Challenge yourself

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I tried NANOWRIMO for the first time this November, even though I knew November is always one of my busiest months. It came as no surprise to me that I didn’t win, although I have several thousand words that I didn’t have when the month began, and a good start on a novel that I’ve been thinking about for a few years. Despite “losing,” I liked the idea of knowing several friends — and a few thousand strangers — were working on the same project at the same time. (Five of my friends did win.)

Here’s a similar concept — Book in a Week. Instead of binge writing for a month, this group tries to get as much written as possible in one week. But they do it every month of the year. Take a look at the welcome blog.

Unlike NANO, which is free to participants, BIW asks a $3 membership fee.

Judging covers

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When I open my daily book bargains email, I look at the covers. When I wander through a book store, I look at the covers. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it, but someyomes it can make me pick it up or pass it by.
So here is the NY Times list of the best.

The Best Book Covers of 2014 – NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/08/books/review/best-book-covers-2014.html?_r=0

Gotta love ‘em

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Have you made a donation to National Public Radio? I make this unsolicited endorsement because among the consistent features of NPR are discussions about books. This book club is just the latest.
I love the quirky reader’s guide, the chance to send questions and to listen to the conversation later.
We can only wish to be this club’s selection someday.

Join The Morning Edition Book Club: We’re Reading ‘Deep Down Dark’ : NPR

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/11/369409338/join-the-morning-edition-book-club-were-reading-deep-down-dark

Imagine something new

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Tropes came up in conversation during a TV show we were watching last night. I’ve generally thought of them as something to avoid or twist. This essay describes a trope that has been common — but is changing — in fantasy. It’s a trope writers of any genre could help to change.

Move over HP Lovecraft, black fantasy writers are coming through | Books | The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/09/move-over-hp-lovecraft-black-fantasy-writers-are-coming-through

Design your career space

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At first glance, this article seems to have nothing to do with writing. But that’s not true.
First, it’s a nicely written piece for a speciality market, the sort of thing any writer who wants to make money could put together.
But second, it’s full of great business tips. Substitute editor (or sometimes agent) for interior designer and reread the piece for some valuable insights.

10 Things Interior Decorators Don’t Want You To Know
http://freshome.com/2014/12/08/10-things-interior-decorators-dont-want-you-to-know/

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