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Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Forget the Sugarplums...

These days I ain't got sugarplums dancin' in my head. No, I'm daydreaming about a publishing contract.

Of course, I'm not quite there yet. My manuscript will be finished in the next two weeks (there's just a few places I need to rethread a tiny storyline and a little flashback I need to put in place), and then I'm sending it to my favorite editor-for-hire, Margo Dill, who's agreed to take a second stab at it. (What a glutton for punishment she is.)

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting next to Pat Wahler at an author event. Pat has three books out right now. (Children, can you say "overachiever"?) I had just finished reading her I am Mrs. Jesse James and picked her brain.

Pat makes the path to publishing look like a walk in the park on a flat, tree-lined trail. She's that talented and that much of a professional. However, if I'm really really lucky, I might be faced with choices in the next year or two. Will I bust my butt to get a traditional publishing deal? Or, will I form my own imprint?

I picked a bit more meat off Pat's brain, and these are some of the tidbits she offered up:

  • With traditional publishing, the publisher puts out the money for editing, the cover design and layout, the ISBN number, printing and so on.
  • When a writer forms their own imprint, the author needs to pay for an editor/proofreader, an artist to design the cover, and someone to do the interior design and layout. Of course, this also means the author has the final say when it comes to decisions. The title. The look of the cover. The printer.
  • By taking either path--traditional publisher or creating an imprint--a writer becomes rich  internationally famous exhausted, because the author has to do the marketing. Pat's set up book signings and written press releases. She's created book marks, business cards and advertisements. Multiply that times three (since she has three brand-new books out) and what do you have? You have a writer who's working on their next book, because according to Pat, the best way to sell a book is to publish a new one.
Pat left me with some final words that made publishing fairies dance in my head. She said that when a writer's book is finally published, "Savor the moment--worth all the time, trouble and money it took to get there--when you can officially say, 'It's true. I'm officially an author.'"

I look forward to that moment...

Sioux is a middle school teacher, a dog rescuer, a wife, mother and grammy... along with being a frustrated writer. She's in awe of her writer friends--some write poetic prose, some write historical fiction that's so authentic, it doesn't seem like fiction--and hopes to someday join them with her own book.

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Monday, November 12, 2018


Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson - blog tour and giveaway

Hank and Norm were living the good life: two friends with plenty of money, homes in a lovely California retirement town, and no problems except for the boredom that felt almost fatal. Then Mai came into the picture, the love of Hank’s life during his CIA days in Saigon, desperately needing his help to save the son he’d never known he had. Boredom was over, as Hank and Norm hit the road, following the few clues Mai could give them in search of a man who desperately wants not to be found. What they find is a slew of lies and hidden truths, strange characters, improbable danger that has them fighting to survive, and the happy lesson that their lives are far from over.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (June 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1948749009
ISBN-13: 978-1948749008

Son of Saigon is now available to purchase on Amazon as an e-book and print, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest!
To win a copy of the book Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson, please enter via Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on November 19th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:
David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.

Find David Online:





Interview by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

WOW: David, I have enjoyed so many of your books. Let me begin by thanking your for choosing WOW! to help promote and spread the word about Son of Saigon! It's a pleasure working with you. I'm sure I asked this same question about your other books as well - I always find myself wondering: What sparked you to write this particular story with such sensitive themes?

David: I’m getting up there in years. I had just become eligible for Medicare and like my protagonist, Hank, I had begun to think more and more about mortality. At the same time, living in Taos, NM, I regularly ski and golf with friends who are well into their 70s. I decided to write a book about a couple of old guys. Assuming you have your health, you can either drift from day to day, overly aware of your age, as Hank and Norm were doing at the start of the novel, or you can decide to kick ass and keep on living. That’s what Hank and Norm ultimately chose to do. Because Vietnam had been a part of everyone’s life who is my age, it was a natural fit to include it in the story line. Basically, I refer to SON OF SAIGON as my middle finger salute to getting old.

WOW: That's awesome! I'm hoping to be a healthy old lady someday and really laughed quite a bit at the dialogue between Hank and Norm. This was a very enjoyable read.

How does social media play info your author marketing plan?

David: I think social media is critical for an unknown author with an independent publisher. I do have people who help me with marketing as I’d prefer to spend my time writing or otherwise having fun, but at their urging I try to post new blogs on my website on a fairly regular basis. I have a separate Facebook page for my writing. Blogs like this are a big help.

WOW: I love that social media even played a part in Son of Saigon - I kept thinking how hip and smart Hank and Norm are! How is retirement? Where was your most recent trip and what spurred you to go there?

David: Retirement is even better than I’d ever envisioned it would be. My wife and I are lucky in that we have enough money to do the things we love to do. This last year we travelled to Botswana (our twelfth trip to Sub-Saharan Africa), did a road trip to the west coast, went to Hawaii where I played in an annual charity golf event on Maui, and then did a river cruise in Europe. After living 40 years in Hawaii, I love road trips, and the road trip Hank and Norm set out on in the Sprinter RV was me living vicariously through them.

WOW: I'm seriously living vicariously through YOU right now - I can't wait to be retired! Sounds like you are still finding time for one fun activity each day (or more than one apparently). Any recent new found hobbies or loves as a result of your daily fun?

David: Probably too much fun. Taos is a wonderful outdoor lifestyle. In the winter I try to ski every other day and the rest of the year I golf, play pickle ball, hike, or travel. That is, when writing doesn’t get in the way.

WOW: Did you do anything differently this time as far as writing or publishing goes? What advice can you pass along?

