Thursday, February 18, 2021

Chicago and Me in the Time of a Pandemic by Jack Gregus


Chicago and Me In the Time of a Pandemic
Jack Gregus
Art book with poetry, paintings, and photography
October, 2020, 175 pp
 
Buy on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08KRHYQPJ
Ebook, $9.99
Print, $14.95
 
About the Book
A work of poetry, paintings, short stories, and photographs made in the time of a pandemic whilst living in Chicago. It holds a light for the lonely. It asks you to think and feel. It wants to be a friend of your heart. Breathe in original passion and invigorating truth. You matter and so does knowledge. The days have been long with doubt and fear, rinse yourself with these written words and feel something more. Feel the independence of love and its many forms. What is presented is for pleasure and guided action so life may continue. A sensual creation awaits your gaze.
 
My Review
Gregus has put together a series of heartfelt, sometimes gut-wrenching queries in reflection of our times. I admit, there is some aspects of the work that I find disturbing, but just because I'm a little old Quaker grandma, I'm not going to decline to share the book. The author approached me for a potential review.
 
“Used patience lulls submission, Is Nobody capable of impossible truth?” he writes in between photos of fanned book pages and the quietude of a lit, peaceful living room with sofa.
 
“Of Slices” and “Of Remnants” show what’s there, and what’s left behind.
 
“I need new plans” and “Please God help me not overreact when things go array” are certainly pleas everyone experiences now more than ever. Gregus shares images of nature and man in poses of praise and repentance, essays with graphic language and adult situations common, I suppose, with the frustrated generation of today. It’s not a book for those looking for clean spiritually-themed stories or reflections.
 
“I need to challenge myself, I need to go past what I know,” he writes. A brutal but thought-provoking story of murder follows. “I have often thought very little about death,” the story concludes in his character Casey’s voice, “the hunger of a man to kill. The unwant to be killed.”
 
Chicago and Me is a collection of Gregus navigating his way through the confusing and frustrating current times, and sharing these observances and reflections through poetry, prose, and visual art. The book is adult-themed and contains profanity and graphic written material.
 
About the Author
When not creating art I tend to ease back and eat delish sustenance in my home of Chicago. I love to listen to music on extreme levels that I can feel the music pass from one ear to the other. I am a movie fan as well. The movies that really touch me are those which involve great feats of emotion. The reason that I write, take photographs, and paint is because the expression is everything. I really respect Basquiat and his constant promotion of the audience to think. Expression is universal and it can tell cliche stories or something more interesting. For me, it's the something more. I dig into euphoria when I can speak for the voiceless and include my faith.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Guest post Psychological History: Putting the Emotional Element Back Into History

 

Photo Credit: Polarity masks, published 7 July 2015: johnhain/Pixabay/ Pixabay License

Fans of my work know that since I began publishing historical fiction with The Specter in 2019, I’ve been talking about how my passion for history lies more in the social and psychological aspects of history than in the events. I wrote not long ago on my blog about what social history is and how I use it in my fiction. Now I’m tackling psychological history and how it plays a role in my fiction.

Social history is essentially putting the human element back into history. Psychological history is, then, putting the emotional element back into history. At first glance, making these distinctions might seem redundant. After all, just as history happens to humans, humans have emotions, so, therefore, emotions are always present in history, right?

Well, yes, but it’s more complicated than that, I think. Just as social history brings in the people that were traditionally left out (like, African Americans, and Native Americans), psychological history tells us how they felt about history --- their own and their ancestors. They react not only physically to what is happening around them (just as we do today) but also emotionally and mentally. History books often tell us what happened in great detail so we get a sense of being in that moment in time, and they also tell us who it happened to. But to complete the picture and really into the past, we have to know how those events made those people feel and how they reacted to them and how they changed their lives (and, by extension, ours).

