This past week has been a blur for me. I’ve been in the throes of calculating scores for the Diamonds in the Desert writing contest. Believe it or not, writers aren’t very good at math. One hundred sixty-two entries had to be verified…and I did them all. Thank goodness for Siri, because I could just summon her and ask her to calculate 4 + 18 + 12 + 15….you get the idea. She’s pretty accurate, too.
In lieu of an original post (because I burnt out all my brain cells doing math), I want to share a few of my favorite sites…some of them are writing-related, some are Regency-related, but all are valuable to me. I hope you find some value in them, too.
Terribleminds — the Eight Ladies are a big fan of Chuck Wendig’s blog, which is chock-full of all kinds of writerly advice, from the real issues between the battle of Hachette vs. Amazon to giving female characters agency. If you haven’t signed up for his blog, do so. And browse. You’ll find a ton of good information about writing, but be warned…it’s NSFW.
dictionary.com and thesaurus.com — okay, this probably seems obvious, but I’m on this site all the time. In fact, I have the app on my phone, too. I use the dictionary side to find out when words originated (to avoid anachronisms in my work). For example, I wanted to use “sucker punch,” but unfortunately, the term wasn’t coined until the turn of the last century. The thesaurus side is extremely helpful for my mind-like-a sieve-but-a-brain-like-sand mind. I often find myself unable to come up with the perfect word, which is when I pull this site up. It’s always helpful and more often than not, I get several options instead of that one word my mind was searching for.
Google Books — here’s another site I visit quite often, mostly for old books or maps. One of my favorites is Cary’s New Itinerary (for 19th century carriage travel through England), but I’ve found some great maps of Regency England, provincial France, and even tiny Elba, where Napoleon was holed up before his 100 days.
Writers In The Storm — WITS was founded by Jenny Hansen, Laura Drake, Orly Konig Lopez, and Fae Rowen, but they have guest bloggers all the time. There’s always good info/advice on everything from writing to publishing to marketing to motivation. Some of their guest bloggers include Margie Lawson, Kathryn Craft, and Chuck Sambuchino. Writers in any phase of their career will find the posts here helpful.
Two Nerdy History Girls — I can’t remember if it was Elizabeth or Nancy who turned me onto this site, but I love it. While I specialize in Regency (right now) these ladies — Isabella Bradford and Loretta Chase — talk about most anything from the Georgian, Regency, or Victorian eras, including fashion, politics, jewelry, hairstyles, social customs, and, of course, shoes. There have been several mornings when their blog post has me scurrying down a rathole of discovery, jumping from link to link to link. It’s fascinating stuff (and the people they get to meet and the things they see are just amazing, like private collections of Regency gowns or the seamstresses of Colonial Williamsburg).
So, just a few sites I hit a few times a week (or day!). What sites do you like? What do you use them for? Research? Writing tips? Just for fun? Please share, because we’re always looking for new places to play!