Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir - a book I highly recommend

Jordon and President Carter
When I travel in my car, I often listen to audio books. Recently I listened to a memoir, my favorite genre lately, No Such Thing as a Bad Day: A Memoir by Hamilton Jordon. For those who might not remember, Jordon was Chief of Staff for President Jimmy Carter’s administration. He worked with Carter when he was governor of Georgia. Jordon graduated from Albany High School which I attended, but I never knew him personally. Evidently he developed interest in politics early on as he mentions that he was an intern in Washington DC for Senator RichardRussel of Georgia.
But this book is not all about politics, although I did get a kick out of Jordon’s early opinion of Bill Clinton before most of us had ever heard of him. I was not surprised to learn that Clinton set out to charm Carter and his people when Jimmy was on the verge of becoming president, wooing his favor. 

Hamilton Jordon said he was more impressed by Hilary Rodham in her thick glasses and nondescript dress who criticized Governor Carter for not doing more to improve the lot of women in Georgia when he had 

The major impact of this book for me, having watched two loved ones die of cancer, had to be the detailed and touching manner Jordon discussed his three bouts with cancer; Lymphoma, melanoma and prostate cancer plagued him throughout his adult life after being exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam. My friend’s husband fought cancer brought on by Agent Orange which was sprayed on everything over there and exposed our military as well as non-military to this devastating chemical.

Jordon was advised early on to take charge of his health as he fought these battles. I found that to be true as well. A patient must learn all they possibly can about their illness and the possibilities out in the world of a cure or the best treatment available. When he was told he had lymphoma, he didn’t follow blindly the words of his doctor who didn’t give him a very favorable outcome. Jordon researched hospitals, talked to people and finally decided to leave Atlanta and the doctors there to go to Maryland where new treatments were becoming known.

I fought tears when I heard him tell about his fear of not seeing his little boy grow up and how he held him and cried. I know my husband had fears that he would not talk about. Most men don’t want to show weakness to their family, their wives. But, these kinds of tears are healing and we should not mind shedding them. Hearing Jordon reflect on his thoughts as he waited for a doctor’s report, watched his wife as she waited, and one time hearing on television, a false diagnosis of himself as he lay in a hospital bed – a terrible report of his health. He had not heard anything yet from his medical team, and was happy when they came in soon after to give him a more positive diagnosis.

I found a new respect for people in the public eye after Jordon told of the lies spread about him and Jody Powell, another man in the Carter administration. How do you fight outright lies that are spread all over the world by the media? Even in the NY Times article about his death, they made it sound as if those lies were true before saying differently. 

it was almost a year later that he and Powell were completely exonerated. No one paid much attention to that news. 

Coincidentally, I saw in my hometown newspaper yesterday that Jordon's three children had come to Albany to visit the family home where their father grew up. He reared his family in Atlanta. I learned that Jordon fought three more bouts of cancer in his life before he succumbed in 2008, the year before my husband died of lymphoma. Hamilton Jordon worked for cancer research, and I hope his efforts and those of others will some day bring about a cure.

Image result for Hamilton Jordan

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book even though the author was the reader. Sometimes I am not fond of an author's reading.
If any of you have read this book, let me know what you think about it. I plan to read or listen to the new book which his daughter edited after his death. It will be out soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Looking into 2016

Writers Circle around the Table, my studio in Hayesville, NC, will not hold a writing class in October. In November, Karen Holmes will teach a  poetry class. See more on the Schedule Page.

Students gather around the table for class at Writers Circle

We already have two instructors on the calendar for 2016. A poet, publisher and visual artist, for the first time, will join our group of writers and poets who have taught here in the past six years. 
Jonathan Rice, publisher of Iodine will hold a workshop in June. 

In July, we will welcome back the terrific writer and instructor, Steven Harvey, author of his most recent publication, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder. The comments from his class here this year were the class was not long enough, and this was after a three hour class.

We hope to  have Tara Lynne Groth back to speak on another subject. Her class on marketing and publishing made our heads swim with all the information she had to offer. 

Let us hear from you, our readers, on what you think about these instructors on our schedule for 2016.

We appreciate our loyal writers who come to classes at Writers Circle. Each class we hold is designed with you in mind. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Voice from the Grave

If you aren't already a follower of Abbie Johnson's blog, Abbie's Corner. I hope you will click on the first link below and hear her sing this beautiful song. She has a pure voice like a fresh mountain stream, clear as it ripples over smooth rocks. The song is haunting and touches me deeply.

Monday, September 7, 2015

You can now pay for classes with Paypal

Check the sidebar today. Something new has been added. 

You can now pay for classes with Paypal. If you usually order online with your Paypal account, you can now pay for classes at Writers Circle with your Paypal account.

Click on the button and the fee for Scott Owens' class appears. I hope this makes registration for classes much, much easier. If you have any problems, let me know.

I thank Karen Holmes who pushed me to get this done. I hope you all appreciate it and will use it.

Thank you, Karen, and thanks to all of you who support Writers Circle around the Table. Without you, we would not open the doors nor bring these excellent writers and teachers to our area in Western NC.

I really appreciate you.

How Leadership Helps You as a Writer - Seven Tips

Leaders become influencers. Leaders pave the way for themselves and others.

If you are a writer, it is likely you don’t want the limelight. You work best in the quiet of your own space. You don’t need people around and you don’t want to be bothered. You are happy working on your book – whatever it may be.
But eventually you have to think about what you will do when the book is finished, published or ready to be read by the public. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just mail the manuscript to someone who would take over and print it, promote it, sell it, and send you a big fat check each month? You could just write and write and never leave the house.

I see many writers who believe that is the life of an author. Sadly, that's one of the myths the public has believed for years. In today’s world the author must be seen and heard. The author is the one who markets his/her book.

Painless methods an author can use to reach an audience. Take on a role of leadership. Don’t volunteer for more than you feel comfortable doing, but try the following suggestions.

  1. If there is a writing organization in your town or area, join and attend the events. If you don't feel you will gain any new knowledge, you will likely be surprised. You can offer encouragement and good advice. People will remember how you make them feel.
  2. Find ways you can serve the organization – lead a critique group, become the helper to the leader, and if there is no job, make one, then do it.
  3. Offer to do the publicity for your writing group. Write articles about the members and publish them in the local newspapers with your name listed as guest writer. Be the one to put your local literary group on the map. Use photos with each article.
  4. Join your state literary group. Connect with the leadership and staff. Call or email and tell them that you appreciate their work for members. 
  5. Become a mentor for beginning writers. Don’t fear being unprepared. If you have been writing long enough to complete a book manuscript, you know more than a fledgling wanna-be poet or writer.  
  6. Hold an open mic event in a local coffee shop or book store once a month. Write an article for the local newspapers about who attends and who reads, and be sure to write about the event on social media. 
  7. Promote other writers and poets on social media. Be generous with your appreciation and congratulations to writers you know. Send notes or emails when you hear of someone's successes. Write to authors and tell them how much you enjoy their books or stories you have read. In your signature on your email, be sure to list your position with your organization.

Karen Paul Holmes joined NCWN West after taking a poetry class taught by Nancy Simpson, original leader of NCWN West.

 Karen Paul Holmes now leads Writers Night Out, another writing group in Atlanta, and serves writers in North Georgia as NCWN representative. She is also a member of the Georgia Poetry Society. She schedules readings throughout the mountains and in Atlanta. Her first poetry book, Untying the Knot, was recently published, and the book is getting much-deserved attention. 

Karen connected with poets on Social Media who then offered to interview her and promote her book through their blogs and websites. Through NCWN Karen networked with other influential writers, too. Karen promotes other poets and supports literary organizations online. She is a perfect example of what I am writing about today. 

Writers today must build a reputation with the public in order to build a readership for their work.