It’s easy to see why history books can’t give us this. After all, we can’t really know for sure how people felt about what was going on around them, whether those feelings were about the after-effects of World War I, the stock market crash of 1929, or the first exploration of the moon in the 1960s. We can only guess by reading personal and fictional accounts.

I like to take things one step further and go beneath the surface, looking at the psychological reality of my characters as they live and breathe their time. I think it’s especially important that they explore their own past to reveal what’s under the iceberg. Only then, we can really get a sense of how they felt in their own time and find ourselves in their lives.

This is just what I do with the Waxwood Series, which is about not only the historical shifts that happen to the Alderdice family in the last years of the 19th century but also their more personal journey from blind convention to emotional growth and understanding. The protagonist, Vivian Alderdice, finds herself as a woman during turbulent times in America, discovering truths about her family and herself that she must face. It becomes a rough but satisfying personal journey for her.

My upcoming series works a little differently, as it’s a cozy historical mystery. But the past still leaves its mark on the protagonist, Adele Gossling. As a New Woman of the turn-of-the-century, she both embraces the freedoms that young women were beginning to enjoy at that time while still hesitating, caught in a virtual time warp when she moves from the big city to a small town.

You can read more about my upcoming series, the Paper Chase Mysteries, here.

And here’s a little more about Dandelions, the last book of my Waxwood Series, which came out in December 2020:

She had more in common with her nemesis than she wanted to believe…

For Vivian Alderdice, the 20th century begins with a new start. Now a working girl and progressive reformer like her friend, Nettie Grace, she has forsaken the Gilded Age opulence of Nob Hill for the humbler surroundings of Waxwood’s commercial district. Rather than whittle away her days with other wealthy young women in gossip, parties, and flirtations, she sells talcum powder and strawberry sodas to customers at Nettie’s Drugstore and helps the poor to read at the Waxwood Women’s Lending Library and Reading Room.

But sometimes the scars of the past leave bitterness behind …

Harland Stevens, the man who ruined her brother’s life two years before, appears like another specter in Vivian’s life and, in spite of herself, Vivian is compelled to help him escape from a hell of his own.

Purchase Dandelions at your favorite online bookstore here.

Interesting in knowing more about the series? You can check out this page.

Tam May started writing when she was fourteen, and writing became her voice. She loves history and wants readers to love it too, so she writes historical fiction that lives and breathes a world of the past. She fell in love with San Francisco and its rich history when she learned about the city’s resilience and rebirth after the 1906 earthquake and fire during a walking tour. She grew up in the United States and earned a B.A. and M.A. in English. She worked as an English college instructor, interesting a class of wary freshmen in Henry James’ fiction. She also worked as an EFL teacher, using literature to teach English to business professionals before she became a full-time writer. 

Her book Lessons From My Mother’s Life debuted at #1 on Amazon in the Historical Fiction Short Stories category. She’s also published a Gilded age family saga titled The Waxwood Series. Set in Northern California at the close of the 19th century, the series tells the story of the Alderdices, a wealthy San Francisco family crumbling amid revolutionary changes and shifting values in America’s Gilded Age. Tam’s current project delves into historical mystery fiction. The Paper Chase Mysteries is set in Northern California at the turn of the 20th century and features amateur sleuth and epistolary expert Adele Gossling, a young, progressive, and independent young woman whose talent for solving crimes comes into direct conflict with her new community, where people are apt to prefer the Victorian women over the new century’s New Woman. 

Tam lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area “home”. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature, watching classic films, cross-stitching, or cooking yummy vegetarian dishes.

For more information about Tam May and her work, check out her website at www.tammayauthor.com. You can also sign up for her newsletter, which offers glimpses into the nooks and crannies of history that aren't in the history books and subscriber-exclusive sneak peeks, giveaways, and polls. plus a free short story.

To connect with Tam May:

Website: https://tammayauthor.com/

Blog: https://tammayauthor.com/category/thedreambookblog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammayauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammayauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tammayauthor/

Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/tammayauthor/

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tam-May/e/B01N7BQZ9Y/

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tam-may

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Write Now Literary tour and giveaway Black White RED all Over

 

Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour for Black, White and RED All Over by Deeann D. Mathews. 

