Tag Archives: Authors

My Guest Interview with Madness Muse Press


Madness Muse Press is all about “Enacting Social Change Through the Power of Writing.” The founder, Adam Levon Brown, is a poet here in Eugene, Oregon. He features writers both near and far in his “Your Voice” campaign centered around social justice, activism and discussion. In short, he’s right up my alley. Adam is a soft soul with a penchant for social activism via creative expression. I was honored to be a part of his Interview Series over at http://www.madnessmusepress.com.

Check out our interview here! (Excerpt below.)

Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?

A: People are going to hate this but, whenever it strikes me. Yeah, I mean, I’m not a 9-5 writer. I find the best time to write actually, if you can manage, is right after a life-altering (large or small) event happens. Almost in-the-moment. After a fight. After a job interview. After a psychic reading. When you’re really feeling something. Also, if it works out, writing in the middle of the night is fantastic. So quiet. So people-less.

Blog (Flop) Hop Simple Instructions & Questionnaire

-3-Step Instructions-


1. Copy and paste the following Blog Hop Blogger Questionnaire into a post
(Post Friday or within one week)

2. In the post, invite your readers and fellow bloggers join the Blog Hop to promote their work by completing the questionnaire in a post of their own

3. Add your own flair to the post–images, links, etc. Have fun with it!


-Blog Hop Blogger Questionnaire


1: What is the working title of your book?

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

3: What genre does your book come under?

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?


Stay tuned for my Blog Hop Blogger Questionnaire which will debut on Friday!

Blog (Flop) Hop Reminder–Fri 3-15


A few days ago I invited you to hop on the Blog Hop, though I’ve heard from only a handful of you…a very…small…handful. I imagine that you, like me, are confused. I’m still confused! This is Blog Hop is much more difficult than, say, musical chairs, which is how blogging should be, easy! I mean, we all know monkeys could blog. This Blog Hop is like an f-ing equation–wait so I post now and five people post in seven days and I link back to five people who already posted so that the train has ten people but if you can only find three people then that’s fine but if two people jump off the train than how many pe–…

I’m about to call this Blog Hop the Blog Flop! But rather than give up, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to post my tailored instructions on my blog. My very simple tailored instructions. Instructions for monkey’s if-you-will. There’s no limit to the number of bloggers who can join. If you like the questionnaire, post it on your blog. What you’ll do is copy and paste the questionnaire in a post and invite your readers to do the same. Time-limit-splime-limit.

Ideally what this will do is assist the readers you already have in really getting the low-down on say your memoir or your soon-to-be-released historical fiction while introducing new readers to your major piece of work. If this sounds like a good deal to you, stay tuned for the Blog (Flop) Hop Instructions & Questionnaire which will be posted soon. I’d be pleased if some of my long-term readers could support the momentum of this author-chain my chiming in with a post. Thanks guys 🙂

Blog Hop!

I’m participating in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop–it’s a way to connect writers and readers and raise awareness about newly released or upcoming books or e-books. Lennon Sundance, who is basically the most bold, daring blogger I know invited me to join–so thank you Lennon! I’m pumped.

I have one week to locate 5 other participants and to complete a fun questionnaire (it’s already done! That’s how fun it is!) focusing on a work of my choice. In this case I will promote my e-book Poems by a Horny Small-Town Gal. As far as locating folks for the Blog Hop goes–I was wondering, would you be interested in participating in the Blog Hop? Oh come on, don’t be shy! Just answer ‘yes’ or ‘sure’ or ‘oh what the hell’ in the comment space and I will email you further instructions 🙂

Conference Notes: Kick Start Your Writing in 2013

“Kick Start Your Writing in 2013” presented at Making it in Changing Times by Polly Campbell a.k.a ‘the guru’ (that’s what I’ve dubbed Polly due to her amazing zen-like approach to the writing process!)

“The energy a writer creates actually changes the world, in a small way, but yes.” – Polly Campbell


3-Part Writing Process:


The Passion:

  • Passion is the thing that gets you moving
  • In this stage, there is no mastery–and that’s OK
  • This piece must be present!


