Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WITS Team Member Featured in The Tennesssean

Kristen House is a member of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services, a Nashville-based company that helps authors get their books ready for publishing. Kristen is also a writing instructor at Belmont University, and she came up with a novel idea about helping kids convert their creative talent for texting into a novel this summer. Learn more about the program at http://www.anovelideanashville.com/. She was featured in The Tennessean, a local Nashville newspaper, and her is a link to the article written by Julie Hubbard.

A Novel Idea: Making News! Featured in The Tennessean

Article, "Course Helps Teens Find Way With Words," featured on the Front Page of the Local Business Section, June 24, 2011

It's no secret that the young people who are a part of this summer's first class of novelists with A Novel Idea are doing fantastic work.

And as of today, that work is news.

Julie Hubbard, a reporter for The Tennessean, visited our class on Thursday, June 23rd, and was able to speak with students about their novels, their texting habits, and their confidence with the written word.

The article points to falling national trends on the SAT writing exam, and the increased importance of written communication in the 21st century workplace.

A Novel Idea seeks to address these concerns, introducing students to a daily writing habit that they can continue to foster after the program ends.

Most students in class have written over 15,000 words, with many topping the 20,000 mark. We just finished our second full week of writing.

You can read the story on page B-1 of today's Tennessean, or online, here. July's classes for middle school and high school have a few spaces remaining.

For more information, email kristen at anovelideanashville@gmail.com

Class C & D details: So you've been thinking about enrolling your son or daughter in A Novel Idea, but you haven't taken the plunge yet. There's still time (at the moment - The Tennessean article is just the first in a series of media stories).

Class C for middle school students begins on July 11th, and meets every Monday and Thursday until August 8th.

Class D for high school students begins on July 12th and meets each Tuesday and Friday through August 9th.

A Novel Idea is about passion, and not perfection. We strive to create daily writers of our students, not to stifle their creativity with criticism.

Students in class A are writing passionate prose, forging fast friendships with other wordy young people, and building incredible confidence in the process. For more information, email Kristen or visit http://www.anovelideanashville.com/

Note from the Chief Executive Muse

I have been humbled by the overwhelming response from educators across the state, and across the country! Thank you so much for your support, and thank you so much for recommending this truly novel concept to the wordy people in your lives.

Kristen House
A Novel Idea
Write Something Big!

News at a Glance Jumpstart: one-day workshop for adults enrolling now!

ANI Classes C & D: A few spaces remain

ANI T-Shirts and Buttons: Now available for purchase through http://www.thisisanovelidea.com/

Parents & Teachers: You've encouraged your students to sign up for A Novel Idea this summer. Now, it's your turn! A Novel Jumpstart is designed for busy adults like yourself. And if you're interested in teaching long-form fiction in your classroom, here's where you should start. Intrigued? Contact Kristen for more info.

We're Growing! ANI will soon be coming to a city near your friends! Interested in knowing where? Send an email to Kristen to find out if your favorite town is on our list of expansion cities. We're not wasting any time, are we?
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Poetry Corner June 2011



Some Days
by Dennis S Martin

Distant rumbles from a sky of
Misty gray, hanging low,
Moving steady, marking time,
Marching soldier in your prime.

Crispness chilling morning air,
Sitting on my front porch chair
I ponder what the day will bring.
Daintily the wind chimes sing

As robins chirp
And folks walk by,
Gentle breezes seem to sigh
And slide across the pine tree’s boughs,

Who protests slightly, but allows.
Plans were made
But will they serve?
Will protests yield what they deserve?

Or should I simply roll along
To see what fate holds in her song?
Some days are like this one,
No doubt.

I’ll wait to see what it’s about.

Positives
by Dennis S Martin

Mama always taught me that
There’s good in everyone,
That I should seek the positive
And overlook the rest.

Must admit, sometimes you have to
Look real deep to find it.
Some people give the microscope
A grueling, daunting test.

But if you seek, and seek you must,
And dwell on positives,
You just might find that
Life’s more kind
As you ponder your quest.

Is it worth the effort
To seek people at their best?
I believe that it’s the key
To life’s true happiness.

Bigger Picture
by Dennis S Martin

Searching through the scrambled pieces,
Hundreds, thousands, maybe more
Scattered loosely, helter skelter
Laid out on the puzzle board.

Trying hard to find an interlocking place
To fit, to be,
To integrate with all the rest
And form a perfect symmetry.

No one piece can be forgotten,
Not a single one misplaced,
Else the picture be misshapened
Vision hopelessly erased.

