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Showing posts from June, 2019

Writers Gotta Read, Right? – June is bustin' out all over

It's JUNE, the start of summer and perhaps a little more reading time for us all. If you delve into this list of June holidays , there's a mountain of holiday themes to plan your reading around. So, without further ado, here are a few holiday-themed June reading lists. Earlier this month, BRP blogger Maryann Miller offered up some Father's Day reads . Here are a few additional lists to consider: The Cozy Mystery List has a goodly sample right here .  Mystery Fanfare never lets me down, and won't let you down either. Here are some offerings for Father's Day .   Goodreads Listopia has a Fathers: Good, Bad and Surrogate list of books to consider.  Another Listopia has 260 picture books about fathers for the younger set.   Now, how about the rest of the month? Well, June is Gay Pride month. Image by Jasmin Sessler from Pixabay Hold your rainbow flag high with pride with these book lists: The McQuade Library created a Listopia of the LGBTQIA books the

A National Month (or Twelve) Just for Me

There’s a big fat whirlpool trying to suck me back into total retirement mode. It lures me closer with its siren song of book titles (novels and non-fiction releases) I want to read, hobbies I want to revisit, new skills I want to learn (like playing that stupid ukulele I bought). What is constantly being pushed to the bottom of my priority list? Writing, revising, editing, blogging, and everything related. In order to keep up with my critique group, I’ve switched to submitting hurried first drafts of short stories which I intend to submit to anthologies if I get around to revising and submitting before the deadlines. I did get two stories submitted to two different anthologies. One was accepted and will appear in Five Star ’s November 2019 release of The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West . I haven’t heard back about the submission to the Northern Colorado Writers 2019 Anthology called Rise (which has beautiful cover art ). Two other or

Seven Books I Love

A friend on Facebook tagged me a few weeks ago to name seven books I loved. In no particular order, here are my seven choices and why I loved them. 1. Mystic River , by Dennis Lehane. To me, Mystic River is the perfect crime novel. It starts when three boys are playing in the street, and a big car pulls up. A man who claims to be a cop chooses the one boy who doesn’t live on the street and tells him to get into the car. He does. The story picks up about thirty years later, and how that one incident comes back to haunt them all. By the way, I crossed the Mystic River Bridge, now known as the Tobin Bridge, every day going to college. 2. Ordinary Grac e, by William Kent Kruger. A coming of age novel where a middle-age man looks back on his thirteen-year old life and the death of a friend and the family members who shaped his manhood. Beautifully written and evocative of time and place. 3. The Kite Runner , by Khaled Hosseini. Again, the main character looks back on his childhood

June and Chocolate Go Together Like Love and Marriage

June 3 is National Chocolate Macaroons Day. June 7 is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. June 11 is National German Chocolate Cake Day. June 16 is National Fudge Day (chocolate, of course). June 20 is National Ice Cream Soda (a personal chocolate story's attached to this one). June 22 is National Chocolate Eclair Day. June 26 is National Chocolate Pudding Day. June 27 is National Ice Cream Cake Day (definitely chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream). In case you haven't guessed by now, I'm an incurable chocoholic. For as long as I can remember, chocolate has topped my list of favorite treats—with one temporary (thankfully) exception. More on this later. My feelings about chocolate can best be stated by the following poem (and with profound apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning): How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My arm can reach, when hidden out of sight The creamy, sweet confection that

Books for Father's Day

Looking ahead to Father's Day, I thought it would be nice to feature a few books that would make a nice gift for your father. There is everything from humor, to inspirational, to fiction available and books always make a good gift. Maybe Dad would like that better than a tie.  I know my father did. There isn't room to list all the wonderful books out there, so I picked just a few. The Life Of Dad Jon Finkel Hardcover: 256 pages Publisher: Adams Media (May 7, 2019) Language: English ISBN-10: 1721400303 ISBN-13: 978-1721400300 Kindle $10.99 Hardcover $11.72 ABOUT THE BOOK A heartwarming and enlightening collection of advice, wisdom, and practical skills featuring an all-star cast of fathers from the popular online community Life of Dad. Becoming a dad gives men a VIP pass into the greatest club on earth: fatherhood. Its rewards are unmatched, its challenges, uncharted. The experience can reach euphoric highs and gut-punching lows. For those moments (and everythin

When a Book Humbles You

I’ll start with a confession. I neither like nor enjoy most modern “literary” fiction. I’ve tried repeatedly to get involved with some Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner, only to throw it down with a combination of disgust and boredom within a few chapters. Not every single fictional character or family must suffer from such extreme dysfunction that they can barely make it through a day without booze or pills. A book needn’t feature only repellent people who have overpowering murderous urges toward their closest friends or family members in order to qualify as “literary.” But apparently, the gods of modern literature have dictated it must be thus, so bookstore shelves sag with a ponderance of these bleak modern novels. I’m not saying every book I read must be a variation on Pollyanna…simply that once in a while, I’d like to read a story of struggle, hope, ambition, and obstacles overcome that actually has a happy ending. Why can’t books about joy be considered as wort

Writing Workshops July to September 2019

Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long writing workshop writing related events are a good way to commune with other writers. They are opportunities to network and get your name out there. In some instances, you can meet and mingle with editors and agents. Some offer critiques or pitching sessions. Nowhere will you find a higher concentration of introverts enjoying each other's company. Local conferences are a good place to meet potential critique groups or recruit members. Some are free. Some require a fee. Some are more social than others. Many are for new writers, but a few dig deep into craft. You should choose an event that speaks to your needs and desires. July 1-26, 2019 (Registration begins May 1)  New York State Summer Writers Institute , Skidmore College, New York   July 7-14, 2019 IWWG 41st Annual Summer Conference,  Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA