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....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Poets and Dreamers for 2015

Showing Up for 2015...Poets and Dreamers, Orange, CA

The Orange branch of the Orange County Poets and Dreamers Authors and Writers Literary Network, a combination writing workshop and critique group, has been meeting for over a decade. So I'd been apprehensive that I had much new to share with the group. I've been invited by Mari Lou Laso-Elders (yes, relation) to facilitate a two-session New Year's workshop on writing for anthologies, particularly the inspirational Chicken Soup for the Soul.
We began yesterday morning by reviewing our writing goals for 2015. Some of the group hadn't yet formulated a plan, but all seemed positive they wanted to continue to write. I focused primarily on submitting for publication. The Chicken Soup series is a good way to begin for several reasons: 
  • Frequent editions (around a dozen new titles yearly)
  •  Large number of acceptances (101 stories in each book, as opposed to only one or two in monthly magazines)
  • Simple format (true stories with beginning, middle and end)
  • Brief stories (1200 words or fewer)
  • Popularity (a beloved series with a 20-year history)
One of my goals for this year is to begin crafting fiction, despite my claim that I can't plot my way out of a paper bag. I've prepared for this by rereading Stephen King's On Writing, and was pleased to learn that he advises to begin with characters and situations and that plot will follow.
Several in the group have promised to show up next week with first drafts, or at least initial paragraphs. I'm tickled and will now begin my own draft of a story to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Make Your Own Luck. I'm feeling lucky this year. Hey, I'm looking over a four-leaf clover!
"The dreamers of the day are dangerous people.
For they dream their dreams with open eyes, and make them come true.”
~D.H. Lawrence

This group meets every Tuesday, 9 to noon, at Our Saviour's Children's Center, 800 North Cambridge, Orange. According to Mari Lou, there's always room for one more. For more information and to RSVP click on this link:

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