Daily Archives: June 20, 2007

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June 20, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

with Gina Black

This month on CyberTalk we’re going on fieldtrips! But don’t worry, you can stay in your jammies; you don’t even need to brush your hair or pack a bag lunch; and you can bring the beverage of your choice (as long as you make it yourself).

I’ve got my tea. Is everybody ready? Mouses and trackballs set to go?

First stop: The Crusie-Mayer 2007 Online Workshop
This workshop has been going since January, never fear you can catch up whenever you want and there’s no homework! The link above takes you to a syllabus for the class, which is being given by Jennifer Crusie and her writing partner, Bob Mayer. Both of them are wonderful teachers. Whether you are a newbie or have been writing for a very long time, it’s worth checking this out. (And, yes, I did post about this once before but it’s worth a second plug.) A recent post on subplots was something I’ve needed to read for a long time.

Second stop: OCC Pro Page
Are you are an OCC member interested in becoming a Pro? The instructions for what you need to do is on that page. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me (and yes, my contact information is also on that page). You may also wish to visit the National site for more Pro information (you will need to log in to access the page).

Third Stop: the Urban Dictionary
Are you writing a contemporary? Do you want to use slang but feel like yours is out of date? (Or do you have teenagers and find that they’re speaking another language?) Check out the urban dictionary; it’s a goldmine. One caveat: definitions are added by anyone who wants to, so you can’t trust them all. Still, it’s the most up-to-date collection of slang I’ve found on the internet. A bonus is that each day they post a word and it’s definition. Here’s a recent entry:

The post-drunken, post-tipsy state at which the removal of clothing begins.

Brian: Jen, where’s your shirt?
Jen: I don’t know; last night I got a little stripsy…

Fourth Stop: the Visual Thesaurus
The Visual Thesaurus is one of the most amazing word-tools I’ve found on the internet. Yes, you need to purchase a subscription, but if you don’t have one, you can look up a word or two on each visit and sometimes that’s all it takes. Instead of presenting word suggestions in paragraphs as they are in most standard thesauri, the word you input connects to other words through outward radiating lines. Click on the word suggestions and it will give you a definition, and also become the center of a new visual display. Try it!

Getting tired? Okay, only one more adventure . . . once you get there you can sit back, close your eyes, and listen to . . .

Fifth Stop: Grammar Girl
These podcasts are usually under five minutes and usually well worth the time. You will have the option of subscribing through iTunes (which is what I do), listening on the page, or reading the week’s entry.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s foray!

Somehow, Gina manages to work some writing time in around her internet adventures. In addition to posting here, she blogs on The Gina Channel, Romancing the Skein, and Title Wave.

And yes, her computer screen really has burned itself into her glasses.

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