MWSA Dispatches February 2013

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What do you hope attendees takeaway from the conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop? CS: Everyone will take away something different. BT: Pitching a book is so important and should be given a lot of attention to perfect. A great pitch letter will get you a read by a powerful and knowledgable agent. What is your guilty pleasure read?

CS: Valley of the Dolls was fantastic. Everyone should read it. BT: So many types of books fit in this category for me. What makes you cringe when you see it on the page? The improper definition is even in most dictionaries now. Entitled is a legal term meaning you are owed or due something. An editor is supposed to be on the lookout for multiple sins on the page, and being an English major you learn to critique and analyze the greats.

But my number one pet peeve at the moment is bad dialogue and dialogue tags. Caffeine of choice? English Breakfast, Caramel macchiato, etc. CS: Dr. BT: PG tips tea. With milk, hold the sugar. Marybeth Whalen and her husband Curt have been married for twenty-three years and are the parents of six children, ranging in age from college to elementary school. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth is a speaker and the author of five novels.

The newest, The Bridge Tender , was released in June. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads , at www. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel.

You can find her at www. Structure: It's hard to talk about and therefore many writers avoid the scary subject, even though a sound structure is essential to the success of any novel. We'll also discuss the issues of whether each book demands its own structure, the challenge of revision, writing when you aren't sure what happens next, and whether or not the "film formula" really works when it comes to novels. You'll leave with a new set of tools to help you find the best structural approach to your next book.

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If you could be a different author, living or dead, who would you be? Elizabeth Berg is my absolute hero so I'd have to say her. Her ability to observe the nuances of life, and to capture a woman's unique thoughts and emotions, is enviable to me so of course I'd like to be her—and therefore write like her. Charming, hopeful, engaging. It will be rewarding—but not in any way you expect it to be. What makes Charlotte such a vibrant place to visit and live? Which means that there's pretty much something for everyone, if you keep looking.

At its heart, Charlotte is a small town who grew up fast, and experienced growing pains along the way. Who among us doesn't know what that feels like? The best writers are the ones who always keep learning and never feel they've arrived. They remain teachable and that open-heartedness is reflected in their writing. Creativity breeds creativity. It inspires, it multiplies, it gets into the air and fills us all. What do you hope attendees takeaway from the conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?

The sense that there is no one right way. And that if they have a passion to write the key is to just keep at it. What does it mean for writers to "Network? Don't be afraid to strike up conversations, to take risks, to be the first to reach out. I'm gonna go with my southern, Sunday school upbringing and say the Bible , especially the Psalms—from the depths of despair to the heights of euphoria, there is nothing withheld, no question too big, no promise unkept.

Sometimes I need to resonate with the despair, sometimes I need to cling to the hope. Either way, there's always something there. Can writing be taught? The drive to write can't—but the skill to make what you write resonate can. My best friend, author Ariel Lawhon , mainly because she listens to me weep and gnash my teeth, then kicks me back into play. She also helps me brainstorm and gives me good insight when I can't see past my own nose.

What is one thing that helped you overcome it? Reading some encouragement from another writer, talking to my best friend, reading back through my journal, and then sometimes just making myself open the damn file. Sometimes that one tiny act is the hardest move I make all day. Someone writes an un-authorized biography about your life. What would the title be? The same title of my "theme song"— I'm Still Standing. As romantic and Romantic as the image of the solitary poet may be, the reality is that most poets need to be part of a community.

A poetry community can help its members hone their craft, find their muse, take advantage of opportunities, and overcome the discouragements that all writers face. Scott Owens and Jonathan K. Rice have spent years building poetry communities through magazines, readings, open mics, and more. They will talk about their experiences, answer your questions, and share tips on how to come together with your fellow poets. Too complex a question. If you mean temporarily, then I would take just about anyone, the more different, the better, just to experience something else.

If you mean permanently, then no one; I like my life. Relevant, accessible, necessary. Never stop being amazed at it all. Old and new. Southern and Northern. Tradition and Innovation. All in one place. Networking, networking, networking.

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Many of my most important connections were initially made at NCWN conferences. The creative use of language is an essential element of perception and the processing of perception. It's how we conceptualize, contemplate, contextualize, and interpret the perceptions upon which we base all of our decisions, beliefs, and motivations. Or at least, it's what we should be using for that process rather than blind obedience. An understanding of just how easy and valuable it is to participate in or even initiate opportunities to learn, create, and share.

