From our leaf tours:
It is the Solstice, Blessed Be. As they days grow slowly longer, may we also grow to love one another and to learn to live in peace. Holi...
Images of my container garden.
Belated Happy St. Patrick's Day. I have been too sick to enjoy one of my favorite holidays. I didn't even get corned beef, or to w...
Happy Halloween; it is my favorite night of the year! We were low key this year, but we did get out our graveyards and pumpkins. A scarecr...
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Solstice, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips for the C... : It is the Solstice; Blessed Be! I look forwar...
Look closely at how delicate I am. I am probably a may fly, but I am as detailed as the scarabs from an Egyptian royal tomb. No one a...
Proclamation of Thanksgiving Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national...
Fresh Greek Peasant Salad This is the salad I grew up with; it was our late night snack and early lunch. This one has home grown t...
At this time of almost New Year, I would like to comment on the new family kindle, nothing personal, it's a fun little gadget, but rathe...
- I (1)
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Olympics, a New Edition, and News from the British...: The Olympics have finally arrived in London! While we celebrate the world coming to London for the 2012 Olympics, why not also discover Lon...
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
E. to Marlene the Librarian: "Do we have Apocalypse Now?" Marlene to E: "Why, we have it everyday!" And this about sums up my life for the last month or so. We are still sweltering, and several of us are sick to our stomachs from the heat. It is an uphill battle to save the plants, but so far, I Have. I try to recycle dish and cleaning water, and not to overdo the watering. I lived in the California drought tweny years ago, and I think things were better. Will stat putting out dishes of waters for the little silde animals; in the past, I've had squirrels charge me when they see me with the hose. I think I ahve a wild gourd coming up as a volunteer, and this pleases me. The black velvet and phantom petunias seem to take the heat better than anything. Other than working and writing, I have not done much. Just took the trek to finding my blogs again; more changes on blogger. Thanks to all who read this blog. I live for you, and it means a lot to me. There will be more tips later.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: A Pymian Dinner: We had a Pymian dinner tonight, what she would call a maccaroni cheese, only ours had broccoli. It is a hot, quiet evening, but the humidit...
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I found these links surfing the web; don't know which work or which don't. Try at your lesiure/peril. Not much else; the leaves are finally falling, but it is sunny and unseasonably warm. I am getting new ideas for recipes and will post them. Also, new ideas for writing and blogging. I also recommend the The Jurist, a free newsletter by Bernard Hibbits, and Sally Kane's Legal Newsletter on About.com. About has great newsletters on a variety of subjects. I'm sorry that Denise van Patten is having health issues and may not be able to post her excellent newsletter for about on Doll Collecting. I hav e picked the last three tomatos and the last two peppers. It is time to hink of the garden for next year, and to contemplate winter gifts for gardening frends. I like the idea of bushel baskets filled with gardening goodies. Also, I see more on folk dolls and dolls made of found objects, some very strante can be found on the Science network's show, Oddities, based on an antique shop called Obscura, which also has a website. Other great free newsletters come from the Victoria and Alber museum, The Strong National Museum of Play, and The British Museum. Most say they are free to share; I hope they mean it. So, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Reading! WRITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS. Ever dreamed of being a published author? Writing for children is a great place to start. Learn the techniques from an experienced writer. This unique program has helped 1000's like you become published. Free qualifying test offered. http://www.writingforchildren.com/H2783 ***************************************************************** THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR: * Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write. * Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter. * Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing. http://www.fanstory.com/index1.jsp?at=38 ***************************************************************** DON'T GET SCAMMED! Choose the right Self Publishing Company for your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing company and the questions you should ask. http://dogearpublishing.net/self-publishing-companies.aspx ***************************************************************** ***************************************************************** THESE TWO FREE ISSUES ARE YOURS TO KEEP Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine editors, this monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of editors' wants and needs, market tips and professional insights. Get 2 FREE issues to start. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AY412 ***************************************************************** BOOK TEMPLATES REDUCE YOUR WORK AND WRITING MISTAKES. Formatted Word book templates are a godsend for writers. Templates for eBooks, Kindle, PDF, MOBI, printed books, and more. Available in all popular sizes. See them now at: http://www.booktemplate.org/ ***************************************************************** THE INQUIRING WRITER: Submission Guidelines ================================================================= By Dawn Copeman Last month's question came from Toni Becker, who wrote: "After a long break from freelance writing, I just resumed submitting features/photos to newspapers. My previous submissions were hard copy and slides or negatives sent by snail mail, (tells you how long it's been since I've last written!) "What are the general format rules for electronic article submissions to newspapers -- line spacing, headers, etc. Also, is it alright to e-mail a completed article without query? "And what are general rules for electronic submission of photos taken by a digital camera?" Sadly, we had no replies to Toni's question, so I will answer it myself. Firstly, welcome back to freelancing, Toni! Some things have changed a lot, whereas many things are still pretty much the same as they were in the days of snail mail submissions. One thing that hasn't changed at all is that it is not a good idea to submit a complete article. Always, always query first, UNLESS the guidelines say otherwise. With most submissions being electronic these days, editors do not want their inboxes filled with long article submissions they haven't asked for. This will only make them view you as an amateur. As Moira Allen states in her fantastic book "The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals," which I strongly recommend you read, "An editor doesn't want you to send in that brilliant work. An editor wants you to explain why you should be permitted to send in your work." Query just as you would before, but make sure your query is short and to the point. Editors don't like to have to scroll down to read long queries. As with postal queries, your email query needs to be addressed to the correct person. For newspapers, check the masthead, for magazines, check out the masthead and the website. In short, your email query needs to contain: From: To: Subject: (include the word query) Main Body of Email: Hook, Pitch, Main Body, Credentials and Close. Most email queries are between three and five paragraphs in length. Here is an excellent guide to writing and submitting email queries and articles: http://www.writing-world.com/basics/email.shtml As for article submissions themselves, again you need to read the guidelines. Most newspapers and magazines will specify what font or spacing to use. If they don't, go for an easy-to-read font in size 12 and use double spacing. Make sure, however, that what you send doesn't come through as gobbledegook! Ensure you turn off special characters such as curly or smart quotes, as these do not always come through as quotes in electronic submissions. Some editors prefer you to paste your article into the body of an e-mail, while others that you attach your query as a Word.doc. Check the guidelines carefully if you want your article to be read. Finally, when it comes to submitting photos, editors usually want fairly high resolution jpegs submitted. These are easier to resize as necessary. Again, check the guidelines. Here is a handy article that explains what writers need to know about digital photography: http://freelance.writer2writer.com/photography-tips-for-writers.htm I hope this helps. [Editor's Note: While editors need high-resolution photos for publication, they are not happy to receive an e-mail with a string of high-resolution photos as attachments for review. When submitting photos for review, first find out how the editor wants to receive them. This can be part of your query process; you can state, for example, that you have photos available to accompany the article. If the editor wants to see them, he or she will usually tell you the best way to submit. Sometimes, the editor will want to see lower-resolution "samples" (not thumbnails, but scaled-down versions) to determine which photos to use. You may then be asked to send the full-resolution photos on disk. Some writers post photos on a photo-sharing service, where an editor can scan through the options and select those that are desired. You can sign up for a free service on sites like Shutterfly. In some cases you can set it up so that the editor can download the desired photos directly. Be sure that you really DO have high-resolution JPGS -- a minimum of 300 dpi. Nothing frustrates an editor like finding out that you just have a tiny little file that looks perfectly good to you on your computer screen -- but will NOT work in print. Remember, too, that you don't have to have "digital" photos or a digital camera; if you have prints or slides, and the editor wants electronic files, you can scan them for publication.] This month, our question comes from our beloved editor herself. Moira wants to know: "Do you find it helpful, or a hindrance, to read novels of the type you are writing while you're in the midst of a writing project? For example, if you were writing a cozy mystery, do you find that reading similar mysteries helps 'keep you in the mood'? Or do you find that it's distracting to get involved in someone else's style and plot?" Email your answers and any questions with the subject line The Inquiring Writer to firstname.lastname@example.org Until next time, Copyright 2012 Dawn Copeman ***************************************************************** NEED HELP WITH YOUR STORY? Fiction Writing Guides are designed to help beginning fiction writers. As much or as little as you need. From an award-winning author. http://hank-quense.com/wp/fiction-writing-guides ***************************************************************** NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING ================================================================= Beacon Press Publishes a Book of Tweets --------------------------------------- Beacon Press has just published its first ever Tweet book; "Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus" by Elinor Lipman. The book only took Lipman four months to write and she started each day by writing her tweets as her warm-up writing activity. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/btgzj4x Curtis Brown Looking for New Authors at Foyles Bookshop ------------------------------------------------------- Literary agent Curtis Brown is taking part in a Discovery Day at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London on September 22 to find new writers. New writers will get the chance to pitch their novels to the agents one-to-one. A 'surgery' will give writers the opportunity to ask general questions about writing, agents and publishing. To find out more about this story, visit: http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Events/Detail.aspx?eventId=1577%20%20 New Short Story Prize Announced by Costa ---------------------------------------- Costa has announced it is funding a new prize for short stories. The new award will run alongside the Costa Book award and will award £3,500 for the best new, previously unpublished short story of up to 4000 words. For more on this story visit: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/costa-launches-story-prize.html ***************************************************************** FEELING PRESSURED TO PRICE A JOB? Follow the 3-step process in Freelance Fee Setting: Quick Guide for When a Client Demands a Price NOW. This brief e-book is by the author of the award-winning What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants. Get it now at http://tinyurl.com/86qfupw ***************************************************************** Writing Jobs and Opportunities ================================================================= About.Com Looking For Guide Writers ----------------------------------- About.com, which is part of the New York Times Company, is seeking more guide writers. About.com guide writers are paid for each article they write for the site. http://beaguide.about.com/gdoverview.htm Food Bloggers Needed for New Latin Food Site -------------------------------------------- A new Latin food site is seeking writers/contributors to pitch articles surrounding recipes, chefs, entertaining ideas, how-to's, food travel and more. Writers must have experience in the food space and be able to quickly turn around copy for accepted pitches. Writers will be paid $40-50 per post, based on length & experience. Send a resume, cover letter and clips to relevant work, plus 3 pitches that could work on our brand new Latin food site! Tlkpitches@gmail.com The Slant is looking for Writers -------------------------------- The Slant is a satirical online newspaper that takes a different 'slant' on news from the UK. The magazine is looking for UK-based writers (amateur or professional) or, alternatively international writers who can appeal to, and cover topics and issues relevant to, a UK audience. Can you write about the news in an intelligent, engaging style, with humour, wit, and, what the hell, maybe even (if you're feeling extravagant) a bit of panache as well? If so, we want to hear from you! http://www.theslant.co.uk/writers-wanted/ ***************************************************************** FEATURE: Processing Feedback ================================================================= By Joni B. Cole Here is what most writers forget. You are the boss of your own story. Not the other writers in your critique group. Not the famous author whose workshop you were lucky enough to get into at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Not even your mother-in-law who comes into your house while you are at work and vacuums the mattresses because somebody has to protect her grandchildren from dust mites. When it comes to applying feedback, you -- and only you -- are the one who gets to determine what stays and what goes in your story. And that is a good thing. So why do so most writers forget this fact? Why do most of us, when confronted with feedback, automatically relinquish authorial control and start scribbling copious notes all over our manuscripts like some junior intern on Red Bull, determined to meet everyone's demands? "Yes sir, I'll rewrite the whole novel in first person and add more sex scenes, no problem..." "No ma'am, I don't need to kill off the grandfather in the end; I thought he was a nice guy, too..." "Yes sir, I'm sure my memoir would sell better if I was raised in a Chinese orphanage. I'll get on it right away." When processing feedback, most of us need assertiveness training, if not for the sake of our stories then for our mental health. For one thing, you will never be able to please everybody. Newton's third principle of motion explains that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and any given writing workshop underscores this same reality. For instance, if your well-respected writing instructor hates the scene depicting your main character's long bus trip to Reno, it is inevitable that another respected feedback provider in that very same workshop -- likely the graphic novelist/performance artist whom you have had a crush on since day one -- will drill his tortured eyes into your soul and insist that the long bus trip is the one part of your story that rocked his world. So now what do you do? There is only one thing you can do. When processing feedback, you