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Anne R. Allen's Blog


My Photo

Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."

Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Depressed? Anxious? Stressed? A Must-have Guide to Must-lists For Writers

Get Instant Relief Without Dangerous Drugs, Messy Creams Or Exhausting Exercise!

by Ruth Harris

Writers write—except when we're staring into space or out the window, at a blank screen or an unfinished sentence.

From first draft to final draft, we spend a lot of our time looking for help, info, inspiration. Which is why the right list at the right time is a writer's best friend.

We are living in the information age. Just about anything a writer wants to know or needs to find out is just a few keystrokes away. No more trips to the library. No more scrolling through hard-to-read microfiche. No more searching through heavy tomes to find that one piece of information you're looking for.

We need—

  • a name—or a job or hometown—for a character
  • character traits, good and bad, for a hero, a villain or someone in between
  • a great setting for a book or a scene
  • to know what a lawyer, brick layer or middle manager actually does all day long
  • where a stripper buys her pasties and g-strings or an expert mountain climber stocks up on crampons and ice axes
  • a way for the bad guy to blow up a fishing shack or the hero to go beyond first aid to save a life

Research—the World Beyond Google

  • Which president came before Theodore Roosevelt?
  • How does your macho, orchid-loving PI revive a dying phaleonopsis?
  • What does SPECTRE stand for?
  • Which cities have the highest murder rates?
  • How many times has Tony Bennett sung I Left My Heart In San Francisco?
Google and Wikipedia and YouTube are the basic go-tos but there are many other sites (just about all of them FREE) that will answer your questions and, even better, give you answers to the questions you didn't even think to ask.

Here is a brief round up of sites I have found indispensable for reference/research including a few that aren't usually thought of as reference sources.

The New York Times maintains a massive searchable archive containing more than 13 million articles dating from 1851. You can search by author, section, or time periods from past 24 hours, past year or by specific dates.

The Washington Post maintains a searchable archive dating from 2005. (For dates prior to 2005, there is a paid archive search.)

USA Today, New York's Daily News and the BBC also offer valuable search options.

Time magazine's archive extends from 1923 to the present and includes the weekly's covers for a visual look at what made the headlines week by week during most of the 20th Century and all of the 21st.

The Pew Research Center offers a searchable database covering everything from demographic data and scandals to international affairs and global religious beliefs.

 RefDesk.com is a fact-checker for the Internet.

Fashion, fads, pop culture:

From hair dos to manicures, grunge to prep: If you need a clue about what your characters are or were wearing or detailed info about their grooming routines, Vogue is the place to go.

Need to jog your memory about books, TV, movies and music? Try Entertainment Weekly.

The dish on celebs? Need inspiration from human-interest stories? What about The Sexiest Man Alive? People is the place to go. And not to forget: James Bond trivia.

For the raciest in bathing suits or a who's who and what's what in the locker room and on the gridiron, the skating rink, the baseball diamond or the tennis court, Sports Illustrated will clue you in. Writing for a younger demo? SI Kids has the deets.

Hung up for a movie or TV series quote? This site will probably know.

Want to ask an expert?

Sign up with Quora where you can choose from over 400,000 topics to create a feed of information tuned to your interests. Google Plus has communities devoted to just about any subject you can think of.

Messing with the Mafia? From Omertà to La Cosa Nostra, from Al Capone to John Gotti, the answers are here.

Not the usual suspects:

Pinterest, eBay and Etsy are usually not considered research sites but they are gold mines of ideas presented visually and, in the case of eBay and Etsy, items described in detail—a big help when you don't know what this or that knicknack or collectible is called or when you want to find a popular hobby or off-beat interest for a character.

Need a name for a Catalan or Chinese character? Want a name for a hillbilly, a witch, a rapper? A name with ancient Celtic, Biblical or literary allusions? Try the name generator at Behind the Name

Looking for location but maps don't do the job? Travel blogs offer lots of ideas and lots of quirky info. Here are a few to start you off: Top 50 travel blogs. 25 top blogs for solo female travelers. Huffington Post's choice of best travel blogs.

Language and lingo:

Consult the Oxford dictionaries in a variety of languages including: British English, American English, German, French, and Spanish. The Oxford biographical dictionary contains bios of almost 60,000 people, English and beyond.

