Monday, December 25, 2017

Make your mark

It's easy to feel overlooked in a world that has grown fat on blind ambition. And of course it's easy to feel out of place in a space filled with so many who would rather step on you than avoid confrontation.

If every artist worked to create their masterpiece, every day, their minds would be filled with purposeful-love. Just as any master-craftsman is driven by pure passion, each and every one of us has that same feeling of oneness with something mighty and untapped.

If you yearn to write, or you already write but have yet to begin your magnum opus...why are you waiting? It could take years to collect all of the material or research the subjects but at least those years of your life will be driven by a vision created by/for you. So, why are you putting it off?

Tell your story.
Tell your parents story.
Your grandfathers story.
Write about the letters your Great-grandmother found,
or the man you fell in love with who died in Vietnam.

The story isn't going to write itself. The words aren't going to beg for release. They will simply fade over time. Don't allow that to happen. Give them purpose. Give them a chance to make a difference, so you can look back on a life lived fully and know that you left your mark.
You left behind something tangibly you.
Your legacy.
Your story.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Knock out writer's block

I understand.
I've been there several times.
With the notebook, heavy in your hands, blank page screaming up at you.
Cursor blinking impatiently on the screen, like a tiny tapping foot waiting for you to catch up. Waiting for you to hurry along with your map of words.
But you sit, willing that invisible spirit of inspiration to take control of your hands, begging the automatic-writing gods to perform just one more miracle, 
just one more time.

The interesting thing about being a writer is that, much like bakers, surgeons, construction workers, electricians, order to say you are your profession, you must perform the action of that profession. Bakers bake. Surgeons perform surgery. Construction workers construct buildings and so on. Well, to be a writer, you must write and for most writers, the act of writing is inspiration based. Their words spring from a place inside. Occasionally, that place becomes blocked by outside issues. Stress, anxiety, pain, grief, etc. Writers have been combating writer's block for as long as the profession of writing has been in existence. So, how do you get around, over, under or bust through that block? Here are some great ways to keep those words flowing.


     If you have a set writing routine, your writing environment never changes. It's always that desk, or that window bench, or that coffee shop. And you might have written thousands, tens of thousands of words at that very spot, but it is now a place of irritation. So, take your laptop somewhere else. Carry your notebook and pencil out to the front porch. Go to that lake you've been wanting to visit, go to the mall and people-watch. Should you expect a lightning bolt of inspiration the moment you arrive at your destination? No, of course not. But, sitting in a different space can bring about change. And one idea, one sentence is better than the nothingness you've been staring at for months.


     Turn your writing space into a personal homage to all things beautiful. If you are a poet, hang favorite lines by Plath and Rumi. Dedicate one area to favorite images. Nature writer? Make sure you have a view of outside. Military writer? Surround yourself with history. 
     All of this seems like common sense but it is easy to fall into the trap of self-sabotage. A static writing environment doesn't have to exist. The act of writing is as fluid as the emotions and words that fill each page. Keep yourself open to the option of changes, both big and small.


     Writers, for some reason, feel they must be solitude creatures. As if becoming a hermit is part of the overall mystique. That's great if you're actually writing. However, if the writing fairy hasn't visited you in months it's probably a relief to read that writing is quite lovely when explored as a communal activity. 
     Of course, writing and critique groups have gotten a bad rap lately for the overabundance of novice writers as facilitators. But there are great benefits to engaging in fellowship over a shared love of words. Ideas coming from different people at varying stages of life can only improve a sense of self-awareness and change the way you see not only your writing but writing as a whole.
     "Gracefully take what you feel is relevant and leave the rest at the table with gratitude."


     So, for the last 36 years you've only used silver-capped No. III Graf von Faber-Castell pencils. And only writing in linen bound notebooks. You are firmly rooted in the tradition of graphite and it works. Well, it worked. The words are stuck and have been stuck for months, either in you or that ridiculously expensive pencil. 
     First things first...drop your habits, for now at least. Lose the pencil. Leave the linen at home. Start a new, albeit temporary, set of habits. Look for a typewriter. Or a wicked steam-punk keyboard to pull you out of that deep rut you've dug for yourself. The clicking of keys or snapping of a typewriter can call to the wandering Whitman-within. Begin with an old piece and see what happens. Does it re-write itself? Does the typewriter become a sort of portal to another world, allowing long-dead writers to come alive through your fingers? Whatever happens, it's good because it's something when you had nothing. 

     This is all about breaking through a wall or finding a way to see through fog.
Think outside the box. Allow yourself a chance to regroup by doing things you normally wouldn't, writing in ways you never thought of, using tools you've never tried.  
     Remember to be gentle with yourself and understand that everyone deals with the temporary disappearance of their muse. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Do you want to be the next Hemmingway...really?

It's easy!
All you have to do is discover the three simple steps the most successful authors took and you can have your book turned into a movie, too.
All you have to do is buy my easy guide book for five installments of...

Sound familiar?
The people that want to steal your money aren't going to tell you the hard truth, which is you'll never be Patterson or Collins. They are both unique in what they do, having gotten to where they are through hard work and circumstances that range from coincidence to miraculous. But you don't want to hear that. You want to hear that your story is different enough to catapult you into stratospheric stardom. You want to hear that you are different. So, you believe the snake oil salesman that comes with their tales of supreme success. 

But here's one question:
if this individual knows how to write and how to become a wealthy best selling author, why is he peddling a seminar? Why is she selling YOU a book on how to become successful? It reminds me of the question, 'Why do you need to make an appointment with a psychic?' Think about that for a moment. Really think. 

Because they want you to be successful? No. If they really wanted you to be successful, all of the information would be given away freely. These individuals are scamming you in the worst way because not only are they taking your money, they are giving you the worst kind of information. FALSE INFORMATION.

But let me lift your spirits a little bit:
You don't need the snake oil they are peddling.
You ARE different and your story IS unique.
Believe in your work.
Don't believe you have to pay for the privilege of information. 
It is out there for you, all you have to do is search.
Do the work on your own.

1. If your story is still in your head, get it on a word file. Just get it out of you!
2. It's easy to publish your own work if you can't afford a publisher:
    a. Go to, create a free account and follow the instructions to build your own book. It is easy and free. They have a cover creator with several templates to help. Keep in mind, with Createspace, you are in complete control of what is in your book. So you have to put everything within those pages, front cover to back, including the copyright page. Do a little research to ensure you word it correctly. If your work has bible passages, look up the publisher of the bible. Yes, you have to give a specific copyright for bible passages, too.
3. Don't go with a publisher if their terms involve signing over rights of any kind or if your royalties are minuscule. Remember, you did all of the work. Ensure what you get is what you want.
4. If you want to go with a publisher, look in your area. You might be surprised with the number of local publishers and what they have to offer. Plus, meeting face-to-face or talking is always best when it comes to doing business of a personal nature such as writing. Make sure your publisher FEELS right before handing over your work. Ask questions. Look at their previous work. Contact current/former clients. Get to know the type of person/people that will be handling your work. Do your research. Nothing is ever out of your hands and you can always say, "I'm not liking the direction this is going." 

Have questions? Want to know more? Buy our book for...KIDDING!! 
Seriously, if you have questions about a project you are currently working on, shoot 'em our way. We will do our very best to send you in the right direction. This is about getting writers comfortable with what they are doing and happy in the direction they are headed. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Louise Huey Greenleaf

"Rolling with the Punches...
My Persevering Battle with Multiple Sclerosis"
Louise Huey Greenleaf's
debut novel
now available on 
Amazon Worldwide
and Kindle.

Get your copy today!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Louise Huey Greenleaf's Book Launch and Signing

Louise Huey Greenleaf's
"Rolling with the Punches...My Persevering Battle with Multiple Sclerosis"
Book Launch and Signing

October 29th, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Christ the King Lutheran Church
11295 SW. 57th Ave.
Miami, FL 33156
Come meet the author
and get your personalized copy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Everyone's a writer these days

     It's about the romance, I suppose. The image of a scarf-wrapped bohemian, sitting in the window of a small coffee shop with papers, laptop and cups of loose-leaf tea in from of them. There's a draw to the 'look at me, I'm creating' type lifestyle.

     And of course, if you are infected by the disease of words there is nothing you can do but write. Because if you don't, if you keep your fingers still, the words will vomit themselves up all over your life. You'll have words in between you and your lover in bed at night and words teetering in corners, threatening to bury children scurrying about like little mice. Pasternak knew...there is no life without words. So life must be words.

      Where does that leave the writers who write simply for the love of words? Those coffee shop settlers who carry a notebook and tattered thesaurus with them at all times, they keep words exciting. They bring about new ways of looking at the masters of our art through the world of blogs, ezines and articles. They journey to open mic's, discussion groups, critique classes and symposiums. Their eager minds accomplish what most seasoned souls refuse...improvement. Because of that, through them the art of writing is safe. Through them, the world of words keeps growing exponentially and they fully understand that knowledge is key.
     So keep writing, you young Starbuck's stargazers. Continue tapping and draining those cups, you dreamy Dunkin' dwellers. The world has made a beautiful space for you to refine your art.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Louise Huey Greenleaf's "Rolling with the Punches" Book Launch and Signing

Louise Huey Greenleaf's debut novel
"Rolling with the Punches...
My Persevering Battle with Multiple Sclerosis"
Book Launch and Signing
October 29, 2017
Christ the King Lutheran Church
11295 SW. 57th Ave.
Miami, FL 33156
11:00-1:00 p.m.

"What is it like?"

Editing at a water park.

Formatting a book written in both English and Farsi.

What does a shipment of 200 books look like? This.
It looks like this.

We get to meet some amazing people. Hal Malt was one of them.