Your Turn to Fess Up

 Okay, it’s time for me to probe and be a pain in the rear end. I want to know what everyone is up to. Do you still write for yourselves? Do you still have writing goals, dreams, and plans? Yes, class has been over for a while, but these urges don’t leave you alone. And yet, there are so many ways to write: blogs, newsletters, journals, poems of the day, family anecdotes, travel memories, birthday cards! Yes, the term “writer” wants to bond with the word “published” but perhaps you have no inclination to be on Oprah, but rather just keep the words coming and see where they lead. What are your writing goals these days? It’s a good question.

37 responses to “Your Turn to Fess Up

  1. I’m writing here (obviously), on my blog, occasionally on what I call my first book attempt*, although it’s really just a glorified journal (I figured it would give me lots of writing practice and perhaps give me confidence to attempt a second book, one of fiction, hopefully), e-mails and most recently (yesterday to be exact) I joined Christian Writers.

    I’ve still no specific writing goals, although, as I mentioned, I dream of writing a novel and of working to get it published.

    Blogging is working quite well for me. I was invited to join the Christian Writers group by a woman I met through my blogging. I believe blogging is a nice way for me to gain confidence because my writing is being read by a constantly expanding number of readers. I’ve invited many friends and relatives to read it–that was kind of scary. Some do and some I’m not sure of. Just because I don’t get a comment, I’ve learned, I shouldn’t assume this person or that person isn’t poking his head in occasionally.

    I asked those whom I e-mailed my blog address to comment so I’d know they’d visited but the majority of people don’t know how or for some other reason, just stop in to read.

    How about you, Ann? I bet you often wish you could stop spending most of your time reading other’s writing. You’ve got to be absolutely chomping at the bit, longing to spend most of the hours of your days in your own creative writing. I don’t know how you do what you do. I’m sure it’s satisfying in many ways, but it has to take forever to go through the hundreds of final assignments in BWW.

    Well, that’s my writing here for today.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

    *I’m on page 70 of my First Book Attempt. I started it on New Year’s Day, last year. I got involved in training for a triathlon held in July (by invitation from my neice, also in January of last year). A trip to New England also drew my focus away from “the book.”

  2. Do I write for myself? As much as I ever had before.
    BWW was not the life changing event for me that it apparently was for some others. I do enjoy the friendship of these former classmates and new aquaintances, though. It is sure fun to come here and get ridiculous.
    I still write poetry, because that is something that tends to occur spontaneously for me. Maybe it is just my short attention span that makes it easier than longer works!
    I do still have dreams, maybe deeply buried, of writing a novel, getting published, getting famous- -for a moment, anyway–
    but I recognize that dreams don’t materialize on their own, rather only through hard work and dedication.
    Would my dream come to life if I made myself sit and work on this story I’m thinking of for fifteen minutes a day?
    Will we ever find out?

    • I sure hope so, Maureen. 15 minutes a day would be a perfect way to get started. You’d find out in a hurry whether it was a heartfelt goal or only a passing fancy.

      I may adopt your idea of 15 minutes per day. If I like what I’m writing, I’d soon spend much more time on it. If it didn’t work for me, I’d cut my efforts down to a big 0 minutes.

      It all goes back to the slogan: JUST DO IT.

  3. Well, let’s see. Just what exactly am I up to. Do I have goals. Or are they dreams. One thing is for sure–there is a big wide jump between the two. So, my answers (or confessions) will depend on what mood I’m in.

    Lately, I’ve been in my “oh my God, I am not a writer mood”. The joke is on me. I’ve been found out. Oh what a fool I’ve been. Put the pen and paper away. Haul out the trash. Put my computer up for sale. Everyone else is full speed ahead. Write, write, write. My little esssays and stuff are piddly attempts. And I don’t even know how to make them better. I am at a place where, okay, now what do I do? Can’t someone–anyone– just come right out and tell me what it is I need to know about this writing? How I can fix it. Can it be fixed. Right now, though, I feel it can’t be fixed. Only real writers can learn and improve. Only real writers know it would be worthwhile to spend time and money on classes or workshops. Maybe my money would be better spent fixing up this house. Or groceries. Or gas to get me somewhere. Writing classes are for writers. So, while I am in this mood, I am a dreamer.