Networking is establishing contacts that can help writers develop their ideas and craft, and create media for sharing their creations with interested audiences as well as audiences that didn't know they should be interested. Galway Kinnell's Book of Nightmares. Do you read literary journals? What are some of your favorites? Too many to name them all. Of course. Or perhaps "coached" is a better work.

If students have the motivation and willingness to work, their writing can definitely be improved. I don't really believe in writer's block. I think what people call writer's block is usually judging one's writing before it's ready to be judged, resulting in a stifling of creativity. Born and raised in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Sarah Creech grew up in a house full of women who told stories about black cloud visions and other premonitions.

She currently lives in North Carolina with her two children and her husband, a poet. Season of the Dragonflies is her first novel. To do so, they thought he needed to start from a place of pure selfishness. The only problem? He had to be rewritten and made into the character we find in the Pixar films today. The beginning of any short story or novel or screenplay requires that the audience care about the main character.

How do writers create characters an audience cares about? In this workshop, participants will review examples of how professional fiction writers pull this off in the first few pages of a novel or short story. Participants will have an in-class writing exercise to practice creating characters that connect with an audience in the first few pages. Naming paint colors. Fitzgerald , Virginia Woolf , Colette , Tolstoy. Daisy Buchanan. An urgent need to sit down and read. Queen City. At turns fancy and fickle. A poem I wrote on an envelope in a Civil War cemetery in Virginia. I left it on an unmarked grave.

A groundskeeper found the poem and the cemetery board decided to make a plaque for it. Unexpected, ambitious, entertaining. Most frustrating: doubting my choices. Most rewarding: affirmation about said choices. This is at the minimum a ten-year apprenticeship. Anna Karenina. By listening to me this wisdom will rub off on you. All you need to do is run thirty miles a day. I swear by it.

I wake up with the sunrise each and every day. No time for late parties. Cormac McCarthy will dance beside Junot Diaz. The poet Mark Strand will tell us all when it is time to go to bed. Do you steal hotel pens? No, but I do steal extra samples at Harris Teeter. Fifty-three authors have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its founding in Hailing from Raleigh, Mebane, Laurinburg, and Benson respectively, their varied backgrounds paint a vivid picture of North Carolina literature past, present, and future.

Peder Zane will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and the exhibit hall will host several North Carolina literary organizations. The Country Bookshop , located in Southern Pines, will be on hand to sell books by the inductees. Writers selected for induction into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame meet the following criteria:. She is the author of six poetry collections and the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the North Carolina Medal for Literature, among many other honors and awards.

Ronald H. Andrews University in Laurinburg. Jaki Shelton Green is a writer and activist. She received the North Carolina Award for Poetry in She has published four books of poetry through Carolina Wren Press. She was the Piedmont Laureate. Shelby Stephenson has published many collections of poems. He is the former editor of Pembroke Magazine. His website is www. John G. Hartness is a teller of tales, righter of wrongs, and some call him the Pompetus of Love. John is an award-winning poet, lighting designer, and theatre producer, whose work has been translated into over twenty-five languages and read worldwide.

John is also the host of the YouTube series Literate Liquors , where he pairs fantasy and science fiction novels with the appropriate alcohol. He can be found online at www. Traditional or Indie, Big 5 or Small Press, Digital or Print: writers have never had more possible, viable paths to publication to choose from, which can make choosing harder than ever before.

This panel discussion will feature three authors who have followed more than one of those paths, and can tell you what they discovered along the way. Don't Quit Your Day Job. I had a ton of great teachers who took an interest in my writing over the years, particularly in high school. But the biggest was Deborah Hobbs, my English teacher for 9th - 11th grade.

She made sure to push me to excel and never let up. Probably Pat Conroy. I'm good where I am. Literary worlds are generally pretty f'd up places, since writers love to torture their characters. I couldn't. No interest. Get over yourself. The days of writers as these brilliant fragile creatures working in solitude in some ivory tower are long over.

Get your head out of your ass and network. I have zero sympathy or patience for people who are unwilling to put in the work networking to make their own success. If you're really that much of a wilting lily, get drunk first. It'll take the edge off. Ann Bogart and Ben Cameron can give me goosebumps with their passion for the arts. James Earl Jones made me weep with his honesty.

Watch videos of slam poetry performers and steal from them. Be a mf'in rock star. Thrill me, make me live in your words. I'm usually selling books, and will be at this event as well. But if I'm there just attending, then I'm networking. I'm looking for publishers that publish my kind of work and trying to make connections with decision-makers. I'm not there to chat, this is a business. That said, I'll happily chat at the bar later. I'm a genre fiction guy, so give me a genre fiction cover.

