Tag Archives: Eileen Maki

In Memory of Maya Angelou

I grew up hearing her name with reverence in a home that loved literature. In school, we read her poems and heard of her great writing talents. It was a name I was familiar with as a child and grew to admire and respect as an adult who loved to read and strove to write. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson in April of 1928, she was dubbed ‘Maya’ by her brother, Bailey, who could not pronounce her name and wanted to call her ‘Mine’. Her debut autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ was published for the first time in 1969 when she was 41 years old and had already seen and lived through more than most of us ever think we will and never should.

Many people thought of Maya Angelou as just a writer but she was so much more. Her early years were spent in many vocations including dancer and singer. She traveled the world teaching and learning. She met and worked with both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr on the journey for civil rights and equality. She directed a major motion picture with Down in the Delta starring Wesley Snipes. She has been a teacher, a mother, a friend, and an inspiration. She will be sorely missed in the world and in our hearts but her memory and her works will bring joy to others for centuries and we were blessed to have had her among us.

Maya Angelou Quote

Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction

If you follow my blog at all, you know that I occasionally post a piece of micro or flash fiction here. Some people may not understand what a very short story or piece of writing is for or what to do with it. It’s there to enjoy, to simply read and maybe think about as you move through your day. I use flash fiction as inspiration. I use oneword.com to write most of my micro fiction. The site gives you a word and then 60 seconds to write whatever comes to your mind. It’s very inspirational and there is a great sense of satisfaction when you are finished with the piece. You can choose to continue it and polish it up from there, but I usually post the raw results.

Although there is some debate in the writing community about the length of flash fiction, generally it is a piece of fiction that is between 500 and 1,000 words long. However, some sources say a flash fiction story can be as low as 300 words and as high as 1,500 words. If you’re writing for your own enjoyment, that word count doesn’t matter. But if you’re writing for a publication, make sure you check their word count requirements for flash fiction.

While Googling ‘flash fiction online’ the other day, I realized there is actually a publication called Flash Fiction Online. Not only does it exist, but it’s really great. You can read flash fiction on their website, read copies on your kindle, subscribe to a print version of the magazine, and you can also submit your own flash fiction for publication. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can purchase one here. If you don’t want to purchase one and have a tablet or smart phone, you can get a free Kindle app here.)

The thing about flash fiction, for me, is that it is addictive. I love short stories and have always been drawn to them. They give an immediate sense of success when you complete the story in a short amount of time. For busy people, short stories and flash fiction are little bites of literature that we can enjoy on a daily basis, without having to worry about forgetting what happened four days ago when we read for five minutes between meetings at work. It’s instant gratification that feeds my soul in bite sized pieces.

Flash Fiction Online is definitely a smorgasbord of delight for the flash fiction lover. Since I found the site, I have bookmarked it and read just about every story they currently have on their website. You can read past issues on their website as well. It’s only $9.99 for a year subscription to print (12 issues) or $0.99 per issue for Kindle purchases. It’s very affordable and extremely enjoyable.

Flash Fiction, as a whole, is a fairly new thing in the writing and reading world. My research indicates that the first real use of the term was in 1992 with the publication of a book called, ‘Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories’. None of the 72 stories in the book are more than 750 words and it was hugely popular and still is to those who know of its existence.

So there’s a brief look into the world of flash fiction, a ‘flash look’ if you’ll be so kind as to indulge me. Check it out if you haven’t already, I think you’ll like it. Let me know what you think of flash fiction in the comments.

Happy Reading and Writing!
~ Eileen 🙂


Poetry line generator

Poets Online: Line Generator Tools

If you’re a poet, or even if you’re not, the Muse can elude even the best of us at times. If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know I’m fond of all kinds of generators for inspiration. Although most of my current writing is fiction, my first love was Poetry and I still write poetry from time to time. Today, I felt like putting my poet’s hat on, the one with the jaunty feather, and sharing a cool line generator I found.

Clicking this link, Poets Online, will take you to the Poets Online website and specifically to the First Line Generator. There is a version two of the generator as well, if you’re interested in that. However, clicking the button that says ‘Click here to generate a line’  will result in a line of text being displayed in the box. The line of text is intended to be used as the first line of your poem or as inspiration for your poem.

Here’s the line I got the first time I clicked the button:

Poets Online 1



For some reason, I imagined astronauts in the 1960s going on their mission to the moon. I”m not sure where that came from, but here’s what I wrote:



Before the moment of our imagination

the men journey,

Their feet echoing hollowly

and leaving no mark on

sterile floors

The journey, the mission

one to share and not own

Amid inky night and

burning flames

One step for man

watched by all

dreamed by all.

Returning, a fallen angel

a return to grace

Under a cloudless sky


Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

I Write Like. . .

I Write Like . . .

Writing is fun. If you don’t think writing is fun, you shouldn’t be doing it. 🙂 This week’s resource is just a fun resource. You can visit the website for I Write Like and paste some text from one of your writing pieces into the box. Then click on Analyze and the tool will analyze your writing and tell you who you write like. I was surprised at the response for me (pictured below)! Here’s the link: I Write Like

I Write Like

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Don Jon Generators

Writing Tool

I’ve been writing some fantasy geared pieces lately and I was at a name block that I could not get over. So, I went to Google, of course and found several tools I found useful. One super cool tool website I found is called Don Jon

While some of the generators and tools here are specifically geared towards science fiction and fantasy, others could be used for regular fiction purposes or general writing prompts.

I always have a hard time thinking up names for characters that are not boring but also not off-the-wall weird and unpronounceable. These name generators give lots of options to choose from and I can find several useful and pleasing names within seconds.

Pop on over by clicking the Don Jon link above or the screenshot below!


Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

NaNoWriMo Progress: 21,600 Words!

Hey everyone!

In case you didn’t know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. This is day 7 and I just logged my updated word count at 21,600.

I am ahead of schedule and last weekend’s goal of 5,000 words each day kind of kicked my booty, so this weekend, I’m sticking to my 2,000 words per day goal. Check out my dashboard, yo!


I’ve finished my 2,000 words for today, finishing 2,147 as indicated on my dashboard. I also have a word goal that I set per chapter in my Scrivener application and when I reach it, the bar turns green, so I know I’ve hit my mark.

Here’s a shot of a snippet from the end of Chapter 10, heading into Part II of the novel where the meat happens. Underneath, you can see the chapter word count and on the bottom right, you can see my goal bar is green ’cause I’m a good girl and did all my words today. 🙂


Are any of you participating in NaNo this year? How’s it going? If you need some inspiration, check out my Resources Page for writing prompts, ideas and other resources. I’m so proud of myself for sticking to my goals and meeting my daily goals every day so far. I won’t lie, it’s hard work and I’m tired. But it will be SO worth it once November is over and I have the completed first novel in my series (series? Yes, series!) of novels to come. And I’m so proud of YOU for participating and hanging in there. If you’ve fallen behind in your goals, it’s not too late to get caught up. Just dedicate some time to writing this weekend and you’ll be back in the game!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: NaNoWriMo


November is National Novel Writing Month! I know when I first started getting back into writing, I didn’t know where to begin. I wanted writing prompts and advice, outlets and ideas and among my searches, I kept seeing people talk about ‘NaNoWriMo’ and I had no idea what it was! Through some additional research, I finally figured out what it was and how useful it can be in helping me complete a novel in just one month. Although today is day 2 of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share it anyway in the hopes of helping someone get a burst of inspiration. You can join at any time, so don’t let anything stop you!NaNo Shield

What can NaNoWriMo do for me?

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as most people refer to it, has many resources, boards, local groups and other resources to help you along your novel writing journey. Joining NaNo is free and allows you access to all of the NaNo tools and information.

During the month of November, there are daily posts with inspiration from other writers. Some of them are even famous writers. For example, the day 1 pep talk post was from James Patterson. Here’s a blurb to prove my point. This is not the whole Pep Talk post from Mr. Patterson, you’ll have to join NaNo to read the whole thing! 🙂

James Patterson Pep Talk

Your Author Dashboard allows you to track your novel, post information about your book and yourself, track your word count, earn badges and other things that keep you motivated and involved in writing your novel. You can create groups where you post your work, get feedback, and encourage one another to KEEP WRITING!