The book tour will run February 1-12, 2021.

Genre: Christian Mystery/Suspense

ISBN-13: 978-1735575209



Deeann D. Mathews is an author, musician, and fractal artist, from San Francisco, CA. She is the author of Black, White, and RED All Over, the first in a series of clean Christian mysteries, and also the author of Seasons Siblings' Timeshare Tiff, a fictional take on the famous fall weather of her hometown. She is also the creative director of Praising Pilgrims Music, a small publishing company of music and music-related materials based in San Francisco, California. Ms. Mathews is also actively creating fractal art and other creative works across a variety of disciplines on Peakd.com.




Ironwood Hamilton, new captain of police in Tinyville VA, is put at odds with his regional police colleagues when a new and confrontational Black newspaper hits them all with a demand for public release of records about police brutality in Lofton County. With the help of one loyal lieutenant and a relative with a famous name and suitably dangerous temperament, Captain Hamilton must gather the clues to a plan for rogue police action that will eventuate in blood and fire

 









“It used to be 'what's that black and white and read all over?' was a joke told about the newspaper, but every newspaper in the hands of racist reactionaries in the South has indeed been red all over – soaked with the blood of innocent Black people brutalized and slaughtered over lies in print that continue to this day.

 

“No more will we allow the wholesale placarding of racist tomes about ourselves and our children to pass for news. No more will we not have a voice to raise in challenge. No more shall we, the Black populations of Tinyville, Littleburg, Miniopolis, Smallwood, Shortport, Big Loft, and the rural countryside be passively painted as savages while the real savages sit comfortably in places of law, commerce, and politics. Be it known to all Virginia: those days are over! Hereby understand that the Lofton County Free Voice will roar back at the voices of racist reactionary news, beginning in Tinyville, then across Lofton County, then to the uttermost parts of Virginia!”

 

Captain Ironwood Hamilton and Lieutenant Patrick O'Reilly of Tinyville's two-man police force stood at the nearest public bulletin board nearest the police station, reading what they had been reading, over and over again, on their regular dawn walk through the town. 

 

The lieutenant was 25 years old, medium height and build, with bright red hair, ruddy skin, green eyes, and a shocking Southern drawl (unless you know the Scotch-Irish history of the southeastern United States). 

 

The captain was 45 years old, six feet tall, sinewy, with iron-gray eyes and hair to match. His features looked like something that those Southern artists who loved to carve Confederates out of marble would have adored – classic, strong features, handsome, calm, and resolute. The slight pinch in those features from the sudden headache the captain was experiencing would of course have been glossed over. 

 

“Wow,” said Lieutenant O'Reilly. “Have ever you read such bombast in all your life, Captain?”

 

Captain Ironwood Hamilton shook his head slowly, slowly because of the headache that was increasing every second. 

 

“It's only bombast if the Lofton County Free Voice can't do what it says. I rather think it can, or at least can make a gallant effort.”

 

Lieutenant O'Reilly's green eyes got wide.

 

“Captain, you're not serious! A Black newspaper? In Lofton County? They won't last a week!”

Captain Hamilton shook his head again and restrained his urge to rub his throbbing temples.

 

“It's not 1819, and these are not amateurs we are dealing with. Just from this first issue, I know they have a good chunk of money in hand, dedicated people, and good strategic and tactical sense.”

 



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                                                           AMAZON







Link to giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/96d196a635/













Monday, February 1, 2021

Three Ways to Create Believable Characters with Deeann Matthews

 Welcome mystery writer Deeann Mathews.

 How to Make Your Characters Believable
 
My tag line is no joke: I write non-fiction by means of fiction.
 
Readers tell me about their desperate searches to find fictional places that I have created on maps, and about their realizations that my latest novel could fit into the 19th, 20th, or 21st centuries equally well. 
 
