When You Feel Like Crap, And What To Do About It

A wonderful post from a fellow blogger on centering yourself on the right path. Remember, choose the positive, don’t fall into the quagmire of the ego’s negativity. The ego is a vicious beast that continually strives to control who and what you are. Everyone is a beautiful being with infinite potential; we have only to deny those things holding us back, and the universe will assist us. Cheers.

SKYLARITY

The Mindfullness Show is back for another season. In this season (Season 2), we will be discussing the hottest topics relating to pop culture and news around the world. You can listen here or over here

You are vertical and ventilating, but you still feel like crap. Every success initiative you employ seems to flop. Your dreams and goals appear to be out of reach, and you’re no longer enjoying life as you once did. Even the universe itself seems to be conspiring against you. 

So how do you get yourself out of the shitty mood and get back on the path to success?

Start your day with positive affirmations. Make it a habit to avoid thoughts or conversations that undermine your dreams. Do not give power and energy to negativity or anything that will deplete your mental strength. Instead, you ought to retrain your focus on motivating energy. Do…

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How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

An article from a fellow blogger on short fiction submission letters to editors. Have a look. Cheers.

Alex Shvartsman's Speculative Fiction

As an editor I see a lot of bad cover letters. I can’t help but think folks are following some bad advice out there, so I wrote a thing that might help. It’s long and it’s a little ranty and cranky (because I’ve seen a lot of bad cover letters in the last month), but I hope it will also be helpful.

Note that this advice is specific to genre magazines and anthologies and short fiction. Novel submissions play by a different set of rules, and there may be a slightly different etiquette in literary submissions and other genres. But, if you write and submit science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories, the following essay is for you.

How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter

The most important fact to remember about cover letters is this: the best cover letter in the world is not really going to…

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Religion in Fantasy

What is religion in fiction, and how do we incorporate it into writing? Here’s an informative post from a fellow blogger. Cheers. 🙂

Richie Billing

Religion and belief systems feature a great deal in the fantasy genre, and it’s unsurprising why. Religion, faiths and beliefs shape our lives in a multitude of ways, providing purpose, meaning and structure. That’s not to say everyone’s lives, but a good number.

It’s a very broad topic which I’ve tried to condense into this sole article. It first looks at how religion can shape fantasy worlds, how it can affect characters, how you can create your own religions, and finishing with the opinions of readers.

Before we march on, I wish to make it clear that this is just an examination of religion within the fantasy genre. Everybody is free to hold their own beliefs and the last thing I wish is to cause any offence. I was raised a Roman Catholic, went to church every week until the age of fifteen, even served as an altar boy. I’m…

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Patience Is A Virtue

Patience is vital to writing, as it is to all pursuits in life. Learn inner patience with the right intention, and the universe will help you along the journey. Here’s an article by a fellow blogger describing what I mean.
Thanks for reading! 🙂

Evie Gaughan

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There are many skills that an author needs to learn in this business of pub, patience being the most important.  Patience with yourself, as the magical story in your head makes its way stumbling and lurching onto the page with all the grace and skill of a toddler.  Patience with the world when it doesn’t immediately recognise your brilliance.  Patience with agents and publishers while you await their response to your submission.  And now, for me, a new kind of patience while I wait for my book to be released.

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The advance reader copies have been sent out and happily, joyously, wondrously, the feedback is good 🙂  Editors and publications have been contacted, copy sent in.  The blog tour has been arranged.  And as we speak, my book (along with those of my fellow Urbanites) are being showcased at The London Book Fair.  THE LONDON BOOK FAIR!

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As Jean-Jacques Rousseau…

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Software review: Grammarly

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Today, I share my thoughts on web software called Grammarly. This is a writing program with extensive checks for grammar, syntax, and more. Below, I have a rundown of how Grammarly has worked for me.

The Good:

  • Flexibility allows integration with a variety of programs and web platforms.
  • High-quality checks for writing.
  • Additional tests for readability, vocabulary, and more; some are customizable.
  • Easy to use.
  • Free demo version, with simple prose checks.

