Obscure, but handy, facts

If your spy kills someone in Africa, hyenas may eat — and digest — all the evidence, even the bones. Kids books can be a great source of plot-turning trivia.
These come from National Geographic.

50 Awesome Facts (About Everything) | Mental Floss


‘A rose by any other name …’

How do you name your characters? Some of mine just pop into my head, but I have favorite names that I keep starting with and need to change later.
One character got his name when I saw a comination of letters on a license plate and wondered what it could possibly mean.
I also use Social Security data to pick names that were popular in the decade my characters were born or to find surnames I might not think of.
Here’s a list that explains what some names mean. I can imagine calling a woman who owns a cupcake shop Baxter.

30 Family Secrets Hiding in English Surnames


It makes you feel old

For quite a few years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, has published its annual Mindset List. It started as a way to remind professors of what their incoming freshmen know and don’t know.
The Mindset List is also a great resource for writers who forget how quickly time passes. The first item on the new list, which was released Tuesday, is a sad reminder that this year’s college freshmen were starting kindergarten on 9/11.


Support each other

My Shakespeare & Co. — the place that inspired me to write — was my local library. I didn’t join a writing group until many years later.
David L. Ulin found both inspiration and support at a bookstore he helped to open.
That support — and the feeling of being taken seriously as a writer — is, I suspect, something we all crave.
I think I first felt support for my fiction when, at my first writers conference, an agent took seriously my accidental elevator pitch. But that’s a story for another day.
I’m curious. When did you first feel supported as a writer?

What Shakespeare & Co. taught me about being a writer – LA Times


Homework help and a question

Many writers — full and part-time — write from home. Here are some tips to help get the most out of your home work time.
I like the Skype tip for collaborative projects, but I wouldn’t want it on all the time.

8 Essentials to Get the Most Out of Working From Home | Entrepreneur.com

PS. I’ve heard so much about Scrivener lately that I just dowloaded it for a test. So far, I’m loving it. If you already use it, do you have any tips for a newbie?

Inside the little house

When I was a kid, I loved the “Little House” books. Previews of her autobiography make it sound as if Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories told the “best” parts of her life. I’m still looking forward to reading her autobiography, though.

The ‘Pioneer Girl’ Project: The Long Road to Bringing Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 1930 Autobiography into Print