Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hitch 22

I began reading Hitchen's memoir yesterday.  I am not an atheist, but at the same time, his eloquence, and over all genial tone.  It is hard to read the bitter irony laced with calm acceptance, that dying, yet still living, is like  waiting for the lawyers in the morning, and the doctor in the afternoon.

This Christmas morning, I hope you found several famous books under your tree.  If you have  nook, or kindle, rev it up, and search for your favorite books.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Who was Babe Ruth?

From our friend Joan Holub, her new book:  Who Was Babe Ruth?

http://us.mc1202.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welcome?.tm=1324654340#_pg=showMessage&sMid=0&&filterBy=&.rand=390793099&midIndex=0&mid=1_293146_ALVVimIAATl3TvRQAAIuuB1zs4o&f=1&fromId=store-news@amazon.com&m=1_293146_ALVVimIAATl3TvRQAAIuuB1zs4o,1_292062_ALRVimIAAVzOTvODewRRnGAnIhw,1_291034_ALdVimIAAFfLTvNSAAV90zkMzF8,1_289014_ALdVimIAAPo3TvKW6gL7mB5YodE,1_288047_ALZVimIAAUJ%2FTvIASgBMiCrppd8,1_286959_ALVVimIAAVHyTvH%2F9g4%2FA3EjDiY,&sort=date&order=down&startMid=0&hash=0944d47d819d8920df174c66799a9899&.jsrand=6431314

I know about two ball players,  The Babe, and Lou Gerhig.  I don't dislike the game, and I played softball, but short of the requisite Cub love and basic knowedge of games and collectibles, my only claim to faime was being in the 1989 Quake and watching Willie Mays stand in bewilderment as The World Series was aot to begin, and the Loma Prieta Quake hit.

Issues

We seem to have some problmes resdistributing the Quilters Newletter,which you may also find by googling the key words.  Quilt tell great stories, just think album quilts, Gee bend, crazy quilts.  By their nature, older quilts were made of clothese that people wore, and each held memories of some occasion, and of the women who made them.  Think How to Make an American Quilt. I'm not sure why the post would not load, twice, but you may also read it on Dr. E's Doll Museum blog at wwwdollmuseum.blogspot.com.  Merry Christmas!

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Quilts tell Stories, too

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Quilts tell Stories, too

Quilts tell Stories, too

One of my free-to-share  newsletters for those who express their memories

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Barbara Pym and Books

The Books at Miss Pym's Novels

I am beginnig a dialog, I hope. I am beginning the list; please add to it via comments! Here are some of the books and author that appear in Pym's works. I talk about many more in my book, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym, and in various papers about her, but I would like to see what my readers think:

Crome Yellow

Jane Eyre

John Donne and The Metaphysical Poets

All of Jane Austen

The Wings of the Dove and Henry James himself is "Channeled!"

Naked Lunch

Cookbooks [Name the Specifics!]

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Barbara Pym Conference Alert

Greetings from the Barbara Pym Society!

I am very happy to announce that registration for the Society's 14th annual North American Conference, focusing on Jane and Prudence,  is now open.  We will return to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, on 16-18 March 2012.  The complete program and other details are available on our
web site.  Scheduled talks include
  • Yvonne Cocking, BPS Archivist: Jane and Prudence: A Novel of Contrasts
  • Charlotte Silver: Barbara Pym and the Comedy of Manners
  • Linda McDougall:  Jane and Prudence and Barbara and Hazel: The Women Friends of Barbara Pym and How They Influenced Her Work
  • Perri Klass:  “You Never Know When You May Need Whiskey”: Barbara Pym on Drinks and Drinking
  • Isabel Stanley:  Not Quite a Trollope Wife: Jane Cleveland’s Literary Expectations of Herself as a Clergy Wife
Yvonne promises to tell us what Barbara's journals in the Bodleian reveal about "The M&S Affair", Linda will show video clips from her recent interviews with Barbara's close friend, biographer, and literary executor Hazel Holt, and Perri's talk on Saturday afternoon will be followed by a drinks party where you can sample some of the beverages mentioned in the novels.
There are only a few changes since last year.  We will return to the Church of the Advent in Boston for a lavish buffet dinner and hymn sing on Friday night, the conference will be held at Harvard's Barker Center, and we will conclude with lunch at Grafton Street Pub as before, but we have a new venue for our Saturday evening meal.  John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square offers pub grub and a wide array of beers and ales (none of which taste like washing-up water), and we will have our own dining room.  We have set the member's registration fee -- which includes lunch on Saturday and a light breakfast both days -- at $60, $5 more than last year but the same as in 2101, but the cost of the Saturday night meal has dropped by $10.  We work hard to keep costs as low as possible while still providing a top-quality event with comfortable venues and great food.
The conference room holds a maximum of 95 people, and the dining room on Saturday night a maximum of 50, so early registration is recommended to avoid possible disappointment.   Registration closes on Sunday March 11.
Now that the conference details are all sorted, I hope to make Pym ceramics available for purchase online in the next few days.  I'll send another e-mail as soon as that happens -- there should be time to get your Pym mugs and teabag holders in time for Christmas.
Finally, you will notice some changes on the web site.  The exciting new graphic on the entry page is the work of BPS member Lloyd Miller, a professional illustrator and graphic designer whose clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Esquire, Fortune --and now the Barbara Pym Society.  We are very grateful for his generous contribution, and there will be more to come as we approach the Pym centenary in 2013.

