Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Twist and Shout and Shake It Up, Baby!

One of the continuing delights in writing for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series remains in finding that one of my stories has been selected for the daily newsletter that goes out to countless subscribers and 536,301 Facebook followers. (Yep, I just checked.)

 Not that all of those half a million Facebook "likers" will actually read today's Chicken Soup offering. But even so, it's a tickle to think that Peace Corps Nurse Jackie Waight's advice to me in Belize City over 20 years ago will be useful to others who are in danger of back damage from weeding their spring gardens or, as I did, incorrectly hauling luggage out from under a plane seat.

This is the third time one of my stories has been selected as Chicken's daily sip of soup. My other featured stories include "Forced to Face the Facts," which appeared in My Resolution. That story related how I quit smoking through hypnosis, back in 1985 when I worked for an HMO in Long Beach, CA. It celebrates the talented psychiatrist I worked with, Dr. Eric Auerbach. Additionally, "Withstanding Winter's Woes," also has been showcased. It's about Chico, my optimistic black cat, who appears to be a big fan of Bob Marley's ditty, Three Little Birds.

I've had more than one friend raise an eyebrow when I explain why I invest so much time in writing for anthologies, when the financial reimbursement seems miniscule, considering the time devoted to composing and revising. It's true you don't get rich writing for anthologies. But there's other payoffs:
  • Platform. More people will see your byline in such series as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Thin Threads or the upcoming series, Not Your Mother's Book, than will read your hometown newspaper column, unless you live in a big metropolitan area.
  • Posterity. You have an opportunity to enshrine your most memorable  moments, which include relatives, friends, and even chance acquaintances, in a bona fide book that somebody else will read and enjoy. It's not easy getting your memoir published if you're not a household name. But a slice of your life can be preserved in an anthology.
  • Promotion. You have an opportunity to be featured at local library events, book fairs, schools and at book store signings. Even in this age of e-books, book lovers will buy a hard copy of a book with your story, if you're willing to sign it.
You can purchase Say Goodbye to Back Pain here:

You can find out how to contribute to Chicken Soup for the Soul here:

You can read the guidelines for Not Your Mother's Book, the new anthology for a new century,  here:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May Daze for Booklovers

Tonight I'll be at the Chewelah Golf and Country Club, signing books with my stories for a fundraiser for the Libraries of Stevens County Foundation. I'll be one of ten writers hoping to interest the general public in our wares.I've done readings before, at literary teas and other gatherings, and conducted workshops in writing for anthologies. But this Book Fair is my first official "book signing" event.

One of my late husband's old friends remarked that he'd known a writer in the '90s when the Chicken Soup for the Soul series was new, who packed suitcases full of books carrying his stories, and dragged them from one literary event to another.

"Must be hard work," he'd remarked. "Imagine having to hawk your books to pay the mortgage."

 Fortunately I've other sources of income to pay essentials, so don't have to depend on writing for anthologies for those basics. But I'm delighted to sign books and chatter with readers if it supports a good cause. I can't think of a better one that keeping our libraries open in these hard times. So I've filled my suitcase with copies of half a dozen recent Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, and will hope I've chosen wisely. I'm taking:
  • Think Positive
  • Grieving and Recovery
  • Grandmothers
  • Inspiration for the Young at Heart
  • Say Hello to a Better Body
  • Say Goodbye to Back Pain
The event will run from 6 to 8 pm, and includes a silent auction. I believe its a bodacious way to spend an early May evening!