Yet the real key to connecting to in a reader's mind is by connecting the reader to real people – characters who are believable, even though they are fictional.  There are three solid steps to achieving this character-building goal:
 
1. First get clear on your story, and that your story and the stories of those in your comfort zone are not the only real and important stories.
 
It is so easy nowadays to be isolated in our thinking except for the echo chamber of like-minded voices, and to substitute caricatures for those outside the echo chamber.  This is a terrible trap for a writer in an increasingly diversifying world of readers and competing authors.  The way to avoid the trap is to get clear on the strengths, limitations, and validity of your story while recognizing it is just the starting place of your character building.  Everyone isn't like you, and that is good: you will have a more successful writing career if you don't have always to write characters that read like you are interacting with yourself.
 
2. Immerse yourself in the stories of others from all walks of life, and in accounts of how people come together and behave in different situations.
 
Step 2 comes after step 1 because in order to do step 2 effectively, you must listen to the stories of the lives of others in the mindset of seeking understanding, not confirmation of your existing viewpoints.  It is not necessary that you agree with everything you hear and every choice that people make, but that you listen without bias so you learn the realities of of the lives, behaviors, and choices of all types of people. 
 
The most authentic way of learning a lot of true stories from real people is to find ways to introduce yourself to random people, invite them to tell their stories, and just listen.  An alternative way to find all kinds of real people doing and experiencing all kinds of real things in all kinds of real places is to go on to YouTube, read biographies and historical accounts, and to take in current events from a variety of news sources and commentaries with the mindset of listening to learn the different kinds of real people there are, how they act, how they behave, what they believe, who and what they love and hate, and why. 
 
Do deeper studies on people you feel are remarkable – good and bad – to find out what they believe, what they value, what they have experienced, things they or others around them might have said about a particular situation.  Find out what makes main characters in real life tick, and tick exactly they way they do in certain situations.  Research the lives of people with similar experiences, beliefs, and values to see if these real-life main characters are remarkable because of or in spite of those they are most similar to.
 
3. Write short stories placing real personalities you have learned about in a fictional situation, and also short stories placing fictional characters in a real situation you have learned about, for practice.
 
You know your starting place and how you would handle any situation X, but after applying yourself to the previous two steps, you will also sense that there are a variety of other ways real character Y and then fictional character Z could behave.  The key, as you learn, is to be writing every day about the people whose stories you learn – just a short story of your own to bounce real knowledge of real people through your imagination of both real and fictional events.  Over time, you will learn to create authentic characters based on this real knowledge for any situation you choose to create, authentic characters guided by the real personalities and experiences you have based them on.
 
AUTHOR
 Deeann D. Mathews is an author, musician, and fractal artist, from San Francisco, CA. She is the author of Black, White, and RED All Over, the first in a series of clean Christian mysteries, and also the author of Seasons Siblings' Timeshare Tiff, a fictional take on the famous fall weather of her hometown. She is also the creative director of Praising Pilgrims Music, a small publishing company of music and music-related materials based in San Francisco, California. Ms. Mathews is also actively creating fractal art and other creative works across a variety of disciplines on Peakd.com

Black, White, and RED All Over
Buy on  AMAZON
Kindle $2.99
Paper $20

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Irrational Fear Cure by Teri Smith Pickens

 


The Irrational Fear Cure (in Four Miraculous Steps)

Teri Smith-Pickens
Self-help/Motivational
 
Flying Enigma Press, January 5, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-0-9761596-0-5
$14.99 paper
Order your copy here

ABOUT THE BOOK

A needed prescription for our irrational fears

The Irrational Fear Cure is a radical yet visionary book that serves as a blueprint for achieving personal and societal well-being. It is a timely resource for a world living in the age of a global pandemic.

