March Prompts & Plans

  • Cheryl Holloway will be your facilitator for the AWWG March meeting, 3/13 at 1:15pm.
  • Be sure to check our official calendar HERE, for who’s Leading and who’s Reading!
  • Send me email if you’d like to Lead or Read!!

2 Prompts for March meeting- follow your Muse!

1. Greening, greenhorn, greenish… 

What do these ‘green’ words evoke for you? Spring sweeping north on a warm wind? Your favorite vista changing from gray to green? The sprouting of perennials? New growth, newbies of all kinds, inexperienced but not for long. Or perhaps getting seasick! How about learning to recycle? Take a green word in a surprising direction, in fiction, non-fiction, poetry or something else.

2. March 14 is World Pi Day!

It’s an irrational number, a number that never ends, and the ratio of diameter to circumference. Take Pi and run with it: remind you of school? A science fiction plot? Someone who bakes delicious pies? Consider wordplay with Pi, or whatever surprising notion can fuel your fiction, non-fiction, poem or play!

most importantly:

HAVE FUN!

 

The Power of Love

nature-love-snowyheart-1Our February theme:
How LOVE changes us. 

  • How does the power of love move in your writing?
  • Do you LOVE to write? Do you LOVE your writing?
  • Did someone you LOVE(d) influence your writing?
NEXT MEETING:

Monday February 13

1:15 – 3:15pm, Accokeek Library, 15773 Livingston Road, Accokeek, MD 20607

If you want to write for this month’s prompt

Take a look at LOVE from an unusual viewpoint. How does LOVE moves throughout our lives?
Any genre is acceptable- essay, memoir, fiction, poetry, etc. Submit online or come and read at the meeting Feb. 13.

Here are a few quotes from famous writers to help inspire you:

  1. You have more love to give than you could ever know. “Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” ― Written by Zelda Fitzgerald in her novel, Save Me The Waltz.
  2. Some passions may be impossible to resist.“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” ― Written by Oscar Wilde in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

  3. Love is the greatest gift and the greatest sacrifice.
    “In the flush of love’s light
    we dare be brave,
    And suddenly we see
    that love costs all we are
    and will ever be.
    Yet, it is only love
    which sets us free.”   ― Written by Maya Angelou in her poem, Touched By An Angel.

  4. When real love hits, it shouldn’t make you feel weak. “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.”― Written by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morison in her novel, Jazz.

Here’s a few more…

In this chilly weather, I’m reminded that a warm sweater, a bowl of soup, a call from a friend can all say ‘love.’ 

Crow About Your 2016 Progress – Plan for Success in 2017

It’s the Year of the Rooster!

What will you be crowing about by this time next year??

Last Tuesday 12/27 we had a wonderful mini-retreat day at Lyn Scott’s waterfront house “Ducks.” It was such a balmy day that several of us wrote outside on the deck, listening to the ducks and swans enjoying their day splashing about.

We shared our plans and dreams for the new year of writing ahead, and created a talisman that would be a symbol of our commitment to our work.

Plan for Success in 2017

Just because you weren’t there doesn’t mean you can’t share in the process. Here are the questions we asked and answered in our Year Ahead retreat day:

  1. What went well for you and your writing in 2016?
  2. Did you meet the goals you had for the year?
  3. List the writing projects you currently have.
    – Review and report on each one.
    – Now prioritize them for 2017.
  4. What new project is calling to you? Name it, and place it in your 2017 Priority list.
  5. Choose an object – something to keep in your pocket or on your desk, and didicate it to your writing goals for 2017. Hold it in your hands, see your work accomplished! Then keep it as your touchstone to remind you of your goals.
  6. Set specific goals for the first 2 months of 2017. What will you have accomplished by Feb. 28, 2017?
  7. Make an Artist’s Date* with yourself that feeds your creativity.  The Artist’s Date is assigned play, you are wooing your Muse. Click the link to learn more.

There you have it! I recommend you post your answers to your own blog, or submit it here to share with your community.

AWWG will host another Retreat Day in early March, and we’ll see how it’s going! Meanwhile, pick up your pen, stretch your typing fingers and happy writing!

