraging and practical and has me thinking carefully every time I say “I’m just tired.”

Forgiveness: It’s All About You by Natalie Hartford – Reasons to forgive someone who’s hurt you regardless of whether they apologize.

The Year to Slay Your Dragons by Ingrid Schaffenburg – Dreams come with dragons, but before we can slay them, we have to recognize them.

Have you read any of these posts? What did you love about them?

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Grab Bag January 14, 2012

Like a grab bag of candy where you reach your hand in and pull out some fun surprises, here are some surprising treats from around the web.

For Science Fiction and Fantasy Lovers

Star Wars’ Greatest Villain by Patrick Thunstrom – For every Star Wars fan who hates Jar Jar Binks.

Robin Hood: The Man Beneath the Hood by Jessica O’Neal – Do you believe Robin Hood really existed? Was he one man or many?

Who Were the Amazons? by Lisa Hall-Wilson – My co-writer Lisa gives a sneak peak at the society that forms the basis of our current work-in-progress.

For Writers

How to Know If Your Agent Is Any Good? by Jane Friedman – Since I’m headed to the Writer’s Digest conference in New York next weekend, this post couldn’t have come at a better time. As helpful for those still seeking an agent as for those who already have one.

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day by Rachel Aaron – She gives three great tips for increasing your writing productivity without burning out–know what you’re going to write before you write it, great excited about what you’re writing, and track productivity and evaluate.

What Star Wars “A New Hope” Can Teach Us About In Medias Res by Kristen Lamb – As writers, we’re told to start our story in a way that will capture the reader. The dilemma is if we start in the middle the reader has action but no emotional connection to the characters. Kristen helps sort out this seeming catch-22.

The Meaning of Life

What Are We Doing About the Children? by Louise Behiel – We can’t help stop child abuse until we know the symptoms of it. The statistics Louise shares will shock you.

Timing Is Everything by Serena Dracis – If you have a dog (old or young), you’ll find Serena’s weekly posts on dog training tips infinitely helpful in understanding how your dog communicates and learns.

True strength is keeping everything together when everyone expects you to fall apart – Anonymous

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas From My Family to Yours

Merry Christmas Santa Claus(Yes, I did put a Santa hat on my dog.)

I’ll be taking a short blogging break over the holidays to spend time with my family. I look forward to catching up with all of you when I return. In the meantime, please subscribe so that you don’t miss any of the coming posts in the new year!

And in case you find yourself ready to do some reading after all the presents are opened and you’ve reached the point where you don’t even want to think about food anymore, I wanted to leave you with a few excellent Christmas posts to read.

Santa Claus: The Granddaddy of all Superheroes from the folks at Comic Book Movie.

Myndi Shafer of Barefoot Blogging made me think about what Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, has to teach all of us.

Santa Claus, Man of Mystery by K.B. Owen gives two of the best Santa videos, as well as a hilarious list of why it’s great to be Santa.

If you missed my post, What If Santa Were Real? click through.

And Lisa Hall-Wilson and I have also left a Christmas message at Girls With Pens for our writer friends linking to our five most popular posts of 2011 and an amazing cello rendition of Carol of the Bells. 

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December 10 Grab Bag

I used to love candy grab bags growing up. You never knew what goodies were going to be inside, but you knew they were going to be good. Like the posts you can find at these links . . .

For Writers

5 Types of Platform and Which Is Right for You? – Jeff Goins explains five different “voices” or “tones” your platform can take and what personality types are best suited for each.

When Grammar Elements Go Out Drinking – The ladies at Edittorent made me laugh out loud. If you don’t get the joke, make sure you hire an editor before trying to publish your book.

Is Your Novel a Spineless Weakling? – A story can succeed or fail based on the antagonist. Yet another great post from Kristen Lamb on how to make sure your novel has the backbone it needs to survive. 

For Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Lovers

Rules to Survive a Horror Movie – You’ll be chuckling and nodding your head over these tips by Liz Schulte on how to survive if you ever find yourself in a horror movie. Many thanks to Jessica O’Neal for hosting this guest post. And because no horror movie is complete without a sequel, go by Liz Schulte’s Bat Country for How to Survive a Horror Movie Part 2.

The Characters of Harry Potter: Neville – The latest instalment in Jessica O’Neal’s series on the characters of Harry Potter doesn’t disappoint as she tackles one of my favorites. Neville’s innate humility and surprising bravery immediately drew me to him. Find out why else Jess thinks he’s one of the most well-developed characters in the books.

The Hunger Games: Team Peeta vs. Team Gale - Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project pits the two men in Katniss Everdeen’s life against each other. While I didn’t care about Twilight and picking sides, I’m Team Peeta all the way in this one.

