Posts Tagged ‘Pennwriters’

Blogging in 2012

01/04/2012

Last year at this time I was committed to writing a blog a day. As you well know, I started out strong and fizzled out half way through. This year I am going to be much more realistic in my goals. I make no promises for a daily blog. I do hope to post weekly but if writing, teaching, and/or spending quality time with my family interfere, so be it. I will get back to posting as soon as possible.

At best this new plan will result in better blog content and more followers. At worst it will give me a little time to goof off and that’s not bad at all.

So, what can you expect to find here?

1. Installments of a fiction piece titled,  Girl in the Wind.

I’m not sure how long it will be or how it will end. It’s a story that is writing itself as I type it. Reading that last sentence will drive writers who have a clear outline in place before they begin a little crazy. I apologize for that. But, I’ve discovered that when a story starts telling itself it’s best to let it flow. I’m often delighted by how things work out in the process. In this case, I hope you will be too.

I repeat, the story is fiction. However, in places I will draw on my life for inspiration. If I write it well you will be left wondering what is true and what is pure imagination. When asked, I will smile an inscrutable smile and assure you I am innocent of all wrong doing. And please, don’t rely on whether or not I blush when saying so in order  to determine the truth of my assertion. Blushing  happens often to fair-skinned people like me and, at my age, it could be signaling the onset of a hot flash.

2. Guest bloggers. Authors, aspiring authors, bloggers and others with something of interest to writers and readers are invited to contact me about doing a guest blog.  Readers enjoy a change of pace from time to time and so do I.

3. Book reviews.  I will post my review on my blog, Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. I also write a monthly book review column for About Families Publications with a circulation of 48,000 families. I prefer hard copies of books but I do have a Nook e-reader so I can accept electronic copies.

4. Odd comments and things of interest as they come to my attention.

Installment one of Girl in the Wind will be posted tomorrow with future installments appearing weekly after that. I look forward to your comments.

 

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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.

* Subscribe to our announcement list for email on our latest online courses!
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PennwritersOnlineCourses

*****
* 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.

Driven to Love By Denise Meyers

08/08/2011

Driven to Love is more than the title of a book written by Denise Meyers, a Pennwriters Past President and friend to every writer she ever met. It is also a fitting description of how she lived.

Her family and friends know what I’m talking about. Her strength, tempered by a not-so- well- disguised vulnerability was equally matched by a quick wit and warmheart that drew people to her wherever she went.

It was with great sorrow that I learned of her death on August, 4, 2011.

Whenever I walk to the halls of a writer’s conference I will think of her. When I hear a group of people burst into laughter during a writing workshop I will hear her laugh ringing through the room. When an aspiring writer announces a first sale I know she will be celebrating along with him and, more than likely, nudging any nearby angels to join in the celebration.

When one of us hops online to announce a rejection letter or share a moment of doubt hers will be the voice we hear in our mind urging us to keep trying, reminding us that an acceptance letter or book contract can happen at any time, but only if you keep writing and continue to submit.

If we are lucky we are privileged to meet someone who truly inspires us on the road to publication. A mentor who doesn’t pretend it’s easy but does everything that can be done to help us find the tools we need to succeed. Through Pennwriters, I am blessed to know many people like that. Denise was the first and I will never forget her. Rest in Peace my friend.

Driven to Love by Denise Meyers is avaialble in ebook form on Kindle and Nook.

Pennwriters Offers Another Great Online Course

07/18/2011

PROMOTIONAL BASICS: GETTING THE WORD OUT, WHEN YOUR WORDS COME OUT:

INSTRUCTOR: Babs Mountjoy
DATE: August 1 – September 2, 2011
LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now. Go to www.pennwriters.com

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Congratulations! Your book or project has just been published. Now comes the real work: making sure your audience can find your book, purchase it, enjoy it and share it with others, bringing you fame and fortune! Most publishers want to hear about your platform, which includes a website, blog, or other publicity method to sell and promote your product or book across the world.

The internet and social media are great methods to share your news and can go a long way toward reaching your potential audience. This online course will teach you the basics of publicity and marketing, some old tricks and some new tricks, to make your new release a real success.

* 4 most important things to include when developing a website
* Discover a variety of ways to get your work noticed online and offline
* Blog tours: how to get one started and why they’re a great way to spread your name
* Freebies and giveaways to attract readers and followers
* Setting up personal appearances and book signings (Have a program in mind, not just a chair behind a table)

