Tag Archives: Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe

Another Baby Step in the Right Direction


The chapters for Dead with Envy are now properly formatted and ready to send out to a few critical readers to get that last input from outsiders before publication.

–There is more good news. I am going to be reading another author’s work (for pay) to provide him with feedback. I am at a point in my life where I can use the extra cash. The timing is very good.–

So back to the main point. I am getting some critical reviews. I have the cover art in hand. Now I have to write acknowledgements, a dedication, a bio (really hard for me, believe it or not), and get my head shot (for publicity use–not for inspiration on the next story line). A friend who is retired from professional photography agreed to take some candid photographs. I am hoping one of those will work for my publicity photo.

It’s little stuff now, loose ends to tie up, that stand between me and publication. The launch is very near. I am quivering.

A Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Member Releases a Book


George Johnson photoGeorge Johnson is a member of the Writers of the Desert Rose Café. A year ago, the group published an anthology, available on Amazon.com. In it, there are several stories by George, including an especially funny one about an on-the-loose snake.

Publishing short stories pushed George to take the next step and release his novel  Acre. George tells us a bit more about this story in his own words below.

     The recently published book ACRE written by George Johnson brings out the purity and wholesomeness one expects when looking for a book to just relax and read for complete enjoyment.  The cover catches the eye of the average sports fan; however there is more inside that makes for pleasant sit-down reading.

     The life of a teenage boy, intermingled with normal family activities certainly enforces a repeated adage that if you have a goal you can achieve it if you work hard and do not give up.

     Losing his sweetheart Sharon and his dear friend Homer tears at the reader’s heart strings making him want to read more. Achieving various awards keeps the flow of excitement going throughout the book as Acre goes from a teenager to a young man.

     There are thrills, excitement, sadness, tragedy, love and family devotion that challenge the reader to not set the book aside until complete.  ACRE is a perfect book for any home or school library, and very suitable for any age, male or female.

What sets George’s stories apart is the lack of cursing or four-letter words. It’s hard to find a G-rated author, but anything written by George is safe to hand to any child. George is a former school teacher, so he’s sensitive about keeping children protected from the harsher things in life. He figures life will expose kids to that soon enough, so he doesn’t have to. For those who are hunting a clean read, pick up George Johnson’s stories in either Writers of the Desert Rose Café, An Anthology or Acre.

George Johnson was a late starter. He penned Acre, his first book, after retiring from teaching. Click on book cover to purchase on Amazon.

 

The Newspaper Interview Is in Print


WDRC group pic by Joe Crocetal Herald Mail staff photographer

RE-RUN OF MARCH POST

JUST WANT TO REMIND YOU, YOU CAN BUY THE ANTHOLOGY USING THE LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

OUR 30-YEAR-OLD MEMBER MISSED THE PHOTO OP. SHE IS VERA SINES-KLANK.

http://www.herald-mail.com/lifestyle/hm-the-writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-discuss-themselves-and-their-first-anthology-20130228,0,7573201.story?page=1

Wow! In my little writer’s hideaway, I got a phone call to tell me the newspaper interview was published March 3. Not only was it printed in the local newspaper, but it is available on-line, too. The link is above. I don’t know how long they keep on-line articles floating in web-space, so look now.

(The photo was taken by staff photographer Joe Crocetal of The Herald-Mail newspaper in Maryland. The dark-haired one on the top left of the overhead shot is me.)

We received 5 pages of publicity in the on-line article. How lovely!

In case you are hearing about this for the first time, let me give you background. I am a member of Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe. We published an anthology in late December 2012. The book is available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble (on-line only) at a very affordable price. If you have an interest in a sneak preview, click the Amazon link below. The Barnes and Noble link is also available for you with Nook readers.
Anthology cover

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC

or

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

The Lessons in Bad Writing


Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe author Karel Henneberger sent me an article that reinforced a valuable lesson: you can learn something from reading bad writing. The article’s author Daphne Gray-Grant tells of  learning that lesson from a former boss in a roundabout way. Gray-Grant is a professional editor, so she’s read an abundance of both good and bad work.

