Friday, November 30, 2012

Three Bits of News from Deanna Klingel

Deanna Klingel and Robert S. King at Festival on the  Square 
NCWN West member, and my friend, Deanna Klingel, author of several outstanding books, announces a December 1 event with her publisher. Sounds like fun.

Three bits of news:
Tomorrow, December 1, visit my website for the first day of one month of Christmas spirit. Every day something new to inspire and infuse you with Christmas spirit. Bring your cup of coffee and start the morning with me.

Tomorrow, December 1, Write Integrity, the publisher of my latest novel, Cracks in the Ice, announces our collaborative e book, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt. This book has been written by all the authors of Write Integrity Press, and every day one chapter will appear. You can read about it at December 3 & 4 read Chapter One on She will tell you where to find Chapter Two. My chapter will appear on my website December 6.

Tomorrow, December 1, YOU ARE INVITED to a virtual Christmas party. It's a come-as-you-are party, and yes, you can even come in your jammies. You can come whenever you want,party lasts all month, as often as you like, stay as long as you wish. The party host is Write Integrity Press. Your hostesses, the authors for WIP, each have a party room of Christmas fun, music, games, and recipes. In my party room you will find presents to open, and meet our new dog, Buddy. No RSVP's are necessary, but we all hope you'll come by, Dec 1-30. The address is:
 Merry Christmas. Deanna

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Congratulations, Barbara!

Writers Circle student and Netwest member, Barbara Gabriel's poem Covenant has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Scott Owens, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review.

I feel like a matchmaker. Barbara met Scott at one of his workshops at Writers Circle Studio. Her poetry impressed him, I believe. She submitted her work to Wild Goose and it was published. 

I am delighted Scott sees this outstanding poem and poet as worthy of nomination for a Pushcart Prize. Of course, both Scott and Barbara are winners in my book.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Party for Nadine Justice at Writers Circle

Writers Circle studio was filled with joy, encouragement and congratulations for Nadine Justice, author of I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang, her memoir on the theme of perseverance and belief in one's self. 
Nadine read a couple of excerpts from the book, answered questions, and talked about how she came to write the book. Friends from her writing group in Georgia as well as friends from her first class with me, at Tri-County Community College, were on hand to honor Nadine on her published book. Several Netwest members came and met the new author.  

Nadine Justice stands beside the cake with the photo cover of her book. It was too pretty to cut, but we finally made the first slice.

Linda Smith, Vicki Dumsford, Ash Rothlein, Liz Rothlein, Maren Mitchell

On left Ash Rothlein and on right, Idell Shook


Glenda, Ash and Liz Rothlein, Ginny W

from left, Staci Bell, Linda Smith, Joan Howard and Ginny  Walsh

A very big thank you to Staci and Ginny for all there help, and to Joan Howard.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Novel by a Mature Woman - Is it ever too late?

In September of this year, I attended the Table Rock Writers Workshop at Wildacres Retreat off the Parkway near Little Switzerland, NC. 
My favorite part of this type of writing experience is meeting other writers and hearing their stories. I am delighted to have met Anna Jean (A.J.) Mayhew at this workshop.
We talked a few minutes as we stood beside her car. I had claimed the handicap parking spot where her car had resided the first part of the week. Parking of any kind can be a challenge at Wildacres unless you have good legs and strong lungs to make the hike up and down the hills.

During the first few minutes of conversation A.J. confessed that she was on cloud nine. She had just received a call and learned her book, The Dry Grass of August, published in 2011, was in it’s ninth printing. No wonder her head was in the clouds. Mayhew’s first book was doing well and she had a contract for a second. 

I was impressed with this news. A.J. is a woman who has seen her seventieth birthday. We all know the publishing business is after the under 49 demographic. I could hardly believe the traditional publishing world would give a mature woman who was not already a successful writer, a two book contract

This novel is set in her hometown of Charlotte, NC back in the fifties. It was inspired by her memories of growing up in the segregated south of the United States. She hasn't lived in Charlotte since 1985, but discovered that all she wanted to write about was Charlotte.

I relate to her thinking. 
I now live in the beautiful mountains of NC, but I write from my memories of growing up and life in southwest Georgia. Even the best memories are not always complete, and we need to do research to get the feel of those days, to remind ourselves of how things were then. Whether writing fiction as A.J. Mayhew does, or writing memoir, we want our facts correct. See below how she researched her books.
This is a quote by A.J. from an interview on the Hambidge blog. 
Both for Dry Grass—set in 1954—and Tomorrow’s Bread—set in the mid 1960s—I’ve collected popular magazines of the time (Look, Life, Time, etc); browsing through them gives me a feel for life back then. I use many libraries, including the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Public Library, Perkins Library at Duke, Wilson at Carolina, etc. I’m leery of using the ’net, and I double-check everything I find there. However, the Internet has been incredibly valuable in leading me to sources.

We as writers should do as this author does and not depend on the Internet entirely, but use it to find sources we trust. 

Find A.J. Mayhew’s book, The Dry Grass of August, in your bookstores and online. I have seen nothing but good reviews. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maren O. Mitchell published a book on chronic pain relief.

