Favourite Blogs and
Places on the Web

A few of my favourite places on the Web. My point isn’t to provide a comprehensive list in any category, but just to maybe shine a light on a few pretty cool places you maybe might not know about.

So, of course, we ought to start with my MWA page http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=user/1473

Next, we ought to check out some...

All Around Good Stuff BlogsInformation
Computer StuffWriterly GroupsShoppingFriends

Please note that a few more important links are in more than one category so they're easier to find. (By "more importatnt" I mean that such links aren't just fun or nifty, but are really rather useful as well.)


All Around Good Stuff

Big Bad Butch www.BigBadButch.com What can I say? It’s just a pretty cool place on the Web. And I’ll be updating it on a regular basis, so that’s a darned good reason to keep on coming back.

Bella’s Forums http://www.bellabooks.com/bellaforum/index.php A place to discuss lesbian genre fic—and other sorts of lesbian and feminist fiction.

And you do not want to miss this part of the forums: http://www.bellabooks.com/bellaforum/index.php?topic=38.0

Absolute Write http://www.absolutewrite.com/ A pretty darn good place to go about writing. You can take online classes there, check for frauds, and just be in a place of writing.

And its forums http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/ So you can talk about writing and things of writing.

Daily Script http://www.dailyscript.com/ If you like reading movie and TV scripts, this is a good place to get your fill.

Tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/ Just in case you don’t already have it. It’s good to help with some groups and other areas when you want to share an URL that’ll get junked up if it stays really really long.

Read These Lips http://readtheselips.com/ Free lesfic! (I’m in Volume One: Openings.)

And the Read These Lips blog http://readtheselips.wordpress.com/

Erotica Readers & Writers Association http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/index.htm There's info on toys, reviews of books, interesting articles, lots of calls for submissions and more—and, of course, it's all about erotica, folks!

The Red Panda Network http://www.redpandanetwork.org/ If you're wondering about the beautiful little friends I have wandering about this site, including on my lap on the home page, visit this page here to find out more about them: http://www.redpandanetwork.org/ Also, please note, Mei-Mei, from the home page of this site, says she will personally rip the...

Lambda Literary Foundation http://www.lambdaliterary.org/ the organization for LGBT writers and readers. They also put out a terrific magazine and have a great writer's retreat.

Media Bistro http://www.mediabistro.com/ is the place for media professionals. They offer a variety of tools, services and other things, including online and IRL classes, seminars and other learning experiences on a wide range of topics.



The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/ It’s just so bloody funny. Plus unnecessary quotation marks drive me absolutely nutters!

Jane Espenson http://www.janeespenson.com/ She is a queen and she has some great things to say about writing and story and lunches.

Dear Author http://dearauthor.com/ This is kinda a fun place to catch the latest trash on the mainstream circuit. And to learn some things, too.

Complications Ensue http://complicationsensue.blogspot.com/ You’ll notice that I have several screenwriter’s blogs here. That’s because a number of them tend to have blogs and some actually have good things to say about story and writing—and, as a playwright, I tend to see how great it can be learning playwriting before fiction. But working under the slightly more stringent rules of screen or playwriting can bring some important points to light.

Reese Szymanski’s LiveJournal http://reeseszymanski.livejournal.com/It's just the coolest place on the whole world web!

FieryBlazingHandbasket http://fieryblazinghandbasket.blogspot.com/ I’m generally not putting friend’s blogs on here (if you really want to know who they are, you can figure it out by yourselves), but this one, co-written by one person I’ve never met and a woman I’ve been friends with for… well, our relationship is old enough to drink. Anyway, they both live in Alaska and so there’s just some different perspective things going on there.

Writer Beware Blogs! http://accrispin.blogspot.com/ Keeps you on top of the schemes and scams against writers.

The Graveyard Shift for info on cops and robbers http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/ A place for mystery writers to get info about, well, cops and criminals and all of that sort of thing.

Redlines and Deadlines http://redlinesanddeadlines.blogspot.com The editors at a publishing house got together to do a blog and it might give you some ideas of ways to improve your writing.

