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Mini Reference Shelf 12.28.06

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Reference Shelf 12.21.06

bluefranc.jpgFrom the Journalist’s Toolbox: 2006 Year-in-Review: Many of you are working on year-ender stories, so we’ll be adding links to this in the next few days. Some sites that may be of help in summarizing top news stories for the year: CNN’s Year-in-Review, ESPN’s top sports stories of the year, MSNBC’s top health stories and’s year-in-review parody.
A few from Sree, like high tech gifts under $100, FauxTo, a beta-stage web-based Photo-shop-type program and Google Patent Search
AutoCrit identifies the weak areas in your manuscript. Check your work before you submit and increase your chances of getting published. (I don’t know how well it works–anyone used this?)
A little more gift-giving advice: a red wine gift guide at Lifehacker. Bonus from Lifehacker: how to get quoted in the news.
Move Over, Sobol: There’s Another Big-Money Contest in Town (Writer Beware)
Finally, do you live in New York and are interested in travel writing? Check out some of the classes listed by the Written Road.

Reference Shelf 12.12.06

A bunch of suggested gifts for writers at the Written Road. In addition to that, the Booksling--possibly good for book critics and students. And a related tip from Susan Kirkland: “Before your readers do their Christmas shopping, they may be interested in the “small print details of Microsoft’s ZUNE digital music player. It’s a high price to pay for a three- day permission on each song downloaded or beamed, even if it’s a song you wrote, sung and own. Besides, it may take you longer than three days to find someone else who owns a ZUNE to beam to.”

Holiday Trends: The Journalist’s Toolbox has resources on holiday business trends and dangerous toys/child safety. There are also travel tips, food, and holiday box office links on the miscellaneous page.
LIRIPIPE – The long tail on a graduate’s academic hood. More where these came from at 33 Names of Things You Never Knew Had Names.
This guide to winning an argument amuses me. And it might actually be helpful. I bet you could win a Presidential debate with these tips.
And in silly little amusements:
“The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.” Worst analogies ever written in a high school essay.
Wordie: Like Flickr, but without the photos. Doesn’t that sound fun?

11.28.06 Reference Shelf

257200-MP_general.jpgSome hopefully helpful links for you today. A few are holiday related, like Lifehacker’s recommendation of Make’s open source gift guide (good for givers on a budget.) Or, too busy working to go to somebody’s lame holiday party? Use the excuse generator from Enlighten. Want some cool gifts for writers? The chicks at the Renegade Writer love the stuff from See Jane Work.
The Journalist’s Toolbox has resources on holiday business trends and dangerous toys/child safety. There are also travel tips, food, and holiday box office links on the miscellaneous page.
And a few that just aren’t really related to anything:
From the BBC, script formats for scriptwriters (might be different for US writers, though.)
Writer Unboxed has listed several sites that can be used to inspire or break writers block, so check them out.

Reference Shelf: 11.21.06

Design writers looking for a few resources: The Journalist’s Toolbox has an area devoted to it.
Via Sree, 50 great blogging resources.
Tips and ideas for science fiction writers here.
Having trouble focusing? How to concentrate on writing, over at Bad Language.
And Mac users, want to help your workflow? Lifehacker shows you how with tips on enabling Speech Recognition.

Reference Shelf 11.17.06

Links and such for writers and editors of all kinds.
Are you going to be taking an editing test and have no idea how to study? Check out the archived editing tests from the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund.
Wondering how to create a book proposal? Find a model here at Textbook Template.
Want to write but hate thinking up a plot and characters on your own? Check out, “the world’s only taxonomy of essential human situations. This is an updated, online beta version of Storybase Software for Writers, used worldwide for inspiration and reference by screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, writers of interactive games, memoirists, ad creatives and many others who need to tell a compelling story.”
At Lifehacker: Community web site Wesabe lets users share their financial experiences with the hope that doing so will help them make better financial decisions to meet their goals.
Whether you need it or it just makes you hot, Grammar Girl is here to help you with your, you know, grammar. She sort of looks like Wonkette’s cousin.

Reference Shelf: 11.7.06

A few links that might help you on this fine day:
The Journalist’s Toolbox Political Blogs recommendations: Track what people are saying and writing heading into the elections. A few sites that can help: Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, PowerLine, Captain’s Quarters, and Reason magazine’s Hit & Run.
Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] “is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.”
Related: reader’s tips for building bibliographies at Lifehacker.
From Sree: gotta stop wasting time with needy friends or telemarketers? Sorrygottago, which gives you sounds to help you get off the phone.

Reference Shelf: 10.31.06

scarypumpking.jpgThe spookiest and most useful links I could find today:
CCleaner optimizes your PC by removing various kinds of system detritus, such as temp files, old Registry entries, and invalid shortcuts. It also helps promote privacy by deleting your browser’s URL history, cookies, and so on.” (Lifehacker)
An online phrase thesaurus: “Enter a word and it will generate a list of phrases and sayings related to that word – often including interesting selections that you may not have anticipated.”
You’ve enjoyed a poorly worded or ripoff Craigslist help wanted ad or two before. Now find them all under one roof.
And finally, on this fine fine day, I present the Dark Erotica blog: Tips, Tricks, Rants and Raves on the Secrets to Writing Erotic Fiction

Reference Shelf 10.24.06

Senate, House, gubenatorial and local elections are coming in early November and the Journalist’s Toolbox overflows with resources. “One helpful site is, which tracks campaign finance donations. There are more campaign finance sites and election resources in the Elections, State Government, Federal Government and Expert Sources sections. If you’re doing a story on political campaign ads, you’ll find resources in the Advertising section.”
Book fairs: not as cool as Lollapalooza, but cooler than Renaissance fairs. (Library of Congress)
Quickie from Ask Metafilter on how to cite a video game.
Sree is proud of his list of free software alternatives, and hopes you like it too.
I’ll end this post with more on When to Quit, from Scott Young.

Crowded Inbox?

icon_goo.pngUpod‘s David Hochman found this tool, which he says sounds neat, but NB neither of us have used it enough to ‘officially’ endorse it:

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