Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guest-Blogger Deborah Ager: 5 Fantastic Freebies for Writers

Apropos of the financial melt-down upon us, writers, do not despair! Not only is inspiration free as the air, but today poet Deborah Ager offers links to five fantastic freebies. I first met Deborah Ager a few years ago at that blessed oasis of poetry (among other arts), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Since then, we've crossed paths everywhere from the Writers Center to the Washington Independent Writers (now American Independent Writers) blogging for writers panel to, well, all over cyberspace. Not only is Deborah a truly gifted poet, and poetry editor (founder of the journal 32 Poems) but she's a web 2.0 diva--- by which I mean, blogging, twittering (is that the right verb?), and facebooking (um, is that a verb also?) with both grace and goodwill (speaking of which, check out her Nine Effective (and Possibly Hip) Ways to Use Facebook.) Official bio: Deborah Ager's first book, Midnight Voices, will be published in March 2009 by WordTech. She has published in Best New Poets 2006, Best of the Tigertail Anthologies, The Bloomsbury Review, The Georgia Review, New Letters, and Quarterly West. She has edited 32 Poems Magazine since 2003. Keep up with her at the 32 Poems blog. Over to you, Deborah!

5 Fantastic Freebies for Writers

Not all writers can be James Merrill and spend two-and-a-half years traveling across Europe -- sigh! -- with no worries about money. I can't guarantee you'll save enough money from my tips to travel Europe, but you might have enough to take time from work to visit an artist's colony.

Here's to stretching your dollar and having a good time in the process.

1. Free Movies and TV Shows
Watch "Saturday Night Live", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", "The Office" or other shows at -- or catch more than 100 movies. I credit Kiplinger's for this idea.

2. Free Furniture, Books, etc.
Freecycle is the king of free. Do you want toys for your kids, books, or a new modernist chair? Look no further. Take some items off your neighbor's hands. When your house gets too full, put your items on the list for others to take.

3. Free Software
With Open Office create poems and write prose without having to shell out for software. My book publisher -- Cherry Grove Collections -- uses Open Office to lay out books. I downloaded the software and fell in love. It's much like MS Word, except you don't have to pay!

4. Free Web Browser
Many of us still use IE. Try out Flock and see what you've been missing. You can see Facebook updates from your friends in a split screen and keep track of incoming emails about local readings.

5. Free Books
Bored on a vacation or taking a break at work? Open up an oldie but a goodie at Project Gutenberg. Whether you want to read Austen, Kant, or Keats, Project Gutenberg offers hundreds of books that are in the public domain.

--- Deborah Ager

--->For the archive of Madam Mayo guest-blog posts, click here.