Friday Recommends – Tools and Time-Wasters

Sometimes they’re the same thing, yeah?

But first, a repeat of a FANTASTIC tool for anybody who has to write anything. It was designed for the fiction writer, but would be great for a report, a speech, a non-fiction book, and anything else that needs to be free AND structured. You could probably use it to plan a web site. Anyway, it’s yWriter5. It’s kind of complex, but there’s an ongoing help forum on the web site, lots of help documentation, and working with it opens up its possibilities. I am SO NOT an outliner, but this program makes outlining work for me as part of the flow. It’s amazing. And it’s FREE. Did I mention it’s FREE?

If you have any questions about spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, or usage, Dan Persinger is your man. He does not suffer fools gladly, but he does suffer them, which is why he tolerates me. He writes mysteries under the name of Jack Hardway. The fact that that name totally cracks me up probably says something analyzable about me. Anyway, Jack Hardway also has a blog (or, as he correctly calls it, a web log) with the subtitle A Lot Of Writers Are Dopes.

While at WordCamp last year, I met Niles Flores, a woman who loves blogging, social media, web design and Egypt, not necessarily in that order. Her business site,, is the mostest funnestest business site EVAR.

My new BFF is HootSuite. That’s what I’m using to schedule promotional posts on FaceBook and Twitter. I can schedule three at each place at different times a day, then relax and just use the social networks to be social. I like it because it works on both networks, and I can write the promos that make sense for each. No Twitter hashtags in MY Facebook stream, (oops! I think I just did that by askident. My bad.).

[By the way, many grammarians ~waves to Dan Persinger~ dislike multiple sentences inside parentheses inside a sentence. Tough.]

My best time-waster is Pinterest. It’s invitation-only, so, naturally, Holly Jahangiri invited me in order to waste my time and distract me from the Race to the Hugo Award. Nice try, Holly. Won’t work. yWriter5 has foiled you. Ha HAAAAA!!

WRITING PROMPT: A character “wastes” a lot of time on something that becomes suddenly useful. An oldie but a goodie.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Friday Recommends – Tools and Time-Wasters

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 27, 2012 at 9:38am

      I only wish I could use it with Google+, too. I’m the world’s worst promoter, but HootSuite makes it easy for me to make it creative, do it all once and done for the day, and enjoy my friends. 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  1. Jane

    January 27, 2012 at 9:31am

    Thanks for your previous recommendation for yWriter5. I loaded my novel in, and the fun just started slowing up my head.

    Guys, Use This Now.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 27, 2012 at 9:40am

      Jane, I was so surprised how easy it makes for me to think outline/flow at the same time. I guess it comes natural to some people, but it never did to me. Maybe it’ll turn out to be training wheels. lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Nicholle

    January 31, 2012 at 7:59pm

    I agree with you Marian. Sometimes a certain thing that seems oldie is what the useful one.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 31, 2012 at 9:56pm

      Right, Nicholle. That writing prompt has been used many times, but every story is new every time it’s told by a different person in that person’s unique voice and from that person’s unique point of view. 🙂

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  3. Charles Green

    February 16, 2012 at 5:46am

    Yeah I get it ” It’s Free” and yes you are wasting my time Ha! Ha! Your blog was probable the oddest blog that I have rea, I am still trying to figure out whether your are besing sarcastic inthe way you recommend other sites, so I guess I would have to waste a little more time to find out. Ha! Ha!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 16, 2012 at 7:27am

      Hey, Charles! I have an uncle and a cousin named Charles Green, neither of whom I’ve seen for many a long year. Wouldn’t it be funny if you and I were related? My Greens come from Grayson County in Kentucky.

      If my blog is the oddest you’ve read, I’ll need to recommend some others to you. 😀

      I’m not being sarcastic in recommending these sites. I am attempting to be amusing, which is always hit-or-miss. I really do recommend these sites. As us cool kids say, YMMV: Your mileage may vary = You may not like them as much as I do.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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