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Guest Post: Conswalia Green

Writing Opportunities In Unexpected Places. Being a student has reminded me that if you write, you are a writer; write and write often; and opportunities to write really are everywhere. When I decided to get a MA in Technical and Professional Communication, I felt that I was betraying my creative writing self.   I repeated, "This doesn't define you. You're still a creative writer.”  Even when my professor said in research class, "to not be mistaken, this is a writing class," I still felt like a cheat. After a couple of writing intensive classes, it surprised me what I learned and relearned:  writing practice comes in many forms and still adheres to basic writing rules.   Honor deadlines  There is always a deadline.  That’s frightening when staring at a blank page. Gather research and focus on your writing goal with your deadline mind.Remember the 5 magic wordsAs I freaked about creating a budget...

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Summer Guest Post Series: Joyce Barton

Out of the Closet, Into the Fire:How I Burned My Old Darlings and Got Back to Writing FictionJoyce Barton (Guest Blog Post)I was coming off of a year of transcription and research for a nonfiction project and feeling ready to get back into fiction, but I was stuck. It had been so long since I’d used that muscle, could I even write fiction anymore?Write something new? What about my orphans, my piles and files of decades-old material—leave no story behind, I’d promised my characters, and myself.Here’s how I burned through my indecision (aka resistance) by feeding some old friends to the fire.State Your MissionI’m a writer, right? I write things down. So it seemed natural to define, in writing, what I wanted and why, when this would happen, how I’d get there, and commit to it—a good old-fashioned Mission Statement. Here’s my ‘Mission Bonfire’:Mission: Go through old files of stories and...

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Summer Guest Post Series 2018

My summer guest post series is so successful, I'm continuing this summer.My first guest post is from Andrea Hunter.5 Reasons Why Every Writer Should be on Instagram You don't need me to tell you that social media is a powerful tool. It's evident in the fact that we can upload and share a photo, video, article, message, or opinion - on an ever-growing variety of social platforms - in a matter of seconds. That's pretty impressive in its own right. But the real power comes into play when you consider that the content you just posted has the potential to be seen by literally millions of people around the world.Millions.It's mind-boggling when you stop and think about how connected we are. I won't tell you that social media is the new word of mouth. (It is.)I won't even tell you that almost one-third of the global population is using some form...

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Summer Guest Post Series. Welcome Sari Friedman's "With Love"

With LoveBy Sari FriedmanIf I’m lucky, something spectacular happens at some point in my writing process. I fall in love. Sometimes I’m in love with my protagonist, but not always— it’s impossible to predict which character, setting, technical aspect or plot sequence will fill me with that combination of tender regard, affection, allegiance and the desire to start writing a sonnet.As I wrote my first novel, which is about a New Yorker who starts to remember her past-life 4,000 years ago in the Land of Canaan, I fell in love with the antagonist’s manipulative pyrotechnics. I loved the technical challenge of revealing the conniving of a hurt-causing personality. I’m not conniving in real life. I'm nurturing and empathic. Strangers have been known to call me “Mom.” But this meant that I’d never understood how a hurtful personality could function. And that led to my sometimes being very hurt. In practical terms,...

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I'm continuing my Guest Post Series. Andrea is a past class participant and it's great to have her on board today.

Revision Decisions"It hurts when someone calls your baby ugly." My co-author's comment rang painfully clear over the metallic thrum of the Metra train coasting along its tracks. We were on our way home after a writer's workshop in the city, and the "baby" she referred to was our book. After years of balancing schedules, juggling real-life responsibilities, and carving out countless hours to write together our novel was finally finished. The result? Over 250,000 precious words detailing the beginning, middle, and end of each of our fictitious characters' journeys. We did it! [insert enthusiastic high five] But even as newbie authors we were keenly aware that just because you peck out those two little words on the very last page: The End doesn't necessarily mean the end. In fact, quite the opposite is true. As fate would have it, one frosty winter morning, we each received an email announcing an upcoming...

