Here’s a new blog dedicated to Women Who Write!
Remember when the “Style” and “Life” sections of the newspaper were known as the Women’s Pages? Whether you find this idea bizarre, or are old enough to recall it vividly, if you are interested in womens writing, you are welcome here.
Founded by the members of the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group, The Women’s Pages publishes content of interest to women writers in all genres. Our aim is to provide support and share resources for the Writing Life, and help women’s voices flourish and grow.
If you’d like to become a posting member, leave a comment below.
After joining the blog, please post an introduction so we get to know your wonderful self.
Today, from “Writer Unboxed,” I wanted to share a humorous article on punctuation. Besides the chuckle, though, I enjoyed the author’s style and treatment of what could otherwise be seen as a boring subject. I know the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group has people witty enough to do the same thing!
Two posts in one day – wow! Hi folks, as some of you know, last week I was honored to make the Top 10 One-Liners for INDIETRIBE. Today, my book, “Believing In Horses,” made the top 10 list in books. We writers have to celebrate every little success, I think. -Valerie
Dear Women’s Pages Readers,
I’m sending along the attached link because it is one of the simplest explanations I’ve seen of a publication process. Note I don’t say “the” publication process, because I know there are many varied routes. However, this question has come up several times in the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group, so I thought I would share it here for reference.
This was my first visit to the Larsen Pomada Literary Agency webiste, which includes great information for writers. Happy writing, all.
I always read my blog spam, because it’s so funny. Most of it is generated by computer translator, and sent into cyberspace hoping we’ll buy viagra, shoes or web whatsis. Here’s a sample of some of the nonsense I got today.
There’s the “pretend-to-be-a-comment” but obviously not genre:
Some write in decent English, praising me to the skies.
Snoreaid said: “Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is excellent, let alone the content!”
Gee, thanks, Snore Aid! But that’s how to write good spam — let alone the content!
I liked this one because of the translator effect: “Hello! I emphatically would comparable to give a enormous thumbs positive for the fantastic facts you have here proceeding this send. I will be present next back to your blog for additional soon.”
I now want to pepper my daily conversations with “enormous thumbs positive!” and wave goodbye cheerily and shout: “I will be present next back for additional soon!”
Then there’s the classic underkill: “you are very consistent in your words, and this makes your site very reliable.
lista de email, indeed!
I love the ones that seem to be real comments if you just skim them. They’re clever — adversarial, get my attention, then make me laugh!
I received these responses to a post about David Petraeus and the recent scandal. (click to read it)
This one’s from someone selling online attorney services but with a suspiciously strange email link:
“Would it help if we all promised never to vote for Obama again?Reply
April 6th, 2013 at 10:09 am
48 PsiFighter37 Says:
@JPL: Just did a little Googling about this…she explained the context that it can feel like it when your husband is president. I can see that, given that when he’s in Washington, he probably only sees his family at dinner time and is pretty much occupied the rest of the time.”
Hmmmm…. Didn’t mention Obama or neglected first ladies, but still, it seems like a conversation — if I’m dreaming!
And this from someone who doesn’t believe in apostrophes, but wants me to take up my sword and email him at actualkidney.com:
“The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.”
Makes me want to fight back! But I resist, because I already have actual kidneys.
Finally, there are the surreal ones, my favorites!
“I’m mad and that’s a fact I found out animals don’t help Animals think they’re pretty smart Shit on the ground, see in the dark” (It was unclear what they were trying to get me to buy, but this was kind of a crude poem….)
Let’s see…. I know — a HAIKU! I’ll call it “Anger”
animals don’t help
think they’re smart but not,
shit on the ground, see in the dark
Writing inspiration is everywhere!
by Cheri Lucas
Calling all poets! April is National Poetry Writing Month — NaPoWriMo for short. Modeled after National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), NaPoWriMo is an annual project encouraging poets to write one poem each day in April.
We love discovering poetry in the Reader and are proud of the poets who call WordPress.com their online home, like Pushcart-nominated poet Kellie Elmore. If you’re an established or aspiring poet, or want to dabble in free verse, lyric essays, and more experimental prose, we encourage you to participate this month.
A poem a day
First time participating in a post-a-day project like this? We asked poet and publisher Maureen Thorson, the founder of this project, for advice:
Be open to the possibilities. The point isn’t to turn out a fully formed sonnet each day — although if anyone wants to try, I’m not going to discourage them! The point is to just get something down on the page without worrying about doing it “right.” Many people, including published poets, avoid writing because their inner editor keeps saying, “oh, that’s not good” or “you’re not taking this seriously.” But then you end up writing nothing at all.
I’d suggest that people “let go” of any preconceived notions of what poems have to look like or be about. A poem can rhyme, or not. It can be in a traditional form, or not. It can be about something like love or death, or . . . it could be about how much you like the smell of new erasers. Again, this project is more about getting words down than on making sure they’re perfect. You can always edit later — like in May!
Ready to participate?
For more inspiration, visit the NaPoWriMo website throughout the month — Maureen posts daily prompts to give you an extra boost.
A few members of the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group write for children. I’d like to share a link to the website I’ve found very valuable, Write4kids.com, and its Children’s Book Insider (CBI) Clubhouse – http://cbiclubhouse.com/. The CBI Clubhouse is a paid membership of $5.95 a month or $49.95 a year, but the training modules, videos, newsletters, etc. are well worth it, even if you just join for a month and check it out. CBI is also offering a free eBook that I just downloaded and read, 11 Steps to Writing your First Children’s Book, which covers great material collected all in one place. Anyhow, wanted to pass this information along because I know there is A LOT out there on the web, but I’ve found this group to be friendly, helpful, and seem to have it all in one place. (FYI – I have no connection with CBI other than being a member for the past few years.) Good luck, all!
As seen around the ‘Net:
Emma Coates, Pixar storyboard artist, suggests these 22 essential challenges.
Do any of these ring true in your experience? Is there something here that gives you a new idea? What do you see here that you need to focus more on? Leave a comment and let us know!
#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.
#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?
#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.
#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.
#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.
#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.
#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.
#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.
#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?
#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?
#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
I came across this article this morning, and thought I’d share it with the group. Good advice, and fun delivery. http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/ten-words-to-avoid-when-writing.php Thank you, David Bowman.
Why Do You Write?
As the new year begins, I invite you to reflect on why you write. And don’t be ho-hum hum-drum — put some muscle into it! That special muscle available to the writer called “imagination.”
As a warm-up, please read the following, excerpted from Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert by Terry Tempest Williams.
You asked me why I write…. I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts…. I write with a knife carving each word through the generosity of trees…. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I imagine. I write by grace and grit….I write for the surprise of a beautiful sentence. I write with the belief of alchemists. I write knowing I will always fail…. I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Thanks to Elizabeth Ayres for permission to repost this. Be sure to visit her web site to check out books, classes, workshops and more at The Creative Writing Center.
Why do YOU write? Leave your answer in a comment, or let a new essay, story or poem be born!
And dont forget, next meeting Monday, February 11, 2013. 1:00-3:00pm at the Accokeek Library.
Hi friends from Accokeek, I commented on a blog today that asked a question about the ideal writer’s group. Milt Toby (the author) had some interesting thoughts regarding the kind of writing he does. Here’s the link: http://serenityslovelyreads.blogspot.com/2013/01/noor-guest-post.html?showComment=1358950731954#c2253222640071239152
Happy writing (oh yeah, and editing).