Best wishes,

Tom Sopko, North American Organizer
The Barbara Pym Society

Monday, December 5, 2011

Moby Duck

 


See, below.  This is a wonderful memoir of an English teachers' journey, and is also a book for those who love to live green, collect, care about working conditions, etc.  I have started it on Kindle and am fascinated.  Sometimes, writing a memoir of a trip or personal journal is far better than writing an entire biography.  I loved his chronicle of how people found the types of ducks and  beach toys and saved them all over the world.  It is the Hunting/Gathering instinct Marilyn Gelfman Karp describes in In Flagrante Collecto coming to live.  I give it five stars.

Book Description

 
 
March 3, 2011
Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year
A revelatory tale of science, adventure, and modern myth.

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Poe's Bicentennial from Sappho, I should have Listened

How quickly time trickles away.  The red Japanese maple in my yard has finally shed its leaves.  It glowed like a ruby in the filtered, cloudy autumn light, and then the leaves danced their way to the ground, and formed a red carpet over the front step and the adjacent flower beds.  I pressed a couple of them, as well as other leaves I would like to paint on.
This blog has some trivia and memories, mental mementoes, of holidays gone by.   It has been a busy couple of months with MMLA and the drastic illnesses/situations of October, ironically my favorite month.  My hand still does not work right, and I've learned more than I want to about arthritis and all the related maladies.  My answer is "keep moving."
This Thanksgiving, my dad finally agreed to let me do something, so I brought family favorites, cliche, but comforting, and will make oyster dressing.  Maybe next year, we might be allowed to take out a few decorations, though I sneak miniature ones onto the dresser of my old room.
I've always lvoed Thanksgiving; it was a time we were together, and made Turkey, with treats for our dogs, and called family.  In California, we had our own family Thanksgiving on Friday, and then hit the stores.  At home, we drove to one of the big malls, to grand stores now long-gone, and did Christmas shopping, though minor, and bought yule log cakes, and hung out at Laura Ashley. 
This year, I've noticed Parents and other magazines promoting green toys, and there are more green household products and storage options even at the big box stores.  Some, like the green kitchen sponges are pricey, others are not.  Look at your local Radish or health food store, coop, etc., for green bargains.  More than ever, now when Ceres gives up Persephone to Hades, I'm aware of the planet.  I'm working on a research project involving water and the environment, and I find it fascinating.
Our new little cat continues to amaze us; she knows her name, where the fridge is, and how to flirt and "sweet talk" my husband.  Animals are in our hearts more than ever this time of year, and I watched a PBS special on Crows, that was amazing.  They have their own customs and language, and are very, very bright.  I've always loved their lore, and the lore of ravens and corgies, but who knew?  I have a mechanical raven with a recorder I programmed to say "Nevermore!" and several little statues and even crow dolls.  One wax sculpture stays out all year on a pile of books.  He is very realistic and reminds me of Poe. 
Here is a poem I wrote in honor of my mother and Poe's 200th birthday.  My mom was a graduate student when she and a friend went searching for his house one dark night, and it was, indeed, " dark and stormy night," and found it on skid row.  To Mom and Edgar, from my collection, Sappho, I should have Listened:
On Poe’s Bicentennial; For my Mother, who walked through bad streets and dark alleys to find the home of Edgar Allan Poe one night when she was a graduate student.
A solitary raven flew
Over my lonely door.
It was looking for my mother,
But would see her nevermore.
For the girl who walked  out late
At night to find the poet’s grave
With only an intrepid friend
To guide her lonely way,
Had grown, and moved, and gone to school.
Long after Edgar died.
She walked and walked that lonely
Night,
Young, vibrant, and alive.
No black cats crossed her happy
Path,
No pits and pendulums hung.
Ligia  rested in her tomb,
And Ushers’ house was one.
These many years that passed
Were often happy, but now they’re gone.
And with them, now my mother’s dust
Has mingled with poets’ all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Journals for Holidays

If there are writers in your life, great gifts include handmade journals, pens and pencils of all types, vintage blotters and papers, crayons and paints, stamps, magazines about all these and calligraphy, blank books and journals, kits for making one's own journals, albums, files, acid free archival supplies, just plain notebooks and blank cards, file foldrs, plain or fancy, filing cabinets, fancy desks, lap desks, book lights, desk lights, memoirs of famous people.  Check the used book and library stores, as well as any thrift shops.  I recommend David Reese and his Relaitionshapes web site, for those who love humor.  Happy Thanksgiving!
Quilts also tell stories; they are a great medium for memoi.  I will attempt to include my latest newsletter from Quilters World here:

Quilter's World
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The British Museum Newsletter

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Museums and Dolls at Ground Zero

Photographer Gary Marlon Suson says he was inspired by a visit to the Anne Frank House to create the Ground Zero Museum Workshop.
By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press
Published September 9, 2005

[AP Photo]
Gary Marlon Suson sits beside his photographs inside the Ground Zero Museum Workshop. Suson spent eight months as the only all-access photographer at ground zero after the 9/11 attacks. His museum also has artifacts recovered at the site and video.



