Tagged by Lucky 7

So – who wants an excerpt from the much talked-about WIP we’ve been trying to sell to agents?

There’s this fun little blogging blitz called Lucky 7 Meme or 777 going around where writers are tagging other writers in a virtual game of IT. I was tagged by CC MacKenzie over at Fizz and Fangs (that’s an awesome name for a blog btw), but since all I’ve worked on for the last few months is my co-written WIP with Marcy I thought I’d share here.

The rules:

  • Go to page 77 of your current MSS/WIP
  • Go to line 7
  • Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written
  • Tag 7 other authors

OK – Confession: I had to cheat a little because following these rules exactly would have lifted an excerpt that didn’t really make any sense.

Zerynthia glanced at Kaduis where he stood conversing with the man she presumed to be his commander. The man had at least two dozen scalps at his belt, and the skin on his face was black with tattoos.

Zerynthia smiled. “The queens of Amazonia will show Scythia we are not their submissive slaves, shall we. In Greek, so they have no doubts.”

They reared up their horses in unison and had them take two hops on their hind legs. The horses came down on all four legs facing the Red. The Red stared ahead, faces stone-hard. Zerynthia’s nerves sang with the thrill of the moment.

Marpesia lifted her left arm, the white binding that wound from her shoulder to her wrist blinding as it reflected the sun. “We are free. We are equal.”

Zerynthia lifted her right arm, bound in white like Marpesia’s, spear in hand. “Death to men.”

Every Amazon assembled joined in the war cry.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Who’s IT now?

Tiffany White – Ooooh Factor

David Walker – at Where The Heart Is

Melinda VanLone – at Demons and Dark Chocolate

Jessica O’Neal – The Sexy Little Nerd

Debra Kristi – at Sparks In The Fire

Leanne Shirtliffe – The Ironic Mom

Kourtney Heintz

Make sure you check out our own blogs this week:

Marcy – Life At Warp 10

One Thing Magneto Got Right – What Magneto got right in the latest X-Men movie.

Dealing with Fairies – Does Forgiving Mean We Forget – Careful what you say to a fairy…

Lisa blogging Through The Fire

Sounds of Spring – What spring sound like at your house? My neighbors leave their windows open at night…

I Can’t Believe I Said That – Yes…Yes, I actually said all these things. I can laugh about it now.

Just a reminder – only one week left of GWP goodness as it exists. We’re making the switch to a monthly online ezine – and we want all of our followers here (even those who lurk – we love you too) to join us. We’ll still write the same great writing tips and publishing news articles – but we’ll also feature interviews with published authors and writers that you just don’t want to miss!


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Do Writers Deserve to Be Paid for Their Work?

Two great discussions of interest to writers flew around the internet this week. So great in fact that I couldn’t choose between them to highlight for you.

Do writer’s deserve to be paid for their work?

This debate blew up after Seth Godin was quoted as saying, “Who said you have a right to cash money from writing? Poets don’t get paid (often), but there’s no poetry shortage.”

You can read the original argument-inspiring article Godin to Authors: You Have No Right to Make Money Any More, and also literary agent Rachelle Gardner’s respond on her blog with do Authors Have A Right to Be Paid?

Should writers avoid controversy on their blogs?

Kristen Lamb wrote an excellent post called Deadly Doses – Politics, Religion, and Our Author Platform suggesting that unless you’re a religious or political writer, you should avoid talking about religion and politics on your blog (or at least be very careful about how you do it).

This ended up sparking responses both in the comments and on other blogs about not just politics and religion in blogging but controversy in general. My favorite reply came from Amber West in her post The Controversy Over Controversy.


Marcy’s Posts This Week

What Do We Mean By “Strong Female Characters?” – Do female characters need to deny all traditionally feminine qualities to be considered strong? The first in a series Marcy is starting.

Yoda Was Wrong – At the risk of a nerd lynching, Marcy argues that Yoda was actually wrong when he said “there is no try.”

Lisa’s Posts This Week

Mare-Milkers and War Lords – The Scythians aren’t a well-known people group, but their innovations revolutionized ancient warfare. In their day, they were the boogey-men of the Greek world. These guys were downright scary.

