All posts by clara54

Former professional nurse... writer/columnist and womens' advocate on a journey of self discovery, self love;passion and purpose.

More Awesome Book News!

Happy Friday, Creatives!

I’m in my season of allowing, and although,I have lots more to accomplish within the space of this awesome writing realm, I don’t feel intimidated or pressured to get stuff done. And yet, when my work comes together, I feel empowered and so grateful to have this wonderful gift .

First up, guys, I’ve sort of put memoir on hold. After forty thousand words, it started to wreck havoc on my emotions. I have to rethink the “deep introspection” required of the memoir writing process.

My poetry chapbook entry to Casey Shay Chapbook Contest had a good run, landing my Lil book,  A Southern Woman’s Confessional,Poems from the soul, on their Quarter-finalist and Semi-finalist lists. Unfortunately, my lil darlings failed to make the top three finalists list. Oh, C’est la vie :)


 Don’t cry for me Argentina! I’m just looking in my rear-view at that slight pang of rejection, as I’m preparing to re-edit the book for another chapbook competition. If anyone knows of traditional publishers in the market for a chapbook of poems from a southern woman’s perspective, have their people call my people:)

In a prior post, I introduced y’all to the African-American Woman Book Publishing Scholarship, where the CEO of Professional Woman Publishing ,  LLC,  offered $2500 book publishing scholarships to 4 women of color.

Well, I’m excited to announce that I am one of their scholarship recipients. Yea Buddy!!


I’m preparing for the 5 conference calls in mid October with the CEO, Linda Ellis Eastman, where we’ll discuss my vision for my new book, which will receive all the benefits that the scholarship covers and then some. Did I mention how thrilled I am?!

My new book project, tentatively titled, Unleash Your Pearls, A Woman’s Guide To Empowering Her Authentic Truths, supersedes any anticipated vision for my work that I’ve ever imagined in 4 decades of scratches and scribbles, hits and misses, confirmations and surprises. My passion for writing is a gift that continues to give and I love that my purpose platform remains solid.

Y’all already know (she says in her authentic voice )I’m gonna be like a sponge in our private coaching sessions, soaking up awesome pearls of book writing/publishing knowledge, to aid my purpose mission that offers every woman, one of the very best resource guides available for living a life of purpose and authenticity.  I’m going to be busy like a happily buzzing bee, preparing to introduce Unleash Your Pearls to the world.

Of course, I will keep everyone informed of the book’s progress.
Today’s author quote clearly had me in mind, because, initially I was hesitant to inquire about the  scholarship information.  But, that’s a  whole ‘nother post, people:)
“Stepping outside your comfort zone to reach out can have tremendous payoffs. Whether you are building your network of media contacts, writing an opinion piece for a newspaper or blog, arranging a meeting with your local Congressman, or engaged in a media blitz around your latest paper, you’ll generate ripples that can lead to surprising and gratifying results.” — Nancy Baron, author of Escape from the Ivory Tower

A Ending Contest and Scholarship Announcement

Happy Saturday Creatives!

For those of you who are dusting off those rejected short stories for re submission readiness, or, have a new piece in the works,  you have until  Oct 1st (Thursday) to enter Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Contest.

I’ve tried to win or place in this very competitive competition in the past with no luck. It is a fee-based contest, so make sure you send your best. Go here for details:

For women of color who have a book waiting to be published or a story waiting to be told, Professional Woman Publishing ,  LLC,  is offering a $2500 book publishing scholarship!

African-American Women $2,500 book scholarship

Good luck writers and authors. Keep creating your masterpiece!

Today’ quote:

“When you build an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention–they give it to you. This is a huge advantage. So build an audience. Speak, write, blog, tweet, make videos–whatever. Share information that’s valuable and you’ll slowly but surely build a loyal audience.” — Jason Fried, author of ReWork



Eye On The Poet…

I’m connecting with so many awesome poets, so I’m introducing some of their works via a new segment at Clara’s Writer’s Blog, called Eye On The Poet. You folks all know how poetry feeds the soul!

Here’s some great stuff sent from connections via LinkedIn. I listened, felt and enjoyed…now it’s your turn. Thanks Claudette Webley-Parchment. May you continue to shine your light!

Have a wonderful enlightened weekend and keep grinding !

Got Poetry?  By all means send samples to my contact email for possible inclusion on my new segment Eye On The Poet and let’s make that happen!

Remembering & Sharing

Good Morning Wordsmiths!

Giving honor to God in remembrance of those who lost their lives on this date September 2001. Our condolences remain with the families and loved ones left in the wake of this tragedy.

I’m filled with a pleura of emotions as I’m grateful to share an update that is good news. My poetry chapbook, A Southern Woman’s Confessional-Poems from the soul, placed in the semifinals of the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize!