Author Teri Smith-Pickens, a mental health practitioner, interviewed more than 200 people to help them to better understand where their fears and anxieties come from. She shares these stories throughout the book, highlighting how many people are living in survival mode stemming from trauma in childhood, and as adults, who now use obsessive compulsive behaviors to fill voids they feel on the inside.

She outlines what happens to a mind already filled with irrational fears and chronic anxiety when it encounters the rational fear of a pandemic. By unmasking the truth behind these addictions, she gives a deeper understanding of the fears we all face and how to cure them. 

Teri makes it clear that it is not part of God’s plan for us to live in our childhood primal brains and remain in bondage to our fears. Instead, He wants us to put on our spiritual anchor and break free from all fears and anxiety. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Teri Smith-Pickens is an award-winning and best-selling author and speaker, in addition to her work as a mental health practitioner and coach. She has inspired and transformed many lives through her coaching, speaking and media appearances. In 2007, Teri had a supernatural revelation that changed the course of her life, giving her unerring courage to confront important, controversial mental health issues in children’s lives and the society at large, giving birth to her book, The Fear Cure in Four Miraculous Steps.

Author’s Website: www.thefearcure.com 
Author’s LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/teri-pickens-b9387a13/
Author’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/fushia18/ 
Author’s Twitter: www.twitter.com/TeriPickens 
Author’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/centerforeducationandhealing/
Author’s Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/teri_pickens/
Author’s YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCp1eKtZdi37ZfFDjZsK9drQ
 
BOOKING INFO: Nicole Ballengee, nicole@prbythebook.com

Author Q&A

The Irrational Fear Cure in Four Miraculous Steps

By Teri Smith-Pickens


  1. Your book is titled The Irrational Fear Cure in Four Miraculous Steps. With so many people suffering from various anxieties today, is it truly possible to cure our fears?


Absolutely! It is the same concept used in psychotherapy when a client has anxiety which is debilitating and disrupts their functioning. It is a signal of something they fear, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to change the person’s mindset to new and better thinking.


  1. You interviewed 200 people to demonstrate fears and anxiety for your book. What primary insight did you take away from talking with those people?


That we all suffer from different levels of anxiety, which is a signal of something feared, usually a threat to survival, which impacts our mental health. People refuse to acknowledge being mentally ill, or to admit to symptoms that are debilitating to their functioning.


  1. How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening peoples’ anxieties?


We ‘all’ live in Survival Mode, caused by childhood fears gone awry, which causes our thinking to be fear-based and irrational. Now, when you superimpose a rational event like (Covid 19) onto this mental state, it causes an exponentially increased level of anxiety.


  1. What is your number one piece of advice for people suffering from irrational fears?


Talk to someone about the negative thoughts in your head, otherwise you will continue to feed the fear and trigger the irrational parts of your brain which causes your decisions to be impulsive and not well thought out; when you talk to someone you name and arrest the fear so it stops growing and is less frightening.


  1. You make it clear in your book that most irrational fear stems from something that occurred in childhood. Do you have special advice for parents to help their children avoid internalizing a fear that will cause anxiety as an adult?


Absolutely, be vigilant & aggressively protect your young child from all fears until they have developed the ability to reason. Don’t trust their care to others during this primal period. Avoid unsupervised or inadvertent exposure to stuff their minds can’t process, and which ends up in their “implicit” memory, setting their Fight/Flight/Freeze response on autopilot, where it later becomes irrational.


  1. Your book also discusses the importance of three-fold development for well-being – the body, mind and spirit, with the spirit being the most important factor. Why do you think so many people today leave out the spiritual aspect, and what impact does that have?


They are missing their Spiritual anchor which anchors them to something bigger than them. In childhood our anchor is our parents/guardians which later gives way to a belief in God, but when fear is experienced before reasoning comes, it shuts off trust and we go to Survival Mode by depending only on ourselves. This is the psychological mask we wear to cover our authentic self which suffered pain/hurt. If we couldn’t trust our parent/guardians to protect us from our fears, we are not going to trust a God we can’t see.