Reminder: As of the end of this month, Lisa and I will no longer be blogging here at Girls With Pens. Instead we’ll still be writing the posts on writing and social media that you’ve come to expect on our own blogs, and we’ll be creating a monthly Girls With Pens newsletter to bring you amazing interviews with industry professionals.

Sign up for our NEW free Girls With Pens newsletter!

Subscribe to Marcy Kennedy’s Blog by Email

Subscribe to Lisa Hall-Wilson’s Blog

The Pinterest Problem

How many of you are on Pinterest? How many of you are thinking of joining the newest social media trend?

I joined only two weeks ago and fell instantly in love with the beauty of it. I’m a very visual, hands-on person. No other social media site lets you collect and share images in the same way. For writers, it provides an opportunity to create inspiration boards for our novels, promote each other’s books, and drive traffic to our blogs. It seemed to be the best of what social media has to offer in that it was both fun and functional.

Unfortunately, Pinterest’s terms of service have caused some concern across the web this week. According to the terms of service, if you upload your own work, you’re giving Cold Brew Labs complete and irrevocable rights to use, sell, or modify your work as they see fit. Without compensating you. Anytime someone wants all rights to my material, I get nervous. Especially if they’re not going to pay me for it.

But I don’t upload any of my own pictures or artwork, you say. This is an equally big problem.

Check out what you agreed to in Pinterest’s terms of service: “Neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.”

What this means is that if you don’t have the express permission of the person who does own the copyright to the images you pin and they decide to sue Pinterest, you’re 100% responsible.

If you want to do a little more reading on this (and believe me, I will be) here are a couple helpful articles I’ve come across.

Why I Tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards

Why Pinterest Is No Longer of Great Interest

Now, for a happier note, what have Lisa and I been up to this week…

Marcy’s asking Do You Believe in Second Chances? Tolkien did.

Lisa shares her recipe for Soldier Cookies, the ones she used to send to the troops in Afghanistan.


Connect with Marcy on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Connect with Lisa on Twitter, subscribe to her on Facebook, or join her circles on Google+.

And don’t forget to subscribe to Marcy’s new blog Life At Warp 10 and Lisa’s new blog Through the Fire.

Kodak Shakes the Publishing World

Check out Marcy’s newest post: 3 Lessons on Reaching Your Goals from The Vow – My attempt to avoid Jar-Jar Binks in 3-D turned into watching The Vow, where a woman loses her memory and her husband tries to make her fall in love with him again. The movie was mediocre, but I ended up learning three great lessons about goals and dreams.

Check out Lisa’s newest post: Ever dreamed of going somewhere – your dream destination. You’ve spent so much time looking at photos, planning trips you can’t take, and dreaming you’re afraid if you actually do get to go you won’t want to come home?

Lisa is also being interviewed here today on writing. Pop over and check it out!

Kodak Is Now the Biggest News in Publishing

Last month, Kodak filed for bankruptcy and caused many to start thinking about whether the publishing industry is going to continue to head down the same path. If you haven’t read these posts on what the publishing world can do to avoid the same fate, take the time today. It’s well worth it.

Rachelle Gardner has a three part series asking “Do You Know What Business You’re In?” “Do You Know Your Customer?” and “Are We Ready for Change?

Kristen Lamb talks about Bracing for Impact – The Future of Big Publishing In the New Paradigm.

What do you think about the path publishing is on? What one change do you think would make the most difference?


Subscribe to Marcy’s blog Life At Warp 10 and Lisa’s blog Through the Fire.

Connect with Marcy on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or follow her brand new boards on Pintrest. Connect with Lisa on Twitter, subscribe to her on Facebook, or follow her Pin Boards on Pinterest

Fire At Warp 10 (February 2)

Every Monday we blog about writing, and Thursdays we post a collection of our favorite writing posts from the last week. Have a link to share – leave it in the comments. For great writing linkage every day (stuff we don’t share here), ‘Like’ the GWP Facebook page.

Marcy Kennedy blogs at Life At Warp 10

What Star Trek Race Are You? – Just for fun, a quick personality quiz to find out whether you’d be a Klingon, Vulcan, or one of the other famous races of the Star Trek world.

Lisa Hall-Wilson blogs Through the Fire

The Lady of the Lake is a figure surrounded by much mystery and mystique. Her role in the Arthurian legends varies from one storyteller to another, but I think the Lady of the Lake was an Amazon – at least at heart.