Tell me what the book is about, and evoke a feeling. Thieftaker by DB Jackson is an excellent example of this. It sets the tone, the location and hints at a magical element, all without hitting me over the head with it. That this should be fun, and funny, and it's not all so bloody serious all the time. For god's sake, if you can't laugh at yourself, everyone else certainly will do it for you. Writing is hard, it's a difficult business to break into and almost impossible to make any money at, so do anything you can to have a good time in the process.

I have no guilt, so I'll read anything. Read what you love, screw anybody who judges you for it. Passive voice, purple prose and stories that don't go anywhere. Mountain Dew. Hats Off! The book focuses on the self as target, on the way in which we target the Other, and on the Earth as target. It opens outward in concentric circles, to other cultures and histories. It includes a sequence of ekphrastic poems on the target paintings of Jasper Johns. The contest judge was Patricia Spears Jones.

Airy on November 3 and 4. The award celebrates the accomplishments of Division of Academic Affairs faculty who have contributed to the scholarship of higher education by authoring, co-authoring, or editing scholarly monographs published between July 1, , and June 30, Voting is easy and no sign-ups are required. To cast your vote for Andy and Blue Ink Press, click here. The award is given to a work that represents the highest standard of scholarship and readability, that informs a wider audience of the significance of physical or biological anthropology in the social and biological sciences, and demonstrates a biocultural perspective.

The ceremony will be held December 1. Passport to Murder is published in conjunction with Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, which ran the week of October 10, , in Toronto, Ontario. As with the convention itself, the anthology spreads a broad canopy across a wide variety of crime writers from across the country and around the world—including both veteran writers and the brightest up-and-coming talents in the field.

Yet, self-doubt and heightened self-esteem are healthy, useful emotions for the writer, when they exist within certain limits. How can we put these and other emotions to use in our apprenticeship as writers? What are some effective means of preparing ourselves for the emotional realms of writing? Of working with editors or in writing groups?

Malcolm will present ten lessons for how to work through the emotional demands on creative individuals. Malcolm will also serve as a Critiquer for those attendees who register for the Critique Service. The Critique Service provides writers with in-depth literary critiques of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry by a seasoned writer or editor. A one-on-one, thirty-minute review session will be scheduled for those who choose to participate in the Critique Service. The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson plus student papers.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, who would it be? What aspect of craft do you feel you handle especially well, or is especially important to you? Dialogue comes naturally to me and is important in the way it conveys tension. Any memorable rejections? Too much exposition in third-person. Cormac McCarthy. Do you write to discover, or do you write point-to-point for example, from an outline? Write to discover.

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The Cape Fear Coast is a hotbed for the film industry. In your opinion, what has been the best book-to-screen adaptation? What was the worst? I cannot think of the worst. Register now. Alice Osborn is the author of three books of poetry, most recently After the Steaming Stops , and is the editor of the short fiction anthology Tattoos. Her past educational and work experience is unusually varied and now it feeds her strengths as an editor for hire who takes good writers and turns them into great authors.

A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has taught writing workshops to hundreds of aspiring authors from nine to ninety years old, both in person and online. Alice lives in Raleigh with her husband and two children. Visit her website at www. At the North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference , Alice will serve as a Critiquer for the Critique Service, which provides writers with in-depth literary critique of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry with a seasoned writer or editor.

A one-on-one, thirty-minute review session will be scheduled for registrants wishing to participate in the Critique Service. Alice will also serve as a reviewer for the Marketing Mart, which provides writers with an opportunity to create or refine an effective plan to pitch, promote, and sell their current, upcoming, or proposed books. The Network will schedule a one-on-one, thirty-minute session with a publishing or bookselling professional for those who register for the Marketing Mart.

What was your favorite book as a child? You want just one? This is more of a compilation: working really long and hard on a creative project and then, after the presentation, having the decision-maker not take notice or be dismissive. Hemingway wrote standing up; Truman Capote wrote lying down. What posture do you write in? Slouching in one of my formal dining room chairs. Atonement by Ian McEwan. It was perfectly cast! Memoirs of a Geisha. Do you have pet peeves as a reader? As a writer? As a writer I get frustrated by people who think writing is going to bring them immediate fame and fortune.

Ha, ha. Are you scheduled in the time you set aside to write, or is your writing time more flexible than that? I definitely write by the seat of my pants after I have a title or theme in mind or an emotion I need to convey. What was the first thing you ever published? A newsletter in the fourth grade and I had a robin, cardinal, parrot, and goldfinch representing the different sections like book reviews, tips, and events.