must plant yourself figuratively in the corner office, plunk down one of those massive paperweights on your desk that reads "Head Cheese," and claim creative control. Because if you don't, whenever you sit down to revise your work you are likely to start second-guessing and compromising and rewriting by committee, until your story starts to read more like word salad than impassioned, polished prose. Acknowledging that you are the boss of your own story makes processing feedback a lot more palatable, even when you are in the hot seat. Who doesn't have a silent meltdown when their writing is up for review by a trusted reader or writing workshop? I know when the time comes for my work to be critiqued, I always have a strong urge to toss back a few in the powder room, if only to stop the soundtrack in my head. They're gonna hate it, I know they're gonna hate it... Oh, I can already hear the workshop star, Roberta, with her usual refrain, "Kill your darlings..."(which she keeps attributing to Mark Twain). And Lars with that weary note of resignation in his voice, "It doesn't matter if it really happened, you have to make it convincing on the page," and Marilyn throwing her fifty-thousand dollar advance in my face by telling me, "Add more conflict. Only trouble is interesting." But then I remind myself that I am the boss of my own story, so there is really no need to get all worked up in my head. If someone does trash my work -- "Well, this is a sorry excuse for a story" -- I can and should hold that person accountable. "What exactly do you mean by 'sorry excuse'? What part was sorry? Why was it sorry?" Like any good boss, I should strive to be inclusive, encouraging all my readers to speak up and be forthright. I can listen to their comments with equanimity, even appreciation, knowing that soon I will return to my corner office, shut the door on the cacophony, and continue to process all feedback on my own time, and in my own way. Over the years, I have calculated that feedback on any given piece of writing always falls into one of three categories, and breaks down into the following percentages: 14 percent of feedback is dead-on; 18 percent is from another planet; and 68 percent falls somewhere in between. I am not a statistician (actually, I am hopeless in math), but I find it reassuring to know that there is an element of predictability to the art of processing feedback. Dead-on feedback is the kind of feedback that feels right the moment you hear it, usually because it confirms something you already knew on a gut level. Oh, yeah, you think when you hear dead-on feedback, now I remember not liking that passage myself, but I was having such a good writing day I just kept going and forgot all about it. Dead-on feedback is also the kind of feedback that can lead to those wonderful Aha! moments. For example, a reader might tell you that he isn't hooked by your story until the scene on page eight when the surgeon amputates the wrong leg (as opposed to the long-winded summary of the protagonist's medical school education outlined in the first seven pages). For weeks, you had been struggling with those opening pages, trying and failing to get them right. Now, just like Archimedes in the bathtub, you see the solution all at once. Cut the opening! Cut the opening! It only gets in the way. Processing dead-on feedback is easy because a small region of your brain -- the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus -- flashes you the instant message: Eureka! The 18 percent of feedback from another planet is also relatively easy to process, once you catch on to the fact that the feedback provider has issues. See how long it takes you to figure out where this feedback provider is coming from: "I think your main character should kill off her boyfriend. Why? Because men are pigs! All men are pigs! They're born pigs, they die pigs, and in between they give you a promise ring on Valentine's Day, but then they make out with your ex-best friend Sheena at Happy Hour two Fridays ago, and I know this for a fact because my new best friend Heather saw the whole thing while I was out in the parking lot throwing up after we did all those two-shots-for-two-dollars..." Feedback from another planet should be discounted for obvious reasons, but make sure you don't discount the feedback provider along with it. She may surprise you when critiquing your next story. Which brings me to the remaining 68 percent of feedback, which falls somewhere in between dead-on feedback and feedback from another planet. This category of feedback may include a timid suggestion that speaks volumes about a weakness in your plot. It may include a brilliant insight that ends up being wrong for your current story, but will certainly apply to another story down the road. Or it may include a blunt comment that raises your hackles, but also the level of your prose. One of the first things to look for when processing in-between feedback is a consensus of opinion. Say you present your work to two or three trusted readers or members of a critique group, and more than one of them found your ending confusing -- Did the father reconcile with his teenage son or didn't he? If your intention is to clearly show a reconciliation then you should pay particular attention to any type of collective opinion. This doesn't mean you should automatically change your ending, but it does mean you should scrutinize your motives if you don't change it. Are you preserving the ending because you really think it works and is perfect as is, or because you are being lazy or overly attached to the writing? Now take the same story, but a different scenario. Let's assume half your readers "got" the ending, but the other half didn't understand your intent. If this is the case, first you should feel good about batting five hundred. Then you should take the time to process the feedback of your excluded readers more carefully, just in case they offer any insights about how you might tweak or revise the ending to make it more accessible to a broader audience. For instance, Darla, the romance writer in the group, offered the following feedback, "If you want to make it clear that the father and son reconcile at the end of your story, why don't you just have them hug in the last scene?" Your knee-jerk reaction to Darla's feedback may be to dismiss it outright because Darla writes genre fiction and you are a snob. But part of processing feedback is getting over yourself, as well as recognizing that sometimes feedback can be wrong in the particulars, but right over-all. Okay, so the father in your story is not a hugger. But what if he did show some outward sign of love for his son at the end? What if he offered the boy his prized pen-knife, for example, the one that his own father gave him when he left home as a teenager? Now that would maintain the integrity of the father's character, add a wonderful symbolic gesture, and clarify the ending for more readers. One of the biggest mistakes writers can make when processing feedback is to categorize readers too quickly -- good reader, bad reader -- and to do the same with their comments--good advice; bad advice. Sixty-eight percent of the time, that's not how feedback works. As writers, we have to be vigilant to fight the impulse to accept or ignore feedback wholesale. Just recently, someone gave me some heavy-handed advice that I thought was totally ridiculous, until I took the time to scale it down in service to my story. Processing feedback effectively means being receptive to hearing a variety of opinions, but filtering it all through your own writerly lens. What serves your intent? What rings true? What is your own inner voice telling you to do? Sometimes it can be hard to tune in to your own instincts after a feedback session, especially when the comments have been coming at you like the arrows flying at St. Sebastian. But that is when you need to hightail it to your corner office and rest your cheek on the cool weight of your Head Cheese paperweight. Breathe. Give yourself some space and quiet. Listen carefully and I promise you, your inner voice will speak up over time. And here is what it will tell you: 1 percent of the feedback feels dead-on. Eighteen percent is from another planet. And 68 percent feels like Darla, coming at you with good intentions and arms outstretched. Just remember, Darla can comfort you, or she can squeeze you. As boss of your own story, it is up to you to decide. Tips for Processing Feedback ---------------------------- Be open: You can't begin to process feedback if you won't let it in. I know how hard it is to curb the impulse to defend your work against every little criticism, but try. If it helps, write a note on your palm as a reminder -- Hush up! -- and refer to it whenever you hear yourself going on and on. In a workshop setting, some groups institute a "no talking" policy to prevent writers from interrupting the critique, but I feel that's an extreme measure. Writers should feel free to ask questions or raise issues that inform the discussion. Resist the urge to explain. A teacher I know who works with both writers and actors once noted that if you tell a performer something didn't work in his performance, he simply drops the line or fixes it. Writers, conversely, have a natural impulse to explain why they wrote something a certain way, or what they were trying to do in the piece. As writers, we need to resist the urge to explain because it gives feedback providers too much information, making it harder for them to separate what is really coming across on the page from what you have told them. Little by little: It is easy to get overwhelmed when processing feedback, especially if you try to take it in all at once. After a feedback session, sift through all the comments once, but then put them away and only worry about addressing one issue at a time. For example, if a reader has told you that your plot is slow and your main character seems shallow -- forget about the plot issue for the time being and concentrate on character. Or focus on moving your story forward, and worry about character development in the next draft. Ignore feedback until you are ready for it. If you are on a roll with your writing, don't let feedback stop you. Some writers avoid feedback until they have taken their work as far as they can on their own. This makes sense if hearing feedback too soon interferes with your own creative vision. But feedback can also serve you in the midst of a productive period. The value of hearing feedback, and then putting it in your mental lockbox as you push forward, is that this allows your unconscious to quietly process the outside information in a way that informs your writing in sync with your instincts -- without slowing you down. Try out the feedback. Sometimes the only way to judge feedback is to play it out on the page where your own writerly instincts can react to it. For example, if a trusted reader is adamant that your first-person coming-of-age novel should be written in third person, try writing a couple chapters this way. See for yourself what you lose or gain. If several readers think that your main character isn't likeable, write a scene inside or outside the story that shows your protagonist doing something endearing. Whether you ultimately use the scene or not, this is a great exercise in