The Plan:

  • Create a damn LIFESTYLE of writing
  • Specific actions such as:
    -I will write one page per day
    -I will write in the morning
    -I will network once per day
  • You’ll always get an outcome if you have specific actions!

The Persistence:

  • Area wherein the failures and challenges rear their ugly heads
  • You’ve got to get over the humps!
  • This section looks like this:
    -25 query letters to the same guy
    -Cold calling
    -Public speaking
  • Persistence is the only way it happens


Powerful Polly Campbell Quotes to Live By:

“Everything is not going to just work out for you. It never does, that just isn’t how life is.” (Tell me about it.)

“Go for good, not great.”

“Ask yourself questions. Then search for the answers.”

“Watch the language you use with yourself. Keep it positive!”



Conference Notes: An Editor’s Wishlist

“An Editor’s Wishlist” presented at Making it in Changing Times by the dashing Jessica Morrell

* I really tried to take these conference notes word-for-word–but naturally something will be lost or manipulated along the way. My apologies. In addition, I added my own special formatting to the notes. For example in this first post I will do a simple “bullet list” since the topic was editor’s “wishlist”.


———————————————–“Editor’s Wishlist”:

———————————————-A writer who:


  • #1. Has Voice!

    What is Voice?

    -Your character’s consciousness
    -A character who has more personality than you do
    -In harmony with your roots
    -Changes depending on the circumstances


  • Can promote their own work via personal blog, goodreads.com, Twitter, Facebook. One more time: CAN PROMOTE THEIR OWN WORK VIA PERSONAL BLOG, GOODREADS.COM, TWITTER, FACEBOOK


  • Has realistic expectations about editors and publishers (piggy-backing off the former bullet)


  • Is shocking, surprising, and uses “fire-fly” words (i.e. magical, special words. No clichés!)


  • Uses word combinations that make you feel something, one example is “he huck-finned his way across the nation” 


  • Has a “high-concept” story–a story that gets across a single point such as Cheryl Strayed’s WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. A story about a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Another example is Jurassic Park. A story about Dinosaur’s living in the modern world.

    “There is a dramatic question at the heart of every high-concept story” – Jessica Morrell

    A story that is NOT high-concept makes the reader say “wait, what is this story about exactly?”

In closing:

“The traditional publishing world has changed–but editors need you, publishers need you. You are teenage girls and publishers are teenage boys.” – Jessica Morrell

Making it in Changing Times Conference Notes

I made my way up to Portland (soon I won’t have to travel so far, yay!) on January 26th for a writers conference, Making it in Changing Times.

Lidia Yuknavitch was the keynote speaker and the event was organized by Jessica Morrell author of Writing Out The Storm, a book Lidia held close to her chest and kept on her bedstand during the FIRST days, weeks, and months of her writing career. She credits the book for motivating her to write. Jessica Morrell is to Lidia what Natalie Goldberg is to me.

The event was SPECTACULAR. I was high the entire time. On writing, folks, on writing. During the session I thought of you guys: my blogging community. My writing tribe. My stranger-angels.

I took notes of course, with the intent of sharing them on my blog. With you. Because you are where I am–scratching and clawing your way into the writing world. Some of you are further along than others. For some of you this information will be premature, for others it will be old news. But I hope for at least one of you, it is just perfect useful.

Over the next few days, I will post 4 conference “notes”:

1. “An Editor’s Wishlist” by Jessica Morrell
2. “Kick Start Your Writing in 2013” by Polly Campell
3. “The Worth of Risk” by Lidia Yuknavitch
4. “Signs You’re Telling Not Showing” by Jessica Morrell

Do you know these authors? What books, conferences, and authors have inspired you? Please share your thoughts, we’re all in this together. I’ve never heard of an artist being “over inspired”, have you? For me, I can’t get enough inspiration. But like love, the timing has to be just right…if you don’t get anything from these notes right off–come back. It’s good stuff.

Neurotic Fan Part III–Chuck Palahniuk

Image by dailyemerald.com
Image by dailyemerald.com

Throughout the night Lidia, Chelsea and Chuck read their potent pieces and throw out souvenirs to the crowd–teddy bears and baby dolls and just the heads of baby dolls. And somehow toy intestines (see image above).

One million times I think of yelling Mommy! Mommy! to Lidia, my child-like fascination with her echoed by the toys they toss.

These people don’t need a gimmick. They’re gods, not people. They’re not like us. They should know just their presence is enough. But I guess they have to get their kicks too. All these shows feeling the same after time.

You should’ve seen the way these kids were clawing and begging for more toys. Lidia told one girl, You’ve have enough. Look at you, you have like fucking five.

Mommy! Over here! I scream inside my head.

Later, I leave the show with nothing but my covered-up shaven legs, and Dora: A Headcase, unsigned. I hadn’t even caught Lidia’s eye.

Image by ethosmagonline.com
Image by ethosmagonline.com

I round the west corner of the WOW Hall, thinking of how I’d taken Chuck Palahniuk for an uber-eccentric, maybe a little self-centered at the worst, I mean he was famous and all that…but that wasn’t Chuck had come off. Not at all. He came off as a gentle spirit, more than just a writer, but quietly charismatic too…


there’s Chuck in my peripheral vision, exiting the back door to escape the crowd…both of us in our silk robes, his–red, mine–black.

Lucky. Fucking. Me.

“Thank you,” I say, gesturing with a nonchalant nod.

“Have a good night,” Chuck tells me.

A bum sitting on a nearby tree stump parrots Chuck’s words as I pass: Have a good night, Have a good night. My mind is already doing the same as I head home sober as a whistle and starstruck.

Neurotic Fan Part II–Am I Invisible?

I shuffle upstairs in my long black kimono, the show starting soon.

I go to the bathroom to piss out my beer and stand in line, nobody talking to me and me talking to nobody. I think of what a little city Eugene is. People say it’s a real friendly city. I’m not entirely convinced. I remember bathrooms down on the border of Mexico and how they came practically stocked with cocaine and how that really brought the women together, really opened up the lines of communication, har har.

Eugene needs more drugs, for sure. Women here care about health and spirituality and jogging. Fucking. Jogging.

I emerge from the bathroom stall and am the only person left. Good. I wash my hands and check myself out in the mirror, remembering the young girl who didn’t check my ID. Bitch.

Then I hear a stall door open and close. And though I didn’t know it yet– I hear the sigh of Chelsea Cain’s pre-show nervousness or boredom, I don’t know, but it was a sigh…a famous-author-sigh and Famous. Authors. Are. People. Too.

“Oh. Hi!”

I perk right up as Chelsea Cain emerges in her pink lipstick, short nighty and fuzzy bunny slippers.

“Hi!” She smiles her bright, gorgeous smile.

“I like your nightgown. Very vintage.” I smile back. Again.

“Oh, thank you.”

“Well, have fun!” I wave while leaving the bathroom.

I look for Lidia but she’s hiding (she does that) and I think, gosh, I hope Chelsea knows I know who she is. All I did was talk about her clothes. I could’ve mentioned her books.

But the truth is, I hadn’t yet read her. But I liked her–just for being her–she was perky and charismatic, I knew that. A week later I would read her memoir Dharma Girl, which wasn’t a struggle, not at all, it was very well-written and introspective but lacking a little spice and danger.

Reading Dharma Girl after reading The Chronology of Water reminded me of when I replaced methamphetamine with cocaine (we’re talking daily use here). So mellow it was hardly even potent. But it’s all relative–if I did cocaine now I’d be swimming the clouds. Back-strokes n’ shit.

I’m sure, no I’m certain Chelsea Cain’s murder mystery shit is potent as hell.

So I look for Lidia and she’s still nowhere to be found. I get in line for a stuffed animal and I’m the only one there and there’s an empty box behind the deserted foldy-table.

Oh well.

I join the fifty-thousand fucking horny college kids with their iPhones and now their huge cheetah and lion stuffed animals that they’re literally making hump eachother.

I sit on the floor cross-legged with my faint close-lipped smile that says I’m approachable and someone elbows me in the mouth and a round girl in front of me scootches back to make room for her friend, a sexy blonde in a black kimono and they snap a picture together and they’re so close I could lick the backs of their heads. I shift uncomfortably and think Am I invisible? Like, really. No, seriously..am I invisible?