Posts Tagged ‘family’

Prepping for NaNoWriMo

09/12/2011

PREPPING FOR NaNoWriMo with SUSAN MEIER: Online Course

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Meier
DATE: October 1 – October 31, 2011

REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110
(LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Everybody believes NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which runs every November at http://www.nanowrimo.org) is a race against the clock, a fight with procrastination and inertia. In some ways it is. But once you’re in the thick of things, you’ll discover NaNo is really all about ideas. Writers don’t stall because they’re lazy. Writers stall because they don’t know what to write next.

The month BEFORE NaNo, get proven tips from Susan Meier—the author of almost 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette—and let her take you through several different ways to examine the story you want to write, to capture the natural scene possibilities within your idea, to generate new ideas, and to push yourself through the most grueling, but fun, month you will spend this year! Lessons include:

* The List of 20 (How to generate ideas quickly so you have little downtime when your natural ideas run out)
* Turning a “Want” into “Need” (How does knowing why you’re writing this book provide you with both energy to write and ideas for your story?)
* The One-Paragraph Story Summary (Say it succinctly…3 kinds of one-paragraph story summaries: back cover blurb, core story question, and growth paragraph)
* Could, Might, Must and Should List (How to capture ideas that spring up naturally)
* Storyboard Versus Synopsis (Breaking your idea down into manageable bites)
* The Psychology of Pushing through the Hard Times (What to do when you get stuck)
* The Psychology of a Draft (Push, push, push!)
* What Are You Doing in December? (Editing tips)

Discover how to get the most out of NaNo and write a publishable novel. LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/PennwritersCourse201110

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Susan Meier is the author of over 45 books for Harlequin and Silhouette and one of Guideposts‘ Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. Her books have been finalists for Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader’s Choice Awards and Cataromance.com Reviewer’s Choice Awards and nominated for Romantic Times awards. Her book, HER BABY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS won the traditional category in the 2009 More Than Magic contest. HER PREGNANCY SURPRISE, her first release for the Harlequin Romance line, made both Walden’s Bestseller List for Series Romance and Bookscan. MAID FOR THE MILLIONAIRE, MAID FOR THE SINGLE DAD, and COUNTRY TWIN CHRISTMAS are her 2010 releases. Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker at RWA chapter conferences. Can This Manuscript Be Saved? and Journey Steps, Taking the Train to Somewhere! are her most requested workshops. Her article “How to Write a Category Romance” appeared in 2003 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Markets. Susan also gives online workshops for various groups and her articles regularly appear in RWA chapter newsletters. For more information about Susan Meier, visit http://www.susanmeier.com.

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*****
* For more information on this course, contact Laura M. Campbell, Online Courses Coordinator.
To mail in your registration and payment, send payment at least one week before the course starts using the mail form at this link.

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For Betty on Mother’s Day

05/08/2011

Monday, September 9, 2002
The following is the eulogy I wrote and presented for my mother. On this Mother’s Day and all the ones to come I think of her and miss her more than I can say. I hope she understands my desire to share this with you today. It’s important that she live on and this one way I can help to make that happen.
********************
September 9, 2002
Good Morning,

For those of you who don’t know who I am, I’ll introduce myself. I’m Bobbi, the second of Betty’s six children.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I started to write what I hope will be a fitting tribute to my mother.

How do you define a life in a span of words? …..I can only try.

At first I tried to honor her life with high praise and lofty words. I struggled and wrote and discarded page after page until finally it hit me, (or was that you, Mom?) that the only way to celebrate her life is to tell it like it is. She wouldn’t want it any other way.

So first, let’s go back in time and see her through her sister’s eyes – Two little girls tussling on the bed when one of Mom’s shoes comes off and flies through the open window and hits their Grandpa Hogan smack on the head. First puzzled, then angry he goes into the house and up to their room only to find them giggling, arms wrapped around one another, hiding under the covers. …… Love and laughter, two sisters clinging to one another.

See her growing up, becoming a beautiful young woman. One who loves to flirt loves to dance, driving the young men wild.

Picture her as a young war bride, alone and waiting for her allotment check. It was always a struggle to make ends meet but she always took a portion of the money to buy something nice for her sister. …… Love and giving, watching out for family, that’s our Mom.

See her as a young mother, cradling her first-born, looking at this miracle with no hint of the future tragedy that will take her beautiful daughter from her.

Watch as she works and struggles to raise six kids. Three girls, three boys, children who will be loved but not coddled as my brother Ed so clearly stated it only a few days ago.

She taught us all so much!
It is through her example that we learned that books can open up a whole new world and that crossword puzzles can expand more than your vocabulary, that some times the only correct answer is to call out your child’s name.

