Guest Post

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Greenleaf Writers Group

I had the pleasure of meeting with the Greenleaf Writers Group at the Semmes Library last Saturday. One member drives all the way from Bay Minette so you know it's a good group - that's about an hour or longer for those of you that don't live down this way.

We discussed one of the subjects near and dear to my heart: critiquing each other's work. As writers we tend to think that critique groups were created to torture us (and I have certainly felt the sting), but just think what might happen if your doctor didn't ask for a second opinion now and then. And you talk about a tough crowd: doctors. They don't hold back when evaluating each other's work. I know. I sat through years of quality improvement chart reviews. Ever work with an illustrator? They keep revising until the customer gets what they envisioned. But aren't we glad? Everybody wins in the end.

It's all about learning and growing in our professional pursuits. And remember to sandwich your criticism between two layers of compliments. Writers are a sensitive lot you know.

The Greenleaf group meets every third Saturday from 10 - 12 and are lead by Betty Spence and Geri Anderson. They meet at the Semmes Public Library on Mott Road.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tracy's contest

Attention middle and high school students in Mobile and Baldwin County Alabama: Our writing partner Tracy Hurley was a wonderful creator of young adult stories, and the Mobile Writers Guild is honoring her with a contest for Mobile/Baldwin County middle and high school students.

Requirements are: Open to students in grades 6 to 8 or grades 9 to 12 -- Fiction only -- stories between 500 and 2,500 words -- E-mail entries only -- send entries "in the body of an E-mail" to

Deadline for entry is November 18, 2011.

No entry fee, but there are lots of prizes.

Check out the Guild's site for more information:

Or go directly to the contest site at

And Good Luck!

Mahala and cj

P.S. Click on the picture to see a larger version of the flyer.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Return of the Writer

I'm happy to be posting on our beloved blog. I've been off-scene for over a month with what turned out to be a loathsome infection that brought me not just to my knees but flat-out (a good Southern expression)sick in the hospital. This was my first, and hopefully my last, time to feel the dreadful effects of dehydration. Yuck describes it perfectly.

Thanks cj for keeping the home fires burning and our minds on the higher good.

A brief synopsis of my writing at this juncture. I pulled AFDOC from the blog because I wanted to make a significant change earlier on in the novel and carry it through. Amazing what a 103 degree fever will do for creativity! A major swing though the novel to weave in new ideas and take out those places jammed with wonderful words and meaningless input to the story is well underway. I'm about 50% of the way through and plan to have it out to readers before the end of the year.

Along with writing copy for several clients and rewriting articles for others, the research on my second novel is going well, but I may have to push it aside as the third one is clammoring to get out of my head and on paper. The second one is a series of linked short stories much in the tone of AFDOC but from an adult perspective. The third one is a dark family saga, which may be the reason I keep clamping the lid on it as I think I'm afraid where it will bury me as I face the blank pages.

As we all faced this past weekend in a pensive and somber mood, I realized I was ready to move forward with a more positive outlook for the sake of all Americans who have died to give me the privilege to do just that.

I salute my parents, who were both veterans of WWII, and all those who have gone before and after them. Mahala

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A day of remembrance

As I pray that the families of the victims of the September 11 attack be comforted, I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

Verse 8 reassures me that such dispicable evil as happened on that bright September morning will not continue unabated for there is "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Then Ecclesiastes 3:17 reassures me that there will be justice for all: "I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."

Amen, amen, and amen.