Book Reviews

The Trip by Armando Garcia-Davila

The Trip: Speeding Toward the Cliff at the End of the World Review by Elizabeth Kern  Author Armando Garcia-Davila takes us on a trip of a lifetime as four friends travel 7,000 miles cross-country on their motorcycles in the turbulent 1960s. The experiences of his main character, Tino, are alternately poignant, funny, mind-bending, and life-changing as he grapples with the issues confronting him: his first true love, bubbling racial tension, the morality of the escalating Viet Nam war, and a wafer of LSD in his pocket just waiting to be used.  The Trip is a page-turner as Tino and his companions—his older and wiser brother who happens to be a priest, and their two friends—roar from adventure to adventure: spending uneasy nights in small town jails to save money; sneaking out of town under the mask of darkness to avoid the pursuit of Southern rednecks; and finally, for Tino, an…

Places to submit

Voices of Lincoln – Poetry Contest 2017

POETS WANTED     You do not have to live in Lincoln, CA to enter the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest. Five (5) categories include: Love Is All Around Us,  Dreams Do Come True,  On The Street Where I Live,  Gone But Not Forgotten,  and  A Second Chance. You may submit a maximum of three (3) poems: One poem for each category. Poems may be in rhyme, free verse, Haiku, or other accepted poetry forms and of any length, up to a maximum of 60 lines. Young Poets, 18-years of age or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category. Entry Form and Contest Rules Contest Deadline: Poems must be received no later than Saturday, July 22,    2017.  Early submissions are appreciated.  Questions—contact Alan Lowe at    slolowe – at –

Guest Bloggers

Too stressed to write?

Are you too stressed to write? You want to, but you just can’t clear your mind. Maybe you’re drifting in The Fog of Overwhelm. The following is paraphrased from Ted A. Moreno’s Blog Post, Avoiding the Fog of Overwhelm Part I and Part II, where Ted discusses “the state of overwhelm, what it is, how it happens and how it affects us.” State of Overwhelm   Overwhelm happens when there is too much information coming into our conscious awareness. Our minds only have a certain capacity, like a cup that can hold a limited amount of liquid. When our minds are filled to capacity, and stuff keeps pouring in, we lose the ability to cope. At this point, our ancient survival mechanism, that good old fight or flight, gets triggered. When that happens we become what is known as “hypersuggestible” which means that we are susceptible to whatever is coming into our…

Just Write

Why should you use strong verbs?

Action words “A French research team found that action words (kicked, stomped, raced) fire up the motor cortex, which governs how the body moves. Even more specific, describing body parts, such as an arm or a leg, activates the part of the brain that controls arm and leg movement. Using evocative language also wakes up a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which activates long-term memories and plays a significant role in how a reader’s mind turns language into a meaningful experience.” Writer’s Digest, Sept. 2016 And that’s why it’s important to use strong verbs. Make a list of strong verbs and action words.  Keep your list handy.  Use it like a thesaurus when you are stumbling for that strong verb that’s on the tip of your tongue, within your grasp, but not quite accessible. Or, use a thesaurus. To learn more about using strong words to convey emotion, action and…