Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I Found What Where?: A Captivated Audience

I found myself reading the oddest thing the other day. Ok, maybe not odd considering I'm a bibliophile. I mean, if it has words, I'm taking a moment to read it. Even if it's directions on a shampoo bottle or the back of a cereal box.

So, I was sitting at the counter along the window at the Chipotle near my house shoveling a carnitas bowl into my mouth staring at my cup of Mr. Pibb. I first noticed this picture of a woman with wild hair flowing around her. I can relate, so my interest was peaked. I twisted the cup in my hand, following her hair to see where it ended. That's when I saw it. A two-minute story.

I was stoked. Not only did I get an easily digestible story, but it was written by a well-known author. I almost fell off my stool.

Apparently, it's an initiative called Cultivating Thought. A clever idea to make the thoughts and words of a unique and talented group of thought leaders, authors and comedians more accessible to a larger population of people. They share a two-minute story you can only find on the side of a take out bag or a paper cup filled with Mr. Pibb.

Head to your local Chipotle or check out the website here. Let me know which ones you liked best!

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Two Lies & a Truth" Blog Tour


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell's latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

The first novel Jessica Bell ever wrote was ...
a. published
b. purposely deleted from her computer
c. accidentally lost

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.


*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she's rehabilitating herself as a "normal" mother and mathematics teacher, it's time to stop dreaming about slicing people's throats.

While being the wife of Melbourne's leading drug lord and simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she's determined to make it work.

It does work. Until Mia, her lover's daughter, starts exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind Sonia's back. It isn't long before she finds out and gets involved to protect them.

But is protecting the kids really Sonia's motive?

Click HERE to view the book trailer.
Click HERE for purchase links.

Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and the director of the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Connect with Jessica online:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Kitten Every 100 Words!

I welcomed a new member to my family this week. A polydactyl or Hemingway kitten called Winchester (homage to Supernatural). His brother Tennant is still getting used to him, but they're both such love bugs it shouldn't take long.
Tennant & Winchester

So, in celebration, I bring to you a little motivational writing tool I found on Electric Literature's Facebook page: Written? Kitten! You write 100 words, then a picture of a kitten appears. You write 100 more words, another picture of a kitten appears. Mind blown!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Micro-Fiction to Micro-Cover Letter

Catching an Employer's Eye in 150 Characters or Less

A few months ago I applied for a writing job, that I subsequently did not get, that required me to sell myself in 150 characters or less. In this fast past world where publishers and bloggers format their articles to fit on a cell phone screen or people discuss their lives, adventures, and mindless dribbles in 140 characters, I wasn't surprised. 

A challenge nonetheless…

So, I tried to stay with the food theme of my cover letter, more or less because I couldn't think of another angle at the time. It came out all right. Here's what I submitted:

Combine an infectious laugh, creativity, and self-motivated work ethic in a large bowl. Pour into any sized work environment. Watch me flourish.

My best attempt to deliver a succinct list of my most important qualities and abilities along with showcasing my writing ability. I look at it now and see a dozen ways to improve it. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Here’s my revision:

Combine Creativity and Self-Motivated Work Ethic in a large bowl. Pour into Any work environment. Results: Quality Prose and Increased Productivity.

I would love to see how you would approach this assignment. Write a 150-character or less cover letter you would submit to a potential employer in the comments section below. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Neil Gaiman, The Badger, and Your Favorite Characters from Children's Literature

Over at Tor.com Stubby the Rocket talks about The Story Museum's newest exhibit: photographs of British writers and storytellers dressing up as their favorite children's lit characters. Neil Gaiman chose Badger from The Wind in the Willows. What a fun idea!

I always loved Ottie and the Star by Laura Jean Allen. An adventurous little fellow who meets all kinds of new sea animals on his journey to find the star. I still have the book report I wrote in first grade. So, if I had the chance to dress up as my favorite children's lit character, I believe it would be Ottie.

A close second would be Charlotte Scarlet Monster from a book whose name eludes me Scarlet Monster Lives Here by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by Dennis Kendrick, but is hiding I found in a box somewhere in my parent's attic.

Which character from your childhood would you dress up as?
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