The Meaning of Life

Confessions of a Hoarder – On her blog Of Martians and Marshmallows, Lynette M. Burrows comes clean on her personal hoarding obsession. It’ll make you take a fresh look at your own house.

Learning to #EpicFail . . . with Style – Kristen Lamb shares how failure can actually be a good thing if we learn how to use it to our advantage.

The Grinch Is Pregnant -The never-disappointing Myndi Shafer makes an extraordinarily good case that The Grinch is actually pregnant. Yes, even though he’s a boy.

From My Co-Writer Lisa Hall-Wilson at Through the Fire

Why I Hate Christmas – Not everyone loves Christmas and sometimes that’s okay. What matters is what you do with it.

Mermaids Off the Port Bow – Could the myths about mermaids have originated from a real society?

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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November 26 Grab Bag

Facing a back log of blogs to catch up on because of the holidays? Here are the ones from the last two weeks you won’t want to miss.

For Writers

Balancing the Scenes that Make Up Your Novel – This is the eighth installment in Kristen Lamb’s helpful series on novel structure. With this post, she moves from big picture plot issues to scene structure.

9 Astonishing Facts About Amazon – You probably realize that Amazon is big, but do you know just how big? Michael Hyatt shared an eye-opening infographic on his blog that puts it in perspective.

What You Need to Consider Before Signing on a Contract’s Dotted Line – Paranormal romance author Janelle Madigan brings a special guest post from “recovering lawyer” Diane Capri of Licensed to Thrill about what you need to considering if you’re going it without an agent.

For Science Fiction & Fantasy Lovers

Why Invisibility Cloaks May Be In Our Future – Alexia Reed (“Danger Begins With A Kiss”) brings together science and fantasy in her post about how physicists are bending light and capitalizing on the mirage phenomenon to create a functioning “invisibility cloak.”

Who Designed that Ship?! – Samantha Warren of Deadliest Catch gives a very insightful (and funny) look at why Boba Fett’s ship would never get off the ground in the real world.

The Meaning of Life

The Edge - Jennifer L. Oliver of World Beneath the Evening Star writes a short but spectacular guest post for SJ Driscoll about how she’s tired of walking along the edge. Not quite prose and not quite poetry, it’ll strike straight to your heart.

An Attitude of Gratitude – In a special Thanksgiving post, Kristen Lamb gives practical examples of how to turn even the things we usually complain about into things we can be grateful for–and how it will change our lives.

From My Co-Writer Lisa Hall-Wilson at Through the Fire

Biking In Panties – Sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way . . . just hopefully not this hard.

Why Twilight Let Me Down – A review of Breaking Dawn Part 1, the latest installment in the Twilight movie phenomenon.

 

Saturday Grab Bag

Because it’s tricky to keep up on all the great posts out there, I’ve collected some of my favorites in a Saturday mash-up. Enjoy :)

Links for Writers

Getting Primal and Staying Simple with Your Plot – Bestselling author Kristen Lamb gives priceless tips on how to get a visceral reaction from your readers with a plot that’s both complex yet simple.

Writing A Series: 7 Continuation Issues to Avoid – From covers to character histories, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn points out what you need to watch for when writing a series.

On Your Mark: Marketing Your Novel (Part 1) & (Part 2) – Angela Ackerman of The Bookshelf Muse hosts Janice Hardy, author of three novels, in this series of guest posts full of tested advice on how to market your novel. These tips are as valid for traditionally published authors as they are for indie authors.

Links for Speculative Fiction Lovers

The Immortals Are Coming – Debra Kristi of Sparks in the Fire asks, “Would you want to be immortal if it meant continuing to grow old and watching everyone you love pass away?”

Why Sliders May Be Possible: The Science of Multi-Universes – Alexia Reed of Danger Begins with a Kiss asks “what if” while looking at some interesting scientific studies.

Current Events

A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney – Coleen Patrick looks at the snippets of wisdom Andy Rooney gave to the world in his many essays on 60 Minutes.

Five Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs – Michael Hyatt calls these leadership lessons, but they’re actually just good life lessons for all of us.

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Lessons from Steve Jobs – Diane Capri on her blog Licensed to Thrill gives a lovely summary of what Steve Jobs did right in his life, as well as links to the 60 Minutes special and his biography.

The Meaning of Life

Grumpy to Gracious – When you feel grumpy but you don’t know why (or even if you do), August McLaughlin’s blog Savor the Page gives some simple ways to practice gratitude. Her tips help chase the grumpies away.

Beer Can Barriers – Are your problems actually impossible to fix or are they only beer can barriers? Myndi Shafer’s Silly Soapbox takes a new look at our perspective about our problems.

This Week from My Co-Writer Lisa Hall-Wilson

Check out her tribute to Canadian veterans in I Am Not American.