Saturday, December 26, 2009
I do still have CDs from JBR Music Studios (mine and my dad's) available for purchase in the New Year and will make sure to bring them to our next meeting. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. See you in 2010!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Answers questions such as:
What is narrative distance?
Is it possible to have too much dialogue in a story? (Not according to me. I love dialogue.)
Why I write contest ... DEADLINE: DECEMBER 31, 2009
Why do you write? Please post a response here!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
What we need is a counter or dare I say it, comments, otherwise, I question whether I should spend my time posting to a blog that nobody reads.
Please post to our blog suggesting what you would be interested in reading. Any suggestions, would be most helpful.
What about book reviews? Writers read, don't they? Anybody read a good book lately and would like to post a review?
As writers, we write, don't we? What about committing to posting to our blog say once a week, once every other week, or once a month?
Looking forward to your comments, suggestions, and reading your blog postings.
MERRY CHRISTMAS - happy writing!
Friday, December 11, 2009
What Makes a Great Book? A Voracious Reader Shares her Insights. Nina Sankovitch read a book a day for a year and wrote about the experience on her blog Read All Day. Christine Baker Kline adapts her insights on her own blog, A Writing Life.
How do you know when you're done editing? A. Victoria Mixon, Editor explains the long process professional writers (i.e. published authors) do it, as well as an alternative: finding a really great editor in her post: Being in the Right Place at the Right Time.
Jane Friedman at There are No Rules shares A Big Mistake to Avoid in Story Openings.
Query Ninja joins the Query Shark in critiquing query letters. This time, Kate Steps Up to the Plate with her query letter for a young adult novel.
C. Patrick Schulze offers some help in writing the dreaded synopsis with his post: 11 Elements of a Successful Synopsis.
Jane Friedman at There Are No Rules again brings you the week's Best Tweets for Writers which include the 14 bigggest mistakes even the best-selling writers make and a self-editing checklist.
Why should you go to conferences, tweet and blog? Janet Reid, Literary Agent tells you in her post 10 Things Crime Writers Can Learn From Paris Hilton.
writers: The Twelve Tips on Queries.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Here are the details:
Event: Book launch by In Our Words Inc., Fall/Winter catalogue
Swimming to the Surface: A collection of poems by Saskia Maddock
Musings of an Earth Angel: A collection of poems by Linda L. Dowd
On the Wings of Dawn: A collection of poems by Maria Pia Marchelletta
Moonlight Fairy Tales by Flavia Cosma
4 Federation poets launching at the same event!
Chief Guest is the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga
When? Friday, December 11, 2009, 5.30 pm—8.30 pm
Where? 730 Courtneypark Dr W, Mississauga, ON L5W 1L9
If you're in the area, go and congratulate Linda, Saskia,Flavia and Maria - and get to know our new National Coordinator - Cheryl Xavier - because she can help youtake your next steps. If you have any questions - contact Cheryl at:CherylX@federationofpoets.com
The movie, New Moon is a good adaptation of the book. The special effects re the werewolves are outstanding. But the movie lacks the action of the first book and the movie Twilight. My husband, a non-reader, loved the first movie but fell asleep at the show watching New Moon. He complained, “There’s not enough action.” I enjoyed the movie even though it lacked action, as I’d read the book.
In New Moon, the characters are more developed. Bella is plunged into deep despair re the loss of Edward. Jacob’s friendship with Bella is prominent in New Moon. We understand Jacob’s longing for Bella. Some people might even root for Jacob to win but there’s no doubt that Edward is somebody special especially to Bella.
I, too, would have preferred more action in the book, as well as the movie. Writers should remember to keep the story moving, as it’s all about the story!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Freelance Switch brings you this list of Holiday Giveaways, Freebies and More! Included are seasonal drawings and files and $7000 worth of giveaways from AppStorm.
Found on the Practicing Writing blog, the First Annual Spirit First Meditation Poetry Contest. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or silence. First prize is $150. Contest deadline: January 31, 2010.
Do not forget to check out the Creative Writing Contests blog for lots more contests to enter.
Breadloaf Writers' Conference readings and lectures are available for free! on iTunes. If you don't have iTunes on your computer, you can download that (for free!) too. Thanks again to Erika at Practicing Writing for sharing this.
Not really a class, but still a learning tool: About Freelance Writing shares this video about writing by Natalie Goldberg.
We'd like to wish Ron Lehman a very happy birthday on Dec 10.
If you bump into him, buy him a coffee and tell him to get back to work on that book!
Happy Birthday, Ron!
The drive to Honeywood in the winter was horrendous and often the late Janet Bellinger and I would write at Coffee Way (now Duca). "It's too bad we don't have a writing group in Orangeville." Janet planted the seed for our group.
For almost two years, Janet Bellinger and I continued to take workshops from the late Ed Wildman. Janet and I would be up early on the day of the workshop, editing some of our writing to read at the group. Ed believed that it was paramount for a writer to read their work aloud. He followed Natalie Goldberg’s advice.
Ed would always serve us coffee and dessert during a fifteen-minute break. Sometimes I brought muffins and Janet brought cake, and occasionally we had a potluck lunch.
Michele joined Ed’s workshop in 2002, and J.C. in April of 2003. Ed’s last workshop was in early September 2003.
By the end of October 2003, J.C. missed going to Ed’s workshops and he begged me to start a new writing group in Orangeville.
We’d called the Grand Valley Library and they offered us a room for our sessions. But we didn’t relish the drive to Grand Valley in the winter.
In mid November, while I was in the process of starting the group, Michele emailed me complaining about withdrawal pains re the writing workshops. Another member of Ed’s writing group was supposed to join us but we had conflicting schedules. Finally, I emailed Michele, who had four children, to pick a date and J.C. and I would attend.