[AP Photo]

A star of David and a cross that firefighters working in the ground zero recovery effort cut from steel are among the museum artifacts.



[AP Photo]

An ash-covered doll is one of hundreds of artifacts collected by firefighters and Suson.


NEW YORK - Two days before the fourth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, a photographer is offering intimate images of death and love inside ground zero at a new museum that brings you nose-to-nose with the smoldering pit.
"If people want to come past the security gates and see what our world was like down in the hole, this is as close as they can come to it," said Gary Marlon Suson, the ground zero photographer for the Uniformed Firefighters Association, the city firefighters' main union.
Suson spent eight months at the site with recovery workers searching for the remains of the 2,749 people who died on a sunny September morning, including 343 firefighters. His time in "the pit" comes alive at the Ground Zero Museum Workshop of photographs, videos and artifacts, which opened to the public on Thursday.
Last year, Suson, 33, went to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and visited the home of Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager who wrote a diary of her life before the Nazis sent her to the Bergen Belsen death camp.
"Within two hours of being in there, I felt like I'd come to know this little girl. It put a face on the Holocaust," Suson said. "I went back to the hotel and cried."
The experience inspired him to create the 1,000-square-foot museum, whose rooftop he stood upon in 2001 to take images of the trade center collapse.
"I felt, if I could create something that would have an effect on people similar to the one the Anne Frank museum had on me, it could help people connect more to 9/11. If you can't connect, you can't heal," he said.
At the second-floor museum in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, visitors are met by three-dimensional displays of photographs that pull the viewer close to the terror, dirt, sweat - and death.
Suson took one of the first photos of the firefighter honor guard that carried remains as they were found. He shot the scene in close-up, as he did other moments, such as a firefighter helping carry out the remains of his own son.
The museum has tangible vestiges of the twin towers, including pieces of window glass, lobby marble and jagged beam steel. One display case holds a beer can from 1971, when construction workers building the new towers shoved it between two steel beams before sealing them. The can was pried from the metal at ground zero, twisted and rusty.
One jarring item is a frozen clock, its simple black hands stopped at 10:02, and the small one at 14. The south tower collapsed first that day, at 10:02:14 a.m. The clock came from a room with a weightlifting bench used by PATH train workers.
Suson, an actor and playwright, contributed thousands of dollars toward the $60,000 museum; the rest came from private donations. Proceeds from the $15 entrance fee ($12 for seniors and children) will go to six charities linked to 9/11, some benefiting families.
ON THE WEB
Ground Zero Museum Workshop:
http://www.groundzeromuseumworkshop.com/

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Have a safe Trick or Treat Day! Comment for me on your favorite Halloween Memory!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I have a confession to make.   And it’s a bad one ….

When I was a kid … I used to get dressed up for Halloween! And it was not always something innocent either, like an astronaut or a cowboy.  Once I was even a ghost!  Worse yet, I would go door-to-door with my brothers and say “Trick or treat!”  Idolatrous! Occultic!  Satanic!  Over time, of course this demon-glorifying activity caught up with me.  Look at me now.  I dress in black almost every day

Of course you see the problem here.  If not, you will very soon start reading about it in the paper again.  Many people of churchy persuasions object strenuously to the observance of Halloween.  Every year we read letters to the editor that run as follows:

“Halloween is the worship of the devil!  Halloween comes from heathen roots!  Trick or Treat comes from an ancient pagan custom: the Druids would go from house to house seeking a virgin to sacrifice!  If you complied and handed over your family’s virgin, outside your door they left a jack-o-lantern with a candle inside … fueled by human fat!  If you did not comply, a terrible trick would be played on you!  The Catholic Church perpetuated the pagan legends with its Feast of All Saints!  If you let your kids celebrate Halloween, you expose them to the possibility of demonic possession!”

Well, good Orthodox Christian, what should our Church make of this controversy?  Is Halloween something we Christians should shun like the Black Mass?  Don’t the facts about Halloween’s origins prove that it is an abomination?

No.  First of all, none of these “facts” are true.  It’s all fiction.  We know almost nothing about the culture and practices of the ancient Druids, except what little the Romans had to say.  (Mind you, these are the same Romans who also used to say that Christians hold secret orgies where they sacrifice babies and eat them—so let’s be careful about how much credence we give them.)  The Romans invaded Britain in 43 B.C.  There they found a number of Celtic tribes, which the Roman legions subjugated with relative ease.

