Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Those who know me well have to laugh at the fact that I am no stranger anywhere I go. That gift most probably came from my mother, Glenna, but I'm quick not to claim that as my family members, (five sisters and three brothers) all get great joy out of calling me "Glinger." I don't make too big a fuss over it as I know there's not one of them that can look in the mirror and not see their mother staring back at them:) They try pawning off her bad habits on me, but I'm adopted and that stuff is hereditary.

So, today I'm in St Louis for work. I board a plane, or should I say three planes, to make my way to Myrtle Beach. I'll be here until Sunday. It's been hot and muggy and I'm dressed in a suit, or I was dressed in a suit, until like most menopausal women, I get too hot and pull into a parking lot of a school and strip off everything I'm wearing clean down to my underwear, crank up the air conditioning and flop my head onto the steering wheel of the car while I refresh myself. Doesn't everybody do that? Work with me.

Yes, you know what happens next. I hear a giggle outside the car, look up and there stands two teenage girls pointing and laughing hysterically! Only me:) I did manage to pull on my travel clothes right away and screamed out of the parking lot toward the airport, gravel spewing across the lot like the Louisiana oil well! What next?

Note the picture today. It was in the window of a store and I thought it was so interesting I just had to snap a photo. Artists of all kinds intrigue me, whether they are painters, glass blowers, dancers or writers. Their works make life a bit easier to digest and add a richness to the blah days we sometimes have. Enjoy! Got to get to bed! Lots of work to do tomorrow. Watch for a contest!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Need More Time!

The semester for the final two terms of the MFA is up and running. I'll be reading a boatload of texts and have begun doing research for my educational paper. More editing as well on the book. Travel is up as well, but I work well under pressure!

With that said, as a writer I'm always trying to "find" time for writing. I get up at 4:30am and read my Bible, and have to be out the door by 5:45am for work. I have a 1 hr drive time each way to work (when I'm in town). I listen to a radio pastor on the way to work and usually an audiobook on the way home. As of last week, (I have my first full week in now), I am making time (1/2 hr) for exercise. I try to catch up on my blog, answer emails and look for markets to send work out to. I'm usually in bed by 10:30pm.

When I'm on the road, I can squeeze out time on the plane, but if you've noticed, I don't have time to cook, (Michael does it all), clean, (Michael and our once every other week cleaner does it all), do laundry, (Michael does it all), etc. He is so supportive of this time in my life, but I'll owe him BIG:)

Anybody out there got any tips on where and how I can fit in 30 more minutes of writing without dying of no sleep? What do you guys do? I could use some advice here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friends and a Note on Writing an Author's Bio

Yesterday, I had lunch with my good friend and work partner, Anna, and two women from a company we work with in Des Moines. It was about 115 degrees, I swear. Okay, maybe only eighty-nine, but it sure felt like 115.
Anna and I arrive a bit early and get a table. One of the women flies through the door a few minutes late and says, "It's so hot outside my armpits are growing orchids!" With that, the most hilarious lunch of my life takes place. These three women tell stories until my sides are splitting. New friendships are born, reminding me of the many friends God has given me in my life.

I heard from one via email yesterday and it made my day. Nile App, my adventure friend, my spiritual buddy, someone who I've always admired, dropped a note to me. We shared a few back and forth emails, catching up on each others lives. Though we haven't seen one another in years, she's always in my heart, a friend who's shared countless treks through woods, marathons, canoeing, you name it! And the emails gave me a great idea for a story. You never no where you'll find an inspiration or a freind for that matter. Both experiences made me realize the value of the people we make, new or old. Call a friend today, or drop a note. Don't let too much time go by. Now on to work!

Preparing for publication requires an writer to have an authr's bio. A bio can be used to introduce the writer to an agent, editor or publisher as well as be used in the writer's book. It need not be long or braggy, but it should have these key points.