David: I write because I love to write, and I would do it even if I wasn’t getting published. But it’s nice to have an audience and to watch the readership grow, which is why I invest in marketing people. I tend to write in spurts. If I can get engrossed in my story I will write for hours at a time, to the exclusion of all the other fun stuff I do. The hardest part is when I have the basic story written and it is time to roll up my sleeves and begin the long and sometimes onerous process of rewriting. The best advice I can pass along is far from original with me: write for yourself, not for others. Hopefully at some point what you have written out of love of writing will resonate with others.

"Write for yourself, not for others. Hopefully at some point what you have written out of love of writing will resonate with others."

WOW: I can see how you get engrossed in writing - I get engrossed in reading your work. I appreciate all your writing and re-writing, your books have always been very polished which makes them a joy to read! I hope you're working on the next book?

David: I have two novels currently in progress, which is unusual for me. I think it’s because I haven’t yet fully committed to either one. After all the traveling I’ve done this year, I need to reread the drafts to decide which one I should focus on. I also have a completed book of travel stories I’m trying to sell. I may decide to self-publish it.

WOW: I'm looking forward to reading your next book - regardless of how it is published, so instead of saying good bye, how about we say so long...for now? I have a feeling we will be hearing from you in the new year (if not sooner - hint hint)! Thank you for your time and for sharing with us today.

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, November 12th (TODAY) @ The Muffin
Author Interview & Giveaway

Tuesday, November 13th @ Cathy Stucker’s Selling Books
Cathy Stucker interviews retired lawyer and successful author David Myles Robinson about his latest novel Son of Saigon.

Wednesday, November 14th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
Crystal Otto shares her thoughts on the latest novel by David Myles Robinson – is it a lemon or sweet lemonade? Readers can’t wait to find out!

Tuesday, November 20th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson and shares her thoughts with readers at Coffee with Lacey. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about this page turning novel!

Wednesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen collaborates with her teenage daughter as they review and discuss the latest novel by David Myles Robinson. See what these ladies have to say about Son of Saigon.

Thursday, November 22nd @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews David Myles Robinson about his latest work – Son of Saigon.

Friday, November 23rd @ Author Anthony Avina
Fellow author Anthony Avina pens his fascinating review of David Myles Robinson’s latest novel Son of Saigon.

Tuesday, November 27th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A Baird reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Readers won’t want to miss an opportunity to learn more about this interesting novel.

Tuesday, December 4th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles delights readers at World of My Imagination as she reviews the latest page turner by David Myles Robinson. You won't want to miss Nicole's thoughts about Son of Saigon.

Wednesday, December 5th @ Bella Donna’s Books with Dawn Thomas
Dawn Thomas reads and reviews the latest novel by David Myles Robinson - stop by Bella Donna's Books to learn more about Son of Saigon.

Thursday, December 6th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow author Madeline Sharples reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Don’t miss her thoughts about this latest novel.

Thursday, December 6th @ A Day in the Life of Mom
Ashley Bass reviews David Myles Robinson's latest page turner, Son of Saigon.
Don't miss her insight and thoughts on this exciting new book!

Thursday, December 6th @ Cheekypee Reads and Reviews
Don't miss Cheekypee's review of David Myles Robinson's latest Son of Saigon.

Friday, December 7th @ To Write or Not to Write
Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews Son of Saigon. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from Sreevarsha and visit To Write or Not to Write.


To win a copy of the book Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson, please enter via Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on November 19th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, November 11, 2018


Michelle Rene Wins Second Place With Her Essay "Pit of Snakes"

Michelle Rene is our second place creative nonfiction essay contest winner (Quarter 4) with her essay titled, "Pit of Snakes." And no, that title is not figurative. If you have an Indiana Jones fear of snakes, then this essay may terrify you--that's how well-written it is. Read on to find out more about Michelle and her tips for writing about your childhood in creative essays!

Michelle is a creative advocate and a multi-award winning author of a number of published works of science fiction, historical fiction, humor and everything in-between.

This year, she released several books. Hour Glass, her touching tale about Calamity Jane, won Chanticleer Review’s Best Book of the Year award. It was released as an audiobook in September. Her experimental novella, Tattoo, has won high acclaim from Foreword Review and Publisher’s Weekly. Recently, she published an anthology of stories and humorous essays from her time growing up in West Texas called Defending Ducks.

When not writing, she is a professional artist and all around odd person. She lives as the only female, writing in her little closet, with her husband, son, and ungrateful cat in Dallas, Texas.

Visit her website at

WOW: Congratulations on placing second in the WOW! creative nonfiction essay contest. Your essay is going to give many people the heebie jeebies, but they need to read it anyway! So how do you think this experience in your young life made you the person you are today?

Michelle: Thank you! I had a really weird upbringing in Texas. I spent a good deal of time in the country. We have a lot of dangerous animals that you sort of learn to live around: rattlesnakes, copperheads, scorpions, bobcats, mountain lions, etc. Funny side note, I actually once wrestled/played with a full grown mountain lion. She won. But back to the question. Because of where I'm from, and my knack for getting myself into weird situations, I ended up with a lot of crazy experiences most people can't boast. I don't really know anyone who was dangled over a pit of snakes as a child, for example. While it's funny to tell people these crazy stories of my youth, I am extremely thankful both for the experience and for surviving the experience. I believe it gave me more confidence as an adult to go and try new things without fear.

WOW: I bet. I mean, once you survived a battle with a mountain lion, what else is there? I have to ask, did you ever go into a pit of snakes again--by yourself or carried in?

Michelle: Oh hell no. I did go back to the Rattlesnake Roundup several times after, but I steered clear of the pitmasters just in case. It was enough to live it once. After that, I preferred to just stare over the wall like everyone else. I always did stop by to say hello to the pitmaster who carried me in. He was really nice even if he did threaten to recruit me. He worked the roundups for years until he was bitten and had to retire.