Funny, because I now live with two parakeets and a cockatiel, and I write a monthly newsletter! Who is your favorite North Carolina author? Jason Mott. This competition, sponsored by Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, awards original poems up to sixty lines. An open mic follows. She has taught classes at UNCW, ASU, conferences, and other community organizations in editing, publishing, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She will also serve as one of the critiquers for the Critique Service, which provides writers with in-depth literary critique of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry with a seasoned writer or editor.

I'm always reading a bunch. Right now—A. Holmes' new novel, May We Be Forgiven. Twyla Tharp's wonderful book on creativity called The Creative Habit. Lots of submissions for Ecotone UNCW's literary magazine , and literary magazines from all over, looking for new writers to solicit. Ignatius J.

Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces is the first character that came to mind, strangely. But I'm going to go with it. I'd like to live in his fantastic and creative and lazy and hilarious world for a day or a weekend. I think he's one of the most memorable characters in literature, and I'd like to have met him. You know, platonically, but still with his brand of passion and enthusiasm. I'd like to have him show me around New Orleans. I spend a lot of time thinking about point-of-view in fiction, how it affects every decision a writer makes in a story, how manipulating it and playing with it can affect a reader's perception of character and profoundly control a story's tension and mystery.

Since we're all stuck in our own heads, a writer's ability to move around perception-wise in fiction is an incredibly powerful tool, and to me endlessly fascinating. I try to forget them, honestly. There's no point in dwelling on them. Writers, often being sensitive people, spend too much time doubting themselves.

Anything that inspires doubt should be tossed aside as quickly as possible, right? Do you own an electronic reading device? I have an iPad, but I don't read books on it. I'm not against electronic devices, I'm just not good at reading on them. That's a tough one. I have an irrational okay, and sometimes rational dislike of the word "aspect. Do you steal pens from hotels? Oh, to afford a night in a hotel in addition to my own writing utensils!

Vladimir Nabokov , who writes with the most amazingly eloquent confidence, and who spoke and wrote in many languages, which I wish I could do.

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Or Gabriel Garcia Marquez , whose imagination astonishes me. Holmes , who writes about American ennui and exuberance in a way I find both heartbreaking and hilarious. I cheated, but this question is impossible. To discover, but sometimes I have an end-point or future-point in mind. Sometimes I write to discover something isn't working. Mostly, I write to try to keep writing. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody. I like that movie as much as the book. I'm not sure, but I can say there are movies I refuse to see because I love the books way too much and I don't want that love to be corrupted. I have not seen Cloud Atlas or Love in the Time of Cholera because those books to me are perfect, and I like the way they live in my head.

I'm going to write a quote here. I wrote it down and keep it next to my desk and say it to myself over and over. I can honestly say that it's changed me, and the best writing advice I've ever encountered. Here goes: "It was better to show up at seven and stumble than not to show up for fear of stumbling.

Because if you were to make anything of yourself, if anything even mildly good was ever to work out, you must—usually in isolation and under duress—find a way to take yourself seriously when few others did. That ambition alone could add fertile layers to an existence, and generate answers out of almost nothing. Three and a half. But he's also father to four kids ranging in age from six to thirty-one, and he's learned some things along the way.

With his newest work, Papadaddy's Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages , this terrific storyteller gives wise counsel to new parents, both fathers and mothers, young and old. To view the segment, click here. He will also lead a fiction workshop on Saturday, "Fiction Writing: Some Basics," where he will lead a brisk but informative discussion on the fundamentals of writing good fiction.

The Fall Conference attracts hundreds of writers from around the country and provides a weekend full of activities that include a luncheon, an annual banquet, readings, workshop tracks in several genres, open mic sessions, and an exhibit hall packed with literary organizations, presses, and publishers. Conference faculty includes professional writers from North Carolina and beyond. For a complete list of workshops, to see the weekend's full schedule, or to register, visit www. Finger-pinching took too long. He also has a memoir, Travels in Vermeer , forthcoming from Persea Books.

Bridge and Mr. One question we will consider is how a writer can benefit from looking at one subject through the lens of two different genres. Another is how the lessons one learns in one form can translate to success in another. Bobcat , by Rebecca Lee. Any undeveloped island off the Cape Fear coast. Why do you write?

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Some try to perfect their painting or singing or cooking to express their love for humanity: I write. What book would you take with you to a desert island, if you could take only one? The Tempest. What advice would you give someone just about to go on stage to read their work for the first time? Breathe easy and go a little slower than you think you should. What is the ideal time limit when someone is reading from their work? Twenty to forty minutes. Always to discover. A terrible poem in an undergrad magazine. I have blocked the title from memory. I'd like to be Blake when God talks to him.

