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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Speaker – Author Cathy McDavid

I attended another Friday Night Writes at the local bookstore, Dog-Eared Pages. I’d missed a couple of weeks for one reason or another. I’m glad I didn’t miss this one.

Cathy McDavid is a published author with numerous Harlequin books and others to her credit. She talked about her first writings in high school and the gaps between writing episodes before she finally buckled down and decided to make writing a career. She made some mistakes along the way, some because she didn’t know any better, but oftentimes they worked in her favor.

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She set her goal to write for Harlequin and went after it. No agent. She just submitted one, two or more and eventually it paid off. She is now a New York Times bestseller.

Cathy works hard and stressed that as the most important part of being a successful writer. She polishes her work, even after a few years of writing for her publisher. It makes the difference between the editor choosing to work with her over another comparable writer who doesn’t make that effort.

She had us read the opening lines from a few books near us on the shelves. Which ones grabbed us? Which ones didn’t? Why? A valuable lesson for all writers. Those first lines and paragraphs are essential for all writers; especially those who are trying to break into being published.

There is so much to learn in the writing and publishing fields. I’m glad there are so many local authors willing to share their experience.

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Decisions and Challenges

2014 A-Z badge

I have had a Blogger blog for a few years. You can find it here. It is about art, life, writing, family history, travel and anything else that comes to mind. I’ve enjoyed that blog and I still do. I just wanted to start something a little more geared to writing and research. Something to link to my business. So I followed my friends over here to WordPress. It has been a challenge and frankly not that much fun. The learning curve here is a lot bigger than I expected.

When I started getting notices for this year’s Blogging From A to Z April Challenge I was determined to do writing and research tips here on this blog. However, the challenges of working with this blog got in the way. So, I made the decision to go with my other blog for this year’s challenge. Each day in April (except Sundays) almost 2,000 bloggers will write something connected to that days alphabet letter according to the calendar below.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2014] - updated (1)

 

So join me over at Tattered Past but don’t forget to check back here. You never know what will come to mind.

If you are interested in other A to Z Bloggers or in signing up yourself pay a visit to this page.

Open Mind

Yakima Cemetery, Yakima, Washington

Yakima Cemetery, Yakima, Washington

Open Mind

Dragonflies cover her arms and back

A whisper from the world beyond

The living woman touched by a message sent

From her fourth great grandmother

Who’s in her blood and in her genes and

Whom she’s touched through a granite stone

A quiet moment and an

open mind.

Yakima Cemetery, Yakima, Washington

Yakima Cemetery, Yakima, Washington

Written by Rita Ackerman for the Writer’s Digest poetry Challenge: November 2013. 

Speaker: Susan Pohlman

At the March Writers’ Connection at Desert Foothills Library award-winning writer Susan Pohlman, shared what she learned as a Hollywood screenwriter about the importance of scenes.

Susan described a scene as when a character enters and leaves a location. Every scene should have an event.

She stressed the importance of drama and conflict throughout the story.

To hone down your writing pretend that every word costs money and take them out if they aren’t absolutely necessary. Every scene and every part of each scene must drive the story forward. Every character must have a purpose. They cost even more than words in screen-writing and should be cut in all writing.

Susan stressed that it is vitally important to read every day with a pen or highlighter in hand. Studying other writing will improve your own.

Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home by Susan Pohlman is about a rough time in her own life and family when they took a year away from the chaos of Los Angeles to reconnect to themselves and each other.

Learn more about Susan Pohlman her classes and other services for writers here

Desert Foothills Library, Cave Creek, Arizona.

Desert Foothills Library, Cave Creek, Arizona.

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker: Bill McCune

Bill McCune was the guest speaker at Phoenix Writers Club on February 15.*

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Bill McCune came to Arizona in 1951 as a child. He has since served in the state legislature and produced over 80 television documentaries on Arizona issues and history. He was the political editor at Channel 8 for three years.

He calls himself a voracious reader. One of his writing heroes is Carl Sandburg.

McCune says writers have to make words touch and move the reader. They must have a great imagination and have a story worth telling. He believes the easiest thing to write is pure fiction: Just start writing.

Don’t think too much about the first draft. You can do the “spit and polish” later during rewriting.

Eventually you have to stop writing and give it a final “it’s done.”

* Phoenix Writers Club meets the third Saturday of every month at the Bluewater Grill on East Camelback Road in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting is a luncheon and features a different speaker each month. Visit Phoenix Writers Club to learn more.