WOW: Oh no! Goodness, what a career that is. How did you structure this creative essay? I'm sure a lot of our readers want to write about childhood moments that stand out to them, but it's often hard to focus the essay.

Michelle: I found my essay voice after I perfected my verbal storytelling skills. It didn't really occur to me how crazy my stories were until I started telling them as an adult to "normal" people who looked at me like I was insane. I got really good at regaling friends and coworkers with these tales of my youth. When you cut childhood memories up into bite-sized story bits fit to tell at a dinner party, it forces you to format your memories into an essay. Once I figured out how to convey the oddball humor of what happened without doing hand gestures and accents, I found my essay voice. The story I told at dinner about my father letting some crazy guy dangle his daughter over snakes became the essay, "Pit of Snakes."

WOW: How very true. Thinking about some of these childhood memories like: What would I say at a dinner party? is really good advice. What is a tip for writers who want to write about a distant memory but may have trouble recalling it? You make it sound like this happened to you just yesterday, with all the details you included!

Michelle: Well, I am blessed with a very good memory. However, I do strategically choose stories that are borderline traumatic to write about because you can't help but remember those more. I might not remember much about the time I rode my bike and skinned my knee, but being held over a pit of snakes does sort of stand out in one's memory. The other thing is to ask people who were a part of the story to help fill in any gaps. As a storyteller, I always worry about embellishing my memory too much the more and more I tell it. I check in with family as I go to make sure I'm remembering correctly. My father took pictures of our little adventure, including one of the pitmaster holding me over the snakes. Yes, there is tangible evidence this happened. I looked at those photos for years, which kept the memory fresh.

WOW: Great tips--looking at photos and asking older family members can help fill in those details we forget, even though we want to write about these memories. Let's switch gears for a minute. Tell us about your books. Your bio says you released one this year as well as a few other publications.

Michelle: I actually had two books released this year with separate publishers. Hour Glass, with Amberjack Publishing, is my historical fiction novel about Calamity Jane that won Chanticleer Review's Best Book of the Year award. Tattoo, with Annorlunda Books, is my experimental novella told backwards, which got glowing reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Foreword Reviews. I personally released a collection of funny stories, called Defending Ducks. It is a combination of crazy essays like "Pit of Snakes" and humorous fictional stories. I have three more books releasing in 2019, so I feel very blessed and very exhausted!

WOW: That's all such fantastic news, and congratulations on the great reviews you are getting--and the awards. Well-deserved! Thanks for stopping by with your busy schedule, and best of luck to you. 

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Saturday, November 10, 2018


Sensory Details: Pulling Readers into Your Story

Between working on my own novel and critiquing a middle grade novel, I’ve been thinking about fiction a lot lately. When a scene I was working on didn’t feel immediate enough, I pulled out Darcy Pattison’s Novel Metamorphosis workshop. One of the things Darcy recommends to solve this problem is to use sensory details. And don’t be satisfied with 3 or 4 details in a scene. Darcy asks you to come up with 3 details per sense per scene.

Why so many? Sensory details make your writing more realistic. They help pull your reader into the story.

I just finished writing a scene that takes place in a kitchen. The characters are making pickles. Some senses, specifically sight and smell, were easy to include. Piles and piles of dark green cucumbers spread out on the counter. The tang of vinegar as the brine heats on the stove.

But taste? Unless you get the urge to nibble on a slice of cucumber, not much tasting goes own during the pickle making process. Vinegar? Raw garlic? Thanks, but no.

Sound? The popping of canning lids. The crisp sound of a sharp knife slicing through cucumbers. The rhythmic noise of a mandolin slicer. It is do-able, but it requires some effort as do sense of touch and sense of motion. We just don’t notice these details as quickly as we do visual details.

And please don’t think that simply mentioning each sensory detail is enough. It has to be truly descriptive. Using the kitchen scene as an example, what if my reader doesn’t cook? How would I describe the smells of vinegar or garlic so that they would click with a non-cook? And there’s also the possibility that something more exotic could be in the works. What if my character was preparing durian?

Working these details in so that I can tick them off of my mental list isn’t enough. As always, the sensory details I chose need to be meaningful. My character might note the scent of vinegar just before she discovers how sharp-tongued someone is. A character’s ability to move a full canner might reveal her strength in contradiction to my main character’s assumption that she was fragile.

Yes, working in three details per sense per scene is a lot, but it will be worth the effort. Working in these details will help bring my characters, setting and story to life for my readers. And, in doing this, I can create a story world that they will want to visit again and again.


To find out more about Sue Bradford Edwards' writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.  Sue is also the instructor for Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults. The next session begins November 12th, 2018.

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Friday, November 09, 2018


Friday Speak Out!: Research is Fun

by Kilmeny MacMichael

Yesterday I did research for a story.

I don’t know which story yet.

I watched an episode of a TV show.

They say "write what you know."

If I wrote only what I knew from my personal, real-world experience, then I would only have a few stories to tell. I’ve had a mostly uneventful and unexciting life. This is great, except for when it comes to writing stories.

Bits of personal experience do filter into many of my stories. But few of my plots are based only on my experiences. Perhaps with time, I will become more capable and better able to express “what I personally know” in a way that is interesting. Until then, I have to use the imagination crutches.

I read. Mostly fiction, some non-fiction. I watch Hollywood movies. I watch movies with subtitles. I watch TV. For years I’ve listened to old time radio dramas. I’ve begun to explore podcasted fiction. There are so many stories out there to be read, heard, and watched.

Every time I watch, listen or read someone else’s storytelling, I am doing “research” for my own storytelling. I am, consciously or otherwise, learning how to tell stories better. I am absorbing the world and characters on the page or screen or spoken into my ear.

