Hello Old Friends!

Yes, I’m here.  Life has gotten complicated (my husband is ill), forcing me to drop the online course, Beginning Writers Workshop.  The main reason for this was that it was getting too successful.  My enrollments kept going up, and, well, you can imagine responding to 60 candle descriptions every day for two weeks.  Part of this is my own fault.  I really liked working with everyone.  I kept trying to limit responses, cut back on the scope of assignments, and hire help.  But none of this worked.  I couldn’t keep up.  So I have kept the two other online courses–Effective Business Writing and Writing Essentials (a back-to-basics review).  They’re easier to keep up with.  I’m hanging in, still working.

Ed2go offered to buy the content of Beginning Writers Workshop, and the offer was a good one.  But I said no.  (You don’t sell your children!)  Instead, I am revising the course into a workbook.  It needs at least two more revisions and then we’ll see how publishing goes.  Amazon is the easy option, and I may go that way.  If I do, I will email everyone to let you know it’s available.  I thank you ALL for how you helped me revise that material until it was as helpful as I could make it.

To answer Gullible’s question, yes I got tired of John and Martha, but only to the extent that John’s name is now Bert.  Martha is still her feisty self.  If you’ve taken Writing Essentials, you will have found that she shot John in the toe and had to serve time.  (He was having an affair.)  She trained in jail to be a firefighter.  She just keeps on going.

Other news:  I put my other novel (prequel to The Glory Rites) up on Amazon.  It’s called The Old Powers.  It’s a good read (paperback or Kindle), and since I’m stubborn, there are no dragons or magical creatures in either.  (Okay, there is a sorcerer or two.)  The good guys are flawed, and the bad guys at least have understandable motivation.  Between the two novels, it gave me a chance to examine the fuzzy lines between magic and religion and also humanism and the urge to power.

I miss you all!  We’ve had a lot of fun.  We even had roller skating parties with famous literary figures!  Here’s hoping I can climb out of my many ruts and keep this blog alive.

Let me hear from you!

19 responses to “Hello Old Friends!

  1. Keeping those good vibes flowing to you and your husband, Ann. Tight hugs.

  2. Hey, Zelda. So very good to hear from you. Are you writing anything these days?
    Keep in touch. –Ann

  3. So sorry to hear of your husband’s illness. Dealing with life’s difficulties can be a challenge, but I’ve no doubt that you will persevere. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
    I’ve thought about you so many times since I took your ‘Beginning’ class. Your critique of my final exam submission left an indelible mark on my psyche and gave me the confidence that I needed to believe in myself. I must be one of many that feel this way about you. So the next time that rut is dragging you down, remember how many you have inspired! ~Cecilia

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      Beautiful comment. As you know, Ann inspired many including me. Taking BWW many, many years ago was a life changing experience. I learned to write freely and made friends that I still interact with.

      I’m so happy you experienced and gained from Ann’s amazing class.

  4. It’s so great to hear that you’re feeling confident. Hope you’re writing more!

    • Sheri Rosedale

      My name is Sheri Rosedale Villaverde. I participated in your online writing course through Lone Star Community College in 2011. 
      I wanted to say, “thank you” for your ability to communicate effectively online and for your support. I learned many lessons from that course that I carried with me throughout a project that has since been completed and published. I was identified as “skippy” for the class and made the following post.
      “I am attempting to find a productive and fulfilling third quarter of my life and become free of the internal and external critics that have haunted me. I have written a story, not complete, that I hope will resonate with women of all ages and cultures everywhere whose lives will be changed in some way as a result. My story is far from unique but writing has given me a voice that has been silent until now. Perhaps this story will become the voice and catalyst for others who continue to remain silent.
      In conjunction with the story, it is my passion to learn to be a baker, a bread baker extraordinaire. I hope one day to be able to open my own bakery and shop.
      I battle the demons, take baby steps, and hope by telling myself, I can do this.
      Your response:I think you should print out that last paragraph and post it above your computer or your stove! Very inspiring. Good luck to you.”
      I did just that and the post continues to hang above my desk.
      My novel, based on my life, was published in Feb 2019 and has been available on Amazon. The book was accepted to participate in the  Tampa Oxford Exchange Book Fair in 2019 and in the Tampa Jewish Book Festival of the same year. I have been making presentations in person and now on Zoom based on the book and my experiences. Many women’s lives have been touched as a result of the publication.
      I now have completed a workbook that accompanies the novel whose format is based on coaching sessions. I am completing my certification as a ‘life coach’ and my focus is on women who are survivors free of the abuser and those in life transitions.
      But, you and your class were instrumental in being one of the many women who were influential in providing much-needed support during a very trying time in my life. Thank you for that.
      One never knows whose lives will be touched, influenced, and changed, and how this becomes a ripple effect on so many others.
      I finally became free last March after almost 40 years and intend to spend the rest of my life helping other women become empowered. By the way, I still bake bread!!