1. Include your "clips" or published articles. If you have no credits, skip this part.
2. Name any contests or awards you have that relate to the work you are submitting.
3. If you belong to any large organizations relating to writing, such as the Mystery Writers of America or the Romance Writers of America, mention that. It shows you are committed to writing.
4. If you have a "platform" or a following of any sort, list it. For example, my friend Gail Martin wrote a comical book about a small opera guild in Hankey, Pennsylvania. When she was finished, she took all of the research materal she had and started a blog called 'operatoonity." She suddenly finds herself doing interviews with opera stars who contact her! Now that's a platform!
5. If you've attended an MFA program, list that as well.

Now get writing that bio! You'll be needing it soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Graduation Night

Having not quite finished the rest of the Graduation story, I return for just a moment. The photo above is of five of our mentors on stage acceping an award for one of our classmates, Aleysha Harren for winning the first Eutruscan Press prize. Aleysha is an officer in the United States Navy and was unable to attend this residency due to her service. We were all proud of her to have won! From left to right: Mike Lennon, David Poyer, Kaylie Jones, Bob Mooney & Phil Brady.

The final evening of the residency was exciting. We had a wonderful dinner with lots of laughter nd encouragement from everyone around us. As the time came for the degree to be bestowed on us, we were called to the stage with our mentors who read  for the sudience their experience working with us. I was very humbled by Sara's generous and kind words about me and my work. With the applase ringing loudly, the granddaughterof Jack Jones, (author of From Here to Eternity) awarded our degrees. What a great feeling! It made all of the hard work of the past eighteen months so worth it!

When I left there that night I realized one of the things that would be important from then on if I were to become a serious writer was goal setting! My friend Gray and I have committed to writing goals and then holding each other accountable to attraining the goals.

Over the next few blogs, I'll share them with you and maybe even spur you on to set attainable goals for something you might have always wanted to do! My first one pertaining to writing is:  

             1. Write for at least thirty minutes a day.

So here I am 4:30 A.M. clacking on the keyboard. I can't be a writer unless I write. What is it that you've put off doing?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Film, Play and Fiction Opportunities!

Just came from a wonderful dinner for my job in Seneca Falls, NY. I got to watch the sun set over a spectacular vineyard ( Ventosa Vineyards) that is set on the shores of Seneca Lake. Then I remembered I had to come back and post a scholarship and a contest that are available for film, plays and fiction that I don't want you to miss! So check out these opportunities before it's too late!

The UFVA sponsored Carole Fielding Student Grants are not tuition-based scholarships, rather they are grants for production or research proposals. The deadline for submisstion of application is December 15th, anually, and is open to undergraduate and graduate students in film & television. Faculty sponsors must be UFVA members or must be from UFVA member institutions. Categories are: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Animation, MultiMedia, and Rearch.

 Application Deadline

 December 15, 2010

 Number Of Awards  5

 Maximum Amount  $5,000

 Website Address  http://www.ufva.org/

 Scholarship Description

Up to $4,000 can be awarded for production projects, up to $1,000 can be awarded in Research.

Guidelines and current application are available at the UFVA website:

 Students pursuing MFAs in a variety of areas are eligible:

 film directing • production • screenwriting

playwriting • fiction writing

 The scholarship can be used towards tuition and expenses, and is open to students pursuing an MFA

From Hope Clarks website, Funds for Writers http://www.fundsforwriters.com/





Grand Prize - $1,500. Staged reading at the 2011 Festival (25th

anniversary: March 23-27). Full production at the 2012 Festival.

VIP All-Access Festival pass for 2011 and 2012 ($1,000 value).

Publication in Bayou.

Top Ten Finalists - Names will appear on website. Finalists will

also receive a panel pass ($60 value) to attend the 2011 Festival.

Submit unpublished, never publicly performed one-act plays up to one

hour in length. Deadline: November 1, 2010. Plays must not have

been previously produced, published or performed, including in a

formal staged reading.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to Normal

Well, life is good. I'm back, a bit more rested, and in New York (upstate) for the next few days. All of the paper work is in for the completion of my thesis and the contracts for the MFA have been sent. The kids got their housing today in Alaska. Just the townhouse they wanted. 2 bedroom/2 bath with room for a pony:) or at least the two dogs. Still no car, but they are working on it. Life is an amazing journy when you know who's guiding the way!

