The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, March 23, 2012

Anne Lamott---I'm in Sasee! Are You?

       Bless my little pea-brained (when it comes to writing and literature) husband. His idea of good readin' is something you can enjoy while you're in the bathroom, creating an "event" of major stinkitude. He's only read several books from cover to cover (and he's proud of that accomplishment)--and only one novel (which is one we both love)--so he knows nothing of what makes a wonderful writer.

      Last week, we caught Anne Lamott on NPR while we were in the car. (Usually I hate NPR, although I do enjoy "Car Talk.") I screamed at him to 1) be completely silent and 2) don't even think of changing the radio station.

photo by soulofatlas

      Well, now I'm really frothing at the mouth. See the foam? Don't get too close to me--I might bite you in my excitement.

      'Cause Anne Lamott is coming to St. Louis. Tomorrow. I am going to get there (hopefully) early enough to get a seat. I will have my copy of Bird by Bird in my hot little hands, if I'm allowed. And I'm also sure I will buy at least one other book. (I already have several more of Lamott's books.)

      When I squealed about it this morning to my husband, he said, "Well, you're in Chicken Soup for the Soul. And you're in Sasee. Is that Lamott woman in Sasee?"

      Bless his heart...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recycle! Recycle! Recycle!

         A long time ago--probably decades--I read that freelancers recycle. They take a story or an article, rework it to give it a different spin, and submit it to another market. Even if it's been published, once you rewrite it and give it a new focus, it's a new piece. That advice never left me.

      I figured it was a frugal way to spend one's writing time, but I never knew just how jazzed I would get about it until this week.

     This week I have been busy submitting to the new collections that are called Not Your Mother's Books. And here is how I am recycling:

  • My son and his trumpet. It's a Chicken Soup story, and also a couple of submissions for "Not Your Mother's Book--On Being a Mom" or "On Family." I'm taking his practicing--that torture is the center of its own story--and when he was in marching band and had to deal with his long hair, and when he played in college and needed to buy a tux at the last minute and the freaky way he dressed going to his weekly trumpet lessons. One subject, lots of stories. (And shouldn't the kid who made me addicted to hair dye be the subject of money-making stories?)
  • My adoption. It's going to be a CS story for parenthood (I hope) and I've also spun it into a NYMB story.
  • My body's rapid decline. I have already submitted a story about what happens to breasts during menopause. (What a fun, versatile accessory they are now!) My stomach is pushing itself forward, trying to get its due attention. Then there's facial hair--on women. The topics are endless.
        How do YOU make the best of your writing time? Do you recycle? Share, please. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


           There is the popular WWJD. There is the lesser-known WWSD. What Would Sioux Do?  (The answers vary from "make a snarky remark," to "embarrass herself by getting her head stuck in a sink.") But with increasing frequency, I turn to WWWWWPD.

        What Would Wild Women Wielding Pens Do?

        As I write, even if it is not a piece I'm able to share with my writing critique group, I try to imagine what they would suggest. What parts would they advise I change? Which lines would they say I need to tighten up? Geeze Louise--what about all those darned ellipsis you use, Sioux?

       Who knew? Not only does my critique group help me immensely with my writing when we meet, and they push me to write and submit with greater frequency, but they also help me in absentia...

       If you're curious what goes on at our writing critique nights, below are some photos of the members. (I'm not in any of the photos because I took the pictures.)
We're so excited to get together on Wednesdays, this member drove to our critique meeting
(at a very high rate of speed,with her car window open). We were too nice to make a comment on her hair.
photo by

All of us are quite flexible, as you can see embodied in this member.
photo by rich hinton

Between readings, we sometimes relax in Lynn's backyard.
photo by Sohail Nashir

To mix things up, one evening we went to the beach...Times Beach...and soaked up some sun.
photo by Bart Ceuppens


Monday, March 19, 2012

Fireblossom? Val? Lisa? Katie? Kathy and Her Clothesline? They Want YOU.

         I am busily mining nuggets from my life--hot flashes, pesky children, good-for-not-much dogs--and am submitting to some of these anthologies. And there is something for everyone.

RV adventures  (Kathy, I know you have a boatload of those)
Alternative Lifestyles
Celebrity Encounters (Katie--You had that encounter with Paul Newman, and it's
                                    a wonderful story)
Dogs (Fireblossom--How about getting your spirits to spin a story about Bosco?
          Lisa--You have scads of dog "tails," I know.)
Military Life (Linda--You have some side-splitting tales that they'd jump on.
Writing (Fireblossom--This would be an opportunity to impart some of your
              wisdom about writing, since you usually are so stingy with it;)

Two wonderful St. Louis writers--Linda O'Connell and Dianna Graveman--are developing two of the titles--"On Mom" and "On Family." If you'd like to see the website and find out more information, click on here.