Author Archive

Blind Author Pens YA Novel To Bring Awareness

Donna W. Hill is legally blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. The author, journalist, songwriter and civil rights activist and I recently connected on LinkedIn. She informed me about the continued struggles of blind Americans to gain acceptance and opportunity.

Donna’s mission for penning her YA Novel is to shed light on how children and adults with disabilities are perceived and treated by America’s sighted people.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00009] “Clara, in your work with the Authentic Woman Networks, are you aware of the many challenges facing people with vision loss and other disabilities? Of all of these challenges, the hardest to break through have been the beliefs held by the general public.” Donna W. Hill

The Heart of Applebutter Hill  is a  about a 14-year-old blind student named Abigail, along with her trusted seeing eye dog, Curly Conner and her best friend, Baggy Britches, find themselves caught up in a summer of tackling school bullies, sorting out secrets and uncovering an age-old mystery that spells danger for Abigail and her friends.

Part adventure, part mystery and a well paced read, Donna W. Hill will use proceeds from the sale of  her novel to provide Braille books for blind students. I’ve posted a few places The Heart of Applebutter Hill is available for purchase :
http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1483948226

https://www.createspace.com/4000964

accessible versions are available for Readers with print handicaps
Bookshare: http://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/639304
Do your part to raise awareness.  And as always, “treat yourself special.”

 

 

 

 

 

Depaul University Workshops & Classes

Happy Friday all! Today, my focus is on the writing assignment for my fiction writing class at Iowa University. I have not prepared a post for today:) but, you know how important it is to stay relevant with our writings and so for all creatives living in the Illinois area, I have been given permission to pass along information about upcoming free workshops offered by the Depaul University’s Hay Project.

 

downloaddepaul

They offer great online classes as well. I took their 10 week Coaching & Leadership class in 2011, earning a certification for my efforts. I actually learned insights about leadership on what makes a great leader. Here are the links and contact information. I hope you take full advantage.

Leading Effective Teams – Part II

Wednesday, October 14, 2014   6:00 – 8:00 pm

 

Hire Hard, Manage Easy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014    3:00 – 5:00 pm

 

To register for workshops: Click Here

 

Location: Daley Building, 14 E. Jackson, 16th Floor

 

Please visit our Website to let us know if we can be of any other assistance in leadership development for you or your team:

http://leadership.depaul.edu/leadership-skills-training.html

Thanks so much. Hope you enjoy Autumn!

Best wishes,

Pat

Patricia M. Bombard, BVM, D.Min.

Director: Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project

Adjunct Faculty: School of Public Service

Office: Suite 1600, 14 E. Jackson Blvd.

Mail Address: 1 E. Jackson Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60604-2287

Phone: 312-362-5522

Tweet: @Lead4Good

Project Information:

http://leadership.depaul.edu 

A Conversation With Chicago Author Evelyn Cogdell

Happy Friday, all!  Please join me in welcoming Evelyn Cogdell to Clara54’s writers blog.

I’ve known you for a while now, Evelyn, but please  share a bit about yourself for our readers.

Publicity Photo - 2006&2007-1

E:  I am Evelyn (aka Eve) Cogdell, a Freelance Writer/Poet, and the self-published Author of 5 books: a Poetry Chapbook (5th Story Reflections); a Short Story collection (Matters of the Heart); a Cookbook (Auntie Eve’s Favorite Dishes); and 2 Novels (Cashmere & Silk, A Love Story and Cashmere & Silk–Two, A Tapestry). Additionally, I have contributed to 2 Anthologies: This Mother’s Daughter and Wisdom of Our Mothers.”

My articles have covered such diverse topics as: religion; politics; health; science; sports; fashion; beauty; recipes; art; music; celebrities; and relationships. I have been featured in newspapers, magazines and e zines. Various venues where I have appeared include: The Black Expo; The Black Women’s Expo; African-American Images; Woodson Regional Library; Avalon Branch Library; Whitney M. Young, Jr. Library; Books Ink; Barnes & Noble and Trinity United Church of Christ.”

C: Interesting! You write in several genres: poetry, romance, food and interviews. Is there something I’m missing, and which genre is your favorite and why?

E: Good question! I don’t really have a favorite, but if I must pick one, I believe I would have to say ‘the interview’ gives me the most satisfaction. Finding out about other people and discovering what makes them tick is a real ‘turn-on’ for me. Basically, I like to write about whatever will uplift and entertain people, as well as enlighten them about the facts of life. In addition to the genres you mentioned, I also write short skits.

C: Do you have a specific writing routine?

E: Actually, I don’t, except for the fact that sometimes on a sleepless night, I might create a ‘new’ poem in my head and get up and write it down. When an idea strikes me I write about it. Also, for the past several years I have purposed to schedule a self-published book release every 5 years.”

C: What do you love about writing?

E: For me, writing is very therapeutic. It gives me the opportunity to express my innermost thoughts and feelings. Writing releases such pent-up emotions as passion, humor, anger and fear. Also, writing gives me the opportunity to communicate with other people by connecting with them on a much deeper level than just mere conversation. Finally, writing is a way of sharing myself with the world.”

