Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Deeny’

Writing Wednesday…Post PWC

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comments…

Post Philadelphia Writers Conference

I hadn’t attended the Philadelphia Writers Conference for a few years because my schedule and life got in the way. This year I was determined to make it and I am so glad I did.

No matter where you are in your writing career, a beginner or a best- selling author I believe there is something we can all learn by networking with other writers.

The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference represents a broad range of writing categories, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as editing and public relations.

The annual June conference attracts conferees from most of the United States as well as a few from Canada, although the core of attendance is still from the Tri-State area.

The conference was held at the Wyndham Philadelphia. I decided to stay in the hotel this year to get the complete conference experience. I was a bit disappointed that so many writers chose not to stay in the hotel.

Our room was beautiful but I have to say the service at the front desk and of the hotel in general was horrible. The restaurant was atrocious. We ordered lunch, only salads and after an hour and ten minutes we had still not received them and in fact they never arrived. We attended our afternoon workshops hungry.

I shared a room with Toni McCloe, a friend from the Lower Bucks Creative Explorers writing group. Toni is the author of Rude Awakening. (A powerful story with Philadelphia roots.)

We checked into our room at 8:30 Friday morning, dropped our suitcases off in the room and hurried down to the lobby to meet fabulous friends, Kelly Deeny, Helene Cohen Bludman and Cathy Sikorski.

PWC Friends

The opening speaker was Sara Shepard. Her bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line. The book series has also inspired the ABC Family television series of the same name.

author sara shepard book cover

 

In a more informal session later that day Sara shared some tips on protecting ourselves and our work should we be lucky enough to have interest from film or TV producers.

author sara shepard 2

The workshop that I got the most out of was short story writing facilitated by Fran Wilde. I signed up for this workshop because I needed some inspiration to get some of the shorter stories I have rolling around in my head on to paper, before I forget what those ideas are.

Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy.   She’s taught writing and digital media at two colleges, a high school for the creative arts, and a long-distance program for young writers.

Her first novel, Updraft will be published by Tor in September 2015.

I also signed up for a Free Verse workshop. Ken Pobo teaches courses in literature and creative writing at Widener University, where he has won the prestigious Lindback Award for teaching. The award was well deserved he was very inspiring and his workshop sessions went SO fast. I used to love writing poetry. The last poem I wrote was for a memorial service for my brother who was murdered in a road rage attack. Since then I haven’t been able to write poetry. I needed inspiration to try again and for me the class was a success. Ken and other attendees have inspired me to try again.

Apples to Writers, a sort of writing prompt game was hosted by the brand new PWC Board President, Jim Knipp. Jim is the author of over a dozen short stories and several novels. I was so nervous to participate but it turned out to be a lot of fun. How could it not be, Jim is fabulous!

I love all writers and have very few favorites. Stephen Fried is one of my favorites so I was thrilled that he was the keynote speaker for Saturday’s Awards Banquet. Stephen is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist, and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism. He is the author of the highly praised books Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry: Sex, Love & Dirty Laundry—Inside the Minds of Married Men.

author stephen fried

Stephen’s best-known magazine article is “Cradle to Grave,” his investigation into the deaths of all ten children of Marie and Arthur Noe, which led police to reopen the 30-year-old Philadelphia case as a murder investigation. The day after the story was released to authorities, the Noes were taken in for questioning and Marie Noe confessed, and later pleaded guilty to multiple charges of murder. For his role in the case, Fried received a medal—he became the first journalist ever to receive the Medal of Honor from the Vidocq Society, the elite international group of criminologists, pathologists and police investigators.

Fried’s wife, Diane Ayres is a fiction writer and the author of Other Girls. He shared some funny stories with us on what it is like to be a nonfiction writer living with a fiction writer.

I am a fan because Stephen writes about mental health, crime and the pharmaceutical industry and that is what I write and like his writing has done I can only hope that my work will one day make a difference the way his has.

Author Stephen Fried Cover

Another exciting but extremely nerve wracking event was the opportunity to pitch a literary agent. I have no idea why I let my friends talk me into it but I did and it went well. Do I have a new agent? Stay tuned, more on that experience later.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Ayesha Hamid, editor of Philadelphia Stories. I am looking forward to submitting an essay to them later this month.

Philadelphia Stories

Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Facebook friend, Kerry Gans who is also fabulous as well as several other social media friends. I just love meeting people that I feel like I already know, in real life.

The conference was a great experience and I got out of it exactly what I needed which was the inspiration to go home and write like crazy.

Happy Writing,

Doreen

 

Social writers? hmmm…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Writing/Critique Groups  and  Writing Classes/Workshops

A good writing and or critique group can be such a good resource for writers no matter where they are in their writing process. These groups are the best place to receive constructive, honest criticism from people who expect the same in return.

