Far and Wide and Every Lost Minute.

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I was doing an exercise in a seminar I was taking. I was given an article; a long, seemingly rambling, however, well executed nonfiction piece on the downfall of certain companies. Just writing that sentence feels painful. Why did I waste my time?

But, see, it turned out not to be a waste of time. In a lecture, recently, a similar topic came up and I was able to give a reasonable discussion about how this downfall relates to the business of writing.

Wow – I did not see that coming.

That is something I’ve always done, however. I’ve actively added to my body of knowledge by reading far and wide, not limiting myself just to my genre or even just to fiction.

What I’ve found is that this adds depth to my characters, validity to my narrative, realism to my stories. I’m don’t limit myself, therefore, my characters seem more authentic.

In 51WOVy2yYkL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_$I.00 Stories, I developed the homeless man from articles I’d read about mental illness and the homeless. In West End, I was able to add more depth to my character having read psychological texts on motherless daughters.

My advice is always – read far and wide and don’t limit yourself. Read when you’re waiting in line at starbucks, read before bed, read when you wake up, or you’re waiting to pick up your kids, or meet your friends. Get off of facebook and twitter or stay on those sites and subscribe to the digital magazines.

I hear people say – I don’t have time to read. Yes. You. Do. Find where you’re losing time and capture it.

 

 

 

 

Enter to win

Ladies and gentlemen,

To celebrate my summer release of as-of-yet-unnamed book of short stories, I’m giving away books for the next few months. Enter to win a copy of West End on GoodReads!

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Random facts stalkers don’t know…

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I grew up in a tough neighborhood. (don’t stereotype me)

I was in a band. (for about 5 minutes)

I was in a few movies. (another 5 minutes)

I wrote my first “novel”at the age of 11. (an angst ridden piece about a girl who is kidnapped because she witnessed a crime)

I was actually kidnapped. (not at 11/that story is waiting for publication)

I always have wanted to own a Munster-like house.

I’ve gotten lost in every major city I’ve ever been (including abroad. Trust me when I say every country/every city has neighborhoods you don’t want to be lost in at dusk)

I keep a lot of random facts as well as insignificant details in my brain. (jokes don’t stick tho)

now the stalkers know – don’t be a stalker….

Writing Wishes and Publication Dreams

I’ve been working on a new story – not only working – OBSESSED!  I don’t think I left the house for most of January and part of February until the first draft was done. I’m currently working through it again and again.  I’ve begun to gather my beta readers, and I’m quite excited.

Weekly, I spend time submitting. This is what a working writer does. Writes and submits. Rejections are no fun, and I get plenty of them. I read one statistic that read, “a writer gets an average of 26 rejections for every acceptance.” Not sure how they came up with that… I feel like it’s three times that much; however, things change!

Malcolm Gladwell, estimates it takes 10,000 hours to master any one thing. I feel like I should have reached those hours long ago; but, maybe, it takes some of us a little longer to get it. (That’s the story of my life!)

So – I have to update you.

My poem, “All At Once”, was a finalist in Medusa’s Laugh NanoText Contest. I didn’t win, but it’s still to be published in their anthology and in an e-book version. This should be available soon!

My poem, “I’ve Never Looked So Beautiful” has just been accepted by Mother’s Always Write. Before you start thinking I’m quite full of myself – the poem is about my lovely daughter! This should be available in the next month.

My story, “How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party” has been accepted by The Oleander Review. Sometimes, I write something and I think, this is pretty damn good, and I think this story says a lot about our humanity. I’m so happy that it will be published. It will be available mid-April

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, Writer Advice has just notified me that my story, “Memorial Day Death Watch”, has been chosen as a finalist in their Flash Memoir Contest!

We must have a purpose – I’ve always wanted to reach people, tell them they’re not alone. I think I’m just beginning to do that.

Live an Inspired Life!

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Free book?

 

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Ladies and gentlemen,

My book of short stories should be out in another month – I’ll have two advance copies to give away.

There will be a very easy one question contest, and then a drawing (done by a third party) from all of the correct answers.

The official announcement and contest will begin in the next few weeks – keep checking back or sign up to receive updates!

Thanks,

Noreen

Spoiler Alert!

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Daughter: My friend invited me to Oregon, I need a new bathing suit.

Me:  Bathing suit?  It’s going to be chilly.

Daughter: So I’ll take a sweater. We’re going sit on the beach at night and watch the stars.

Me:  At night….On the beach… In Oregon…. at this time of year?  It’s going to be cold.

Daughter: So we’ll take a blanket too.

Me: You’re going to need a coat, maybe gloves.

……………………..

Me: Last time I was on the beach at night, we saw a rat.

Daughter:  Your new nickname is SPOILER ALERT!

Me: That’s what they called me in college!

Daughter:  Why do I not doubt that?!

Paintings with Owls.

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C: Let me guess- are you a third grade art teacher?
Me: no.
C: Oh, your friend showed me that picture of you with paintings of owls.
Me: So, it looks like something a third grader could do?
C: No, no. I just haven’t painted owls since I was in the third grade.
Me: It was a class I went to, like a workshop.
C: So, what do you teach?
Me: English.
C: You have a PhD?
Me: MFA.
C: Hahahaha! Oh my god! and you paint owls?! I thought you’d be painting Reniors with an MFA!
-A moment of silence.-
Me: I don’t teach painting.
C: But that picture? You were in a classroom.
Me: It was a class that I took. I didn’t teach it.