But when the whole has come together
And each piece knows where it should be,
Witness all the bigger picture
Formed with perfect clarity.
Escape
by Dennis S Martin
Tortured by the husking fruitless
Daily crush of energy marauders
Vexing, ever vexing and
Flexing brawny sinuous flesh,
Flaunting faux powers in feckless faces.
Pity the fools.

I close my eyes,
Lower my expectations and
Wait for sweet dreams
To invade my property.
Oft times comes easy,
Approaching angelic.
The bully backs down
Looking elsewhere for folly.
Prison bars soften and the gates open wide
As velveteen breezes offer their wings
Leaving me free to escape to Nirvana
Where honey flows free
And roses e’er bloom,
And thoughts are but whispers
Born on the wind.
I will linger here a while to
Follow the dream,
Seize the ring.
No misgivings for time well spent.


Silly Giggles
by Dennis S Martin

Nostalgic for the good old days
Of life’s simplistic interludes,
When dreams were fresh as lavender
As sunlight burns the morning dew.

Silly giggles way back then
Were all the sport we ever sought,
No responsibilities could
Trump the task of levity.

And weren’t we happy with our lot?
Time and trial our last concerns.
Foresight was for other fools
To dole and dither fitfully.

Sad to lose the youthful verve
That spawned so many memories, but
Time can be a spiteful mistress
If allowed to have her way.

Now in twilight do I find
The subtle nuance of her gift.
The looking back rekindles joy that
Silly giggles gave us then.

Heartshine
By Dennis S Martin

Mindful embraces form
Elegant sources
Gently caressing the
Lace-covered edges of memory
Harboring every emotion,
As I feel your Heartshine
Soft on my face.

Brighter than sunlight,
Fresher than springtime,
Warmer than summer
I bask in your glow.

Supple as willow trees
Free-flowing branches
Dancing with breezes,
I hold your embrace.
Welcome sweet Heartshine,
Come stay a while.
Linger til long shadows
Fade into night.

Joy is your reverie,
Truth your companion,
Beckoning all
To join in your chase.


Princess Bride
by Dennis S Martin

Sleepy nation wakes the dawning,
Spies the bunting on each ledge,
Something special stirs the scent of
Incense wafting in the breeze.

Quick to dress in finery
To suit such glorious occasion,
Chins held high and chests puffed full
In maximum anticipation.

Four white horses lead the carriage
Fully draped in ceremony
As the trumpets sound the herald
Echoing glad tidings all.

Out she steps to breathless watchers,
Daintily her footfall glides,
Steadfastly her regal father
Leads his angel down the aisle.

Now she stands before the altar,
Nations watching, filled with pride,
And her young prince stands beside her
Proud to wed his princess bride.

Website: http://www.iwritesome.com/
Lulu Storefront: http://www.lulu.com/dsmartin
Plays: http://sites.google.com/site/playsbydennissmartin/




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Monday, June 27, 2011

Editors Are Not Out to Get You!

By Dana Micheli
In addition to my work for Writers in the Sky, I am also a teaching assistant for an online university. My job is primarily to grade English papers based on grammar, content, and whether the student has followed the assignment parameters set by the professor. Another part of my job is to answer emails from students and offer guidance whenever I can. Usually these are pleasant and—I hope—helpful exchanges.

So I was shocked when I opened an especially long email last week saw a barrage of angry words, all in capital letters. Internet yelling, directed at me. Somehow I had wronged these person, and grievously. They could not understand my comments on their paper, and felt I was somehow out to get them.

My first reaction, I admit, was respond with a lecture about Netiquette and ask how they expected to get anywhere in life if this is how they spoke to people. But I took a step back and a deep breath, and realized what I was dealing with here was the “I” in Writer.

I suddenly remembered what it was like when as an English major in college I had to distribute copies of my short story for my classmates to read. They were to take it home, read it, and return the next class to deliver their commentary. Aloud. In front of everyone. The fact that everyone had to do it didn’t make it any easier. At the time, I thought this exercise was cruel, humiliating, and without merit. I was wrong, however, and it made me a better writer. It also took me down a peg and taught me I didn't know everything.

My online student, I realized, had probably poured his/her heart and soul into the paper and now felt personally attacked.

Learning to check your ego at the door, I explained, is one of the most critical things you can do to improve your writing career. You don't have to agree with the critic, but listening to (and thinking about) the criticism opens you up to new perspectives and proves that you can learn from anyone, any time. And that is useful for any writer.

Dana Micheli is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and journalist. She has written and edited works of fiction and nonfiction, including novels (ghostwritten), news articles, resumes, business plans, and restaurant reviews. She also researched and wrote the legal and housing sections of New York: The Complete Resident’s Guide (Explorer Publishing). She is also the business writer for WITS.





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Friday, June 24, 2011

Tips for Prerecorded Podcast Interviews

By Vonnie Faroqui
Prerecorded podcast interviews differ from live radio in several ways. You will need to find out ahead of time how your interview will be conducted, live or as a prerecorded podcast to be aired at a later date.

Many Web radio and podcast interviews are prerecorded for the convenience of the blog host and site management. This allows for minor editing, a “positive” in favor of prerecording interviews that a good host will use to make higher quality podcasts. Writers In The Sky pre-records its podcasts and schedules these interviews to be aired on a weekly basis.

Even the best editing can’t turn Mr. Potato into a thrilling interviewee. That being the case, here are a few tips to help you on your way to becoming an interview superstar.

Get Comfortable

Live radio interviews can begin abruptly. A prerecorded interview usually allows you to get comfortable with your host and to ask questions of your interviewer before recording begins. For WITS Podcast interviews, I like to give our guests the general outline of the interview a day or two early, and then to answer questions before we begin recording. Taking the time to chat with my guests beforehand helps me gauge an author’s comfort level, break the ice, and address any fears our guests may have about interviewing. Live interviews rarely have time to allow a host to put their guest at ease. Interviewing is a skill that, as with all skills, gets easier through practice. Practice your interview skills with friendly audiences. Get your friends to ask you questions about your book and themes. Play around with your responses so that you learn to answer questions on the fly.

About timing

With prerecorded interviews, there are fewer concerns or constraints about time and timing than is the case for live interviews. During a live interview, you will need to be prepared to talk at a moment’s notice and to keep your answers brief so that your host can speak to other callers or break for commercial. With a prerecorded interview, it is possible to take more time with your answers as pauses and hiccups can be edited away. In both cases, help your host know when you are finished speaking by ending with a declarative sentence or by using a vocal downtick to make it clear to the host that you’ve completed your answer.

No prepared speeches

Don’t write out speeches to read during the interview. Instead, create a bullet point list of things you would like to convey during the interview, key thoughts or themes you want to work into your responses. Read answers are never very engaging and will make you sound stilted and mechanical unless you are theatrically trained. Even good actors avoid reading from a prepared script and take liberties with their material to allow for natural, conversational phrasing. Don’t make the mistake of reading prepared answers during your interview. It is a mood killer.

Listen to your host

Listen to your host and do your best to answer the questions they ask. Don’t assume that they are disinterested. Give them something to work with. An unresponsive guest is a hosts worst nightmare. A host will often ask follow up questions if they like what you’ve said, if they are trying to draw out more information from you or if they want to carry you deeper down a line of questioning they think will be of interest to their audience. If you are listening to your host, you will hear the cues they will give you. Be responsive and they will guide you through. An engaging guest is a delight to support and easy to sell. If you need a little help with energy and want to avoid sounding flat and uninspired, try matching or slightly exceeding your host’s energy level. To do this you have to . . . listen.

Share your passion

If you aren’t passionate about your book, who will be? Listeners will turn the dial if your interview lacks passion, but they will “hear it” if you SMILE – so get a telephone headset and free yourself to wave those arms around while you talk. Let the love you have for your book, theme, and characters come through in your voice. Standing while you speak conveys energy and confidence. Gesturing helps you convey intensity and meaning. We rely upon these things in everyday speech to help communicate clearly. Allowing for movement will help you relax during an interview and greatly enhance the sound of your voice.

Give of yourself

Being a good guest translates down to one thing. Give of yourself. When someone speaks from a place of inspiration about something they love, it is always interesting. Do you love your book? Didn’t you just invest time, energy, and money in creating and publishing it? If you love your book and speak from that place, you will have something interesting to say.

Letting go of fear and embracing life is a challenge that everyone faces. The circumstances may vary, but the opportunity to move past fear comes to all of us. I have one last tip to share and it will help you overcome any fears you have about interviewing. And it is . . .

Keep breathing

Breath is life. When you stop your breath, you stop your life, you freeze your emotions, and stifle your truth. Breathing frees stuck emotion and gives you voice. It carries you through and out of fear. If you encounter a question that throws you for a second, or need to gather your thoughts for a response, take a breath. In that moment of internal silence, while you concentrate on inhaling, your answer will come. It will come from a place of truth that exists deep inside of you, a place that is inside all of us. Share what comes to you and keep breathing.

Vonnie Faroqui is a freelance writer offering author promotions services through Ink-Slingers-Whimsey.com. She is a regular host for the popular writing show, Writers in the Sky Podcast.





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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book with a View June 2011





Book Title: Love From the Other Side
Author: Carol Shimp
ISBN: 978-1432767907
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

Searching for Answers

At some point, most of us find ourselves searching for answers to the question of what comes after this life. We all have our own reasons for the search and it is in these times when books such as Carol Shimp’s, Love from the Other Side: a Search for Answers, find their way to us. Sometimes a friend will recommend we read, other times it will be through a review that our attention is caught. We may not always agree with what we read, but the need to understand drives us and so we turn the first page hoping to find peace and a sense of knowing.

Carol has given the gift of her story in, Love from the Other Side, a memoir recounting her spiritual exploration, paranormal experiences, and quest to balance daily life with experiences of the spirit world, precognitive dreams and other worldly messages. Through this book, the reader will discover hidden groups of spiritual seekers, spiritual teachings, and have an opportunity to encounter teachings that are often obscured for the protection of the innocent. In a world that has grown skeptical of anything that cannot be scientifically weighed and measured, psychic and paranormal experiences remain a taboo subject in most homes, or a matter of ridicule and scorn. As I read, I found myself drawn into the memoir by the sincerity of the author.

The quality of writing is pleasing; the chapters are well constructed, making the story easy to follow. Great care is given in the treatment of spiritual beliefs and matters of faith. Carol does not denounce or espouse any particular faith, although she does share that her background and religious path is Catholic. She receives assistance from a group of spiritual seekers and eventually undergoes a non-Catholic exorcism of energies that were detrimental to her spiritual and mental health.

This is a marvelous book for the curious and for spiritual seekers. There are wonderful spiritual truths within the folds of Love from the Other Side that will enrich the unfamiliar and gratify those initiated in the practices and teachings of spiritualists and mediums. Rather than portraying the sensational, Carol’s style and message are without guile. In the end what is revealed comes from a place of love and is offered without condition.

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Book Title: Shee Willow
Author: Claudy Conn
ISBN: 978-1613099933
Publisher: Wings ePress
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

Claudy Conn’s Shee Willow, carries us deep into the world of fae intrigue and danger . . . exciting and fast paced, this is a novel with plenty of plot twists and surprises to support the romance. This tale can stand on its own but Conn brings back the cast of faery characters we fell in love with from Spellbound-Legend, deepening the Seelie intrigues, romance, and dangers in part two of the series.

Once again Conn ignites the page with hunk madness, as every which way Willow turns brings hot potential for love and misdirection. A Conn story is always full of rich layers and like dark chocolate cake waiting to be licked from sticky fingers; she tempts even the most discriminating reader to escapism. I can’t help but pout a little when she tortures us with characters that we want for ourselves only to find out later that our hunk of hotness is just no good for us or our heroine.

In Shee Willow, Conn writes from the first person perspective of each of her main characters, giving a different feel to the book than you will have encountered in reading Spellbound–Legend. If you like to imagine yourself in the role of the characters, this perspective and writing style might challenge you at first. It won’t matter past the first chapter, because once you get reading you will find that Conn is a master of the craft and the story is a pleaser.

I didn’t think the series could get better but Conn is developing the magical and political intrigue of the underlying plot connecting the books, as well as the romantic drama. Additional characters open the scope for rising action and she continues to weave in future romances and danger.

Conn is in high form and never shorts her heroine or her reader. It is pure torture deciding which of the men or fae to fantasize over, and I do so love the bad ones!

You got me again, Claudy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Title: I Am Going Where I Belong
Author: Hans Lindor
ISBN: 978-1592322657
Publisher: Enaz Publications
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

I Am Going Where I Belong relates a fictionalized and tragic tale of life for Haiti native Hans Leger. Born into the ruling class of Haiti and a life of privilege, Hans Leger discovers a side of his homeland that is both shocking and horrifying. The narrative carries the reader through a chance encounter with a child prostitute and her son, to the murder of Han’s father, and his family’s flight to and life in the USA as political refugees. This story reflects deeply on the living conditions, mental attitudes and struggles of the Haitian people. The narrative voice of the book relates and reflects upon issues of personal safety, survival, self loathing, racial and economic discrimination and political despotism.

Insightfully written, I Am Going Where I Belong is loosely built around aspects of the author’s personal experiences, and offers a perspective and a vision of the Haitian people that have until now been given little or no voice. Author Hans Lindor eloquently weaves his personal experiences of life in Haiti and beyond into this fictionalized account, successfully capturing for his audience truths that can only be felt when shared by one who has lived and breathed them. Lindor has lifted his pen on behalf of Haiti and his native people.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Hans Lindor after having read his book, I Am Gong Where I Belong. Lindor will tell you that the book is about a fictional character and that it is not about his life. After having interviewed the author, I can see why he would assert this. Many aspects of the character Hans’s life are fictionalized and differ from events that played out Lindor’s own story. However, the book also contains events, losses, and incidents that the author has drawn directly from his personal experience. The road of circumstance traveled may differ for the character, Hans, but when you read about Marie and her son, or when a beloved character is gunned down and must be left untended in the streets, there is an aspect of reality being shared that is heartrendingly real. These are elements of the author's own story which are retold using the vehicle of fiction to soften the impact for both the author and the reader. It is in these moments that Lindor’s ability to write is at its best. He transmits into words the incredible horror, loss and grief that has been his own and shares with all of us a tale of Haiti's children.

If you are at all interested in the lost boys of Haiti or in the politics and struggles surrounding this nation, you will benefit by reading I Am Gong Where I Belong. Well written and easy to understand, this book will open your eyes to realities and difficulties faced every day by the Haitian people. The author digs deep and offers up a piece of his soul in, I Am Gong Where I Belong.
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Book Title: The Quetzal Skull
Author: Margaret Gill
ISBN: 978-1432768669
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

Superb from beginning to end!

There is much good to be said about Margaret Gill's writing and The Quetzal Skull in particular. To begin, Margaret knows how to weave a delicious story that will captivate her youthful audience as well as those adults that enjoy reading the Young Adult Fiction genre of books. The Quetzal Skull follows, Narwhal, as part two in a series and is superbly written.

The Quetzal Skull relates the continuing tale of Gray, a young man on the verge of discovering his deepening psychic gifts and his place in the world as a shaman. After his brush with death, in Narwhal, Gray goes to the mainland to attend art school. He intends to study art that is, but it seems once again fate and prophecy have a plan for Gray which is outside of his understanding and control. Kidnapping is the least of the lengths his enemies will go in their efforts to maintain their drive for power and control. They perceive Gray as a threat to their plans and won't stop coming after him until they have eliminated the threat he poses, permanently. Follow Gray around the globe into the heart of myth and mystery, as he strives to solve secrets locked in the distant past and fulfill his destiny.

Margaret does an excellent job of depicting and explaining concepts of psychic energy work and shamanism that accurately portray the teachings, methods and practices of modern and historic shamanic practitioners. She is able to capture in words and through story telling the atmosphere of time and place, which combine to create a flavor of danger and increased tension. Her research and insight into traditional shamanic roles and practices, as well as into the healing or mystical properties of certain herbs and the political intrigue used in her story, is to be commended. There is much to be learned, about our world and its societies, which she has cleverly revealed in the story or used as a device to develop her plot.

Exciting and enlightening, full of physical and spiritual dangers, The Quetzal Skull takes Gray and the reader on an adventure of thrilling proportions. Discover wonder and mystery in the crystal skull of Quetzal. A cast of memorable characters waits for you. You will not want to put this book down.




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Monday, June 20, 2011

Network with Us June 2011

Check out the e-books designed especially to help authors promote their books online. http://tinyurl.com/DanaWITS.


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Kristen House has developed a summer writing program called "A Novel Idea." It is aimed at teaching middle-grade students (rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders) and high-school students (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) to write a novel in a month during their summer break. Contact Kristen for details.

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Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/p/purchase-book.html .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join Yvonne Perry as she gives a lecture at Cosmic Connections in Nashville on June 18 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on what it means to be an empath and how to clear your energy field.

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WITS team member Dianna Calareso published her memoir, At Ease, in digital format through Smashwords. The book only costs $2.49, and she’s donating 25 percent of every sale to the Alzheimer's Association (the memoir is about her grandfather, a retired Marine who suffered from Alzheimer's until his death in 2005). Here's the link for downloading: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/53669. If you need help formatting your book for Smashwords, Kindle, or Nook let Dianna know.

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“Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth” is scheduled for four consecutive Tuesdays this September. There will be seven panelists sharing more than 12 hours of useful information about helping humanity shift into higher consciousness. More info at http://dld.bz/aaK6e.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Editor's Corner June 2011

By Yvonne Perry, Owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (http://writersinthesky.com/)


I've been on vacation for the past two weeks! Lots of time with family and getting some fresh air and sunshine. Ah, life is good!

And, this is good news too: Amazon.com has lowered the price of my book AGAIN! It’s now offered at an incredibly low price of only $12.23! Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at http://whosestuffisthis.blogspot.com/p/purchase-book.html .

I plan to give a lecture at Cosmic Connections in Nashville on June 18 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please join me for a discussion on what it means to be an empath and how to clear your energy field.

Also, I’m putting together a free online event “Empaths Shifting into 2012: A Telesummit to Help Energy-sensitive People Understand Their Spiritual Role on Earth” for this September. There will be seven panelists sharing more than 12 hours of useful information about helping humanity shift into higher consciousness. In my presentation, “There are No Victims! Helping Empaths to See Themselves as Empowered Beings of Light,” I will share why forgiveness is so important to empaths who want to stay clear of negativity and align with higher frequencies in order to accomplish their life’s mission. More info at http://dld.bz/aaK6e.

Book marketing expert Dana Lynn Smith is the author of many e-books (including the ones listed below) to help authors promote their books online. She and I conducted a free teleconference to share some of the information in her books. If you missed the call, you can get the replay at http://tinyurl.com/DanaWITS. Here are some of Dana’s books:

How to Sell More Books on Amazon;

The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Selling Your Book to Libraries;

The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing;

Facebook Guide for Authors;

Twitter Guide for Authors;

Boost Your Book Sales With Twitter - Audio Program;

Get Connected: Build Your Business With Online Networking Promoting;

Texas Book Marketing Handbook

Be sure to read the helpful articles in this issue written by the WITS team members. Considering seeking podcast and radio interviews to help market your book? WITS Podcast host Vonnie Faroqui has some tips for how to give a good interview. If you need help formatting your book for Smashwords, Kindle, or Nook Dianna can help!. I think you’ll especially enjoy our new column, “Grammar Hero is in the House! Say What?” I also like this helpful tip from Wendy Lachmuth on when to use there, their, and they're:

They're going to visit their parents next week, and will be there for two weeks. However, their pets, won't be there, as they're going to stay with their favorite pet sitter. They'll be very happy, though, to return to their families once they're home again. After all, there's no place like home!

Have a great month, everyone!

Yvonne Perry,
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Writers in the Sky Podcast June 2011

During the month of June Writers in the Sky audiences will enjoy podcast interviews with authors, from a wide spectrum of genres. June’s guests share their recent literary creations and writing publishing experiences, and talk with Writers in the Sky host Vonnie Faroqui about book marketing using blogging and social media.
On June 3, 2011, Vonnie Faroqui interviews 85 year old author, Betsy Houser, about her romance novel, Summer Is Her Name. “This was a charmingly delightful novel and the author was a joy to converse with.” Betsy shares an excerpt from her book and offers some encouraging words for other authors.
On June 10, 2011, J. C. Stevens shares his book, The Killing Game, a crime novel about a mob hit man forced out of retirement to become a pawn in the deeper game. Stevens talks about using a pseudonym to write in multiple genres and discusses blogging as a marketing tool with host Vonnie Faroqui. Listen in and pick up some ideas for how blogging could help you too.

On June 17, 2011, Jerome Peoples talks about his historical book, Lee’s Bread Machines. Learn from this author historian about a true life, African American inventor who changed the bread making industry of America. Jerome T. Peoples has a long distinguished career as a science teacher and now adds author to his list of accomplishments. Realizing the need for Afro-American inventors to be introduced to the general public, Jerome worked for seven years gathering the information presented in his book. “Lee’s Bread Machines is a fascinating piece of US history that will inspire you.”

On June 24, 2011, Writers in the Sky Podcast guest, author Allison Wynn presents her book, The Answer, “ A Journey From Anger To Peace.” Allison Wynne has spent 30 years helping people create more peaceful lives. The two questions she’s been asked the most are, “How do I deal with anger in either myself or others,” and “How do I create a more peaceful life?” Join podcast host Vonnie Faroqui for her interview with this exciting guest.

Writers in the Sky blog, podcast, and newsletter is a three-fold production filled with information about writing, publishing, and book publicity created by Yvonne Perry as part of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services. Listen to Writers in the Sky Podcast at http://writersinthesky.blogspot.com/p/wits-podcast.html



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The Grammar Hero is in the House! Say What?

By Kristen House
My mom recently sent me an email asking me to take a 10 minute survey. And although I love my mom, I simply could not do it. Say What? That’s right I couldn’t do it because a hyphen is needed to create a compound modifier from two nouns. Neither “10” nor “minute” could stand alone to modify “survey.” You wouldn’t say “10 survey” or “minute survey” because neither 10 nor minute is an adjective: they're both nouns! So I put on my Grammar Hero cape and jotted her a quick note that read, " I can't do this, Mom. But, I would be willing to take a 10-minute survey!" Grammar Hero to the rescue!

I pulled a late night and when I woke up this morning, I was devastated to find that I had run out of coffee and milk. I was also out of toilet paper. Still in my pajamas, I drove to the grocery store to purchase three items. And there, under the flickering fluorescent lights of my local grocery store, I once again donned my Grammar Hero Cape. A woman with dozens of coupons clogged aisle four, the only open checkout lane, but there was nobody standing in the "Ten Items or Less" aisle. Guess where I went? Yep, aisle four. Say What? The sign on the express lane should have read "Ten Items or Fewer." "Fewer" is used to describe a countable number of items, whereas "less" modifies measurable mass. For example, "I weigh less now than I did when I was pregnant," or "I sure wish I had fewer pounds around my middle." The cashier and her manager were very impressed. Grammar Hero to the rescue!

Kristen House is an Adjunct Instructor of Writing at Belmont University, and the Chief Executive Muse of A Novel Idea. She writes fiction every day for hours, even when there isn’t anything to write about. Kristen lives in Nashville with her husband, Andrew, sons, Holden and Shephard, and a yippy little dog named Osie.






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Thursday, June 9, 2011

The June Issue of Writers in the Sky E-zine is Now Available!

The June issue of Writers in the Sky E-zine is now available! This publication provides a rich resource of articles and information about the craft and business of writing, publishing, and book marketing. Go to http://writersinthesky.com/writing-newsletter.html and scroll down to the archives and click the link to this month’s issue. It will download as a PDF. If you would like to get once-a-month email delivery of the e-zine, you may subscribe for free at https://app.quicksizzle.com/survey.aspx?sfid=13065







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Monday, June 6, 2011

There, Their, or They're?

This seems like a simple one, I'm sure, but it's incredible how many people just don't know the difference between these words! 
They're going to visit their parents next week, and will be there for two weeks. However, their pets, won't be there, as they're going to stay with their favorite pet sitter. They'll be very happy, though, to return to their families once they're home again. After all, there's no place like home!


See the difference? :)


Submitted by Wendy Lachmuth


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Friday, June 3, 2011

Tennessee Rep Announces Schedule for Ingram New Works Festival: John Patrick Shanley--Tony and Pulitzer-winning Playwright of Doubt—Highlights Festival

Performance Schedule:

Ingram New Works Festival

Wednesday, June 1, 7:00 PM Henson by Shawn Knight
Thursday, June 2, 7:00 PM The Hobo and the Housecat by Heidi Ervin
Friday, June 3, 7:00 PM Hunger in Paradise by Mary McCallum
Saturday, June 4, 7:00 PM The City of the Dead by Nate Eppler
Sunday, June 5, 2:30 PM The Hand on the Plough by Lisa Soland
Tuesday, June 7, 7:00 PM Now You See Him by Christine Mather
Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 PM She’s Dead by Joe Giordan
Thursday, June 9, 7:00 PM Sleeping Demon by John Patrick Shanley
Friday, June 10, 7:00 PM Sleeping Demon by John Patrick Shanley
Saturday, June 11, 7:00 PM Sleeping Demon by John Patrick Shanley

Tickets: Free for Tennessee Rep 2010-11 season subscribers. $10 per reading for non-subscribers ($5 for students with valid student ID.). Tickets available at the door. Reservations available by e-mailing represervations@gmail.com or by calling 244-4878.

Nashville, TN— Tennessee Repertory Theatre has announced its schedule for the Martha R. Ingram New Works Festival. The festival will be held June 1 – 11 at Vanderbilt University’s Neely Auditorium and will feature staged readings of new plays from seven local playwrights as well as Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Patrick Shanley. Shanley is this year’s recipient of the Ingram New Works Fellowship.

The Martha R. Ingram New Works Fellowship was created by Tennessee Rep co-founder Martha R. Ingram to provide an opportunity for theatre artists to develop new theatre works while in residency with Tennessee Rep. Past recipients include David Alford (Clara’s Hands), Victoria Stewart (Rich Girl), and Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Auburn (The Columnist), which will make its Broadway premiere in January 2012.
Currently in its fourth year, the program has evolved to include a New Works Lab for seven local playwrights who are being mentored by Shanley. The Lab offers these playwrights the opportunity to not only receive feedback but also hear their works read by professional actors during the writing process.
“The Ingram Charitable Fund is thrilled to make this opportunity available in support of new works for the theatre,” says Ingram. “New work is the life force of every art form. We have no better example than William Shakespeare who, after all, created nothing but new work. And the same can be said for Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and the list goes on.

“As Tennessee Repertory Theatre continues to be a leading regional theatre, it is thrilling to see the company collaborate with nationally-recognized playwrights such as John Patrick Shanley as well as foster the development of local playwrights through the New Works Lab that culminates with the New Works Festival. I am confident that this collaboration will not only have positive contributions to the Nashville theatre community, but also the American theatre landscape as a whole.”
The seven local playwrights-in-residence include Nate Eppler, Heidi Ervin, Joe Giordano, Shawn Knight, Mary McCallum, Christine Mather, and Lisa Soland.
Lab participant Nate Eppler says, “The development of new plays is literally the lifeblood of theatre as a whole; to have the opportunity to develop new work with the guidance of a playwright of John Patrick Shanley’s caliber is rare and wonderful, to then be able to see the voices of Nashville theatre elevated into the national theatre conversation would be extraordinary.”
Shanley’s plays include Doubt (2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play), Defiance, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Savage in Limbo, Beggars in the House of Plenty, and Sailor’s Song. He won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Moonstruck and also wrote and directed the film adaptation of Doubt which featured Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“I could not be more excited to welcome John Patrick Shanley as Tennessee Rep’s Ingram New Works Fellow,” says Tennessee Rep Producing Artistic Director RenĂ© D. Copeland. “Directing Doubt was a professional highlight for me, so the prospect of getting to direct the staged reading of his new play that will debut at the Festival in June thrills me beyond words. But I am equally thrilled to have Shanley mentoring the members of the playwrighting Lab. What a privilege for our local playwrights to get to work with someone of his talent and reputation! To have Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winners in back-to-back years speaks volumes to the vibrancy of our New Works Program, and I am elated that Tennessee Rep is in a position to share these new plays with Nashville and contribute in such a positive way to theatre on a regional and national level.”
Since 1985, Tennessee Repertory Theatre has been a critically acclaimed regional theatre, creating the highest quality professional productions and by serving as a prime cultural, educational, and economic resource within the Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities. Tennessee Rep produces work that is designed, built, and rehearsed in Nashville by highly skilled actors, designers, directors, and technicians. A non-profit organization, Tennessee Rep is committed to consistently delivering thought-provoking theatre each year. For more information on the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, please visit http://www.tennesseerep.org/.
# # #
Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland, Festival Director Lauren Shouse, and playwrights participating in the New Works Lab are available for live or taped interview beginning Tuesday, May 17. John Patrick Shanley is available for limited interviews by special advanced arrangement.

Please contact Pat Patrick at pat@tennesseerep.org to inquire about availability.



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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writers’ Podcasts for June offer Romance, Conspiracy, a History lesson and Self Help

Learn what you need to know from the Writers in the Sky guests and team

Nashville, TN, June, 2011— during the month of June Writers in the Sky audiences will enjoy podcast interviews with authors, from a wide spectrum of genres. June’s guests share their recent literary creations and writing publishing experiences, and talk with Writers in the Sky host Vonnie Faroqui about book marketing using blogging and social media.

On June 3, 2011, Vonnie Faroqui interviews 85-year-old author, Betsy Houser, about her romance novel, Summer Is Her Name. “This was a charmingly delightful novel and the author was a joy to converse with.” Betsy shares an excerpt from her book and offers some encouraging words for other authors.

On June 10, 2011, J. C. Stevens shares his book, The Killing Game, a crime novel about a mob hit man forced out of retirement to become a pawn in the deeper game. Stevens talks about using a pseudonym to write in multiple genres and discusses blogging as a marketing tool with host Vonnie Faroqui. Listen in and pick up some ideas for how blogging could help you too.

On June 17, 2011, Jerome Peoples talks about his historical book, Lee’s Bread Machines. Learn from this author historian about a true life, African American inventor who changed the bread making industry of America. Jerome T. Peoples has a long distinguished career as a science teacher and now adds author to his list of accomplishments. Realizing the need for Afro-American inventors to be introduced to the general public, Jerome worked for seven years gathering the information presented in his book. “Lee’s Bread Machines is a fascinating piece of US history that will inspire you.”
On June 24, 2011, Writers in the Sky Podcast guest, author Allison Wynn presents her book, The Answer, “ A Journey From Anger To Peace.” Allison Wynne has spent 30 years helping people create more peaceful lives. The two questions she’s been asked the most are, “How do I deal with anger in either myself or others,” and “How do I create a more peaceful life?” Join podcast host Vonnie Faroqui for her interview with this exciting guest.

About Writers in the Sky: Writers in the Sky blog, podcast, and newsletter is a three-fold production filled with information about writing, publishing, and book publicity created by Yvonne Perry as part of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services. Listen to Writers in the Sky Podcast at http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/

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