Writer’s Digest offers a trio of blogs that I find interesting and helpful:

Writer’s Digest Questions and Quandaries http://blog.writersdigest.com/qq/

Script Notes http://blog.writersdigest.com/scriptnotes/

The Writer’s Perspective http://blog.writersdigest.com/writersperspective/



Phishing warning page http://www.millersmiles.co.uk/

Just in case you don’t know where to check for Urban Legends and other untruths http://www.snopes.com

The Reference Desk http://www.refdesk.com/

Trademark Checklist


So you can make sure you write trademarks right!

Onelook Dictionary Search http://www.onelook.com/

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page is a free online encyclopedia. A writer should NEVER use it as their only research tool, since it's often wrong, but it can be a great place to get started with some research.



Computer Stuff

Definitions of Viruses, Trojans and Worms (oh my!)http://service1.symantec.com/support/nav.nsf/docid/1999041209131106 This page also contains advice on safer computing and about how one can submit files you suspect are infected with viruses to Symantec.

Tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/ Just in case you don’t already have it. It’s good to help with some groups and other areas when you want to share an URL that’ll get junked up if it stays really really long.

Snopes, the Place to Debunk Urban Legends: http://www.snopes.com, Including a Lot of Fictitious Virus Alerts: http://snopes.com/computer/computer.asp

Symantec's Page of Computer Threats, Viruses, Worms, and Other Such Things http://www.symantec.com/business/security_response/threatexplorer/search.jsp This page has tools and information on and for various computer viruses and threats, including a searchable database that allows you to put in the name of a virus, learn about it (including whether or not it's real), and get information about what you might want to do about it. The whether-or-not-it's-real bit is really great for making sure certain viruses are real, like when you get an email about one. (You can sometimes use Snopes to check out such virus rumours at times as well.)

ClamXav http://www.clamxav.com/ is the best virus software for Macs—and all it costs is a donation. If you want to make one. You don't have to, and it doesn't specify how much of a donation you should make if you do make one, but, like all software like this, donations help ensure that the creator continues updating it and making it an even better tool—and without ClamXav we Mac users might some day have to use crap virus software, instead of good stuff like this.

Onyx http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11582 http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/onyx.html is a wonderful FREE maintenance tool for Macs.

Note: I give two links for Onyx and one for ClamXav, but both have even more places you can download them from, so if one of these isn't working for you, you can just do a quick Google and find even more places to download them from.


Writerly Groups

Sisters in Crime http://www.sistersincrime.org/

Make sure to check the whole site, including

The blog http://sisters-in-crime-sinc.blogspot.com/

Events Listing http://www.sistersincrime.org/events/

And a MySpace presence http://www.myspace.com/sistersincrimenational

Mystery Writers of America http://www.mysterywriters.org/

And again, make sure to check out the whole site, including

The events calendar http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=mwaevents

My place there http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=user/1473

The Romance Writers of America site http://www.rwanational.org/

Again, check out the whole site, including events http://www.rwanational.org/cs/conferences_and_events

And chapter listings http://www.rwanational.org/cs/about_rwa/chapters_listing/us_chapters

Make sure to notice the special interest chapters, many of which offer various types of classes, including some on writing: http://www.rwanational.org/cs/about_rwa/chapters_listing/special_interest_chapters

And these include an especial fave of mine http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org/

And this one has some classes, too http://www.elementsofrwa.com/

The Big Thrill http://www.thrillerwriters.org/ for the Thriller Writers.




Levenger http://www.Levenger.com Nifty toys for readers, writers and those who really dig leather. My Levenger notebooks always get compliments at conferences while their pens are awesome, their bookmarks really help me when I need to have a pen and highlighter handy at all times while reading a particular book and their pocket notebooks are practically a dream come true for me, since I'd been searching for years for a small notebook I could keep in my pocket at all times, like I did when I was a McD's manager (so, among other things, I could keep track of things to do around the store). At McD's it had always lived in a shirt pocket, but now I didn't always have one of those so all the types I used back at McDonald's would become crinkled, folded messes when I put them in my pants pocket. The Levenger one doesn't and a pen attaches to it so that I'm never without one of those either! There are many other cool toys at Levengers, but I thought I'd just highlight a few here.