Now, you need to know that the Romans were not what you would call “culturally curious.”  They had little interest in the ways of the conquered Britons.  Generally, when there is interaction between conqueror and subject, the conqueror picks up and uses the local names for rivers, hills, and the like.  For instance, my home state is full of names from the native languages of the Indians: Michigan, Mackinac, Saginaw, Escanaba, Kalamazoo, Washtenaw.  However, we find almost no use of the Celtic place names by the Romans.  The Romans did not come to Britain for kaffee-klatsches, but for plundering and pillaging.  Under the Roman sword the Celtic place-names perished with the Celts, as did any certain knowledge of Celtic or Druidic customs (like what kind of fat they used in their candles).

But what if it the stories about pagan Halloween were true?  Does that prevent us from making a fun day out of the Thirty-First of October? Or do pagan origins damn a thing forever?

I would hope that as Orthodox Christians we would know better than to say that. We borrowed an awful lot of useful things from ancient pagan cultures.  Our musical system of eight tones? From the pagan Greeks.  (Next time you hear a dismissal hymn in the Third Tone, picture a phalanx of Lacedaemonian warriors marching into an attack: they liked Third Tone for their battle hymns.) 

And our iconography is an obvious adaptation of Egyptian funerary art: the portraits painted on Egyptian coffins look very much like the faces in our icons.  Christmas, we all know, is a retooling of the Roman celebration of the winter solstice, the Feast of Sol Invictus (the Invincible Sun-god).  And many, many Christian churches were built atop pagan shrines and holy places, the most famous example being the conversion of the Parthenon (a temple built in honor of Athena the Virgin Warrior) to a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
        
Even Protestants with their Puritan impulses and their “just the Bible” mentality have to contend with borrowings from pagan sources in the Scriptures.  For example, chapters 22-24 of the Book of Proverbs are almost certainly a translation of the older Egyptian advice guide The Instruction of Amen-em-Opet.  And elsewhere in the Bible different titles given to God such as El Elyon “God Most High” and “the one who rides on the clouds like a chariot” (Psalm 104:3) are originally epithets for the pagan storm-god Baal. 

What’s my point? You can’t judge a custom by its origins. What counts is one’s intention in the here and now.  And let’s be honest: modern Halloween for you and me—and even the Wiccans down the street—has nothing to do with virgin sacrifice or black magic.  It’s about having fun in a costume and eating things your dentist wouldn’t approve of.

“Well!” the anti-Halloween crowd would reply, “Halloween teaches kids that they can get something for nothing!!”   But is that so bad?  To my ears that sounds awfully close to the Christian idea of grace! 

“Yes, yes, but we shouldn’t teach our kids that it’s OK to threaten someone with vandalism if they don’t fork over something you want!”  Well, let’s look at this from another perspective.  Maybe Halloween holds a nice little life lesson: you give a little to get a little.  The Book of Proverbs speaks often of the power of gifts.  If we all practiced the spirit of Halloween—being prepared always to give small kindnesses to those around us—what a wonderful world we would have.

Again, let’s be honest: no one was ever possessed by the devil because he or she dressed up for Halloween or passed out licorice or read a Harry Potter book.  Our modern lives have way too many other avenues for temptation to enter, and these things are the real cause of our spiritual problems: pride, gluttony, hatred, materialism, and ignorance.

This may be the only pro-Halloween article by a clergyman you read this year.  Actually, this piece isn’t so much pro-Halloween as it is anti-superstition, anti-paranoia, and anti-gullibility. American Christianity is too much titillated by thoughts of demons, based on a mythology of evil that has more to do with pagan folklore than the sober statements of Scripture.  Such superstition gives all Christians a bad name.

That’s why I’m not afraid of Halloween, and I see no problem with Orthodox Christians having fun at costume parties.  After all, why would anyone want to learn more about Jesus Christ and his message, if being a Christian means forever being a spoilsport and a killjoy? If you believe in one God, if you trust Him, then accept his protection (1 John 4:4) and don’t live in fear of demonic bogeymen.  The real battle with the devil is fought in the heart, not in front of the Harry Potter bookstore. 

Some people drink too much on New Year’s Eve.  Should that stop you and me from enjoying a glass of champagne?  Some people eat too much at Thanksgiving.  Should that stop us from having our turkey with all the trimmings?  Some people spend too much at Christmas.  Should that stop us from exchanging gifts?

Some people go overboard on the spooky side of Halloween. It’s not too hard to avoid that for your family. Skip the horror movies.  Don’t revel in gore.  Don’t profane death.  Don’t indulge in occult practices … But don’t be gullible, paranoid, or superstitious either!

And have a Happy Halloween!