Author, Maren O. Mitchell

Beat Chronic Pain, An Insider’s Guide, has been released by Line of Sight Press, .

Maren Mitchell of Young Harris, GA has published her non-fiction book that will help anyone who lives with pain. 

Maren began her struggle with pain when  a tumor on her spine forced her to undergo surgery. Over the years she learned ways to cope with her pain without succumbing to prescription drugs. 

For those who depend completely on pain killers and often become addicted to them, this book by Maren Mitchell might be their salvation. Her common sense route to practices that can make life more bearable and return the quality of life for victims of unending pain, is offered in short easily read paragraphs. Mitchell says those suffering with chronic pain find it difficult to pore over long passages of research to find answers.

Visit Line of Sight Press to place your order.

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Had a Great Everything but Poetry Class

We had a great four weeks of writing with five students at Writers Circle, but it ended today. Thanks Staci, Laura, Paula, Mike and Gene for all of your participation and contributions, as well as your comments.

This group included published and yet to be published students, but each gained from the participation of others. I appreciate all of you for your commitment. 

I am sure we will see you again at another class at Writers Circle or maybe at my next class at Tri-County Community College in March. Continue to watch our Schedule Page as we set up the calendar for 2013. 
Today we reviewed what we covered in the sessions and added publishing as the last subject. I suggest that writers begin by first writing short -- short fiction, personal essays, and articles before jumping headlong into a novel. In a short piece it is easier to focus on the story. 

By publishing short fiction, personal essays or articles, the author begins to build a platform which will likely help her to catch the attention of an agent or publisher when she completes her book.

I also recommend that my students subscribe to at least one writing publication. Beginning writers can find excellent articles on the craft of writing in Writers' Digest and the Writer Magazine. Poets and Writers is more helpful, I believe, to more experienced writers who want to read about accomplished writers and who are interested in the pages of Classifieds at the back of the magazine. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Anniversary of Verse NC Poetry Society Celebrates 80th Year with Statewide Readings

2012 marks the 80th year of the North Carolina Poetry Society, and the Society and its friends and members are celebrating that anniversary with a series of readings across the state organized by and featuring NC's most prestigious poets.

It all begins with the state's current Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, on November 29. The reading and Open Mic to be held at 3:30 at the Scholars Bookshop (Appalachian State's university bookstore) will include ASU professors and poets Hilda Downer and Lynn Doyle.

Six other readings will be held on December 1.

In Charlotte, Myers Park Baptist Church will host organizer Tony Abbott, Morri Creech, Annalee Kwochka, Alan Michael Parker, Dannye Romine Powell, David Radavich, and Lisa Zerkle at 2:00.

The Regulator Bookshop in Durham will feature readings by Betty Adcock, Noel Crook, and Marylin Hervieux also at 2:00.

Former state Poet Laureate, Kay Byer will host Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Joe Mills, and Julie Suk at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva at 3:00.

Another former state Poet Laureate, Fred Chappell, will be featured along with Malaika King Albrecht, Terry Kennedy, Val Nieman, and John Thomas York at the Community Arts Café in Winston-Salem at 2:00.

Peter Makuck and Mark Cox will read at St. Francis by the Sea in Salter Path at 4:00.

And Shelby Stephenson, Alex Albright, Marty Silverthorne, and Jim Clark will participate in a marathon reading from 9:00 AM to 3:15 PM at the R.A. Fountain General Store in Fountain.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the NC Poetry Society website at

Thanks to Scott Owens for the above post. The bold and red text is my own.
Posted By Blogger to Musings at 11/08/2012 09:11:00 PM 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nadine Justice, new author

Today I had lunch with a new author. Her name is Nadine Justice. 

About five years ago I met Nadine when she registered for a class I taught at Tri-County Community College in Murphy. Nadine said she was working on a memoir. She read some of her stories about her life and I could see she indeed had a story and was a storyteller.

Over the past five years we have remained close as she took more of my classes, and I met her and several members of that first class for lunch every few months. Nadine has a home on a mountain in Union County Georgia, and a lovely home in Cumming, GA. She stays busy with her clients and her family, especially her adored grandchildren. 

In the past year, Nadine made her book, I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang,  a top priority while continuing her successful career of interior design in Atlanta. The book was released this month.

Readers go on the journey with her as she takes us from a coal camp community in West Virginia to Zonguldak, Turkey. We see this little girl grow up, make mistakes, live through divorce, bad marriages, fight hunger for her and her kids, but never giving up on herself or her dreams. We see inside her large southern family, a father who loses his arm in a mining accident, but never looses his work ethic, a complex mother who deals with her own secret desires as well as the death of her children.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read memoir. It is honest, heartbreaking at times, but the author tells her story with no apologies or glossing over the facts. Nadine ends the book with a touching poem, Who Am I? I believe, like most writers, she learned the answer through the "memory snapshots" in this book.
To order copies of this memoir, email:

I'm a Coal Miner's Daughter, But I Cain't Sang
by Nadine Justice
United Writers Press
ISBN 978-1-934216-83-5

Soon to be in bookstores