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Showing posts from May, 2011

NCF Tuesday: Summer Reading Mania; Glimmer Train Deadline Today; Simple Dog Goes for Joy Ride

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News
Literary Blending with Fantasy/Sci-fi
The Wall Street Journal discusses the line between genre and literary fiction, low and high art. Alexandra Alter dives into the literary novelists’ struggle to compete with ubiquitous fantasy and science fiction. 
Is the literary novelist’s move to blend their genre with popular fiction going to help or hurt them?

Analysis of All 7 Harry Potter Novels
Sean Smith at The Boston College Chronicle talks about Romance Languages and Literatures Professor Emerita Vera Lee’sOn the Trail of Harry Potter, “which she touts as the first book-length literary analysis of all seven Harry Potter volumes.” She breaks from previously published analyses to focus on how J.K. Rowling created Harry Potter and why.
Would you purchase the literary analysis of the beloved YA series?


Summer Reading List
The New York Times runs down a list of 19 promising new books to keep you busy during the summer. Janet Maslin shows us that trite story lines are a thing of the past. I def…

Blog Awards

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I'm rolling out the blog awards I received during the A-Z Blogging Challenge in the month of April. It took me almost a month to get my ass in gear. Normally I don't like to draw too much attention to myself, but I'm proud of my blog and writing, so I will display the awards proudly. 
As a woman of few words when it comes to talking about herself, I will let the awards step in. Please visit the two supportive women who felt moved to award me.   

Dierdra from A Storybook World gave me the Creative Blog Award. Check her out here!

My writing companion from the Bucks County Writers Group bestowed upon me the Versatile Blog Award. Thanks, Magpie Writes!  
Oh, the Versatile Blogger Award requires me to give 7 true-ish facts about myself. Ugh! Here goes:
1. I love poetry, but consistently fail to analyze it properly. Whatever, elitist bastards!  2. My cat Toby is my fur baby, and I sing to him.  3. I've traveled to Paris, Madrid and the Caribbean. 4. Hopeless Romantic = Me 5. Food and…

Guest Blog Friday!

In an attempt to expand my readership, Misha @My First Book gave me rein of her blog today as a guest blogger. Please head on over and read about Acting for Writers. If you aren't following her yet, I highly recommend it.

Welcome new visitors! If you are interested in checking out the first two posts in the Pennwriters Conference Series, follow the links below.


Pennwriters Conference Series: #1 Four Truths of Character
Pennwriters Conference Series: #2 Connecting Spirituality and Writing

Pennwriters Conference Series: #2 Connecting Spirituality and Writing

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My favorite seminar during the three days I spent at the Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh was Madhu Wangu, Ph. D’s Writing Meditation. Madhu created and trialed a 3-hour meditation program that focuses on mind, heart and body. The conference gave her the opportunity to bring the condensed practice to writers. We focused on body meditation.
She began the lecture by listing the benefits of meditation (e.g., reduces anxiety, helps you focus and provides peace of mind), and explained meditation also allows an artist time to reconnect their mind and body to improve their process, focus and artwork.
Often when I sit down to write my mind is cluttered with errands, dates, story ideas, etc. that I need to remember. My body and mind move in different directions making it difficult to relax and focus my energy. So, I end up wasting time and pages getting into my writing rhythm. Madhu assured the group through meditation you could dive over the warm up and directly into your writing.
In prepa…

NCF Tuesday: Books from Childhood; Writing Contests; Hipster Tea Party

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Children Inheriting Their Parents Books
According to Kevin Hartnett, parents often choose books from their childhood to share with their children and foster a love for reading. A wonderful tradition to pass on to the youth of this world.
Name 1 or 2 of your favorite books as a child?
Looking to Turn Your Novel Into a Movie?
Josie Freedman, Co-head of the Media Rights Department (with Nick Harris) at International Creative Management (ICM) discusses what she looks for when deciding if a novel can translate into a movie.
What novels do you think would make for a great movie?


