Tag Archives: group writing project

From Dream to Reality

Dates don’t stick in my brain. That’s why I always disliked history classes. The tests seemed to focus on memorization of lots of dates. I was at an instant disadvantage. I would have preferred that the instructors focused on the lessons we can learn from history. If that had been the case, I likely would have majored in history. I love to learn. I hate memorization.

But I digress.

I was saying dates don’t stick in my brain. I can’t remember when I first decided that I would start a writers group. If I were to guess, I would say it was two years ago. About that time, I started attending writing workshops by mystery author Lauren Carr, hosted by different local libraries. In fact, it happened after the first Carr workshop, but before the second. At the second workshop is where I asked for anyone interested to give me his or her contact information.

It took a bit of time to find a meeting place. I had a list of 25 names. I had no idea how many would actually show up. Rose Harris, owner of a local coffee-house in historic Williamsport, MD, was willing to let the group use her back room free of charge two times per month. The local library also had a meeting room, but it was in high demand. The writers group may have to compete for meeting dates. That was no good. Plus, the library felt sterile. The vibe at the Desert Rose Cafe was nurturing, creative, friendly. As an added bonus, “the eats” were good and inexpensive.

Desert Rose Cafe TL

It was the vibe that made the decision for me.

Over time the group whittled down to a dozen, then ten regulars. The group was very diverse, from writing styles to personalities to topical interests. Yet we jelled. We shared work by reading aloud. We criticized (in a constructive way) and guided each other in developing our craft. We encouraged and inspired each other.

The restaurant hosted a writing contest, posting short works from the group in the dining room, asking diners to read and vote on a winner.

We all were winners, because, after the contest, we decided to put together the Anthology. We had faith we could create a collection of short works, edit them, compile them, then publish them in a period of about six months.

With the professional assistance  and coaching of Acorn Book Services in Harpers Ferry, WV, by December, 2012, the humble writers group–Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe–released its first e-book. The members range in age from 30 to 80-plus and live in a three state area.

One member with Asperger’s Syndrome remarked that the release date of the e-book was one of the greatest days in his life. During the course of writing for the Anthology, he made a decision to move out of his parents’ home and into his own apartment, so he could enroll in college. He is currently working on a solo writing project.

An administrator in the local library system called me a couple of days ago to express her surprise and joy that Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe had achieved its goal. She offered to help arrange publicity for the book through the local newspaper. In turn, I offered to promote the library workshops as wellsprings of creativity. Without the library’s workshop, the Anthology would never have been written.

An idea led to a call to action and resulted in the creation and e-printing of a publication. A young man’s life changed. Others came to see that setting a goal and working on it faithfully yielded results. Several are working on new solo projects.

Dreams do come true.

Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, An Anthology, available from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble



or here


The Anthology Is Going to Press

Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.

The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read.  There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.

Sound like an advertisement? It is.

Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.

The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.

As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?

Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.

As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.

Later, ‘gator.

Do It!

I am not witty, clever, critically acclaimed, astute, profound, pithy or any number of other things that brilliant writers are. But I am one thing: I am a doer.

Good grief. I have had this blog up since the last days of February and have penned 170 posts, give or take, since then.  I’m nothing if I am not prolific.

So how do I make that work for me? I get myself out there.

I operate on the premise that for every writer there is a reader. Some writers draw hundreds of readers to my one, but the more I make myself available to the reading public, the more likely I am to connect with my one. Then my next one and the next. You get my point.

So how am I do-ing?

I have this blog. The writers group I belong to is publishing its first anthology in the fall. I will be represented in it.  A friend and I are working on a joint e-book s-l-o-w-l-y, but we are working on it. My daughter and I are getting ready to launch past the talking stage to the doing stage on a joint venture on a children’s book. And I am, ever so slowly, working on the novel. I accepted T’s challenge to participate in a story circle which got published at http://camerondgarriepy.com/2012/06/28/the-story-circle-the-reunion-part-four/  . (Thank you, Troy and Cameron.)