When it comes time for me to write, I don’t only have my own dull experiences to draw upon. I have all the experiences, real and imagined, that I have read, watched and heard. I have the creativity and experiences of hundreds of authors and scriptwriters and performers to pull from. I use my memories of other people’s stories as my writing crutches.

The last story I wrote was a spaceship-bound dream-tale. I called upon my memories of pirate and spaceship films, Poe and a podcasted lecture from Stephen Hawking to weave together the tale.

Is it a great tale? No. But it did amuse a couple of members of my local writing group, and writing it amused me. Maybe I'll find an online home for it. I'm still learning. And researching.

Some writers can be snobbish. We don’t generally like to admit that we watch television, and the occasional blockbuster flick. Put too much garbage into your brain, it’s only going to spit garbage out. But not all television and film and radio and podcasting is garbage. Some is as great, in its way, as canon literature. If we don't watch or listen to these stories we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn from some of the best storytellers of the last century and today.

So, go on, take a night off from reading that acclaimed door-stopper of a novel. Watch an episode of a TV show, or download an episode from a podcast or radio drama you've never tried before. You will probably learn something. You will get ideas. You will be doing research. And, hopefully, you'll enjoy yourself at the same time. “Research” is not all work and no play!

* * *
Kilmeny MacMichael grew up in the prairie city of Winnipeg and now lives in western Canada's mild Okanagan Valley. There she writes flash and short stories and rolls her eyes at people wearing scarves when it's only a few degrees below freezing. Some of her stories have seen online publication, including with The Ilanot Review and Watershed Review

She is currently doing more traditional research for a non-fiction work on an old time radio star, when she's not writing more flash fiction assignments from her local group, or conducting more fun research in front of a screen. 
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Thursday, November 08, 2018


The Sights, Sounds and Smells of Writing About Food

My love for avocados runs deep.

Have you ever read a book by an author (and not a cookbook) where the food was so perfectly described it made your mouth water? That’s how I’ve always felt reading novels by Pat Conroy—I can feel the texture of the shrimp and grits upon my tongue; smell the Old Bay seasoning as it swirls out of a pot of seafood gumbo.

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with food (well, I’ve loved it more than I’ve hated it!) and because I read so many cookbooks and recipes in my own day-to-day life, I often overlook food as a central point in my writing. While reading a book of essays recently, I started brainstorming a series of essays I could write centered around food.

One of the first memories I have is sitting in my Hispanic grandmother’s kitchen, watching her grind spices and homemade salsa with an authentic mortar and pestle. She was constantly rolling out the dough for homemade flour tortillas, which my cousins and I would slather with butter while yelling out for more. The little kitchen where she worked was always hot, and beads of perspiration would roll down her face because she and my grandfather didn’t have central air conditioning. On the stove at all times would be a saute pan with Mexican rice, bubbling with crushed tomatoes, onions and cumin. Or the pinto beans that she would carefully sort by hand, throwing out the bad ones and soaking the rest overnight before making a special pot the next day, mixed in with a little Crisco. While she worked, she would have her little black and white television set playing the soap operas “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless,” and occasionally I would hear her gasp with surprise or cluck her tongue at the shenanigans of the characters.

There are many ways you can write about food. You can write about a favorite childhood memory involving food like I did above, or make a list of some of your go-to comfort foods and what they say about you. Or a food you will never eat again because that’s what you ate right before a stomach virus you thought would certainly kill you. Or weave food into a story or novel you’re writing. I have a character in one of my young adult novels that has sensory processing disorder, so there are certain food textures she can’t tolerate. She decides to start preparing foods she can tolerate as a way to work through some of her anxiety issues, and discovers a fascinating new hobby.

Now it's your turn. What are some ways you’ve used the sights, sounds and smells of food in your writing? Or, just describe your favorite comfort food in two to three sentences in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories!

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor who still adores Mexican food to this day, and she also makes a mean guacamole. She’s looking forward to visiting her grandparents (who are now in their mid-80s) in Texas over the holidays, and sees more food writing in her future. Visit her website at

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018


This I Know 2.0

At a recent workshop on wordplay, I was surprised with a couple of new techniques I learned. I mean, I’ve been at this writing thing for a good while now and I’ve become a bit jaded. But just when I think I’ve seen or heard it all, someone introduces me to something brilliant and I think back to years ago, at one of my first writing conferences. I heard an attendee say, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”

That’s pretty brilliant in itself, that realization. Because so many writers just starting out—myself included—think they know all about writing. We’ve been writing since we were kids, after all, and we may even have degrees in writing or related fields. So we think we have this whole writing thing down. Really, we just need a little bit of information about agents or publishing. And yet, the writer who gets better at this whole writing thing is the one who realizes early on that he or she has a lot to learn.

But unless we go to conferences, sign up for workshops and/or classes, read the genre we want to write as well as read up on the craft of writing that genre, we will never know what we don’t know.

So there are a few things I’ve figured out, after being in this business for so many years, and I thought I’d share to give you a writing leg up, as it were. It’s a short list, but this I know:

That if you want to be a writer in the 21st century, you must be familiar with and use 21st century technology. I’m not saying you can’t write your first draft in longhand; I am saying that when it comes time to submit, you will need those words typed nice and pretty in a digital document. I’m also not saying that you must be signed up for every kind of social media available; I am saying that you must have an online presence somewhere so that readers and/or publishers and editors can find you. And finally, I’m not saying that you must use all the latest financial technology; I am saying that if you want to sell your books or other writing-related materials, there’s a very simple app for that. (Because seriously, y’all, no one carries cash anymore.)

That the best writers have had their work rejected way more than accepted. The thing is, we may not hear about the years of struggle; we only see the success. But very few of the best writers start out with a bang. They start out writing, revising, submitting, and getting rejected. And then starting all over again. And again. And again. And again. The best writers keep at it, even though they will still face rejection after hard-won success.

