Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April WriteSuccess Stories

Have you published a story, book or article? Do you have a blog? Have you landed a juicy writing job or won a writing contest? Whatever your writing success, e-mail me at and tell us about it!

Here are the WS stories I received during the month of April:

Great news! My next novel, set in Bryson City, NC, How Sweet It Is, will be released May 2009. My editor shared the cover with me and I'm extremely happy with it. Life is sweet!

My debut novel, Rain Song, is a finalist for a 2009 Christy Award. The finalists were announced in Dallas in March and the winners will be selected in July. A listing of all nominees can be viewed at this Web Web site:

Alice J. Wisler

Darrell Lindsey recently won International Second Prize in the 2008 Mainichi Haiku Contest. He also has a poem in Issue #17 of OG's Speculative Fiction.
Dear Mary Anne,

You were with me when I published my first article in a magazine. Now I am happy to say you are with me when I published my first book!

My first book, a novella entitled "Angelic Memoirs" has been published by officially. I even Googled my book and found it on the Google search engine!

This is the link to check it out:

I also created my own personal author's Web site!

I have taken my first step; it might not be much but it's a start and I hope to continue it. Thank you for your wonderful Web-zine! Its helped me a lot and made me not give up hope.

Bless you!

Janis Cramlett

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You Just Never Know

It all happened within a few seconds.

One moment, I was cautiously navigating my car down a village street, willing it to get me to my destination only a few short blocks away. The next, my car and I had come to an abrupt halt on cement steps leading up to a house, airbags deployed, windshield splintered, wisps of brownish smoke slithering from somewhere behind the dashboard.

In the moments before those two moments, during the last mile or so of my drive, my car’s brakes had begun to suddenly feel strange, soft, spongy. I vowed that once I parked the car, I would leave it there until I could call John for advice or get it towed to our mechanic’s shop. But how bad could the situation be? The brakes had worked fine on the way to work this morning, as well as when I’d first left the office this afternoon; now, so close to getting to where I wanted to go (a hair appointment, of all things), driving a good ten miles an hour under the village speed limit, and keeping a few car lengths behind the vehicle in front of me, I believed I was taking all the right precautions.

Then the vehicle ahead of me stopped to make a left hand turn. I gently braked, but this time my foot went to the floor with absolutely no resistance. As I headed towards the vehicle’s rear end, I yanked the steering wheel to the right with the hope of bringing my car to a stop along the curb. Instead, it jumped the curb and tried to ascend a set of cement steps leading to a house, where it came to the abrupt halt described above.

In the moments between those two moments, I thought about my upcoming Florida vacation, that I’d be late for my hair appointment (yes, really), and, oh crap, that John would think this was my way of getting a new car.

This accident happened to me a week ago, and I actually walked away from the incident with only a couple of minor aches, some funny tales to tell, a whole lot of gratitude (it could have been worse in just too many nightmarish ways), and a new experience to add to the lifetime of real and imagined experiences that I already draw form when I write (or, for that matter, when I dream). More silver linings than clouds, don’t you think?

As for my hair appointment? My stylist squeezed me in once I’d arrived, a mere half hour late, via a squad car. I made it to that evening’s live performance of Sweeney Todd as well (talk about the dreams I had that night!). Today I bask in the Florida sunshine. And I should have a new car by next week.

You just never know when and where inspiration to write will strike.

Here’s to your writing success.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

11 Blogs (Besides Mine) That Freelance Writers Should Follow Religiously

About Freelance Writing ( sets the bar that we mere mortals can only aspire to. Regularly updated, this blog carries everything from freelance writing job opportunities to industry news.

All Freelance Writing ( comes a close second. A very close second. Great articles, tons of job postings and lots of resources,. What’s not to love?

Freelance Writing Scene ( is not as pretty as the first two—in fact it sort of looks like "Twitter for Writers," which means frequent updates to useful or interesting links.

Freelance Writing Jobs for Web and Print ( bills itself as "the number one online community of freelance writers;" if that’s true, it’s with good reason. Very nice, indeed.

Daily Freelance Writing Tips ( contains mostly short, to-the-point posts on the various aspects. challenges and opportunities facing today’s freelance writers.

The Ups, Downs and Sometimes Insane World of Freelance Writing ( Frankly, the name alone makes this one worth checking out. I enjoy Jon’s writing style, too, but think he should put his full name somewhere on his blog—at least on his profile. My two cents, Jon.

The Bigge Idea (, freelance journalist’s Ryan Bigge’s contribution to the blogosphere is often irreverent, generally thought-provoking, and never predictable.

Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog ( is all about making a more than decent living as a freelance writer. She’s doing it, so she should know.

Freelance Switch ( is actually geared towards all freelancers, not just writers, but you won’t mind once you see how info-packed it is.

Ask Wendy-The Query Queen ( contains contest news, advice, links to Wendy’s book (smile) and happens to be one of the more attractive writing blogs out there.

C. Hope Clark (, publisher of the ezine Funds for Writers and herself a prolific author, provides more writing awards and other funding information and news on her blog.

So there you have it. Read them and reap.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Boomer Writer Tries to Keep Up

Sometimes when I’m online, I feel like I’m on an ice skating rink for the very first time, shaky on my feet, while seasoned skaters whiz by me doing effortless triple salchows and those cool looking sit spins. I’ve particularly felt this way more and more lately as I’ve begun to wade into Web 2.0 waters, having just recently signed up for Facebook and Twitter accounts. And now I’m launching this blog.

I’m hardly an internet newbie. Those familiar with my work know I’ve had an ezine for nearly a decade and a Web site for almost that long. I’m no stranger to forums, IMs , Webinars or online shopping. I rarely write a paper check these days if I can help it. I consider Google and email to be basic necessities.

But this recent onslaught of communcation options has this middle-aged head reeling. I am especially overwhelmed by the rapid development of numerous Twitter tools, having only just begun to dip a toe into the Twitter pool (or should I say raging flood) itself. The problem is, I love learning new things. I never needed to be the first kid on the block with the latest toy, as long as I eventually got to own one. I feel that way about many, if not most, current technological advances and Web-based tools. But things are just moving way, way too fast for me now. There’s so much to read, learn, explore, try. And still only 24 hours in a day.

I guess it all comes down to deciding what’s most important, and making choices. We can allow oursleves to drown in tweets and pokes, or we can take a step back, realize that it’s okay not to be able to keep pace with every single change, and make time for what really matters. For me that includes family, friends, writing, reading good books, gardening, and–-when I can–-finding time to learn a little more about these new-fangled ways to reach out to other people, especially writers, around the globe.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always choose wisely. Real time flies in cyberspace. But I do strive for balance between the global community and my local one.

So as the young skaters fly past me, I try not to envy them too much. Thirty to forty years from now, I’m sure they will feel as befuddled as I sometimes do now. Not that I wish that for them; it’s just the natural order of things. Instead, I’ll simply admire their prowess, and try to learn a little from watching them. Who knows? Maybe some of them will take pity on a doddering baby boomer, and pull me along for the ride of my life.