PJ Harvey to Release Her Writing and Art Work
Life and the chance to make a record took musician PJ Harvey away from her desire for the visual arts, and now would like to make her way back. While on tour for her a new album out this year, a plan to showcase her poetry, short fiction and drawings is in the works. 
Besides writing, do you aspire to other areas of the arts?

Keeping Bookstores Alive
Unique bookstores keep the…

"A Smile": A Character Study

Thursday, I talked about building character by sketching out the Four Truths. Here is my attempt to flesh out a character from a short story, told in third-person I'm currently working on. 


"A Smile" is told in first-person and takes place after the short story begins. It really gave me an opportunity to better understand Jana, her community and her relationship with live-in boyfriend Bryan. Any and all feedback is welcome. Enjoy!  
A Smile By Laura M. Campbell

            The temperature began climbing earlier this week, and, now, sweat is trickling down the side of everyone’s face. Good thing Pastor Bill put the tent up over the picnic tables. Wouldn’t want sunburn while you eat. Luckily, the additional classrooms off the chapel kept the children suspended in air conditioning. Although, fifteen minutes before the end of Sunday school, their anxious energy defrosted their muscles, making it difficult for them to stay in the little plastic seats. Mayhem ensued when I asked t…

NCF Tuesday: Sci-Fi Sex and Mermaids; Writing Contests; Eliza’s Silly Sunday

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Sci-Fi Reacquainting Us With Our Own Sexuality
Science fiction authors employ humans characters as well as aliens and intelligent machines in their stories. Kyle Munkittrick discusses the wide acceptance of interracial and interspecies love and sexual relationships found in science fiction and how it will break down the sexual barriers in our own lives in the future.
Do you believe fiction will break down the sexual barriers in our world?
Neil Gaiman Called a Thief by Congressman
Republican Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Matt Dean, urged by his mother, apologized to Neil Gaiman for name-calling. Gaiman received $45,000 for a speaking engagement. Dean felt the payment of $45,000 to Gaiman for a speaking engagement was exorbitant and labeled him a thief.
Do you think $45,000 is an excessive amount to pay a superstar author for a speaking engagement?
Mermaids Splashing Onto the Paranormal Scene
Between the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and the 2011 MerCon in Las Veg…

Prose from the Pros #13: Neil Gaiman

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Today is the second day of my Pennwriters Conference in Pittsburgh. While I learn everything I can cram into my brain, I want to leave you with a thought on dreams and writing from Neil Gaiman.

I've written about the use of dreams to weave symbolism into your fiction and poetry, and I think they provide rich inspiration for writing. Dreams open a door to who you are.

In Gaiman's introduction to Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, he discusses how to use dreams in your writing.

"I love dreams. I know enough about them to know that dream logic is not story logic, and that you can rarely bring a dream back as a tale: it will have transformed from gold into leaves, from silk to cobwebs, on waking.


Still, there are things you can bring back with you from dreams: atmosphere, moments, people, a theme."


Have dreams ever made it into your writing?

NCF Tuesday: Promoting Literacy; Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award; Natalie Portman Raps

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News
Innovations in Reading Prize, 2011, Goes To…
My Own Book: Burt Freeman worked to create opportunity to increase literacy among New York City students. “The concept behind My Own Book is amazing in its simplicity: Third-grade children from inner-city schools go on a class trip to a bookstore where My Own Book volunteers help the children purchase $50 worth of books to help start and build their own personal libraries.” 
Kore Press: Currently, these literary activists are creating social change through three differentprojects that stray away from book form. They will use “t-shirts, video PSAs, readings, podcasts, poems wrapped around tampons and loaded into a repurposed tampon machine that travels to public restrooms, a 40-foot banner, a blog, a newspaper ad, posters in elevators, coffee cup sleeves and repurposed political yard signs.”
Electric Literature: The quarterly journal reaches their audience through Twitter, YouTube videos, iPhone and iPad apps. They even created their own “…