Writing Links

Have you joined Pinterest? Author Tricia Goyer is all over this new and super popular site. Check out how she uses Pinterest to promote her writing. (If you’re not on Pinterest and want an invite, shoot us an email – we’ll set you up. marcyandlisa@gmail.com)

20 Most Beautiful Bookstores In The World – no drooling please.

Do Blog Tours Sell Books? from Roni Loren.

Writers are artists who deserve to be paid. How to make money giving away FREE! books by Kristen Lamb

20 Common Grammar Mistakes – how do you fare?

Agents Tweets That Made Us Laugh

@literaticat “Just got a client email: “There is some kind of goblin dog, or fox zombie, on our property!” File under: Things an agent can’t help with.”

Fire At Warp 10 (January 26)

Every Monday we blog about writing, and Thursdays we post a collection of our favorite writing posts from the last week. For great writing linkage every day (stuff we don’t share here), ‘Like’ the GWP Facebook page.

Marcy Kennedy blogs at Life At Warp 10

Five Reasons I Wish I Were A Jedi – While Marcy was recovering from New York, her husband guest posted on his ultimate fantasy career.

Are You Brave Enough to Punch A Shark? – Marcy and her husband were crazy brave enough to swim with sharks on their honeymoon. But should we deal with the sharks in life the same way we deal with sharks in the water?

Writing Links

What’s the Problem With FREE ebooks? by Kristen Lamb – Before you decide to give your ebook away to try to entice new readers, you need to consider the questions Kristen raises.

How to Look Good on Your Webcam by agent Rachelle Gardner – Whether you’re doing meetings from home, recording vlogs for your blog, or hope to talk to book clubs once your books comes out, Rachelle Gardner gives some tips for making the best possible impression.

Is Your Writing Client A Pain? 5 Tactics to Stop the Agony by Carol Tice – Please, if you’re trying to make your living as a freelance writer, read this article. It could help you avoid some very big headaches.

Reflections on the Value of Bestseller Lists Vs. the Long Tail by Bob Mayer – He makes some interesting points about the ways we judge the success of a book and the cold hard cash facts.

New Agent Alert from Chuck Sambuchino

Fire At Warp 10 (January 5)

Welcome to 2012!

Every Monday we blog about writing, and Thursdays we post a collection of our favorite writing posts from the last week. Have a link to share – leave it in the comments. For great writing linkage every day (stuff we don’t share here), ‘Like’ the GWP Facebook page.

Marcy Kennedy blogs at Life At Warp 10

The Great Equalizer – When we talk about equalizers, things that cut across all humanity, we usually focus on the big things—death, marriage, birth. But we don’t have any control over those big things. Not really. We do have control over the smaller ones and how often we seek them out.

Lisa Hall-Wilson blogs Through the Fire

The nasty hacker-from-hell-who-probably-eats-his-own-young still has control of Lisa’s site. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s all sorted out. Leave a ((hug)) in the comments – Lisa’s super bummed!

Writing Links

2012 Publishing Predictions – Author Media brings together some of the biggest names and brightest minds in publishing to get their ideas on what this year might bring for writers.

Why We Should All Hug a Self-Publisher and Indie Author – Kristen Lamb points out how self-pubbed and indie writers are the trend setters that forge the path for the rest of us, regardless of whether we choose to go it traditional or on our own.

Pitch Prep: How to Write a Pitch – Jami Gold prepares for the pitch slam at her website next week by giving some practical tips for preparing your pitch (of any length).

The Web was saturated with Resolution and Year Planning posts. Here’s a great post on 2012 Predictions For Freelancers (you know, those people who write so they can eat 🙂

Chuck Wendig posted about 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing. Chuck is crass – you’ve been warned, but he knows his stuff.

Christina Katz (aka @thewritermama – you’re following her on Twitter, right?) posted 10 Wake-Up Calls For Writers. Must read!

Great checklist: 40 questions to test your mss – a writer’s pre-flight checklist

Finally, a great year end review from @thrillerchick

Fire At Warp 10 (December 29)

A collection of our favorite writing posts from through the last week. Have a link to share – leave it in the comments. Marcy’s on deck for the first writing post of the new year on Monday.