If you could have a torrid but guilt-free affair with a fictional character, which one would it be? At first I was tempted to list Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary , but on second thought I can and do have guilt-free affairs with characters and their authors on a daily basis. Also, two poems are forthcoming in Naturewriting : "Remnants" is scheduled to be posted on October 8, and "Masterful Sculpture" is scheduled to be posted on October 21, An avid kayaker and outdoorsy type, she also writes the monthly "Excursions" column for Salt Magazine in Wilmington.

She teaches at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. We'll discuss the form and its possibilities, and do some in-class exercises to help you identify your obsessions and clarify your intent. In addition, we'll look at several markets that routinely publish short essays. Little Women. Professional sea kayaker. Exercise vigorously for an hour five times a week no matter what. The acceptances are more memorable than the rejections. I'm sure I've seen bad adaptions, but like rejections, they tend to fade from memory. Writing can be isolating. The NCWN conference offers writers community, instruction, and hope.

It's a big reason that North Carolina is a great place for writers. I find exclamation points and italics annoying. I don't like reading books on electronic devices. I prefer a schedule, but I can force myself to be flexible. A poem in a high-school literary magazine. There are too many great North Carolina authors to choose one favorite. I'm sad there will be no more novels from Doris Betts.

Her novels are smart, funny, and fierce. I'm also looking forward to the new Allan Gurganus novella collection, Local Souls. His short story "Blessed Assurance" in the collection White People should be required reading for all North Carolina politicians. How I love that story. Bridgette A. Lacy is an award-winning writer and publicist. As a publicist, she represents authors, food entrepreneurs, and small businesses pitching their stories to local and national media as well as trade publications. She also arranges media interviews and events bookings. She has twenty years of experience as a storyteller promoting literary, culinary, and other cultural-related ventures.

The course will offer authors insight on how to gain the competitive edge in the tough bookselling marketplace. This workshop will help you think about a juicy sound bite that will help you grab the attention of booksellers, media and readers. I get so many books for free as a reviewer, I rarely buy books. I love the mountains and the coast. Life provides so much raw material, you have to use it. This is a textbook from my undergraduate days at Howard University in the early s. I still read it. The writing ranges from slave narratives to contemporary poems and prose. Take a deep breath and read slowly.

Pace yourself. Only read one section. I prefer the first chapter. Always leave the reader on a note of suspense. Ten minutes. I write to discover. I like to reflect and let the work speak to me. I worked for my high school newspaper, The Beacon. I interviewed author James Baldwin when I was a high school student.

His book, Just Above My Head , had recently been released. I called the preacher at the church where he was speaking almost every day to line up an interview. I was so nervous but I asked my questions and he answered them. Zora Neale Hurston.

T. H. E. Hill

I love her audacity and spunk as an African-American woman. She spoke her truth without apology. I write something almost every day but the time can vary. I prefer writing in the morning, when the house and the world around me is still quiet. From first glance, I knew he was a man I wanted to know. Easy fears no man. He has plenty of street smarts, and he takes care of business. He works as both a detective and as a school custodian. He owns a house and knows how to make a good fried bacon and egg sandwich.

Established in , this award, granted by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, recognizes "the most significant work of original fiction writing published over the course of the last year by a North Carolina. She lives in Wilmington with her husband, a hospital executive and true-crime author, and their teenage daughter.

Guests must be registered with the Network in advance of the conference. Writers can register at www. But these rooms are first-come, first-served. Book now! Use the group code PEN to reserve a room. Wilmington resident Clyde Edgerton will give the Keynote Address.

Because publishing is an evolving business offering more opportunities for authors than ever before, several workshops are designed to help writers navigate this rapidly shifting landscape. These editors and agents will participate in manuscript and marketing marts, and the critique service, where registrants can have their manuscripts evaluated by professionals.

The Fall Conference offers coastal residents their best chance this year to meet with literary agents and editors, ask questions, and pitch their manuscripts. He started in the legal department and began representing authors in and is now eagerly expanding his list. He is looking for literary, commercial, and genre fiction specifically science fiction, fantasy, and horror , with a nod to the literary. He also loves narrative nonfiction, history, biography, business, political, and popular science. Clients include Henry Louis Gates, Jr. When in doubt, feel free to query him at This email address is being protected from spambots.

During the North Carolina Writers' Network Fall Conference , Paul will sit on Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast Panel Discussion: 'Agents and Editors'" and serve as a reviewer for the Manuscript Mart, which provides writers with the opportunity to pitch their manuscripts and get feedback from an editor or agent with a leading publisher or literary agency.