By Fr. Mark Sietsema
Revised 8/17/11

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

News from the Barbara Pym Society

From the BP society;
I have some news to share, and a couple of reminders as well.
First, I'm very sorry to announce that Jeannette Molzer, an active member of the Society for many years, died last Wednesday at the age of 81. A memorial service will be held at St. George's-by-the-River Episcopal Church  in Rumson, NJ, on Saturday 12 November at 11:00 a.m.  You can read the complete obituary online.
The annual fall tea in Boston is now less than three weeks away, and the RSVP deadline is 30 October; details are in the attached flier.  We would be delighted to have you (and a guest or guests) join us.  If you plan to attend and have not already done so, please reply to Sarah Shaffer before 30 October.
The autumn issue of Green Leaves, including reports and papers from the Annual General Meeting in Oxford, is now being typeset and should be mailed in early November.
The North American Conference is only five months away, on 16-18 March 2012.  The deadline for proposals for talks to be presented at the conference is 20 November 2011. Preference will be given to papers dealing with some aspect of Jane and Prudence, but any other Pym-related topic is also most welcome.  While we do not reimburse speakers for their travel expenses, all registration and dinner fees are waived and we provide an honorarium, which has been increased to $300 this year.  If you or someone you know is interested in speaking, please send a 100-150 word proposal to barbarapymsociety@gmail.com by 20 November.  I encourage you to pass this Call for Papers along to any English Literature faculty or students you know who have a passion for Pym
Finally, the Pym centenary in April 2013 is rapidly approaching.  BPS member Lloyd Miller, a professional illustrator and graphic designer, has developed some wonderful new Pym graphics, and the Society has just purchased the rights to use several photos of Barbara taken in the 1970s.  The North American Board would like to know what sorts of Pym products you would be interested in purchasing -- mugs? tote bags? aprons? note cards? tea cozies? Modern digital printing makes it possible to put any image on almost any product, but we only want to invest in high-quality, highly "suitable" items that you will want to buy.  You can reply to this email to let us know your thoughts.
Best wishes,
Tom Sopko, North American Organizer
The Barbara Pym Society
requests the pleasure of your company for
Afternoon Tea
and a Pym Trivia Quiz
Saturday 5 November 2011
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Church of the Advent
Mt. Vernon and Brimmer Streets
Beacon Hill – Boston, MA
Parking available nearby at the Boston Common Garage
MBTA Red Line to Charles/MGH or Green Line to Arlington
$5 per person if you bring a suitable tea cake, sandwich, or pastry to share, $15 per person otherwise
If you plan to attend, please reply by 30 October 2011 by e-mail to SSShaffer@verizon.net or by phone to Sarah Saville Shaffer at 617-325-9342

‘A cup of tea always helps,’ said Mrs. Mayhew in a rather high, fluty voice. ‘It can never come amiss.’ – Barbara Pym, Jane and

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Barbara Pym News

The Barbara Pym Society Afternoon Tea and a Pym Trivia Quiz Saturday 5 November 2011
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Church of the Advent
Mt. Vernon and Brimmer Streets
Beacon Hill – Boston, MA
Parking available nearby at the Boston Common Garage
MBTA Red Line to Charles/MGH or Green Line to Arlington
$5 per person if you bring a suitable tea cake, sandwich, or pastry to share, $15 per person otherwise
If you plan to attend, please reply by 30 October 2011 by e-mail to SSShaffer@verizon.net or by phone to Sarah Saville Shaffer at 617-325-9342
 ‘A cup of tea always helps,’ said Mrs. Mayhew in a rather high, fluty voice. ‘It can never come amiss.’ – Barbara Pym, Jane and Prudence
requests the pleasure of your company for

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11

I feel I must say something to commemorate the day, that I call "the worst day ever." We were not near any of the places hit; I was in class, teaching my college kids literature, when the latecomers came running in with the story of a plane hitting the World Trade Center.  We went on a few minutes, and then the second sotry came of the second plane, and we sent to the student lounge.  We are a samll school; I was the academic dean, and only I and a couple of teachers and the school psychologist were there.  At least five kids went running for their phones; someone in their families worked at the Pentagon, or were near Ground Zero. The girl next to me was shaking uncontrollably; her husband was supposed to be near Ground Zero for a conference.  She couldn't reach him by phone. That afternoon, she discovered he hadn't gone to the conferenc that day, and had rented a car to drive home.
The brother of one of my colleagues we learned later, died in one of the towers.  My cousin by marriage, a day trader, was talking to colleagues and friends in Cantor Fitzgerald  when the phone died.  Many of them apparently did not come out. And, the girl who owns my favorite yarn shop across the street from work was a survivor; she had worked in the towers.
I thought of my Dad, who had been there late in 1976.  He wanted to take me there to see the Towers; he said there were stores full of dolls from many countries.  I thought of an ad I had seen the week before; there was a photo of the towers, with the caption "something will happen on September 11th."  They meant they were introducing a new computer software.  Little did they, and we know.
As soon as I could, I did what I always did in times of crisis; I called my mother.  I had called her in 1993 when the first attack on the twin towers took place, when the Challenger exploded, when Oklahoma City was bombed, and during  the Columbine disaster.  I wanted to call her today; I can't.  She died three years ago.  That first Christmas, we joined others and bought RWB ornaments, and little fire fighter and police dolls.  At the stores, others were buying them, too, and they said, as we chose what to buy, " we have to buy them; someone has to do something."
Today, may we think on those who lost their lives, and on those who have died since in the wars that have ensued.  Bless them and their families and friends who have survived.  There is no closure for grief; only memories, only rembrance.  That, we will always have.  May God Bless all of us who live in this world, even those who sadly see this as a day of celebration.  Little do they know.  Maybe someone can forgive them, for they know not what they do, either.  Above all, God Bless the Union, and God Bless the United States.  Have a thoughtful, safe, and careful day today, September 11, 2011.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pym Conference and A Very Private Eye

Barbara Pym, often hailed as The Modern Jane Austen, was terrific at writing memori, diaries, and archiving her old letters.  Were she alive, she would be a great blogger.  The Latest   Pym News below:

Greetings!