That if you want to be taken seriously in the writing profession, be professional. Ditch the cutesy email address and never use crazy fonts or colored paper to attract attention. (You will attract attention but not the kind you want.) Use proper grammar. Honor a deadline and reply promptly if you can’t. Treat others—whether you’re meeting them online or in person—with respect.

So how about you? What do you know now that you didn’t know then? I’d love to hear your thoughts because this I know: there’s always something out there I need to learn!

Cathy C. Hall writes for children and adults. Look for her latest byline in Chicken Soup for the Soul's Miracles and More. And if you're in South Korea, you can find her recent leveled readers in bookstores and schools. But if you want to catch up with Cathy herself, look for her around SCBWI conferences or at her website. She knows other stuff, too, and she's not afraid to share it.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2018


Interview with Rebecca Redshaw, Spring 2018 Flash Fiction Runner Up

Today we are chatting with Rebecca Redshaw, one of the runner's up of the Spring 2018 Flash Fiction contest. If you haven't read her story yet, be sure to go by and read "The Picnic" and then come back and read her interview.

Rebecca's Bio:

Rebecca Redshaw is an author and playwright who moved to Washington State in 2001 to write full time. She published extensive articles and short stories in national newspapers and magazines and was awarded First Prize in the 2009 Lakeview Literary Review for her short story, “Somebody Special.” In 2016, she was awarded third prize in the Soul-Making Keats Contest for her short story, “Mrs. C.” In addition to productions of Spider on the Sill and Dear Jennifer by Olympic Theatre Arts, her plays Hennessey Street, A Conversation with Hattie McDaniel, and FOUR WOMEN have been performed in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Hazel Speaks! and Vignettes: A Good Time with Wine were commissioned and produced by the Clallam County League of Women Voters and Camaraderie Cellars respectively. Redshaw was appointed to the Washington States Arts Commission in 2016 by Governor Jay Inslee. She is currently working on her fourth novel and eighth play. For more information go to

WOW: First of all, congratulations on your story and thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! You have such an incredible background with writing, including novels and playwriting. How do you keep up with all that you do? Do you have any particular method you use to approach your writing?

Rebecca: I’m not sure “incredible” is a word I would apply to my writing career. I write – that’s the easy part. My first work, Dear Jennifer, is an epistolary novella and a friend suggested I adapt it as a play. It was thrilling to stand in the back of a theatre and hear different reactions when actors delivered lines. Applause is something an author rarely thinks of, so it was a nice treat. Whether I write a play or a short story or a longer work is most often determined after I sit down to write. The characters take over at that point.

WOW:  It must be so rewarding to hear applause over something you've written! So, how did your first draft of "The Picnic" change by the time you wrote the final draft?

Rebecca: Contemplation has served me well. I can spend days, months, years thinking through a particular story. I traveled to England and had a wonderful exchange with a Brit when she invited me for tea in her sitting room. Ten years later, I wrote a short story, The Sitting Room, that has been adapted and performed as a play. Because of the time I spend thinking through the process, I’ve been fortunate not to have to rewrite at length. Of course, there is always tweaking, but The Picnic required very few rewrites.

WOW: I'm so impressed. That contemplation truly pays off!  How does playwriting help you with your fiction writing?

Rebecca: My first creative endeavor was as a struggling songwriter in Los Angeles. I took a workshop that has influenced my writing through the years. You need to grab a listeners’ attention and tell a story in three and a half minutes. Later on, I worked as a journalist for a large newspaper which required keeping readers’ attention for exactly sixteen inches. Writing at length is a joy, but those early experiences have helped me in being concise.

WOW: That's an incredible tip to use for creative writing! Grabbing the reader's attention is so key. So, what is next for you? What are you currently working on?

Rebecca: I read several books at a time and the same holds true with my writings. I have a file that I can click on with partial works or new ideas that kick start my process. I wrote a play based on an event that occurred in the early 1900s. Right now, it’s dormant because the cast consists of 18 people which is overwhelming to me, so I’ve been contemplating reworking it as a novella. The problem that keeps coming up in the process is that I hear voices demanding to be heard. One of my favorite quotes is by Horton Foote, “Keeping an unpublished manuscript in a drawer and not sharing it with an audience, even if it is a small audience of friends and acquaintances, is a mistake.” So, in addition to writing, I submit at least once a week and/or as soon as I get a rejection.

WOW: I love your submission process! And that quote is perfect - writing must be read!  I was touched by a recent blog post you published on your website about reading and the joy of reading. What advice do you have for adults about introducing the children in their lives to reading?

Rebecca: From what I hear we need to introduce people of all ages to the joys of reading! I’m not keen on giving advice, but by way of example I would suggest two things:

1. Give books as presents to children, but don’t stop there. Take the time to read to them! I have sent short stories to preteen and teenage nieces and nephews and asked for their input. People of every age are flattered that you value their opinion. Now my older relatives and I exchange titles and have conversations about books. Amazing.

2. Make the library or local book store a weekly occurrence. Both usually have regularly scheduled story times and browsing the shelves is an adventure.

These tips are so perfect. I recall as a child loving the library and still do to this day! Congratulations again on your story and thank you again for chatting with us today!

Interview by Nicole Pyles

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Monday, November 05, 2018


My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi - blog tour and giveaway!

The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as my MacArthur.

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. That MacArthur happens to be handsome compensates for the fact that he’s as old as her father.

When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men. Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her.

Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, MacArthur and Isabel’s relationship persists like “a perilous voyage on turbulent waters,” as she describes it. In 1934, after four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal.

The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan. Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila.