A couple of contests you should be looking at before the deadlines arrive:

Glimmer Train Short Story Contest-Deadline July 31, 2010. http://www.glimmertrainpress.com/writer/html/index2.aspead

 Fan story- aseries of contests www.Fanstory.com

Have a great day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Little Detour and a Big Saga

Any parents out there will certainly appreciate this little tale. I'll call it "Excursion".

As I'd told you, Last Wednesday I headed to New Orleans for work. The show I attended was to finish on Saturday, July 10 and I would be homeward bound. Michael had come along with me, lazing by the pool reading as I worked. Tate and Amanda had left our house on July 1 and were making their way to Tate's next Coast Guard base in Kodiak Island, Alaska. Before the kids left we made sure they had new tires on the Hummer 3 truck they drive ($900) and a tune-up ($400). All was well.

In New Orleans the 110 degree weather kept me sweating, which makes the whole city smell like garbage. Anyway, Thursday night we get a paniced call from Tate....and a parent's worst night mare....a message.
"Mom, Dad, call me immediately! We have a crisis!" Naturally my phone doesn't work in the convention center and Michael's phone wasn't turned on until later. When service finaaly comes, we have 15 frantic, "Call me!" messages. Any parent out there knows the dreaded feeling, where your skin crawls across your body and your heart stops.

We finally get to Tate. His voice is trembling. Here's the conversation.
"Mom, Dad, the Hummer blew up! I mean we were driving down the road about 55-60 mph, we hear a little pop! and we get worried so we hit the OnStar button and ask them to run a diagnostic. They tell us that it should be okay to make the next 15 miles to Whithorse, Yukon Territory, Canada to have it looked at. So we drive on."

Right about now, Michael and I are thinking, "Here we go. They were probably driving 100mph pulling that trailer and hadn't checked the oil since they left our house." (Parents, you know you'd be thinking this.)

They continue. "So Mom, we drive a little further and all of a sudden, (That's how trouble always arrives, isn't it?), smoke starts coming out of the engine, flames are shooting up all over the place. I get the car to the side of the road and tell Amanda to grab the dogs and get out. (This is where we see God's hand in things.)
We jump from the car and before we even could pull anything out, a young man named Eric (no, they didn't ask his name right then) pulls over, jumps out with a fire extinguisher and puts out the flames. (Really? A fire extinguisher? Who carries those?) Eric then gives the kids a ride to town. Onstar gets them a tow truck and has the truck and trailer towed to Whitehorse. By then it's too late to do anything more than pass on the bad news to the parents and figure out what to do next."

On Friday, Tate startes making calls, first to our agent, Larry, whom I'm a little bee peeved at. All he does is give Tate a phone number for some woman in New York. Here's the catch. In Canada there is no "Progressive" agency, so Tate couldn't get any insurance adjustor until "New York" approves one. But the lady in New York is three hours ahead of the kids time and not answering her phone. They leave twenty messages. Phone calls are flying back and forth between the parents and the kids as we try and help them. They had planned in an extra day or two to get to the ferry that would carry them across the bay (14 hrs) to Kodiak with the trailer and dogs. (Did I mention 2 dogs, pit bulls?) The ferry was to leave last night (Sunday) at 9:30pm.($700)

Long story short here. The agent finally gets to the kids at about two on Friday (NY time). She tells them she'll have an adjuster there shortly. She does. The adjustor looks at the vehicle and says he'll probably suggest they total the car, but must have permission from NY  before Tate and Amanda can be sure what to do next. Guess what? New York lady goes home. It is Friday afternoon after all and it really doesn't matter that two kids are stuck in the Yukon Territory (who knew that place even existed?) now until Monday.