The Barbara Pym Society's annual fall tea in Boston will be held on Saturday, 5 November (Guy Fawkes Day) from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Church of the Advent on Beacon Hill in Boston.  The cost is $5 per person if you bring a suitable tea cake, sandwich, or pastry to share,  or $15 per person otherwise. Newcomers and guests are most welcome to join us.  Along with tea and congenial company we'll have a Pym trivia contest;  RSVP details will be forthcoming.

The Annual General Meeting in Oxford was splendid as always; you will get all the details in the fall issue of Green Leaves.  It was agreed at the AGM that starting in 2012 we will offer full-time students the same discounted membership rate as Seniors.  We also agreed to publish a separate membership directory for the North American chapter because of privacy and permission concerns in the U.K.  I will be preparing a membership list giving names, city and state/province, and e-mail addresses which will be sent by e-mail whenever possible; I hope that this will encourage more small regional gatherings in coming years.

Finally, a reminder that the 2012 North American conference will be held at Harvard on 16-18 March, and will focus on Jane and Prudence.  The organizing committee is now soliciting proposals for talks to be presented at the conference; if you are interested, please send a 100-150 word proposal to barbarapymsociety@gmail.com by 20 November.  I also encourage you to spread the word to non-member academics and Eng Lit students who have an interest in Pym.  We cannot reimburse travel and lodging expenses but do pay the speakers' registration and meals fees and provide a $250 honorarium.

Best wishes,

Tom Sopko, North American Organizer
The Barbara Pym Society

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To my "Ghost Writer."

Quit shortening my blog, and stop haunting us!

From Deeper than Dead; Mothers and Daughters, Gender-Free, and The Error World

For all who have lost a beloved parent, see below. Not quite a memoir, but it should be:

Deeper than Dead, by Tami Hoag:

"Her mother had always been her sounding board, her voice of reason, her best friend.  . . " (26).  She goes on to say her her father put her mother on a pedestal in public,and belittled her in private.  The whole passage reminded me of Sylvia Plath, and other things. 

For those who love collecting, especially stamps, I recommend Simon Garfield's memoir, The Error World; An Affair with Stamps. I've had a collection since I was ten, and my dad and uncle had one before me that I inherited.  I've kept it up, and traded and made friends, but I guess I'm more casual in the lives of people as hard core as Mr. Garfield.  This is also a memoir of passion and obsession; the use of "affair" is no accident.  His prose and story are riveting, and fascinate you, even if you don't collect a thing.

An interesting review in the NY Times Review of books, Sept. 4, is a review of Justin Vivian  Bond's memoir Gender Free, about a transichild growing up during teh AIDS crises.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Soup Simmering Memoirs

Green Blog Aug. 28;

Here are again, nearly full circle.  In late August, there are leaves turning red, and the stores begin to fill with the artifacts of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.
It is also for many of us seasonal allergy hell, and I myself admit to being a victim this past week of bad sinusitis, or “Sylvia Plath’s Disease” as I call it, since the poet suffered from it more than anyone else I’ve ever known or read about.

I was forced to phone a doctor, something I never do.  But, nothing would work,  I had the joy of being treated like am imbecile by the teen-something clerks who work in our various grocery stores and pharmacies. One was amazing; the blue streaks in her hair matched her blue eye shadow, matched the blue rhinestone brooch pinned to her uniform, matched her blue nail polish. She was a vision in blue and white, a Delft figurine or a Blue Willow plate animated.  I’ve been using ATMs since before she was born, and debit and credit cards, yet, here she was showing me how to punch in my numbers.  That Leap Frog has created monsters.

Don’t even start me on my Walmart adventures, fever and all.  I stood and than sat and waited for about half an hour, with everyone at home mad at me for being late.  The doctor insisted on faxing in the prescription for the Z-pack, not giving it to me, and it was my debut at Wally World.  And, my last performance.  It through there system. I was directed back and forth by Shirl, who paused to visit her boyfriend, organize lunch, help a very nice older lady with a knee brace that still was not the right size, well, you get it.

Finally, after they all forgot about me, I was told they were “filling” my prescription.  Since it comes packaged and filled, I have no idea what they meant.  Just as I had know idea what the first W pharmacist meant when he told me that “my prescription was here, but in trouble.”  Trouble?  How?   Did not pay a tax?  Did it not look both ways before crossing the street?  I was flabbergasted, and sick, and I had to go to work the next two days.