      I am so sorry to learn of your husband’s illness, my thoughts are with you.
      Take care, stay safe. Again, thank you.

      Sheri Rosedale
      Author, Symphony of Her Heart

  5. I’m sorry to hear that your husband’s ill and I hope he recovers soon.

    I’m glad to see that you’re still blogging. Your blog has been fun and inspirational for so many, myself included. I’ll be on the lookout for your BWW workbook and look forward to hearing of your future endeavors. Thanks for keeping us posted.

  6. So glad to hear from you. Life keeps challenging us to make us strong. I am sending all positive thoughts your way.

  7. Life seems to kick us when we’re down, illness seems so prevalent these days, not only in old folks like me, but seems to hit the younger generations also. Prayers for your husband, and strength to you.

    You have been missed. I looked the other day for BWW, and was disappointed when I didn’t see it. I was hoping to get a kick start on my writing again, I will look into Writing Essentials in the near future. I’m glad you’re back.

  8. Cheryl aka Shaddy

    Hi Ann. This is Shaddy. I retired last week do here I am. I hope you will be able to return here in the near future. I haven’t been writing but hope to get back to it.
    I pray your husband’s situation improves.

    Take care of yourself too, Ann.

  9. September???? Can it really be so long since I’ve checked in? Life is a chaotic parade of demanding distractions. Perhaps we can hope for a bit of boredom, a quiet lull. Spring is coming!

  10. Ann. Ann. Ann! Are you there? I have news! Exciting news. I hope you can hear me. And I hope you’re okay. No. I take that back. I hope you’re thriving.

    I want to tell you again how grateful I am for you and for everything that you taught me about writing. You gave me permission to let my word lover light shine (that’s a reference to the candle assignment – hee, hee!).

    So, here’s what I want to tell you. You don’t need to write back. I understand how life zings by and how many demands there are for your time. I just want you to hear this and know that I credit you with a big portion of my success.

    I’ve become a professional writer! Like, as in people actually pay me to write stuff for them. Can you believe it!?

    Fundraising copywriting is fast-becoming my area specialization and I’ve recently enrolled in another online writing class – this time on the psychology of fundraising copywriting.

    And… you’ll never believe it… my instructor said this about my work:

    “I dare say that one of your superpowers is to build heart connections or to draw hearts closer through visual language (be it a picture or a sentence that paints vivid pictures in our minds’ eyes)…”

    Of course, I’m thrilled. I certainly didn’t start out writing that way. And you deserve the credit, Ann. You taught me to “show, not tell.”

    Please forgive my bout of bragging, but I really want you to know how much you are loved and loved and loved.

    With sincere gratitude,
    Zelda P.

  11. Yes. I’m here, marginally. Your message inspired me to reach out and thank you, as well. We all participated in one of the best learning experiences (me too!) I’ve encountered. Do keep going. You’re on your way. Bravo. –Ann

  12. Ann!

    I’m sorry I didn’t notice this before. I thought I would get a notification if you replied and I finally checked in to see if – just in case – Ann answered. I’m so glad you did. And I so wish I had checked sooner.

    I was thrilled to hear you’re still out there. Not so thrilled to hear you use the word “marginally.” But I guess that’s better than not at all.

    I feel like you may need help. I am here to offer help. Any help you may need. Please reach out. I don’t want to intrude, but be forewarned – I will intrude if I have to – so please reach out to me. You will find my contact info at http://www.wayupsolutions.com.

    You have done so much for me. I would be honoured to return the favour to you.

    XO Chris (AKA Zelda P.)

  13. Cheryl aka Shaddy

    Some of my are dearest friends originated from BWW.
    My writer’s name was Shaddy.


  14. Hey!
    Is anyone around???


  15. Nancy Marie Nieto

    I had predetermined to definitely irrevokably decided to less than dislike you; to unlike you. Completely…then I read you. How very fortunate SMC is to have you affiliated with them. I was searching for a gift, and though the BIG letter schools might have it. Shoulda known better. My best classes were always close to home.


    Please… my candle needs a match, can we share? Me the candle and you the light.

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