Here's the caveat. The kids had taken what they thought was enough cash and were going to use credit cards for gas, hotels, etc. (Yes, probably our credit card. Don't judge me.) Well, in Canada, don't ja know, they don't like using credit cards because they are too cheap to pay the fees. (Kinda like the Dutch in Pella.) So they are very short on cash. They can't use there debit card either. They try to get a rental car. Can't take them out of Canada. We are talking about 800 miles yet to Anchorage, then another 5 hours to Homer where they are supposed to jump the ferry. They have enough money to eat. the young man, Eric and his wife drive Tate around to look for a vehicle, etc. Poor Amanda is stuck at the hotel with the dogs who take to loud barking and pooping on the floor if they are left alone. (You get the picture.)

On this end, Amanda's folks are trying to wire them money to buy a vehicle. ($12, 900) ( Nope. It was too late on Friday. They closed.) We told them to leave the trailer and we'd get them and the dogs tickets on a plane for Kodiak. They could go back later and retreive the truck. Had it all set up, but WOW! did you know that from May until September the airlines in Canada will NOT fly pets. They need the cargo space. Slap that solution.

Now it's late, late Friday night. The kids have run out of cash. They have no options left except to wait until Monday or Tuesday to see what might happen. Tate has to report before then to get housing. So at 2am on Friday night, Saturday morning, Michael and I hatch a plan. We'll fly Michael to Anchorage, get a truck with a hitch, and drive to get the kids, return to Anchorage, store the trailer in Anchorage on a Coast Guard base, fly them to Kodiak and that should solve the immediate problem. He gets set to leave on a 2:40pm flight on Sat. I will close the show at 3pm, he can cab it to the airport an hour or so sooner. Next glitch. He did not travel with his passport. I always do. Change of plans. I'm going to Alaska!

Just an hour before the show closes, I make Michael tear down my booth while I rush to the airport. I fly to Anchorage (total flight time from New Orleans about 9 1/2 hrs). I did mention that I only had 2 hrs sleep, right? I make a million phone calls trying to set up a rental car. ($47) No car allows towing. Enterprise finally reccommends Alaska 24 hr rental. They don't answer the phone. Enterprise reccommends 24 hr Auto Rental (see photo). A wonderful young man named Jesse booked me a truck then came to get me at the airport with one of his army buddies in his buddies personal car. They were so wonderful and  sweet young soldiers to boot. I take the truck (broken windshield, cigarette burns in the seat, almost bald tires, no gas) but Jesse assures me the truck will make it without issue. ($385 for 2 days)

It's about 7:30pm Alaska time. I haven't eaten. I haven't slept but 2 hrs. I pull into the gas station just around the corner from the rental place, fill the truck, ($63.87). I look at a map. (There's only one road, the Alaska Highway) and start the 800 mile journey. No sooner had I put my foot on the gas pedal then does the "engine light" come on. I drive back to the auto dealer where the boys decide maybe I shouldn't take the truck. They are really so sweet, but they have no other vehicle to give me. Knowing my quandry, (they probably smelled it on me by now) they make a bunch of calls to try and help me. Finally they find a young man named Shawn at the Alaska 24 hr auto rental who says he has a car. The boys give me a ride and I sign up for the rental. (now $525). Shawn is so kind and reduces the $1000 plus rate down to $525 and allows me to drive across the border. The truck is huge. (broken windshield, decent tires, cigarette burns in the seats. Really, all the vehicles in Alaska look like this. I'll explain why in a minute.

About 4 hrs later than expected I hit the road. Or should I say, it hit me. Little known fact about Alaska and the Yukon Territory. At least little know to me. The one road they have is littered with humps and bumps and gravel and holes like the Department of Transportation had actually planned them out. I felt like I road a washboard the entire way. I didn't make it past about 60mph the entire way. Good news is, it stayed light for 19 hrs. I drove and drove and drove passing few cars, but loads of mountainous beauty. It felt like the northern equivilent to the Kentucky backwoods. I heard a banjo planning in my head more than once.