character development. No writing is a waste of effort. Give yourself time. If you are at a point in the revision process where you can't tell whether you are making things better or worse, stop! Move away from the computer with your hands in the air, before you do any permanent damage. Take a break from writing, or start something brand new. It is remarkable how a good night's sleep or a short period away from the manuscript can restore clarity, and help you process feedback in a way that leads to enlightenment. >>--------------------------------------------------<< Excerpted from Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive by Joni B. Cole, 2006, University Press of New England, Lebanon, NH. Reprinted with permission. Co-founder of the Writer's Center of White River Junction, Vermont, Joni B. Cole is the author of Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive. She is a frequent speaker at writing conferences around the country, a contributor to The Writer magazine, and a regular blogger on ThirdAge.com. She is also the author of Another Bad-Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior, a collection of 28 true-life tales that mingle low moments with high comedy, and the creator of the three-volume This Day series, including Water Cooler Diaries: Women across America Share Their Day at Work. For more information, visit http://www.jonibcole.com or contact Joni at jonibethcole at gmail.com. Copyright 2012 Joni B. Cole For more advice on getting, giving and receiving feedback and critiques check out: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/fiction03.shtml and http://www.writing-world.com/dawn/dawn09.shtml ************************************************************** A FREE MASTER CLASS IN CREATIVE WRITING SUCCESS. Enrol FREE in a 14-part 'mini course' in short-story writing success. This highly acclaimed Writers' Village 'Master Class' shows you how to get published - profitably - and win cash prizes in fiction contests. Discover how to open a chapter with 'wow' impact, add new energy to a scene, build a character in moments, sustain page-turning suspense even through long passages of exposition... plus 97 additional powerful ideas you can use at once. Enjoy the course without charge now at: http://www.writers-village.org/master-classes **************************************************************** EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks. http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com ***************************************************************** THE WRITE SITES ================================================================= Erika Dreifus: Practicing Writing --------------------------------- This is an excellent blog by Writer contributing editor Erika Dreifus. It is full of writing advice and writing opportunities as well as tips from Erika herself and general musings on life. She also produces a monthly newsletter too. http://www.erikadreifus.com/blogs/practicing-writing/ The Word Chef ------------- Tea Silvestre is a wiz at creating unique brands for her clients and she shares her advice with all writers who want to create their own copywriting or business niche. Packed full of resources to help you identify and make the most of your unique talents, this is a great site for all writers. http://thewordchef.com/ Eclectic Writer --------------- J.L. Walters is the author of 24 books in a wide variety of genres. In her blog she not only shares her own tips and musings on the writing life, but also interviews other well-known authors and gets their tips on writing fiction. http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.co.uk/ ***************************************************************** SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, the professional association with a career-building difference. We partner with you to create a strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com! ***************************************************************** WRITING CONTESTS ================================================================= This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" (http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml). THE OSTRACON CONTEST -------------------- DEADLINE: July 31, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories DETAILS: In ancient Athens, citizens voted to ostracize a fellow citizen each year using shards of pottery known as the ostracon. This challenge uses the ostracon as the theme, focusing either on someone who has been banished, someone doing the banishing, or even someone using the ostraca (plural for ostracon) as a weapon against someone else. The style: Greek tragedy or comedy, 3000 words maximum. PRIZES: 1st prize: Dover Thrift's "Five Great Greek Tragedies," and J. Michael Walton and Kenneth McLeish's "Six Classical Greek Comedies." 2nd prize: Bernard Evslin's "Heroes Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths." URL: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/the-ostracon-contest/ SEASIDE AND SAILORS LIMERICK CONTEST ------------------------------------ DEADLINE: July 31, 2012 GENRE: Poetry DETAILS: Five line limerick on sailors and the seaside, two entries maximum per person. PRIZES: $15, 5 http://www.scribophile.com/contests/member-created-seaside-and-sailors-limerick-contest/ SIX WORD STORY -------------- DEADLINE: September 30, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories, DETAILS: Send up to five six-word stories. PRIZES: A stay at The Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, where Hemingway bet the Round Table, "I can write a story in six words." URL: http://www.fleetingmagazine.com/the-six-word-story-prize/ SCIENCE FICTION POETRY ASSOCIATION NEW POETS CONTEST ---------------------------------------------------- DEADLINE: September 15, 2012 GENRE: Poetry DETAILS: prize awarded for best poem in 4 categories: Dwarf, Short, Long and Nonmember. Poems must also contain one or more of the following elements: science fiction, fantasy, horror, surrealism or straight science. PRIZE: $50 URL: http://www.sfpoetry.com/news.html JERRY JAZZ MUSICIAN CONTEST --------------------------- DEADLINE: September 30, 2012 GENRE: Short Stories DETAILS: Short fiction that would appeal to the Jerry Jazz reader's interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theatre, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-20th century America. 