  1. Does someone have to follow a spiritual life / faith life to benefit from your book?


This is a tough question because the answer to getting rid of Fear is Faith, which is spiritual. They can use the tools to lessen their fears without God, for example, using psychotherapy, but they will not have “the cure”; they will simply continue exchanging one obsessive compulsive behavior for another, to feel like they can stay in their own skin. Only Faith gives the permanent anchor, which is Spiritual.


  1. Ultimately, what do you hope readers take away from your book?


As a species, we must understand the imperative of protecting children from their        fears to avoid living in fear-based Survival Mode, and to decrease the annual incidence of suicide for those who just can’t negotiate this “dark night of the soul”.


  1. How and where can readers purchase The Irrational Fear Cure?


The book is available at regular bookstores like, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, etc. and on my website, www.thefearcure.com


  1. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the book?


Don’t use human reasoning when reading this book, look to your own symptoms that will tell you that something is wrong – look at what you have tried so far and see if it worked.


My Review

Smith-Pickens revitalizes her 2009 book with updates for a new decade. With new statistics and polls and university studies to back her up, the author shares the definitions of fear, its causes and our reactions, and steps to reclaim our lives from Survival Mode.

I began reading this manuscript after a church service in which our pastor shared a message of hope, hope for tomorrow, and why Christians have an advantage of claiming and living in hope. The juxtaposition of reading that most people experience times of Survival Mode, described as a “leprosy of the mind,” is intriguing. Smith-Pickens defines real fears and imaginary, or irrational, fears, but that our brains still treat them the same way, causing physical reactions with the release of chemicals or muscle preparation, readying us to survive the sense of threat.

In twelve chapters, the author shares methods for dealing with our fears, stemming often from childhood, or from current events. People of faith, she explains, shouldn’t put our hopes and expectations of dealing with our fears in inanimate objects, for that is submitting to idolatry. Case in point: trusting masks to prevent being infected with Covid-19. Spending time in God’s Word is one way to stop building up our irrational fears. Fears developed in childhood often manifest in other diagnosed conditions. Putting our trust in the right place can be a way to combat these behaviors.

Filled with current stories of events to illustrate her points, Smith-Pickens offers readers simple practices to guide us out of existing in Survival Mode to healing and living an authentic life that resists isolation, poor health, and broken relationships. A few general resources and a more specific reference lists are included.



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Write Now Literary Tour with Jess Lederman and Hearts Set Free

 


Write Now Literary is pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour and giveaway for Hearts Set Free by Jess Lederman. The book tour will run January 18-29, 2021.
 

Book Title: Hearts Set Free

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Historical/Christian

 

ISBN-10 : 1098511093

ISBN-13 : 978-1098511098





A graduate with a degree in music from Columbia University, Jess Lederman is an author of Christian-themed fiction who lives with his wife and two young sons in the Pacific Northwest.

He is currently at work on a novel that begins in the last days of the Wild West and ends in Las Vegas in 1955. When Jess is not writing or chasing his young sons around, he can usually be found at the piano playing Chopin nocturnes for his wife, Ling.















Seven Lives Inexorably Intertwined. Over Eighty-Six Years. That Will Bring a Revelation Beyond What Any of Them Could Imagine.

 

The Alaska Territory, 1925. When Yura Noongwook’s husband abandons her and her thirteen-year-old son, she vows to win him back and destroy the woman who stole his heart. They embark on an epic cross-country quest that leads them to the Nevada desert, where they meet a man who has turned into the last thing anyone expected him to become …

 

David Gold. Reno, 1930. A Bible-school dropout known as the Pummelin’ Preacher. His boxing career is fading, just like his faith. But then a former call girl shows up, tells him about the rag-tag congregation she’s part of; how their pastor was murdered. And that the Spirit is moving and David’s destiny is to lead their tiny flock.