I’m still dragging, and something is causing me the worst heartburn ever.  Well, I don’t feel like overeating, a good sign. 

Take comfort in the leaves, and the late flowers, and the tomatoes ripening on the vine, and my bottle gourds that are in amazing form, and promise and excellent harvest of craft projects.

Here are some recipe tips and ideas:

For red velvet Halloween cupcakes, my student Cassie likes to scatter crystallized sugar over the frosting to imitate “broken glass.”

Easy white bean soup; my mom’s recipe:  Combine 12 0z, canned, or fresh-soaked navy beans or butter beans. You can use any beans, but black beans are sort of rich for this recipe.  Add one 6 oz can tomato sauce.  Add about half the can or 3 oz water.  Throw in chopped onions, any kind, and celery.  Add one 12 0z can chicken broth or vegetable broth, canned or homemade.  Bring all to a boil.  Lower to a simmer, and take care that you add water a little at a time to keep it from burning.  Salt and pepper it to taste. Simmer about 20 minutes.  Serve with salad and homemade bread.

If you add rice and no beans, and cook it the twenty minutes or so it takes to cook the rice, you have a nice pilaf.  If you add Spinach, usually drained canned or frozen, but fresh works, you have  a classic Greek soup.

If you cook a piece of  pork in the broth with no beans, add big pieces of celery, and then some lemon, beat the whites of about six eggs and fold it into the cooling mixture.  You have a classic Greek celery and pork dish.

Bone Marrow soup:

Combine beef marrow bones, one 12 0z can chicken or beef broth, one 6 oz can tomato sauce, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, and maybe 1/8 c. beer or white wine.  Let it all simmer, taking care not to let the mixture burn.  Bring to a boil and simmer as with bean soup.  You may add vegetables to this.  Once it is a rolling boil, and the bones have begun to brown, add about 1 c of orzo, or other types of bow tie, fusili, elbow macaroni, angel hair, or chopped up noodles and spaghetti.  Cook till the pasta is done to your liking.  Serve hot with bread and salad.

These are not recipes she actually wrote down; they are memories I have of helping her and watching her cook.  These are the best ways I remember her, and when I feel her standing beside me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ghostly Happenings


I know I posted this before, but it should be done again; besides, something keeps happening to my posts!



Library staff members made a mistake while doing some spring cleaning, and it ended up being very costly.
They accidentally destroyed a very rare and valuable ancient Chinese book collection.
"Librarians are lovers of books," said VP of Augustana Communications and Marketing, Scott Cason. "They value books greatly. Probably more than most of society. So, they feel very badly about what happened."
None of the books had been checked-out in over a decade, and in an effort to make room in the library, library staff removed and shredded the books. The 18th century collection was purchased for $8,000 roughly twenty years ago by faculty affiliated with Asian Studies.
"It was something very prized by the department," said Cason.
Cason said the library staff must now get approval from the college dean and president before recycling any more books.
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Help for Writers



I love these; and as they clearly state at the bottom, we are free to recirculate them.  I will be reading memoirs and poetry of Afghani women at the Afghan Women's Writing Project.  Events like these are crucial to all of us finding, and keeping a writer's voice.  Long live Free Speech!

 W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                  http://www.writing-world.com/

Issue 11:16           12,722 subscribers           August 18, 2011
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MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: To Content Write, or Not To Content
Write, by Dawn Copeman
ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
THE WRITING DESK: Pseudonyms, by Moira Allen
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
FEATURE: How to Tell - and Sell - Your Ancestor's Life Story,
by Susie Yakowicz  
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
WRITING CONTESTS WITH NO ENTRY FEES
The Author's Bookshelf

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BECOME A FICTION WRITER. Get published. Get paid.
Create manuscripts that are ready to submit to editors and
publishers. Learn the techniques from an experienced professional
writer - online or by mail. Free Writing Test offered.
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Once you know the simple secrets of writing for this little-known
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THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR:
* Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter.
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http://www.fanstory.com/index1.jsp?at=38
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FROM THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK
=================================================================
To Content Write, or Not To Content Write?
------------------------------------------

Okay, I'm a bit Shakespeared out at the moment.  Just saw David
Tennant and Catherine Tate in "Much Ado About Nothing" with my
nine-year-old daughter and it was fantastic!  She'd never read the
play before and she loved it and understood it all.  Not bad for
'hard' Shakespearian dialogue.

That said, she's already watched Hamlet (in three one-hour
segments) and neither of us can get the lyrics of 'Shakespearian
Pie' by Robert Lund out of our heads - hence today's title.  (If
you haven't heard Shakespearian Pie, you can listen to it here:
http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1014)

So, yet another editorial on content writing, you're thinking.
Well, yes, we've had lots of e-mails on this topic so it's
obviously one that is important to you.

Many of you are livid that we've even mentioned the subject.  Yet
it is a fact of modern writing life and it won't just go away if we
ignore it.  What we can do is advise people on the potential
bonuses and pitfalls of this type of writing. Plus, many writers DO
make some money at this.

