Book Reviews

Writing as a Path to Healing

In reference to The Write Spot:  Writing as a Path to Healing, author Elizabeth Beechwood said, “The contributing writers delve into the pain of their past, reveal their vulnerabilities, and share the lessons they’ve learned with all of us. Their courage is written on every page of this collection.”  After reading my contributor’s copy of editor, Marlene Cullen’s newest anthology, I am in full agreement with Ms. Beechwood. Especially the last sentence regarding courage written on every page. It is not easy to write about traumatic events, but twenty-one people have done so and were willing to share stories and poems with readers. The writers come from various walks of life and offer readers a look into difficult times they experienced at some point. These writers all used writing as a step on their path to healing and to offer support to others. Some who write about troubled parts of their…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp and The Writing Fairies

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp writes about her struggles and success with Good Fairy/Bad Fairy. 2012 I’ve had a story swirling in the recesses of my mind for several weeks. One that I think would work for a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Last night, I opened a blank page in Word and began to write the story. I wrote for well over an hour. The story seemed to be coming together nicely. I was aiming for 1200 words, and by the time I was ready to call it quits for the day, I had over 700 words and still a lot to be told. I didn’t take time to read over what I’d written, knew there would be time to do that in the morning. I got ready for bed, feeling satisfied that more than half the first draft was complete. I settled down in bed to watch the…

Guest Bloggers

Fiction. Nonfiction. Creative nonfiction.

What are you writing these days? Some people find it difficult to concentrate. Others are filling pages with poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and creative nonfiction. It might be a perfect time to chronicle what is going on in your life . . . if you write this as a journalist would . . . just the facts, that’s nonfiction. If you add vignettes and personalize your story, that’s creative nonfiction. Here’s what guest blogger Nancy Julien Kopp says about fiction, creative nonfiction, and fictional narrative. Most people are aware of the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is made up, nonfiction is true. There is, however, a differentiation between nonfiction and creative nonfiction. Nonfiction is generally expository in that it describes, explains or is informative. If you wrote about leaves in a forest in Montana, your readers would probably learn a great deal about the topic. You would write it as…

Guest Bloggers

On Top Of Your Game

My dear friend, Nancy Julien Kopp blogs at Writer Granny’s World by Nancy Julien Kopp. Last year, Nancy posted: In mid-November, I posted a review of The Write Spot: Possibilities.  The anthology consists of stories, essays, and poems by several writers. At the end of each offering is a prompt that might have inspired what they wrote and also a paragraph or two of advice for writers. Ahhh, advice. It can be given, but is it always accepted? Not by a longshot. Sometimes, we read the advice of other writers with a shield in front of us. The attitude can be Go ahead, teach me something I don’t already know. At other times, we’re wide open to any advice given. We want to soak it up like water in a sponge.  I’ve been skimming through the book again looking at the advice the writers offered. I consider it a gift to us,…

Guest Bloggers

Listen To Your Heart

Today’s guest blogger, Nancy Julien Kopp, has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books 22 times! Her story: A good many years ago, I submitted to a Chicken Soup for the Soul  book for the first time. The story was a simple one, a childhood memory, that I thought might work for the Fathers and Daughters book. Maybe. I hesitated to send it. Why? My pride told me it was impossible because rejection hurts a lot. Experience added that I hadn’t been writing very long, and the Chicken Soup editors received hundreds, maybe even a thousand or more, submissions for each book. My chances were pretty slim.  Reason stepped in and sneered at me as it said it was pointless to submit this story. What would it matter to the rest of the world? Then they laughed and I whimpered. All three had ganged up on me, and then a funny thing happened. My heart…

Guest Bloggers

Start Small

Today’s brilliant post is by Nancy Julien Kopp: I’m a proponent of starting with small projects and moving on, step by step, to the bigger ones. Many writers dream of publishing a novel or a full book memoir. Some will start out their writing journey by beginning the pursuit of that dream immediately. It’s fine to have a worthy goal, but diving in the deep end before you know how to swim can bring big problems. Start small. Write a personal essay or memoir about an occurrence, something that happened and had some meaning for you. Later, it might become a part of the book you hope to write. Those little snippets of memoir can grow into something much larger, as can your personal experiences that taught you a lesson, as we see in personal essays. Novelists can practice their skill by writing short stories before attempting a full novel….

Guest Bloggers

FAD: Feeling-Action-Dialogue

Today’s guest blogger is Nancy Julien Kopp. Her blog, Writer Granny’s World features tips and treats about writing. Her brilliant August 20, 2019 post (excerpt below) focused on how to use action with dialogue. Fingers flying across keyboard, Marlene types, “On with the show, Nancy.” How to show action when writing dialogue. I see writers putting action after dialogue. That’s backwards. Examples of action with dialogue. A.  “Stop that!” Sally slapped his hand from her arm. B.  Sally slapped his hand from her arm. “Stop that!”  C. “Stop that!” Sally said. Sally slapped his hand from her arm. Which is the best? The worst? I think B is best. And C is the worst. In B, we see the action, then hear the words that go with it. In A, would Sally say the words, then slap his hand away? Note from Marlene: This would be a “delayed reaction.”  Sally…

Just Write

Myths and Realities of Blogging

I recently spoke at a meeting of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast, a branch of the California Writers Club, on the subject of blogging. I recommend the blogs and books mentioned below. And of course there are many other blogs, books, and information about blogging on the world wide web. Highlights from my talk on “Myths and Realities of Blogging” If you don’t have a blog, but think you should, something to think about is why? Why should you have an author blog? “Blogging is simply a medium that allows you to connect with people who love the same books, hobbies and activities you do.”  — Gabriela Pereira, May/June 2018, Writer’s Digest magazine Author Blog Find Your Target Audience: Read the reviews of books in your genre on Amazon or Goodreads. Use words from the reviews for your headlines and tags in your posts. What to Post Stories about…

Book Reviews

The Write Spot: Reflections

The Write Spot: Reflections reviewed by Nancy Julien Kopp. I read Marlene Cullen’s newest book cover to cover in one evening. The Write Spot: Reflections is the third in a series of books meant to help writers and wannabe writers. In the introduction, editor Marlene Cullen, says: “If you want to write and don’t know how to get started, this book is for you.    If you are a writer and feeling stuck, this book is for you.  If you like reading a variety of writing for enjoyment, this book is for you.” The book is a collection of short stories, poems and vignettes to entertain but also to inspire writing. Each contributor includes a short bio and a few paragraphs on Why I Write after their writing contributions. I found some illuminating statements in the Why I Write sections. I also found so a great deal to enjoy in the offerings of the different authors….

Guest Bloggers

A Special Gift

Today’s guest post is by Nancy Julien Kopp. I have been enjoying Nancy’s posts on her blog, Writer Granny’s World. Nancy writes: Here we are in the last month of the year and one of the busiest. I went to a Christmas party Friday evening and a Christmas Tea at my church Saturday. Definitely getting me in the mood for the season. One of the things the hostess of the tea did was ask each person to tell about a Christmas gift that was very special. What a delight it was to listen to the 25-30 women share details about the time and circumstance of their gifts. Stories ranged from engagement rings to dolls to pets and a few other things. Many prefaced the story by mentioning that there were very few presents given in their family when they were children because money was short. One woman told us about…