Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Post-Resolution Blues

By Ronda Simmons

We are well into January, so how are your resolutions coming along? You know, the ones about writing more, submitting more, or improving your writing skills? Whether you call them goals, resolutions, plans or dreams, this is about the time when those New Year’s promises start to get a little shaky.

Never fear! I’ve got the perfect way for you to shake those post-resolution blues.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

No New Year Resolutions Here, Except One Maybe Two

Check out my new site.
Follow me on Instagram.
Tweet me.

By JC Lynne 

It's a strange time of year for me. This arbitrary designation of the end of one year and the beginning of the next. I think I'd like it better if we still wrapped our holidays up with the seasonal solstices and equinoxes. At least those make more sense to me. The first day of winter, the first day of spring, alas I suppose we all can't be pagan savages.

Not that anybody’s asked, but New Years Day on the Gregorian Calendar is a cosmically arbitrary event, carrying no Astronomical significance at all.
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Writer's Year in Review

Wake me up in 2019

By David E. Sharp

Here in the awkward corridor between Christmas and New Year's, many of us think about resolutions and goals for the next year. Even if resolutions aren't your thing –they're not mine— writers without goals are like mosquitoes without proboscises. In a word- pointless.

But it's not time to start any kind of goal-setting yet. In my critique group, our first order of business is to review our goals from 2017. We share our yearly goals in January at our first meeting of the year so we can keep each other accountable. But before I face the music with my inner circle, we can take a look at my 2017 list together and see how I did.

Yes, it's all good and well I hit the target.
But I was aiming for the one on the other wall.

Goal 1: Shop my manuscript out to 60 agents/editors/publishers

Coming into the year, I'd had several near misses with agents, editors, etc. Frustrated but undaunted, I determined to press on focusing on 5 queries a month, each one tailored to the recipient. Nobody wants a form letter, so I prefer to research each professional and draw comparisons to titles they've worked with or requests they've mentioned on their websites. I've read goals should be based on your own efforts, not the response of others. It makes things more concrete. I either sent my 60 queries or I didn't.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Twas the Night Before Deadline

By Ronda Simmons

(With apologies to Clement C. Moore)

Twas the night before deadline, and all through 
the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse;
My laptop was plugged into the outlet with care,
In the hopes that my Muse soon would be there.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Gift of Writing

On a writing trip with the lovely and talented Amy Rivers
At this particular time of the year, many of us are thinking about what we might give family and friends for the holidays. 

What would they most like? What will provide the greatest measure of joy? 

My original blog was primarily a list of clever gifts for fellow writers. For those of you looking for that, I’ll post links at the bottom of the page. 

It goes without saying that the number one gift you can give to writing friends is threefold: 
1.) Buy their books 2.) Review their books 3.) Be an understanding and supportive friend. 

But I kept returning to the idea that writers have the capacity to deliver on a grander scale—through our creativity, our research, our characters and what they represent, and our advocacy through social media. Our followers care what we think about literary trends, but they also pay attention to what we have to say about social justice. 

We have an influence we can choose to exercise—to bring this divided world a little closer. 

Northern Colorado Writers has long sought to create a space where writers of all genres can cultivate their skills and improve their craft. As member liaison, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of local authors in 2017 and to get to know the passions they bring to the page. 

NCWers are rising to the challenge when it comes to addressing important topics. Collectively, we write about the grieving process and address the impacts of serious challenges: cancer, mental illness, homelessness, the suicide of a loved one, and yes, sexual harassment and assault, as well as the potential for therapy sourced from our four-legged population. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Speakout! And Make a Difference

By Delaney Flanagan

We as writers, know how important it is to have a voice. We know how important it is to share how we feel, recount things that have happened in our lives, and to tell stories. 

The words we choose to share as writers are bits and pieces of our soul; even if it is just a simple word, it still counts. Sharing our voice stirs something inside us; excites us. We know, that language has a way to change people, inspire people, and evoke emotions. Without it, where would we be?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Author! What's My Motivation?

Disclaimer: The picture above is not David E. Sharp.

But it does show a guy with a winning author-like smile.
The kind of smile that says, "Hey, everybody!
I wrote a book. And it's pretty damn swell."

by David E. Sharp

Several years ago, I was an extra in the movie Friday Night Lights. I was familiar with the common trope of pretentious actors demanding their motivation from directors with waning patience. As an extra, however, I knew nothing of the story I was to help portray outside of what the director described before pointing cameras at me.

For the sake of my small roles, I didn't need to know how my "character" felt about his mother, what he ate for breakfast that morning, what the weather was like the day he was born, or the name of his first pet.  But I was very interested in knowing my motivation.

Motivation. It's not complicated.

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