Here’s my Dashboard:

NaNo Author Dashboard

You may notice there are several tabs across the top of my dashboard, Author Info (showing), My Novels, Writing Buddies, Buddy Of, and Stats. Each of these tabs is available for free to all members. You can add writing buddies so you can send messages to each other, offer encouragement, or complain, whatever you need to say!

If you want to add me as your NaNo writing buddy, just search for ‘eileenmaki’ and you can add me!

Across the top of the screen in the above shot (brown menu bar) you can access the NaNo store where you can purchase goods or make a donation to NaNo. You can also find local NaNo events and join others in your area for a ‘Write In’ event or get together.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to NaNoWriMo.org and get started. Once you have an account, or if you already have one, add me as a Writing Buddy and let’s get those novels written!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Poets and Writers Classifieds

Hey There!

Are you guys all ready for Halloween? It seems like it sneaks up on me every year! On to the Resource! 🙂

While looking for submission calls, I stumbled across an oldie but a goodie. The Classified ads on the Poets and Writers website. They have lots of open calls for various markets and listings for groups, etc. It’s a pretty good place to check out once in a while.

Poets and Writers Classifieds

The Classifies page has some different categories to choose from: Manuscript Calls, Conferences, Contests, Publication, Retreats, Residencies, Resources, Services, and Workshops.


Once you make a selection, you can peruse the ads and choose options to pursue. The Contest section is my favorite. It’s got tons of resources to choose from. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The information is updated regularly, so I recommend you book mark it, or visit my Resources Page for the link at any time!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Random Word Generators

Hi Everyone!

As you may know by know, I like to use random word generators as inspiration and a general kick-in-the-pants for writing things on the fly. I usually use OneWord, but the other day, OneWord was on the fritz, so I sought ought another random word generator. I’ve posted a few on here before, and you can find them on my Resources page, but these few I just found deserved to be shared as well.

Random Word Generators

Word and Name Generators

This is a really cool generator that will give you random words as well as random names. (By the way, clicking on the screen shots below will take you to that part of the site.)

When you visit the site, on the right side, there is a list of word generators to choose from. It looks like this:


The generators are really easy to use. My favorite word generator on this site is the Random Word Generator. It not only gives you a word, but also the definition.


This site also has random name generators. Click on Name Generator at the top of the site and you’ll see a list of name generators on the right.


As you can see, it’s not just a plain name generator. You can generate all kinds of names here. The part I like is that you can put in a part of the name and have the rest generated if you want. I have a terrible time making up last names for my characters, but I usually know what I want their first name to be.

For example, I’m starting a book where the main character’s name is Jenna. I can’t think of what Jenna’s last name should be. So, I can use the Last Name Generator, enter Jenna as the first name and click Generate.


Super useful!

Creative Random Word Generator

This one is more straight forward, with just some random words being generated. However, you can generate multiple random words at once by clicking on the numbers. Sometimes I find it handy to generate 5 words and try to use them all in my story, chapter, poem, or whatever I’m working on. So I can click on the 5 tile and get 5 words.


I might use each word at the start of a paragraph, chapter, scene, or other part of my story to give me a kick in the pants to get going!

I hope you like the resources this week, check back next week for more Resource Saturday goodies!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: How To Write A Book Now

Hi Everyone!

This week, I was looking for some ideas on how to organize my novels and how to better outline the plot and characters. I found a great website that I really think you’re going to like.

How to Write a Book Now

This website has so many great ideas, tips, and hints, that I just had to share it with you this week. From Plot Outlining to Character Development, this site has tons of ideas and advice.

For novel ideas, go to this page and scroll down to the Fun With Plot Summaries section. Some great ideas live here, the possibilities are endless!

Need tips on Character Development, take a peek at this page: How to Create Characters that are Believable and Memorable

Or check out my favorite part, How to Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps

Finish it all up with Writing an Outline of Your Novel

There are tons of great ideas and tips on this website, I recommend you book mark it, or visit my Resources Page

HowTo WriteABookNow for the link at any time!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