The Teaching Company http://www.teach12.com/teach12.aspx Learn fun and cool things like the confluence of factors that led to the Salem Witch Trials. The Teaching Company mostly sells DVD and CD courses on a wide variety of topics from some of the finest university professors in the world.

Think Geek http://www.thinkgeek.com/index.shtml Heh. I’m a geek, I admit it. So of course I’d find this site fascinating. I have the ebola, clap and flesh-eating disease at work.

Fatale Media http://www.fatalemedia.com/ Fatale Media makes and sells porn by women, to women. I don't know how many lesbian companies there are making lesbian porn these days, and although I don't think Fatale is the only one, I wouldn't be too surprised to discover they were. BTW: Fatale Media is run by Nan Kinney, one of the original three founders of lesbian porn magazine On Our Backs, and Christi Cassidy, my first editor who worked with me when we were both at Naiad Press. It's a badge of honor for me that I've actually been quoted in a porn catalogue, for the record.

Good Vibrations http://www.goodvibes.com/ Not just the name of a song, this chain of stores (three in California and one in Massachusetts) offers a wide variety of high-quality porn and toys through their real-world and online stores. Having trouble finding just the right toy, massage oil/cream or bar? There's a good chance Good Vibrations might offer something that'll take you to heaven and back (if you order from them, though, feel free to suggest that they carry my books! ;-)

Woot http://www.woot.com Great deals some days. Woot offs are the best, even though I never score any Bags of Carrots. :-(

Shirt Woot http://www.shirt.woot.com/ Some really nifty T-shirts for ten bucks.

Kid's Magazines I have a young niece and a young nephew and their mom really liked some of the gifts I've given them over the years. Liked them so much that she donated old issues to nearby schools. I love getting the two kids into reading, and that was part of the reason I started doing it in the first place. What's happened, though, is even better—the kids LOVE getting mail, and their parents frequently read to them from the magazines at night or storytime or whenever else. There's some really important things to keep in mind when buying kid's magazines, including advertising and product-placement advertising. You see, some kid's mags are FILLED with ads, pushing the kids to beg their parents for all these toys and products advertised in the magazines. Sometimes these ads are disguised, like, "Help Pooh Find All His Friends!" being a search puzzle where the child searches for the original-style Pooh stuffed animals. Anyway, I recommend that you go to a bookstore and look through an issue or two of some magazines you're considering giving as gifts, to see how much advertising is in it. You can also check them out on Amazon and see what folks are saying about particular magazines (but DON'T buy from Amazon! I've read TONS of bad things about how a lot of people don't get any magazines they paid for and ordered through Amazon). I also like to think about the content of the magazine, staying away from the really cheesy stuff. I like the more educational choices. And I often pick ones I would've loved at that age. Anyway, here's a few links to some magazines my niece and nephew have enjoyed so far (BTW, as a writer I can't help but promote things to get kids and people reading more, and not just because making more readers for the future means more readers of my books in the future):

Cricket Magazine Group http://www.cricketmag.com//ProductList.aspx?type=M Cricket offers a whole range of magazines for kids of all ages.

National Wildlife Federation http://www.nwf.org/ offers a range of magazines as well. I'm not linking to the exact page here because their site is having a lot of problems right now. (Wild Animal Baby is a great little book—as in, it's bound in the hardcover style that many books for young children are. That made them an excellent donation to the local school.)

Zoobies, Zootles and Zoobooks http://www.zoobooks.com/ Animals! What could be better? I think they rerun issues of these, so there's a finite number of different issues of each different title so, if you're getting these, you might want to be careful so you don't end up paying twice for the same issue.

Highlights and Highlights for Kids http://www.highlights.com/ Don't we all remember this one from old doctor's offices?




Terri Breneman www.TerriBreneman.com Fellow Bella mystery writer, Terri's got just the right background for scooping out the dish: An ex-psychotherapist, she's dealt with people of all the titles of her books, Compulsion, Anticipation, Borderline and Delusional. Put all together, that sounds like one of my exes. Anyway, Terri's also fought the good fight and helped prosecute them since she's gotten her law degree and gone to work for the Federal Public Defender.


• • •

And who can miss http://icanhascheezburger.com/?