Friday, November 27, 2009
I hope you all had a wonderful Thankgiving Day. My family certainly did!
Yesterday we went to my sister Bridget's house. Bridget and her husband Steve always do a spectacular job with Thanksgiving dinner. Bridget and Steve cooked the turkeys and trimmings, and everyone brought their special dishes. After we ate, we had our annual Christmas ornament exchange, which is always fun. Then we picked names for Christmas--which will be at my house. Just about all the family was there, including my niece Alexandra and her fiance James--and their adorable mini-pinscher puppy, Carmen, who looked fetching in her pink and black tutu and on "diamond" choker. Alexandra and James are in town from Columbia for a couple days. Alex looks as beautiful as ever, and James is so supportive and loving to her. Alex begins her radiation treatments next week, so please keep praying for her.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get back to work.
Tomorrow, Saturday, November 28, I will participate in the Metro South Arts Council Author Fair and Book Signing sponsored by Metro South Arts Council at Crestwood Court, 109 Crestwood Plaza Drive, just off Watson Road in St. Louis.
During the event, more than a dozen local Illinois and Missouri authors will display, sell, and sign their books. The Author Fair will be open to the public from 10 am until 6 pm at ArtSpace #120 near the north end of Crestwood Court; there is no admission charge and there is free parking at Crestwood Court.
This event was planned and coordinated by Cheryl Eichar Jett, who writes about local history of Southern Illinois. She has written a book about Alton, IL, which, if I'm not mistaken, has been named one of the most haunted places in the United States.
I will be at the event signing copies of books with my stories in them, including: Mysteries of the Ozarks, A Cup of Comfort for Christmas, A Cup of Comfort for Military Families, and A Cup of Comfort for Women.
I will be there from around 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. So, if you're in the vicinity, please stop by and say "Hey!"
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This past week at least 10 things happened that affirmed why I love to write and why writers are some of my favorite people.
Here they are:
1. Yesterday I finished logging in the entries for the Saturday Writers 8th Annual Short Story Contest. We received almost 90 entries from 19 states. I am contest chair, and before sending the manuscripts to the judge, I read a few of the entries. One story made me laugh out loud; another gave me chills; another moved me to tears. Writers inspire me!
2. Last night I attended a local author's event at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library in O'Fallon, MO. Sara Nielsen did an excellent job orchestrating the event. It was fun to talk with readers and visit with some writing friends I hadn't seen in awhile as well as making some new friends, too. Writers are welcoming!
3. At critique group on Tuesday, everyone who wanted to read got to, and their works and the critiques were great! Writers are fun to be around!
4. Also at critique group, Alice M. read an excellent essay that brought tears to the eyes of everyone there. She is submitting her essay to Chicken Soup for Mothers and Daughters. She encouraged me to write and submit an essay, and she e-mailed me information about the issue and the Dec 31 deadline. Writers are generous!
4. Earlier this week on my A Book A Week blog, I posted my review of FINDING JOY, written by Joy Wooderson. Last night at the library Joy once again thanked me for my review and told me how pleased she was with it. Writers are grateful!
5. Last night several writers complimented me on my blog and told me how much they enjoy reading it. Writers are complimentary!
6. This week I finished reading and reviewing THIS BOOK IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU by Pseudonymous Bosch and e-mailed my review a few hours after the deadline to Tom Donadio, my editor at Kidsreads.com. Good editors are a joy!
7. Wednesday a second copy of THIS BOOK IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU arrived from the publisher, so I'm going to donate it to Michael's class at All Saints School. Publishers are generous, even if by mistake!
8. On Wednesday I received an envelope from Green River Writers. My short story "Criminal Minds" won a certificate for 1st Honorable Mention in the President's Prize Contest for Short Fiction. Entering writing contests is fun!
9. Also in the envelope from Green River Writers was a certificate for the Jim O'Dell Memorial Poetry Contest. My Limerick "Pillow Talk?" won 1st Place--and I also received a check! Winning writing contests is even more fun!
10. This week I started scribbling down my thoughts for an essay about a beautiful patchwork quilt I won last Saturday, on my late daughter Julie's birthday. Writing keeps me sane and helps me remember the good times!