Countdown from 200 quarter finalists to 30 semifinalists :) The top three finalists and winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Here’s your inspiring writing quote for today:

“Language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories. To reach out to people we’ll never meet. It’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones: The history of how you felt.” — Simon Van B

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Writing Announcements

Happy TGIF!

I was asked to spread the news and so I am. If you’re in the Chicago/Illinois vicinity on these dates, please show up in support. The writer retreat sounds  like cotton candy on a rainy day! Sorry, Nikki Giovanni, had to go there:)

First up-

The Essence of Romance

Romance is on the Menu:

Please join Woodson Regional in welcoming local Romance Novelist Eve Cogdell as she discusses and signs copies of her works, including her latest work, “The Essence of Romance”.
Who: Eve Cogdell
What: Author Event and Open Mic
When: Tues, Sept 15, 2015
Time: 5:00 pm ‘til 8:00 pm
Location: 1st Floor Conference Room
AGENDA: Discussion regarding romance, dating and marriage. Open Mic Poetry and lite refreshments. Prizes and giveaways.
Sponsored by


Renewal and Revision
Writers Retreat for Women
Relax. Walk. Write. Share Work.
Friday, October 23 – Sunday, October 25, 2015
Join MuseWrite for a weekend of relaxation and revision in Lake Geneva, WI.
Small group peer critiques and professional guided feedback on manuscripts.
Get away from work, family, traffic and other obligations and distractions to
simply focus on your writing.
Group nature walks and opportunities to sip hot cocoa
and exchange ideas.
A flat fee for the retreat includes a reception, one lunch, and guided professional critiques.
Attendees are responsible for the cost of their room, which would include a
complimentary breakfast.
To register, visit
Space limited to 30 women
Cost: $150 Early Registration
EXTENDED to 9/15
$180 for registrations after 9/15
Manuscript consultation (up to 15 pages): $45
Harbor Shores Hotel, Lake Geneva, WI
300 Wrigley Drive
(262) 248-9181
Each room has two double beds and can be shared. Rooms must be booked by 9/22 to receive discounted rate. Mention MuseWrite block when booking.
About MuseWrite
Trina Sotira and Michelle Duster are two accomplished writers with over 40 years of combined
experience and five published books between them. They both teach writing at the college level and since 2009 have conducted several writing seminars and workshops together. Under MuseWrite Press, they published Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change in 2015, a collaboration of 35 nationally recognized writers. For more information please visit

I’m off the writers blog until Sept 11th. I heart you all and so appreciate your support .

Updates From The Writer’s Blog

The Essence of Romance

Happy Saturday!

Did you know that “brainchild” as used in referencing a creative product shouldn’t refer to the person but the( product) that the person has created?   ” A fictional character may be someone’s brainchild, but a human being cannot be.”


Things are at a snail’s pace on the relocating front IE, monies negotiations, increased hidden fees, remodeling schedule conflicts, etc. But, I’m not stressing cause God’s got the wheel ; am ready whenever things fall into place. Also this time freeze, frees me up a bit  to concentrate on a bigger “creative at work” project of mine. Hope to share good news soon.

Evelyn Cogdell’s relationship guide, Essence of Romance  (yours truly co-authors) is now on Great dating resource for singles and couples-truly. Thanking you in advance for your purchase:)

Email Evelyn at

I was asked to write a  LinkedIn recommendation for a former mentee and although I’m swamped right now with ‘stuff’ to do, I was happy to oblige. Mind your time management and always choose your “nos” wisely.

I finally heard back from the authors about The Michele Obama Anthology, where my poem, Brown Girl Challenge was selected from hundreds of submissions, for inclusion. I thought the project had been scraped, but the edits are done and the book is ready for the publishers. YAY!

Your Writing quote:

“All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you’ll never write a line. That’s why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.” — Erica Jong



Books On My September Reading List

Good Morning, Creatives!

Don’t let the heading fool you,I’m mentally exhausted as I’m preparing for the move in my head:) Even though change is good, it can still be somewhat intimidating and a big time-suck !

Once I’m settled, I have to follow-up on a request for a blog-talk radio interview and look into a collaborative blog offer from a LinkedIn connection. I also need to have a few professional photos taken for a commissioned self-portrait that I’m currently in talks with a nationally known artist about.

If you find a lack of new blog posts this month and in early September, consider what I’m going through and check back every now and again for more writing updates and a bit of “personal” from Clara. :)

These are the books I have on my reading list for September. I cannot wait to kick my heels up and devour them!




And last, this book from her Mystery Series, one of my fan favorite authors Rodeo Carlson’s  51fpKYVOyoL._SCLZZZZZZZ__SY115_SX115_

Here’s your writer quote for today:

“We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance.” — Julia Cameron

Feel free to share with our tribe, what you’re writing and reading on !