The Bad:

  • Reasonably expensive: 30$/per month; cheaper if you commit to longer subscriptions.
  • The software sometimes overreacts to words, and may not give a proper correction.
  • Bouts of extreme lag, especially on Word.
  • Copying from Grammarly to another platform doesn’t always format correctly.
  • Can become a crutch.

Most writers who are poor might overlook this program, due to the cost. There are select sale periods, particularly during the start of the school season, which can help with this. I’ve found the money I’ve spent on this program worthwhile, despite having to put up with Grammarly’s issues of lag and formatting. Most of these problems are overcome from a remote forum or writing site, where Grammarly will auto-sync with your work. You can also hire proofreaders from Grammarly, but I have yet to try this.

For self-publishing authors, Grammarly is a must. When you combine it with checks from Word or other programs, your prose refines further.While it doesn’t work with full accuracy, it’s a substantial step in the right direction (I’ve found a few errors on Word that Grammarly missed, for example). I’d recommend this software to any inspiring blogger or novelist, though I’d argue the price should be lower for low-income authors.

The Verdict: (aka tldr)

A robust program for writers, and excellent for editing. It has improved my writing, but it can be a crutch sometimes. Lag and formatting are the most prominent issues, along with the price. Still, the pros outweigh the cons. Grammarly is definitely worthwhile to try out and decide for yourself. Overall rating: 4/5 stars.


Have you tried Grammarly? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Making Maps: Part II

Another excellent article on cartography. Come check it out. 🙂

Richie Billing

If you happen to enjoy this article, why not stay in touch by signing up to my mailing list? Subscribers receive a list of 50 fantasy book reviewers, as well as a copy of This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One, a collection of writing techniques, advice, and guides looking at, amongst others, world-building, writing fight scenes, characterisation, plotting, editing and prose.


Last week we explored the fundamental principles of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and deserts; how they’re formed and the nature of their being. This week we’re continuing on with our geographical quest by looking at forests, mountains, hills, volcanoes, wetlands, and ice and snow. By the end of this two-part article, you should have all of the basic tools to help you chisel out the maps of your secondary worlds with the confidence of a cartographer.

Forests

Forests are home to a lot of fantasy settings. Fangorn…

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Making Maps: Part I

An article on mapmaking I found informative. Cheers. 🙂

Richie Billing


A few weeks ago, fantasy author Jesper Schmidt wrote an informative guest post on mapmaking. It went down so well I’ve had people asking for follow up posts ever since. I’m no Jesper, but I thought I’d give it a crack.

This two-part article looks at the nature of things and how they’re formed. Part one will examine oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and deserts. Part two will look at forests, mountains, hills, swamps, snow, ice, and volcanoes.

The aim is to provide you with the fundamental basics so you can create your fantasy maps with confidence.

It’s also important to remember that this is just a guide. A big part of fantasy is about creating new worlds. It’s up to you whether to change the rules or not. This, at least, provides a starting point from which you can deviate.

Oceans and Seas

Given their empty vastness, oceans don’t tend…

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Reality of being a writer

A neat article from a fellow writer. Enjoy. 🙂

Lorraine Ambers

I’m a huge fan of positivity posts. Who doesn’t need a daily dose of inspiration? Pushing us to work towards our goals and chase our dreams. But sometimes it’s good to take a breath and check in with reality. To realise that our struggles don’t define us, but they do make us human.

Being a writer or any artist is tough. Don’t get me wrong, there are many perks. Take today for instance; I’m sitting in bed with my dog, listening to music, whilst drinking tea and blogging. But it’s not all glamorous: In fact, I’m not sure any of it is???

Today I thought I’d share the harsh reality of what being a writer is like for me. To let you know; you’re not alone in your fight. And that acknowledging our struggles doesn’t make us weak, it makes us honest. Maybe even a little enlightened.

Author self-doubt tumblr_nxeot3aztf1rj0hrio1_500 Credit: tumblr_nxeot3aztf1rj0hrio1_500

First…

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