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Guest Post: Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel

I'm continuing my author guest posts this week and welcome Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel. Dear Gila...As Long as the Candle Burns written by Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel is “moving and inspiring. The author's stories are culled from her experiences throughout her working career,” (Jewish Book World). Ausubel's careers varied from directing a program in Headstart, to forming chapters for Emunah Women’s Organization throughout the United States. In Israel she put all of her heart and soul into directing and teaching students from all over the world returning to Judaism or in the process of conversion.  Even as a single mother she was able to accomplish and contribute to many causes such as, the New York Conference for Soviet Jewry, founder of Gush Emunim in America and Ausubel was involved in forming the Israeli town of Bet El.“Chana openly discusses the challenges of supporting and raising four children in a single-parent home....

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Guest Post: Diana Bletter

I liked Diana's post so much, I got permission to repost it. If you are in Israel Diana's novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is available at Steimatsky or you can get free shipping via bookdepository. Pope Francis in the Great Synagogue and Guess Who at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome on the Same Day. Posted on January 19, 2016by dianabletterPope Francis visiting the Great Synagogue in Rome, January 17, 2016Just an hour before I spoke at the Open Door Bookshop in Rome, Pope Francis was speaking at the Grand Synagogue just a few minutes away. It was the third time in modern history that a pope visited the synagogue. Quite incredible. Just to put this in perspective, historian David Kertzer, who wrote The Popes Against the Jews, said that throughout history, the Vatican forced Jews to live in ghettos (the word itself is Italian) and subjected them to forced conversions, expulsions and persecution. And now the Pope said, “Every...

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Guest Post Sue (Batya) Kroopnick

If you want to know what it really feels like to live in Israel and why people stay, even when the challenges become formidable, then you should read For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey –the book that captures that 'Only in Israel' feeling.Based on real people and true events, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odyssey shows an inside glimpse of Israel through the experiences of a new immigrant over a period of 25-years. Through inspiring, funny and thought provoking stories, the book presents a positive yet realistic perspective of what it's like to live in the Land of Israel, fall in love with the country and the people, and cope with the many struggles that come with being an Israeli.Along with the wonders and miracles that accompany an uplifting life in the Holy Land, For Better and For Worse: An Israel Odysseyreveals the strengths and weakness of  the...

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Summer Series Guest Post #4 Margo Dill

Welcome to my newest guest: Margo Dill. I've been virtual friends with Margo for a few years now and I'm very pleased to introduce you to her latest novel, a YA paranormal romance with a catchy title: "Caught Between Two Curses." To whet your appetite, here's a line about her latest work: Seventeen-year-old Julie Nigelson is cursed. So is her entire family. And it’s not just any-old-regular curse, either—it’s strangely connected to the famous “Curse of the Billy Goat” on the Chicago Cubs.   Practical Ways to Balance Motherhood and Writing  by Margo L. DillI have a 3 ½ year old daughter and a 13-year-old stepson. This summer, it seems harder than ever to balance work and motherhood. I think it’s because the kids are older—they sleep less and want to do more. But I’m working on some practical ways to entertain and love my children while I also work as a writer.1.      ...

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Guest Post: Author Yael Unterman

I have opened up my blog to a series of guest posts from other writers for your summer reading enjoyment and I am delighted that my first guest is my friend and colleague Yael Unterman.Yael  has just released her first short story collection "The Hidden of Things." Check it out!On Writing, Spirituality and Being a Mensch This piece is not an easy one for me to write. But it has an important message.In 2009 I published a work of non-fiction (biography), but the publication of my second book in 2014 – a work of fiction – was the realization of a childhood dream. Yet fulfilling a dream sometimes brings some huge challenges in its wake. As writers, our book is our “baby,” and we go to great lengths to ensure the welfare of our offspring. I, too, feel an abiding loyalty to my book and to the heart and soul I...

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