Autumn Events

It’s almost here! Autumn is days away and we are looking forward to a serious reprieve from this summer’s heat wave. I’m sure it will return in another eight or nine months, if we just hang in there.

A lot of things have been in the works, lately. Wonderful changes are taking place. We have managed to get one of our most important domain names back after years of watching it be trashed by someone who was trying to get us to pay a large sum of money to get it back. We decided to wait it out. We are glad to have it back and will hopefully have it up and running around the end of the year, although it’s going to be a little longer before we start making pool cues, again. We have felt like life was pressing us down for a long time and this seemingly small change has given us a huge emotional boost.

I have two new books coming soon. They are part of the Diary series. It is hard to contain my excitement.

I’ve also been working hard on some old and some new short stories for conference contests. I have some new stories that have surprised even me.

My computer finally decided it was tired of the flack Windows 10 was giving it. When it finally refused to start Windows, I took it to the shop. I was so scared I’d lose all my stories and other stuff I’ve collected in here for the past five years. Yes, I back everything up, but it had been a good month since the last big save. When it choked, I was in the middle of writing one of my best stories, yet. There was only one serious problem. I had to send that story with the next day’s postmark (contest deadline), so I was a bit frantic. The guys were awesome. They saved practically everything on my computer AND got that story file to me, so I could finish writing it and get it submitted on time, too. After all that, I sure hope it wins something!

Anyway, here’s a SHOUT OUT to the guys down at Same Day Computer Repair of Tulsa. Thanks so very much for saving the day and not breaking the bank! You guys are my heroes!

I’m excited about this Saturday, September 1st. A few years ago, Gene and I took a trip to Searcy, Arkansas for the White County Writers Conference. We had a wonderful time and wished we could go back. Well, this year, I’m not just getting to go back, but I’m also one of the speakers scheduled for the event. There will be three of us: Best selling author Robin Caroll, who will share some insight on writing suspense and mystery;¬†President & Creative Director of¬†Oghma Creative Media, Casey W. Cowan, will help authors have a better idea what publishers want; and I will be giving away secrets on writing dialogue and emotions, first thing in the morning. So, be there early, if you want to know what I know!

In October, we’ll be at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference, again. We always look forward to seeing our friends out there. I won’t be representing 4RV Publishing, this year (since I resigned in January), but I’ve been told they are planning to be on Publisher’s Row, again. I will be glad to meet up with my fellow authors from Oghma Creative Media.

Another school year is upon us and I will soon be having lunch with my grandchildren and reading for their classes, again. I am looking forward to it.

I will be back with another update as soon as I can. Things are moving along and life is good.

May your lives be as blessed as mine.

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Writers Need Critique Groups

I love and appreciate my critique groups. The fellowship and support they offer are necessary parts of good writing. Even so, there are times it would be too easy to convince myself to stay home and finish that story I’ve been working on. Here is a mix of serious and lighthearted reasons to attend regular critique meetings:

  1. I’m a good writer.
  2. I need the exercise.
  3. I want my work to shine.
  4. This job can be a lonely one.
  5. My writing isn’t always perfect.
  6. Sometimes, I need encouragement.
  7. I don’t feel like doing the dishes, tonight.
  8. The reader changes and so must my writing.
  9. My peers also need my discerning ears and eyes.
  10. The fuel in my car will turn to varnish if I don’t use it.
  11. I need to see if the world outside my front door still exists.
  12. I need a chance to show off the new clothes I bought last year.
  13. I wrote the word “sleep” four times in three consecutive sentences.

As a writer, I am often my own worst critic. Hearing how others respond to my work can be very encouraging as long as I remember they are not telling me how bad it is. They are helping me see how to make it even better. What group is more qualified to do that than serious writers with their combined knowledge and experience?

Here are some suggestions on how to get more out of your critique meetings. . .

  • Bring at least five or six copies for others to read along when it is your turn. Ask them to make notes for you to refer to, later.
  • If you don’t bring copies, have someone else read your work out loud. Hearing someone else’s interpretation of your work can help identify problem areas.

If you are a writer, check with your library or look online to find more information about critique groups near you.