    My other mood: I jump in and relish making a fool out of myself. Better to be a fool than nothing at all. This is when I sit at my computer and write. I edit and polish some of my old stuff. I may even create something brand new. I may even work on my short story. I may even enter a contest. I may even win third place. I may even frame the certificate and not cash my ten dollar award check. I have been known to spend entire days working on a project. And I love it when that happens. I will tell you a secret–I have spent over two years working on a poem. I studied over every single word, even all the ‘ands, buts, and whiles’. Every single word means something from the heart. And I submitted it. And I received my very first rejection letter. Now that makes me feel like a writer. So even though “they” didn’t appreciate my two-year work and my “every word counts”, I am proud of my rejection letter.

    Do I dream of being on Oprah? Lord, yes! Can’t you just see me sitting there, discussing how my novel came to be. And where my inspiration came from. And how do I feel about it becoming a movie. And is there going to be a sequel.

    Mostly, I don’t really think that big. If I don’t make to the Oprah stage, it’s okay. I have dreamed of writing a book for as long as I can remember. I would want it to be one of those books you just can’t put down. You don’t want it to end but you must keep reading until the last page. And then you sit there and cry like a baby over it. You know the kind of books I’m talking about. That’s what I want to write.

    My dreams seem to be overpowering my goals these days. I guess it’s just alot easier. In fact, goals get on my nerves because I usually don’t hold up my end of the bargain. But now here’s something strange–while I’ve been writing this ever-so-long comment (Ann, you did ask for it), my desire to set some small goals have slightly emerged. Again. I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round. Dreams and goals. Dreams and goals. Up and down. Just going around in circles.

    I’ve thought about starting my own blog. But here’s the thing. You know that fear of giving a party and no one shows up? Yeah, that.

    So here I am, stuck in my own little dream. All comfortable, all warm, all safe. No expectations. Yep, all nice and warm. Just me and my little dream. Can you hear me screaming?

    • This post proves to me that you’re a writer. Just look at it. It’s straight from your heart; it’s fun to read; it sums up how we all feel; it makes me love you more. I couldn’t stop reading it until I reached the last word. I didn’t cry, but you touched me.

      (I’m proud of my rejection slips too. We had to do something right to qualify for one. That something is: we wrote.)

      We all thrive on having hobbies. Mine is writing. I enjoy the time I spend with my word creations. I have dreams and some half-assed goals.

      I like having control over when I write, what I write and how I write. I don’t really care a whole lot whether I ever make money by getting published. So maybe writing will always be a hobby for me.

      It all comes back to: I don’t know what I want and I won’t be happy until I get it. 🙂

  4. Barbara Burris

    Rejection letters are better than no response at all. I keep my rejection letters in a 3 ring binder. Someday I plan to wallpaper my bathroom with them. I’m proudest of the tiny little form that came from Good Housekeeping. The editor actually wrote me a note in long-hand on the form!!! And it was kind!!! (sorry Ann, I couldn’t resist the !s)

    What hurts me most is being completely ignored as though my work wasn’t worth the time, effort, paper, airspace, whatever, to mention. There have been many of those types of rejections. My nephew is a magazine editor and my reactions remind him constantly that there is a person with feelings on the other end of that query letter. He says he tries to write a response whenever possible and his magazine requires he respond in some form or another within six weeks. I wish all were that way. Otherwise, it seems we become merely one more cold, mechanical component to our computer systems.

    I’ve never been terribly goal oriented. Dreams, yes. Tons of them. Oprah? Oh, well maybe. Good Morning America is more my speed. But I don’t have any real thoughts of writing a book. Like Maureen, I think my attention span is also too short. I am working on a sporadic long-term project with my mother-in-law, writing down her history, her remembrances, her thoughts. It may some day come together into a book, but will more likely become a series of essays.

    I write most days, but not every day. If nothing wants to come out, I see no reason to waste good time spouting gibberish. But that’s my choice. Some find that forcing writing each day yields useful material. Not so for me. Perhaps if I needed to earn a living writing, it would be different, but I write now because I want to. I need to. So that statement would indicate I am writing for myself every time I put pen to paper or hit the keyboard.

    • Hi Barb,

      I love your bathroom wallpaper idea. (My advice would be that after the paper is up you don’t read your rejection slips on the walls while you’re sitting down in the bathroom. Doing so would surely cause constipation).

      I agree with much of what you’ve written here. I fear that if I write with getting published as a major goal, the joy and spontaneity that I feel now will be gone or greatly diminished.