 

 

Remember Marley Dias of #1000BlackGirlBooks?

Remember this post?  Young Activist’s Call for Books

landscape-1475777018-marley-hillary-11

She interviewed Madame President Hillary Clinton and it’s awesome:

Hillary faces toughest interview yet

from Elle Magazine 10/6/16

When I was really little, I wanted to be our first woman president. I always knew I want to be the kind of grownup who makes people’s lives better. And since that’s pretty much the job of the President of the United States, it seemed like a good idea.

But I’ve realized that you don’t have to be very old to start trying to fix the problems you see in the world around you. (I’m 11.) That’s why I created #1000BlackGirlBooks, a book drive to collect stories about young black girls. I wanted to be represented in books and show people that it’s possible to create spaces to be seen and represented.

 Hillary Clinton is someone who’s never waited around for someone else to do the hard work. She’s been an organizer and a change-maker for her whole life practically. But people don’t really talk a lot about what she did when she was a kid like me. It turns out she’s…. READ MORE
Readers, members, fans: send your books

Let’s Go!! National Book Festival

nbf-home-animated-banner-2016.gif

Next Saturday!

September 24  Walter E. Washington Convention Center, DC

Here’s some info about what’s happening, how to plan, directions and an invitation to form carpools.

National Book Festival is a FREE Library of Congress event that’s been very popular for x years. Once held on the national Mall, now it’s indoors at the DC Convention Center.

NBF can be overwhelming, there are so many authors, genres, and books! This year’s headliner, Stephen King, is already sold out. (Free tix went on ‘sale’ Monday. Sorry, gang.) The best strategy is to have a look at who you’d like to see, and plot your agenda. Then, once you’re there, expect to discovering things you hadn’t thought of!

Some of the authors I’d be interested in seeing: Jerry Pinkney, Doug Brinkley, Carl Hiassen, Noelle Stevenson, Colson Whitehead, Salman Rushdie, the list goes on! Even Shonda Rhimes will be there.

The LOC helpfully provides lots of resources to manage the event, including an app for your phone! Visit the website and get a sense of what’s happening. Check out the Book Festival Blog, which has info on how to get the most out of the event.

I suggest we form carpools. Take THIS SURVEY to help us get organized

One great strategy is to take Metro and park at Anacostia garage, since the green line Metro delivers you right into the Convention Center. A lot of people don’t use this method because the signage is SO BAD you can’t find the station garage unless you know where it is! I’ve included detailed directions for those new to this option, below.

findanacostiametro

 

 

August Meeting Report

legsbyCarrie

Pat Crew’s Workshop attendees

This being August, we had lower attendance than usual but there was plenty of great news, prompt writing and planning for the 2016-17 season at this meeting.

Last Week’s WordFest 2016 was proclaimed a splendid success by all who attended. Hurrahs to all who hosted, lead events and attended. Please take the poll in the previous post, if you haven’t already!

Member News & Goods

CAROL got inspired at Happy Hour to launch a new poetry project, and a check for book sales arrived!

KAY thanked Cheryl for the Procrastination workshop. It helped her to plan ahead, negotiate with her husband, and prioritize writing on her calendar.

CHERYL – spoke at the Society of Restoration of Port Tobacco MD local authors event – 13 authors, Charles county. Got good and tough feedback on a book almost done.

CARRIE also read at thePort Tobacco book event, selling every book she brought! Her book The Single Minded Prince was especially popular!

GEE  – now has a sample of her children’s book Gro-c-ery Story. She’s holding readings with kids, launched her NEW BLOG, and continues editing on her novel.

TERESA – Held a poignant reading of her book More than my Share of Pain last Friday that was well attended. She reports that the Telecall was especially useful – Dr Briles offers lots of ideas, a podcast and the free call every week.

Prompts: Last & New

Create a travel piece brought out many readers brought existing work for their wanderings. They were engaging, poignant and fun. Great work everyone!

