Tag Archives: author

A Writer’s Guide to Managing COVID-19

At Whale Tail, the dogwoods tremble with nascent blooms on the cusp of unfurling. For me, especially now, in the face of coronavirus news that has gone from sobering to frightening, these trees symbolize hope and faith. Even as the Black Plague devastated Europe in the 14th century, the “whipple-trees” (as dogwoods were known back then) continued to bloom, reminding us that there is a greater power at work in the world.

As we struggle to cope with what this pandemic means for our daily lives and future, it’s more important than ever that we writers dive deep into our souls and pull out insights that can help ourselves and others cope and heal.

1.  Keep writing! We are so fortunate that the nature of our work – which requires its own form of self-isolation – means we can do it without worrying about making others sick. In fact, you could argue that it is nothing less than our job as writers to do our very best to lift each other up. And we don’t need computers. A pen and paper are just fine.

2. Send your words out into the world. There are so many ways to do this. There are countless markets advertised through the N.C. Writer’s Network, Submittable and Freedom with Writing (three of my favorite sources) seeking your work right now. And they need your words more than ever. Even if you don’t formally submit, you can still update your blog, text a poem, or mail a letter to a friend, just as I did today.

3. Read, read, read. I’m currently reading (and re-reading!) my favorite essays from America’s Best Essays series and online essays posted through Memoir Monday). I’m also savoring poetry – Jane Kenyon, Mary Oliver and the lighter work of Billy Collins are currently helping me cope. Reading is sustenance, every bit as powerful as food and water.

4. Stay connected with each other. Being solitary by nature, we writers naturally limit social events, but this crisis makes our few gatherings all the more precious. I have a number of traditional workshops listed on my Events page that are on hold right now, out of necessity. But this doesn’t mean we can’t convene through phone, postal mail, email and other online connections such as social media. By the way, I’m investigating the possibility of offering online classes in the future. As a student, I’m a big fan of these classes myself, so it makes sense to explore this option.

5. Try this writing prompt. Having trouble finding something to write about? Choose the smallest thing in your life that brings you joy right now. Is it the ladybug you saw this morning climbing up the deck chair? Is it last summer’s Gerbera daisies that somehow survived the winter and are now emerging from the pot? Maybe it’s the sight of your dog sunning himself on the porch…. in short, write about whatever it is that makes you happy right now! You might have more blessings than you know. 🙂

Share Your Writing with the World!

cup-3488805_1280Submission is an exciting step in a writer’s life, and for some of us, it can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! If one of your writing resolutions for 2020 is to delve into the exciting waters of submission, why not get an early start? Join us on Saturday, January 4, 2020 from 9:30 – Noon at the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts, Inc., 1817 Central Avenue, #302, in Charlotte to learn how simple (and fun) writing for publication can be!

Bring a polished piece of original work (poetry, short fiction, or nonfiction) and leave with all the tools you need to submit your writing and become a published author. You may even win a prize along the way. We’ll tackle market research for journals, newspapers, magazines and contests, submission systems, cover letters and short biographies.

Register here: https://www.charlottelit.org/event/submissions-and-contests/

I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year! I look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Interview by Creativity Expert Michele Berger

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by new friend, creativity muse, and fellow writer Michele Berger on her blog, The Practice of Creativity. Her thought-provoking questions inspired me to think more deeply about the journey of writing. And her generous praise (although undeserved!) reinforced yet another joy of the writing life—the wonderful people you meet along the way.

I just hope she takes me up on my offer to make her crepes one day! For more, read For the Love of Crepes and Crime.

This week will be a busy but good one. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up early with a panel discussion on website creation at the N.C. Writers’ Network Fall Conference and on Thursday, I’ll speak to the High Country Writers at their monthly meeting.

Somehow, I hope to sneak in two more indulgences: Mystery and Manners, a book of essays by Flannery and the latest Southern Living, which features one of the best collections of Thanksgiving recipes I’ve ever seen. Food and books, what could be better than that?

Here’s to the weekend; hope yours is a good one!

Naked and Hungry Hits the Road in 2012!

Thanks to the support of fans like you, Naked and Hungry had a great year in 2011, with invitations to speak at two bookstores, three Rotary clubs, Spa at Bell House, Coffee and Crepes, The State of Things, and the crowning event, being the guest of the Happy Bookers Club at the Asheboro Library last month.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve got an exciting line-up for Spring 2012, as Naked and Hungry hits the road again, with stops in Pittsboro, Colfax, Asheboro, and Cary.

If any of these events are near you, I hope that you’ll find the time to attend. As always, I’ll be reading from the book, discussing the joys of fiction….and giving away a crepe pan from Williams-Sonoma!

The highlights are listed below, but there is much more to come (including area bookstores), so please stay tuned to the Events Calendar throughout 2012. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. – Chapel Ridge Book Club, Chapel Ridge Community Center, Pittsboro, NC

Tuesday, February 21  at 7 p.m – River Landing Retirement Community, Colfax, N.C.

Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m.- Friends of the Library Adult Program, Asheboro Public Library at 7.p.m.

Wednesday, March 28  at 7 p.m – Glenaire Retirement Community, Cary, N.C.

Hope to see you soon!