So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label Nancy Simpson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nancy Simpson. Show all posts

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Self doubt and second guessing

I am sharing an email conversation from years ago. Nancy  P. is no longer with us and I miss her. 

I received the notification for a workshop at Warren Wilson in late July
with the fiction workshop being taught by Tommy Hays. I want to go but
I'm truly lacking in confidence. I'm always afraid my work won't match
up with the other writers and so I hold back. I know Tommy Hays is good
and he's pretty sharp. Do you HONESTLY think I would do alright there? I
do have to submit a short story or the first chapter of my novella that
I'm working on as part of a collection. I guess I'm just asking you for
a pep talk. What do you think? Will he be way over my head?

Nancy P.

Glenda Beall wrote:
 Nancy, you don't have any reason to be afraid. Your writing is
 excellent and you have had many stories published. I was afraid the
 first time I signed on for a master class at NCWN Fall conference with
 Kay Byer. But when I got there, I found most of the writers were no
 better than I was.
And I can tell you Tommy Hays is just another writer with the same fears
and worries all writers have about their work. Don't hold back, Nancy.
I know you will do well and you'll enjoy it. That is the most important part - you'll enjoy it.

 If you spend time comparing yourself to other writers or worrying
 about what they think of your work, you'll do yourself a disservice by
 not taking the opportunity to study with this writer. I am so glad I
 took the master class with Kay Byer. Now that I know her so well, I
 realize she, like you and me, is not always confident and
 self-assured. I'm sure Tommy Hays is the same.
Go for it, Girl! You will be fine.

 I want to hear all about the workshop.

Thank you, Glenda. 
You are so right. I just put myself into a worry pot when I should realize 
most everyone has these same doubts and fears. I guess it comes from 
the sequestering of the writer within four walls for long periods of time. 
I will send in my registration and do what you recommend: Enjoy the journey.Sincere thanks,Nancy P.


Nancy P. was a very good writer, but as you can see, like all of us, she had doubts. We are quick to second guess ourselves. Do you do that? Have you ever missed a great opportunity because you lacked the confidence to take a chance?

I almost did back in 1995 when I first moved to the mountains. Nancy Simpson (not the Nancy in my post) called me and asked if I wanted a scholarship for her week-long poetry class at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

It was free to me. I was brand new to the area and did not know any writers. The idea of taking a class with poets absolutely scared me to death. I had to make a big decision. I almost turned her down, but I pushed myself to overcome my fear and that decision changed my life.

What about you? What is your story? Did you overcome a fear or self-doubt to accomplish something important in your life?
Do you often second guess your decisions? 
Leave a comment or email me at  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What do you think? Nancy Simpson on punctuation in poetry

I learned to write poetry from Nancy Simpson, wonderful poet and teacher, who lived here in the town where I live. She taught writing at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC and because of her we have more poets than prose writers in our area.

I am going to re-blog a post about Nancy that was published years ago on . I think we can still learn from Nancy although she is no longer with us. Her words, her poetry can help us all who want to be poets.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Coffee with the Poets made a big splash this month

Wednesday was Coffee with the Poets day in Hayesville, NC at Cafe Touche.
Mary Mike Keller, one of the Writers Circle faculty, along with a long time friend, Glenda Barrett, each read their original work for a packed house.

This event is sponsored by Netwest and has been running since 2007. Over the years we enjoyed local poets and writers as well as guests who traveled many miles to read here.

I am excited that two of my students, Nadine Justice and Barb Gabriel read at open mic and their work was evidently appreciated by the warm applause each received.

We gave a door prize yesterday - a copy of The Best of Poetry Hickory, an anthology of poets who read in 2011 at  Poetry Hickory held at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in Hickory, NC. This event is led by Scott Owens, poet and NCWN rep for that area.
I am happy that the winner of the book was none other than Nancy Simpson, my mentor and teacher of poetry.

I am posting a few photos from yesterday.

Glenda Barrett, poet, When the Sap Rises, chapbook from Finishing Line Press

Mary Mike Keller reads an essay on spooky stories

Robert S. King, FutureCycle Press, and newcomer, Dot James.

Nancy Simpson visits with Netwest members Joan Howard and Carolyn Johnson

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blue Ridge Bookfest

We will be participating in the Blue Ridge Bookfest this year. Click to see last year's news and come back soon to see the 2011 update.
Ron Rash will be a presenter at this event for authors. Don't miss it.
Blue Ridge Bookfest at Flatrock Community College in Henderson County, NC. Dates: May 21 and 22, 2011.

Nancy Simpson whose latest book is Living Above the Frost Line, will teach a poetry workshop on Friday afternoon.
A group of writers whose work is published in Echoes Across the Blue Ridge will participate in a panel discussion at the Bookfest on Saturday. Among those participating will be Rosemary Royston, poet and Program Coordinator for Netwest, Karen Holmes, published poet and editor of the Netwest News, Nancy Simpson, poet and teacher. Also on the panel will be Nancy Purcell, well-published writer and teacher and Netwest Rep for Transylvania County, NC, Lana Hendershott, Netwest Rep for Henderson County, NC who writes and publishes short stories, and JC Walkup, publisher of Fresh, a literary magazine. I will moderate the panel which will share their expertise on writing and publishing. Echoes Across the Blue Ridge will be on sale at the bookfest and a number of the authors will be present to sign copies.

See the Website or contact Bill Ramsey for more information.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blue Moon was our song

Nancy Simpson, author of Living Above the Frost Line, a collection of her poetry for the past thirty years, honored my by posting one of my poems from Now Might as Well be Then on her site today.
She also has some of the most beautiful moonscapes. Visit here

What images do you see when you think of the word, moon?

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