Print Length: 285 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
ISBN-10: 1937818969
ISBN-13: 978-1937818968

My MacArthur is now available to purchase on as an e-book and printBarnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest!

To win a copy of the book My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi, please enter via Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on November 12th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author, Cindy Fazzi

Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut. She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015. Her second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, was published by Painted Hearts Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

You can find Cindy at:

Author Website:






Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First, congratulations on the launch of your book My MacArthur! What inspired you to write about the love affair between General Douglas MacArthur and Filipino actress Isabel Rosario Cooper?

Cindy: I was born and raised in the Philippines, where Douglas MacArthur is revered by the older generation and vilified by the younger generation. There’s a continuing debate whether MacArthur caused more harm than good in the Philippines during World War II, but I was always more interested in a little-known fact about his personal life. Almost all history books about MacArthur mentions his relationship with Isabel Rosario Copper in passing. Nobody really knew what their relationship was like. As a novelist, that really intrigued me.

WOW: That's incredibly interesting how your curiosity led to this novel! So, you have published a couple of books under your pen name Vina Arno. How was writing this biographical/historical novel different for you than writing a romance novel? 

Cindy: It was very different. My MacArthur took 10 years to research, write, and rewrite before Sand Hill Review Press acquired it earlier this year. During the protracted process of looking for a literary agent to represent My MacArthur, signing with an agent, only to part ways with her after three years, I wrote two romance novels. I’m very lucky both got published. Romance was my escape from the difficult process of nurturing My MacArthur. I associated romance with fun and escape, while My MacArthur was an uphill climb.

WOW: I'm impressed you used writing as your escape like that! You have a background as a former Associated Press reporter. How did your career as a reporter influence your career as a successful published author? 

Cindy: Journalism, especially writing for AP, taught me to write clearly and concisely. It instilled in me the value of hard work and meeting deadlines. Most of all, journalism taught me how to ask the right questions and find the right answers. All of these things helped me as a novelist.

WOW: Asking questions is so important for the writing process. Now, you published an article with Writer's Digest that talks about choosing your novels’ titles! That made me wonder - how did you decide on the title My MacArthur?

Cindy: I wanted a title that says the story is about MacArthur as told by someone who knew him intimately. It was the only title I considered for this novel.

WOW: That makes absolute sense to me! So, tell us about the research you did for this novel. What was it like to utilize a real moment in history but transform it into fiction? What was your process? 

Cindy: Growing up in the Philippines is the most important aspect of my “research,” so to speak. The process came naturally because I was already familiar with MacArthur’s career and place in history. Researching Isabel’s life was hard. The little information that exists about her is full of contradictions. I could never write a nonfiction book about their relationship because of the lack of information, but this very limitation made the story ideal for fiction.

WOW: That mystery about who she is makes her (and this book!) even more intriguing! You described on a blog post how persistence played a huge part in getting your novel published. How did you keep going and stay motivated on getting this novel published?

Cindy: Writing romance saved me. It kept me going, instead of obsessing about how my other, more “serious” novels were getting rejected. Romance gave me the publishing breakthrough I needed and taught me the nuts and bolts of traditional publishing. It boosted my self-confidence, which is necessary if you want to persevere in any field.

WOW: Confidence is extremely important to the success of a writer! Lastly, I love the cover of your book! It's incredibly eye-catching. Were you involved in designing the cover at all? Who did the artwork?

Cindy: The cover shows Isabel Rosario Cooper. She was beautiful, so that was a plus factor. My publisher, Tory Hartmann, really wanted to use Isabel’s photo. The striking book cover is her brainchild.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Best of luck to you and your books!

--- Blog Tour Dates

November 5th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Stop by Women on Writing's blog and read an interview with the author Cindy Fazzi and enter to win a copy of the book My MacArthur.

November 6th @ Coffee with Lacey
Get your coffee and stop by Lacey's blog where she share her thoughts on the book My MacArthur.

November 7th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Stop by Beverley's blog and find out what she thought about Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur. This book is sure to entice historical fiction readers everywhere!

November 8th @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn's blog and catch her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur. You can also enter to win a copy of the book too!

November 11th @ Bring on Lemons
If life hands you lemons, read a book! Come by Crystal's blog Bring on Lemons and find out what she had to say about the book My MacArthur.

November 13th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Want to know what this mom had to say about the book? Stop by Ashley's blog and read her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 16th @ Amanda's Diaries
Find out what Amanda had to say about Cindy Fazzi's historical fiction book My MacArthur in her review today.

November 16th @ Chapters Through Life
Stop by Danielle's blog where she spotlight's Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur.

November 19th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
Be sure to catch today's post over at Madeline's blog author Cindy Fazzi shares her tips for writing fiction about a famous person.

November 20th @ Let Us Talk of Many Things
Visit today's blog where you can catch Cindy Fazzi's post on overcoming prejudices against romance writers.

November 21st @ Mam's Rants and Reviews
Stop by Shan's blog where she shares her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 25th @ The World of My Imagination
Catch Nicole's review of the book My MacArthur and find out what she had to say about this fantastic book.

November 26th @ Break Even Books
Stop by the Break Even Books blog and read Cindy Fazzi's article on the pros and cons of using a pen name.

November 28th @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews
Visit Cayce's blog and check out her thoughts on the book My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi.

November 29th @ Memoir Writer's Journey
Start your journey today at Kathleen's blog Memoir Writer's Journey where author Cindy Fazzi talks about the challenges of writing different genres.

November 30th @ Joyful Antidotes Blog
Want a joyful way to start your day? Stop by Joy's blog where she reviews the incredible historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 30th @ The Uncorked Librarian
Make sure you stop by Christine's blog and read what she thinks about the book My MacArthur.