Adventures in Agentland provides marketing tips for all phases of selling your novel.

A do and don’t list for skypeing with book clubs. This is laugh out loud funny!

Jenny Hansen gives a step by step guide for creating a Microsoft Word template (very user-friendly even for those who aren’t computer savvy).

A big discussion around the writer blogosphere lately is how much ebooks should cost. One of the best we’ve seen is Jami Gold’s How Much Are You Willing to Pay for an Ebook and the follow-up post Are All Cheap Ebooks Crap?

Roni Loren guest posts on Anne R. Allen’s blog with the 7 Reasons She Went With Traditional Publishing and Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t). This isn’t your usual do or don’t post. It asks you to look at your personality to help decide which route is best for you.

Be sure to hang out with us on the GWP Facebook page for great writing lists everyday.

Fire At Warp 10 (December 15)

The new normal at GWP is to still post great writing tips on Mondays, and on Thursdays share a collection of our favorite writing posts from through the last week. Have a link to share – leave it in the comments.

“Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.” – Rhys Alexander

Lisa Hall-Wilson blogs at Through the Fire

Got The Scar To Prove It – Everyone has scars – some you brag about, some you hide.

Waving Your Freak Flag – Are you misunderstood? Is there something about you that people just don’t get? Wave your freak flag proudly.

Marcy Kennedy blogs at Life At Warp 10

Behind the Scenes: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans – For Harry Potter fans or those just wanting to find out if Marcy is willing to eat vomit, booger, and rotten egg-flavored jelly beans. (Results post here, but you’ll want to read the original first.)

Writing Links

Roni Loren shares the one secret that took the fear out of writing query letters.

Follow The Market or Follow Your Heart from literary agent Rachelle Gardner.

How not to blog for authors beginning to build platform. Great stuff. Part 1 and Part 2 from Anne R. Allen.

How to hook a reader on every page from Kristin Lamb.

Publishers Desperately Trying To Protect Print Sales, And Failing – a great look at the changing industry by David Gaughran

Be sure to hang out with us on the GWP Facebook page for great writing lists everyday.

Fire At Warp 10 (December 7)

We search the web for the best writing-related blog posts and articles every day and post them on the GWP Facebook page – but these are the links we didn’t have time to share. Have a link to share (the Web is a big place)? Leave it in the comments.

“In science there is a dictum: don’t add an experiment to an experiment. Don’t make things unnecessarily complicated. In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don’t ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story.”

Ben Bova


Writing Links

James Scott Bell guest blogs on Writing What You Fear. Great post, and the discussion was fabulous – be sure to read the comments.

Lisa shared this on the GWP Facebook page, but it was too good not to include here too. 56 of the best/worst similies you’ve ever read. We dare you not to laugh.

Dare to fail. Dare to live. A great inspirational post from Kait Nolan. Not all risk is bad.

Agent Rachelle Gardiner had a great post this week about how to choose an agent, especially if you’re writing in multiple genres.

Research: Am I done yet? Great post from Michelle Ule at the Books & Such literary agency. How do you know when you’re done researching your novel?

Why Publishers Are Relevant – A leaked document from Hachette explains the changing role of publishers in the emerging trend toward self-publishing.

Want to know more about Marcy or Lisa? Check out our individual blogs.

Lisa Hall-Wilson blogs Through The Fire

Not everyone loves Christmas, in fact, for many it’s a time of reopened wounds and painful memories. Why I Hate Christmas

Truth is stranger than fiction – What if mermaids were real? Folklore is often based on true fact – could mermaids have really existed?

Ceiling Mirrors and Faux Fur – not all honeymoon suites are equal – a humorous tale of what can go wrong on a day you hope is only perfect

Marcy Kennedy blogs about Life at Warp 10

What Are You Willing to Do For Love? – Marcy and her husband battled distance, a long immigration process, and other slightly comical obstacles to be together. Have you done something crazy for love?

An Exorcism? Or Something Else? – This video shows the power of a story. Can you guess what this commercial is for before you reach the end?

Who’s Your Unicorn? – Who brings out the best in you even if they’re no longer around? Unicorns remind us of the person we want to be.

Marcy and Lisa