The basic points she drives home to writers are these:

  1. Good writers make just about every sentence meaningful. Bad ones waste effort on recording every cup of tea their characters swallow.
  2. Bad writing highlights the kinds of mistakes we don’t want to make. It’s one thing to know we shouldn’t overuse adjectives. It’s another to read a plethora of sentences like this one: “The wearily handsome, nervous, stubble-chinned man slowly and carefully got out of bed when he heard the soft, mysterious sound of footsteps
    in his apartment.”
  3. Bad writing is a reminder that good work always requires effort.

The moral of the story: finish that bad book you’re reading. Use it as a tool to spot the things not to do in your own stories.

The Newspaper Inter-view


One of our Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe members started the ball rolling on marketing. He used an inside contact to connect me to the head librarian in charge of programming. That conversation led me to volunteer our writers for library programs. The librarian offered to refer news of the release of  Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, An Anthology to her press contact at the local newspaper. Consequently, a reporter from the Lifestyles section called me to schedule an interview.

I invited our publisher Acorn Book Services to attend the interview. This turned out to be a good move for many reasons that I’ll share in a minute. My thought when inviting the publisher was as a thank you for helping us and sharing a bit of the limelight.

During the course of an hour-long interview, I learned that the reporter attended the same seminar at the library where I first collected names to form Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe. That coincidence warmed him to us because he had first hand knowledge of our origins. That piqued his curiosity about how we moved from a start-up organization to a published entity in a relatively short period.

Further, the reporter was on a first-name basis with our publisher. The publisher offered to place an advertisement on the same page as the article in the newspaper. That financial incentive is apt to generate a better place on the page and a longer article than our group would get on its own. The reporter also proposed sending a photographer to the next meeting to snap a some candid photographs of the working group to go with his article. Photos are eye-catching and will draw attention to the article.

Finally, our most organized member and I took the publisher to lunch after the interview to discuss costs for producing print versions of the book. That led to conversation about select members appearing at a writing seminar as members of a panel during a teaching segment. Mr. Organization will not let that opportunity fall through the cracks. He’ll stay on top of it to be sure the writers group seizes every chance to promote our endeavors.

Do you see how that works? Chances are if I cold-called either the library or the reporter directly, the response would have been less successful. But by networking through personal connections and utilizing the special talents within the group, Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe will get free publicity both through the news story and through the local speaking circuit.

Commercial success for writers is like success for politicians. It all starts locally.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that the exposure translates to sales!

Anthology cover

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe–Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357500066&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+of+the+desert+rose+cafe

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

Guest Post — Keep Your Brain Young


Today Karel Henneberger, one of the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe crew, is filling in for me while I recuperate from shoulder surgery. Over the next couple of weeks, Karel will pitch in to give expert advice.

Karel is a business owner, a teacher, and an author. She specializes in Children’s Literature. She also has a keen sense of humor! So without further adieu, here’s a message from Karel.

10 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young After 50–or 45 or even 30

As our brains age, we may not remember new facts as easily as we did in early adulthood. However, we can do much to help our brains retain “muscle mass.” Regardless of your physical condition, there are many ways to increase your brain activity.

