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One Demure Chastity Belt Bust

One Demure Chastity Belt Bust
Some Flash to Read by Gila Green TMy Mom fought the fifties. I never knew. If anyone would have asked me I would have told them that my mother was straight-laced, demure, a Canadian Capital City poster girl, not just in character, but on the ground.In the photo I like best, my mother is a teenager, a head turner, a talent. She and her acting group have just returned from yet another triumph at the annual Dominion Drama Festival. Mayor Charlotte Whitton has come as part of the surprise welcome home to the young, gifted locals. The camera has captured the confetti in my mother’s bark colored hair and I imagine the scent from the rose petals overpowers the usual train station smells of machinery and cigarette smoke. Well, it’s not the usual train station atmosphere, it’s a party.The thought that she is going to be giving birth in six years time...
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Guest Post: Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel

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

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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It's not too late to sign up for January Virtual Classes

It's not too late to sign up for January Virtual Classes
We just started this week, but there's still plenty of room and lots of time to catch up.Four Fantastic Virtual Workshops:Flash: 8 weekshttp://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_FlashFictionWorkshop.phpLiterary Devices I & II 6 weeks: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_MemorableWritingLiteraryDevicesI.phpHow to Publish Your Short Story 4 weeks: http://wow-womenonwriting.com/classroom/GilaGreen_PublishShortStoryWorkshop.phpOR if you're in the area, sign up for my four week workshop in Jerusalem offered through Temech. The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers…The JWWS Writers’ Educational NetworkFor WomenRegistration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19th. To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option.Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS per personPrice for only one session at a time: 75 NIS per...
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Dear Gila,

I have enjoyed the (Flash Fiction) course. I found the way you gave us pieces to study most helpful. The two lessons which gave me the most were those on sensory detail and pacing.Thank you,Regards, Eileen Cooke              Australia.

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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The Art of Short Story Writing: Four Jerusalem Workshops

The Art of Short Story Writing: Four Jerusalem Workshops
The JWWS network, in conjunction with Temech, is pleased to announce our FOURTH SESSION for all women writers…The JWWS Writers’ Educational NetworkFor WomenRegistration is via Temech’s office (02- 538-8665, press 0 and say you are calling for JWWS/ Writers’ Courses) and tell them you are registering for the next JWWS course that is to begin on Jan 19th. To ensure your place you must pre-register. These JWWS courses will be a pre-paid and pre-booked only in advance option.Price for full course, all four sessions: 200 NIS per personPrice for only one session at a time: 75 NISper personHurry to reserve your spot – spaces go quickly!_____________________________________________________The JWWS Session FOURCourse Title: The Art of Short Story WritingCourse Instructor: Gila GreenCourse dates: Jan, 19, 26, Feb 2, Feb 9th  Tuesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 pmCourse Description: Get your creative story juices flowing!This course is for anyone who wants to sharpen her short...
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I can write, but I can’t edit

I often receive e-mails from class participants (Thank you. Keep them coming).One of the most troubling comments is this: I can write, but I can’t edit. This type of writer usually proves she really believes this when she sends in a new piece instead of an edited version or revision of a piece she’s already sent me.If this sounds familiar, you need to stop thinking this way because it hurts your chances of publication. This bears repeating. Stop selling yourself this line. I don’t know who made it up, but it’s got to go.All writers need some self-editing skills. This is not to say that writers don’t need editors. They do. I do. Still, at some point all writers must switch from writing to editing mode. Editing mode is not the same for all literary forms. If you are editing a Flash Fiction piece, your first goal will be to eliminate...
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Crash! Crunch! Cabang! Where have all the Literary Devices Gone?

By Gila GreenWriters are forever hearing they need to improve their writing skills. No matter what we produce and how frequently, there’s always some well-meaning editor, fellow writer or classmate hinting that you can never learn enough about writing. Interpret that as you wish. Perhaps, you see great writing as an exercise bike you need to ride forever, or like a sink in which dishes grow (if it’s anything like my kitchen sink). Either way most of these messages are downers. The answers we’re given repeatedly once we ask that inevitable question: how does a writer improve her craft are often framed as more of a chore than a bowl of cherries.  No doubt you’ve read that writers have to be voracious readers, readers so starved for reading material that only the dry end of a book cover or sharp end of a kindle is true nourishment. Food is blasé in...
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Dear Gila...

Dear Gila: This course has been superior so far. I can't thank you enough for your keen attention to detail and piercing critiques. A great learning experience!Also, thanks for your summary, How Not to Write flash. I see it covers most of the mistakes I've been making--so an invaluable guide. A great course, and I appreciate that you made it available to me over email. You're the best, Gila--may you thrive in your writing, editing, and teaching.Best wishes,Tom Allan

How not to Write Flash Fiction

I read a lot of Flash Fiction. Over the years I’ve noticed that some writers continuously flounder over these common misconceptions and mistakes. If you’re trying to master the art of Flash Fiction writing, these eight “don’ts” might help you jump up to the next level. Don’t approach Flash Fiction as though it’s just a very short story. Flash has its own set of rules and the king of those rules is this: you have no time. This means spending the first eight lines on background and leaving minimal space for any action to occur is sure to flop. Don’t do it.Flash Fiction is supremely brief. But the buck stops there. You can write non-fiction flash, romance flash, fantasy flash and any other genre you feel passionate about. For some reason many of the submissions I receive in my Flash Fiction courses forget all about genre, so focused are they on...
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Second set of fall classes begin November 16, 2015