      My attention span is also a questionable factor. I seem happier when I have no meaningful purpose behind what I’m doing, at least during my down time which is what I consider my writing time to be for now.

      Yes, writing for ourselves is a fine activity and I’m glad you derive enjoyment from yours.

  5. Writing dreams, yes, I would say I have writing dreams, I would say most aren’t much different than what has already been mentioned.

    I have a dream that one day I will have finished one of the many wip that are clogging up the memory on my computer.

    I have a dream that I will be accepted by a good agent who knows how to get a old, semi-talented, fat and bald writer signed up with a publisher.

    I have a dream that my dream-come-true book actually makes it in print.

    I have a dream that the book entertains people, that it makes them happy and makes them sad. I want it to change their life, if it is only for the time that they are reading the book. I want to boldly take them where they have never gone before.

    I want characters, as has been said before, that makes people sad because they have come to the last page. I want my characters and readers to become best friends whom can’t live without the other.

    I want to make the world to sing in perfect har-mo-knee.

    So in the meantime, I blog. I have a couple of blogs, but have discontinued one of them for now. I enjoy dropping tidbits here in Ann’s place and enjoy all youse guy’s talent. I have written a couple of poems for people to give as gifts to their spouse’s.

    I guess we all are “published”, considering that some publishers consider a story you posted on a blog as having been published.

    For now I will continue to fill my computer’s memory with my drabble or dribble or whatever comes from the mind of Walk.

  6. I just peeked in our previous gathering spot, Time, to see if Gully was there. She’s home from her adventures, that I know.

    I’ll go get her and drag her in here. She’s been gone way to long already.

  7. I told Gully it’s time to get in here and fess up cuz Ann’s in her robe, holding a gavel. I told her we’re in line waiting for judgement and her turn is coming up real soon.

    I suspect she’ll be busting in here any minute, claiming innocence to all charges although we know better.

  8. Shaddy says I must contribute here. I will, but right now I have to go water the lawn. If you really want to know what I’m doing, check out my blog.

  9. Alas, I did not have / make / take the time to write about time in time before the new GA posted.

    I was busy working / getting my rear view mirror stuck back on my windshield (which would have been the subject of my post about time – you know, had I had the time). A friend suggested the mirror falling off was a sign telling me not to look back. Indeed, it was sound advice.

    However, looking back can be good. This past week I spent time in my nation’s capital reminiscing with old friends from college. I was comforted to learn that, in some ways, time stands still and that some things (arguably the best things) never change.

    I thought a lot about who I am / who I was / who I want to be while I was away. More on my thoughts (including my confessions – well, some of them anyway) shortly.

    • I like your friends suggestion about not looking back although when you’re driving it’s “kind of” important.

      Yup, it’s fess up time here. Time ta take a look see at arselfs ta figur out if wer wasting time with writin or doin sumtin werth wall. I’s hoping to make sum cash wid ma writin so I kin git me sum new teef so I kin talk rite agin.

      Yup. Thats ma fession.

      I be waitin ta hear yers.

    • Barbara Burris


      I went to your blog and read the dog story. Very wonderful fast read. I tried to post a comment there but got some message about a URL being illegal, bad, wrong, something I don’t understand.


      • Hmmm… I’ll have to ask one of my more blog-savvy friends what is causing this weird error when someone tries to comment. Others have had the same problem, Barbara. Must find the time – er, that’s another GA.

  10. Please accept my abject apologies for Shaddy’s post above. I’m afraid I started her talking like that by an ill-considered e-mail I sent her. I should have remembered what mimics we writers are.

    • I didn’t even realize why I was writing like that until I read your apology. You did get me started with your e-mail. Dang, I thought I had a mind of my own.

  11. (Here’s my “Time” submission. It’s an abridged version of a piece I recently posted on my blog. I’ll try to catch up on this prompt soon.)

    Slowing Things Down by Speeding Things Up

    My friend Bob recently said to me that time seemed to pass slowly during his youth, but now that he’s in his seventies, he blinks and a month has gone by. I know what he means. I’ve been looking for the antidote to that feeling, and I think I might have a lead on it.

    I remember vividly how long it took to graduate from twelve years of public school. And the three years that followed, until I turned twenty-one, seemed to take as long as all the years prior. There is something magical about twenty-one apparently, because time then speeds up, increasing incrementally throughout the years until one day you wake up and find yourself eligible for Social Security and Medicare and you ask, “How the blazes did this happen?”