Writing classes and workshops are also good resources. The business of publishing is evolving rapidly so no matter where you are in your writing, classes and or workshops are a good place to keep up to date with those changes. They are also a safe place to receive honest feedback and advice from like minded people.

If your family is like mine it has members that love and are proud of everything you do and members that are critical of everything you do. It is much wiser to get feedback for your writing from other writers.

Writing is such a solitary process. For most of us it can be extremely difficult to step out of our safe writing caves and share our work with others but it is a necessary process and so worth it if we want to be the best writer’s we can be.

On- line writing groups and workshops are good for education and inspiration but in -real -life groups are the best place to socialize and are invaluable when it comes to promotion.

Members of a good group or class will keep you educated and motivated.

Where do you find these classes and groups? Most community colleges offer a variety of writing, publishing and marketing classes. In local newspapers you might be able to find a workshop.

Workshop photo 2

Writing groups can be found by doing a Google search of your town and writing group. You can also find groups on the Meet-Up sight.

You may have to visit a few groups before you find one that fits. I suggest giving the group a chance by visiting two or three times before making a decision.

If you can’t find a group that seems to be a perfect fit for you, start one!

Quote writers soul

I belong to two-writing groups. One group meets every Wednesday at a, Panera Bread. It’s an- hour drive for me but I love the group so the drive is worth it. I am so grateful to, Kelly the facilitator of the group. She is a talented writer and blogger and a friend. The members of the group are so positive and supportive and that is because of Kelly’s leadership.

Do you belong to a group? Have you taken any classes or attended a workshop recently? What did you take-away from them?

Happy writing,

Doreen

For a little inspiration, visit:

http://kellydeeny.com/2015/05/23/petals-of-appreciation-campaign-memorial-day/

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Keep Moving Forward Challenge…

Keep Moving Forward Challenge…

My friend and the facilitator of Bucks County Creative Explorers, Kelly wrote a blog post about being stuck. She wrote that she felt like her feet were stuck in concrete. That is exactly how I was feeling too.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge and hope Kelly will bring it back at the beginning of every season.

Kelly then posted this challenge. If you are feeling stuck too please join us. Let’s inspire each other to smash our concrete shoes.

CHALLENGE:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

http://kellydeeny.com

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet.

As usual my goals were pretty mighty this week. Life got in the way so I didn’t complete everything I wanted too.

I spent an afternoon with my nineteen-year-old, fifteen-year-old and five-year-old granddaughters. We went shopping for and found a beautiful prom dress, for Allyson (the nineteen-year-old.) I practiced making videos with the five-year-old. She is quite a director, oh my. I need SO much more practice.

I facilitate workshops for the Press Club and we had to cancel one in January due to weather. The make- up was last Saturday and this Saturday we have a regularly scheduled workshop. The committee, presenters and attendees are all having a really good time but it is time consuming. I never imagined I would enjoy teaching so much. Next month we have a writing workshop. This is the one I have been most looking forward to.

http://www.thepressclubpa.org

Although the workshops are taking up a lot of my time I did manage to write and post my A-to-Z April Blog Challenge Theme Reveal post and I wrote 2 ½ posts for the challenge. Only twenty-four more left to write. Are you participating in the challenge? I highly recommend it.

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5638

I finished my book cover questionnaire for The Stranger In My Recliner and received some great feedback on my back matter (text on the back of the book) from my writing friends at Bucks County Creative Explorers. So I guess you could say I finished a lot of ‘business’ writing this week.

Quote Keep Moving Forward

I still haven’t found a forward writer or blurb writers for the book. I haven’t tried very hard either. This goal needs to be #one next week.

All in all I feel like I have moved forward this week, slightly.

How about you?

Have a blessed week,

Doreen

Keep Moving Forward…

Keep Moving Forward Challenge…

My friend and the facilitator of Bucks County Creative Explorers, Kelly wrote a blog post about being stuck. She wrote that she felt like her feet were stuck in concrete. That is exactly how I was feeling too.

Kelly then posted this challenge. If you are feeling stuck too please join us. Let’s inspire each other to smash our concrete shoes.

CHALLENGE:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

For more information:

http://kellydeeny.com

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet!

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

It happened again. I lost another dear friend far too soon. At first I was in shock, then, I was angry and wanted to know what cruelness snatched her from her family and friends. Now I am so sad.

Recently I heard that every time you lose someone close to you, you re-grieve everyone you have ever lost. That would explain a lot.

I know I am supposed to wake up every morning feeling grateful and ready to attack the day but today I just want to pull the covers up, find the cool spot on my pillow and go back to sleep.

Quotes Goals change the plan not the goal

Time has no trouble moving forward no matter how I am feeling. In fact it just sprung ahead an hour leaving me desperately wanting that hour back. Just sixty-minutes to make my brother one more cup of coffee and tell him how much I still miss him, to laugh at one of my Dad’s goofy jokes one more time, to watch my BFF’s eyes fill with those proud Mommy tears as she watched her baby girl being sworn into the Navy and to catch up with my friend because I hadn’t seen her in awhile. None of this is possible now except for in my dreams, which is why I want to sleep.

Last week my goal was to clean up my e-mail and as hard as it was I got it done. Email is like laundry though because it keeps coming. I am hoping to get rid of the junk daily.

This week I need to take care of a frightening health issue. My blood pressure has been consistently spiking for days now. I take blood pressure meds so it is usually controlled. Perhaps it’s a warning to keep moving forward but doing so a bit slower.

BloodPressure pic

This week it will be one hour; one day and one foot at a time but the motion will be forward.

How do you keep yourself moving towards your goals when life or death keeps getting in the way?

#keepmovingforward

Doreen

A to Z 2015 BadgeA-Z 2015 Minion Badge

 

 

 

Keep Moving Forward…

Keep Moving Forward Challenge…

My friend and the facilitator of Bucks County creative Explorers, Kelly wrote a blog post about being stuck. She wrote that she felt like her feet were stuck in concrete. That is exactly how I was feeling too.

Kelly then posted this challenge. If you are feeling stuck too please join us. Let’s inspire each other to smash our concrete shoes.

CHALLENGE:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

http://kellydeeny.com/2015/02/05/keep-moving-forward-challenge-week-1/

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet!

~~~

I still feel like I am stuck in a spin wearing concrete shoes but I am kicking and dragging my feet so I hope that is making the concrete brittle.

As much as I feel like I am stuck in that spin, physically I am actually moving and covering a lot of miles, I’m just not sure in what direction.

Last weekend I attended the inaugural Bloggers at Midlife Conference #BAMC15 in Nashville. The conference was held at the beautiful (but extremely large) Gaylord Marriott. I was looking forward to this event for months and was feeling sick when a snowstorm threatened to ruin my travel plans.

Snow 2014

I didn’t breathe easy until I was in the air, headed southwest.

I have no words to explain how amazing it was to meet IRL (in real life) so many people that I have been blogging and or Facebook friends with for over year, especially Helene Cohen Bludman and Cathy Chester. It felt like I had known them for years. I am hoping to hang out with them again at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference.

I could go on and on and on about that conference and I probably will, in another post, it was simply amazing. Even the organizers and sponsors felt like long lost girlfriends.

Once I stepped off of the plane in Philadelphia and got into John’s truck with the Harley Davidson’s  in tow, we headed south on I-95.

48249_4432869015482_120507747_o

85 degrees is nice, on a motorcycle it is Heavenly.

I received the e-mail I was stressing about, the one that told me The Stranger In My Recliner is in production! That of course is amazing news and definitely something I need to consider moving forward. It just means I am now working on vacation. I am grateful I am doing it in 85 degreesJ

Which direction do you find yourself moving this week?

 

 

 

Keep Moving Forward…

 

Having something to look forward to is the key for me when it comes to forward momentum. I am certainly blessed to have more than enough to look forward to in my immediate future it just looks like I may need a couple of bucketfuls of salt for traction.

CHALLENGE:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

The Challenge creator and host is Kelly Deeny:

http://kellydeeny.com

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or re-tweet!

~~~

This past week has been so busy I feel like I am spinning in circles and when I try to get out of the spin I slide right back in. Actually I did a lot of actual sliding this week. Tuesday night when I left the nursing facility where I’ve been working I had to sit on my butt and slide to my car. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. There was no way to walk safely. If only there was a video of me trying to scrape the inch of ice off of my car with a travel mug because my scraper shattered. The ride home was slow but what really matters is I made it home with all of my bones and my car intact.

serious icycles

This morning’s drive to the nursing facility was just as slippery but it is the prettiest snow of the season.  I am hoping it is all clear tomorrow because I have a morning flight to Nashville for a blogging conference. I am looking forward to learning and being inspired to move my blog and my writing career to the next level. I am also beyond excited to be finally meeting so many blogging and Facebook friends in real life. #BAMC15

BAM-FB-cover

I am so grateful that Saturday’s weather was cold, but dry and people including my friends from Lower Bucks Creative Explorers were able to make it safely to our Press Club Professional Development Workshop. This one was one of our best, so far. Our presenters were Philadelphia News ‘royalty,’ Jim Donovan, Susan Barnett and Debra Wallace. They were engaging, fun and so informative.

Workshop  Feb 2015

I still haven’t received my production schedule for The Stranger In My Recliner. I am so ready to see Sophie’s story in print.

My big writing accomplishment for the week was outlining my post titles for the A-to-Z Challenge. I still need to write the posts but it is a baby step forward.  I am looking forward to the theme reveal later this month. If you need a challenge I highly recommend the A-to-Z. For more information and to sign up:

A to Z 2015 Badge

What keeps you moving forward when you feel like you are stuck in a spin?

Happy Writing,

Doreen

Photo: Kelly, Me, Camille, Jim Donovan, Maria and Toni. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Moving Forward…

 

Keep Moving Forward Challenge:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Host: http://kellydeeny.com/2015/02/05/keep-moving-forward-challenge-week-1/

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet!

 

Keep Moving Forward

It’s always easier to move forward when we have something to look forward to or something or someone special waiting for us.

I am an obsessive planner. I want to know what is happening every second of everyday and if for some reason I can’t know, I become anxious. Then there are those times that you know something unpleasant is coming and thinking about it causes anxiety.

confused woman

Before a recent surgery on my jaw (the 6th in a series of 8,) I was anxious because I knew the recovery would be painful and long. I also knew I would be craving my favorite foods for weeks.

I gave up worrying two years ago for New Year’s and an exercise I used to stop worrying was to close my eyes and imagine the most positive outcome for the situation that had me stuck in worry. If I was worried about my daughter arriving safely with the children, I closed my eyes and pictured them walking through the door.  That positive thinking is pretty much a habit now.

Recently I started using that exercise to help me get unstuck, to give me something to look forward to when I moved forward.

Faking it till you make it is working for me.

Before that recent surgery I pictured myself on the other side of recovery enjoying a steak and a salad, smiling. It wasn’t easy but it did help.

Feeling stuck during the editing of The Stranger In MyRecliner, frustrated with waiting for the answers to research questions and dealing with seemingly endless contract issues, the anxiety tried to get the best of me. When I felt the familiar soreness creeping in on my shoulders I would get up from the computer and take a break. I would close my eyes and imagine myself at a Barnes & Noble author event or a book signing/happy hour at the most amazing place for a book signing, the library at my favorite beach.

Doreen and Barbara meet IRL Schaivo Library (at the beach)

Doreen and Barbara meet IRL Schaivo Library (at the beach)

I used to get into a lot of trouble for daydreaming when I was younger. Spending time imagining positive outcomes feels a lot like daydreaming but today I’d rather think of it as time well wasted, like a vacation for my mind that fuels my creativity and leaves me wanting to #Keep Moving Forward.

 

Florida Does Beach Feet

 

Doreen

 

 

 

Keep Moving Forward…

The year 2014 did not start well for me. I lost my father unexpectedly in January and my best friend passed away on my birthday in February. I am grateful that I was by their sides and able to say goodbye but moving forward, past the shock and then the pain, has not come easy. In fact I have pretty much been stuck.

My friend and the facilitator of Bucks County creative Explorers, Kelly wrote a blog post about being stuck. She wrote that she felt like her feet were stuck in concrete. That is exactly how I was feeling too.

Kelly then posted this challenge. If you are also feeling stuck please join us. Let’s inspire each other to smash our concrete shoes.

CHALLENGE:

Kelly's logo Keep moving forward challenge

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

http://kellydeeny.com/2015/02/05/keep-moving-forward-challenge-week-1/

Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet!

January 2015 started on a happier note. I finally signed the contract for my second book, The Stranger In My Recliner and it will be out later this year.

February has me feeling down. Has it really been a year since I said goodbye? I work part-time for a home care agency and my long time client was moved into a nursing facility on Monday, unexpectedly. She is 92 so chances are I have another goodbye coming soon. This client has been so supportive of me and my writing. My father and friend were extremely supportive too.

Dad and Me

Having something exciting to look forward to, like a new book release to plan for, a trip to Nashville for a blogging conference (BAM) and a trip to Daytona Beach to spend time with my Mom and for bike week usually would be enough to pull me out of my grief. It isn’t working.

I know what will work for me and that is helping someone else. My client needs extra care and extra comforting. Being moved from a large, lovely home into a dingy nursing home room is so depressing. The room is too bright at night and too dark during the day, loud and stinky. Change is hard for everyone but at 92 it is heartbreaking. Change with care is compassion and that is what I need to be for her now, compassionate.

My concrete shoes are so heavy but looking on the bright side they will probably keep me from slipping and breaking my neck during our impending ice storm.

I cannot get this song out of my head:

http://youtu.be/OORsz2d1H7s

 

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