Saturday, August 01, 2009

Conversations about Writing ~ Creating Characters

Authors Shon Bacon (editing guru) and Miki Starr Martin (graphic guru) are back with episode two of their new project, Conversations about Writing as they continue their conversation from June on character. Come read their thoughts on creating characters and share your OWN thoughts!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Got a Great STARTING OVER Story to Tell?

Got a Great STARTING OVER Story to Tell?

Laurene Williams, writer, director, and independent filmmaker, is looking for articles to post on the "Starting Over" section of our the website,, coming this fall.

Perhaps you have a compelling tale to contribute or you know other writers who may wish to contribute. The site will promote a new indie comedy/drama, "Phil Cobb's Dinner for Four." The goal of is to build a community of readers who can empathize with Phil Cobb's on-again/off-again life. Writers who have an inspirational or entertaining take on some of the pain, heartache, and heartburn they've been through as a result of a break-up, divorce, pink slip, new career, alcohol addiction, cross country move or relocation, may submit. The film is about cherishing the relationships in our lives and living beyond our losses.

You can view the trailer for "Phil Cobb's Dinner for Four" on YouTube or on Facebook.

Writers should include bio and byline (or pseudonym). Bios can include links to your website or any pertinent webpages. You can mention upcoming works or previous works, note any upcoming events such as a book signing or speaking engagement. You may submit a photograph for us to spotlight. We encourage you to promote yourself to make this worth your while.

Since our website is not a literary site and because film typically engages such a wide ranging audience, we're hoping writers can reach and cultivate an entirely new group of fans.

New and student writers can use the opportunity to explore their voice.

SUBMISSIONS: Web publication. Creative non-fiction, fiction, first or third person accounts. Submit query or complete ms as an MSWord file with bio by email. Byline or pseudonym. Up to 1,000 words. Format single or double-spaced. Bio, up to 50 words, can include links to your website or relevant webpages; include any notices.


USE: Submissions will be posted on in the "Starting Over" section for one to two week intervals.

DEADLINE: Rolling submissions. Next deadline, August 23rd.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Culture w/ YA Author Diana Rodriguez Wallach

For the months of June and July, All the Blog's a Page (AtBaP) is looking at how culture plays a role in writing. For the final feature, I'm featuring a young adult writer I'm a big fan of; her stories are fun and fast-paced, but they are laced wonderfully with all things that speak of the character's culture: YA author Diana Rodriguez Wallach!

About Adios to All the Drama:

Mariana Ruiz thought she left her summer fling in Puerto Rico, that is until she finds Alex sitting across from her at the breakfast table. Living two doors down from her visiting old flame isn’t easy, especially given the unresolved sparks still lingering for her locker buddy Bobby—and they don’t exactly go unnoticed.

Her best friends are little help as Madison deals with her IM-only “boyfriend” and Emily sinks into secret mode after her parents’ recent breakup. The only relationship that seems to be working is her estranged aunt Teresa who’s tying the knot on New Years with Mariana and her cousin Lilly as bridesmaids. But the last wedding detail left unplanned is who will Mariana kiss at midnight?

Strained friendships, stolen kisses, and secret loves create plenty of surprises to unfold before the New Year’s bells start ringing…

Watch the trailer for Adios to All the Drama below!

When asked In viewing media - TV, movies, books, radio, etc., how do you see your culture being conveyed, Diana replied, "I’m going to assume you probably mean how do I see my Puerto Rican culture being conveyed, and not how I see the Polish culture conveyed (pierogies, anyone?) or Philadelphians in general (our murder rate’s not so great). But as for Puerto Ricans, I think there is obviously still a stereotype that all “real Latinos” speak Spanish as a first language and have dark hair and tan skin. Obviously this is not the case. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…as Seinfeld would say.)

But as for the media’s representation beyond that, I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations. Yes, there are still plenty of shows portraying Latinos as drug dealers or maids, but there are also plenty that don’t (Ugly Betty, Cane, George Lopez Show). And I think the trend is moving away from the stereotypes, at least I hope."

Come by AtBaP to read more of Diana Rodriguez Wallach's insightful comments on culture and writing!

ALL THE BLOG'S A PAGE (AtBaP) - Where everything relates to writing


Monday, July 20, 2009

Speaking Culture w/ Activist, Author, Filmmaker Elisha Miranda

For the months of June and July, All the Blog's a Page (AtBaP) is looking at how culture plays a role in writing. This week, I'm featuring a woman I have come to admire; her passion and compassion to fully represent herself and her culture in a positive way ignites me to want to do the same: activist, author, filmmaker Elisha Miranda! You cannot read her feature and nottaste the love she has for her culture and its representation in the media.

About The Sista Hood: On the Mic:

4 Girls, One Mic and Lots of Drama

When Mariposa (aka MC Patria) meets Ezekiel Matthews (aka MC EZ1) they quickly become best friends; together they have the best summer tossing lyrics and rhymes. After the summer ends, Mariposa realizes the only thing she really cares about -- besides becoming the best emcee around -- is getting Ezekiel to love her. Unfortunately, this realization comes at the same time Ezekiel gets a girlfriend -- Jennifer Hoffman (aka J-Ho 5), an emcee with a huge buzz.

When her school announces a talent show, Mariposa understands that this could be her last chance to impress Ezekiel. She decides to form a hip-hop crew -- enter the world of the Sista Hood -- MC Patria, Soul Siren, Pinay-1 and DJ Esa, all divas in their own way. While coming together isn't easy, they're forced to collaborate and their lives are changed forever.


Elisha gave heartfelt, in-depth responses to all the questions; we asked how important is it for her to integrate her cultural experiences into her writing, she responded:

Before heeding the muse and pursuing a career as a filmmaker and writer, I had been an educator, community organizer and emergent urban planner, working with people of various ages, classes, race and ethnicities, sexual identities and national origins and learning about a range of issues from criminal justice to public health. I have worked for the struggling nonprofit organization, and I have served the public as a teacher in public education. I have volunteered for the activist collective, and have taught classes at the university. My professional life has brought me to China and Japan, Wooster College in Ohio and the juvenile facility in San Francisco, California. I have abandoned the tourist bus to hike the back roads of Cuba, Colombia, and Mexico precisely because I’m a Latina who is not Cuban, Colombian nor Mexican.

All these different experiences have brought me a more expansive viewpoint of Latinadad in the United States. I’m a Puerto Rican who grew up in public housing between a working-class Mexican/Chicano community called the Mission and the African American dominant Hunter’s Point. I went on to earn multiple degrees at elite universities, and experienced a creative “recovery” in my late twenties in which I pursued my dream of becoming a professional storyteller.

My mother raised in public housing – herself a native of San Francisco whose father was a merchant marine from Puerto Rico and whose mother settled there from Puerto Rico via Hawaii’s sugar cane fields – raised me and my siblings by herself. I toughed out the failing public elementary and junior high school down the block where all the other kids looked liked me. But when high school arrived, I endured a daily bus ride from my neighborhood to a magnet high school where I was both a racial and economic minority.

I’m an openly bisexual woman who speaks out against racial injustice when others hide behind their fair skin. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and am now a practicing Buddhist who identifies as “spiritual but not religious.” I am a modern Latina, and this is why my body of work resonates not only across the differences within the Latino community but also speaks to audiences beyond it.

It is these experiences that give me the stories I wish to tell, and because I have crossed borders of so many kinds, people of all backgrounds see themselves braided in my yarn. Today many people want to write books and make films about the Latino experience. I have lived that experience and there are many stories to tell. This is not merely something I do as a writer and director. It is how I live and these experiences are very integrated into my art.

Come by AtBaP to read more of Elisha Miranda's wonderful comments on culture and writing...and to check out an excerpt of her novel, The Sista Hood: On the Mic!

ALL THE BLOG'S A PAGE (AtBaP) - Where everything relates to writing

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Me and Some Faith-Based Poetry ~~ A Podcast

July marks the second installment of CLG-E's Once Upon a Time... podcast series.

This month, I'm showcasing three faith poems: "On Soft, Tender Knees," "I'm Sorry," and "Loose"!

