Thanks to a reply to one of my replies on on the (Hatrack River Writer's Workshop forum, I found Liberty Hall, a members-only writing site that has flash challenges, crit groups, all kinds of fun things. Among the fun things I found was a link to a freeware countdown timer, which Mike (who owns Liberty Hall) recommends for use with the "flash challenges" (where you write a story in 90 minutes - ack!!). The timer is available at Spacejock Timer yTimer. In addition to offering free software, Spacejock's owner, Simon Haynes, is a published author with articles on writing, agents, publishing, etc. Here's a quote from his site:
"Over the past ten years Simon Haynes has grown from a beginning writer to a bestselling, award-winning author, and his site contains numerous articles with useful advice and warnings on writing, publishing and agents. Learn from his mistakes so you don't make them too."
Sounds good to me! And his novels look like a lot of fun. Anyone who's favorably compared to Terry Pratchett's work (he writes the Discworld series, which is hysterical sf humor, in case you don't know) is someone whose work I want to read!
And what a good marketing idea he has! I'll have to try something like that myself when my novel's published (four rejections out of eleven queries to literary agents so far - not too bad!)