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Posts Tagged ‘process’

I was invited on a Writing Blog Tour by Trudy Krisher (check out her blog at www.trudykrisher.blogspot.com). I’m ashamed to admit that I was on deadline when my “whistlestop” came, so I hope the train didn’t leave the station without me!

Trudy invited me to answer some questions about my work and writing process. Here are my answers.

1) What are you working on?
I just finished a book for the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing called University of Cincinnati College of Nursing: 125 Years of Transforming Health Care. The book will be published by Orange Frazer Press in time for the college’s 125th anniversary celebration in November. I really enjoyed learning about how UC’s nursing college was formed by a group of Cincinnati’s leading ladies, then went on to become the first to offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing, and is now leading nursing education by offering online nursing degrees and using technology in nursing.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
So far all my books have been in the genre of nonfiction, but I have written for both adults and YA. I’d say that my work differs in that no matter what I write (I’m finishing up my first novel now), I want my readers to come away thinking, “Wow—I didn’t know that! That was interesting!” One of my supervisors also told me once, “That sense of humor of yours is never very far from the surface, is it?” He didn’t mean it in a good way, though. Incidentally, he is in my last book, Founders and Famous Families of Cincinnati, but I won’t tell you who he is.

3) Why do you write what you do?
I write what I do for a variety of reasons, but often it’s because I’m asked to and I find the topic interesting. The College of Nursing book will be my eighth book. That means that half of the books I’ve published now were my idea and half were the publisher’s (or client’s) idea. But I have to find it interesting, or I wouldn’t be able to stick with it for an entire book.

4) How does your writing process work?
In almost every case—whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, magazine article or book—I start with a bubble map. I get all my existing ideas down on paper. I get all my “gaps”—my questions, or lack of knowledge—down on paper. Then I start researching, organizing or writing from there, depending on what type of work it is. But I always start with a bubble map. I have about 20 bubble maps going right now for books, essays and articles that I’d like to publish someday. It’s also a good exercise if I find myself stuck in traffic, or a boring meeting, or waiting in a doctor’s office without anything to read. When I finally get to the writing step, I tend to write nonfiction directly on the computer (because it’s less of a visceral process and more of an intellectual one for me). But with fiction, I tend to write it longhand, on lined paper. I spend a bit of time thinking about what type of writing implement I feel like that day. Then I think about what writing position and lighting I want to be in. It’s very organic.

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Hey everyone! We’re meeting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10, at Allyn’s Cafe on Columbia Parkway in Cincinnati’s Columbia-Tusculum area.

 

The goal of the Writing Workshop Workshop is to provide a gentle, constructive environment in which people can have their work critiqued and can critique the work of others. Bring seven minutes’ worth of material to read, $5 for the kitty, and extra money if you’d like to eat or drink. All genres are welcome!

 

If you’re new to the workshop environment, feel free to attend and not read until you get your “sea legs.”

 

See you Sunday! We’ll meet in the back room.

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Mind and Matter: Interior Writing in an Exterior World

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Presented by

Wendy Hart Beckman and Tina Neyer

This one-day workshop will help you:

  • Get in touch with your inner writer,
  • Organize your thoughts,
  • Craft, mine, and polish your writing, and
  • Explore avenues for publishing.

Wendy Hart Beckman is a published author of seven books and experienced presenter on how to effectively edit and publish.

Tina Neyer is a writer and mediator working with a diverse population to aid in the telling of personal stories.

Workshop Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014

Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: Friars Studio, 1605 Main Street in Cincinnati

Price: Only $100 for a full day of instruction and lunch

Limited to 30 people!

Box lunch provided by Venice on Vine

For more information, contact Tina at tina.neyer@gmail.com or Wendy at beckcomm@fuse.net.

Registration:$100.00 covers all instruction and lunch
Wendy Beckman and Tina Neyer are your workshop leaders.

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Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. will be another of our great Writing Workshop Workshops. As usual, we’ll be gathering downstairs at Olive’s in Cincinnati’s Clifton Gaslight District.

Bring seven minutes’ worth of your writing to read, $5 for the kitty, your books to sell, any publishing or writing questions you’d like to ask, and a friend or two. I hope I will have a big announcement for you!

Head’s up for April: on Sunday, April 27 (same time, same place), at our Writing Workshop Workshop, we’ll be joined by Carol Topp, CPA, author of Business Tips and Taxes for Writers. It’s too late for your 2013 filing, but Carol will have lots of great advice for your 2014 return on how to be a professional writer, in terms of what’s deductible and what’s not.

So put April 27 on your calendar, and in the meantime I hope to see you Sunday, March 23, at 2!

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Our next Writing Workshop Workshop is on Sunday, June 30, at Olive’s on Ludlow in Clifton’s old gaslight district in Cincinnati, Ohio. We officially gather at 2 p.m., but if you want to take advantage of Olive’s breakfast buffet, get there by 1:30! We need to be done by 5 p.m., so the first 10 people to get there and sign up will get to read.

The group is a great mix of people in many genres and subgenres: memoir, fiction, poetry, nonfiction. If you’re a newbie, you’re more than welcome to just attend and soak up the atmosphere, if you like. Or if you want to read, bring seven minutes’ worth of reading and $5 for the kitty (meow). Bring more money if you intend to eat. :-)

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At one time, it was easy to figure out who the self-publishing companies were. They were called vanity presses, and people paid them large amounts of money to get small amounts of books to distribute to their closest friends and family members.

 

Then the self-publishing world exploded and in so doing became a little more respectable. Unfortunately, along with that came a bunch of companies that took advantage of writers who were unfamiliar with how to get published traditionally, who were too impatient to climb up the rungs of traditional publishing, who wanted to control their own publishing process, or (yes) who had written something that wasn’t ready for publication but wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

 

Self-publishing can be the perfect answer for people whose books are of interest to a limited audience or who want to be able to control the entire experience, but you need to do your homework when choosing the company that’s going to help you do that. (If you want a sickening look at the dregs of this industry, read Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell by former FBI agent Jim Fisher.)

 

After a while, it was still somewhat easy to tell who the self-publishing companies were. It became difficult when the less ethical companies changed names once they got a bad rep among writers. For example, did you know that AuthorHouse used to be 1st Books? Well, it turns out that Author Solutions owns a lot of the less-than-savory self-publishing companies: iUniverse, Trafford, AuthorHouse, xLibris. Many of us relied on sites like Preditors and Editors to keep track of who was on 1st and what they were calling themselves now.

 

Now the plot sickens. Simon & Schuster has entered the self-publishing business. And they’re partnering with Author Solutions to do it. David Gaughran describes it all in Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers.

 

I have to say that I’m not going to think of S&S the same way again. It would be as if I’d found out that Women Writing for a Change had acquired Hustler.

 

There are many respectable self-publishing companies out there, like Orange Frazer Press Custom Books and Queen V Publishing. Author Solutions just isn’t one of them.

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Hey writers! If you’re a beginner looking for a nurturing environment in which to share your writing, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a new source of feedback, please consider joining us. We’ll be at Olive’s on Ludlow at 2:00. Bring about seven minutes’ worth of material to read, $5 for the kitty, and more money if you plan to eat.

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