Flash Fiction (8 weeks)Create Memorable Writing with Literary Devices (6 weeks)Create Memorable Writing with Literary Devices II (6 weeks)Publish Your Short Story (4 weeks)

Class Participants Write......Dear Gila

Hi, Gila! Hope you are well. Just wanted you to know about a flash market that’s very writer-friendly, a good place to land for some of your flash students who are looking for their first publishing credit (or have a good piece that doesn’t seem to fit with other markets): Every Day Fiction. I just had a piece published there (http://www.everydayfiction.com/campaign-button-by-joyce-barton/), and here was my experience:-Their response time was reasonable (90 days is their max; I heard from them in 88)-All 6 of their editors gave me comments/feedback on my story.-I was given the opportunity to make changes based on the feedback before publication, if I wished to do so (had a nice back-and-forth with one of the editors and added a sentence as a result)-Readers can comment and rate your story (1 to 5 stars), and the writer has the opportunity to respond to the readers (not something you see in most...
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It's not too early to think about fall classes

Fall Classes Begin October 5 and registration is open:FLASH FICTION WORKSHOP by Gila GreenHOW TO PUBLISH A SHORT STORY WORKSHOP by Gila GreenCREATE MEMORABLE WRITING WITH LITERARY DEVICES by Gila GreenCREATE MEMORABLE WRITING WITH LITERARY DEVICES II by Gila GreenNeed a little more time to catch your breath from summer?For the first time I'm offering two sets of fall classes. No need to wait for winter, but you can still pause a little longer than usual this year:November 16, 2015 registration is open CREATE MEMORABLE WRITING WITH LITERARY DEVICES by Gila GreenCREATE MEMORABLE WRITING WITH LITERARY DEVICES II by Gila GreenHOW TO PUBLISH A SHORT STORY WORKSHOP by Gila GreenFLASH FICTION WORKSHOP by Gila Green

Shshsh. I’m a Writer.

The summer writing season has begun.If you would like a post on any particular topic, please send me your request.I'd be happy to consider it. Summer post by Gila GreenI have a confession. When I fill out forms in my kids’ schools or any other official forms —for some reason only schools seem to come to mind, but that’s another post—I always write ‘housewife’ under mother’s occupation and I instruct my husband to do the same. He always nudges me in the ribs with the same expression on his face, his jaw slightly lowered, his eyes at a half roll. “Because” I hiss at his unasked question. “How many times do I have to tell you?” This is normally enough for him to shrug his shoulders and follow my instructions. Would that all marital conflicts resolve themselves so easily.So, why don’t I put in writer or even editor?  Because I always, yes always,...
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Letters

Dear Gila,BH my book will be delivered to me this week in print. This is the link. http://www.mazoproducts.com/cat/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=276It was wonderful working together and I greatly appreciate all the help and advice you provided me with, even after the editing was completed.Good luck with all of your future pursuits,Love Chana.Dear Gila,Here's the link to my short fiction piece - Silent Partners. The WOW! quarterly contests are a great way to get motivated and test your skills. I appreciate your interest so please feel free to share it with your Flash class. I would be grateful for any feedback/critique you or your class would like to offer! http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/63-FE1-Fall14Contest.htmlThanks,Andrea 

Spring classes begin April 15, 2015

There is still time to sign up!

Spring Classes start April 15, 2015

There is still time to sign up!

Congratulations to ...

Carol Ungar on the upcoming publication of her cookbook Jewish Soul Food: Traditional Fare and What it Means. Dear Gila,I couldn't have done it without you!Carol UngarIt was fun editing a cookbook for the first time, if not a little fattening, but it improved my cooking skills and it's always a pleasure to work with Carol. Mazal tov! I look forward to part two.And to Pia Wolcowitz on the release of her novel The Nurse.Thank you for everything,Pia It was a pleasure to edit this novel and I wish Pia much success! I look forward to her next jump into adult women's fiction.Chana Bunim Rubin Ausubel whose memoir As Long as the Candle Burns is coming out this spring with Mazo Publishers. Thank you for choosing me as your editor, Chana. Your work is an important part of American Jewish history. Dear GilaYou were a marvelous editor!Love Chana

Flash into the Middle of Things or In Media Res

Flash into the Middle of Things by Gila GreenWhy do writers use in media res (Latin for “into the middle of things”)?  There is nothing new about this narrative technique, which we find in everything from Homer’s Odyssey to films, poetry and plays. In media res is neither a frame nor a story within a story nor a self-contained story. In media resallows the audience to jump into a story right in the middle of the action. If done well, the audience is quickly consumed by the narrative, even though many questions are unanswered. For example, if a story begins with a murder we do not know the victim, the motive, whose side we are on, but our curiosity is immediately addressed. In Flash fiction in media res can be particularly useful because of the very short word count allowed. Yet, I find many writers find it difficult to break away...
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Does Your Story Have a Case of Runaway Pace? By Gila Green

Have you ever seen any of these comments in the margins of your work?·                     Slow down·                     Uneven·                     Lacks climax·                     FlatIf you answered “yes,” you should immediately browse through your writer’s toolbox of literary devices for pacing solutions—specifically how to slow the pace down.One device many writers threw out of their toolboxes long ago was indirect writing.  Most of us were told by everyone from our high school English teachers to published writers in creative writing programs that direct writing is good writing and indirect writing is bad writing. That’s often true. But completely eliminating indirect writing is also a surefire way for many writers to ruin the pace of their work. They write each line so directly that the story is over before it begins; there is never any time to savor the scene, in particular the climax or mini climaxes; there is no hair-standing-on-end time; and no goose-bumps-down-the-arms moments because...
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Congratulations to Joyce Barton

Hi, Gila!  Just wanted to let you know that my first flash piece, Bar Rag, was published by The Legendary (an online literary journal).  Less than a year after taking your course, not bad. ;)Go here & click on 'Joyce Barton' link:  http://www.downdirtyword.com/fictionpage.html(Or you can access it from the bio page: http://www.downdirtyword.com/authors/joycebarton.html )Just wanted to say thanks again; your class helped me get started with flash, and now I'm on my way.Hope you are well, and Happy New Year!~Joyce

Forget the Rules! Take a Flash Fiction Break By Gila Green

When I tell people I teach a virtual flash fiction course, I often get strange responses bordering on laughter. Isn’t flash fiction just really short fiction? What’s the point of taking a specific Flash class?No, flash is its own genre deserving of its own class and in my opinion, it’s still underrated as a way to break into publication. But the increasing number of publication opportunities is only one benefit of Flash. It also offers a break to a lot of writers who might be burnt out with a novel or short story. In the main, you get a break from following those longer-length piece rules and who doesn’t need a break from ‘the rules’ once in a while to recharge?  Here are five rules most of us hear over and over again that you get to completely ignore in Flash:Tell don’t show. If you’re like me, you’re not the ideal...
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Allusion in Flash fiction: double your meaning in a single Flash

This is the first in my blog post series on writing, particularly flash fiction. This post was on the WOW-Women on Writing site in 2013.Many writers think ‘brief’ these days. Short fiction is popular both on the internet and in print and whether you call it flash, postcard or micro fiction it all comes down to your story’s bottom line: reduce your work to its barest bones. One guideline is to eliminate literary devices. We are told that although we may write: “He was Usain Bolt in his running shoes, sprinting towards the hospital.” This is a no-no in flash. Change this to: He sprinted to the hospital. You just went from eleven to five words. This advice saves the writer six precious words. It also ups the story’s pace, intensifying the drama and focus and flash fiction is nothing if not about focus. What about the meaning of the story?...
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Create Memorable Writing. Four new classes begin January 12

My new writing class Create Memorable Writing has been updated and revised. Mark January 12 on your calendars.Enamored with the new short writing trend? Sign up for Flash FictionShort on time? Try my four-week short story mini publishing workshop

New Fall Classes

Classes in Flash Fiction and Literary Devices Begin October 27.Sign up for FlashSign up for Literary Devices INEW: Mini Course. How to Publish a Short Story.Loved Literary Devices I? Sign up for part two. 

Summer Series Guest Post #4 Margo Dill

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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The Costume Room

My short story The Costume Room was a finalist for WordSmitten's 1010 Fiction Contest.Today Brian Henry posted it on his blog.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks so much to Yael Shahar author of A Damaged Mirror,who invited me to participate in the current My Writing Process Blog Tour. Yael describes her book as an exploration between right and wrong; between choice and choicelessness, and the consequences of crossing boundaries. Check it out!This tour asks four questions that each writer answers before she passes on the virtual torch, so here goes:What am I working on? I just finished my second novel, Passport Control. I’m really excited about it as it is my longest work and I feel for me it means I have finally crossed the line from short story writer to novelist. Although, I have already published one novel King of the Class I was undergoing a transition with that novel from years of writing only short stories and some poetry. This time around I no longer had the ghost of a short story writer flitting...
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Welcome to author Renee Howard Cassese

I am so pleased to introduce my third summer guest, Renee Howard Cassese. Renee has been a participant in two of my virtual classes over the last couple of years. It is a privilege that many of my class participants continue to fill me in on their writing lives. Thanks for the update, Renee and congratulations on your move to self-publishing, which I've asked Renee to discuss in today's post. You can take a look at her self-published paperback I am my Mother's Only Poem: http://www.amazon.com/Am-My-Mothers-Only-Poem/dp/1494962535/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402002896&sr=8-1&keywords=i+am+my+mother%27s+only+poemTo self-publish or not to self-publish, that was the question. Though I rejected the idea of self-publishing because I thought it would brand me as an incompetent writer and unattractive to agents and traditional publishers, over the years I gently but surely changed my mind. When it comes to novels I still believe traditional is the way to go, but I am considering looking for small presses...
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