Sunday, July 25, 2010

Writer's Groups

I love my writer's group! I want to shout it from the rooftops, but I won't, I'll just blog about it. If you're an aspiring writer and aren't part of a writer's group, I highly recommend finding one. For about six years I was working on a novel. People knew the premise, but never saw a single page I had written. Not my husband, not my mom, and not even my best friend. After taking a creative writing class in college and having the evil professor rip my work apart, I didn't have the confidence to share my novel with anyone.

A little over a year ago I finally got the courage when I joined a writer's group. I knew the group organizer as we had worked together and we encouraged each other to put our stuff out there. My pages were well received, the group members liked what I had written and offered feedback and suggestions. Not in a "I will destroy your soul" kind of way like my professor, but as fellow writers whose confidence was just as fragile.

Now, a year later, three core members are still active in the group and we have all noticed an improvement in our writing. Getting feedback from an audience actually helps me with sticky scenes or character flaws. We have become comfortable with each other to be more critical, but only to push ourselves. We can take it. Within this year I had a short story published and started sharing my writing with family members. My mom, who I feared would be my worst critic, believes I am capable of making a career out of being a writer and is willing to pay for conferences. She considers it an investment. That was a surprise and a relief!

If you are serious about writing, one of the first steps you should take is to find a writer's group. It might take a few visits to groups to find the right one, but it is definitely worth the effort. I found my group on the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance forum. Check with your regional or state writers association or other resources (Craig's List for example) to see if there are groups meeting in your area.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mel Gibson's Rants

Since my blog is titled EJ's Rants and Ramblings, I thought I'd sound off on the very public rants of Mel Gibson. Since every media outlet from Time Magazine to E.T. are weighing in, I didn't want to be left out.

Poor Mel, that's right I said Poor Mel, is getting chewed up in the media frenzy and I think it's unfair. First of all when people fight, especially ex-lovers, they can say mean and nasty things to one another. Usually these arguments are in private as these alleged arguments were. They were private until Oksana leaked them to the media. In the latest tape Mel accuses Oksana of being a golddigger and I think he's right. She probably did sign a paper where she gets none of his earnings so now she has to peddle these edited tapes for a paycheck.

Mel Gibson's ex-wife is coming forward to support him and still his sanity is being called into question. Who was Oksana before she met Mel? Exactly. Who better than an ex-lover to know what buttons to push to incite anger in a man, which is exactly what this golddigger is doing.

I hope that Mel gets through this latest scandal. He is a talented actor and director. Is he flawed? Yes, because he is human. We all are flawed in one way or another.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who needs a Pulitzer when there's The Versatile Blogger Award?

As you know, I'm not an active blogger. Since I've been traveling a lot over the past few weeks (for work and for pleasure), I have been super neglectful. So neglectful in fact, I didn't realize until now that my writer friend (and rebel), Olivia Herrell, honored me with The Versatile Blogger Award.

What is this, you ask? It's a great way to boost someone's spirit and acknowledge the work they are doing. It is also a way for you to get to know a little bit more about me. Here are the rules (which I don't think are too difficult to follow):
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. (*waves to Olivia*)
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who think you are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

I am a technotard at blogging still, so might not link to blogs correctly. My apologies in advance...

Now onto to step #2 - Seven things about myself:

1) I was born at home.
2) I'm a cancer survivor.
3) I've lived in Philadelphia, Phoenix and now Portland.
4) If desperate enough, I would exchange a kidney for a Whoopie Pie (jk, but I do loves me a Whoopie Pie)!
5) My favorite book of all time is Little Women. Louisa May Alcott and her MC, Jo March, planted the writer seed before I even knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
6) I love being a stepmom.
7) My first concert was Def Leppard and my dad chaperoned. He rocks!

Now on to step are 15 bloggers who are definitely worth mentioning and following. There have been many slow days at the office where their entries warded off certain death by boredom.

1) Charity Bradford, My Writing Journey
2) Natalie Murphy, The Sound of Rain
3) Roland D. Yeomans, Writing In The Crosshairs
4) Rhonda Cowsert, Snarktastic Ramblings
5) VR Barkowski
6) Eric W. Trant, Digging With the Worms
7) Mia Hayson, Literary Jam and Toast
8) Betty Blue, 37.2 Degrees in the Morning
9) Kelly R. Morgan, Distracted by the Internet
10) Courtney Reese at Critique This WIP
11) Loretta8, Mega-Toad Productions presents...
12) JA Souders, Angels and Demons and Portals. Oh My!
13) Anne Riley
14) Donna Hole
15) Eisley Jacobs, Eisley's Ellipses

Whew, this took longer than I thought, but was worth it! Receiving the award lifted my spirits and I hope to pay it forward.