Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monster Memories: Why Bad Memories Can Be Good for You

We are so happy to have an old friend, Steve Harvey, author of a well-written new memoir, visit Hayesville on Saturday afternoon, March 28, to chat with us about his book and his writing. We will gather at our new home for writers in Clay County, Joe's Coffee House and Trading Post at 82 Main Street, at 4:30 p.m. where in a casual setting, we will drink coffee or tea, and listen to this learned man talk about writing on the subject of his mother's suicide. 

This is the title of Steve's talk.
 Monster Memories:  Why Bad Memories Can Be Good for You.

"There is a reason why we can’t let go of our memories and they can’t let go of us. It is not just that they are monstrous, haunting, and disturbing events from our past. They are also part of us. Memories, especially bad ones, can be clues to who we really are and pondering them can help us sharpen our understanding of the meaning and purposes of our lives."

He will read passages from his new memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, and lead a discussion on why memories, even bad ones, are our friends.

Read about Steve's book

North Georgia Author Dr. Steven Harvey will Speak in Hayesville

Saturday, March 28, 4:30 p.m. Joe’s Coffee House and Trading Post, in Hayesville, NC will host Dr. Steven Harvey, author, retired from Young Harris College, who will talk about his new memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, a memoir about coming to terms with the suicide of his mother when he was a young boy. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The book was published by Ovenbird Books as part of the “Judith Kitchen Select” series. A section of the memoir appeared in The Best American Essays 2013 selected by Cheryl Strayed. He is also the author of three books of personal essays. A Geometry of Lilies, Lost in Translation, and Bound for Shady Grove and edited an anthology of essays written by men on middle age called In a Dark Wood.

He is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, a member of the nonfiction faculty in the Ashland University MFA program in creative writing, and a senior editor for River Teeth magazine. He is the creator of The Humble Essayist, a website designed to promote literary nonfiction.

He lives in the north Georgia mountains. You can learn more about Steve and his work at his web site: www.steven-harvey-author.com .

This program is sponsored by Writers Circle around the Table. Contact Glenda Beall, 828-389-4441 for more information. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Anne R. Allen on how to sell your books

If you haven't looked at the blog list on my sidebar, I suggest you read Anne R. Allen's post today.
Her advice on selling books is the best I've seen lately. She separates the fiction from the nonfiction tips and there is a reason to do so.
Anne says that slow-blogging for fiction writers, once a week, is fine, but she believes writers of nonfiction should post twice a week.
After you read her blog, come back and let me know what you think is the best way to sell books in today's world.

Friday, March 13, 2015

New date for Michael Diebert's poetry workshop in July

Please make note that the Michael Diebert poetry workshop has been re-scheduled for Saturday, July 25. 10- 1:00 p.m.

See the Schedule page on this site for more details.

Michael is Poetry Editor for the Chattahoochee Review. 

NC Poet Laureate appointed recently - Shelby Stephenson

A new North Carolina Poet Laureate was appointed recently; Shelby Stephenson who has been writing poetry for many decades.

The News Observer paints a detailed picture of his life and includes videos with Stephenson reading his poetry. I like that this man came from the earth, a farm boy who knew about things that I grew up knowing. I feel that I can relate to his words, images and his message. Like Ted Koozer who was Poet Laureate of the United States, he speaks to all of us. 

Click on this link.  to learn more about Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Our fragile writer's ego

One of my favorite writers is Dana Wildsmith and I subscribe to her blog because all of her posts are extremely interesting to me as a writer.
I want to share this one because it hits on the universal reaction we have when we think our writing is threatened in any way by another writer.
In this case, Dana's friend is afraid someone has "written her book" which is in progress.
Click on this link to read Dana's post.  www.danawildsmith.com/blog/march-04th-2015
Dana will teach at Writers Circle studio this summer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wisdom. Is it wasted on the young?

The U.S. Postal Service announced yesterday that the late Maya Angelou will be honored on a “forever” postage stamp. The design and release date is yet to be announced. Angelou passed away last year at age eighty-six. (Los Angeles Times)   

I liked Maya Angelou for her sage wisdom which Oprah was fond of sharing with her audience. I appreciate learning from older people the important aspects of life that many refuse to hear and have to experience for themselves. I like all of the sayings that are now known as Maya's quotes and we find them online.The first one in the list below is my favorite.

 "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."- Interview for Beautifully Said Magazine (2012)

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."- Excerpted from Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

 "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."- Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

 "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."- Interview with Oprah for Angelou's 70th birthday (2000)

 "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.- The Art of Fiction No. 119, the Paris Review

 "Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."

In a world where many of our youth or young people think they know all there is to know, it would be good for them to read some of Maya's truths about what she has learned in her life. Experience is a wonderful thing to share -- but it is often hard to find anyone who will listen.

Read more here. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

How to be a Successful Author

What makes a successful author?                 

Why do some writers become successful authors and some do not? What is the secret? How do we learn it?
  1. Successful authors set themselves a personal mission. They feel a deep need to share their thoughts, their story, with the world.
  2. Successful authors develop an attitude of persistence.  They do not let setbacks or rejection stop them. Persistence is absolutely necessary for one to be successful as a writer.  
  3. Successful authors recognize that education about their craft and the publishing industry is key to their success. They subscribe to writing magazines and e-zines. They attend writers' conferences and workshops, and take writing classes or join writers' critique groups.
  4. Successful authors invest in programs where they get professional feedback on their work. They understand that critique is helpful and they keep themselves open to the feedback they receive.
  5. Successful authors have an upbeat attitude. They don't offer a laundry list of excuses to explain why they are not successful. They don’t give up but learn to figure out a way around the obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

The writers I know who publish and continue to write manuscript after manuscript, sit in their chair day after day, pound on the keys over and over until the end, are the ones who turn out the work no matter what twists and turns life throws in their path. They approach writing like anyone with a job who goes to work each day.

