Writers & Writing

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2016

My list of New Year’s Resolutions isn’t written on paper yet—in fact, I seldom make Resolutions—but they are clear in my mind. This year I am driven by the knowledge that I will have knee surgery in 11 days. What will I do during those weeks of recovery? I have pondered that question since my torn meniscus was discovered last August. Erasing my calendar for …

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Amazing Peace

December 17, 2015
Corpus Christi bayfront

In this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air. The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship. … We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas, We beckon this good season to wait awhile with us. We, Baptist and …

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Pitching in the Elevator

October 20, 2015

I finally have my elevator pitch! Ever since I started writing 17 months ago, I have stammered when asked to describe my book. After I finished the fourth draft of the first chapter last winter, my independent editor told me it was time to get a website and start blogging, in preparation for writing my book proposal and finding a literary agent. As I began to …

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Peace Hill, aptly named

September 27, 2015

Deep in the heart of rural Charles City County—so close geographically to both Richmond and Williamsburg, so far away in its complete lack of urban life—under a canopy of enormous trees near the bend in the Chickahominy River is Peace Hill. According to legend, native Americans smoked the pipe of peace with early English settlers here. In 1607, in this area, Powhatan’s men captured Captain …

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Loneliness–A Catalyst for Change

September 17, 2015

Elizabeth Head Black, a gifted writer, blogged again recently about loneliness. Elizabeth’s personal story is a story of loneliness–17 moves in 49 years. She turned to the Psalms for comfort and found God’s answer to her loneliness. A book emerged from her meditations on the Psalms–Hand in Hand: Walking with the Psalms Through Loneliness. Though her life is full as the wife of the priest at the …

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Good Grief!

September 13, 2015

Take a close look at the labels on each of these three shelves at the Corpus Christi Barnes and Noble: Sexuality, LGBT, Family & Friends, Death/Grieving Death and Grieving, Self Score Tests Success Death and Grieving is sandwiched between Sex and Success. Does anyone think that a widow is going to get down on the floor to look for a book on death and grieving? …

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Defying Stereotype, Mixing Genre

August 2, 2015

As I scanned the crowd in the Wylie Theatre lobby, looking for a place where I could eat my box lunch, an attractive blonde on a nearby bench made eye contact and gestured that I could squeeze in beside her. I’m not good at striking up conversations with strangers, but we were both attending the DFW Writers Conference, so there were natural conversation starters. While …

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Blogging, Social Media & Other Stuff

July 1, 2015

All to establish a brand, build a platform & get an agent to look at you When I started writing my book, Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows, in summer 2014, I never guessed that I would need to engage in so much self-promotion just to get a literary agent and a publisher to take a look at my manuscript. Had I known then what …

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The Semi-Colon Is Dead. Long Live the Dash!

June 17, 2015

After my reader reviewed the third draft of my book, the first thing she told me was that I needed to get rid of all those semi-colons. Editors trip on semi-colons. I wasn’t going to argue with her. She has edited 35 published books, and her own book is used by the Harvard Graduate School of Business. She knows exactly how many semi-colons are in her …

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The Value of a Writers’ Conference

June 10, 2015

Writers’ conferences are on all the “to do” lists for aspiring authors, along with branding, blog, social media presence and the like. Finding community is two-pronged: Authors need to build community with both potential readers and with other authors, agents and publishers. I found the Moravian Writers’ Conference through Beth Kephart, whose book I liked: Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir. She was …

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