    Forty-four years ago (gasp!) I quit my white-collar work in Anchorage and moved thirty-six road miles south along Turnagain Arm to a small village called Girdwood. Once a bustling placer mining settlement, Girdwood in 1965 was then the site of a fledgling ski resort called Alyeska. At that time, the permanent population of Girdwood was about a hundred people, with almost as many dogs.

    A part-time weekend job working for Werner, who held the only food concession available at the lodge, expanded into full time work, and very soon I found myself his breakfast cook. While happy to be out of the “big city” (Anchorage, pop. about 102,000), I was also very worried about being able to support myself. Included in my luggage in the move to Girdwood were a number of unpaid bills, most of which had to do with my inability to stay out of book stores and the discovery of buying books by mail. I began a concerted effort to pay off those bills as quickly as possible, and took on a part-job as part of that effort.

    The part time job I took was at a restaurant-bar called the Double Musky, located across the valley from the ski resort. Every Wednesday and Saturday nights, I cooked sirloin steaks over charcoal in the fireplace, and on Sunday afternoons, I helped prepare a buffet. At that time the owners were Julian and Catherine Maule. Living in an eight by twelve foot shack with no water or plumbing and allowing myself only twenty or thirty dollars to live on a month, my bills were soon paid off.

    A week ago I was in Tacoma visiting with a girlfriend from those long ago days. We hopped on a public transit bus for Snohomish, Washington, which is about an hour north of Seattle. A phone call and a short ride later, we were on the deck of Julian’s home to celebrate his eightieth birthday. Now remarried to a lady named Ruth, he lives in a semi-rural area with three goats for lawn mowers.

    As with most of my friends from those days, he has opted for the same hair color as the rest of us, but little else has changed with Julian. He has the same happy-go-lucky sense of humor, booming voice, and never-met-a-stranger attitude. One of the guests, in fact, was a young man working in telecommunications that Julian had just met and dragged to his party.

    Some other Alaskans were there, too. Polka Dan, who long-ago had kept us all dancing polkas and Schottisches at the Musky, as we called it, sat in the soft sunshine of early evening, played an antique concertina and swept us back in time more than forty years.

    Mike from Alaska brewed up a huge pot of cioppino, a fish stew derived from Italian cuisine, but added an Alaskan flavor with halibut, spot shrimp, steamer clams, and red king crab. Served with slices of garlic bread topped with Parmesan cheese, eaten on a warm sunny deck as the goats mowed the lawn or dozed on a shed roof. Surrounded by Julian’s old and new friends, and listening to his outright, bald-faced, shameless lies about me when I worked for him, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his milestone birthday.

    Those lies? It was my mission, back in those days of cooking sirloin steaks over charcoal in the Double Musky’s fireplace, to wean my friends off of “well done” and closer to “medium rare.” One night, claims Julian, someone ordered a well done steak. As the story goes, I stood up, handed the cooking fork to the customer, and told him to cook it himself if he wanted it well done. That’s Julian’s version of the story, and he loves it.

    I have my doubts about its veracity, thinking it must have been said to a good friend IF I said it at all, but in honor of a long-time friend who just turned eighty, I’ll let him tell it his way.

    Three days after Julian’s party it was time for me to head to Sea-Tac for the flight back to Alaska. The fifteen days I had been away seemed like months, and it took a while to realize why. In those fifteen days, I had crammed in so many adventures and activities that time had slowed way, way down—crept along like a snail on Prozac as a writing instructor of mine once said. It’s a clue, a lead, as the detectives say, to this mystery of time.

    In two short weeks, I had visited with my brother and his family, met my new grand-niece, learned from my nephew about making wines in Walla Walla, sipped the finest rose´ I have ever had, mowed my brother’s lawn with his John Deere tractor mower, visited Vancouver, B.C., spent most of an afternoon in a chilly, drafty parking garage trying—with eight thousand other people—to board one of three cruise ships tied up nest to each other, attended a week long writers’ workshop, bared a secret to an audience of thirty, gone on a photo safari by land and water in Juneau, seen Mendenhall glacier, flunked rock climbing, hiked part of the Chilkoot Trail in Skagway and then river rafted back to the beginning, photographed historic buildings in that old gold rush town, and gasped as a huge sea lion surfaced next to the small boat I was on, apparently as startled as we were.

