Writing Tips

The more words you eliminate without changing meaning and sacrificing detail, the clearer and more powerful your writing will be. Don McNair in Editor-Proof Your Writing

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alabama Writers Conclave

Today, writer and award-winning poet Mavis Jarrell shares her experience at the recent Alabama Writers Conclave with Lyrical Pens and our readers.

Writer/poet Mavis Jarrell
"The Alabama Writers Conclave this year (July 11-13, 2014, in Fairhope, AL) was fabulous. It started with Alabama's own Rick Bragg as the keynote speaker. Rick is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling All Over but the Shoutin' and a Pulitzer Prize-winning national correspondent for the New York Times, His down-home personality and humor kept us all laughing. The workshops and food were excellent. A great chance to meet fellow writers no matter what level. Thanks to all who organized this beneficial event. For anyone who missed it, start saving for next year. It was the best $135 I've spent this year.

Congrats to my two friends for their winning pieces in the Alabama Writers Conclave. Mahala Church, 1st prize short story and Betty Spence, 3rd place poetry. It's great to have talented friends who like to encourage others to do their best. 

Considering there were over 500 entries nationwide for the six categories, I'd say this is proof of these ladies’ talent."

cj Sez: Thanks, Mavis, for allowing Lyrical Pens to share your enthusiasm. I'll need to put this conference on my list for 2015.

Note:  The Alabama Writers' Conclave was organized in 1923 and has been in continuing existence since. To find out more, check out their website:

On another note . . . FYI Gulf Coast Writers/Readers: This notice crossed my eMail desk today:

   Gulf Coast Writers Association Presents
   Sheila Booth Alberstadt
   Saturday July 27
   2—4 PM
   Pass Christian Library
   111 Hiern Ave
   Pass Christian, Mississippi

That’s all for now. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Comments? Questions? Drop me a line.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Feel the tug?

Tonight’s supermoon is the third of five such events in 2014. A supermoon occurs when the lunar orb will be near or at its closest elliptical-orbit point to the Earth…its perigee. High tides will be a little higher, male deer will begin to grow velvety antler nubs (“Full Buck Moon” is what Native Americans called a July supermoon), and, according to some, lunatics let loose on the streets and werewolves will howl their loudest.

The word lunacy comes from the Latin “lunaticus,” meaning, in modern language, moonstruck. Everyone knows that when the moon is full, the crazies come out. Right? Not so says science of the myth that spawned werewolves.  In the 1800’s, it was feared that those affected by lycanthropy would grow extra long canines and feast on human flesh when the moon was full.

The myth was so popular that, in 1985, a team of scientists did a study on the concept that a full moon (full harvest moon or full wolf moon, or full snow moon, or full buck moon, et. al) could affect human behavior as it does the tides. No evidence of such an effect was forthcoming.

So why do we blame the full moon for strange happenings and behavior? Probably because we’re expecting the correlation, and we can point to that full moon for confirmation.

Okay, now that’s settled, and you can sleep tight . . . no werewolves out tonight.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


By the way, does garlic keep werewolves away or just vampires?