December 1st @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews
Visit Cacye's blog again and read her interview with author Cindy Fazzi.

December 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Start your morning out right by reading Anthony Avina's review of the book My MacArthur.

December 2nd @ 2 Turn the Page Book Reviews
Visit Renee's blog when she reviews Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur and interviews the author.

Keep up with the latest stops by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.


To win a copy of the book My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi, please enter via Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on November 12th at 12 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, November 04, 2018


Interview with Kay Butzin, First Place Winner in Q4 2018 Creative Nonfiction Contest

Tired of sitting behind other people’s desks, Kay Butzin retired early to homeschool herself in creative writing. Although she took several online writing classes, she learned the most from Strunk and White’s rules and exercises in writing books by teachers Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Phillip Lopate, and Ursula K. Le Guin, among others.

Kay credits feedback from her critique partner and writer’s group for much of her education. She also purchases critiques with her WOW contest entries, and both this essay and her 2013 flash fiction runner up, “Bank Job,” were resubmissions of work revised according to the judges’ suggestions.

A Texas transplant for the past 22 years, Kay is in the process of relocating to her native Michigan. She avoids social media but will respond to email at kaybutzin[at]gmail[dot]com.

interview by Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on winning first place in our Q4 2018 Creative Nonfiction essay competition! Your entry, “Before and After,” is a compelling look at what it’s really like living through a natural disaster. What inspired you to write this essay?

Kay: Thank you, Marcia, for both the honor and the compliments. What inspired me to write the essay: the naked trees. As I rode back into town after the storm and saw all the beautiful live oaks stripped of their leaves, I cried. All I could think of were pictures I had seen growing up, of the tree skeletons in Hiroshima after we dropped the atomic bomb.

Then I drove to the Fulton Fishing Pier, where I had watched the sunrise on my first morning in town 22 years earlier; and looking at its destruction, I felt compelled to compare the experience to the idyllic one I had written about just days before Hurricane Harvey wiped it out.

WOW:  You’ve also placed in one of our flash fiction contests, so you’ve written fiction and nonfiction in various forms and lengths. Do you find one more challenging than the others? Are you drawn to one form more than the others?

Kay:  I find fiction more challenging than nonfiction because real situations and events inspire both, and I struggle to fictionalize them. Morning pages, where I scribble about my everyday life, fill the majority of my notebooks. So I find writing prompts and timed writings helpful for turning off the censor and letting my imagination take charge. For example, prompted to write about a bank robbery, I drew on my experience as a teller, asked myself “what if”, and wrote the first draft of "Bank Job" in a 20-minute exercise at a writers group meeting.

WOW:  Are you working on any writing projects right now? What’s next for you?

Kay:  I will be writing a blog post for CreateWriteNow on my experience with the journaling course I chose as my prize, Ease Life’s Transitions in 22 Days. Having completed several of Mari’s courses in the past, I look forward to working through this one that has shown up on my computer right on time. I have also uncovered several incomplete book-length projects I want to mine for flash pieces. Years ago I recognized how, in order to stay motivated and productive, I needed the more immediate gratification than novel or memoir writing provided.

WOW:  You mentioned relocating to Michigan after living in Texas for many years. Are you looking forward to returning to your old home? That’s a big adjustment!

Kay: In fact, I have listed my condo with a real estate agent in south Texas and moved to my friend Ron’s house in northern Michigan.

“I’m not on vacation this time!” I said on my first morning. “I live here now!”

Saying goodbye to my sister and friends was difficult, but I am lucky to find love again at this point in my life. And I have returned during the most beautiful time of year, when the maple and birch leaves blaze red, orange, and yellow.

WOW:  Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Kay! Before you go, can you share a favorite writing tip or piece of advice?

Kay:  Writing is rewriting.

In college I would pull all-nighters to write papers due the next day and wonder why they rarely earned more than a C. So the experts’ lessons on revising have been among the most important I’ve learned. Without them, I would not have won this contest!


For more information about our quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay contests, visit our contest page here.

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Saturday, November 03, 2018


The Power of Persistence

Most successful writers will tell you that the road to success is lined with persistence. Yes, talent is important, but hard work is even more important. I've known this for a long time, but was reminded of this when I was looking over some articles I wrote for the News-Gazette a few years ago. One was an interview with one of my favorite children's authors who is one of the most gracious and generous people I know, Alice B. McGinty. Alice has written several children's picture books, including non-fiction books for elementary kids about Ghandi and Darwin, and my daughter's favorites, Eliza's Kindergarten Surprise and Eliza's Kindergarten Pet.

When I interviewed Alice for the article, she told me all about her career, and it was so inspiring. It was so inspiring that I wanted to share parts of it with you on WOW! because I think it will inspire you too. And I know that some of you are busy with your first weekend of NaNoWriMo, so you can use a little inspiration!

Here are some highlights from my talk with Alice:

  • When Alice talks to children and adults about writing, she likes to "emphasize persistence. It took me many, many tries, and I didn't give up," she said. She is referring to the 13 years where she wrote and submitted picture book manuscripts to publishers before Dial Books For Young Readers finally accepted Ten Little Lambs for publication.
  • When Alice first knew she wanted to write for children, she "didn't realize you could do it full time." She wrote a poem and a story for two children's magazines, but she wanted to focus on books. She started with a picture book manuscript about a child with disabilities, submitted it to publishers, and collected rejections. Then, she went to a book signing and asked the author for some advice about writing for children.
  • The author told her to join SCBWI ( Alice followed the advice, which she believed started her on her career path. Through SCBWI, she learned it was easier to get a children's nonfiction book published. She wrote a manuscript about nutrition and sent it to Rosen Publishing, which she'd read was accepting manuscripts in an SCBWI Bulletin. Rosen Publishing's imprint, PowerKids Press, held onto the manuscript for a long time and sent it back with a note for revisions. This eventually turned into her first published book, Eating Right, for the educational market in 1997.
  • Between 1997 and 2008, she wrote 35 books for the educational market!