1000 - 5000 words. PRIZE: $100 http://essaycontest.aynrandnovels.com/AtlasShrugged.aspx?theme=blue LEE & LOW NEW VOICES AWARD -------------------------- DEADLINE: September 30, 2012 GENRE: Poetry, Books OPEN TO: US writers of color who have no prior published books in this genre. DETAILS: Picture books for children aged 5 - 12. Two categories: Poetry: picture book in verse for readers aged 5 - 12, Prose: picture book story for readers aged 5 - 12. Submit maximum of 2 stories, max 1500 words each. PRIZE: $1000 and publication with standard royalty contract. URL: http://www.leeandlow.com/p/new_voices_award.mhtml ***************************************************************** THE COLOSSAL GUIDE TO WRITING CONTESTS... Moira Allen's "Writing To Win" is completely updated for 2012, featuring over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide. The 2012 edition has more than 450 NEW listings. You won't find a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere. Available in print and Kindle editions. Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183 Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine ***************************************************************** AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers ================================================================= Holiday Affair, by Annie Seaton A Kilo of Chocolate Sprinkles, by Wayne Pollard Shadows and Dreams, by Joseph Lucilla Find these and more great books at http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml Have you just had a book published? If so, let our readers know: just click on the link below to list your book. http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml ***************************************************************** ADVERTISE in WRITING WORLD or on WRITING-WORLD.COM! For details on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your product, service or book title, visit http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: A Novel for Erzebet: I am writing a novel for young adults which will feature Erzebet. We live in more liberal times, and there those sympathetic to the plight ...
Monday, July 16, 2012
There's a mouthful. We are having another 94+ degree day, much hoter with the heat index. We are still working to fix one side of our roof, and we have to coordinate marching and practice and other events. So far, the grass is not doing so hot; having flash backs to CA 20years ago, where the golden state meant golden dried up lawns. Manage to keep alive the phantom and black velvet petunias and other plants using recycled water and small waterings early morning and evening. Reading about gardens in Rummer Godden's works as part of a conference paper project. T deal with grief, Mrs. Quinn of China Court spends 9 hours gardneing, and Tracye talks of gardnening being among activities that are the real stuff of life. Lovejoy in Episode of Sparrows is willing to steal for her garden, and is ironically involved in a case of stolen earth with the local garden commtitee, something that happened to Godden herself. Rumer Godden was a dedicated gardener, and her passion for gardening comes out in her autobiographies nad in her novels. There are even tiny flowers and Bonsai trees in Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. I have moved my orchids around; the new one is also losing petals, and still have seeds to plant, even this late, I will try. My pumpkins in the past used to come up too early, but I have a zuchhini and bittersweet that are promising. Our weeds thrive. even in this heat. You have to admire them, and I've left a few strategically placed. Mother nature seems to favor me; I haven't got poison ivy yet from digging into the weed patches bare handed, perhaps because I've cultivated a few on my slope and even in pots for color and variety. I've been living on salads where possible, and the good ripe tomatoes with fresh cilantro and pepper, drizzled with olive oil are my favorites. The nectarines and plums, as well as cherries, are doing well in the farmers markets and groceries, but I was very disappointed in the organic avocado I bought last week. It was barely edible, through ripe. CBS Sunday Morning had a good story with Bill Geist on shells and shell collectors in Florida. It should be on their site. It made me very nostalgic, and I used my shells from Huntington Beach and Valencia in craft projects. I've even saved a few clam and mussell shells from restaurants, and once, a lobster claw to make a small doll. I have never been tired of shells and remember my first collection from the Shed Aquarium, bought by my mom, when I was five. I'd been a doll collector two years by then.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: From MIdnight's Children: "And there are so many stories to tell, too many, such an excess of intertwined lives events miracles places rumours, so dense a commingling...