I bought a literary magazine filled with images and recipes from Japan. I also sent a copy of American Gun to my dad. Lord of The Rings bound trilogy. Or perhaps a survival guide would be more useful. I was joking above but I really do write e-mails, not books. Do you think some books should be banned from schools? The world shall have to wait for that. Truman Capote.

Tin House , One Story , and Granta are fantastic. There are many many more. My girlfriend is on the faculty as well so…no comment. Sheila Webster Boneham writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, much of it focused on nature, environment, and travel. She has worked as an editor for a variety of publishers and freelance writers, and has judged fiction and nonfiction for international writing contests. Sheila holds a Ph. Learn how you can work with independent booksellers and other retail outlets and with not-for-profit organizations whose work you believe in to extend your publicity reach, support the cause, promote local businesses, and sell more books.

I can spend hours there just quietly watching, listening, waiting. The biggest dictionary I could tote, one that includes etymologies. With that, we have the fundamental tools of all books: words, meanings, relationships. Three things. First, unless you're a very odd sort of writer, your audience wants to hear you and they want to like your work. Second, slow yourself down and remember to breathe. Third, enjoy your moment. You worked for it!

I guess that depends on the work, the reader, the setting, and the audience, but generally I would say fifteen to twenty minutes is about right. Mostly I write to discover. When I write fiction, I work from very loose sketches that keep me on track in terms of plot points and story arc, but I don't plot in a conventional sense. With lyric nonfiction—my true love—I keep notes on what I want to include, but then I like to immerse myself in the work until the layers open and reveal the real subject.

I think that the subject matter of some books requires readers to have reached a certain level of intellectual and emotional maturity so that they can process the ideas, so books appropriate for high school students may not be appropriate for fourth graders. Some books are better understood when their meanings and nuances are discussed.

I do think that some books have more merit than others. The point of education is to enable people to distinguish what is good and useful, in books and in life, and we cannot do that by presenting only part of the world. A poem, "Snow," in a city-wide junior high school literary magazine. I admire many authors, but I would prefer to be myself, but slightly different. I would focus earlier on my "real" work, which is what I consider my lyric and narrative essays and fiction, rather than on my commercial nonfiction seventeen books and many features.

I do, and I love many journals, so I'm going to list the first five that pop into my head, knowing that I'm leaving out many other favorites. I write every morning, and have done so for many years. Depending on what I'm working on, deadlines, and what else is going on in my life and community, I sometimes write in the afternoon or evening as well. Richard Sharpe from Bernard Cornwell's series. But of course I picture him as Sean Bean!

By Eleanora E. The writer produces what must be shown. It takes just as much skill and perseverance. It takes just as much understanding and application of character development, setting, dialogue, voice, conflict, plot, point of view—i. Maybe even more. Eleanora E. Tate is a folklorist, short story writer, journalist, and author. Two are audio books and another is an award-winning television film. A former NCWN board member, a veteran writing workshop conductor, and a seminar leader over the years for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, among others, her newest book is Celeste's Harlem Renaissance Paul, Minnesota.

On-site registration will be available at the conference. A quick Google search will bring you a number of log line formulas. I tried it, though. I rode the elevators with editors at conferences. My one log line. And it fell flatter than a three pound fritter. We both stood there looking at it when the elevator doors opened and the editor found themselves free to flee, which they promptly did. What was wrong? I had a single line that summed up the book. And it helps you start a dialog about your book, so you have interaction with the editor or agent and not just a monologue.

I have developed the second log line into a formula that works for any book, fiction or nonfiction. After all, talking about each new book is going to be a life-long skill for me. So this is a skill set that I will need as long as I am writing. She has been writing since , and has more than 5, articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and nonfiction. The Prophetess One: At Risk had me flipping the pages and holding my breath.

Visit her website: www. Registration for the Fall Conference closes October Register now and save! What I love about writing book reviews is that my graduate school degree in English is put to good use. In other words, I can use my analytical, literary skills and love for reading all at the same time. No one taught me how to write a review—I decided to use my gut instincts and graduate school training to light my way. I noticed that every reviewer was different and brought her own set of opinions and views to the book.

I was determined not to bland anything down. No one wants to read that. Wish granted! Later, I concentrated my review efforts in the poetry genre. Soon I was able to reference similar classic and contemporary works within the review. I also gave myself permission to have fun with similes, metaphors, and wordplay. My personality was shining through. Alice Osborn, M. A, is the author of three books of poetry: After the Steaming Stops , Unfinished Projects , and Right Lane Ends ; she is also a manuscript editor, freelance writer, and storyteller.