This months Prompt is ‘Back to School’ I failed to announce it at the meeting – but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! Consider taking an unusal approach to the idea – rather than reporting on your experience directly, choose an alternate point of view or use a form (poetry, essay, journalism, fiction) that is outside your comfort zone.  Have fun!

New 2016-17 Season:

We have lots of new ideas for the new year! I am excited to see so many members working to create great experiences for AWWG, and wanting to see it grow. Stay tuned, I may call a planning meeting for members before the September meeting.

EVENTS: when you come across events, conferences and workshops you think we’d be interested in, please send them to me or post on this blog.

Book & Writers Conferences & Workshops:

Please keep an eye out and share what you find. Post here or email to me.

National Book Festival
September 24 – Washington Convention Center
http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

Baltimore Writing Conference
November 12, 2016 – Towson University
http://www.baltimorewritersconference.org/

 

ACTIVITY IDEAS for 2016-2017 season

Important: if you really want something to happen, make it happen. Ask for help, but be a leader!

  • HandMade book – Patrise
  • October Retreat 1st or 3rd weekend- Gee
  • Rant/Slam – Carol
  • NaNoWriMo! – Patrise
  • Book Discussion – same book, various books
  • Social Media, Video workshops
  • Marketing Day
  • Visiting Authors – Cheryl, others
  • Marketing our Group – PGCC, CSM, local press
  • Public Readings – at our Library or others
  • find/create events Similar to Port Tobacco with multiple authors giving book talks, readings

Some Like it HOT!

somelikeithot

Stay tuned for more details about our First Ever Erotic Writing Challenge!

We’ll have a fabulous Celebration at the end, open to all members, featuring readings from your steamy work, and prizes for all participants.

Watch your mailbox!

Writerly April

There are so many writerly events in April!  Of course, we have meetings April 11th for the Main Meeting, April 4th for the Memoir Group.

But there’s lots going on in all over! Here’s just a taste:

Small-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-LogoIt’s National Poetry Month

there are so many ways to celebrate. (Does anyone want to volunteer to post poetry-related content here in April? Leave a comment or drop me an email. Or, just do it!)  Poets.org has lots of cool suggestions like:

  • Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place using #npm16 and follow the Academy of American Poets on Twitter @POETSorg.
  • Participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016.
  • Sign up for Poem-a-Day.
  • Host a Poetry event!
  • there’s more suggestions at their page, HERE

camp_10_poster_mainIt’s time for Camp!

NaNoWriMo is holding the first Camp NaNoWriMo of the year. (there’s another one in August.) It’s a chance to join a ‘cabin’ of fellow or sister writers, encourage each other and write like the wind around the virtual campfire every day this month.

Here’s your Camp NaNo to-do List so you’re ready for April 1!

Bethesda Literary Festival

Downtown Bethesda MD celebrates the diversity of modern literature from April 15 through 17. This is the 17th year for the festival which includes more than 20 free events, including readings, talks, book signings, and contests. Featured authors include Joanne Bamburger, Cokie Roberts, Kater Alcott, David E. Hoffman and more. Learn more HERE.

Split this Rock Festival

Running in Washington DC from April 14 to April 17, this annual poetry festival is dedicated to “calling poets to a greater role in public life and fostering a national network of socially engaged poets.”

Visit their Featured Poets page or check out their Poet Interview Series on the blog to read more about the line up for 2016.

 

Coping with Rejection

Last fall I submitted two stories to two different short story contests. I waited hopefully for the news of my fate. Eventually, both were rejected.

I’d be lying if I claimed it didn’t sting. It’s one of my worst shortcomings, fear of rejection. But one arrived with a hand-written note of encouragement to submit again. That seemed pretty special.

The odds are tough. The universe is big and full of competition. But so what? We are called by Something to write, and our work is not finished when we put down our pens.

So here’s some cheerleading from the Best of the Best on how to handle rejection:

1. “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” — Sylvester Stallone

 

2. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling

 

3. “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

 

4. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

5. “Rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac.” — Madonna

 

6. “By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” — Stephen King

 

7. “Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” — Oprah

 

Thanks to Upworthy for these