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Been away from the posts for a few days, but I knew this was one I wanted to tackle.


Creativity has always been important to me. When I was younger, I thought I was going to be a fiction writer. I’ve had a bit of success, here and there, at short fiction. Thing is, there’s not much of a market for short fiction, and I’m not sure I’m a novelist at heart. I don’t have BIG IDEAS. I’m kind of lousy at plotting.


My creativity manifests in other ways, though. I’ve been doing calligraphy since I was in high school, and I maintain an Etsy shop where I sell my calligraphy and paper crafts.



Lately, though, it’s been coming out in the form of songwriting. Well, lyric writing. I’m not a musician, but I am married to one. 🙂 And being married to one has brought me into a whole community that has nurtured and supported this creativity.


The past two years, I’ve participated in something called February Album Writing Month. (That link goes to my profile.) The idea is to write 14 songs-an album’s worth-in 28 days. Now, I haven’t made it to 14, or anywhere near, but it’s been a useful exercise anyway. This year, I posted three things…one of them, a lyric that’s been around for a while that has finally been set to music. I ended up adding two lyrics that aren’t quite finished. In my drafts I also have a Peggy Carter song (tentatively “Do as Peggy Says”) that I’ve been trying to write this for a year now. I’ve made a little bit of movement, but It’s giving me a rough time. There’s also a chorus inspired by a FB post conversation that still doesn’t have a song, and two brainstorming lists that I’m hopeful will turn into something at some point. I call that a win.


All of this is moving toward an album that Rand and I are going to record this year. (eep!)


All of this is to say that, while I’m not doing what I once thought I would be doing, I’m really happy with my creative life right now. I love being able to create and collaborate and feel supported and enriched by it.


(The poster imaged above features lyrics from the song “Take it Back” by Kathleen Sloan. It’s based on a speech made by Barry and Sally Childs-Helton when they were inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame. I am proud and humbled to count these people among my friends.)

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

In November 2011, after the whole Penn State scandal blew up, I wrote a little essay on my blog titled “We are…heartbroken.” Shortly after that, I was contacted by a professor at PSU who was interested in putting together a book and wanted to know if my essay could be included. I said yes, and waited.

There were some ups and downs in the process, but the final decision was to fund the project using indiegogo, with all proceeds beyond the cost of the book itself to be donated to RAINN. Here’s the link to the project page, where you can read more of the details:

Notes from Inside a Burst Bubble: Penn Staters on the Penn State Scandal

I am proud to be a part of this project. If you are so inclined, please help me spread the word.

Writing

May. 18th, 2009 07:26 pm
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Can any of you writer types out there recommend a good resource on plot/story structure?
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Dead of Winter
The 2008 contest is now OPEN.

Dead of Winter is a fiction contest (any genre) for stories with supernatural elements or themes. Ideally, stories should be set in autumn or winter. The most original, most haunting stories will be chosen for publication.

Details, including specific theme and length, are announced November 1.

The deadline for submissions is December 21.

Entries are blind-judged by Baker & Billiard. Decisions are final. Winners are announced January 31.

Winning stories are published in the March issue of Toasted Cheese. Winners receive Amazon gift certificates: $20 for first, $15 for second, $10 for third.

Stories submitted to the 8th Annual Dead of Winter contest (December 2008) should follow one* of the following themes:

* Alaska
* Alternative Santa
* Blood River Bridge
* Ventriloquist

The word limit is 4,500 words.

The contest opens on November 1, 2008 and the deadline for submission is December 21, 2008. E-mail entries to dow2008@toasted-cheese.com. Your subject line must read: Dead of Winter Contest Entry.

Post any questions you have about the contest in our DOW thread at the forums. Please do not post any part of your entry in the thread.

You may post your work for feedback at one of the critique forums but please title your post “DOW entry for feedback” or similar so that the judges don’t read it.

Be sure to (1) set your story in winter (2) write using supernatural elements or motifs (make our spines tingle, make us hesitate to turn out the lights, etc.) and (3) use one* of the themes provided.

*You are welcome to use more than one of the themes in your story (for example, you could write a story about a ventriloquist and set it in Alaska) but you must use at least one of them and make it strong enough so that we know which theme you’re focusing on.

Only ONE entry PER AUTHOR, not one entry per theme.