  1. DO CROSSWORD PUZZLES. Not just the pick-a-word puzzles, but the real crossword puzzles with clues and frustration. There are many crossword puzzle books available in grocery and drug stores. Easy ones are great for beginners or when you are frazzled. For more difficult puzzles, subscribe to a crossword puzzle magazine. Crossword puzzles can be done anywhere—in the car (not while driving), in a doctor’s office, or while waiting in line. You can even do crossword puzzles online.
  2. DO JIGSAW PUZZLES. Jigsaw puzzles can be fun to do. And you can get kits to make the end result permanent. Hang a finished puzzle on your wall to add beauty as well as to show off your expertise. If you have dexterity problems, choose puzzles with larger pieces. Special 3-D puzzles are available for advanced puzzlers!
  3. LOGIC PUZZLES TAKE TIME, BUT THEY CAN BE REWARDING and they help you retain your strategy skills. This type of puzzle is best done alone with plenty of time available in a single stretch.
  4. SODUKO may not be for the numerically challenged, but for anyone else, this type of puzzle can become addictive. Newspapers usually carry a Soduko puzzle and your local grocery or drug store will have Soduko books available.
  5. LEARN A NEW SKILL. Take up knitting or crocheting—men can knit and crochet, too. Make prayer shawls or cancer caps for those in need of comfort. Large knitting needles and crochet hooks help arthritic hands remain flexible. And the recipients will appreciate the results.
  6. GO TO COLLEGE. College isn’t just for those in their 20s. Not these days. Some people in their 80s are taking courses. And colleges are welcoming them. Many states offer to pay part or all of older students’ tuition costs, so out-of-pocket expenses are small. Most colleges offer low- or no-cost non-credit courses to seniors, too. Check with your local community college. Some colleges even offer free courses online–you won’t have to take a test or turn in homework, but you also won’t get credit for the course. And with online courses, you don’t even have to leave your chair. Older adults may not learn facts as quickly as teens, but we have years of experience behind us that make up for our slower learning curve.
  7. WATCH OR LISTEN TO EDUCATIONAL TAPES OR DVDs. Your local library probably has a wide variety available. Most allow you to borrow them for a week or more and they’re usually renewable. Topics range from travel and science to religion and history. Some are complete with lesson plans, others are docudramas or made-for-TV shows.
  8. GIVE TO OTHERS. Volunteer. Join a literacy program, be an adopted grandparent, or help with Meals-On-Wheels. Even if you aren’t very physically active, you can do much for an organization online or on the phone. Keep your brain young by doing—something. Helping others is a good way to help yourself and to stay young. Using old skills keeps that old brain working. And learning new skills is an even better way to keep your brain young.
  9. GET “INTO” A SOCIAL NETWORK. Have a child or teen help you get started with Facebook, YouTube, or Flikr. This not only works your brain in new ways, it will draw you closer to those ever-changing youngsters in your life. 
  10. KEEP A JOURNAL. Writing uses several parts of your brain–Your brain must make sure your eyes focus on the paper or computer screen. Part of your brain controls your hand movements–important for hitting the correct keys or making legible letters. Then, of course, there’s the part of your brain–the left side–that makes sure you think creatively. Maybe you’ll write only for yourself. Or you might write memoirs for your family. Whatever. Just start writing.

You may purchase Karel Henneberger’s latest published work at one of the following links:

Kindle owners–

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t/175-9797514-4820430

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get the book by downloading FREE Kindle for PC software from Amazon.com. Go here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

Nook owners–

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

When Life Throws You a Curve Ball


It’s crazy. Just when I have plotted out my life for the next umpteen months and settled back to work the plan, Life throws me a curve ball. It shouldn’t surprise me.

Enough seasons have passed through my earth-bound existence that I should know better than to think any long-term plan will play out exactly as I have envisioned it. It must be the optimist in me, for I keep planning.

Or maybe it’s my insanity. You know the old definition of lunacy: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome.

However, my recent roadblocks are just that–little obstacles. The unanticipated hiccups don’t really change my plans. My destination is still the same: write books. Now, I will have a few detours through unfamiliar neighborhoods. That can be a good thing, right? It adds color, dimensions, flavor to my collection of life experience.

I’ll stop rambling and be more concrete.

I make my living by farming. I make hay, cut wood, and grow vegetables for selling. This year I planned to add the sale of landscaping stone to my product line. Due to another hiccup in my life plan, my way of making a living was to be more important than ever in 2013. But. . . .

Karma has other plans. I have torn my rotator cuff. I am scheduled for surgery soon and will be convalescing for six months afterward. No farming this season. No farming means no income.

Thankfully, there is nothing wrong with my brain. So I have to ask myself, is the Universe clearing a path for me to write?