She saw to it that we received a strong foundation in faith, taught us our prayers and sometimes even mistook one of the boys for Jesus Christ.

By providing us with brothers and sisters she taught us to share, to try to get along, to fight for what we believe in, to define our own place in a wide and diversified world, and most of all to protect one another, even if that means two big brothers rescuing a two-stepping sister by her swinging blond pony tail.

She taught us with love and with her own brand of discipline. If a word or “the look” didn’t take care of a problem a well-aimed backhand would ….. and failing that ….there might even be a coke bottle handy.

Can you see her in your mind’s eye now? I can.

Watch her as throughout her life she creates special bonds with people, gathering them to her as she did with her “other daughter”, her niece and Godchild, Dee Dee. I know that going to see a movie will never be quite the same again but I also know that when you do go she will be right there with you, loving every minute ….

Unless of course she has gone dancing with Margaret. How her eyes would light up when you came into the room and how pleased she was with the very idea of stepping out again. One of these days you and Katie will be out and you will spot a rainbow, When you do, stop and do a little dance and know that she is smiling down on both of you, doing a little twist to her very own melody.

Picture her little house and think of how many of us she has taken in over the years for periods of time both long and short, including you Chris, Tiffany, Colleen and Sean, Ed and Laura, as well as visitors like her Cousin Jim who brought her so much joy.

All of her life she worked on her feet, serving people and she did it with style and sass – she did it with love and laughter. – What an amazing woman she is.

It didn’t matter what you called her, it could be Mom, it most certainly could not be Ma. It might be Sis, Auntie, ‘Lisabeth, Betty, Nana, Miss Lizzie, or her own personal favorite, The Matriarch, the end result was the same. She was there for you to tell it like it is, and if you didn’t like it, well you could just, “Kiss it, Kate”.
Picture that one more time and see her smile once again.

We all love you Mom and we know that one day we all be together again, ….. Until then I can only say –
Goodnight Elizabeth.

If You Want to Write

05/03/2011

1. READ  – Novels, Biographies, Books about Sports, signs along the road, read cereal boxes, read plays, read poems. Read  horror and sci fi and romance and mystery. Read blogs and text messages, read on line, use an e-reader or a ratty old book you found under your bed.

2. Learn and use the Rules of Grammar, Punctuation and Form

3. LISTEN- Listen to family stories, listen to music, listen to the news, listen to gossip (don’t repeat it – use it in a story or book or play), listen to little kids and old people. Listen to bird song and crickets. Listen to traffic sounds and hear the life in it. Listen to your dreams and your doubts and make stories out of what you hear.

4. READ – read comic books and graphic novels, read history books and the classics.

5. Write – Write about what you know and what you don’t know. Write about life and death and fish and bubble gum. Write about anything that comes into your head. Some of it will be great – a lot of it will not be great. It doesn’t matter as long as it gets your imagination going. This is how you entice your brain to cut loose with all the imagination stored in there. Let it out and use what you can, store the rest in a file on your computer. You might want it someday.

6. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. They don’t know what you can do. Only you can decide that. As long as you have ideas you can create stories. But you do have to learn the craft as well as the art. SEE RULE 2 AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.

7. READ – read blogs and text messages. Read on line, use a Kindle, fish that ratty old paperback out from under your bed and read it again.

8. Talk to other writers. Join a writers group if there is one near you. If there isn’t start one. 9. Submit  your work to a contest or for publication –FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES – ALL OF THEM.

10. Never give up. There is a place for you in the writing world.

CREATIVE NONFICTION & MEMOIR WRITING Online Course

05/02/2011

INSTRUCTOR: Bobbi Carducci

DATE: June 1 – July 1, 2011 LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”

William Shakespeare

Discover proven methods to convey real-life facts and events through story structure and character development with a focus on storytelling, personal essays, and feature writing. In this online course, you will learn:

* How to Begin

* Research

* Turning facts into drama

* Point of View

* Character Development

* How to handle family (What will they say, ethical dilemmas, etc.)

FREE BONUS: Memoir writing tip sheet PLUS the first 10 people to register for the course will receive an autographed copy of the CUP OF COMFORT FOR SISTERS anthology featuring Bobbi Carducci’s creative nonfiction short story, “Changing Currents.”
$79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members) $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

EARLY-BIRD PRICES END SOON!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Bobbi Carducci is a former senior staff writer for a Washington, D.C. area newspaper and currently writes a monthly book review column for About Families Publications. Her short stories appear in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL and CUP OF COMFORT anthologies. Her first book for young readers, STOREE WRYTER GETS A DOG, is scheduled for release in February 2011. Bobbi is a long time member of Pennwriters and is currently on the Pennwriters Board of Directors. She is a frequent speaker at writing conferences and serves as judge for the annual Mom’s Choice and Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. In her capacity as Founder and Director of the Young Voices Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit established to mentor young writers, she created the Young Voices Awards honoring books that Inspire, Mentor and/or Educate Readers of all ages.

* Subscribe to our Online Courses announcement list for email on our latest workshops!

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A Note for the Teacher

05/01/2011

I am deeply touched to have received the following note from the parent of one of the student’s in my Saturday morning creative writing class. My students include girls and boys in grades 2-6.

“Ms. Bobbi,

Thank you for teaching this type of class. It goes a long way toward getting the children to think and consider things outside their current reality. My son (name excluded for privacy) has had a tough year being diagnosed with Asberger’s and juvenile diabetes and I am thrilled to see the excitement and enthusiasm for this class and what the class offers.

Thanks again,

(signed by student’s mom)

What more can a teacher ask for? I will never forget this moment or this child.

Anthologies Seeking Submissions

04/29/2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul says:

“We have many Chicken Soup for the Soul® books in development and are adding new titles all of the time. We are always looking for new stories and poems and hope you have some for us to consider. Take a look at the list of our future book topics to see if you have a story or poem on a subject we are looking for and then please submit it to us.

If you have a great story or poem you want to submit but we are not collecting for that topic at this time, please save it and check back with us soon. Our list of Possible Books Topics is added to frequently and hopefully, in the near future, we will add a topic that will be a perfect fit for your story or poem.

We prefer that you submit your stories only once, but if you believe your story fits in more than one book topic, please indicate which other topics you have submitted it for in the Comments line on the submission form. You can submit your story by going to the link at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

Here Are Our Future Topics:

***SELECT YOUR TITLE***

Brides and Weddings
You are engaged! How lucky you are to have found that one person you want to share the rest of your life with. We are looking for stories about this very special experience in your life. From the proposal, to the planning, to actual wedding day events — both touching and hilarious – these stories will capture your heart and your emotions. Stories from the groom or the proud parents would be great too! Please share the memories that were created during this special time in your life. The deadline date for story submissions is April 30, 2011.

Christmas Stories
We are collecting stories for our newest Christmas book. Everyone has special memories and stories to tell about the Christmas season – from inspirational and joyous, to heartwarming and humorous. We want to hear about your special Christmas memories and traditions. Please note: if you have submitted stories to our Christmas books in the past, we have your stories in our database. Please make sure that the stories you are submitting to this book are NEW stories that our editors have not read before. The deadline date for story submissions is June 30, 2011.

Family Caregiver
Do you have a family member who requires constant care? Well, you are not alone. The stories in this book will be written by people caring for a family member who requires their assistance due to a variety of reasons – old age, Alzheimer’s, chronic illness, long-term or permanent physical or mental disabilities. Are you part of the “sandwich” generation – caring for an elderly relative while also raising your children? Or are you the person receiving the care from a family member? We want to hear from you too. These stories will inspire and support family members who are making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for, whether in their own homes or elsewhere. The deadline date for story submissions is July 15, 2011.

Find Your Happiness
How have you found happiness in your life? Share your stories about how you found purpose, passion, and joy in your life. Stories can be serious or funny, but definitely inspirational. Attitude adjustments, gratitude, a new way of handling your daily life, major realizations, and other great ideas to inspire readers to find their own paths to happiness would be appropriate. The deadline date for story submissions is May 15, 2011.

Food and Love
There is such a universal connection between food and love – both the romantic kind of love and the comforting kind of love between family members and friends. There is that delectable feeling that certain aromas and tastes stir up in your memory and imagination. We are looking for savory, sweet, sometimes spicy, mouthwatering, succulent, and tasty stories on how food and love together played a flavorful part in your life. You get the idea! These stories will whet your appetite and leave you with a divine aftertaste and a pungent yearning to read more. The deadline date for story submissions is May 15, 2011.

Home Sweet Home
Whether you rent your home or own your home, home is where your heart is. It is your safe place in the world. We are looking for stories about getting your first home, returning to your childhood home, do it yourself repair disasters and successes, downsizing, moving day or any heartwarming or funny stories associated with home. This book will make the perfect housewarming gift. The deadline date for story submissions is August 30, 2011.

Marriage and Married Life
Whether you are newly married or have been married for years and years, the stories in this book will capture your imagination, inspire you, make you laugh and touch your heart. We are looking for stories that will celebrate the commitment two people make when they say their vows. Tell us about your relationship. What makes it work? How did the comfort of your mate guide you through challenging times? What is the most important thing in your relationship? How did you try to change your mate? Did it work?! The deadline date for story submissions is May 30, 2011.

