Author Karen Ball

Go Ahead: Take an Online Break

Wow, what great sites you all shared. Thanks so much for letting us in on your online breaks. So here are the places I like to go when I need a break. Some are great for just a few minutes, some give a nice long break. But they’re all great fun! (click the headlines below)

History in the Headlines: Writers

This is the History Channel’s collection of fascinating stories about writers throughout history. I’ve learned all kinds of fun facts here.

Grammar Gorilla

Hey, it’s grammar, and it’s gorillas. Who could ask for anything more? Test yoru grammar skills and earn bananas.

Snoopy the Author cartoons

A delightful collection on Pinterest of Snoopy the Author cartoons. I love these things!

Language is a Virus

This is one of my all-time favorite online break sites, primarily because it has so many fun things you can do. For example:

*Electronic Poetry Kit

You may have the magnetic version of this. I do. In fact, I have several versions of magnetic poetry on my fridge. It’s great fun. Well, now you don’t have to go to your fridge to play with it. You can hop on over to this site and make poetry with a variety of kits, from the Stephen King kit to the Oscar Wilde kit to the Sylvia Plath kit. Enjoy!

*Writing Prompts

Sometimes all you need is one idea to get you going. Well, here’s the place to get it.

*Writing Exercises

More than you can get through in a whole lot of breaks.

I Write Like

Ever wondered what famous author you write like? Well, hop on over to this site, write a little bit, and it will tell you. I love writing in different ways and voices, to see how many different authors I am. <grin>


And, of course, there’s always a shopping break. Here are the sites I enjoy when I want to find a fun writing-focused tool or gift to reward myself with after meeting a goal:

Etsy: Gifts for Writers


Writers Store

The Literary Gift Company




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Do Your Book a Favor: Take a Break

Ever had one of those days? You know, you sit there, staring at the screen, fingers on the keyboard, and… It’s. Just. Not. Happening. Yeah, you have. All writers hit those days from time to time. I’ve learned, when that happens to me, that the best thing I can do …

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Contrived is a Four-Letter Word

Few things irritate fiction readers more than a story peopled by characters who act and react without any apparent reason for what they’re doing and saying. No reason, that is, except to illustrate the author’s message. Or prove the author’s point. Well, you say, don’t we all have a message …

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New Year, New First Lines!

Are you as stunned as I am that we’re already weeks into 2017? I figure the beginning of an all-new year is a great time to share our all-new first lines! I love seeing what you all are working on, so jump in and share the first line—and ONLY the …

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The Seeds of Great Ideas

Thanks so much for sharing your tips and sources for ideas last week. What fun to read your thoughts and insights. I’d invite you all to review those comments from time to time, considering if one or more of them might not help you expand the ways you develop ideas. …

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Finding Great Book Ideas

The beginning of a whole new year seems like a good time to think about new ideas. Specifically, new ideas for stories to write. We all have our favorite sources for new ideas. Some pull story ideas from breaking news stories, some from their own personal experiences or struggles, some …

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Who Needs Another Marriage Book?

Today is Don’s and my 37th anniversary. Don likes to say we’ve been happily married for 20 years, and that’s not bad out of 37. <grin> While he’s being funny, he’s also being honest. Ours has not been an easy marriage. We’ve been through many years of counseling with pastors, …

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Are Deadlines Killing Your Christmas?

Remember the days when all we had to do at Christmas time was sip hot chocolate, trim the tree, and wrap gifts, all while listening to Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole croon out those wonderful old carols? Yeah, me neither. For so many of us, Christmas has become another …

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Christmas in Story

December is here, the time we celebrate the greatest story of all—the advent of a holy baby/Savior. Of course, my favorite version of the Christmas story is found in Scripture, but I love that the spirit of that story can be found in countless venues and styles of story. So …

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