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NYC area writers…free workshops!

3 Feb

The writing workshop mecca, Gotham, is hosting free writing workshops THIS weekend (and a few others) in NYC!!!

For those interested take a peek at what’s happening in town:

Sunday, Feb 5 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Memoir Writing class
Instructor: Kelly Caldwell
Sunday, Feb 12 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Humor Writing class
Instructor: Sara Barron
Sunday, Mar 4 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Article Writing class
Instructor: Jennifer Armstrong
Sunday, Mar 18 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Creative Writing 101 class
Instructor: John Oliver Hodges
Sunday, Apr 1 
6:00PM – 7:00PM
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
Free Poetry Writing class
Instructor: Kate Angus
Sunday, Apr 15 
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Housing Works Bookstore
126 Crosby Street
Free Screenwriting class
Instructor: Rory Haines

For those who haven’t visited, McNally Jackson it is a great indie bookstore right in the heart of NoLita. I met the owner once and she’s a very nice book lover whose family owns a chain of stores in Canada of the same name. If you love bookstores where the staff are knowledgeable and can lead you in the direction of the perfect book for you, then this should be your go-to book joint. The atmosphere is great and if they haven’t updated the decor then you’ll see an entire cafe filled with real books turned into light fixtures, walls, etc….it’s amazing! Such a great  idea. I’ve not yet visited Housing Works Bookstore, but it looks like that’s my next pit stop in the city because if it’s Gotham-worthy…it must be great!

Have a fabulous weekend!




Doctors to the Rescue!

1 Feb

Thanks to my daily NaNoWriMo newsletter I learned today that there are Book Doctors to the rescue for those in need of some assistance in getting their book published. Currently, the Book Doctors are running a WriMo-specific Pitchapalooza Contest where any WriMo participant can submit a 200 word pitch to be in the running to win an introduction to an agent or publisher that suits his/her novel. Another “fan favorite” contestant will win a free 1-hour consultation with the Docs worth $250. Not too shabby!

Here’s the low-down:

You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The 25 random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!  Link

This duo of Book Docs also advertises a “free 20-minute consultation (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published [their book]. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.” Not a bad trade-off! Two types of advise rolled into one.

It’s often said that writers are their worst editors because you are so engrossed in your own work that you can’t see the mistakes (sometimes glaring) that sit on the page in front of you. So, get a second set of eyes to take a look at your pitch, your idea, your novel and call the Book Doctors. They may be just what your novel ordered! 

Happy Writing!

Lack of Motivation

30 Jan

Sometimes, it’s hard to make the time to sit down and write. Period.
I’ve had teachers say that you make time for something you love and that is the pure truth. I commend professional writers who are only at the mercy of their own will power. Apparently, my will power went out the window the moment I decided to give myself some a day or two off from blogging at the holidays. Well, those few days turned into weeks and now I need to get back to it.
So, here’s what I’m going to try to work on this coming year to make sure I’m meeting my dedication to this blog and my writing projects:

1) Find a cool topic twice per week to post here on the blog
2) Take a writing class (got a Gotham 1-day intensive for my b-day, just need to use it!)
3) Use my new digital recorder to record ideas and stories lines I come up with while commuting everyday to work.

If I can keep these 3 things up, then I think I’ll be setting myself up to getting the ball rolling this year on my creative writing. It’s a resolution with a plan so according to all the New Year’s Resolution articles, it has about a 120% chance of working. Ok, I just made that up, but let’s hope it’s at least pushing 90% so I have a chance 🙂

What are your NY Resolutions? Do any of them have anything to do with your writing?


English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

Image via Wikipedia


Epic Journeys

27 Oct

Epic journeys have become legendary thanks to those who penned the experience. Dante wrote of the epic journey through heaven, hell and purgatory (“Divine Comedy”). Jack Kerouac wrote of his epic journey across the United States (“On The Road”). Even if your epic journey consists of you epic feat of successfully dragging 3 screaming, crying children to the supermarket, then the toy store to quell their tantrums, it’s yours to express in writing.

The reason I’m approaching the subject of epic journeys is because I will be heading on a not so “epic” as it will be “entertaining” journey across the country to my old stomping grounds of San Diego, CA. It’s been a while and I suppose the epic journey will consist more of enjoying my time there, remembering with fondness the time I lived there and forcing myself to get back on the plane to my reality on another coast…but a girl can and will dream of warmer surroundings.

Fall / autumn / aka the seductive neighbor of winter is duly upon us north-easterners. Over the past few days the temps went from open-toe shoe weather to “where’re my wool socks!” weather. Digging for socks in the dark at 7am isn’t my idea of fun and it’s just a chilly reminder colder weather is imminent…

ANYWAY, this seasonally-induced nostalgia for all things warm and snuggly came at the perfect time for in less than one week I will be returning to lovely San Diego, CA where, as of today’s reports, is a perfect 70*F/21*C and sunny…thank the Lord! So, in haste, I make my way on a jet plane to embark on a sunny, perfectly warm journey to my old stomping grounds.

Now, this journey is more of a friendly vacation away with some friends who happen to be relocating there and a fun reuniting with friends still living in San Diego (not exactly the “Divine Comedy” type journey), but still epic in the sense that it’s been over 3 years since I’ve been back and there are a lot of faces and places that have changed and that I can’t wait to reconnect with. Inevitably, there will be stories and misadventures along the way that will inspire some rant or that, so stay tuned & happy writing!!

to make you feel my love…

26 Aug

one of my favorite songs, make you feel my love, by the amazing Adele…they aren’t her lyrics, but she sings them perfectly. her lyrics are also inspirational and great to look at and maybe derive a story from. heartache has happened to each of us in one way or another and pulling from that experience, rummaging through the highs and lows of that emotion can help inspire not only beautiful ballads like this one, but whole stories, poems and more…happy remembering & writing!

have a great weekend and fellow northeasterners good luck bracing & riding our hurricane irene!

Comic Relief

23 Aug

Today’s inspiration: Flight of the Conchords

Hilarious lyrics can’t be easy to conjure up. Listen and learn as New Zealand’s greatest try to seduce the ladies…oh how I love funny men 🙂

News: Brick Wall

23 Aug

Sometimes a bit of news makes its way into your life that you wish you could erase from memory or reality as soon as you hear it. Throw it away. Act as though it hasn’t happened. You just want to never have to deal with the reality of that situation, but you know now and you can’t escape. You can’t un-hear or unread or un-know it willingly … as much as you might try.

Today’s writing journey: Take a moment and reflect on a piece of news you/your character has heard that they wish they could un-hear or un-know. What was your initial reaction? How did they cope long-term with the reality of the news? When did the bit of news become a reality you ultimately faced? Were they successful in ignoring the bad news?

Exploring your reaction or your character’s reaction to bad news can lead to a better understanding of the motives that drive us all in our relationships and life. As an individual, we can better understand sometimes the hidden, dormant feelings we may have that overcome us at times of bad news. As a writer exploring your characters this is a great exercise to elaborate on character sketches. Dig deeply into your character’s motives and hash out some of the lesser explored emotions they may have yet to face in the plot of your story.

Wishing you happy writing & happy living…

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