Friday Favorites

Hello all!  Hope you're doing well on this fine Friday.  Here on the Open Vein I occasionally like to share some of the tons of great writing advice, news, etc. that I read on a daily basis with my followers, just in case (like me) you get slammed and can't keep up with it on your own.

It's by no means a complete list of what's out there, but these are some of the things I wouldn't want the rest of you to miss.  Here we go!


Recently, Michael Hyatt posted a comprehensive how-to on using Google Reader to keep up with all of your favorite blogs and web content.  I use Google Reader, and I'd be lost without it.  I'd also never be able to explain it half as well as Michael.  There's even a swell video tutorial complete an eyeball-gouge-inducing perky narrator.  If you're not using GR, you should check it out.  Here's the link.


Following an event at a conference she'd recently attended, fellow blogger Margo Kelly posted some useful tips for interacting with agents.  Specifically, Margo was able to have dinner with an agent.  For many, this is a situation made for disaster.  However, I think her tips are perfectly doable and will have you hobnobbing like a pro.  EJ's tip?  Never order the ribs.  You just can't eat them in front of someone and not look like a wolverine munching on a carcass.  Just. Don't. Do. It. People.  Here's the link to Margo's post.


On her blog, WRITE ME, author Erin Jade discusses the ever elusive DO EVERYTHING book.  You know, the book that manages to have all the essential elements of an awesome story like great pacing, dynamic characters, voice, etc., etc.

Funny thing is, as Erin so wonderfully points out, not many stories (even the classics) truly manage to accomplish this.  Her point?  It's okay to have strengths and weaknesses as a writer.  So, if you've ever felt that your story or writing wasn't hitting on all cylinders, you should definitely check out what EJ (she's got groovy initials, right?) has to say, and quit worrying so dang much.  Here's the link.


I'm guessing I'm not the only one, right?  To help us out, super-agent Rachelle Gardner posted an awesome outline of some of the key points of a publishing contract.  Ever wonder what a Unit Break is?  Neither had I, but now we'll know!  Here's the link.


I know many of you have followed lit agent Nathan Bransford's blog over the years.  He's by all accounts one of the real nice guys in the business and a true author advocate.  He's also as sharp as two-year-old cheddar when it comes to writing tips and advice.  Sadly, Nathan announced that he is getting out of the agenting business.  He's still posting on his blog, however, and vows to keep connected.  In a farewell to Nathan, I wanted to share what might be my favorite post of his, which ironically came this week.

We all love Harry Potter here, right?  (If you don't, just nod and slowly walk away ... that's right, just keep walking.)  Nathan shared five things we, as writers, can learn from the series.  You have to check them out, even if you're not a fan.  Here's the link.

it's ... so ... SHINY!

Barnes and Noble is releasing the newest addition to its Nook eReader series in the next few weeks.  It's called the Nook Color, and it's actually a tablet computer (think iPad) with a full touch screen.  It's also about half the price of an iPad.  I have a Nook and will never be parted from it, and this one looks even more amazing as it will allow users to read full color magazines, comics, etc.  Take a look and tell me if you think this is another nail in the traditional book coffin, or just more nerd gravy.  Here's the link.


That's it for this week.   Have a great weekend, and to all of you NaNo folks out there, finish strong!



  1. Yay! Thanks for the link love. :)

  2. Thank you for being so blog-gone-awesome! (see what I did there? :)

  3. Wonderful, will check these links out now. Thanks!

  4. I have a mole. If I ever become an agent, I'm going to paint it green for one of those dinners. Wonder if people will say anything :)

    Thanks for the linkies. Really loved Erin Jade's. Totally agree.

  5. Don't stare at the mole? What if you're playing wack-a-mole?

  6. Ha ha! That's right, non-Harry Potter fans, just move along!

  7. Nice... very nice... haha. Thanks!

  8. I love Google Reader as well, but I'm following a whole lot of blogs and wouldn't get anything done if I read all of them. So I either scroll down and pick out what catches my eye, or I choose a letter for a day and check out those blogs, commenting on a few, like today I looked at the ones starting with "U," which are only two, but that's good because I have a lot of studying to do (rhyming here!).

    I wish there was a similar program that followed your comments so that you don't have to memorize on which blogs you've commented to see the responses...


“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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