A former Raleigh Charter High School English teacher, Alice has served as a Writer-in-Residence in the United Arts Artists in the Schools program since , and has taught creativity, poetry, memoir, and blogging workshops to Triangle residents for six years. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. When I write food journalism, I aim for my readers to understand the facts. When I write fiction, I strive for my readers to understand my thoughts. When I write food stories, I pray for my readers to understand their thoughts.

Southerners are particularly susceptible to stories, and food stories hold particular sway over us. That is because Southern food is evocative. It makes us Southerners talk and sometimes write because it makes us remember. Before we tell you how a thing tastes, we need to tell you how it makes us feel and what it reminds us of. We cannot tell of the food without telling of the people who made it for us, and why, and how well they did or didn't do.

Southern is on the tip of our tongues. That isn't to say that all Southern food memories are good because, of course, not all Southern food and cooking are good. On the other hand, some Southern meals are so exalted we are sure it's what the angels eat on Sunday. Whether good or bad, food memories are hard to shake.

There is no more tenacious nostalgia: one bite of food or one whiff of an aroma from our past is swift transport to somewhere else. The persuasion of a food memory is association, not accuracy. Likewise, this isn't to say that all Southern food writing is good. Just because something happened doesn't mean it's interesting or worth repeating.

The worst food stories are so mawkish that Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm would roll her eyes. The best food stories enable us to shine a personal light onto our shared cultural experiences. A satisfying food story says as much about what was on our minds and who was in the kitchen as what was on our plates. A shrewd food writer pivots a premise around the table until he catches on the right point of view, then the story can take off from there.

A good meal is a found poem. When we food writers are lucky, we can apply the right words to do it justice. Let that sink in a bit: over two hundred acres of centrally located Orange County land , in its somewhat pristine and naturally undisturbed state, situated on an ocean view bluff. On a clear winter morning after a rainstorm, when the sun turns the snowy mountains pink, and the cliffs of Catalina are crystal clear over the cobalt Pacific, there is not a more stunning view in all of Southern California.

During the Mission period of Southern California history, the Spanish Vaqueros used the bluffs to safely graze their cattle herds. All this industry was happening right here on this little patch of remaining Southern California open dirt. The Pacific breezes cooled the temps, and the high bluff provided the Spanish Cattle herders with a safe dry elevated plain and easy access to fresh water resources in the marshy river below. For thousands of years the local Pacific Coastal Indigenous Tribes had also used this area. Sadly, during the Mission era, these peaceful people were decimated by malaria, measles and other diseases, while also suffering under the iron fist of the Spanish conversion into Mission life and slavery.

What was once a vital and very important political and social village trading center, upon the Fairview bluff, was in essence no more. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the local tribes flourished on the bluff. The natural topography and easy access to the river and ocean was a perfect space for a thriving village. Its centralized location made it an ideal gathering and trading spot for all the different southern California tribes. A water lined trail made easy traveling for many of the eastern Mohave and Mountain peoples. The centralized halfway point for the southern and northern tribes made it an equitable spot for everyone to gather without unduly bearing hardship on one or the other by having to travel unfair distances.

Fairview was perfect. Even today — a mile from the ocean and a hundred feet above the river — you walk upon the shells of hundreds of clambakes that were held thousands of years ago. Numerous archeological finds of significant and unique importance, found in the park and in nearby surrounding areas, have been federally registered and designated as in need of protection. The clues, and treasures to so many questions and theories still lie beneath the surface.

Techniques, by the way, that keep improving. For now, we need to keep some things hidden. Enjoy the Park, take a nice walk, take in the views … and then leave. This has been the working plan for decades. We have been keeping its secrets safe. That was true up until now. For anyone who has been following anything about Costa Mesa politics knows … things here are not what they once were. I could write a very long narrative about the devastating effects we have suffered in this City under the misguided policies of Mayor Jim Righeimer and his lock step cohorts, Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan.

No, in Costa Mesa right now, we have a whole other can of worms that they just had to open. Aided and abetted by a compromised City Staff that has been so decimated and reduced, that the only ones left are either too intimidated, or are so ineptly aligned to the Councils objectives , they get promoted to positions of authority. This was a pretty dumb thing to do. First of all, they had no right to encroach upon the public park. The sad thing was that they used City resources to do it. Now, they might have gotten away with this ….

That got the attention of the Feds….. Federal agency takes interest in Fairview trail. Many residents found themselves stepping up to fill in the void. These park boosters are looking for information leading to person or persons responsible for vandalizing trails by laying decomposed granite on them. Personal Note: I believe these are just two good guys donating their time and energy to support youth sports. Sounds nice. On almost any other piece of city dirt , I and many others would be perfectly fine with it.