On Tuesday night, December 9, 2003, J.C., Michele and I sat at a long table upstairs at the Orangeville Library and began the first session of the Headwaters Writers’ Guild, although at that time we were nameless.
Ed was unable to attend our first writing session.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
New Meeting Location: Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church
6 John Street, entrance closest to Shell station
Sunday, January 10, 1:30pm - 3:45pm – Leader: Diane
Sunday, January 24, 1:30pm - 3:45pm – Leader: Judy
Sunday, February 7, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Richard
Sunday, February 21, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Harry
Sunday, March 7, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, March 21, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Clare
Sunday, April 11, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Diane
Sunday, April 25, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Judy
Sunday, May 2, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Richard
Sunday, May 16, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Harry
Sunday, May 30, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, June 13, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Clare
Sunday, June 27, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Diane
Sunday, July 11, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Judy
Sunday, July 25, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Richard
Sunday, August 8, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Harry
Sunday, August 22, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, September 12, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Clare
Sunday, September 26, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Diane
Sunday, October 17, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Judy
Sunday, October 31, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Richard
Sunday, November 14, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Harry
Sunday, November 28, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, December 5, 1:30pm – 3:45pm – Leader: Clare
The newsletter is available for a short time so check it out.
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? Article Index by Topic
Which comes first character or plot? Writing tips from Donna Ippolito, Long Ridge instructor.
SUZANNE LILLY'S CONTEST CORNER --
Suzanne Lilly is a writer, teacher, and graduate of the Long Ridge Writers Group. She blogs about teaching and writing at http://www.teacherwriter.net/. Her complete bio is at http://www.suzannelilly.com/
Editor Unleashed Why I Write Essay Contest
December 31, 2009
For all of you creative nonfiction writers, here is a chance to strut your writing stuff. Editor Unleashed has teamed up with Smashwords, an Indie publisher, to host a second annual contest. This time, the topic is “Why I Write.” In 750 words or less, tell in a captivating manner why writing is your passion. Complete guidelines are on the Editor Unleashed Forum. All entries should be posted to the forum under a new thread. Last year, Smashwords published Flash Fiction 40, an anthology with forty of the best flash fiction stories in their contest. Winners of this year’s contest will be published in a new anthology, and the Grand Prize winner will take home $500, plus receive free publicity and online promotion. It will be exciting to see some Long Ridge Writers Group students and graduates in this anthology. Good luck!
NOTE: Laura posted this contest on our Blog previously. December 31, 2009 deadline.
To receive all the issues of the Long Ridge E-NEWS plus short updates and reminders simply click here and subscribe: http://www.longridgewritersgroup.com/rx/email_updates.shtml! It's free and easy. Surely, you don't want to miss a thing.
Oh the stories that were told and the writers of course said, “Wow, there’s a good story to write about.”
Judy and I brought our journals and of course, our pens. When we passed around Christmas cards for Pat and Shirley (we purchased gift certificates from our Amazon Store to thank them) Judy and I also had pens. Writers without pens, who could ever imagine that?
Oh, I almost forget, Clare had his famous fountain pen. He drew pigs on his book The Hurleyville Taxi that he autographed for Anita. Clare’s book is an excellent read. If you don’t have a copy yet, please contact him by email email@example.com .
We learned new information about some of our members.
Jayne writes murder mysteries and we suggested that she write one about killing off members of a church. We have a warp sense of humour. Jayne also informed us that she had a website, http://www.jayneself.com/ .
June brought along old photos when she wrote articles for her Downhome Magazines. She’s thinking about compiling pertinent articles and photos into a book. I’m excited, as I suggested this to June a copy of years ago.
Anita mentioned that she’s experienced success with her writing. Congratulations Anita.
I brought two prints of photos that I’d taken. I told Laura that when I first showed Judy (an excellent photographer) my first landscape photos, she put them back in the envelope only saying, “ Huh … huh. When I told Judy this story, she apologized, I laughed and said, “I’m only a beginning photographer but now if it was my writing …”
This time, I’m happy to report, Judy said, “Beautiful photos but I’d crop this one.” See with a little practice …
I shared the story of Glenn’s initial visit to our writing group. I said, “I’m surprised that he not only came to the group but continued to become a member.”
Glenn laughed and said, “I love abuse.”
I mentioned to Clare that I couldn’t read his writing when he autographed his book for me that Glenn said that there’s no way that Clare had written the word intellect about me. Everybody laughed. Are they trying to tell me something?
We were all disappointed that Diane and her family were unable to attend the function due to Diane’s pneumonia. Darn it. We hope that Diane is on the mend. Diane, you and your family were definitely missed!
You missed a great time and lots of laughter.
What’s with all the beards?
Thanks to everybody who attended especially family members!
We missed you! Hope to see you in January 2010 at our first session of the New Year! In the meantime, keep writing!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Write to Done discusses the Importance of Being Trivial. The post refers to using details in non-fiction writing, but it pertains to fiction as well.
Storytellers Unplugged made my blog roll with this post: Three Editing Tips. Originally written for NaNoWriMo writers, it's still good advice for any piece of fiction.
NaNoWriMo is over and you can read my thoughts on the experience over at The Three-Ring Circus: NaNoWriMo winner? There are also some great Market Directories for both fiction and non-fiction, and hopefully you'll find a secret Quick Tip by day's end.
Do you have a favourite blog that you'd like to see included in the Blog Roll-Up? Send me a link!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
But a commitment is a commitment, isn’t it? If I neglect to post today, will I fall by the wayside? To me, life is based on two things—practice and habit. If I neglect my writing (practice) then when I want to write will the muse desert me? So far, I’ve made it a habit to post at least three times a week. I know once I stop any habit, it’s difficult for me to start again.