A dictionary on steroids, WordHippo tells you the meaning of a word and also finds synonyms, antonyms, words that rhyme with it, sentences containing it, other words starting or ending with it, its etymology, and much more. Type in what you are looking for, choose the appropriate category and WordHippo will come up with the results, as well as give one-click links to other data for the word.

Streetwise slang? Here's the guide to current lingo: urban dictionary.

Gone but not forgotten:

Setting your story during a particular day in a certain year? Get the scoop on what happened on that day the BBC News OnThisDay site.

Authors of Regency fiction will find information on law, language, clothing, and the peerage plus links to other relevant sites from Regency author Joanna Waugh.

There's a research blog for the history of graphic design at the University of Southern Missisippi.

The US Army has an extensive, searchable site that covers American wars from the Colonial era to the current War On Terror in the archives of the US Army Center of Military History.

The specialists:

Contemporary art? Try MOMA in New York City or the Metropolitan Museum. In San Francisco, try the SFMOMA, or MOCA in Los Angeles.

Renaissance art, Pop art, and Asian/Oriental art

From the Congo to the Côte d'Ivoire: African art

Folk art? From Grandma Moses to Amish quilts.

Science? Get information about Mind & Brain, Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, Space & Time, Matter & Energy, Computers & Math, Fossils & Ruins at ScienceDaily.

Health and medicine? Rely on the experts at the Mayo Clinic.

Jobs and careers? Here are 12,000 to choose from.

Need more ideas for occupations? Try this A-Z list.

Stuck? Clueless?

Don't even know what to look for next? Give this site a vague idea of what you're interested in and they will recommend websites/photos/videos: StumbleUpon.

Characters and character traits:

Nasty girl or boy wizard? Villain or hero? Damsel in distress or burnt-out cop on the beat? Characters need to be complex and sometimes contradictory.

Here's a list of 638 primary character traits.

Here's another list of 443 character traits organized especially for fiction writers.

A third list, simple and bare bones, highlights basic character traits

Custom lists:

These are the lists you make for yourself. They can comprise any subject or field of reference and can be kept digitally, in pen and paper notebooks or on spreadsheets. They can include inspirational quotes and motivational videos, the names of formatters, editors and cover designers, notes of deadlines and promo dates.

These lists are personal and custom-crafted. Because they arise from your own requirements and interests, they are 100% certified organic and pesticide-free.

What about you, Scriveners? Do you have a favorite go-to research site? Do add it in the comments!  I've only recently discovered Quora and it's given me dozens of ideas.

We are trying something new with the comments. We are now allowing commenters without IDs and we put the CAPTCHA back on, since now it's not a bunch of unreadable blobs, but just a box to check to say you're not a robot. So if you've had trouble commenting before, do try again 

News! My piece Short is the New Long—telling you why you should write more short fiction—is featured in the 2016 Novel and Short Story Writer's Market: "the most trusted guide to getting published." I bought every edition of the Writer's Market for decades. Now I'm in it. Kind of a milestone...Anne 


A Kiss at Kihali: sweet romance set against the backdrop of African animal rescue

A must-read for animal lovers.

Available at Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAKoboNOOKiTunes

Beautiful and inspirational, A KISS AT KIHALI draws on the power of human-animal relationships, the heroic accomplishments of African animal orphanages, and the people, foreign and Kenyan, drawn to careers involving the care and conservation of wild animals. Filled with drama and danger that lead to a happy ending, A KISS AT KIHALI will appeal to readers who love tender romance and who have personally experienced the intense, mystical bond between humans and animals.

"A must-read for anyone who cares about animals and the environment, because what we do to them, we do to ourselves”... bestselling author Sibel Hodge


The Ernest Hemingway Flash Fiction Contest. $10 fee Unpublished fiction. 1500 words or less. Simultaneous submissions ARE welcome. All entries will be considered for publication in Fiction Southeast. (a prestigious journal that has published people like Joyce Carol Oates) Winner gets $200 and publication. Deadline: Dec. 1st

The Central Coast Writers Conference. One of the best little Writers Conferences around! You can attend Anne's workshops on How to Write 21st Century Prose and How to Deal with Reviews and even have her critique your work. September 19-20.

Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest $4,000 in prizes. Entry fee $10 per poem. Submit poems in modern and traditional styles, up to 250 lines each. Deadline: September 30.

Real Simple's eighth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest FREE to enter, First prize: $3,000 for an essay of up to 1500 words on: "What Single Decision Changed Your Life?" Would your world now be completely different if, at some point in the past, you hadn't made a seemingly random choice? Deadline Sept 21.

BARTLEBY SNOPES CONTEST   $10 FOR UNLIMITED ENTRIES. Compose a short story entirely of dialogue. Must be under 2,000 words. Your entry cannot use any narration (this includes tag lines such as he said, she said, etc.). These are the only rules. 5 finalists will also appear in Issue 15 of the magazine. Last year they awarded $2,380 in prize money. Deadline: September 15.


Congrats to Florence Cronin, whose humorous short story was short-listed in the Mark Twain Humor Writing Contest!

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Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We need to add a couple of those to the IWSG site.WordHippo would be a good fit.
I don't use it for writing, but the IMDB is my go-to for movie and television information.

August 30, 2015 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Linda Maye Adams said...

Not a site--I visit a lot of places (we have a lot of historical sites) over time so I have the knowledge to draw on. I'm also going to take some local workshops on personal grooming and dining in the Victorian era, though I have no specific plans to use them anywhere.

One of the challenges of being a pantser is that I have no idea what I need until it suddenly pops into the story. I've wasted a lot of time researching something I thought would be important and then had evolve out of the story so all the research time was wasted. It's much better for me to have the knowledge and let it filter in as I write and then research missing details then it is for me to plunge into research for a story and probably waste most of my time. It doesn't help that I hate diving into books for research.

August 30, 2015 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 30, 2015 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Thanks, Ruth, this goes into Evernote ;)

Digging into that treasure trove, I found:

Words to describe hair, primarily African American but also general. Writing With Color is an invaluable site for anyone writing with diversity in mind and wanting to get ethnic/racial references of all kinds correct. http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/113627509260/words-to-describe-hair

All kinds of slang links: http://legit-writing-tips.tumblr.com/post/116934264105/slang-resources

123 ideas for character flaws: http://amandaonwriting.tumblr.com/post/43980065606

Master reference for writers: http://referenceforwriters.tumblr.com/post/115411476695/pieissupernatural-my-writing-masterpost-i-just

Language creation resources (for fantasy writers): http://writeworld.org/post/35487586158/language-creation

Writing realistic injuries: http://www.users.totalise.co.uk/~leiafee/ramblings/realistic_injuries.htm#cut

August 30, 2015 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Sorry for the formatting. It looked okay in preview. :(

August 30, 2015 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

Combination online resource and crowdsource project! Anne, you've done it all this time. Even your obvious bias for the Alleged Real World can't dim my enthusiasm for all this great info at our fingertips. There ARE certain similarities, after all...
Like Alex I go to IMDB for movie info, because the org structure is nice and consistent. But I should mention that a writer-director colleague of mine slams the site for taking whatever info and slapping it in without much checking. Kind of wiki, that way- my rule is, beware the source if the subject is still alive. So for old movies (and dead people) IMDB and Wiki are fine.

August 30, 2015 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Will--It's Ruth who is has gathered all this great info. I'm donning sunscreen to go out and listen to some music by the Bay this afternoon while Ruth is at the helm. I do think she's done a fabulous job!

August 30, 2015 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Wm. L. Hahn said...

Apologies Ruth! I write too slow but I read too fast.

August 30, 2015 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Alex—Thanks! I use IMDB for all kinds of inspiration re: plot, character, synopses, tag lines. Movies have ‘em all!

August 30, 2015 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Linda—I’m also a pantser and I agree that lots of pre-writing research can be a waste. Like you, I find that usually the need for some kind of research presents itself as I write. Having a few basic sources as a starting point—which I’ve tried to provide here—can be a big help & time saver.

August 30, 2015 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Keith—Ooooh, slang! Ooooh, realistic injuries! Thanks for these terrific links! Invaluable! Formatting? bleh! :-(

August 30, 2015 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Wm.—Don’t worry about it, apologies accepted! Thanks for the sensible caveat. I also find IMDB indispensable when I’m writing about the past. It’s 1992: what movie did our couple see on their first date? It’s 1987: What tag lines/movie dialogue were people using? 1976: What action hero/glamor puss/villain was floating our boat? Who inspired us? Who scared us? Who did we want to be? See what I mean?

August 30, 2015 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Phyllis Humphrey said...

This is great information. I'm already an IMDB fan, but you;ve given me tons more. Thanks a million.

August 30, 2015 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Patricia Lynne said...

Thanks for all the resources.

August 30, 2015 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger mindprinter said...

Ruth, this is a goldmine. Thank you. I'm definitely bookmarking this for writer resources. I wish there was a decent one for LGBT. I've done a lot of Internet searching and I use the Lambda Literary Review for what's new out there but if a writer wants to add an LGBT character to his/her book, they'd be all over the place looking for general info. Must be one resource site out there. If there is, I haven't found it. Terrific post as usual. My best, Paul.

August 30, 2015 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Tori Minard said...

"These lists are personal and custom-crafted. Because they arise from your own requirements and interests, they are 100% certified organic and pesticide-free." Hah! You made me laugh on a day when I really need it. Thanks for that, Ruth.

August 30, 2015 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Tori Minard said...

P.S. -- I love making lists. I don't know exactly why, but it's fun for me. Sometimes I never even look at the list again. I make lists of possible titles, character names, places I've enjoyed visiting, words I find interesting or funny, and all kinds of other stuff. Oh, and possible plot points. I like to throw in a few completely absurd choices just for fun (alien abduction, random dinosaur encounter, stuff like that).

August 30, 2015 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Tori Minard said...

This isn't really a list but (I can't seem to stop commenting): Pandora is great for creating a channel of music focused on a particular time period or genre. I'm sure other streaming music services have the same feature. I have one for the sixties and seventies because I have a series set in the seventies, but I also have one for swing, one for heavy metal, etc. so you can listen to the same kind of music as your character(s).

August 30, 2015 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks, Ruth. This is a great list, which I will bookmark into a folder. I'm always looking for something, and if I can't find it, I'll probably be able to now. Let me ask you if you have a one-stop site for cops and detectives? I have a bunch of sites I use now, but mostly I spend time researching around looking for something specific. Thanks.

Anne, hope you're having fun in the sun!

August 30, 2015 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Florence Cronin said...

A big thanks to Anne for posting my good news regarding the Mark Twain Humor Contest. My thanks is more to both you and Ruth for always giving us such amazing resources. And that is how I learned about that contest ... from your list of places to submit work.

It was a thrill and again ... THANKS for the shout-out !!!

August 30, 2015 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Hi Phyllis, thank *you*! :-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Thanks, Patricia. Enjoy them! HTH. :-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Tori—As I always say, gotta leave 'em laughing. ;-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Lissa Johnston said...

Research is my favorite part of the process and these are fantastic - thanks! I do use the heck outta Google but sometimes click on random pages deep into the search results to find stuff others may not have the patience to dig for. I also like using Flickr and the Library of Congress for photos I can use for inspiration, or to post on a Pinterest board to complement the book.

August 30, 2015 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Hi again Tori, you are not alone! I LOVE lists. Much better addiction than others I can name. :-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Excellent contribution! Many thanks. :-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Anne, Try some of the crime / mystery writers forums. Those writers know what they're doing and have a ton of info. HTH

August 30, 2015 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Congratulations, Florence. Yay for you!

August 30, 2015 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Lisa—Thanks for the kind words and great ideas about Flickr and the LoC. :-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Paul, Wow, I'm surprised there isn't lots on LGBT. I write gay characters that resemble my gay friends. You know, normal people with the same talents and hang ups as everyone else! ;-)

August 30, 2015 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger mindprinter said...

OH, I just love that answer. I may quote you when I present at our local writer's conference. It's the first one on LGBT lit and it's scary as hell to be carrying the banner but this is such a good answer. I love it. May I quote you? Hugs, Paul. And my better half, hubby of 39 years, Bob.

August 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Go ahead. Quote away! :-)

Smooches to Bob!

Paul, please email me at harris.ruth.c @ gmail.com

August 30, 2015 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Gigi Wolf said...

