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Archive for November, 2007

I should be writing today…or doing edits or suffering throught he dratted day job.

Instead, here I sit, fondling a book.

My book.

Over and over…to the point of possibly obsessive-compulsive behavior. It might just verge on the obscene. Definitely, I’ve slid into the realm of heavy petting. And frankely who can blame me with that cover. The fixation on an inanimate object with almost sexual attention probably has a DSMRIII diagnosis, if not a common fetish term.

While I publish in the e-book market, and do fairly well there, there is nothing quite as validating as the tangible, physical manifestation with glossy cover and new book smell. It is visceral. Somehow, it signifies, “I’ve made it.” That name is me. On a book. I can go to Amazon and there it is.

We authors are eternally desperate and sometimes shallow about our need for feedback. Most times what we write disappears in to a void. There are professional reviews, but they can be hit or miss (and not just in content…why one of my books gets dozens of reviews and another gets none, never ceases to bewilder me). There are times when you get fan mail. That is probably one of the most cherished happenings. Someone took a bit of time out of their day, found your email and sent you their thoughts.

Still, the rush of opening that box and seeing my five author copies was like nothing I’d previously experienced in writing. Not my first acceptance. Not my first publication. And honestly, not my first print anthology (anthologies are like a bus…everyone’s on it). I keep looking over at the book, Twice the Cowboy, Twice the Ride and I smile. I write a bit, and look back again. Maybe the gloss will wear off in time.

I hope not.

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Not too long ago, a friend sent a “mini questionnaire” for me to complete as a blog promotion. I completed it and sent it on to the next person, but it caused me to reflect for a moment.

One of the questions was “Who is/was your mentor in writing?” I answered and smiled at the long road I have traveled to get from there to here. I looked back at his comments and felt appreciative all over again for him to take the time to read some lackluster articles and to actually critique them. I was even more grateful for his no holds barred ripping of my work. I respect someone who is a straight shooter and will tell you exactly what they think, regardless of hurt feelings etc. It’s the sign of a good friend who will serve your needs far better than someone tip-toeing around the heart that is clumsily pinned to your sleeve.

I found some emails he sent. For all the writers out there, have a giggle, it’s on me. For new writers out there, take his sage advice!
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Foster Winans-Ghostwriter, Editor, Lecturer

Foster is the first well-known journalist to correspond with me and offer to look at my work. And WHOA did he look at my work. He ripped me to shreds, but he did it honestly and with integrity. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Here are some snippets of emails he left me (not to mention he even called me on the phone, which almost left me speechless.)

Email Correspondence after sending my work to him:

“I scanned through everything and see that you have a broad range of interests and accumulated knowledge… I am a cruel and heartless editor who has had almost forty years of mistakes behind him, so I consider it my obligation to be honest. That’s all it is, honesty. And the crankiness of age. I encourage you to challenge yourself more as a writer, and to be much more careful as a proof-reader…

There is too much starch and not enough protein in your writing. Even someone who is an expert on a subject needs to cite examples, details, stats, anything, to support their argument, to show they know the subject.Your nonfiction work lacks anchor points, and in their absence tries too hard to sound important. You are telling when you should be showing… You sound like a smart person who has an interest in growing. So I repeat–challenge yourself…

I will leave you with my standard homily: it’s never a question of “Is it (or am I) any good?” The question should always be, “Is it the best I can make it and, if not, how can I make it better?” Keep plugging away, don’t give up!”
Regards, Foster

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Taryn Simpson is a freelance writer and has recently completed a novel that is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. For more info about Taryn’s background, please feel free to access her online presskit: http://www.Taryn-Simpson.blogspot.com

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To celebrate the Christmas Season I’m having a Holiday Book Giveaway Contest for the book Simplicity, Richness of Life. It will make a wonderful christmas gift for you or a loved one. You can read a preview of the book here.

Simplicity, Richness of Life Book

All you have to do is sign up on my mailing list.

I just redecorated the site, please tell me what you think. 😉

Drawing will be on December 5th. Good Luck!

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity, Richness of Life
http://clarylopez.com

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As many know, the Writers Guild of America is on strike. You can show your support for the WGA, regardless of whether or not you are a member. These snazzy widgets are available at http://www.wga.org and http://www.unitedhollywood.blogspot.com. Put them on your blog, web page, etc. You can also find out other ways to show support for the WGA by visiting the above sites.

unitedhollywoodpic.jpg

writersguildpic.jpg

EDIT: Here are some more sites for information and widgets, courtesy of Alexandra Sokoloff (Thanks!):

http://community.livejournal.com/wga_icons/

http://community.livejournal.com/wga_supporters/

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/kullervo/wgamyspace.jpg

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MARYLAND WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Eric D. Goodman, MWA Public Relations Director

EMAIL: edgewriter@gmail.com

Gluckman Brings Espionage and Conspiracy to Baltimore Writers

At the November meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association Baltimore Chapter, author Geoffrey M. Gluckman brings espionage and conspiracy to Baltimore as he talks about how to use research to add authenticity to fiction, including where to find resources and how to cultivate them. The name of his presentation is Authenticity: Facts in Fiction.

Gluckman is the author of the spy thriller Deadly Exchange, an exciting novel of espionage and conspiracy. To write the thriller, he drew on his experience as a federal agent and recruitment by the CIA, as well as his experience as an exercise physiologist and international lecturer.

*The event takes place in the Barnes and Noble at the Inner Harbor. November 26, 2007 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

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For some ghostwriters, I’m sure the mere mention of “The Client” would encourage a roll of the eyes and a grumble.

Me? I can honestly say that I have enjoyed working with everyone one of my clients. Even those who have been a bit of a challenge to work with. I can say quite honestly that there have only been perhaps 1 or 2 “challenging” clients I’ve worked with so far. The rest have been great. I love working with people who are excited about a project, who question me thoroughly about my process and so forth. Really….I swear! It shows me that they are interested in putting forth the best effort, and that is the only kind to put out there in my mind.

When I have an old client call or email me, it thrills me. Why? Because it means I did a good job for them and they feel comfortable calling or asking questions. It means we connected and created a great product.

It means I lived up to my grandmother’s mantra: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”

Believe me, if I didn’t do my job, my clients wouldn’t return. And, the fact that I can stay in business doing what I love says one thing: “The Proof is in the Pudding.”
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Taryn Simpson is a fulltime ghostwriter with numerous books and screenplays to her credit. She has most recently been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Best Fiction novel – The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”. For more info about Simpson: http://www.Taryn-Simpson.blogspot.com

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I listened to this message at least ten times and continue to analyze what it means to me personally. Love has been theme of interest to me for a very long time, I’m still learning how to love.

Watch Paulo Coelho’s take on love and then read my take on the same subject.

Clary’s take:

I find a lot of wisdom in everything Paulo Coelho has to say about life in general. He expresses so well what matters to all of us. I listened to the whole series of this presentation on YouTube and got a lot from it. On this part he speaks about love. I know that they are a lot of you struggling with this issue and questioning what’s all about, should we hope to find it or look for it, should we give it up after a bad experience or forever dream about it without letting it rule our life.

Love is a powerful feeling, it builds up and completely destroys us. It’s sublime and is hell. It’s giving and taking. It’s free and sacrificed. It’s all hopeful and forgiving. All of these and much more.

Paulo speaks about others being happy with our happiness ( and I would add: even if it doesn’t include them) that’s love. He also speaks about us not sacrificing our love for those of others. I’ve been taught that love is sacrifice, so how do we correlate both and still experience love and happiness in our life? That’s the difficult question. How far do you go in your sacrifice?

I don’t have all the answers yet, I’m navigating my life and doing the best I can to live my life in an authentic way. Whatever I’ve learned so far I love to share it with others and I’m always listening to those who are older and wiser than I am. Love is a mystery to me and I guess it is for all of us who truly want to experience what it is and how to better express it. There are many levels according to our state in life and there are different kinds of love as well. I guess we can study, experience, meditate, analyze all we want and we will never know the fullness of it but I’m sure we are entitled to have some of it if we remain opened and receptive to it.

Now, what is your take?

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life
Official Blog

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After reading the title to this post, you’re probably uttering the word, HUH?

As most of you know, Jason Walker and I co-wrote his memoirs entitled, “Missing My Body”. Well, after loading the book on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, I really haven’t had time to do much within the promotion scheme of things.

Well, enter Full Circle Admin Services! 2 Associates with Full Circle have taken it to their hearts to promote the heck out of this book for Jason. For those of you that don’t know the circumstances:

Jason has a rare form of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy and is a quadreplegic. My friend plans to have booksignings for him at some bookstores. However, Jason gently reminded me he can’t sign his books. His Mom, Linda Walker came up with the great idea of having him do thumbprints on the books! She would simply ink his thumb as people line up for his “signature”.

More details will be posted about his appearances (if you’re in the southern Georgia, Tallahassee, Florida region).

Go on….buy a book. I can get it thumbsigned for ya. CLICK HERE TO BUY

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Taryn Simpson is a fulltime ghostwriter who looks forward one day to gaining wealth and fame. Cheers.

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I received this notice and would like to pass it on. Make sure to take a look at Eric’s work on his blog, Writeful, and in publications like The Baltimore Review.

Baltimore author Eric D. Goodman is published in the Fall issue of JMWW.

JMWW is a popular online literary journal based in Baltimore that publishes “the best fiction, poetry, essays, and art on the web. Or at least a close approximation.”

Jen Michalski, the editor, recently announced the new issue: “The Fall 07 issue of JMWW is now floating in space — featuring artists Elizabeth Crisman and Peter Schwartz; Eric D. Goodman’s five favorite Johns; and new expanded fiction, flash, essays, poetry, and book reviews! We are seriously rich with pleasure this issue, so sit back and have a cuppa.”

Each issue of JMWW begins with a note from the editor, then a “High Five.” In the current issue, Eric writes about his “five favorite Johns” of writing.

“We’re definitely excited that Baltimore writer Eric D. Goodman meditates on his five favorite Johns in this issue’s High Five,” Jen wrote in her editor’s note.

Enjoy the fall 2007 issue of JMWW now!

http://jmww.150m.com/

Learn more at Eric’s lit blog, www.Writeful.blogspot.com

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Thank you to those that have voted for us in the 2007 Weblog Awards! It means a lot that you took the time to consider us for Best Literature Blog. You can take a look at this entry from yesterday, posted at The Book’s Den (a blog that should be nominated and a finalist in the 2008 Weblog Awards).

Today is the last day for voting; the polls close at 5:00 p.m. EST. Sure, it’s a cliche to say that it’s an honor to be nominated, but it really is–being a finalist in a contest you didn’t even realize you were nominated for is kind of like finding $20 on the sidewalk.

Yes, it’s nice to get votes, but the Best Literature Blog category consists of great sites that are all worth checking out. Here’s that list again:

Pepys’ Diary
Avon Romance Blog
Maud Newton
Classical Bookworm
Writer’s Block
Erik Hare
Diary of a Heretic
Bookgasm
Neil Gaiman’s journal
McSweeney’s

See what I mean?

We’re not going to win the contest and (though I don’t speak for the other writers on the blog) never expected to, but just being considered along with the other blogs is so very cool. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tied for first place right now are Pepy’s Diary and Neil Gaiman’s Journal. For my personal preference, I like Neil Gaiman’s Journal for the top spot. Consider his blog if you have an extra vote to give, have already voted for us, and would like to spread the voting love around. Check it out. Read it. Then vote. If you prefer Pepy’s Diary, go for it. And, of course, if you prefer to vote for The Writers’ Block by all means do so!

And also vote for “Jon Swift” for Funniest Blog. Not only does he have an intelligent, great blog well worth checking out, he has endorsed us and his other picks (Diary of a Heretic for top pick) in the Best Literature Blog category. He’s also listed links to the other blogs nominated for Funniest Blog. Whatever your particular political leanings, you’re likely to find something engaging at the “Jon Swift” blog.

What a fun competition. Congrats to all the nominees, finalists, and winners! 🙂

http://2007.weblogawards.org/polls/best-literature-blog-1.php
http://2007.weblogawards.org/polls/funniest-blog-1.php

Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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