Featured Blog Posts – December 2011 Archive (50)

Join our January Mindful Writing Challenge

Deliciousness. Vivid colours. Sharp smells. Fresh insight.

This is how we experience the world when we pause for long enough to engage with it.

Sliminess, too. Unease. The familiar sad pang of acknowledging impermanence. All this is part of life.

If we're not careful, we skip past so much. We…


Added by Satya Robyn on December 29, 2011 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments


Does anyone else use photography to add to your observational skills in writing? I take my pocket-size Canon S95 with me wherever I go. Caught this mundane scene of a traffic cop directing people out of a garage on a gray day in Seattle. The light gathering of this camera is awesome, but even better, it made me "see" the scene with new eyes. Love to see your work if you're doing this.…


Added by Cynthia Hartwig on December 29, 2011 at 12:06pm — 7 Comments

Show Me the Money: Where to Find Writers' Grants

Platita para la micro, y una moneda de....?? 細かいお金 by * Cati Kaoe *

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I couldn’t have written Epistolophilia without writers’ grants and research fellowships. A number of different arts agencies and…


Added by Julija Sukys on December 29, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

10 Tips to a Happier 2012

For the past twenty years, I have shared one of my favorite guides, Life’s Little Instruction Book, as part of my New Year’s Eve celebration.  The book is made up of tips and advice that help one lead a fuller, happier life.  Some of my favorites include, “resist the temptation to buy a boat” and “compliment three people a day.”  Traditionally, each person I am celebrating with adds a tip to the end of the book.  One year, my brother-in-law added, “conserve water, shower with a…


Added by Jill Starishevsky on December 28, 2011 at 10:53pm — 40 Comments

Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 83

Quirky Genius Turns Literary Kingdom to Mud

“They ask me to tell why an author like myself can become popular. It is very easy everybody keeps saying and writing what anybody feels that they are understanding and so they get tired of that….they do not know it but they get tired of feeling they are understanding and so they take pleasure in having something that they…


Added by Renate Stendhal on December 28, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Around She Writes - December 27, 2011

Here is what you might have missed around She Writes this past week


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How Long Should a Book Take to Write? (On a Writer's Natural Rhythms and Pace)

Added by Julija Sukys on…


Added by Mary Keating on December 27, 2011 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Keep your chin up!

If you're reading this blog, there's a strong chance it's because publishing a book is very important to you, whether you do it independently or with the help of a traditional publisher. In fact, it might be the most important thing you've ever done or will ever do. It's definitely the most important thing I've ever done, and I'm extremely proud of being an author.

While you may be extremely passionate about your title of "author," however, not everyone is going to…


Added by Maria Murnane on December 27, 2011 at 7:48pm — 2 Comments

RAM Jewels: My 2011 Retrospective

from my RAMJewels Blog

This is about the time when we all make New Year’s resolutions — whether we keep them to ourselves or declare them to the world. As I reflect on 2011, I am extremely grateful for my many blessings. Though my sales didn’t reach the level…


Added by Rabihah A. Mateen on December 27, 2011 at 4:20pm — No Comments

10 Reasons Not to Discuss Child Sexual Abuse in 2012

I have heard them all.  I have heard all the reasons why parents don’t discuss child sexual abuse prevention with their children.  I have heard them so often that I can recite them by heart.  As the new year approaches, I decided it would be a good idea to memorialize the top 10 reasons for not discussing the subject.  I invite you to add any that may have been omitted.

  1. Children are seldom victims of sexual abuse.  Actually, according to the U.S. Centers for…

Added by Jill Starishevsky on December 26, 2011 at 11:44pm — 15 Comments

Being The Crazy Country Cousin at the Family Christmas

I hope my Christian friends have had a Merry Christmas, my Jewish friends are having a wonderful Hannukah, my African-American friends are having a good Kwanzaa...and, lest I forget, Happy Boxing Day!
My family (husband, 2 sons, daughter, dog) and I travelled from Kentucky to Texas to be with his Mother and her husband for the holidays. I needed to rest up a couple of days after our journey because I had to drive the entire 900-odd miles of the trip.