Right now, I made a commitment to my husband and so far so good. Without commitment from our members to attend writing sessions/meetings we wouldn’t have a group. Do some of our members loose the habit of attending? Or have they stopped writing practice?
Whatever it is, we welcome back lapsed members. Come join us for another session in January 2010. We miss you! Remember the joy of having written.
The late Ed Wildman said, ”You’ll never have writer’s block again, if you use Natalie Goldberg’s rules for writing practice."
DON’T FORGET: Headwaters Writers’ Guild’s Christmas Celebration at King’s Buffet, Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 1:00 P.M.
SEE YOU THERE!
(This is an example of writing practice or going where the pen takes you.)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Career Transition Story Contest: Write a story about changing careers for a chance to win $500 from WorkLifeGroup. Deadline: January 30, 2010.
Discovering the Undiscovered competition for Novels & Memoirs: Grace Notes presents this new annual contest. Winner will have their manuscript published plus either a $1000 cash prize or a $500 prize plus a standard royalty agreement. Early Bird Deadline: January 1, 2010. Final deadline: April 15, 2010. Save $5 on the $35 entry fee if you enter by the early bird date.
This one's an older link, but still worth a look. It's from Writers' Digest: Get Inside the Top 30 Short Story Markets.
Integrative Ink offers this directory of markets for your short stories, conveniently separated into paying and non-paying markets.
Here's another directory with guidelines for over 300 Short Story Markets.
“We spend our whole lives in unconscious exercise of the art of expressing our thoughts with the help of words."
More quotes at
At around twelve I went through a phrase of reading about the masters. I loved Lust for Life by Irving Stone. It’s the story of one of the greatest painters, Vincent van Gogh. I realized that Vincent van Gogh painted for creativity’s sake as he only sold one painting during his lifetime, Red Vineyard at Arles.
Writing is a lonely profession and sometimes I think what the heck am I doing? Who do I think I am? Then, I remember Vincent and I sit my butt back on the chair and practice my art hoping that one day I will become a best-selling author. Another part of me remembers the joy I experience after I write and I do it for the joy of it.
Writing practice (where you allow yourself to go where the pen takes you) is a gratifying experience. And quite possibly, you might become the writer of your dreams.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
BUT...enter Jayne Self who is looking into getting us a room at the Tweedsmuir Church up the street at no cost. Jayne is the minister's wife and a long time member of the group.
Another bit of business is the reminder of our Christmas Luncheon on Saturday, Dec 5 at 1 p.m. Hope to see you all there! Please let Nancy know if you are coming.
Last night was Clare's book launch for The Hurleyville Taxi. It was nice to see such a great turnout by our group to support him. I, for one, did my Christmas shopping while waiting in line! Book Lore was bursting at the seams with fans and well wishers. Congratulations again, Clare. It was a long time coming and we're all very proud to see it in print! Check out www.northwordbound.ca for more dirt on the Hurleyville Taxi.
The prompt Clare gave us at the meeting was a clustering activity. We each got a word and brainstormed words related to it on a large sheet of paper. Clare mixed up the sheets later and we used the words we got to do our prompt. Lots of poems flying around after that one! Great idea, Clare.
We'll update everyone once January's schedule is sorted out!
Check out the FROM THE INSTRUCTOR'S DESK
Writing tips from Donna Ippolito, Long Ridge instructor on what to write.
CHECK OUT THE CONTEST PAGE:
Winners and awards pages http://www.writersofthefuture.com/awards.htm#2009
REMEMBER: The newsletters only stay up for a short period of time. (The early bird catches the worm.)
In the Hills, a local magazine, included an article about Ed’s writing workshops. In the article, Ed spoke about writing poetry even though he wanted to write a novel. At the time, I was writing poetry although I’d always dreamed of writing novels. I cut out his telephone number and pasted it in my journal.
When I tell that story, people asked me, if I thought he would fix me. I didn’t consider it a problem, but I thought Ed would understand the way I wrote.
Since my second near-death experience, I’ve related to incidents in my life differently. I realized that if it weren’t for a bad review of my poetry, I wouldn’t have taken Ed’s workshops. What seemed bad at the time turned into something I consider miraculous. I would never have wanted to miss knowing Ed.
On October 25, 2001, I awoke with a bad migraine. The rain pelted my windows and I wanted to stay home. Only having dial-up, I called my husband and he faxed me directions. I asked the Universe for a sign that I should attend these workshops hosted by the Dufferin Arts Council.
While driving there, when I reached the building, the rain stopped, the sun shone, and a rainbow hung over the structure. Everybody at the workshop commented about it. Like the rainbow, Ed was magical. He could always find something good to say about everybody’s writing.
The first writing prompt inspired by his attendance at the Natalie Goldberg workshop that he took in Taos, New Mexico, was What I remember . . .
The next one was What I don’t remember . . .
If writer’s block has become your enemy, why not try these writing prompts?
He insisted that if you followed Natalie Goldberg’s writing practice as defined in Writing Down the Bones, that you would never be blocked again. He also read from Wild Mind another Natalie Goldberg book about the power of reading aloud your writing.
When I started to write the prompt, what I remember, I clenched my fingers. I knew I’d have to read my writing and I couldn’t believe it. Instead of writing poetry, I switched to writing horrible memories about my family. I could hear my mother’s voice scream in my head, “What happens in the family, stays in the family. If you tell, Children’s Aid will take you away.”
After fighting the urge not to write, I wrote about my family. I thought if I block it, I 'd experience writer’s block.
When we wrote the What I don’t remember is prompt, again my family history appeared on the page. When I read both these stories, people averted their heads and I felt ashamed.
Ed thanked me for sharing these stories. Later, he would tell everybody that once Nancy wrote her stories, it opened everybody. They felt free to go where the pen took them.