    I’m not done yet. I read portions of Robert Service poems that were included in a story about a moose-hunting camp to the workshop, rode up a steep hill in a Unimog, fastened myself into a harness and ziplined through a sunlit rainforest in Ketchikan, watched sunsets from the dining room of a luxurious cruise ship, enjoyed the antics of bald eagles flying overhead, learned where the sore spots would be from my new hiking boots, slid hell-bent down a four hundred foot long plastic slide with my feet in a burlap bag while sitting on another gunny sack, spent some time in the infamous Red Dog Saloon in Juneau, rappelled off a platform fifty feet high in a gigantic cedar tree, gaped in awe as our massive cruise ship turned on a dime at the frozen end of narrow Tracy Arm fjord, walked laps around the top deck of the cruise ship, visited the notorious Creek Street in Ketchikan where tourist traps have replaced the cribs of good time girls, tried that rock climbing wall three times before I gave up and consoled myself with Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, listened to an editor from a well-known publishing house kindly critique a partial manuscript of mine and have him tell me I knew more than I was giving myself credit for.

    I visited the old underground city of Seattle, ate Thai and Indian cuisine for the first time, visited the Almond Roca outlet store, ate and fell in love with naan, visited with several friends from long ago who remain close friends today, having a writing instructor tell me my subject matter for an essay was “dynamite,” discovered my traveling laptop was the slowest thing in all creation, enjoyed an afternoon’s drive along the coast of Tacoma, wandered around the Olympia Farmer’s Market and learned the “Fresh Washington Apples” had been in storage for seven months, ate fish tacos, photographed breeching humpback whales, ate ice cream at a drive-in coffee house while listening to an all female group play Celtic music, discovered Elvis is alive and well and had my picture taken with him, and found out how I stacked up against a group of other writers.

    And more.

    Perhaps that’s the way to slow things down as we get older. Reconnect with old friends and tell them how much they meant to you. Make your bucket list as long as you can and make an effort to do everything on it, just like the effort I made long ago to pay off those unpaid book bills. And, just so you know, those two flat rate boxes of new books that I had to mail home because they put my luggage way over the weight limit, and the other three books I dragged home in my travel tote? I paid cash for them.

  12. You know what I’m thinking today? I don’t care if my writing isn’t worth a hill of beans.

    If I enjoy doing it, that’s good enough for me.

    If when I share it with others, it makes them smile, laugh or just shake their heads and wonder, then I’m a happy Shaddy.

  13. At the tail end of the writers’ workshop I recently attended, each of the three instructors read from their previous works. Jack read a piece that had been published seven years ago. As he scanned it prior to reading aloud, he was revising it….

  14. Have you noticed that when Ann’s assignment is to talk about ourselves, we are pretty silent on the subject? Then she gives us an assignment on bugs and we go bonkers, or is it that summer has hit and we have retreated outdoors.

    • I think summer has a lot to do with the slow down. Oh and we are all so modest!! We just can’t bring ourselves to focus on our own lives. Right! I could write for hours about me, me, me and then a bit more about me.

      It’s the fear of losing my readers that prevents me from that type of writing. I can’t handle people who are so caught up in themselves that they don’t have a clue as to what anyone else might have going on in his or her life.

      I’m not saying that I don’t get up on my pedestal and carry on like a fool at times but I try to catch myself before I turn everyone off.

      Yup, I’m a fool, carrying on in here when everyone else is probably outside with the bugs, getting material for our next assignment on that subject.

      If anyone else wants some time on the pedestal, be my guest.

  15. Come on my friends. It’s fun up there on the pedestal and you needn’t be shy; no one can see you, at least, that’s what I assume. Gosh, I wonder? Dang, I don’t think I even combed my hair before I climbed up there the other day.

    I promise I won’t push you off and try to take over. Really!

  16. Ann, Ann, where are you? If you peek in here I have something of interest for you. I plugged your BWW class in my blog post titled “That’s My Friend, Sarah” and I mentioned your website.

    I’m sorry if that’s a bad thing; I just can’t help myself and I can’t forget you. But, I’ll save that for another blog post.

  17. I check in a couple times a day, but can’t think of anything to say. I’m still rushing to catch up on springtime chores, made all the more urgent by being gone for two weeks.

  18. I’ve avoided this question before. When Ann asked my BWW class to state what we want to write I skirted the question and gave a response that was decidedly (and purposely) free of commitment. When Ann later asked us to state our ultimate motivation exercise, again, my response was safe and, while honest, didn’t reveal my deepest desire.