FREE BONUS: A list of 50 sites where writers can submit their books for review.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Barbara “Babs” Mountjoy has been writing ever since she was a little girl, unable to control the urge of stories that wanted to percolate through her fingers into the keyboard. Or back then, onto the old Royal typewriter (before the TRS-80 even! Wow!). She’s been a published writer for over 35 years, spent seven years as a news reporter and editor in South  Florida, and has contributed stories to two CUP OF COMFORT volumes. Her non-fiction book 101 LITTLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR SURVIVING YOUR DIVORCE was published by Impact Publishers in 1999, and her first novel, THE ELF QUEEN (under the pen name Lyndi Alexander) came out in 2010. THE ELF QUEEN is the first of the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, with THE ELF CHILD coming out in 2011 and THE ELF MAGE to be released in 2012.  Her romantic suspense novel DELIVERANCE will be released by the Wild Rose Press in 2011, and her women’s fiction book SECOND CHANCES comes out from Zumaya Publications in 2012. She blogs about autism, writing and life at http://awalkabout.wordpress.com, and continues to write tech articles and TV reviews at Firefox News online. For more information on Babs Mountjoy or this course, email her at <a href=”mailto: <!– var prefix = ‘mailto:’; var suffix = ”; var attribs = ”; var path = ‘hr’ + ‘ef’ + ‘=’; var addy46632 = ‘bmountjoy’ + ‘@’; addy46632 = addy46632 + ‘zoominternet’ + ‘.’ + ‘net’; document.write( ‘‘ ); document.write( addy46632 ); document.write( ” ); //–> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <!– document.write( ” ); //–> “>
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Two Paws Up and a Snap for Rewriting.

07/11/2011

I am very  excited to announce that my book, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, is named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers in the latest issue of Cesar’s Way Magazine. Cesar being Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, of TV fame.

In honor of the dog theme you may catch me  doing a  spontaneous Snoopy Happy Dance at any moment throughout the coming weeks.

The idea for the Storee Wryter series had been percolating in my creative mind for several years. In fact, the original version of Storee Wryter was very different from the one now available in print, e-book and audio book form.  It was intended as picture book suitable for kids in kindergarten to first grade. The illustrations were clip art and the cover was a self-portrait drawn on card stock. I printed a few copies on my office printer and stapled the pages together.  Then I approached local schools for an opportunity to present the story to a classroom full of kids.

Somehow I pulled it off. I remember being incredibly nervous the day I faced nineteen shining young faces. I was dressed in the same outfit Storee Wryter was wearing in the book.  In the current book Storee represents me at the age of eight. The age I was when I started writing. In the original version Storee was pictured as an adult. I thought it would be a great hook to have the character in the book come to life when doing a reading or book signing.

Most of the kids seemed to enjoy the simple story and I was very pleased when they realized that I was Storee Wryter. However, there was one little critic in the audience  who let me know he felt the story was lame. He rolled his eyes and yawned throughout the reading and when I asked the class if they liked the book he responded with an emphatic, “no.”  That one little voice stayed with me long after I left his school that day. Despite the fact that I knew I had a good concept, I had to agree that something wasn’t quite right and so it sat in my files and in the back of my mind waiting for me to figure out what the problem was.  Eventually I scrapped the orignal version.  Storee Wryter was conceived, in part, to inspire kids to write. I wanted to show them that creativity can be a lifelong passion and that they are natural story tellers now.

That’s when I realized that Storee should be their age. I wrote at eight-years-old. I used the things I knew in everyday life as inspiration. In this new version she would too. Excited by this new inspiration I crafted a completely new story including Crtitique, Storee’s cat, and Addie, a therapy dog in training, providing both Storee and the young readers with inspiration for their writing at the end of each chapter. I  also included writing prompts in the back of the book to encourage the kids to write about their own pets, real or imagined, and send them to Storee on her website or blog.  I was very pleased and thought I was done.  I wasn’t. It took many months and  another complete rewrite suggested by my editor, involving writing for an audience the same age as Storee and expanding the book into a sixty page chapter book,before it was ready to go into production.

Holding the first printed copy in my hands was a moment I will never forget. Receiving  a glowing comment in Cesar’s Way Magazine not only has me dancing in my kitchen, it reconfirmed my belief that the concept is a good one. There will be more Storee Wryter books with Critique as a continuing character.  It was also and excellent reminder that  good writing is, in reality, re-writing. I’m thankful that I listened to my young critic and my wise editor and didn’t stop writing until the book was truly finished.

My question of the week: Have you worked and reworked an idea to finally rewrite it into exactly what you hoped it would be? If so, please tell us what you did and how the story changed through the process.

Now for a short commercial break: Please help me inspire young writers by purchasing a  signed copy of Storee Wryter Gets a Dog for a young reader in your family or donate a copy to a library or charity promoting literacy in your community. To place and order go to: www.storeewryter.com

Versatile Blogger Award Leads to Startling Revelation About Past Sins

06/29/2011

 

I want to thank  my friend and fellow member of Penwwriters, Clar Bowman -Jahn for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Until I received it I didn’t know anything about this award. Now that I do, I’m honored to have been chosen and will promptly comply with the obligations that go with acceptance.  Those being to nominate five others for the award and to share seven little known facts about me.

The nominees are:

Help Kyria Help Them

Dixianne Hallaj

Annette Dashofy

Lisa Kastner

Heidi Ruby Miller

Seven little known facts about me:

  1.  I wish I could still climb trees.
  2. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered, ” brain surgeon.”  I was captivated by Dr. Ben Casey on TV.
  3.  Sometimes when I went to confession I’d make up sins so the priest wouldn’t be disappointed that I didn’t have much to say.
  4.   I wish I had a best friend who knew me when I was  shy and geeky and liked me anyway.   
  5. When it comes to martinis it’s imperative I remember that one is not enough and three is too many. Unfortunately the first one tastes so good I want the second and once I have the second I forget the rest of that saying.
  6.  I was more afraid of my mother than the uncle who molested me so I didn’t dare tell her what he was doing.
  7.  When my husband has to be away overnight I sleep with a light on in the bedroom AND in the bathroom.

Saturday at the Conference –

05/14/2011

Where you’ll find me today during the Pennwriters Conference.

Drafting the Nonfiction Book Proposal with Deanna Adams Submitting an appealing book proposal is key to getting your nonfiction book published. Learn step-by-step how to put yours together so you can win over the agent or publisher of your choice.

Life Balance for Writers with Anne Grenville

Writing, learning, promoting — how to squeeze it all into your busy life? Many writers focus on what comes easily and ignore what’s outside their comfort zone, yet to be successful we must find time to do it all. This session will you define necessary elements of your writing life and balance your time for greater success.

Perfect Pitch with agent Rachel Coyne (Vater)

Being able to condense your story into a concise yet compelling statement is essential in promoting your book to agents, editors and readers. Come learn from this agent how to craft a single paragraph that packs a punch. Bring your pitch to share and be critiqued!

Creating a Low-Budget Book Trailer with Gwyn Cready

Like a preview to a movie, a book trailer can excite and audience and promote book sales. Find out how to make one without breaking the bank and utilize it effectively online.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – Workshop Part 1

05/13/2011

Today I’m teaching part one of my two-part course for writers, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Learn how to evoke real emotion in memoir or personal essays. Participants are encouraged to bring an assortment of candid photos taken at significant moments in their life to use as inspiration in this interactive workshop. Part I will be mostly instructional/writing. In Part II (Sun @ 9:15), participants can share what they wrote in Part I and get helpful feedback

Checkout this link to see the other informative workshops available today. http://www.pennwriters.org/prod/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=255

On The Road to Pennwriters

05/12/2011

As you read this I am either on the road or preparing to be there shortly.  It takes about four hours to drive from my home in Round Hill, VA to the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott where the conference is held this year.

I’m looking forward to seeing friends I only get to visit with at this event each year. In between we keep in touch via e-mail, twitter and blogs but none of those tools offer the satisfaction of being in a room with dozens of writers and catching up on their successes and challenges.

Things are changing fast in the publishing industry and I am looking forward to hearing what agents, publishers and editors will say about what to expect in the coming months.  

My room is reserved. I have palced my order for the salmon to be served at the Board of Directors dinner meeting this evening. I will be having wine with that.  I have my return address stickers ready to be palced on all the tickets I’ll buy at the silent auction and I’m ready to provide input during the read and critique sessions.

I look forward to seeing Jonathan Mayberry again and to meeting Jacquelyn Mitchard, the keynote speakers. I haven’t chosen all the workshops I’ll be attending but at everyone I will learn something new and important about writing and make new friends will doing it.

I know I’ll return with lots to blog about so wish me safe travel and look for interesting news in publishing when I get back.

Yesterday …Continued

05/05/2011

I didn’t finish everything on my list for yesterday but I did a lot. Posters were delivered to Borders Express and the manager there is very enthusiastic about the upcoming signing. The books have been ordered and she plans to set up a table for me right at the front of the store. “This place is a real mommy magnet,” she said. I hope so. We’ll both find out on June 11th.

I didn’t get to Dog Day Afternoon. I couldn’t find the place but I remain  undeterred. I’ll be heading out again later and won’t head home until my mission is accomplished. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow send out a search party, please.

I did go to the post office but have to go back again today. Another one of the books listed for sale on Amazon to benefit the Young Voices Foundation (not my book) has sold.

I wrote a piece for a new blog column I’ll be collaborating on with my husband and my neighbors. It will debut soon and I’ll post more about that when the time comes. The good news about that venture is the responsiblity for content is shared and the postings will be monthly not daily. It also entails socializing and not having to cook dinner. I like that and look forward to spending time with friends on a regular basis.

I entered an excerpt from my creative nonfiction book to a contest seeking the next big idea in Christian writing. The winner is to be announced in two weeks. There are moments in the book that might be a bit raw for the market but I believe the overall message fits the criteria. We shall see.

Today I will work on my presentation for Pennwriters Conference some more and after that I’ll start putting together the baskets for the silent auction held there. The theme for the Area 7 basket this year is Encourage a Young Reader  – Inspire a Young Writer.  Children’s books from board books to YA will be included in the basket. I am also donating a basket myself.  The theme for that one is relaxation and will include a sleep mask, bubble bath, scented candles and soothing music.  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

On that note, I have to get to work. What’s your day going to be like?