 

Las Vegas, 2011. Cable TV star Tim Faber is an atheist bent on proving God is only alive in people’s imaginations. But Joan Reed, his producer, is trying to recapture the faith of her youth. And both of them are driven to unravel a mystery surrounding the Big Bang theory, never dreaming the answer will forever change their lives.

 

To do that, they have to meet with the now 99-year-old Luke Noongwook and David Gold’s grandson, Daniel.

 

The veil is being pulled back, but none of them are prepared for what they’ll find on the other 

side.


Read my review here.


Join Jess's Mailing List 

 

Join the authors mailing list to be entered into a drawing

https://www.jesslederman.com/special-offers




Facebook               Website

 

Amazon




Chapter One

Luke and Yura: The Alaska Territory, 1925

 

My father deserted my mother and me when I was thirteen years

old. He had become famous that winter on the Great Race of Mercy, one

of the Athabascan mushers who brought diphtheria serum to Nome

and saved ten thousand lives. He’d done the impossible, a blind run in

the howling darkness, crossing the open ice of the Norton Sound, the

temperature falling to sixty below, the sun a distant dream. He was our

hero, our North Star.

 

And then he was gone.

 

He left us, of course, for a woman. A blizzard had hit him at

Unalakleet, a storm so powerful that it travelled four thousand miles,

till at last it reached New York and froze the Hudson River. The woman

lived in just that far-away land, on the wild island of Manhattan, and

her name was Kathleen Byrne. The Hearst papers had been giving the

Great Race front-page headlines; Kathleen was a reporter, lean and

hungry, she’d go to the ends of the earth for a good story, and one day

she got her chance.

 

No one in my hometown of Nenana had seen anything like her,

a slender redhead with emerald eyes, smoking Lucky Strikes and

exhaling expertly through her nostrils, this coolly confident young

woman with fiery hair.

 

She wanted details that would bring the story to life, so Father

brought her to our home to show off his sled dogs. At least, the ones

who’d survived, for three he had raised since they were pups had died

on the trail. Somewhere in the madness of that journey he’d forgotten

to cover their groins with rabbit skins, and they’d perished of frostbite

in the unfathomable cold.

 

I gaped at her stupidly.

 

“Excuse my son,” said my mother. “He has no manners.”



 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sign up for a free monthly craft summit from WWA

 

Serving all writers since 1948


WWA...Announcement
What You need to Know from the Wisconsin Writers Association


Have a plot knot you just can't untie? Does your protagonist feel more like a caricature than a character? 

Yeah, writing is hard, but you no longer have to face these challenges alone!

The Wisconsin Writers Association is pleased to announce its 

Craft Solutions Summit with Ryan R. Campbell! This monthly event offers participants the opportunity to troubleshoot their story woes with other writers in our community--with help from the WWA Craft Development Chair and International Book Awards finalist, Ryan (R.R.) Campbell.

How does it work?

The first five people to sign up for the summit each month will be invited to join the call and 1) share one writerly bit of pride, 2) one writing-related woe they're facing, and 3) their goal for the next month.

We'll then, as a group, talk out each other's challenges in order to encourage, inspire, and urge each other back to the page with solutions at the tips of our fingers!

Sounds great, but what if I'm not among the first five to sign up?

Never fear! If you're not among the first five to sign up for the summit, you can still watch the discussion live with other WWA members. During the event, you'll be able to learn from others while sharing your own insight via the Zoom text chat. 

And then, hey: you can try to sign up again next month!

When and where will these be held?

The Craft Solutions Summit with Ryan R. Campbell will be held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month from 7 - 8:15 p.m.

Register

Join us on February 4th at 7PM for an Open Mic and Craft Chat with Thomas Wayne King and Debbi King. Tom and Debbi will host the evening and present a short craft talk called Your GPS for Writing Success: Polishing Your Work. 

Want to read at the open mic? Email Julia at jnusbaum11@gmail.com. We have 10 spots open. First come first serve. 

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