Gas is a real issue. I took everybodies warning and stopped at any hole in the wall when I saw a station open. I drove and drove. Every fillup is around $85.00. By now I've been sleep and food deprived for about 40 hrs. I'm starting to see things. I swore I saw a cluster of  Moose. It looked like a bunch of antlers. Okay, it was late, I was hungry, it was probably one moose and a bunch of sticks. Now I've got to pee. No worry folks, just stop your vehicle, cop a squat right in the middle of the road because you aren't going to see a car....ever.

I drive and drive. It's 2:30am. I have crossed the Canadian Customs. The agent asks, "What are you doing in Canada?" I reply, "Here Iam to save the day, you know it's Mighty Mom, she's on her way!" She stares for just a moment, then waves me on. Like this happens every day!

The roads change to dirt, like Canada can't afford pavement. Then again, their health care is not so great either. It's raining. I arrive in Beaver Creek. The sky is finally a shade of dark like just before the sun really disappears. I'm not good in the dark and I'm fried. I pull into a small "hotel" lot. The sign says full. I ask if I can use the restroom and park in the driveway. (Very loose term) The bathroom is shared amongst the twelve rooms. You can tell it must be all men who use the toilet. (Floor puddles, the seat's up)

I get into the back seat of the truck and pull the stolen United airlines blanket over me. (I knew I'd never find a hotel.) The seat belt is poking into my belly, and I've wadded up the clothes I brought with me. (I did mention that New Orleans temperture was over 100 degrees.) It drops to forty. I have a pair of short socks over my feet, my sleeveless top rolled into a pillow and the stolen United blanket covering me. I sleep for two hours. At 4:30am the sun beats through my window and wakes me. It's light so I must be rested I think and hit the road again. I ride on torn up and gravel roads the rest of the way arriving in Whitehorse at 10am. Michael is near panic at home, helpless. I have no phone service. I think they use tin cans up here.

The kids are ready. Tate takes the truck and hooks up the trailer, empties what they can resuce from the Hummer, while I grab a quick bite to eat at the hotel. We take off again. I'm in the back seat listening as the kids go through everything that happened. I was so proud of them, but they had just run out of solutions. The road is getting worse and worse. It's still raining. The dogs are getting car sick. I'm getting car sick. Tate stops and lets me drive. I drive all by about 50 miles back. We arrive last night into Anchorage at about 1am. No one has slept. We did find a hot dog at a gas station. 16 hrs again. They have missed their boat. The hotel won't allow dogs so Tate sleeps in the truck with them. ($199) At 4:30 Amanda wakes Tate and they work rearranging the trailer, taking the things they will need in Kodiak. I stay out of their way until 6:05
am. Tate is booked for a 7:10am flight to Kodiak. He is to go ahead, get checked in and try to get housing. Amanda will follow at 3pm with the dogs. That will give her and I time to get the trailer to the Coast Guard base. I say, "Buddy, you've got to get to the airport." "Mom, I've got to finish packing then take a shower yet!" Oh, I see this coming. "Son, you'll miss your flight! We just paid $300 to get you a ticket. You'll lose it if you don't get there. You need time to check in (3 bags $125) and go through security. By now we were hemmoraging money.

Next thing I see is a suitcase being heaved into the air and my son's temper going off. He's changing his clothes in the parking lot. Amanda is silent. This kid is no match for me. I'm a Mom. "Son, you can throw a fit, but you better drag your butt into that car...Now!" Amanda has booked him on Alaska airlines which it the first airline we get to. I drop him off. He apologizes. He's a good kid, just really frustrated with everything that has gone on and by having to leave Amanda behind to handle the dogs. My flight is scheduled for 2pm. Amanda's for 3pm.

I watch Tate walk away with three huge bags draped over him. He looks like a pack mule. He has hugged me so tight and thanked me so much still apologizing for getting mad. I understand. I slide some cash into his hand. I watch him walk away and I want to run after him and hold him like he was the little boy I still remember. "It'll be okay, Som. God is in control."