Anyone can develop the characteristics of a successful author. It's up to the writer to do the work. One can choose to put his efforts into other endeavors and enjoy writing simply for the pleasure of it. That is perfectly acceptable. But, if a writer is driven to see his name in print or on a book cover, then he should start now to develop the traits of a successful author.

Two Top-Rated Writers' Conferences in Netwest Region in 2015

April 10-11 -- Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference in Blue Ridge Georgia, at the Blue Ridge Arts Center, 420 West Main Street, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 – (706)632-2144 

For 18 years the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference, founded by Carol Crawford, has brought to the north Georgia mountains some outstanding poets, writers, agents and publishers. This year author Patricia Sprinkle and essayist Amy Blackmarr will be there. I am a big fan of Blackmarr. The cost of this conference is well within the budget of most of us and within driving distance.

Blue Ridge, Georgia, a charming town with excellent restaurants and shopping is a perfect getaway to enjoy networking and meeting important people in the literary world while exploring the small mountain town. When we gather with like-minded people, talk to them and listen to them, we learn more than we ever thought we would.

I met Robert Brewer, editor and popular blogger for Writers’ Digest, at the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference a few years ago. I attended his sessions and liked what I heard. Later that year I sent him an essay that he posted on his blog. Later I sent him another essay about why I like to interview authors instead of writing reviews. He published that. You can imagine how many readers he has for his blogs. Robert came to Writers Circle and taught a class in the studio. Conferences are important to the career of any writer.

Visit the website http://www.blueridgewritersconference.com/ and download the registration form. Send in your fee before the end of March to ensure your discount.

North Carolina Writers’ Network Fall Conference, Double Tree Hotel in Asheville, NC. – November 20-22, 2015

Every few years NCWN holds its Fall Writers’ Conference in Asheville, the most accessible city for those of us who live in the far western part of North Carolina.

These conferences are important for those who are serious writers, who want to publish their work and for those who want to learn the craft. NCWN plans the program carefully with something for beginning and more experienced writers.

From Hayesville, where I live, I can drive to Asheville in two hours. I like to stay over at least one night and I find a more reasonable hotel that I can afford. Those who live closer drive over each day and have little cost for this fine conference.

I suggest you put these dates on your calendar now. Visit www.ncwriters.org

Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting Back to Basics with Paula Canup

 Paula Canup
writer, journalist and former English teacher, will present a workshop on
 Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10 - 12:00.
Fee: $25.00

This  class is for all writers of prose, beginners and more experienced, who want to submit polished work for consideration by agents, editors and publishers. We all make errors in grammar, punctuation and word usage, but especially in writing dialogue. Where do we place quotation marks? When should we use quotation marks, ellipses, dashes, and how often should we use exclamation points? So many questions I hear from students and errors I see in the work of many writers will be addressed in this class.

Paula Canup is a former middle school English teacher who has also worked as a tutor in English grammar. Later, as a high school history teacher, she assigned many papers, and her students knew they would be graded on spelling and grammar as well as content.
After retiring from teaching, Paula wrote articles for a regional magazine, Southern Distinction. She later wrote regular columns for two local newspapers, The Leader in Oconee County, GA, and, locally, The Sentinel.  She worked for a year as a staff writer for the Clay County Progress.

Paula still enjoys writing non-fiction and memoirs, though she currently focuses on painting as her means of artistic expression.  She and her husband moved to Hayesville, NC from Athens, GA, in 2008, and now live on the side of a mountain where they enjoy the natural beauty of “God’s Country.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

All We Need to Know about Publishing and Marketing from Tara Lynne

Today is February 4,  2015. 
I am in Asheville, NC in a comfortable motel that did  not spray Febreeze or any air freshener in my room. Thank you, Comfort Inn  Biltmore West Asheville.

This  afternoon, Carol Crawford, poet, writer, editor and director of the Blue Ridge Writers' Conference, joined me for a trip here to attend a workshop for writers on publishing and marketing by Tara Lynne Groth. Tara Lynne was scheduled to teach at Writers' Circle on Saturday, but we had to cancel for  lack of interest. I am so sorry you all missed this opportunity.

This young woman gave us three hours chock full of valuable information for anyone who wants to publish  -- traditionally or by  going the  self-publishing route. As we all know, writing a book, publishing a book, is only the beginning of being successful as a writer. Writers must educate themselves on how to get the word out to the public that a book is for sale and why the public should purchase it and read it. 
Tara Lynne Groth teaches about publishing and marketing in Asheville
 Tara Lynne knows her stuff. Although she told us she would send us the text on the slides, I found myself taking tons of  notes as she revealed more and more simple and necessary methods for publicizing writing.

Whether we write poetry or prose, the knowledge we need to successfully market ourselves and  our books was discussed in this workshop. I like that she explained ways to keep from spending too much time online, yet use our time efficiently when we are there. 
I enjoyed, so much, having time with my friend, Carol, to talk writing and catch up on what is new in our lives. I hope to do more things such as this with my friends this year. Want to join me on a writer trip?

Blue Ridge Writers' Conference, April 10-11, 2015

Paula Canup, writer, journalist and former English teacher, will present a workshop on Grammar at Writers Circle,  Saturday, March 7, 2015, 10 - 12:00.
Fee: $25.00  www.glendacouncilbeall.blogspot.com - Schedule page