Great list! I've already copied most of it into my writer's notebook, a notebook, by the way, that has ended my lifelong and fruitless search for the perfect notebook. I even ordered another one long before my first has been used up.

I haven't clicked on all the links yet, so I don't know if you got Life and/or Look's archives. Such great magazines, full of 'other eras' news and ads. I saw an article on Audrey Hepburn and Yves Montand in one issue. She was looking delish in typical A. Hepburn style, in their house in France or Spain, or somewhere.

Thank you!

August 30, 2015 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Lissa Johnston said...

Well now I must know abt this notebook. Moleskin??

August 30, 2015 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Gigi, Ooooh! Audrey. Grace Kelly. Divine!

So, tell me, of which notebook are you speaking? Lately I've been swooning over the Maruman Mnemosyne. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001A1TO14/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2GQI1WQQQZZGS&coliid=I16WRNHMYCB250

Tell me if I've missed something! :-)

August 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Lissa, Sheeesh. I just asked the same thing. Look just above. :-)

August 30, 2015 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Carradee said...

And here with the "Depressed? Anxious? Stressed?" in your header, I thought you were going to talk about depression/anxiety/stress stuff, rather than that particular stressor. :-)

See, I find the "figuring out what to do" more helpful and relaxing than I do stressful. What I find stressful are things like posting a cliffhanger on Wattpad, which will literally trigger a panic attack. (It's happened.)

So as a pertinent note for those folks who have the…more extreme reactions, here's a tip: invest in a full ounce of saffron. (Safflower—a.k.a. Mexican saffron—might also work, but I've only tried saffron so far.) Three threads, used in juice or tea, can mellow a can't-breathe panic attack. Vanilla can help mild depression. (But if you're experiencing depression, you might want to check your vitamin D levels.)

This is a pretty nice list, though. Thank you for compiling it! :)

August 30, 2015 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Maria D'Marco said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 30, 2015 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Gigi Wolf said...

Lisa and Ruth, you just made me wish for moleskin... Ruth, yours looks like mine on the outside, but like a classic plot twist, it's might be the 'evil twin'. Mine is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001A1TO14/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2GQI1WQQQZZGS&coliid=I16WRNHMYCB250 I like the arrangement inside.

I took a 'Who were you in a past life on FBook, and got Audrey! I only wish I had been quite as slender. Her clothes always looked so good-

August 30, 2015 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Gigi Wolf said...

The smell of rosemary, or whatever it is, from the shrubs people plant by their houses. The sun has to be hot, though. Or, the smell of the jasmine shrubs at night. It has to be a breezy, warm night, though-

August 30, 2015 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Melodie Campbell said...

Wow - bookmarking this one, Ruth! Oh, I can see hours of juicy distractions ahead of me (did I say that out loud?) grin
Thanks once again, Ruth!

August 30, 2015 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Ann Marquette said...

What a fabulous post. Even without a specific purpose, but for fun and curiosity it will be great going to each link suggested to see what is there...like and undefined treasure hunt:) Thank you Anne and Ruth.

August 30, 2015 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Ann Marquette said...

Ditto Melodie's comment.

August 30, 2015 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger CS Perryess said...

What an astounding collection of links. Gracias bigtime.

August 30, 2015 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Claude Forthomme said...

Excellent collection. I would add Thingser (www.thingser.com) to your list: that's the latest up and coming social media, just started this summer. It brings together people on the basis of their interests, whether they are experts in some "things" or just knowledgeable and it lets them upload links to what they see as interesting articles, videos etc. That's the point: what gets uploaded on Thingser is generally of very good quality.

When you register on the site, all you have to do is indicate what you're interested in, what categories. And that means Thingser acts as a "filter" against the "noise" of Internet: you get a remarkable collection of high quality content articles organized by categories (sports, history, politics and of course sub-categories) that you can easily access. And you meet people who share your same interests. Brilliant! And very useful when you do research. I tried it, starting when Thingser was in its beta phase 2 months ago, and it's really great! And great fun too, see for yourself. Make sure that as a writer you also indicate an interest in "publishing" and "writing" so you get all the updates you need, including the good stuff from Anne!