To be continued . . .
Friday, November 27, 2009
First off, in case you somehow missed it, is all the hoopla about Harlequin's new self-publishing endeavour. Jane Freidman of There Are No Rules offers this indepth post: Harlequin's Self-Publishing Venture: Is it the Future of Publishing?
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent offers her take on it all with Self-Publishing: A Rant and a Q4U, and her follow-up post, My Final Thoughts About Self-Pub.
And if that's not enough info about self-publishing for you . . .
If you're considering self-publishing your own book, don't miss Pimp My Novel's post, Self-Publishing...Great Idea or Worst Idea Ever? and There Are No Rules Jane Freidman's 3 Self-Publishing Paths You Should Undertsand.
- Part 1 of 3: Marketing Principle #1: You Must Shock Broca
- Part 2 of 3: Marketing Principle #2: If You're Not First, Forget it and Marketing Principle #3: Website Blunders to Avoid
- Part 3 of 3: Marketing Principle #4: Olympic Caliber Networking
When can you query agents? How do you know your project is ready? Chuck over at the Guide to Literary Agents blog answers these questions.
Have you read a book that is similar to yours and want to pitch the author's agent? Chuck also offers you Three Ways to Identify the Literary Agent of any Book.
Pimp my Blog offers this glossary of publishing Terms to Know.
And finally, Casey McCormack goes back to basics on Literary Rambles to give us the answer (or remind us) to the question How Do I Format My Manuscript? Be sure to double-check before you submit your latest project.
The Guide to Literary Agents blog has a new recurring column, 7 Things I've Learned So Far. This installment features an inspirational post by Lynnda Ell, a former engineer who built a new career as a writer at the age of 62.
Did I miss your favourite blog? Drop me a line and let me know, and maybe we can include a link in next week's roll-up.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Linwood Barclay joined The Toronto Star in 1981 and in 1993 he became the paper’s humour columnist. I always read his column.
On Monday, November 23, my husband and my daughter (an avid reader of Barclay’s books) attended his talk in Toronto at the S. Walter Stewart Library.
My husband woke me up to tell me that Barclay is the best author he’s ever heard. My daughter raved about him and I asked her to share any writing tips that Linwood might have mentioned.
He starts work at 9:30 A.M., takes a lunch break, and works until 5:00 P.M. just like any other job. When people tell him that it took them seven years to finish a book, he wonders what were they doing?
He’s always finished his book before his deadline. Once he wrote a book too fast, and his editor told him that he could write a book from scratch faster that you could edit that book.
His favourite novel that he wrote is Fear the Worst. He writes mostly thrillers.
He won’t be writing another book in the Bad Move series (my daughter’s favourite books), as they weren’t selling. As a beginner writer he understood that this happens but he had to try something different.
No Time for Goodbye was the Number 1 Bestseller in Britain and they’re waiting to release the Bad Move series. When he writes he wants it to poplar worldwide.
Lots of people get shot in his books but he never describes the shooting graphically. He’s not made for horror.
Please check out the above article. Make sure you support Pat by clicking on the I like it button.
In the article, Pat has listed 10 benefits of joining a writing group. Under her support and encouragement benefit, she maintains that when you’re published you know that your writing group will support you by purchasing your book.
The late Janet Bellinger left our writing group for a few months but when she had her book launch at Booklore for Teacher on the Run, and we all showed up, she returned. She mentioned it was our support of her book launch that had encouraged her to return.
We have encouraged Clare McCarthy’s writing process during the beginning, middle, and ending of his book The Hurleyville Taxi (Two Thousand Pounds Of Bacon and Bone).
Clare McCarthy, one of our favourite long-time members, has his book launch on Monday, November 30 at 7:30 PM at Booklore.
Please join us to celebrate his success as only writers who know the writing process, can.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Writers Digest has a couple of contests that might be of interest to you.
- Their 10th Annual Short Short Story Competition offers a $3000 grand prize for stories up to 1500 words. But hurry--contest deadline is December 1, 2009.
- Their 5th Annual Poetry Awards Competition is open to any poem under 32 lines in length. Contest deadline is December 15, 2009.
- The Writers' Digest Shop has a contest of a different sort: you can win your wish list of books, up to a total value of $150. Register or sign up by December 2, 2009 to be eligible.
My name is Matt Jackson. I'm the owner of a small publishing company inVancouver called Summit Studios.
We have a travel & outdoor story writing contest going right now, with a final deadline of Midnight on Sunday,January 31, 2010.We have one Grand Prize of $1,000.00 and five second prizes of $200.00 each. All six winning stories (and possibly some others) will also be featured in a new travel and outdoor humour anthology to be published in Fall 2010.
Would you be so kind as to direct your group of outdoor writers to the contest page of our web site? All the instructions are there for them to download at www.summitstudios. biz
SUMMIT STUDIOS#105, 2572 Birch St.
Vancouver, BC V6H 2T4Tel: (778) 371-8510
Web Site: www.summitstudios. biz
It’s a true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American born to an addicted crack mother who becomes enrolled in an all white Christian school. Leigh Anne Touhy (children belong to the same school) brings him home when he’s walking in the rain and realizes he might not have a home. She’s one tough cookie.
Michael’s schooling was affected from being homeless. Leigh Anne helped him overcome his struggle in school to become the Baltimore Ravens linebacker. Leigh Anne Touhy is a passionate woman, and somebody to admire.
The story is heartfelt and it's reflective of the power of one to make a difference in one person’s life. The movie is entertaining. It shows rather than tells Michael’s story.
How does this movie relate to writing? It is a screenplay that I would have been proud to write. What about your talents? Are you hiding them because you are afraid? Do you have a story to tell that is heartfelt and might touch another person’s heart?
Why not write that story that you’re passionate about?
In the meantime, don’t forget to see The Blind Side. Take your children, too. It’s entertaining, inspirational and reminds us of the goodness that humans can possess.
Check out –The real Michael Oher and his real family.
Check out a more in depth review of the movie.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Check out the Writing Tips from Donna Ippolito along with other articles.
FROM THE INSTRUCTOR'S DESK
Writing tips from Donna Ippolito, Long Ridge instructor.
Donna Ippolito has been writing, editing, and teaching others to write for more than 20 years.
From 1985 to 2001, she was editor-in-chief at FASA Corporation, a Chicago publisher that packaged best-selling science fiction and fantasy novel lines for Penguin Books and Time-Warner. These included the popular BattleTech, Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and Vor series. So check out her websites at www.expert-editor.com and http://dreamscoop.blogspot.com/.
Prior to that, Ms. Ippolito was an editor at the Swallow Press, a prestigious publisher of both literary and commercial titles. Writers published by Swallow include celebrated novelist Anaïs Nin; Jungian analyst Linda Leonard; futurist Robert Theobald; Zen poet Lucien Stryk; and distinguished anthropologist W. Y. Evans-Wentz. She also worked as a senior editor for Consumer Digest Magazine and was a founding editor of Black Maria, a quarterly journal of women’s writing.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
For those inspiring to sell 85 million books worldwide - check out the interview on Oprah.
For all you sci-fi fans check out the book review.
A Conversation with Alice Munro
Q: What draws you to short stories as opposed to novels? What do you find that the shorter form enables you to do that a novel perhaps would not?
A: I seem to turn out stories that violate the discipline of the short story form and don't obey the rules of progression for novels. I don't think about a particular form, I think more about fiction, let's say a chunk of fiction. What do I want to do? I want to tell a story, in the old-fashioned way--what happens to somebody--but I want that 'what happens' to be delivered with quite a bit of interruption, turnarounds, and strangeness. I want the reader to feel something is astonishing--not the 'what happens' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me.
Q: Where do you get the idea for a story or for a particular character?
A: Sometimes I get the start of a story from a memory, an anecdote, but that gets lost and is usually unrecognizable in the final story. Suppose you have--in memory--a young woman stepping off a train in an outfit so elegant her family is compelled to take her down a peg (as happened to me once), and it somehow becomes a wife who's been recovering from a mental breakdown, met by her husband and his mother and the mother's nurse whom the husband doesn't yet know he's in love with. How did that happen? I don't know.
Q: What are your writing habits--Do you use a computer? Do you write every day? In the morning or at night? How long does it take to complete a story?
A: I've been using a computer for a year--I'm a late convert to every technological offering and still don't own a microwave oven--but I do one or two drafts long hand before I go to the keyboard. A story might be done in two months, beginning to end, and ready to go, but that's rare. More likely six to eight months, many changes, some false directions, much fiddling and some despair. I write everyday unless it's impossible and start writing as soon as I get up and have made coffee and try to get two to three hours in before real life hauls me away.
Q: What advice would you give to young writers?
A: It's not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, "Read," but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, "Don't read, don't think, just write," and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you're going to be a writer you'll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think "There must be something else people do" you won't quite be able to quit.
Q: What writers have most influenced you and who do you like to read?
A: When I was young it was Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, James Agee. Then Updike, Cheever, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Taylor, and especially and forever, William Maxwell. Also William Trevor, Edna O'Brien, Richard Ford. These I would say are influences. There are dozens of others I just like to read. My latest discovery is a Dutch writer, Cees Nooteboom. I hate doing lists like this because I'll be banging my head soon that I left somebody wonderful out. That's why I speak only of those who have influenced, not of all who have delighted me.
Q: Cynthia Ozick has called you "our Chekhov." How does that comparison make you feel?
A: I have recently re-read much of Chekhov and it's a humbling experience. I don't even claim Chekhov as an influence because he influenced all of us. Like Shakespeare his writing shed the most perfect light--there's no striving in it, no personality. Well, of course, wouldn't I love to do that!
Q: Many critics have praised you for being able to create an entire life in a page. How do you achieve such a feat?
A: I always have to know my characters in a lot of depth--what clothes they'd choose, what they were like at school, etc . . . And I know what happened before and what will happen after the part of their lives I'm dealing with. I can't see them just now, packed into the stress of the moment. So I suppose I want to give as much of them as I can.
Q: Most of your stories have not strayed very far from home--your native Ontario. What makes where you live such fertile ground for so many different stories?
A: I don't think of myself as being in any way an interpreter of rural Ontario, where I live. I think there's perhaps an advantage living here of knowing more different sorts of people than you would know in a larger community (where you'd be shut up, mostly, in your own income or educational or professional "class"). The physical setting is perhaps "real" to me, in a way no other is. I love the landscape, not as "scenery" but as something intimately known. Also the weather, the villages and towns, not in their picturesque aspects but in all phases. Human experience though doesn't seem to me to differ, except in fairly superficial ways, no matter what the customs and surroundings.
Q: Memory plays a key role in many of your stories. What is it about the power of memory and how it shapes our lives that most intrigues you?
A: Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories--and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories. We can hardly manage our lives without a powerful ongoing narrative. And underneath all these edited, inspired, self-serving or entertaining stories there is, we suppose, some big bulging awful mysterious entity called THE TRUTH, which our fictional stories are supposed to be poking at and grabbing pieces of. What could be more interesting as a life's occupation? One of the ways we do this, I think, is by trying to look at what memory does (different tricks at different stages of our lives) and at the way people's different memories deal with the same (shared) experience. The more disconcerting the differences are, the more the writer in me feels an odd exhilaration.
Q: Do you have a particular story or stories that are especially close to your heart?
A: I always like the story I'm trying to write at the moment the best, and the stories I've just published next best, In my new book, I'm very attached to "Save the Reaper" and "My Mother's Dream." Among the older ones, I like "Progress of Love" and "Labor Day Dinner" and "Carried Away" a lot. And actually many others.
About the Author
Alice Munro was born in 1931 in Wingham, a small town in southwestern Ontario, to a family of small farmers. She received a scholarship to the University of Western Ontario, but left before graduating in order to marry another student, James Munro. The Munros raised three daughters and for several years ran a bookshop in Victoria; they eventually divorced and Alice Munro married Gerald Fremlin, a geographer. The Fremlins divide their time between Clinton, Ontario--not far from Munro's hometown of Wingham--and Comox, British Columbia. Alice Munro is the author of one novel and six collections of short stories prior to Open Secrets and The Love of a Good Woman. She is a three-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Canada's highest; the Lannan Literary Award; and the W. H. Smith Award, given to Open Secrets as the best book published in the United Kingdom in 1995. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages.
1. Have faith--not cynicism
2. Dare to dream
3. Take your mind off publication
4. Write for joy
5. Get the reader to turn the page
6. Forget politics (let your real politics shine through)
7. Forget intellect
8. Forget ego
9. Be a beginner
10. Accept change
11. Don't think your mind needs altering
12. Don't expect approval for telling the truth -(Parents, politicians, colleagues, friends, etc.)
13. Use everything
14. Remember that writing is Heroism
15. Let Sex (The Body, the physical world) in!
16. Forget critics
17. Tell your truth not the world's
18. Remember to be earth-bound
19. Remember to be wild!
20. Write for the child (in yourself and others)
There are no rules
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse.
matter-of-fact, commonplace, or dull expression, quality, discourse, etc.
Liturgy. a hymn sung after the gradual, originating from a practice of setting words to the jubilatio of the alleluia.
of, in, or pertaining to prose.
commonplace; dull; prosaic.
Verb (used with object)
to turn into or express in prose.
Verb (used without object)
to write or talk in a dull, matter-of-fact manner.
The most interesting revelation is that Stephenie read every genre except horror and she has no idea how Vampires stories ever got into her head. On June 2, 2003 she had a one of a kind dream about a beautiful sparkly boy and a regular girl. He was a vampire. He talked about wanting her blood and loving her at the same time.
The dream images captured her and Stephenie was hooked on their story. She’d never even written a short story before. She never intended it to be a novel, she wrote for the fun of it.
It was a one of a kind opportunity and Stephenie’s glad that she didn’t ignore it. She loved spending time with her characters in fantasyland. Obsessed with her characters, in the beginning she kept her writing a secret from her husband as she thought she was crazy.
For those of us who have excuses for why we are not writing, she had three small children (1, 2, and 5) that were constantly ill when she wrote Twilight. She was trying to reconnect with herself.
Stephenie was an avid reader and she read Gone with the Wind when she was eight. She always told herself stories but thought that everybody did this. She’d never wanted to be a writer because she knew you couldn’t make a living by writing so why bother. (85 million books sold . . .)
It took her two years and three months before Twilight was published. She received nine rejections from agents, five no answers and one agent requested to read more.
All of the girls at Oprah’s South Africa school were reading it. One girl informed Oprah that it was delicious reading. Oprah has read the series.
Stephen King said during an interview, “The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."
I work, I write, I spend time with my family and when I read I want to be entertained. The Twilight series is Young Adult Fiction. To me, what matters, is a good story and Stephanie is a great storyteller. It’s all about the story.
As I read paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy, I enjoyed every moment that I spent reading the series but you don’t have to like these genres to enjoy these books. When Twilight the movie first came out my husband also a fantasy addict refused to see the movie. I told him, “You’ll like it. It’s a great story and it has a lot of action.” He loved the movie.
We can't wait to see New Moon.
Stephenie kept a dream journal beside her bed so that she could record ideas that she received in the middle of the night. Many writers pay attention to their dreams to aid them in their writing. Writers Dreaming (Twenty-six Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process) by Naomi Epel is an excellent book that describes this process.
Keep dreaming – Keep writing.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Our Friday After Hours Forum is on November 20. Let’s talk about revision – how, when, when do you stop? In our Spotlight section, check out Janet Wellington’s great article on how to analyze the romance lines to see if your book fits.
Donna answers Linda’s question about what books are best for writers.
Carmen Goldthwaite, NY Times stringer, writer of historical and travel pieces, is our guest THIS WEEK on the Post a Note board.
The First Batch of Pumpkin Prompt stories are up! Check them out.
In our Market section, check out the new ezine published by a LR graduate: The Zanier!
Suzanne offers us the Failbetter Tenth Anniversary Novella Contest.
Survival After Death, by Jo Ann Schermerhorn is available now and Tony Burton of Wolfmont Publishing offers you a 10% off Coupon for a new book on writing by writers – good until November 30.
Remember…this is just an update. The actual Newsletter with links and even pictures is up on the website in Writing Craft: Newsletters at:http://www.longridgewritersgroup.com/rx/wc13/webletter_111609.shtml To unsubscribe from my updates, simply click here or paste this URL into your browser and click on ‘unsubscribe’: http://www.longridgewritersgroup.com/rx/wc13/webletter_111609.shtml www.longridgewritersgroup.com
Could 2012 be like the YK2 problem that once the Mayan calendar cycle is set to zero, it will reset itself like an odometer or clock striking midnight? Or like the YK2 problem the computer resets itself to 2000 without any help from the programmers?
Being a sci-fi addict, I enjoyed the movie 2012. It’s about the biggest expiry date known to mankind and it is another example of fear controlling the masses. (Similar to the H1N1 flu shot phenomenal.)
The movie's storyline is believable. The action and special effects are amazing. The movie provokes thought such as what is important in my life? We get to view a world gone mad and see the resulting climax. I give this film high marks for entertainment.
Since my second near-death experience in 1996, I've thought a lot about expiry dates. In the movie, Blade Runner, the robots searched for their maker, in order to obtain their expiry dates.
What does 2012 have to do with writing? If you knew your expiry date, would it prompt you to finish your non-fiction book or novel or any dream that you have for your creative life? Do you wish to arrive at heaven’s door with regret? If you died tomorrow what would be your greatest regret? What would cause your heart to ache? What would cause your soul to tremble and ten thousand tears to fall? Even if you stood before God, you would remember it.
Most people when dying speak of things that they didn't do with regret.
Live your dream. Begin today. Make peace in your world.
Life is too short to harbour regrets.
My defintion of prose is crude: not poety, meaning not rhythm.
More specifically it's geared toward creative writing,
meaning the kind of thing people read because they want to
as opposed to informational material that people read because
they need to.
The workshop also tilts more toward fiction than non-fiction.
For this workshop, I usually have Jean Rae Baxter as
my guest speaker, and she does a supburb job on this topic.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Kudos to Harry Posner on his big win last weekend at the Poetry Slam - we hope his ears were burning as we praised his many talents! We hope he'll grace us with his presence at the next meeting and give us a recital.
Our own Clare McCarthy's book launch is Nov 30, 2009 at 7:30pm at BookLore. You can see a sneak preview of it in In The Hills Winter 2009 on page 47. He is in the middle of the page surrounded by our own Nadine (Anouska) Fry with Sebastian and the Spider King and a friend of mine Alyxandra Harvey with her new book Hearts at Stake. Congratulations to you all!
Another bit of news it the Headwaters Writers' Guild Christmas Luncheon on Dec 5, 2009 at King's Buffet in Orangeville. Please let Nancy know if you are coming and if you are bringing a guest! There will be tons of good food and interesting conversation.
In 2010, we are hosting another Brian Henry workshop on Writing Well. This grand event will take place March 6, 2010 with location to be announced. Keep your eyes peeled.
Our next meeting will be Nov 29, 2009 with Clare leading. Hope to see you all there for the last meeting of the year!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Christine Baker Kline's blog, A Writing Life has a couple guest posts this week about making kids your excuse for not writing. Louise DeSalvo's on Why Having Kids is No Excuse and Lisa Romeo Adds Her Two Cents to the Writer-as-Parent Manifesto. Are you choosing.to rake leaves rather than write?
Jane Friedman of There Are No Rules posts her weekly Best Tweets for Writers. Most of these are links to some great online articles and blog posts.
Are you on LinkedIn? Freelance Folder explains why you might want to be in The Freelancer's Guide to Getting Started on LinkedIn.
On QueryTracker.net, Elana Johnson offer tips for finding your voice in Don't Use that Voice With Me!
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent, talks about Giving Your Characters Life.Their own life, not yours.
Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent, suggests you Get the Big Stuff Right. He swears that agents won't reject you at the first hint of a typo.
Over at BookEnds, LLC, Jessica Faust helps you get one of the big things right: An Author's Credentials. What do you put in your author bio, especially if you don't have much to add? The good news is: it's all good news.
Just to be on the safe side, A Victoria Mixon, Editor, talks about Getting Credentials that will impress potential agents.
On Writing Forward, Melissa Donovan discusses A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver.
What Colour is Your Palette? Diane has been at a painting all this week and shares her experience over at Pens, Paints and Paper. The Ringmaster of the Three-Ring Circus has been busy writing and posts about NaNoWriMo Success.
And finally, The Rejectionist presents the winners of the best rejection letter contest: Author-friends, We Have a Winner.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
At my first workshop with Ed (October 25, 2001) he claimed that if you followed her principal of writing practice that you’d never have writer’s block again. I’ve cut and pasted the principals below. They are listed on our website http://owg.netfirms.com/
WRITING PRACTICE –The Late Ed Wildman
(From a workshop Ed took from Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones)
1 Keep Your Hand MovingFollow your strongest thought. The faster you can go the better -- Sprint from start to finish.
2. Abandon NeatnessThis is the messy school of writing. I write on every second line because when my writing practice really takes off I sometimes have a terrible time trying to decipher what I have written.
3. Lose ControlThis is not the time for forethought, planning or making demands on yourself. Just follow your mind and see where it leads you.
4. Never Cross OutSometimes as Gord L. once remarked, the pen has a mind of its own, a mind which comes up with totally unexpected things.
5. Don’t Worry About Grammar, Punctuation or SpellingWe want first thoughts, original mind, and none of the old school requirements have a place here.
6. Write What Hurts, What MattersNatalie Goldberg speaks of going for the jugular. You’ll find the originality and the energy that makes for exciting writing.
7. Feel Free To Write the Worst Junk in the WorldWriting practice is a time to suspend your judgement, to take risks, to write nonsense if it comes up, to laugh out loud or cry if you want to but forget about worry, about the significance. This is a form of play and your only job is to have fun doing it.
8. Be SpecificAs you settle into your writing practice try to give things their proper names: I.E. Oak rather than tree, rose rather than flower, but don’t sweat this, particularly at the beginning. If your first thoughts are general, let them flow. You can get specific when you decide to write.
9. Relax Have Fun
10. Find Someone Or a Group And Read What You’ve Written AloudSomething special happens when you read your writing aloud to another person.
Positive Feedback We encourage and inspire our members and everything that happens in the group stays in the group. (This was added as we live in a small community.)
At the first session and whenever new people attended Ed's writing workshops, we started with the prompt— What I remember is . . .
Why not try it and see where the pen takes you?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
1) If you have a plan, how can you be surprised by joy?
2) How can you be afraid of getting lost if you don't know where you're going?
Editor Unleashed/SmashWords "Why I Write" essay contest: I know I posted the link before, but now the official rules are up and the contest is open. 50 best essays will be included in a "Why I Write" anthology, and the grand prize winner pockets $500. Deadline: December 31st.
Equisite Corpse Collaboration Award: Thanks to C. Hope Clark for posting this one on her blog. Entry fee is $10. The winning collaborative team receives $500 and publication in a forthcoming issue of Washington Square and/or on the website, depending on the medium of the selected work. Submit one collaborative project (two or more creators). Some portion, or the entirety, of the work must include creative writing (fiction or poetry). Deadline: January 1, 2010.
There were lots of other great contests listed on last week's Contests! Contests! Contests! post.
The Renegade Writer is offering another free teleclass: Breaking into Food Writing on Wednesday, November 18th from 8:30-9:30pm. Monica Bhide will discuss how to break into writing about food, where the opportunities for writers are, and what skills you need and how to develop them. There will be time for a Q&A at the end. Also, Monica will be making a special offer for teleclass attendees only!
Calls for Entries/Markets for your Writing!
Rethinking Every Magazine, a magazine about personal, life-altering change, wants your stories of self-initiated change. Pay is $100. Submission guidelines are available online.
Random House offers a list of literary markets that accept submissions.
Do you write for kids? Kid Magazine Writers has an informative website that includes a directory of children and teen markets.
Duotrope's Digest has an extensive, searchable database of magazines accepting submissions. You can search by genre, pay rate and more.
Writer's Gazette features markets, calls for submission and contests, all in one place.
Stephen King looked great for a man who had sustained a horrific accident years ago although he did have a small limp. His humour surprised me and delighted the audience.
As I didn’t take notes, I cannot quote him exact.
New York Times book critic Janet Maslin interviewed him re his new book Under the Dome. She mentioned that Under the Dome would be considered a “literary” book.
Please check out:
When answering a question from the audience King said that when you’re teaching it saps your creative energy. A lot of writers have menial jobs such as dishwashers or something that won’t sap your energy. (He was a high school English teacher.)
In answer to another question from Mississauga, ON, he concurred that he reads novels by beginning writers but only if the book is good. “Too little time, so many books.” He likes to “pay it forward” as a publisher took a chance on him.
Another person asked if he had an idea that was so horrific and glory and did he ever decide to NOT use it. He pondered for a moment and said something like “Sure, I’ve had some stuff and thought his isn’t good for human consumption.” He pauses and then smirked. “But I used it anyway.” Everybody laughed.
A lot of the interview centred on his new novel Under the Dome, which sounded like another great story.
He plans on writing another book re the Dark Tower series.
He has been interviewed with other authors who plot their novel and make detailed character synopsis. He wings it. He thinks it’s a great day when he knows what’s happening in his book for the next writing day. Character – he puts the character in a situation and then sees what the character will do. He writes mostly by situations – the idea much like Sci-Fi writers who start with an “idea”.
His “Virtual” Office
It’s nothing like his real office because his office is really messy. What a relief. I'm not the only writer with a messy desk.
Check out the following websites:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I am pleased to announce the book launch for The Hurleyville Taxi (Two Thousand Pounds Of Bacon and Bone) by Clare McCarthy at Booklore on Monday, November 30, 2009, 7:30 PM.
It would be wonderful if everybody could attend.
We've watch the beginning, the middle and now the end of the writing process of this book with Clare.
On the publication of his latest novel, “Under the Dome,” celebrated storyteller and best-selling author Stephen King (“Just After Sunset,” “Duma Key,” “The Stand,” “The Shining” and more than 50 other novels) talks about his career as a novelist, screenwriter and columnist and discusses his new work, a tour de force set in a Maine town and featuring more than 100 characters who encounter a supernatural element as baffling and chilling as any the author has ever conjured. Interviewed by New York Times book critic Janet Maslin.
Got a question for Mr. King? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Self-publishing isn't new. In fact, it has solid early-American roots; it is almost a tradition. In the early days of the U.S. , the person who owned the printing press was often the author, publisher and printer.
Some authors have elected to publish themselves after being turned down by regular publishers. However, many more have decided to go their own way from the beginning. Some have started as self-publishers and sold out and some have built their own large publishing businesses. See Books That Were Originally Self-Published, Document 155 for examples.
Self-publishing is good business. Writing a book is a creative act; selling it is a business. Some people can do both while others are more creative than businesslike. You have to ask if you want to be a publisher. Do you have an office, the time to conduct the business and a place to store the books?
There are many more tax deductions available to the author-publisher than there are to the author. There are more write-offs for entertainment, travel and electronic toys.
But, what about bookstores? Small and medium-sized publishers use distributors to get their books into bookstores. Since distributors have sales reps, these publishers have the same access to the stores as the large publishers. See Wholesalers, Distributors and Bookstores.
Self-publishers make more money on their effort, get to press sooner and keep control of their work.
If you invest the money in your manuscript, you can make a lot more than what you would get from a publisher in a royalty-nearly 40% of the list price. Why accept 6 percent to 10 percent in royalties when you can keep much more? Why share the profits?
Most publishers work on an 18-month production cycle. Can you wait that long to get into print? Will you miss your market? The one and a half years don't even begin until after the publisher accepts the manuscript. Why waste valuable time shipping your manuscript around to see if there is a publisher out there who likes it? Publication could be three years away.
Once you turn your manuscript over to a publisher, you lose control. They sometimes decide to save money by leaving out some illustrations and they often change the title and lose the theme of the book.
Dan's web site is http://www.parapublishing.com