C: Excellent, I like the way you think! So, what are you working on now?

E: Currently, I am in the process of publishing book number 6, titled, The Essence of Romance, a collection of articles centered around male/female relationships. Essence is a practical guide to love and romance for today’s couples and singles, and features my first collaboration with another Writer/Poet. The book’s contents are sure to delight and enlighten the average adult, both young and old, alike. Essence is scheduled for release in early 2015.

C: What direction do you see your writing going in the next 5 years?

E: Another good question! Well, as previously stated, I strive to write and self-publish a book every 5 years, so by that time I hope to schedule the release of a ‘new’ book. This book will probably be a book of religious or ‘thought-provoking’ poetry or perhaps another cookbook. As you mentioned, I like to write in different genres; I just love the element of surprise! In other words, I like to surprise people by not writing in the same ‘vein’ all the time; I like to ‘mix it up’, so to speak. We will see what God and Jesus have to say about my next book. It’s all in their hands!”

Bio:

Evelyn (aka Eve) Cogdell, a Freelance Writer/Poet, and the self-published Author of 5 books: a Poetry Chapbook; a Short Story collection; a Cookbook; and 2 Novels. Additionally, she contributed to 2 Anthologies: This Mother’s Daughter and Wisdom’s of Our Mothers.

Evelyn articles have covered such diverse topics as: religion; politics; health; science; sports; fashion; beauty; recipes; art; music; celebrities; and relationships. She’s been featured in newspapers, magazines and ezines. and various venues, such as The Black Expo; The Black Women’s Expo; African-American Images; Woodson Regional Library; Avalon Branch Library; Whitney M. Young, Jr. Library; Books Ink; Barnes & Noble and Trinity United Church of Christ.

Currently, Evelyn is in the process of publishing book number 6, titled, The Essence of Romance, a collection of articles centered around male/female relationships. “Essence” is a practical guide to love and romance for today’s couples and singles, and feature articles written by Writer/Poet, Clara Freeman.

The book’s contents are sure to delight and enlighten the average adult, both young and old, alike.  ESSENCE  is scheduled for release in early 2015.

 

I’m excited to work with Evelyn on her new book. It was such an honor. I will post updates to The Essence of Romance, pending dates of publication and purchase information.

Have a great weekend and as always “Treat yourself special”

How Writers Write Fiction-Class

889438793_fd82906b05 FICTION

YAY! Class is in session! Happy Friday, fellow creatives. I hope everyone ‘treat themselves special’ this weekend and show some love to yourself and to others on a daily basis. I started my online fiction writing class today offered by the Writing University in Iowa. I was excited and judging by the comments and tweets of other writers, I wasn’t the only one:) We got to complete our profiles, view two introductory videos from moderators/instructors who each gave us tips on improving our writing. We also got to comment on our writer’s forum.

I misplaced and totally forgot my original password and had to request a new one before I could sign into the class, but all’s well that ends well. Writers were encouraged to introduce themselves and share their reasons for taking the class.

I took a creative writing class years ago, so I was eager to try a fiction writing class and immediately connected with Liz, who told me that she, like me, have been writing for years and wanted to get published more instead of rejected! The class listened to “Tips That Can Improve Your Writing Life” from the instructors; many that were common sense, but the ones that resonated with me the most are:

“You have to turn your soul around, make writing the priority of your life.”

“The best way to learn is by experience.”

There were about 20 tips total from the moderators who have authored books and other forms of writings, but they were tips we’ve already come to know as seasoned writers. My reason for taking this class is to share views about the writing process with other writers, get more of my short stories “published” instead of “declined.” And also to give me the added motivation I need to continue work on my memoir.

Why do you take writing classes?

A Free Fiction Writing Class

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Happy Friday, creatives! You know you’re never too old to learn new skills. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie wanting to increase your creative reach or a seasoned pro looking to hone skills you already have, why not take advantage of free online classes offered in your genre?

As a “life long learner” I try to take advantage of every opportunity that can enhance my multi-genre writing career. :)

Free University of Iowa classes start Monday Sept 29th and ends November 10th. Go here to register http://writingcareer.com/post/95209514146/free-online-how-writers-write-fiction-workshop

Have a happy weekend and “treat yourself special.”

Rejection/Reflections

accept reject keys

Happy Friday, creatives! I’m curious, how do you handle rejection, criticism and even rude comments about your work? As a recent recipient of two out of three, in recent weeks, I’d say I’m not down for the count and I will continue to soldier on.

Writers and authors know the deal, but in that moment of rejection, we are bruised human beings because those words of rejection sting our creative efforts. We are professionals and know rejections are not personal. Criticisms, on the other hand, can be questionable. Snide comments of your work is best served by ignoring the haters.

In a March interview with author and blogging guru, Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice Blog, I asked, “How do you handle criticism?” His answer was, “I grieve then get back to writing.”

I think that timeless response should serve as a reminder to all of us that it’s the work that matters, so just keep writing to publication. The more we write the better we become in this competitive arena.