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: Ah Erzebet, ah humanity!: Thank you to my readers. Am working on a new fiction project based on Erzebet which is very exciting to me. Meanwhile, she may be channeli...
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
I admit I hate and fear the full moon. I never feel well when it strikes, and there is lunacy about. Today is one of the most awful days I can remember, culminating in a dead car battery. 100 dollars later, and several ours, it was fixed. The fun isn't over, either, with the AC bill looming. I put my head down and cried. I am watching Greece being trashed again; it is hard to see the place you were born attacked so often and vehenmently that it has become cliche. How dare they show the Parthenon in this light. For MMLA, I am writing about debt and the need to make money, of living above one's means, and of trying to get out of debt, using a mix of pop cult TV and classic literature. I hope it works. And, I am writing of debts writers owe to each other, and of how we repay and cherish loyalty and friendship. I hope this all works. I turned in book review today, and then tended to my flowers. I planted a mixture of wildflowers and grass mulch; we'll see. It is good for shady ground. The bittersweet is doing well, and our zucchini. I want to plant pumpkins and black nasturtium as starter plants in pots, though late. My orchids are not doing well, and I'm nursing a meer stem of poinsettia. The phantom and black velvet petunias are doing well, and the impatiens are thriving in their pots on the old, shabby chic wicker settee. In small things, there is comfort. In the yellow lily I took to my mother's grave, in the ancient, tiny Japanese doll I put back together, in the newly vacumed rug, in my little cat's purr. When life is not good, go to the small.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I was recenlty accused of musing while I write; well, The Muses were the mothers of inspiration, so Muse away I will. They are also, I might add, part of my heritage, and I was often called Musitsa, or little Muse when I was a little girl. I noticed that Target is putting garden tools, pots, supplies, and ornaments at 50%. Also, if you have Hobby Lobby, their summer statuary and yard ornaments are going at 50% or even more discounts. Our local Disc Replay chain is featuring a double dvd for around $5.00 of the most recent films of A Little Princess coupled with The Secret Garden. Speaking of Gardens; am I the only one who misses the old format of The Secret Garden which included Marian Marsh's recipes? Locally, I am involved in many projects invovling the sustainability of water at several organizations. We are planning field trips and all sorts of exibits, including poetry and photography conests invovling several other clubs. These are good ideas to make the community aware of environmental issues without preaching, whic frankly, turns me off to no end. My cat Emma La Contessa de Gagga-Bathory is settling down, and likes to sleep with her mousie "DOLLS" on a plush pink/green baby blanket. She is feisty, and not at all the sweet tempered kitty my Opie was, or even our Daxie, a curmudgeon kitty devoted to us. Daxie looked like Mr. French, and guarded us all, but he purred if you called him Daximo the Magnificent, and he could spell shrimp, his greatest passion. Among my projects; fix my AC in the car, fix upstairs bathroom, weed garden, repair vintage dolls, draw/paint a Sphynx, get a new keyboard for this thing, work on papers/writing. Memory is another Muse; I remember a couple summers back, later than now, when my early pumpkins were ready, and I made soup from my own crop. Not alot of luck with them this year; many lean and hungry deer, and not enough rain. I will not partake in anoter local bookfair, I've decided. I left early yesterday, after being stuck in a corner against a stairwell with no escape, and with a sound system blasting poetry at my already aching head. This was a vanity feast for would-be self publsihers, of which I am not. And, I was somewhat taken advantage of by one of the organizers, who did not even give our names after we paid her for our share of the table. Never again. Happy blogging, happy gardening, happy summer!