Saturday, January 30, 2010

What to do on a dreary day

What do you do on a dreary, cold day? I watched reruns of What Not to Wear until I am so fashioned educated I could dress as nice as anyone(if I just had that $5000 Bank of America gift card to go with it!). So instead I used my workout equipment, you guessed it, broom, mop and vacuum cleaner until my house is sparkling again. I think I'm on my 5th load of clothes (no they're not all mine).
But I did finally get online and check my 146 emails and while I was doing that I thought I should clean out some of my links. Didn't find any I could do without but I did find one I'd to share. Reading Writers website. This is for writers and readers alike and the nice thing about it is they offer so much help for writers (for a small fee) they will proofread and and they will even do the first 1200 words free. They also have a contest going that has no fee. Short story of 1000 words. Check it out at their website and good luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Book Review: Leaving Gee's Bend

I just finished Irene Latham's debut book: Leaving Gee's Bend. It is set in Gees Bend, AL and centers around a girl that quilts herself out of problems.
I've been to writing classes where they tell you to put your protagonist up in a tree and then throw rocks at them. This is just what Irene does to poor Ludelphia Bennett. When you think that things can't get much worse, they do.
I wonder if I hang around Irene enough that some of the writer's fairy dust will land on me. I'm sure going to try. My nest opportunity to learn from Irene and other great writers will be at the Midsouth historical fiction workshop.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Starting a non-fiction article requires much research. Where do you go to do research? Start at your local library or university library if you live close enough to one. Google of course is a good way to see what is out there and I was able to find a book that was out of print but there was a new interest in the subject I was researching and found a book written by my subject! A primary resource and it was inexpensive! Another place I found and am still exploring is museums. Did you know you can go online and tap into museum collections? if you know the town the person was born in or you are researching a place, you can find out about possible museums to visit.

So far I have found several books that have information I can use besides some primary papers that are at a university. (I am still exploring how to get my hands on these and which ones I need).
State archives are another source of information and I quickly discovered how immersed I could get in this type of research. I find one thing that leads me to another and another... You get the picture.
I learned that it would be a good idea to jot down exactly what I was looking for and try to stick to the list. Like a grocery list, if you don't write down what you need you go over the whole store. Which would be nice if you had endless time to research but sooner or later you have to start writing that article. Which is where I am now. Pulling the pieces together and writing down the bones.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What a Week...

How are you doing on your New Years Resolutions/Goals? Here, I have been devouring Frederick Douglass: A Voice for freedom in the 1800' Camilla J. Wilson. As a writer wanting to write a nonfiction article, I am learning to do more than devour. I look at sources and acknowledgements. I look at where the pictures came from. Are these some sources that might prove helpful in my own research? It is in the same time period so I feel I am getting close to understanding and learning more about research.

On another note, I am sad that I missed Irene Latham's book launch. I had to cancel at the last minute due to an emergency at work. I heard that I missed a great one and Pat couldn't wait to rub it in.
So on the way home last night while driving in the pouring rain I got to here what a good time I missed.
On a good note Pat did Irene to sign my book for me and I can't wait to read it. I made sure it was facing out when I went to our local bookstore.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Upcoming Events for 2010

Summer children's writer conference in Oceanside,Oregon Check their website here for details. It looks good but I have never been.

Also Highlights is having a fiction contest based on a true story from your family. No entry form or fee and we all know Highlights is awesome. Check it out at Entries must be postmarked Jan 1-31.

Springmingle registration is now open for the Southern -Breeze SCBWI in Atlanta, GA
Registration ends Feb 23,2010 so hurry!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day Two of the New Year

It is day two of the new year and I am still contemplating my goals (resolutions). So here are some that I have come up with:
  1. Stay Focused: Do not get distracted by contests or otherwise meant well diversions to spice writing. This always backfires for me and then I have to get back with the program.
  2. Make goals that are realistic and plan for success. For instance, I have resigned my position as contact person and critique moderator so that I can focus more on my writing.
  3. Stay on track with my ICL course. I am on assignment #4 and will have it completed and sent in by the end of January.
  4. Exercise my soul, body and mind.
  5. Try new things
  6. Travel to new places. Any suggestions?
  7. Leave work on time!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Start the new year writing!

What better way to start the new year (and decade) than by writing? For those of you that are fearless and humorous, you'll be glad to know that the Erma Bombeck writing competition opens Monday Jan 4th and you have until Jan. 31st to submit either a humous or a human interest story and it is free! This is one of my favorite contest because the word count is minimal (450) and entry fee is $0.
Just follow this link for details on how to enter and good luck!