You can listen below and also take the time to check out my podcast site (CLG-E Podcasts) for future podcasts on writing and storytelling!

Please leave comments - let me know your thoughts!

Writer of All Trades: Kristin Johnson

Head over to ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING where I talk with a writer of all trades: screenwriter, poet, novelist, journalist - Kristin Johnson!

Writer of All Trades: Kristin Johnson


CLG: Talk to us about one of your first YES moments - a time when you received positive reception for your words.

KJ: Reading the wedding poem for my sister and brother-in-law, "On Our Wedding: Ahava," that later won first place in the Blue Mountain Arts Tri-Annual Poetry Competition. That poem was my wedding gift to them. When a local playwriting group staged a reading of my one-act play "Greetings and Salutations" (that later appeared in its playwriting festival and was nominated for five local theater awards), one of the audience members, an actor, jumped up and said, "I love it!"

CLG: You're strutting down the street - looking, feeling like a million bucks - what's your theme song?

KJ: "Wind Beneath my Wings" by Bette Midler, "One Heart" by Celine Dion or "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra.

CLG: What are some of the things you're doing to get your writing into the right hands?

KJ: Beyond the usual, writing contests and submitting to publishers/producers/agents (which I need to do more of), I would say: Networking, networking, networking. I network with people who aren't, strictly speaking, in the business, because you never know. I go to screenwriters' events hosted by Women in Film-Palm Springs, an organization I cannot praise enough. I connect with people through wonderful groups such as the Original Palm Springs Writers Guild, National League of American Pen Women and The MuseItUpClub Online.

CLG: Why do you write?

KJ: Author Christopher Rice, son of Anne Rice and a formidable professional in his own right, spoke to one of my writers' groups recently. He said, "What you do is valuable to our culture." While that's uplifting in the grander scheme (and a comforting thought on those writer's block days), my more elemental answer is that writing is part of who I am. I have a passion for it. Words, ideas, thoughts. A painting can spark a story. Anything I'm reading about or watching inspire stories, or else make it into my writing. I am a voracious reader and moviegoer. The written word is my lifeblood. My great-grandmother was a writer and my mother published a children's book.

To read the rest of Kristin Johnson's interview, head to ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING!

ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING

Chocolate-caramel lattes + Women writers = ONE GREAT TIME!


Leave comments!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Culture & Writing w/ Author Angela Henry

For the months of June and July, All the Blog's a Page (AtBaP) is looking at how culture plays a role in writing. In June, we talked with erotic author Dapharoah69 and women's fiction author Wendy Tokunaga. Up next is an author I have enjoyed for a while now, Angela Henry!

Part-time GED instructor Kendra Clayton's spring break is proving to be anything but relaxing. First her best friend, Lynette, suffers a major panic attack days before her wedding and vanishes. Then her sister, Allegra, who craves attention the way Kendra craves chocolate brownies, arrives in town determined to land an interview with screen legend Vivianne DeArmond for the TV show Hollywood Vibe.

But Allegra's interview plans hit a glitch when she discovers the diva's lifeless body in her dressing room, stabbed in the back with a letter opener. The police peg Allegra as the prime suspect, but Kendra knows her sister is no murderer, even if she is guilty of acting a little too friendly around Kendra's man lately.

As Kendra starts to investigate and whittle down the list of Vivianne's enemies, she uncovers some surprising Hollywood secrets. But she'll need to act fast. Because every step toward the truth puts her in danger of becoming a victim of a ruthless killer's encore performance...

Come by AtBaP to read more Angela Henry's thoughts on the African American culture and writing...and to also read an excerpt from her book, Diva's Last Curtain Call!

ALL THE BLOG'S A PAGE (AtBaP) - Where everything relates to writing

Friday, June 26, 2009

Taste Mississippi in Patricia Neely-Dorsey's Poetry

Patricia Neely-Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states, "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much is more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed. I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word."


If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I'll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;
Watermelons on the vine,
Strong majestic Georgia pines;
Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
Junebugs flying on a string;
Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue;
Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.
There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.
You'll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life that I adore.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems