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    Home Columns

    Trolling the Net

    Ever wonder how your Aunt Minnie found those dopey jokes she keeps sending you gridlocking your email browser?! Did Aunt Minnie just get a high speed Internet hookup? Bingo!

    If you want to write, it can't be done without the Internet. Period. So, the library was good enough for your folks, it's good enough for you, huh? Listen up, Einstein. You'll find great stuff at the library, stuff that may not even be on the 'net.

    Yet.

    But the writer who uses the Internet is going to get to the editor before you. The research our 'net writer does is going to be more timely research, too. While you're still sitting in the stacks, the Internet writer's article has already been published, read and is now being used on the birdcage floor.

    If you have to spend too much time preparing and you don't have the latest information, you're going to get bypassed by the 'net writer who knows where to look, and fast.

    While you're waiting in traffic, I've already surfed on over to Funds for Writers to see if I can afford to be a writer.

    While you're pulling in the library parking lot, I've already logged on to WritersMarket to see which magazines are paying what today.

    While you're looking in the card catalogs, I've already logged on to http://www.anotherrealm.com, the Predators & Editors website, or http://www.speculations.com, to check the list of shady publishers and agents to avoid this week.

    Wouldn't you rather have all these information in seconds rather than hours? Just in case you're convinced at this point, read on.

    If words like "glocal" have the same effect as nails on a blackboard, ChickLit is the site for you. ChickLit describes this word as a neologism blending global and local also listed under the Language Peeve du Jour. A no-brainer.

    For The Writer's Resources, surf to http://www.poewar.com.

    And network! Okay, technically you are writing by yourself, but you need to stay in email contact, if not in person, with other writers. Writerfolk will comfort you when you get that 87th rejection letter. Writerfriends will congratulate you when you get that agent for your work. Writers will be happy to answer any dumb question you have about the writing world and they won't see your red face as you ask it. Go to Topica or Yahoo!Groups and in the 'Search' field, type 'writers.' You'll get pages of site listings for you to choose from. Select a group that matches your writing interest and join. Most of these people don't bite and once you've been welcomed into the group, you can have the emails sent to your email browser and jump right in and introduce yourself.

    Join writer's organizations like http://www.Southwestwriters.com. Geography means nothing in this group. I found a guy who lives in Connecticut who's a member! Find the National Association of Women Writers at http://www.naww.com. You get a chance to flaunt your talent right on their site so it's a great place for a writer who doesn't have his or her own website. Suite101 and Webseed Publishing are also great sites to show off your work.

    For search engines, go to Altavista, Google, DogPile and All the Web. If you need a wider scope and don't mind paying a nominal fee, log on to Web Ferret.

    When you've finished slaving over that last assignment, it's time for a chuckle. Go to Rejection Collection. Amusing rejection letters, although an oxymoron, are listed there as well as lowering your blood pressure about your own last rejection. Then run on over to The NetWits or Savannah Says.

    If this sounds like too much work, you may want to call Aunt Minnie. She can probably give you a lot of joke sites.

    Copyright © 2001 Lyne Royce

    Lyne Royce is a freelance writer living in the desert east of Phoenix. She lives with her devoted husband and six spoiled and previously stray cats. She's fervent about Native American history and enjoys reading books on the subject when she has the time. After 15 years teaching software classes, and two years doing Web site design, Lyne decided to listen seriously to her muse and has participated in writing workshops and clinics on the Web, including the Writer's Digest Workshops' Fundamentals of Non-Fiction Writing, Focus on the Non-Fiction Magazine Article; WriteRead.com's Query Letter Clinic; Writers.com's workshop Writing and publishing Magazine Articles; the humor clinic, Writing from the Left Side of the Brain with Jane Combs; and Secrets of the Professional Freelancer at Coffeehouse.com. She belongs to several writers discussion groups but her favorite, Writers Pad, is where she enjoys learning from her writer friends on a daily basis that it is possible for a writer to become a published writer.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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