Added by LuAnn Braley on December 26, 2011 at 12:44pm — No Comments


Christmas Day has come and gone. Gifts have been opened and now wait to be exchanged for the correct size or color. All the decorations are down, except for the Christmas cards. I like to keep them up until I have time to take each one in my hand, and again read what has been scribed inside. Then I’ll store them away until next year when my granddaughter and I will make bookmarks out of them.


As the end of the year draws to a close my mind wanders back through the year 2011.…


Added by Sarah Martin Byrd on December 26, 2011 at 12:29pm — No Comments

Looking Into the Eyes of 2012

     “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”              --Bugs Bunny

So it’s pretty clear that all the people “in the know” seem to think that New Year resolutions don’t work. Deepak Chopra, a popular alternative self-help author, when asked if he thought there was a way for people to make their resolutions stick, said, “yes, if they go beyond motivation and find true inspiration,” and then he says that it is about going to a deeper…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 23, 2011 at 2:08pm — No Comments

How Long Should a Book Take to Write? (On a Writer's Natural Rhythms and Pace)

Recently, a fellow writer (who publishes short essays and pieces of travel writing) told me about a book she’d just finished reading. It was an excellent book she said, but added with wide eyes: “It took him seven years to write! That’s crazy. I could never do…


Added by Julija Sukys on December 22, 2011 at 4:00am — 21 Comments

What's The Matter With Some People?

I wrote this essay toward the end of last year, and just last week, Christopher Hitchens lost his battle with cancer. I will miss his sharp, fearless mind and his inspiring vocabulary. I hope his end was peaceful, surrounded by his family and loved ones. I don't know much, but whatever lies on the other side, I don't think it's threatened by anyone who is unwilling to take a leap of faith they don't believe in, who dares to question and think it all…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 21, 2011 at 11:40pm — 2 Comments

Around SheWrites, December 21, 2011

Here is what you might have missed around She Writes this past week


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Added by Mary Keating on December 21, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Just Say It!

In recent posts, I've talked about dialogue and the importance of using beats, and about how many first-time authors struggle with the tendency to tell their readers instead of showing them. This issue pops up a lot in dialogue, where we often see sentences like the following:

  • "Of course I'll go,"…

Added by Maria Murnane on December 20, 2011 at 2:59pm — 2 Comments

The Doing of It

At the end of most years, I reflect and write on what I have learned. Or at least scratched the surface of learning. So here goes for this past year. You had better sit down. Just kidding, sort of. This year brought me to my knees in every way. In despair. In earnest. In repentance. In love. Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” And I’ve needed more raw courage this year than ever before. Courage to face myself in new and deeper ways, courage…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 20, 2011 at 2:10pm — 2 Comments

The antidote to having a million things to do

Fiona writes: Sip. Sip. I'm drinking hot earl grey as I type, brought up by my husband. I glance up from the computer screen at the Christmas lights we've draped around the room. A thousand tiny pinpricks of light, pulsing on and off like stars in ultra-fast motion.

Sip. Sip.…


Added by Satya Robyn on December 20, 2011 at 2:30am — 3 Comments

Times of Not So Quiet Desperation

When I read the story last week about the woman who walked into a Welfare office in Texas, to plead once more for money--was turned down for a final time--and then took out a gun and shot her son and daughter, and then herself, it sent my mind reeling. All I could think of, as a mother myself, was how desperate she must have been. Clearly she must have snapped, losing sight of the sanity highway altogether but I can’t help but ask myself, just how smothered by desperation does a mother…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 19, 2011 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A Day of Action for Women and Girls Who Write

Hi everybody!  I wanted to take a break from my sabbatical to write to all of you today about something that has been greatly on my mind these past few weeks, and ask you to take a MEANINGFUL ACTION TODAY to do something about it.

On my mind is the way women writers are consistently under-represented in the all-powerful "best of" lists that begin coming out at the end of each year.

As Meg Waite Clayton…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on December 19, 2011 at 9:00am — 30 Comments

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