Still Writing

Day 31 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: Today is the last day of the giveaway, so let’s a big question. What would it take for you to become a best selling author? Where are you now? What are the steps you would need to take to get there? Do you want to get there? Why or why not?

My response: I guess what it would take is a best-selling idea. 🙂 At this point in my writing life, my goal is simply to express myself to the best of my ability, to be part of a writing community, and to develop my craft. I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to tap into a number of fine online poetry and haiku communities, including Poetic Asides, ReadWritePoem, Big Tent Poetry, NaHaiWriMo, the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Oregon, and The Haiku Foundation. Through daily writing prompts and feedback, what started out as a solitary activity has turned into writing in community with talented poets/haijin from around the world. I recently served on a scholarship committee, where we asked high school seniors where they saw themselves in four years. When I ask that question of myself, a propos my writing goals, I can only say: “… still writing.”

This is it! Last chance to participate! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

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Someone Who Writes

Day 30 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: The giveaway is almost over, so let’s as a big question. Look at these three books that we are giving away today to three winners. Notice that each features a passion from each author’s perspective. What’s a passion from your life that might be big enough to grow into a book some day? Even if you usually write fiction, try to come up with a nonfiction idea…just for kicks.

My response: I believe strongly in the tradition of “honor by listening”. There are so many people out there who do not necessarily consider themselves writers, but who have compelling life stories, nonetheless. My passion would be to put together anthologies that give these people a chance to express their voice. I strongly believe what the Amherst Writers and Artists’ Method espouses: namely, that “a writer is someone who writes”. And this can be anyone!

It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

Food for Thought

Day 29 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: We’ve done the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual…now let’s talk about the gastronomic. What role does food play in your writing life? Say anything you like!

My response:  I always think of writing as food for the soul, and eating as… well, food for the body. I must say that when I’m writing, I don’t pay as much attention to what I’m eating as I should, so perhaps I eat more than I should at those times. But eating can also be inspirational— every writing group I have been part of has set aside time for snacks and socializing. I can’t think of anything that bonds people together more than good food with good conversation.

It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

Our Voices, Our Selves

Day 28 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: So much of writing success has to do with a willingness on each writer’s part to receive, sort, and process feedback and criticism. Are you experienced at this? Can you separate yourself from each piece of writing and see each piece you write as a work-in-progress that stands on its own, even as you continue to work on it?

My response: As an essentially non-fiction writer, it is perhaps more difficult for me to separate myself from my writing than if I was writing totally from my imagination. Right when I was beginning to submit pieces to anthologies, I had one editor tell me that while she thought I was an excellent writer, the writings I had submitted were neither humorous nor inspirational. Ouch! So I shelved them for awhile, and had serious doubts about my ability to write. It took many more submissions before I realized that: 1) not everyone is going to like my writing, so to find publications whose style matches mine, and 2) that suggestions for improvement are merely that: suggestions, and 3) I have total control over my finished product, while the editor only has control of what they accept for their publication. I do not always agree with suggested edits, but now I am willing to consider them, as long as they are presented in a way that respects my voice and my self.


It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

The Healing Pen

Day 27 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: How has your writing impacted your emotional and spiritual life, if at all? If it hasn’t, would you like it to? If it has, please tell us how. Share anything about how writing has had a profound impact on your life. Got any stories about this?

My response:  I got back into writing for its therapeutic benefits. I was trying to recover, physically, emotionally, and spiritually from a cancer diagnosis when I joined a cancer survivors’ writing group. What writing gave back to me was my voice. When I write, I am not merely “a writer who had cancer”, but a person with something to say. Writing not only helped me through my own cancer journey, but it was there for me when shortly after my own diagnosis, two members of my writing group and both of my parents succumbed to cancer. Being able to write daily was the single most powerful tool I had for coming to peace with my new reality.

It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

Mind and Body

Day 26 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: What do you do for your combined physical and mental health? Is there more you’d like to do? Describe your perfect hot, sweaty, writer mama workout.

My response: My physical and mental health workouts are completely intertwined. For fitness, I try to make it to the gym five days a week, and do a combination of yoga and balanced body classes, mixed in with walking and weights. When I’m on the elliptical trainer, or recumbent bike, or just walking around the track, I turn my mind to brainstorming for my next writing piece, which occupies my mind very nicely; in balanced body class or yoga, I try to clear my thoughts, something not always easy for me. But by far the activity most conducive to clearing my thoughts is gardening. While my hands are busy, my mind is free to roam and notice the small and large details of the world around me.

It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.

A Delicate Balance

Day 25 of the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May-Book Giveaway.

Today’s question: How about you? Are you committed to your creative projects no matter what? Can you tap your great determination and use it to tackle the writing projects that matter most to you? Tell us what great determination means to you.

My response: I am committed to my writing projects, and part of that commitment is learning to balance my writing projects with the other obligations in my life. I have undertaken to write every day since the beginning of this year, and to do so, I have had to make some concessions. I have had to juggle volunteer commitments, my job, my family responsibilities, my fitness goals, and my writing desires. That has meant prioritizing what is most important to me, what I can cut back on, and what is absolutely non-negotiable. I have learned to narrow my focus, pick those calls for submissions I feel are the best use of my time and talents, and then stick to my deadlines, whether self-imposed or given to me by the publication.


It’s not too late to join in! The complete rules for this giveaway can be found here.