Sunday, January 8, 2017

Seton Hill University MFA Mentors at Work

Back at Seton Hill University to teach and mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Mentors have a bit of downtime between sessions. So what do we do? We write! An empty classroom in the Admin building becomes a place to get some work done for an hour or two.
Paul Goat Allen, Will Horner, me, Anne Harris and Rebecca Drake.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What a year!

2016 will go down as the year I spent more time at Sentara Williamsburg General Hospital and with the physical therapy team at TPMG Strive than I did doing just about anything else! Totally unanticipated.

In March, a torn meniscus in the left knee had me hobbling around. Then, in late September, I had a hard fall out in the woods doing Master Naturalist stuff on a nature trail. (Which reminds me, I've totally neglected my Brown Girl in the Woods blog!) My constant companion for six weeks was this sling. Not fun for sleeping. And no driving either.

When I showed up at TPMG Strive, the physical therapists were like, "What are you doing here again?"

Had to get the hair braided straight back since lifting both arms was out of the question. This pic was Dec. 18, a week before I was released to drive again and to ditch the brace.

What I discovered along the way ... it's more than a bit difficult to write when you're in pain! I tried to manage with one hand then just gave up. Glad to be out of the sling now.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Co-working space

Now that I'm a full-time writer (woot!!) I won't be headed home to discover daytime TV. So I've leased a space in a co-working building.

It's a lovely space in an historic building.
After looking at several places in the last month, I decided on this one. Let the writing begin!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Best Christmas Tree ... Ever!

The York County Public Library--Tabb Branch has the best Christmas tree I've ever seen! Book lovers will adore it.

Yes, there is a more traditional, and taller, tree in the library's front lobby. But this one, near the circulation checkout area, is just awesome. All books! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

7th Annual NaNoWriMo Write-in at Tabb

This was our seventh year having a NaNoWriMo write-in at the York County Public Library-Tabb Branch. It's a delight to host this event every year.

For 2015, 21 wrimos joined me for several hours of writing, eating and word sprints. We were joined for the first time by our regional MLs, Robin and Kara!

Here's the room all set up Saturday and waiting for wrimos to fill it.
Welcome goodie bags and a sign-in sheet in front. Back table filled with prizes to be won!

And here's the space filled with writers ready to bang the keyboards and fill their journals with NaNo noveling. These images are courtesy of Cathy Welch from the 1 p.m-5 p.m. event on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.

I welcome the group before everyone gets down to the business of writing.

Write, wrimos, write!

Hampton Roads ML Robin, right, gets words on the laptop page.

Barbara's having a great time!

Get great reads for $1.99 Nov. 10-17

Harlequin, the publisher of Love Inspired and Kimani Arabesque books, is having a one-week special blowout sale on e-books. About 10,000 titles are on sale for just $1.99. They include "The Single Dad Finds a Wife" and "The Fireman Finds a Wife."

"Discounted books will be available from November 10th – November 17th at, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Google and Kobo (US only)," according to a release from Harlequin.

Head over to your favorite online bookseller and get a copy ... or two or three or more! ... before time runs out!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

It's NaNoWriMo time! Why I'm a wrimo

National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful way to knock out a first draft of a manuscript. And that’s exactly what you have at the end of the 30-day personal challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in just a month. Because 50K is on the short end of actual novel length, you’ll have work to do after November. And therein is the joy of NaNo. You write without editing or fixing or fretting for 30 days. And then, when it’s over and you get some much-needed rest, the core of your novel is there and waiting for you. As writing guru Natalie Goldberg says, you're "writing down the bones" of the book.

For those who think perfection is required to draft a novel and that 30 days yields little of it, consider what New York Times best-sellingauthor Nora Roberts has to say: “I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page.”

NaNoWriMo gives you the freedom to just explore whatever comes to you. You can fix it, flesh it out later when you add the nuances that aren’t captured in the rush toward the 50K-word finish line.

Personally, I use NaNo to draft novels in a mystery series I’m writing. Every November I know I will immerse myself in the world of that protagonist. Later, much later, comes the revision, the editing, the fine-tuning that makes a messy first draft into a marketable manuscript.

As for my track record, yes, I’ve had epic fails. My first NaNo in 2008, was a true disaster. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of not editing or fixing each day’s work. But I got the hang of it and tout the benefits of the month-long challenge. I come back each new November to do it again, and again. Entering the 2015 NaNo season, I am 5-4, five wins, four fails. But even the fail of not reaching the 50,000 words in 30 days is actually a win because if you write anything at all during NaNoWriMo, that’s more than you would have written had you not tried at all.