    Well, the third time is a sign that I must no longer avoid the question. Indeed, it is a good question and one that deserves and honest answer. It’s confession time – time to let the lightening out of the cage.

    So, here goes… I’m putting it out there… I’m officially going on the record. I want to be a writer.

    I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and I want to be a published writer for reasons that are not quite clear to me. It may be because many friends, among them several writers and English majors for whom I have a great deal of respect, have complimented my writing. If I am a “recognized” writer (does that mean a “published” writer?) will that somehow make me feel accomplished?

    Part of me wants an audience. Part of me wants to entertain. Another part of me wants to be understood (and, if I were completely honest, I would admit that a vain side of me wants to be revered). As I said in GA 13, writing energizes and gives me power to share, create, understand and, be understood.

    I’m currently negotiating with what has long been my more dominant, extremely guarded side. I rarely reveal my true self to others. Also, as much as I may want to, I find it difficult to write if I have nothing to say. I have trouble writing about mundane topics just for the sake of writing every day. I’m getting closer to a balance between holding out for the perfect topic (what I did before BWW gave me permission to explore) and letting Fun Zelda loose to see what comes of it.

    My journey through BWW lead me to the conclusion that I must stop waiting and start writing as it is through writing that I’ll uncover my story. I wonder if anyone will buy it?

  19. In between writing stories about my latest trip, picking up roadside litter, and reading the latest from my favorite novelists, I’ve been trying to come up with an answer for Ann’s question.

    What comes to mind is the quandary I discovered while writing my sporadically-in-progress tale of the journey I took with my husband and his Alzheimer’s Disease. Some in his family urged me to write while others objected to him being portrayed as impaired. I asked a long-deceased mentor what I should do, and the first words that came to mind were “do no harm.” I set the manuscript aside, knowing that there were things I had to say that were important to the story–the effects of and how to deal with opposing views of treatment, etc.–but not knowing how to relate those things without causing great harm. I’m still considering them.

    Why I wanted to write the story was the overriding question of all. I know it can help other caregivers. I know that without question.

    In the meantime, I tell stories and I do so because I am compelled to communicate with others in the way I know best–through the written word. I have joked often about a fear of my head exploding if I don’t find a release for my words. It’s really not so funny.

    Recently a friend asked me why I started a blog. “It’s a place for the words to go,” I answered.

    “I like that,” he said. “A place for the words to go.”

    I am seriously considering print on demand (POD) as the best option. A recent writers’ workshop I attended had as an instructor a man who used to be editorial director of Writer’s Digest magazine, and currently is editorial director of Clerisy Press. In his talk about publishing, he stressed that the mainstream publishing houses no longer look down on self-publication and POD houses. Instead, he told us, they scan publications from those houses to look for good books and writers they can pick up. So, I think I’l aim in that direction, even though I am not a good self-promoter, something necessary these days regardless of how one is published.

    But, for now, I continue to write for myself. I hope to entertain people with my stories. Soon I hope to gather the stories I think are the best, a variety of them, and consider POD. They won’t be literature, for certain. I don’t have the chops for that–Harvard won’t be adding my stuff to their five-foot shelf of classics.

    I simply want to be a story-teller. If the stories are mostly about me and the mundane things I write about, all the better. I’ve lived an unusual life by most folks’ standards. I’ve had a lot of quirky adventures, and I add to the list continually. And, I think I have a bit of a talent for making even the mundane seem interesting. That’s my goal–to help others see the adventure in their worlds.

    As a recent returnee to the world of writing, after a forty-year hiatus, I have a lot to learn. In the meantime, I’m having a blast writing about it.

    Why? Because I have to. My head would explode from all the pent-up words if I didn’t.

  20. I like your definition of a blog: A place for the words to go.

    After seeing your’s and Walk’s, I started my own. It’s been a God send.

    When the time is right for you to write publicly about your experiences with your husband and Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll feel it. I truly believe that. If you never feel a strong desire to do it, then you’re not supposed to.
    Take that with a grain of salt. It’s just me, Shaddy, spouting off as if I’ve a brain in my head. I suspect if I truly had a brain, I’d be quite dangerous.

    Would you explain the differences between POD and self-publication, please?

  21. Uh, Google it, Shaddy, if you want to know the difference. Tee hee.

    As I understand it, POD has a small initial run. Then, as the orders come in, more are printed. Computers make this all possible.