Think Positive for Kids
Where do your children find the inner strength to stay positive in these challenging times? The world today is fast-paced and filled with choices, temptations and challenges. The values that children, ages 7 to 12, learn today will stay with them for the rest of their lives. We are looking for stories that show children how to make good choices… even when no one is looking, respect the needs and feelings of others and focus on hope. The stories will remind kids that each day holds something to be grateful for and show them that they are not alone in dealing with difficult issues. We hope that adults will take the time to read these stories with their children as together you share special times and expand communication. The deadline date for story submissions is December 31, 2011.”

Submit Your Story

Raising Bookworms – Book Review

04/28/2011

Buy the Book
By Bobbi Carducci

* Good
** Very Good
*** Recommended
**** Reviewer’s Choice

Raising Bookworms
Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment
By Emma Walton Hamilton
(Beech Tree Books)
Childcare and Development/Education $14.95
Rating: ****

As one who has loved books since first learning to read I am delighted to have found one written to encourage kids to read more. Written by Emma Wilton Hamilton, “daughter of legendary actress and author Julie Andrews, this book offers over 150 creative strategies, recommendations, resources and tactics to engage even the most reluctant reader.”

I firmly believe that the kids who don’t read are the ones who have yet to encounter the first one to capture their imagination. And they are out there. Every child has a fantasy, a skill or an interest about which they would love to learn more. The key is to find it. You will have a much better chance at doing so with the wonderful resource in hand. Employ a few of the techniques she mentions and let me know how it goes.

Young dog and cat lovers will enjoy my book for young readers: Storee Wryter Gets A Dog. Even reluctant readers are saying the like the Critique, the cat-with-attitude who helps teach a young puppy new tricks.

 

 

 

 

 

Two Men From My Past

04/26/2011

  On the left is my Great Uncle Louie, known to us as children as LaLa. He was also my Godfather and the first Italian I ever loved.  The man on the right is my maternal Grandfather. I always called him Gramps.

How different they are. Lala certainly stood out in our family. The only olive-skinned Italian in a sea of super white, freckled Irish/English men. Lala drove a truck for a living. Gramps was a mailman.

 Seated at the picnic table they must be waiting for the women to bring out the potato salad and corn on the cob to go with the burgers and hot dogs Dad and Uncle Jim will be cooking on the charcoal grill. I’m betting this is a fourth of July get together and soon after everyone has feasted Uncle Lala will fall asleep in the shade and Gramps will challenge the kids to game of horseshoes. 

This picture, recently resurrected from an old album by sister, depicts two of the most important men in my life. Gramps could be stern but he was always fair. The little smile seen in this picture was often accompanied by a twinkle in his eye just before he’d call one of the boys over and invite him to, “pull my finger.” Of course everyone knew what was coming. The boys would giggle, Nana would pretend to be scandalized and Gramps … well … Gramps would feel relieved, I guess.

Lala always found room for me on his lap whenever I felt the need for a bit of quiet time in the midst of our large and boisterous family. He smelled of Aqua Velva and Camel cigarettes and his skin was always warm to the touch.  Sometimes, when I’d go to visit him we would go for walk and he’d stop to talk with friends. I’d stand quietly at this side listening  as they spoke in rapid Italian, the words I didn’t understand sounding exotic and much more musical than the unaccented English he spoke to me.  I think the way he made me feel special and the love we had for one another is one of the reasons I’m married to an Italian today. 

Both men have been gone for a long time  but the love they shared with skinny, freckle-faced tomboy and her siblings lives on in this picture and in my heart.  Do you have an old photo to share? If so, post it here. I’d love to see it.

Happy Easter!

04/24/2011

Easter Flower clipart

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

I’m spending the day with family.

We will:

Pray together

Play together

Eat together

Drink together

Give thanks together

Enjoy the moments we share together.

I hope you will too.

Free Easter bunny clip art images.

Get Ready to Write

04/22/2011

In advance of my online course on memoir and creative nonfiction writing I offer you this chance to practice a bit:

Write about three people that you have lost contact with. Write first about your relationship with each. Continue the exercise by writing about why, or if, you would like to reconnect with that person again.

Here are a few memoirs to inspire you. Authors include Elie Wiesel, Amy Chua, Michael Oher, Diane Ackerman, Gretchen Rubin, Steven Tyler, Andrew Ferguson, Abby Johnson, Cindy Lambert, Bethany Hamilton, Keith R. Ablow, Glenn Beck, John Elder Robison.  Click on the book cover for more information.

 Night Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid into CollegeThe Long Goodbye One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to the Blind Side and Beyond Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-opening Journey Across the Lifeline Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherThe Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir