Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Traditional Publishing Vs. Indie? Read This link Before You Decide

Contemplating whether to publish your book with a traditional publisher or do it your self? Before you decide, consider this food for thought from best-selling author Joe Konrath.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Looking for Inspiration? Check Out This Video

Hope, humor, grace, strength. I've witnessed my daughter and others summon these attributes and more in the face of adversity. Kudos, Chris Rumble! Your video says it so well.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Writerly Report from the Trenches

Each month nearly a dozen teens join me around a library table to talk about books, hone their craft, and share their work. Each month, I'm blown away by their honesty, creativity, willingness to share, and eagerness to play. This month was made even more awesome when group regular, J, arrived with her guitar over her shoulder and announced she wanted to play for us. We moved the meeting outside, and sat beneath the oaks along the canal path, where J treated us to a public concert. And held us spellbound. Writers often begin their stories with a character, snippet of dialogue, or setting, and then must discover the rest of the story. When writing a song, J said she often begins with a whisper of music. Then she seeks the story that belongs to it. Fascinating how the creative process works. Thanks for sharing, J! You're an amazing singer and songwriter!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

My Latest Short Story is in the News!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers is getting some really nice buzz since its mid March release. Check out this link for the latest feature on my involvement in the book.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Must-Read Interview On the Secrets to Epublishing Success

This interview with indie author Ruth Ann Nordin is the one if the best I've read about how to ride the eBook wave.

Smashwords: Ruth Ann Nordin Shares Her Secrets to Success

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In the News--Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers

Check it out! I just learned that Trib Local, a local web version of the Chicago Tribune, featured an article about my story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers recently. Thanks to good friend and fellow author Kate Gingold for secretly making it happen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers is Here!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers is available at a bookstore near you. And Joan Lunden is talking about it! Check out her interview about the book on Good Morning America earlier this week.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Year That Went to the Dogs, Part Deux

Time and again, writers, editors and other folks in the industry say you should "write what you know." So, in between Elena's first and second brain surgeries last year, I managed to sit butt in chair long enough to write a short story for an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book. The beginning drafts were painful. Not only was I forced to acknowledge my fears, I'd been away from the process for so long that slogging through my prose felt like an exercise in futility. I kept at it in large part because of Elena. She'd been through hell and back again, and now she was facing two more brain surgeries when one was more than enough in anyone's lifetime, thank you very much. The least I could do was suck it up, finish my shitty first draft, and revise my way to something editor worthy by the submission deadline. The hard work paid off. The Chicken Soup folks bought my story! Getting the news in the midst of our family drama was a highlight of my Year That Went to the Dogs, and a reminder to Trust the Process wherever it takes you. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers hits bookshelves nationwide on March 13th. Check out this link for an inside look.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Year That Went to the Dogs

Is anybody out there? There? There? There? There?

This is my first post since last April, and as I type this entry, I can't help but wonder if even my most loyal followers have moved on. But for those of you who are still out there; for my characters who most likely have disowned me; for my loyal muse who has been starved for attention for far too long; and for fellow writers who wrestle daily with the challenge of balancing work and family, and sitting butt in chair to give your stories a voice, this post is for you.

2011. In our Christmas letter, we called it the Year That Went to the Dogs. It's an apt title for a crappy year, one I would never wish on anyone, not even my enemies.

Detailing what happened would take too much space and energy for a post here; so, I'll give you the Cliff Notes version. My middle daughter Elena ended up needing three brain surgeries last year. By the grace of God she came through them all. But between all the hospital stays, tests, therapies, doctors visits, and follow ups, there was little time left for writing.

Probably my biggest accomplishment in 2011 was honoring Elena by launching and maintaining a webpage on where friends and loved ones can read Elena's story, keep track of her progress in an online journal, and leave notes of encouragement in a virtual guestbook. If you're looking for details about Elena's journey, you're invited to visit her site. It's an ongoing story, one that's still unfolding. Click here and search for elenawinters. If you're new to CaringBridge you'll need to create an account in order to view the page, but it's free and easy to do, and a good way to stay connected.