Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Receiving Awards with Gratitude

I received an email last night that my novella, The Last Daughter, won second place in the 2014 International Digital Awards in the Suspense Short category. As happy as I was to win second, I was just as disappointed that it wasn't first place. Does that sound ungrateful? I'm not ungrateful. I treasure every good review and compliment and award I get when it comes to my writing. I NEED the kudos. Any negativity just throws me into a deep, dark mental hole.

I know my writing lacks a certain sophistication, and I can't help but think that's what the problem might be. Of course, I'm going back to an article I read that said publishers/editors/agents are looking for sophisticated writing. And then I remember the Amazon review that stated my book sounded as if it was written by a teenager.

What is sophisticated writing? One article I read stated to reach that level we need to increase our vocabulary. Another article stated sophisticated writing doesn't mean using big words. There are so many opinions and points of view.

I recognize sophisticated writing, I just can't figure out how I can achieve it. Maybe I do write like a teenager. If so, it's probably because I think and talk like one too.

Would love your take on sophisticated writing. Share.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Today is the one year anniversary of the IWSG website and their Facebook group. To celebrate, the IWSG Admins are putting together an anthology, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. From my understanding it will be a FREE help book. I'm sure this book will be fantastic; I'll keep you informed.

I'm writing a short post to encourage you, though I wonder if you really need encouragement. Sometimes I think I'm the only writer in the world who isn't writing. And it would be so simple to sit down, push everything and everyone out of my mind and write two pages a day. Two lousy pages. No one says they have to be good... they just have to BE. Except I can't get my mind in the right place.

I got an email from a friend the other day sharing news that an essay he wrote was published in an anthology. He thanked me for being an inspiration to him, for sharing info, offering advice and suggestions and in general, just encouraging him. He doesn't know how much his words mean to me. On that day, I needed encouragement too and his words offered it. They may not have seemed very important to him, but they told me I'm still on the right track with what I love, what I do and how I do it.

You know, this is what IWSG is all about. Encouraging each other. Don't you love it?

I want to encourage everyone who reads this to let those people who inspire you or help you in any way know how much you appreciate them. We're writers and writing notes of appreciation should be important to us. Besides, ignoring those who help us is almost akin to burning a bridge.

I told my friend, Stanley Klemetson, I'd mention the book here. It's a little pricey, but if you're interested, ask your library to get it and be sure to read Stan's essay, Following Dreams Put on Hold. Here's the press release. The anthology is called:

Tips for Successful Retired Writers

Unlike previous volumes which focus on how to earn a living while writing in very specific areas, this anthology accurately describes a wide range of different avenues an aspiring author can pursue, either for profit or for personal fulfillment. Speaking directly to retirees, this book opens doors to many other areas worth pursuing; its chapters vary from the inspirational (the importance of linking to a community with similar interests, reconnecting to one’s dreams, seeking inspirational sources) to the quotidian (everyday writing tips, and how to use one’s experience to find subjects to write about).

Writing after Retirement provides a variety of vantage points from published authors and paints a realistic portrayal of what it takes to get started in the industry. This book also includes preparation for the challenges that aspiring writers face, and practical guides for overcoming them.

A range of issues are addressed:
    Linking one’s writing to current activities
    The nuts and bolts of writing
    Planning one’s estate
    New career paths
    Writing opportunities
    Practical advice on how to take that first step

Whether writing for pleasure or for profit, the reader will find plenty to choose from in this collection.
Carol Smallwood co-edited Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching on the list of Best Books for Writers by Poets & Writers Magazine; Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (2012); Lily’s Odyssey (2010). Her library experience includes school, public, academic, special libraries, teaching, administration, and consulting

Christine Redman-Waldeyer launched Adanna, a print journal for women and about women, in January 2011. Redman-Waldeyer is a poet and assistant professor in the Department of English at Passaic County Community College in New Jersey. She has published three poetry collections.