For once, I am practicing what I preach. (In case you didn’t pick up on it, this is a sermon directed at YOU.) I am not just dreaming about it, I am doing it. You can, too.

There is a saying that remotely resembles my next line: 99% of success is showing up. Show up! Find your one reader. Keep showing up till you have ten readers, then 100 readers. Do it!

Song-inspired Fiction or Poetry, Song #3

The third song prompt is “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas. I’m curious to see where this toe-tapper will take me. And you. If you are also using these song prompts for writing exercises, how about sharing how you were inspired?

Listen to the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tiPAvmy3eA

Response to Song Prompt “Unwritten”

The song “Unwritten” could have taken me in so many different directions. My brain threw idea after idea in such fast succession, I was spinning. When I figuratively tumbled to the ground, I got up to this thought. So here you go: my response to the song prompt “Unwritten.”


by Fay Moore (c) 2012

“A free day,” she thinks aloud. “It’s mine. I can do as I wish.”

This day is a gift from her spouse. There is no one to answer to and no obligations to meet. Her husband has taken the kids to the water park. From there, they will go to his sister’s for hot dogs on the grill. The cousins will play until exhausted. Then, her husband promised all the children he would chaperone a backyard sleepover. He will pitch a tent and try to settle four children to get some sleep.

“Better him than me,” she says to herself.

What will she do? The private time is uncommon. She, the maker of lists and long-range plans, hasn’t considered a free day a possibility in her life; she finds herself without a schedule.

She stands at her bathroom window and looks out over her tiny private courtyard. It is surrounded by high hedges of forsythia and rose of Sharon so dense than no one can peer through it. Seized by inspiration, she strips off her clothing. She self-consciously slips out the back door.

It is a hot and muggy morning. Donning the pair of garden gloves she left on the back porch, she methodically weeds the flower beds planted in front of the hedgerow. Beyond the bushes, she hears the sounds of street traffic. She feels each wisp of  breeze tickle the fine hairs on her skin.  Small goosebumps rise and fall with each zephyr. The consciousness of her own integument amazes her.

Suddenly, a man’s voice startles her. Instinctively, she uses her gloved hands to cover her breasts and pubic area. Then she hears a woman answer the man. She follows their voices along the sidewalk outside of her sanctuary. She drops her hands to her sides, relieved, and laughs softly. She realizes she is, indeed, safe from prying eyes. Emboldened, she continues her naked gardening until the weeds are gone and she glistens with perspiration.

She pulls the sprinkler from its cubbyhole and attaches it to the end of the hose she has extended to the center of the courtyard. She turns on the spigot. Then, she dances in the water exuberantly to the music playing in her head. The music’s rhythms adjust to the oscillation of the sprinkler.

When her lips begin to turn blue, she shuts off the water and goes into the house.  Her skin and hair are dripping, creating rivulets on the hardwood floor. In her spontaneity, she forgets to plan for drying herself. Soppy footprints punctuate her passage through the hall.

Dried and dressed, her hair wrapped atop her head in a towel, she is refreshed. She glances at the clock. It’s 9:52 A.M.

What is the agenda for the day? She doesn’t care that it is still unwritten.


Got an e-mail from Cam saying the posting of segment 4 of The Reunion was being delayed briefly. It was supposed to appear on her site at http://camerondgarriepy.com/2012/06/28/the-story-circle-the-reunion-part-four/ this morning at 6 AM. Check her page later.

Here’s how you find the story: At the very top of her home page (www.camerondgarriepy.com) on the upper right, click on The Story Circle. Select The Reunion, June 2012. There you will find all the parts. Right this minute, there are the first three segments. Sometime later today, my segment, the closing, is to be added.

Please tell me what you think.

P.S. You will enjoy perusing Cam’s site. There is much to tempt writers.