rita ackerman

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Monthly Archives: April 2015


On-Line Writing Classes

I love going to writing workshops, seminars, and discussions. I love being around writers and I always learn something. I always take a lot of notes and pictures and pick up every handout, and card or bookmark I can find. Since I started this blog I’ve been especially determined to gather all I can.

The problem is I don’t go back to those notes and handouts. I get all inspired and anxious to write but it doesn’t last through my day-to-day life. Another big problem, for me, is that I write articles on Old West history. Although some of the information I learn can be applied to all writing the inspiration tends more towards fiction.

I like to write fiction. One of my dreams is to write a cozy mystery, or a ghost story, or . . . well, you get the idea. Through my writing group I start a lot of stories but I seldom follow through with them. They are sitting on a shelf or a few have even made it into the computer.

When I won an on-line writing class at a recent all-day seminar I wasn’t sure I’d take advantage of it. I’m so glad I did.

The class I won was through Laurie Schnebly Campbell. She has a variety of classes which build on each other. Each workshop is a series of email lectures including homework assignments. Classmates may also chat with each other. desert rose 030

Some of her classes are through WriterUniv.Com and others through other such organizations but they can all be reached through her site at Laurie Schnebly Campbell.

I signed up for “Plotting via Motivation” thinking I would start on that ghost story novel.

What an amazing experience. Because I was working every day and had those assignments to turn in by the end of the three weeks I had pages and pages of information ready to start writing. I knew all my characters and why they were doing what they were doing.

The notes and information didn’t disappear into my file drawer. I printed out the lectures and assignments and took them everywhere and worked on my story every day. I loved it. I learned so much because I was applying the information and Laurie’s great comments directly to my own work.

Well, I couldn’t stop there. I signed up for the next class, “Master Class: From Plot to Finish” and ended up with a scene by scene “outline” of the novel. It’s all very basic and I’m sure things will change as I get into the actual writing but I’ve never gotten this far with all my fits and starts.

I’ve done National Novel Writer’s Month and have 50,000 words written for a number of books but I never went back to them. I’ve taken creative writing classes and attended many workshops. Nothing has gotten me going like this.

I had no idea this would be so beneficial. A special thanks to Laurie for introducing me to this mode of learning/writing. I have another one of her classes on my to-do list.

I know there are other classes out there so if you have taken an on-line class that was especially helpful please spread the word through a comment below. Then go check out Laurie’s classes. If you haven’t taken one before you will be so glad you did.





I’m lucky enough to live near a wonderful little used book store: Dog-Eared Pages. The owners Tom and Melanie go out of their way to

help readers find books and promote local authors.Tom and Anna Questerley

Melanie also writes under the name Anna Questerly. Her latest book, Pangea, is a utopian fantasy that

will make you wish you lived there.





Saturday was their Authorpalooza with twelve local authors displaying their books and fun door prizes offered by each one. Here’s a bit about each of those authors so you can go check out their books yourself.

Leslie Jones     Leslie Jones writes military romantic suspense. Night Hush is her debut novel and I’m sure we will be seeing many more.


Lizzy Ford


Lizzy Ford has over forty books to her name.

She writes dark, contemporary and teen romance.

Her book about time travel and the West caught my eye.

I also like her blog name:    http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/




Alan Black  Alan Black is a prolific multi-genre author. His books include science fiction, historical, Christian and young adult.

Tim Gallen Tim Gallen is another new author with an intriguing fantasy novella, Niscene’s Creed.

T. L. Smith      Science fiction author, T. L. Smith, spent time in the military and uses that experience to add life to her writing.

Tray Goodman Tray Goodman is a creative director at Creative Minds Media, LLC. His book Crushing Your Box is a “modern guide to finding your creative positive energy source.” He will be giving a presentation this Thursday, April 23, in Phoenix, Arizona. You can learn more at his website.

Michele Venne Michele Venne is another multi-genre author. Her books include poetry, romantic suspense and historical fiction. I didn’t get a picture of the framed photo/poem I won as a door prize. It will find a special place in my home soon.

Les Brierfield Les Brierfield and E. C. Brierfield are a writing couple. I missed E. C. but you can learn more about him here.

Kris Tualla and Friend      Kris Tualla is an energetic historical romance writer who’s slogan is “Norway is the NEW Scotland.” Kris and “friend” are proving that not all hunks wear kilts. She will be making my black fan famous on the cover of her newest novel soon.

V. S. Nelson V. S. Nelson writes paranormal romance and more. Intrigued by Native American culture and mythology she weaves intriguing stories. I was interested to see a list of writings on other subjects on her web site.

Lynn Rush Lynn Rush is a new adult author who also writes under the name Reese Monroe. I also won her door prize, a little safe full of goodies (her little friend Alastair is sitting on top of it in the photo.) Now I’m going to read her book Frostbite to find out what the connection is to the safe.

Local authors are wonderful people and so fun to spend time with. I always learn new things and am amazed at all the talent in our state. Wherever you live take the time to find the local authors and give them a pat on the back for sticking to their dreams.