I go back to the hotel and Amanda has received a call from Tate. Alaska Airline has no reservation for him. Amanda gives him the confirmation number. It's for another airline. He is down to less than 30 minutes to takeoff. He has to run the entire terminal to the other end of the building with the luggage. He makes it. Amanda gets the directions for the Coast Guard station. 15 miles away. I suggest we stop by the airport to buy her ticket so another mistake can be avoided. The dogs have to have special paperwork. She will fill it out. We'll have plenty of time to drop off the trailer, drop off the rental car, feed and water the dogs, shower, eat. She comes flying out of the terminal. "The 3pm flight is sold out. the only flight is at 9:55am with room for the dogs." It is 7:45.

We drive like maniacs to the Coast Guard base. I would not be able to do it without her as she has military ID. We have a nice young man help us put the trailer near a woodline. He leaves us with a warning. "Yeah, we've had a few things broken into and stolen, but I'll try and keep an eye on this for you." We race back to the hotel to get her luggage. I feed, water, and drug the dogs. I want to take their drugs myself. We rusah to the airport where the line is long for Amanda to check in. She rushed out. We circle the airport to the baggage claim area. She runs in the dogs one at a time, then rushes out to gather her luggage and hug me goodbye. I watch her run away. I am grateful she makes my son so happy. I sit in the truck and praise God for getting us here safely, for the kindness of so many strangers and for the new life ahead for the kids.

I get back to the hotel  by 10am. My flight is at 2pm. I finally shower, find food and drive the truck back to the rental place. John, Shauns' dad, drives me back to the airport offering to help Tate and Amanda when they have to come back to Anchorage next week to buy a vehicle. I am so amazed by the kindness of the Alaskan people.

I am in San Francisco writing this tonight. I have a four hour layover and will leave here at 11:55pm Pacific Time. I fly from here to Chicago, then Des Moines. I'll arrive at about 7:50am where my buddy, Anna and my boss, Mike will meet me and take me to work. I'll work today and Michael will come up and pick me up tonight. I'm hoping to sleep on this next flight though I did catch myself snoring from Anchorage to here.

I'll take Wednesday off to get my packing done for my upcoming New York trip on Thursday.  Forgive me for such a long blog, but as a parent you'd have done the same thing. Don't forget about Alaska 24 hr car rental if you ever get to Anchorage. Shawn and his dad John are the best!

I will never forget this adventure! The scenery was spectacular as were the people. Though I had no time for anything more than running, it was good to be with the kids (captive audience). Alaska is beautiful as is the Yukon. Neither have good roads. No place for motorcycles either. Still a place to see before you die!

P.S. I returned the stolen United blanket on the flight from Ancorage to San Francisco last night:)! I'm home and sleeping for the next two days!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Attitude is Everything

I am on the road in New Orleans. I'm already beginning the reading and research for the next step of the MFA program. B

Back to the residency a bit as I'd like to share the wonderful experience of having a professional outside reader commentate on my writing. My read was Literary Agent, Chris Tomasino of the New York Tomasino Literary Agency. Her photo is above. She has a great reputation in the business world and has represented authors like ?????? She not only read my book, but had another agent read it as well. They pooled their thoughts and presented me with a six page review!

Boy! I think I was the luckiest student in the program as some students received a one or two page review. The school gave us our reviews on Monday night, allowing us to digest the information or run off wailing into the night! I read mine, took a walk, got on my knees to thank the Lord for Ms. Tomasino's great review and had a great night. With that said, it was no love fest, Ms. Tomasino pointed out what my Des Moines reading group saw, (yeah, Des Moines!) then proceeded to give me advice on how to fix the issues I have been having with structure and time. The honesty I recieved from such  gracious lady is s appreciated! On Thursday,  I got to sit with Chris face to face and talk through her review. it was an incredible experience, one I am going to learn from! http://www.tomasinoagency.com/

So with that, as you write, learn not to take critiques on your work personally, Learn from the experts and keep a good attitude. the writing life is a long lonesome road full of ups and downs, but so well worth it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More on the MFA Program

The photo above is of Phil Brady, author and poet. http://www.philipbrady.com/. One only has to hear Phil recite one of his works like ,To Prove My Blood: A Tale of Emigrations & The Afterlife (Ashland Poetry Press 2003) and By Heart: Reflections of a Rust-Belt Bard (University of Tennessee Press 2008). Also he co-authored an edition Critical Essays on James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with James F. Carens (Twayne, 1998), to know you are in the prescence of a genius.

On Monday and Tuesday of the residency, we spent out days in craft classes working on the business side of the writing world. We learned to craft good pitch letters (known as query letters), author bio's, and synopses (short descriptions of out work.) Learning this part of the process gets a writer thinking about what to do with the work once it is ready to be published.

We worked on punctuation and had the MFA program explained in detail for us. We also had the pleasure of listening to Phil Brady, a poet and orator, one of the few brilliant people who recites every work he has from memory. Everyone loves this class.

Monday night we watched screenplay writer and producer, Michael Mailer's (Norman Mailer's son) film, The Golden Boys, which starred Rip Torm, Bruce Dern, Mariel Hemingway and David Carradine (his last film). It was an honor to have him share the film with us. http://www.michaelmailerfilms.com/past.html

On Tuesday night we listened to readings from poet Tony Morris, authors David Poyer,  John Bowers, poet, Christine Gelineau, YA author, Cecelia Galante, authors, Lenore Hart, Robert Mooney, Nancy McKinley and poet, Phil Brady. What talent!

More on the rest of the full week coming later.

For work, check out the website  for The Santa Fe Writing Project. http://www.sfwp.com/ This site is for the craft of writing and hosts a contest you are sure to like. Get to it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Residency Days Two and Three

Writers love these kinds of days when the pressure is on and you don't want to make a fool of yourself. On the first few days we get to listen to our classmates, as well as the classes before us and behind us read cuttings of the work they have accomplished over the past semester, It's exciting standing in front of everyone, hoping they like your work, but wondering if you'll ever be as good as the works coming from others.

I had the priviledge of reading first, a task I didn't mind though I probably whined a bit about it to someone:) The room stills and everyone gives you their full attention. You read, looking for the body language that says they are interested...or not. When you are done, you wait again, ever insecure about the work you've created. The crowd always bursts into spontaneous applause, like you're a somebody! It's the greatest feeling!

You walk to your seat, a little less afraid of why you chose to put yourself in this kind of debt or put yourself through this kind of self-doubt. Then a fellow writer leans over and puts their hand on your knee and says, "That wowed me!" and you thank God that he has been there all along, pushing words from your head into your hand. That's what writers do! The MFA program is about the commaradarie that only other writers can understand. They know you have leveled your guts and thrown out everything you have for the readers praise or pity.

Speaking of writers, the photo today is of Kaylie Jones, author and daughter of Jack Jones who wrote From Here to Eternity. Kylie is a wonderful author in her own right. Her latest book is a newly released memoir titled, Lies My Mother Never Told Me. A good read!  Visit Kaylie at http://www.kayliejones.com/. How lucky are we to be able to share wonderful conversations and friendships with writers like Kaylie!

Check out the latest contest from Hope Clark's  Funds for Writers!  If you haven't yet joined Funds for Writers, this is the month to do so! You won't regret it. It's full of great advice, fun and contests that will test your writing stamina! Go to http://www.fundsforwriters.com/ .






The Competition is open to any writer, regardless of nationality,

who has never been the author of a published novel (authors of

self-published works may enter, as long as the manuscript submitted

is not the self-published work) and is not under contract with a

publisher for publication of a novel. Only one manuscript entry is

permitted per writer. All manuscripts must be original, previously

unpublished works of book length (no less than 220 typewritten pages

or 60,000 words) written in the English language by the entrants.

Murder or another serious crime or crimes is at the heart of the

story. If a winner is selected, Minotaur Books will offer to enter

into its standard form author's agreement with the entrant for

publication of the winning manuscript. After execution of the

standard form author's agreement by both parties, the winner will

receive an advance against future royalties of $10,000. Deadline

November 13, 2010.