Winner!

My story, Candlemas Bells, won a door prize in the Writers’ Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest! This is what I won:

candlemas bells1 – Freelance Income Kit Includes:
— 1-year subscription to the Write Markets Report
— How to Write, Publish and $ell Ebooks
— How to Publish a Profitable Emag
— How to Be a Syndicated Newspaper Columnist Special (includes the book; database of 6000+ newspapers; and database of 100+ syndicates)

You can read the story by clicking on the name above, or the link in the menu bar. This is a prompt-driven contest. The Spring contest is now open for entries. The entry fee is only $5 and once you are given the prompt, you have 24 hours to write and submit your story. It is quite a challenge! The 24 hour period is over a Saturday and Sunday – the next one is on April 13-14, but you must sign up before then to be included. Try it! It’s fun and you might win something. 

Waiting for responses from editors, publishers, etc. can sometimes seem like waiting for the baby to come . .

Center for Writing Excellence

Carly Simon sang this song on Martha’s Vinyard in 1987. It was the first thing that came to my mind this morning when my son told me that the doctor had advised his daughter  (whose due date is today) that she wanted to wait another week to see if the baby will come on her own. anticipationMy son is anticipating the birth of his first grandchild and is so excited. Little Elina (my second great-granddaughter) will come when she is ready, but the waiting is getting harder and harder for her family.

I started thinking about things we writers wait for – and anticipate. Here are the things I am anticipating right now:

  • Results from the Writer’s Weekly Flash Fiction contest. I entered in January and have about two more weeks to wait to see if I won.
  • The NYC Short Story Challenge. I entered with a writer friend a…

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Collaborative Writing

collaborative writingI’ve been a writer most of my life. I have written both fiction and non-fiction, blog posts, magazine articles, books, newsletters, and all kinds of other projects involving writing. The one thing I had never done was co-write. Until now, that is. One of my writer friends and I decided to enter a popular writing competition that features writing in rounds, with elimination possible in any of the rounds. The competition accepts writing teams, so my friend, Rhonda, and I decided to give it a shot. To prepare for the contest, which does not start until February 22, we felt we needed some practice co-writing to see if we could do it. The contest divides the writers up into heats and provides each heat with three prompts: Subject, Genre, and Character. We decided to write three stories, each one following the time and length limits set in the contest. We also created a random list of subjects, genres, and characters. We drew one of each for each of the three stories. Our first random prompt list was: Mystery (Genre), Bartender (Character), and Business Meeting (Subject). We had eight days to write a 2500 word story. You can read it by clicking here: Alexis’ Aggravation   or on the tab above. Our second practice story was to be written in three days and be no more than 2,000 words. Our random prompts were: Science Fiction, Casino Teller, and Halloween. That story is published under the All That Shimmers… tab. The third one, which was to be 1500 words and completed in 24 hours, is now finished. Our random prompts were: History, Lead Singer, and Luck. The story is called Finding Booth. You can click on the story title, or find it under the tab above.

Collaborative writing is interesting. We have had some fun doing this. I was not sure I could do it, because usually when I sit down to write, I just write until I am done. Doing these stories in sections and then discussing them as we write them has been good for me. Writing requires a certain amount of discipline and a collaborative project forces that discipline. I look forward to doing this again!

Connections Through Writing

Social Media is part of our lives, some more than others. I have been on Facebook for several years now, and every once in awhile someone from my past pops up and we connect. Usually it is just through a post or two, but this morning I had a message from a sister-in-law I have not spoken to in over 30 years. A divorce separated the family back then, and we lost touch. I got her message this morning, “I don’t do Facebook much, but I would like to visit with you.” She left her phone number, and, curious, I called her. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I discovered that she, too, is a writer! She writes poetry and is combing her photography skills with her poetry, creating word pictures to go with the images from her camera. She promised to send me some, and, with her permission, I will share them here. She had seen some of my posts on Facebook about the Center for Writing Excellence and thought we should talk as she wants to expand her poetry/photography business.

It is amazing how small our world is, when you think about it, and even more amazing how 30 years can disappear in a few minutes on the phone! Every day I discover new friends and re-discover old friends through the Internet, and am always grateful when I find that we have more in common than I ever knew. Our conversation led to a promise to get together soon and catch up – after all, we have 30+ years of thoughts, writing, grandchildren and great grandchildren to share.

After speaking to my sister-in-law, I posted an essay here, one that I wrote two years ago after the birth of my grandson, because talking with her reminded me of the story of my becoming a grandmother when I was not paying attention. Slow Motion Moments is an essay about time flying by while standing still at the same time.

 

Writing Archives

I have been digging through my archives, finding some stories I wrote awhile ago, and resurrecting them. I found an article my dad asked me to write about his mother – she sent her six sons off to serve our country in World War II and the Korean War. There are only two of those sons left now, my dad went to join my mom in the spring of this year. Mom passed in 2004. It was good to read the article again, and I posted it here for you. It is called Six Sons in Service. The article was originally published in the Unita County Herald, the newspaper in my dad’s home town.

I also ran across a Western story I had written for a contest. It did not win anything, but it was fun to write. You might enjoy the Duplicate Saloon, if you like the rootin’ tootin’ bad guy looses and good guy wins kind of story. There are two personal essays in the collection on these pages so far. My First Date is all about my dad and Sir Randall… is a story about a tuxedo cat who graced us with his presence for several years. I am working on another story now, it will be fiction, but based on a true story my dad told me about a ring. Once I finish it, I will get it posted up here.

In the meantime, feel free to read my stories, articles and essays. Leave your comments and feedback. A writer always likes to know how her work is received. Thanks!

Words

I once heard that all it takes to write is to start with some letters, form some words, then form some sentences. Put them all together in paragraphs and tell the story. Is that true? Possibly it is. I wanted to see if it worked, and have posted the results on the pages here.

Some are fiction, some are personal essays. Click the links above to read them and leave your comments at the end of them. Come back often. I will be posting more stories as I write them. Let me know what you think. They all started with letters, which then became words, then sentences, and finally stories.