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Last night, I watched a random episode of Friends that TiVo kindly “suggested” for me. The episode was “The One with the List,” which (if I’m remembering correctly) was early in the second season.

Setup: Rachel and Ross have kissed. Ross has a girlfriend, but is in love with Rachel. Joey and Chandler suggest that Ross make a list of pros and cons to help him decide what to do.

Chandler has typed the list on his new laptop. Rachel sees the list (only that is something about her) and insists that they show it to her. What happened next had me laughing so hard, I was nearly crying. I took it back and watched it again, and then made Rand watch it. I don’t think he thought it was quite as funny as I did. ;)

Rachel: Chandler wrote something about me on that paper and I want to see it!
Ross: Chandler isn’t that the short story you were writing?
Rachel: Short story? And I’m in it? I want to read it!
Ross, Joey, Chandler: NO!
Joey: Why don’t you read it to her?

(this is the part that had me in tears…)

Chandler: It was summer… and it was hot. Rachel was there… A lonely grey couch…”OH LOOK!” cried Ned, and then the kingdom was his forever. The End.

Is this as funny as I think it is? I’m still laughing. I think the next line was Joey saying Chandler was the worst writer EVER. :D

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Yes, it’s a day late, but I just read this lovely post from Michelle Sagara West, and I needed to share it.

We saw Rand’s mom yesterday…I sent my mom flowers and talked to her on the phone. I’m going to be seeing my parents this weekend, and Rand and I will be traveling to St. Marys next weekend.

Life continues to be crazy. It’ll get less crazy soon. I think. ;)

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

Gah.

Where’s the vacation part of this week? Hmmm? Sigh. Here’s what’s on my to-do list:

1. Write TC article due tomorrow (this is pretty much done, but may need some tweaks…)

2. Work on invitations (I’ve done a little bit. the reply cards are gonna be a nightmare, b/c the printer doesn’t seem to want to print them straight)

3. Work on getting a final for-real guest list including all necessary contact info.

4. Grade a bunch of papers (*weep*)

5. Get together w/my little b/c it’s her birthday this week.

6. Plan lessons and gather materials for next week.

7. Go to two yoga classes, b/c I missed last week.

8. Get a mani/pedi.

9. Wash springy-summery clothes I took out of storage.

10. Play with iPod.

11. Walk every day.

I’ve about given up hope of ever catching up on the blog posts I meant to write…but I have uploaded photos!

That’s all for now. Happy Monday!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

I promised I’d post every day during this BufBloPoFo thing, even if I didn’t get around to the prompt (and truthfully, I’m too lazy to go see what today’s prompt is…), so here I am.

Today was a typical day in the life of a sub…phone rang at 6 am (gah…hate that…but glad I took it) and I had a very laid-back day with a great schedule. Score. I managed to both finish Living Lost: Why We’re All Stuck on the Island by J. Wood (which I enjoyed, but somehow, not as much as I enjoy his blog!) and Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci. I love how raw and honest her characters are.

Aside? Lost is totally rocking my world this season. Bring it on!

And what was even worse than the phone ringing at 6? Well, digging my car out. Rand had to give me a push b/c I was completely stuck.

Over the weekend, I ate too much pizza, slept too much, and had a brainstorm for a series of YA novels that I need to let marinade or percolate or whatever for a while. I think it could be really, really cool.

(Speaking of writing, I need to get going on my April article for TC!)

OH…and another big thing happened over the weekend, but I’m not quite ready to go totally public with it yet. Soon, as soon as things are definitely definite. ;)

And that’s what’s new with me today. Hope you’re all having a spectacular Monday!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

In response to today’s BufBloPoFo prompt:

BufBloPoFo Topic for Day 6: What kind of stuff (toys, books, TV shows) were you into when you were a kid? Do you think that had an effect on what kind of a person you are today?

Hmm…I had lots of the typical toys of a child of the 70s/80s. Hungry Hungry Hippos. Lite Brite. Viewmaster, Sit’n Spin, Etch-a-Sketch. I played with Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, My Little Pony, the Rubiks Cube, Cabbage Patch Kids (I had two). I enjoyed all that stuff, and I think that they serve as cultural markers–in some ways, we’re all identified by these things…the toys we played with, and the music we listened to, and the shows we watched on TV.

But of everything, I think the things that most influenced me were my books. I’ve always been a reader, ever since I can remember. I continue to tell people that my favorite book of all time was and continues to be A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, particularly The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Another one of my favorites was the lesser-known The Girl with the Silver Eyes. I absolutely ate up anything magical, anything extraordinary, and I so desperately wanted it to be real. I wanted to open a door and emerge in a different world. I wanted to bend the rules of space and time. I wanted to be able to move things with my mind. I loved these books, and I read them over and over and over again. It was in those stories, I think, that my desire to be a writer first emerged. I wanted to be able to make other people feel the way I felt when I was reading.

erinwrites: (Default)

Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

In response to today’s BufBloPoFo prompt:

BufBloPoFo Topic for Day 6: What kind of stuff (toys, books, TV shows) were you into when you were a kid? Do you think that had an effect on what kind of a person you are today?

Hmm…I had lots of the typical toys of a child of the 70s/80s. Hungry Hungry Hippos. Lite Brite. Viewmaster, Sit’n Spin, Etch-a-Sketch. I played with Barbies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, My Little Pony, the Rubiks Cube, Cabbage Patch Kids (I had two). I enjoyed all that stuff, and I think that they serve as cultural markers–in some ways, we’re all identified by these things…the toys we played with, and the music we listened to, and the shows we watched on TV.

But of everything, I think the things that most influenced me were my books. I’ve always been a reader, ever since I can remember. I continue to tell people that my favorite book of all time was and continues to be A Wrinkle in Time. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia, particularly The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Another one of my favorites was the lesser-known The Girl with the Silver Eyes. I absolutely ate up anything magical, anything extraordinary, and I so desperately wanted it to be real. I wanted to open a door and emerge in a different world. I wanted to bend the rules of space and time. I wanted to be able to move things with my mind. I loved these books, and I read them over and over and over again. It was in those stories, I think, that my desire to be a writer first emerged. I wanted to be able to make other people feel the way I felt when I was reading.

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

The first issue of Toasted Cheese for 2008 has arrived!

TC 8:1

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

The 7th Annual Dead of Winter Writing Contest is now open.

Dead of Winter is a fiction contest (any genre) for stories with supernatural elements or themes. This year’s theme is: Urban Legend.

Deadline for entries is December 21, 2007.

Full contest rules.

NaBloPoMo

Oct. 24th, 2007 11:42 am
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. Please leave any comments there.

Starting next Thursday, November 1, I am pledging to post at least once per day as part of the NaBloPoMo challenge. (have you signed up? Friend me! I’m “eringoblog.”)

I mentioned that I wanted to come up with a regular posting schedule, and here’s what I’ve tentatively come up with:

Monday: Weekend Wrap-up (pretty self-explanatory)

Tuesday: Tuesday Tidbits (random things I’ve found interesting about the blogosphere)

Wednesday: Wedding Wednesday (wedding planning things, or my thoughts on this whole getting married process)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (whatever stupid things are on my mind that I feel like writing about that week)

Friday: Friday Photo (ideally, an interesting photo I’ve taken in the past week and the story that goes with it)

Saturday: Reading, Watching, Listening (my formerly semi-regular writeup of the media I’ve been enjoying. I’ve been wanting to get back to this…)

Sunday: Free-for-all. Might be a meme or quiz, or some random thing that didn’t fit into any other category.

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

  • If you could direct some good vibes/positive energy in Rand’s general direction today, we’d appreciate it. Thanks! :)
  • For the past few weeks, Tuesday has become cheesy TV night at our place. America’s Got Talent, Beauty and the Geek, The Singing Bee. Last night, I was disappointed because the Singing Bee was on *after* the TWO HOUR finale of America’s Got Talent. I thought American Idol had the market cornered on milking an episode…anyway. I was rooting for Cas Haley, so bummer. (we’ve only caught about the last 4 episodes…) I found the “audition all stars” bit funny, especially the pogo stick guy, for some reason.
  • Beauty and the Geek amuses me. Of the girls, Jennylee seems to be the least vapid and most sincere. Cecile seems like someone I would never, ever want to know in real life. Ugh. I’m not sure if I have a favorite of the guys that are left…I think they’re all cute. :)
  • And The Singing Bee–what great fun! I ended up recording the 1-hour episode last night for later viewing. (as it turns out, I could have stayed up and watched it. I had trouble falling asleep.)
  • I have to go get a physical for work later this morning. Whee! Any teachers out there, feel free to send any advice my way. I’m a bit nervous about the beginning of school!
  • I have about a week’s worth of grading to do in the next, oh, day and a half. Lucky me.
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. You can comment here or there.

So, I’ve been contributing to Daily Writing Tips for a couple of months now. Here are some of my posts:

Show, Don’t Tell

Dialogue Dos and Don’ts

Ready, Set, Write!

The Everyday Blues

Is “Alright” All Right?

Punctuation Errors: Quotation Marks for Emphasis

Point of View: Following the Rules

Beware the Shifting Tense

There’s lots of good stuff by the other contributors as well. Visit! Subscribe! Post our articles to social bookmarking sites like digg and del.icio.us!

Thank you for your attention. ;)

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. Please leave any comments there.

Oh, my. So much to say…so little time.

  • I had a really excellent time at my reunion. If you haven’t seen them yet, the photos are here. I had some wine, danced, and talked to lots of people I haven’t talked to in a very long time. It was great to see Anita (looking very tall and glamorous, as usual), as I only get to see her once every 4-5 years. I wish the turnout had been better, as there are lots of people I would have liked to see but didn’t. Ah well. The food was decent, and the DJ was…well…what you’d expect. There was much hair metal.
  • I also attended a family reunion during the day, and then Rand and I headed back to Buffalo on Sunday. And then I desperately needed a nap…therefore, I did not get to start reading Harry Potter until Sunday evening! It was painful, but I survived. I still owe a proper review (which I will be posting at Required Reading), but for now, here’s a post I wrote on point of view at Daily Writing Tips (it references Harry Potter).
  • My summer class is going fine…it’s much larger than I expected it to be. (I have 21 students registered. I think a couple of them have dropped off…) Summer classes usually aren’t this big. I’m choosing to believe that word has gotten out that I’m fabulous. ;)
  • Eden is famous. She’s all over teh intarwebs, and she’s gonna be on TV. It’s all over the kerfluffle caused by this video.
  • I had lunch with Jen on Wednesday, which was good! We ate at Steel Crazy Cafe, which was not as good as we’d hoped…
  • I received some strange and nasty troll-ish comments on my flickr account. I deleted the comments and blocked the user(s), but apparently I should have waited for flickr to investigate first. Oops. My bad. (the backstory is something I don’t feel comfortable posting about, sorry.)
  • I got an early birthday present. :) More details later…

Er, that’ll do for now, I guess…happy Friday!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. Please leave any comments there.

One of my favorite bloggers is SF writer John Scalzi. When John isn’t posting photos of his cat, he’s frequently snarking about something in the media.

John recently wrote about a piece in The Guardian (more here) in which the author (Ben Myers) whines about how teh Intarweb makes writers lazy, or something.

Ben commented on John’s post (his comment included the insult “hideous arse candles, which, as more than one reader pointed out, would make an excellent name for a rock band), and then John wrote a post grading his snark. (He got a C-). MediaBistro has picked up on the fun, and there are hundreds of entertaining comments to read.

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So I seriously want to get to work on trying to whip that NaNoWriMo manuscript into shape. Thanks to the people who read the short excerpt for me a while back...now I'm looking for people willing to read the whole darn thing and give some general feedback as to what (if anything) in this thing is worth keeping!

Let me know if you can. I have the whole thing uploaded to google docs, so I can just invite you to be a reader (or email it if you prefer). Thanks!

Happy Day!

Jun. 17th, 2007 06:32 pm
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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. Please leave any comments there.

Happy Father’s Day to any of you fathers out there…I got to spend some time with my own father this weekend, so that was good.

When I got home, I had received word that I’m going to be one of the permanent writers over at Daily Writing Tips, so yay! My most recent post explored the question of “alright” vs. “all right”.

More content tomorrow. Hope everyone’s having a lovely weekend!

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Originally published at erin-go-blog!. Please leave any comments there.

No new content here this morning, but I’ve got two new posts up at other webspots.

Over at Required Reading, I’ve got a short review and an interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith. Cynthia writes for children and teens, and her new book Tantalize is a YA urban gothic fantasy. Check it out!

Also, my second post is up at Daily Writing Tips. Enjoy!

By the way, let me know if there are any writing mysteries you’d like to see explained! I’m looking for new post topics.

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