    Self-publication is somewhat different in that the initial run is what the author pays for up front, and is probably larger than the initial POD run. I suspect the lines are blurring between the two now that computers are used for prepping the manuscript for publication.

    Anybody have anything to say here, to clear things up?

  22. Barbara Burris

    Just a note to say be careful out there. There’s an interesting site recommended to me by another writing teacher. It’s called Editors and Preditors. They give a ‘heads up’ to people on who’s more reliable and who to possibly watch out for. If you decide to self-publish or anything of that nature, it might be good to check out this site.

  23. darksculptures

    My confession:

    I still don’t feel I am much of a writer!

    Unfortunately,the English Composition class I am taking monopolizes most of my time and has become an anchor around my neck. My strong suite has never been grammar and punctuation, so I am trying to correct that flaw in my writing. But, the sad truth is, it is undermining my confidence as a writer. The class has made the “process” of writing mechanical and unappealing to me. I find myself longing for hours, minutes, or even seconds that I can spend on one of my two novels, or just freewriting. I know I need the help, because It is painfully apparent when I read the first few chapters of the words that I wrote last year. Nonetheless, the process of relearning to think, talk, and write is slow and tedious. Especially when you consider that I am no longer in the years of my youth.

    I still have large goals, dreams, and aspirations. Publishing a novel every two or three years would be my biggest. I wander how I am going to accomplish this. Never have I been openly public. That is why writing appeals to me so strongly. I can be alone with my thoughts, create worlds, characters, friends, and live vicariously through them. The thought of having to give an interview, go to a book signing, or talk to strangers frightens me. What if they prod my thoughts or worse yet heckle my efforts? I think I have developed a mild case of agoraphobia during my 4 years on sabbatical. However, I feel that the books I am writing are good books, great books even. So, what’s a girl to do? Keep writing.

    Blogging will be my first step. I have started to develop my blogsite here on WordPress and hope to open it to the public shortly. Maybe by exposing myself a little at a time I will learn to handle the self-imposed pressure of being picked apart, criticized, and lambasted. Most likely it won’t be that bad, but my demons keep planting those seeds in my waking thoughts, and in my nighttime dreams.

    So herein, lies my dilemma: How can I be a writer when I feel I am incapable of doing the things that writers must do? I guess that is why I still don’t consider myself a writer.

    My short-term goal is an ongoing process of writing short stories. I hope to build a collection that can be called upon for contest, magazine submissions and odds and ends where I may make a few dollars while working on the big projects. I continue to set these to the side as they are completed, hoping to later look at them with a grammatical and mechanically fresh set of eyes. Once I feel confident that they are correct, I will begin the next step of my journey: Letting the world see who I am. Until then I just scribble and scratch alone in the shelter of obscurity.

  24. One hundred years ago whenI worked for a School of Library Science and Instructional Technology I was required to write things for publication. I did, cranking out one article a semester. I can’t say that it was unhappy work, but it did not bring me as much pleasure as being able to associate with the people here.

    My wife and I are working on a mystery that takes place in a small rural town in Connecticut. Creating this town and its inhabitants has brought us great fun. It’s like being ten again and playing with cap pistols.

    Are we anxious to see our story in print? Yes, maybe. After all the time, ink, and paper, we’d hope to break even and it would be nice to give someone something to read that takes them to another place for awhile.

    As far as thinking we are WRITERS we don’t think about that. Preston and Child are writers, Thomas Merton was a writer, St. Exupery wrote. Those folks are heavy hitters We’re just playing sandlot baseball.

    I like Gullible’s statement about motive.
    Why I wanted to write the story was the overriding question of all. I know it can help other caregivers. I know that without question.

    I know it can help other caregivers Isn’t that why we’re here?
    Compared to that statement what missus and I are doing is only playing in the sandbox; but play has a value so we’ll press on hoping we can find a way to to have others enjoy a little escape from a daily grind.. We’re almost done. We just need to touch up the climactic ladies fight scene, see that the sheriff receives a proper reward from the new gal in town, and maybe let the con man reveal his true nature; and I guess we ought to do something about the person who murdered two people, and caused the suicide.of a third. The thing is none of them sit quietly while we try to talk with them.

    The challenges by mentor are great fun; however, they do take up a bit of tim. What else have I got to do? I mean the last bus will be by pretty soon and I’m not going gently into that good night.

    Love to you all

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