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…

Guest Bloggers

Why write your story?

Why write your story? So you can move on. Today’s post is inspired by Patricia Hampl’s book, “I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourn in the Land of Memory.” Tell your story so you can move on. “When a writer keeps things inside, it becomes a ball of tangled yarn. As each story is told, the ball becomes untangled. Writing from memory can help us to let go of those stories we tell over and over again. We may not even need to tell them again [after writing about them].” Note from Marlene: I think writing from memory can also be a type of self-help . . . a vehicle for transporting oneself back in time and getting in touch with what really happened. Patricia Hampl is an American memoirist, writer, lecturer, and educator. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and is one of…

Guest Bloggers

The Courage to Write

My new writing friend, Nancy Julien Kopp, writes beautiful and inspiring posts on her blog, Writer Granny’s World by Nancy Julien Kopp. New Writers Need To Believe—Memoirs and Family Stories, by Nancy Julien Kopp Ever hear naysayers in the world of those who want to write a memoir or family stories who utter things like: I’m not a professional writer. I can’t write like some people do. I want to write the story but I wouldn’t know where to start. My grammar is not good enough to write. My writing is boring. All of the above can be overcome. But the first thing you must do is believe that you can write a memoir or a book of family stories. Sounds easy? Maybe. Possible? Yes. It takes some courage to do something new. Look at the people who zipline. Looks like fun but maybe a bit scary, too. Those who…

Guest Bloggers

Writing About Difficult Times In Your Life

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp writes about a topic I am passionate about: Healing through writing. WRITING ABOUT DIFFICULT TIMES IN YOUR LIFE When life hands us situations that hurt, we sometimes want to push it away, hide it in a closet. It’s too hard to bring it forth and try to deal with the misfortune. There are so many events in our life that create deep wounds and leave scars—the death of a spouse, losing a child, being in a terrible accident, losing a home to fire or a tornado, a difficult romance and break-up. The list could go on and on. I believe that writing about whatever happened has benefits. It is cathartic for the writer and can be a help to readers who have gone through a similar situation. You’re a double winner if you aid both yourself and those readers who have been through something difficult….