Writing and Workshops

By Susan Wagner

If you could dream something into being for a particular person in your life, what would it be and who would it be for?

You can pick anyone and any dream, but you must pick up your pen and write without stopping for five to seven minutes. Try to use concrete images and sensory descriptions. Go. Continue reading “Writing and Workshops”

On First Looking Into Dickens’s Oliver Twist

(With apologies to Messrs. Chapman and Keats –but I needed a title)

By Bob McCrillis

Always on the lookout for a bargain, I found myself perusing the public domain table at Barnes & Noble. For those unfamiliar with these offerings, they are cheap hardback editions of classics that are no longer protected by copyright priced with the student budget in mind. Continue reading “On First Looking Into Dickens’s Oliver Twist”

How to Write Using a Pattern

By Anne K. Kaler

Writers use patterns the same way that fabric designers use patterns – as guides for their material. (Note the pun there – both use “material” which means it is “of matter” or words.) Writers use the patterns called formulas to make their words conform to an understood, preconceived expectation for the reader.

Anne Kaler Head ShotAnd readers become intensely annoyed when the pattern/formula/genre is misrepresented. Classic story. The well-meaning children of a church pastor bought him a surprise book – Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre  — thinking that the subject matter was suitable for a man of the cloth. It wasn’t.

So, knowing what the pattern of a book is becomes paramount in the construction of that book. That’s why there are genres or types of books which are classified by the patterns they use. Often times the title itself will suggest enough of the ultimate pattern for me to want to read the book. Continue reading “How to Write Using a Pattern”

Writing, Watching, and Wondering

By Anne K. Kaler

Anne Kaler Head Shot

Ever wonder where writers get their ideas from?

Today one source landed right outside the window and insisted on being the center of my universe for the morning.

A young, a very young, robin perched on the top of an iron-ledge of a garden chair as I went out to get the newspapers.  His gimlet eye watched as a circled around him so as not to startle him into flight.

I knew he was young – the speckled head and shoulders and the orange hint on his pale breast gave away his age.  And he did not seem ready to fly away when I passed by.  It was only after observing him for an hour that I realized that this was indeed a very young bird. Continue reading “Writing, Watching, and Wondering”

What Is Your Passion?

By Susan WagnerSue Wagner New

When I was in fourth grade, the economic problems of Appalachia were in the news. I had seen it myself when I watched the news with my mother. We talked about it in school because our school planned to raise funds to aid children there. It was a penny collection. Over a period of a month, we were all asked to collect and donate as many pennies as we could. Continue reading “What Is Your Passion?”

Brains, Butterflies, and Writers’ Retreats

By Anne K. Kaler

Anne Kaler Head ShotWhat do writers do when they are not writing?

Read? Do housework? Twiddle their thumbs? Get in trouble?

While all these solutions are possible, many writers enjoy a day to allow their creative muses out to play in the fresh country air with a like-minded group of writers. And what better place to let the muses frisk and scamper about than in an Upper Bucks County writer’s retreat. Continue reading “Brains, Butterflies, and Writers’ Retreats”