Tag Archives: flash fiction

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 🙂

Resource Saturdays: 20 Writing Tools

Hi Everyone!

I was perusing the ‘net for writing tools and found a really interesting piece by Alison Nastasi that lists ’20 Writing Tools of Famous Authors’.  You can find the full article on FlavorWire.com, but I’ve summarized it here for you!


20 Writing Tools of Famous Authors


Many of our favorite writers have a special tool or method they use when writing their incredible works. From typewriters and notebooks to fountain pens and regular pencils, they use them all. Several authors, including Stephen King, use fountain pens because it causes them to write slower and think more when writing out longhand. Another tip about fountain pens is that you are forced to edit more thoroughly when putting your writing into a computer or other word processor.

Mark Twain, one of my personal favorites, designed tabbed notebooks where he would wear off the tabs on pages he had completed so he would know where the next blank page was. I have done a similar technique in compositions books, where I move a slim paper post-it to the next available page so I can turn to it quickly before and idea escapes me! Later in his life, when writing longhand became painful, Mr. Twain dictated his stories.

Jane Austen is one of my all time favorite authors. She used a steno style book and a quill pen with ink that had to stand in the ‘chimney corner fourteen days and be shaken two or three times a day.’ I was delighted by the short article on Jane, you can read the article HERE.

Truman Capote reportedly wrote his first version always in longhand with a pencil. The second version was also in longhand. The third version was typed on special yellow paper. Even in bed, with the typewriter balanced on his knees, he could type 100 words per minute!

Charles Dickens used standard black ink until the 1840s when he switched to blue ink. He often also used blue paper!

J. K. Rowling used loose leaf paper and pen to draft her Harry Potter books. Arthur Conan Doyle used a pen to write his famous Sherlock stories while Agatha Christie used her trusty Remington Home Portable Number 2 typewriter. Young adult author Judy Blume used paper and pencil to write her famous stories. She does use a computer sometimes, but usually likes to print them out and edit with a pencil.

What types of writing tools do you use? I love the feel of writing with a smooth pen on paper. There is something so creative and inspiring about it.

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

OneWord: Timid

With hope
Stretching forward
Yet daring
To try



To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

OneWord: Complexity

The complexity of the situation finally struck home. I looked first at Mark and then to Zan. Both pistols were aimed at my chest. I could feel a bead of sweat trickle down my forehead. Frozen where I stood, I started to laugh.


To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

OneWord: Footage

I sat in silence as the footage played in front of me. It flickered and danced, as it the film could not believe what it was showing, as I could not believe what I was seeing. Silently, tears streaked my face, trembling as they reached my jaw and then dropping to my shirt unheeded.


To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com

My OneWord profile: http://oneword.com/members/eileenmaki/

Wordy Wednesdays: Derived

As a new feature, every week, I’m going to use a random word generator. It might be OneWord, it might be something else. I will put 15 minutes on my timer in my Write or Die desktop edition and I will write something for 15 minutes or until I feel like the piece is done. (I’m sure 15 minutes will be over before I feel like the piece is done!) Then, I’ll post the writing here for you to enjoy!

So, here comes the first ever Wordy Wednesday entry….




Today’s Wednesday Word is: Derived. Resource Used: OneWord

Writing Piece – Unedited, 15 minutes of straight writing using Write or Die Desktop version


The fact that Paul was a prick was derived from the fact that he had never spoken a genuinely nice word to anyone in his entire life. We all despised him and wished him dead. Imagine our surprise when he made our day and ended up dead.

It was a Friday and we all got to work at our regular times, somewhere close to 8 in the morning. Some before 8, some (that would be me) slightly after 8. Paul never showed up before 9. He would waltz in, sloshing coffee from his alcohol-smelling take-out coffee cup and yelling ‘Good Morning!’ to anyone who would listen. He didn’t really mean it and we all knew that. He just wanted to appear like a good manager, even though he was anything but.

That Friday, we all got settled in to our desks, checking emails, chatting with one another about the shows we watched on TV or who called who for dates. It seemed everyone dated everyone in that damned office. Well, I never dated where I worked, so I always said no when co-workers asked me out. Especially managers. They were never the smart choice for dating in the workplace. It never ended well and when it inevitably went south, you were the one who lost your job, not them.

So it was nearing 9 o’clock and we were expecting Paul any moment. The office got noticeably quieter as workers hunkered down with their nose to the grindstone in anticipation of their boss’ arrival. 9 came and went and pretty soon, it was nearing 10 o’clock. We all started glancing around, peeking above our cubicle walls, waiting to see if someone was going to say something about Paul not being there yet. I was a natural leader and others often looked to me for answers. Pretty soon, eyes turned my way, silently asking me what was going on.

Sighing, I locked my computer and walked towards Paul’s office. Stopping at Renee’s desk, I asked her if she had heard from Paul.

“No,” she said, not even bothering to look up at me.

“Ok,” I said, “Have you seen him yet this morning?”

She quirked an eyebrow and glanced at me, her purple eyeliner was smeared on her left eye. She flipped a hand out to the side in the general direction of Paul’s office, “Do you see him anywhere?”

I stood there silently for a moment, thinking. “I need him to sign some authorization forms for the company meeting purchases. Do you know when he’ll be in?”

Renee swept her hair back from her shoulder, took a lazy drink from her coffee mug and then decided to bless me with a response. “No,” she said.

I glared at her and stalked back to my desk. My co-workers all looked to me for an answer and I just shook my head and shrugged my shoulders to indicate I did not have an answer for them. Sitting in my chair, I scooted up to my computer just as my cell phone began to ring.

The ringtone told me it was my brother, James. I shook my shoulders in a little chair dance to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ before I answered the call.

“What up, James?” I said cheerily. I loved my brother and we were very close. True, it was unusual for him to call me in the morning on a workday, but I was always happy to talk to him, no matter the time of day or what I was doing.

“Hey, Claire,” he started. His voice sounded weird and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Something was wrong. “I have some news for you. It’s not being released to the public yet, so I can’t share details with you, but your boss’ body was found in an alley downtown.”

Never one for political correctness, my brother the detective just spit it out. I was stunned for a moment.

“What?” I finally managed to say.

“I know, right?” Was his response. “I was the first responder and I recognized him right away. He’s definitely dead, Claire, and from what I’ve seen it looks like it was not an accident.”

“What?” I said again.

“Did you hear me?” He sounded puzzled now.

“Yes,” I stammered, “Yes, I can hear you, James. I just can’t believe what you’re saying.”

“Claire, there’s more. The reason I am calling you is to give you a heads up. I’m going to be pulled from the case and you’re going to be questioned.”

“What?” I was feeling like a moron with a very low vocabulary at this point. “Why?”

“When I got here, he had his cell phone in his hand.” James began. I could hear a siren approaching in the background.

“Claire,” he sounded scared now, “the number on his phone was yours. You were the last person to speak to him on the phone apparently. So I will be removed from the case and the new detective will want to speak with you ASAP.”

“I didn’t speak to Paul, James. Why was my number on his phone?”

“I don’t know, Sweetie, but his phone indicated that the call to your cell phone connected. I gotta go.”

“Wait, James!” I almost yelled into the phone. “Who will get the case instead of you?”

James was silent for a moment and I dreaded his answer, knowing what he was going to say.

“Mark,” was all James said and then he hung up.

Great. Mark. My ex.


Well, what did you think?

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Today’s OneWord: Wistful

Wistful for the days when his life was not in danger, Tyler crouched with his back to the warehouse wall to catch his breath. Glancing around the corner of the building, he could see movement coming from in side the warehouse. It wasn’t safe to go that way for sure. Ahead of him, across what seemed like miles of asphalt was brush and trees. If only he could get there safely.


To learn more about OneWord, visit OneWord.com