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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Tidbits for writers and readers

 cj Sez:  Here’s a tip for authors from my fellow Mobile Writers Guild member Joyce Sterling Scarbrough:  “Chicken Soup for the Soul has a number of submission calls out right now, including one for kids and teens dealing with the challenges of this pandemic.”

Changing Your World One Story at a Time®

   “If you or a young writer you know has a story or poem you'd like published, please submit!”  

And cj's tip for readers…these are great books for your to-be-read stack.


Rooting for you… This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard. — Neil Gaiman


   Nearing the home stretch and worried you aren’t going to succeed? Here are some words from Kurt Vonnegut:

   “When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

  And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.”

   And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.”

   And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”


   John Floyd is a prolific author (he’s written 32 stories in 2020), and his short mysteries are favorites of mine. In a recent Sleuth Sayers column, he recounts how he reworks old, unsubmitted stories he’s had stashed away for years and then submits them…some moved on to become award winners. Maybe there are points you would find worthwhile…I sure did:


   HOMETOWN HEROES eBook is on sale now. This anthology brings you five Christmas romances that celebrate everyday heroes.

   From paranormal to contemporary to historical, there's something in this anthology to fill everyone with the spirit of the season.  

   On Amazon:


   99 CENTS !! PREORDER PRICE for Bienvenue Press’s upcoming charity anthology HOMEROOM HEROES. Look for it on Amazon Saturday, December 5. The final cover reveal coming soon.

   In “The Substitute,” my short story in the anthology, an FBI agent’s undercover assignment as a substitute teacher gets complicated when he falls in love with a first-grade grade teacher. Here are the opening lines:

     “Will Miss Melanie Andrews please report to the office,” the voice blared over the school’s intercom system.              
    Mel stopped setting out the materials she was readying for her first-grade students and stared at the speaker mounted in the corner of her classroom. She frowned, hurriedly dropped the last few crayons on the work tables lining the walls, and sealed the hazmat bag where she’d put the paper towels she used to sanitize the desks.
    “What now? I haven't had time to do anything wrong yet.”
    Being called to the principal’s office wasn’t how Mel wanted to begin her first day back in the classroom after summer break.
    How embarrassing, she thought. Everyone in the school heard that and will be wondering what I’ve done this time.



That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. 


P.S.  TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:

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