August 31, 2015 at 4:14 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Melodie, thanks! Juicy and fun, too. Besides, not a wasteful distraction because writers never know what little tidbit is going to be the answer to a plot point dilemma, character description, setting etc. ;-)

August 31, 2015 at 4:45 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Ann—Thank you! Exactly my point: to pique curiosity and discovery. After all, for writers there’s no such thing as too much info. :-)

August 31, 2015 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

CS— De nada big time. ;-)

August 31, 2015 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Ditto my reply to Melodie. ;-)

August 31, 2015 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Claude—Thank you for the kind words and for the great input! Thingser is going on my list right now!
Another great one I forgot to add to my list is Quora.com which is, basically, ask an expert. Just type in your question and someone who knows the answer will reply. Super interesting site.

August 31, 2015 at 4:48 AM  
Blogger Beth Havey@Boomer Highway said...

I'm saving this post, a treasure box of ideas. Thanks so much.

August 31, 2015 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Allen said...

Beth--I'm soooo glad to see you here! That means our new commenting policy is working. I know that Blogger wouldn't let you in with your Wordrpess ID. We are getting more spam now that we allow anons, but since I moderate posts older than 7 days, it's not that hard to keep the spam under control. Thanks for trying one more time!

August 31, 2015 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Beth, thanks for your kind words *and* your persistence! Anne and I are thrilled to see you. :-)

August 31, 2015 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Yolanda Renee said...

Wonderful information and links, bookmarked! Thanks!

August 31, 2015 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Shona Moyce said...

Permanently bookmarked! Thank you so much! :)

September 1, 2015 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Thank *you,* Yolanda! Appreciate your kind words. :-)

September 1, 2015 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Shona—I'm flattered! Thanks so much. :-)

September 1, 2015 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger G. B. Miller said...

Back in the day, what I used to use for research was very eclectic. In no particular order of importance:

1) Public Library;
2) Internet search engines;
3) Microfilm (lots of newspapers still have back issues on microfilm, so digital is never quite the be all to end all);
4) People. They came in handy when I needed to get some practical advice on a certain character trait (like cup sizes).
5) And whatever else happens to strike my fancy.

Father Nature's Corner

September 1, 2015 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

GB, Thank you for the perspective. I well remember scrolling through microfiche copies on those machines with the round crank!

September 2, 2015 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Katarina West said...

Thanks a million, Ruth! This post is a real treasure-trove - I'll bookmark this one for sure. I've got one tip to offer too: if you you're blocked in the midst of a dialogue and don't know whether your character hold his hands akimbo, or frowned, or rolled his eyes, have a look at http://bodylanguageproject.com/nonverbal-dictionary/

Plus, a question for anyone browsing these comments: where online might I find information about the life of the very rich and very famous? Like, how does it look inside of a private jet? And what could the hostess offer you for lunch? And how's your daily life, if you've got a bodyguard? Desperately seeking info for my next novel. I'm a great fan of interviews, but everything helps! Thanks!

September 4, 2015 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Katarina, thank you for the kind words and excellent suggestion.

Try billionaire magazine for lots of info + pix: http://thebillionairemagazine.com

The manufacturers of private jets offer all kinds of luxury. Try Gulfstream: http://www.gulfstream.com

For lunch, look at the menu of your favorite, snotty, unaffordable restaurant & take it from there.

I dunno about life w a body guard except maybe search “life with a bodyguard.” In romance, the bg is always a hot hunk. ;-)

September 4, 2015 at 4:28 AM  
Blogger Katarina West said...

Thanks a million, Ruth!

September 5, 2015 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger Mary Jo Robertiello said...

Many thanks, Ruth, for this informative blog. It's getting flagged immediately! Mary Jo

September 6, 2015 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Anna Erishkigal said...

I subscribe to Academia.edu to scrounge up free scholarly articles written by archaeologists, anthropologists, and philologists in the time-period I write in (5,500 BC Mesopotamia). Pick a time period, geography and culture and they will send you email alerts whenever a Ph.D uploads a new research summary or report.

September 6, 2015 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Thanks, Mary Jo. Glad you found the post useful!

September 6, 2015 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Ruth Harris said...

Fabulous resource, Anna. Thanks sooooo much for the valuable addition!

September 6, 2015 at 8:23 AM  

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