As a multi-genre writer, I’ve found some gems in those rejections and have used them along the way to acceptance. Here’s what two editors in different genres had to say about some of my recent works

On a personal story essay:

”As you know, rejections are never easy—for you the writer, or for us, the editors. But as you also know, they are part of what being a writer is about.”

On a Poetry Chapbook Competition:
Although your work did not make the final cut, I want you to know that it was strongly
considered, and that you were a semi-finalist in this year’s contest.

Can you see why writers just keep writing?

How do you handle rejection/criticism/rude comments? Please share!

Empowering Ourselves to Overcome Abuse by Kathleen Pooler

Happy Friday, to all creatives and book lovers! Today we’re hosting Kathleen Pooler, whose recently published memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead, is on a whirlwind blog tour. Kathy shares insights from her book on how women can empower themselves and overcome domestic abuse and violence. Please join me in welcoming the memoirist to the Writer’s Blog.

Pooler-Final-Cover1-199x300

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in a loving, supportive family. My parents, Bob and Kathryn were childhood sweethearts who modeled a caring and respectful relationship. I went out into the world fully expecting I would find the same in a spouse. It was all I knew—stability, security, love.

The problem was I didn’t discern the red flags and assumed the man I chose to marry would fulfill my fantasy of happily ever after. Like my parents, “till death do you part.” Eight years later, with two young children in tow, I repeated the mistake and married a man to meet my gnawing need to be a complete family again.

I had everything I needed to make a good life for myself. Instead, I spent the next twenty-five years engulfed in the abyss of two abusive marriages, first to a man who drank too much then to a man whose untreated bipolar disorder forced me to flee in broad daylight with my two school aged children for fear of physical abuse.

I had allowed myself to be emotionally abused, bullied and brainwashed all for the sake of being a family, like my own. How had I allowed that to happen?

I explore the factors that influenced me to make these self-defeating choices in my upcoming memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse.

Walking away required me to look at myself and accept the mistakes and missteps of my past. It forced me to come face-to-face with my vulnerabilities and flaws.

Writing my memoir helped me to heal. I found the answers to a question that had nagged at me for years:

“How does a young woman from a loving Catholic family, make so many wise choices about her career but so many poor choices about love that she ends up escaping in broad daylight with her two children from her second husband for fear of physical abuse?”

I never thought of myself as the abused wife. I studied domestic violence in my nursing program. I took care of patients who were abused. I was a strong and capable woman. Surely, I wasn’t one of those women who keep making excuses for a spouse’s outrageous behavior. Besides, I didn’t have broken bones or bruises.

Years later, I realized, abuse in any form is abuse:

*One does not have to sustain physical injury to be abused. Emotional abuse in the form of intimidation, bullying, safety threats, lying is harmful and the impact on the children of mothers who are in abusive relationships is far-reaching and damaging.

* Abuse impacts all socioeconomic groups. I was a masters-prepared nurse from
a loving family and yet I got into two emotionally abusive marriages.

*Denial and magical thinking can keep one from recognizing abusive behavior and taking action.

*Emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse. According to the National
Coalition of Domestic Violence Awareness, “One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime; 1.3 million women are victims of
physical assault by an intimate partner each year; Most cases of domestic violence are never reported.”

These are staggering statistics of epidemic proportion.

I was able to rescue myself from two abusive marriages. The first thing I had to do was to break through the denial that my life was not what I had dreamed it would be. Then I had to take responsibility for the role I had played in allowing abuse to happen. I had to make the conscious decision to change the way I was approaching relationships and choices. I had to claim the power within and then once I claimed it, I had to honor it.

My greatest hope is that by offering my insights into the poor decisions I made will help others learn from my story. I found my inner strength through my faith in God and the love and support of my family and friends. My nursing career enabled me to support myself and my children.

Abuse is abuse in any form and nobody deserves to be trapped in an abusive relationship.

I want to inspire hope and action for my readers who need to tap into their own inner strength and find freedom from abuse of any kind.

Once we are connected to our own inner strength, we empower ourselves to live life on our own terms. For me that meant, allowing myself to be vulnerable and admitting my role in creating the circumstances that led to two emotionally-abusive marriages. When I became clear on the part I was playing, I was able to not only accept the responsibility to change, but to forgive myself and put my energies into creating the life I wanted and deserved. To me, that is empowerment at its best.

KathyPoolerBrighter

Kathleen Pooler is an author and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner whose memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28.2014 and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments: domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York. She blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog: http://krpooler.com

Twitter @kathypooler

https://twitter.com/KathyPooler

LinkedIn: Kathleen Pooler: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/kathleen-pooler/16/a95/20a
Google+:Kathleen Pooler: https://plus.google.com/109860737182349547026/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4812560-kathleen-pooler
Facebook:
Personal page,
Kathy Pooler : https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.pooler
Author page:
Kathleen Pooler/Memoir Writer’s Journey: https://www.facebook.com/memoirwritersjourney
Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/krpooler/)

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