But — this is not just any old a piece of dirt. They were supposed to be treating it with a lot more caution and respect. In fact, out of deference to the existing Master Plan for Fairview Park, the 45 space lot was reduced down to 10 spaces. The size and location of the parking lot were to remain the same; they were just going to re-stripe it for ten spaces, because that is the maximum allowed in the Master Plan. Of course, Master Plans can be re-written. Proposed lot continues to irk residents.

At that same meeting, a soft-spoken French archeologist spoke out at public comments warning the City about the possible archeological sites that would be impacted and encroached upon. In fact, this soft-spoken gentleman at one point rose up from his seat to address misinformation that was being put forth by City Staff. Mayor Righeimer refused to let him speak , and made him sit down to bring the meeting back to order.

That gentleman was Sylvere Valentin , a respected and well-trained local archeologist who works with the California State Cultural Resource Office. He was trying to gently warn the City Council and Staff that they needed to notify some people before they moved forward with this project. He was summarily dismissed and ignored. In one area, of the Park, you have Federal Fish and Wildlife studying the degradation of federally protected endangered habitat.

Then just days later and a few hundred yards away, you have other State Agency representatives studying the area planned for a parking lot and finding significant areas of archeological interest and picking up bone fragments. This story just broke in the Daily Pilot while I was writing this blog post:. Experts fear that proper procedures are not being followed, at the expense of very significant historical evidence.

The poles had to be dug into the ground, which disturbs the soil. She and Valentin are bringing the matter to the California Cultural Resources Preservation Alliance, a small Irvine-based nonprofit formed in Let her hang out awhile and have drinks with the US Fish and Wildlife folks. Costa Mesa City Manager … er … CEO I never get that right Tom Hatch received this letter , which gently chides them, but firmly tells them in no uncertain terms that they have thoroughly screwed up. Many more people are about to get much more interested. Currently many of the locals are very energized.

This issue is far from over. Fairview Park is definitely in jeopardy. The Council majority is moving forward with everything in their power to take over and develop this gem of Orange County History. This is the group that has been put together to study the future needs and uses of Fairview Park, and open up the Master Plan. They will be giving a presentation why we supposedly need to add Sports Fields into Fairview Nature Park. They have never had a presentation on the archaeological significance of the area — the huge hill by the sea, known and cherished for millennia.

I think that we need to call in the Indians. Yes — this was a really good job! We still have too many unanswered questions that nobody, apparently, is answering or investigating. Especially these questions:. Fact — a public park was defaced with a gravel trail. We KNOW who did this. Why has no one been arrested?

Why does this dim bulb still have a job? No one saw a huge truck dumping gravel? And no one saw anybody spreading it? How hard could it be for the cops to find out? Sadly, it is having lapover effect in Newport Beach from time to time. We always look for legacy….. Remember Orville Amburgey? What a cool dude he was…. In any event, do not pick on the Cavalry…. So, you can stop with picking on the horse soldiers! Scotty Walker came out fundraising back in late , and was hosted at the Newport offices of Righeimer and Baugh … till they switched venues at the last minute when they saw the crowds of Occupiers and Union members protesting outside.

Yes, we chased Scott Walker away, anyone remember that? Scott Walker ran away! Walker ran away, away! When MoveOn reared its ugly head He boldly turned his tail and fled. When Occupy began to shout The crosseyed Governor chickened out. Scott Walker ran away…. Thank you for your service Ron. We Were Soldiers, 7th Cav — one of my favorite movies.

You left us hanging on the topic of more trouble for the little prince steve. Could we finally see him get busted for less than stellar ethics? One thing noted is his MO of getting people to do work for him and then turning that into a donation. Nice example of just doing it for the kids? Please keep the heat on and dig deeper. Caution everyone. Fascinating story Gericault! And what are Fairy Shrimp?


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Now no one trusts him since he never came forward with the truth when he should have. He should be recused from voting on anything related to Fairview Park since it directly benefits his football program. What agency will give the city money if they know he will destroy a mitigation project? Not too long ago he told everyone at a public event about how in the 20 years he has lived in Costa Mesa, he had no idea where Fairview Park was located until after he was appointed to the council.

Both of them will destroy the last wild undeveloped land in our city through incompetence or inability to recognize something so priceless. By the way, Mensinger and Righeimer voted against extending the model train lease! They want to ruin the train ride and build a sports complex in known burrowing owl habitat instead!

These guys have got to go!

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