If she would have given up after that first rejection, she would have never written all those educational books, gotten a literary agent, been an Illinois rep for SCBWI, or wrote several successful traditionally published picture books. She didn't give up after one rejection; actually, she didn't give up after many rejections and many years. Check out everything she is doing here

What I wanted to show you with this post is that persistence pays off. This is a real-life example of hard work leading to success. Whether it's finishing your manuscript this November, marketing your book, getting a story published in a literary journal, or getting a job as an editor--don't give up. 

Margo L. Dill is a writer, speaker, editor, instructor, and mom, living in St. Louis. You can find out more about her writing on her website here, her editing business here, and the classes she teaches for WOW! here.

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Friday, November 02, 2018


Friday Speak Out!: Writing Prompt: If you could write the definitive book on any topic, what would it be?

by J. Green

Don’t think that this definitive book has to be non-fiction. For those fierce fiction writers, what would be your genre-defining book? What would its title be? Who would be the major characters? Where would it take place? For the non-fiction writer-goddesses out there, what is your main area of expertise? What topic keeps you up at night? What story did you see in the New York Times or the local paper that you just can’t help thinking about during a quiet period in your day?

I’ll tell you about my (imaginary for now) book that I can only hope one day defines a sub-niche of a sub-niche of a genre. Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder shares many of the symptoms of schizophrenia (voices, hallucinations, delusions, social isolation), but it also includes an affective (mood disorders) component. After my diagnosis, I read many of the most popular memoirs written by women who dealt with at least one mental health issue. An Unquiet Mind (Jamison), The Center Cannot Hold (Saks), Prozac Nation (Wurtzel), Marbles (Forney), I read them all.

The one thing that was missing from this treasure trove of hard-fought experience and wisdom were the tales of women of color with a mental health issue. Yes, women of color have written about their battles with mental health over the years. But when most people who have knowledge on this topic get asked about the best mental health memoirs written by female authors, the same names inevitably come up: Kay Redfield Jamison. Elyn Saks. Elizabeth Wurtzel. Susanna Kaysen. Jenny Lawson. Carrie Fisher. None of them look like me. Most of them have financial resources and support from loved ones that I could only dream of.

There are plenty of mental health memoirs by WOC that are more than worth reading. But the women who read these memoirs (I include myself in this number) have to do a much better job of seeking out new and different perspectives. I’m not saying that a mental health diagnosis won’t devastate a cisgender woman who’s white, wealthy, and well-educated. But we need to hear from authors from all walks of life. I hope to one day be an author that puts her book into the ring of mental health memoirs written by strong, unflappable women.

My Must-Read List: Mental Health Memoirs by Women of Color

1. Willow Weep for Me: by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah (depression)
2. My Body Is A Book of Rules: by Elissa Washuta (sexual abuse, bipolar disorder)
3. Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia - by Stephanie Covington Armstrong
4. 72 Hour Hold: by Bebe Moore Campbell (bipolar disorder)

* * *
J. Green has worked as a freelance writer for over eight years. She is a Massachusetts native, born and raised. An aspiring memoirist and novelist, J. devotes a lot of her free time to discovering new literary voices, developing her own artistic voice, and trying not to sweat the small stuff. What J. hopes to accomplish with her non-fiction work is to inspire more people of color to write about their battles with mental health issues.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Thursday, November 01, 2018


The World Needs Your Novel!

Happy 1st of November! Yes, it's fall and nearly thanksgiving, but as a writer, November brings so much more! It's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and right after you read and share this article, I hope you'll post the following on social media:

I am going to be taking a break from unnecessary distractions so I can work on my novel during 2018 NaNoWriMo - Thank you for your support!

The only way the world is going to read my novel is if I limit distractions and let's face it, social media is a blessing and a curse. It's a great way to promote ourselves, our work, and share our love with friends and family, but it's a time suck. NaNoWriMo starts now and if we are going to make it to 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th we are going to need to buckle down and get writing. After all, the world needs your novel!

I'm going to say that again - even louder!

The World Needs Your Novel!

Stop and think about that for a moment. 

I'll wait...

You have a story to tell. The only guarantee in life is that none of us will leave this life alive and if we don't share our story it will be lost forever. You knew that, but take a moment to really let it sink in. What if Jane Austen had waited until 1818 to start writing? We wouldn't have Pride and Prejudice, that's for sure! There's a big difference between writing a novel that isn't published until years after you pass on, and passing on before writing the novel you've created in your head. Don't take those words and that story with you when it deserves an audience. The World Needs Your Novel!

In 1999 National Novel Writing Month began with 21 authors and now all you have to do is google search National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo and you'll find thousands upon thousands of people just like yourself - people who are joining together to share their love and passion and ensure that these novels are being written.

What's holding you back? Time? Confidence? We all have doubts about our abilities - don't wait until
it's too late to share your story. This has been a tough year for me professionally and I lost a business acquaintance who had become a friend - I often think about the fact that I will never have another opportunity to read a new book by him. I know he was working on a new book (he was always working on a new book) and yet he was taken by a tragic accident. Those stories will never be told. His memory is pushing me to participate this year - I don't want my story to go untold. 

Have you participated before? Tell us about your experience as a comment on this post.

Will you be participating this year? Why or why not? We want to know!

Thank you in advance for your comments and support - I can't wait to see what you write this month! (And I'll be first in line to read and help you promote it once your novel is published! - GO YOU!)


Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 5, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora who somehow turned 1 a few weeks ago), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!

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