How about you? Care to share any thoughts about why you love to write or why writers are special people in your life?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Please send self-contained novel excerpts in the body of an email for possible publication in the anthology, Voice from the Past.
Submissions, sent in the body of an e-mail, should include the author's name and contact info and a one-paragraph bio in third person to: submissions (at) harvardsquareeditions (dot) org in e-mail address format. (The address is spelled out here to reduce spam.) Attachments will not be opened. Authors must inform Harvard Square Editions immediately if the piece has been accepted by another publication.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Start your holiday shopping early!
Books will be sold & autographed.
Refreshments will be served.
• How does an author decide the type of book to write?
• Would you like to chat with authors on their writing techniques?
• How do you get a book published? Where do you even start!
• Do you have a book inside of you? What does it take to write a book?
Thursday, November 19 -- 4:30 - 8:00 pm
Middendorf Kredell Library
2750 Hwy. K, O’Fallon
I will sign copies of A Cup of Comfort for Christmas, A Cup of Comfort for Women, A Cup of Comfort for Families, Mysteries of the Ozarks, and other anthologies in which my stories appear. A representative from Main Street Books in St. Charles will on site to handle book sales. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Voices Anthology has announced a call for entries for Volume III. The anthology is a compilation of short stories published by High Hill Press and edited by Lou Turner and Delois McGrew.
* Unpublished short stories only up to 3,000 words (no essays or poetry)
* Standard manuscript format. Times New Roman, 12 point font
* Entry fee $10 for each submission
* Mail two copies, along with entry fee to:
P.O. Box 9076
Fayetteville, AR 72703
* Include a cover letter with contact information, including e-mail address and a 50-word bio. SASE NOT required.
* All genres, except erotica
* First prize $200 and publication
* Other winners will be published in the anthology and receive one contributor's copy
* First North American rights - rights revert to author 30 days after publication
* Submission deadline: December 31, 2009
* For complete guidelines, visit the OWL website or contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to put Voices Anthology in Subject line of your e-mail.
I had a story selected for Volume II and was pleased with the result. In the past the editors have nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I'm not sure if they are this time, but that would be a good question to ask if you e-mail them. Good luck!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Here's a contest I came across yesterday in the newspaper while clipping coupons. Just in time for Christmas, the Meridith Corporation is sponsoring a Memorable Holiday Moments Contest through Sister Schubert's (maker of yeast rolls).
Here's a link to a video which tell you how to submit your family's most memorable holiday moment. Share your most memorable family holiday moment in 200 words or fewer. Contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. E.T. on 12/24/09. You could win a $5,000 vacation from Apple Vacations and Riu Palace, Mexico. Also $5,000 will be donated to the winner's local food bank. Five runners-up will each receive a $100 gift card. Sounds like a win-win situation to me, especially with the donation to a local food bank!
On a personal note, sorry I haven't posted lately. I'm finally over my pneumonia. It is so good to be able to breathe easily now and back to a routine! I should be posting more regularly from now on.
On a bittersweet note, last Saturday I won the "big prize" in our parish craft fair raffle--an absolutely exquisite, hand-made, queen-size quilt. My late daughter Julie loved quilts. Over the years I won a few for her at parish picnics, and she won one of her own--a special "Irish" green quilt at a quilt bingo at St. Patrick's parish several years ago. Somehow, the "Irish" quilt got lost during the sale of Julie and Mike's house after their deaths.
My granddaughter Cari also loves quilts. I offered to give her one of mine to replace her mom's quilt that got lost, but Cari has always wanted a new one of her own. I promised Cari if I ever won another quilt I would give it to her. I made good on my promise over the weekend.
Since I don't believe in coincidences, I think winning the quilt was part of God's plan. What makes me believe that is Saturday would've Julie's 40th birthday. On Saturday after Michael's soccer game, a group of us went out to lunch and choked back tears when we toasted a marguirita in memory of Julie's 40th birthday.
I was shocked and thrilled a few hours later when I received a call from the parish that I had won the quilt. When I gave Cari the quilt I told her that her mom is still looking out for her, even while she's in heaven.
Saturday was a good day for remembering and sharing and making new memories. I found out this morning when I took some medicine to Michael up at All Saints School that one of the women who made the quilt used to be Julie's Brownie leader when Julie went to All Saints. Coincidence? I don't think so.