There are some good content writing sites out there.  There are
some that a new writer will find particularly useful in helping to
learn the craft, that give good editorial feedback and teach a
writer how to structure nonfiction work.

I've found one that I find useful to use as a writing warm-up each
day, a way to get my writing muscles moving.  I have to write a
short 350 - 440 word nonfiction article on a topic of my choice and
do so as quickly as possible.  The fact that I can earn some money
for this is a bonus. It really works those writing muscles and
warms me up for better paying, longer pieces of work.

But if you do choose to write content pieces, then at least make
sure you know the reasons why you are doing so.  Don't get caught
writing for them to the exclusion of potentially higher paying
work.  Keep the balance right and don't think just because you
write for them now that this is all you will ever be able to do.

So, yes, whilst I am aware that there is a petition to stop writing
for low-paying markets, http://grou.ps/writerspetition, I'm not
going to tell writers what to do.  We each have the right to make
our own way in this writing world and what works for some won't
work for others.  But isn't that the way it's always been?

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor

*****************************************************************


FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: AN ANNOUNCEMENT
=================================================================

Newsflash!  Writing-World.com now features book reviews.  Beginning
August 2011, we will consider writing-related books for review.  We
hope to review one book per month.  Check out our first review, of
Philip Martin's "How to Write Your Best Story: Advice for Writers
on Spinning an Enchanting Tale," on our front page or at
http://www.writing-world.com/reviews/story.shtml

We will consider commercially published books, self-published
books, POD and e-books.  We will only publish reviews of books that
offer seriously useful information for writers. 

Please note that this is a review section for WRITING BOOKS ONLY.
This is not for general-interest books, fiction, etc. For
information on how to submit a book for review, visit
http://www.writing-world.com/reviews/submit.shtml

-- Moira Allen, Editor

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CHILDREN'S WRITERS
Over 1,000 children's editors have it delivered to their desk each
month. You can too - and get your first two issues FREE.
http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AK072

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The Writing Desk: Pseudonyms
=================================================================
By Moira Allen

How do I copyright my pseudonym?
--------------------------------
Q: I write under a pseudonym. I am currently unpublished. In the
event that I do become published, I want to know what steps I
should take just simply copyrighting my pseudonym.  How do I assure
that my pseudonym, merely the name I write under, can only be used
by me? I want to own the rights to my pseudonym.    

A: As far as I know, you cannot actually "copyright" a pseudonym.
Copyright is the wrong term; it applies only to a "created work"
such as an article, story, poem, song, etc.  It does not apply to
names, ideas, or "information" (data).

I believe the only way you could actually protect your pseudonym so
that no one else uses it would be to obtain a trademark.  However,
that is extremely difficult, and you would need to be able to show
that your pseudonym is already a recognized name -- i.e., that you
have already published under that name sufficiently to justify its
protection.

For example, the name "V.C. Andrews" is trademarked.  V.C. Andrews
herself died many years ago; the books written under her name are
written by ghostwriters, and the name is owned by the publisher.
However, this name could not have been trademarked until it was,
itself, considered sufficiently recognizable as the "producer" of a
particular type of product to merit the trademark.  (In other
words, trademarks aren't just given out for the asking.)

If I may venture an opinion in another direction, I think perhaps
you are focusing on the wrong issues just now.  If you are a young
writer, as yet unpublished, your primary focus should be on
developing your craft and skill.  Worrying about pseudonyms at this
point is like worrying about what color ribbon to tie around an
empty package.  Work on the writing side.  Work toward publication.
Work toward building your name -- whatever name you choose -- into
a name that will be recognized for the quality of your work.

To be blunt, as long as you are an unknown, unpublished writer,
your name means nothing -- trademarked or not.  However, once you
become a known writer, your name will take on the meaning that I
suspect you seek -- and it really won't matter, at that point, if
someone else happens to have or use the same name, because your
name will always be associated with your work.  And by the time you
reach that point of recognition and expertise, you will also have
(I suspect) a different view of what matters in the writing
profession.

What do I have to do, legally, to use a pen name?
-------------------------------------------------
Q: Is there something I have to do legally to use a pen name?  How
do I find out if it is already being used or is someone's name?

A: You don't have to do anything "legally" (e.g., go to court, file
a form, etc.) to use a pen name.  Nor is a pen name something that
can be copyrighted (though in rare instances it can be
trademarked), so it doesn't actually matter whether someone else is
using it or not. Technically, you could call yourself "Stephen
King" if you wanted to, though I wouldn't recommend it.  You can't,
however, call yourself "V.C. Andrews," because that pen name
actually IS trademarked by the publisher of V.C. Andrews's books.

If you want to write under a pen name, it's usually best to let the
publisher know your real name, but ask to have the pen name used as
your byline.  This is so that you can receive checks in the correct
name, which is linked to your social security number.  If you don't
even want the publisher to know your real name, you may have to
develop a "business" identity ("doing business as" or "dba") so
that you can get paid properly, because publishers have to have
your correct social security number for tax purposes.  To link a
pen name to your SSN, I believe you'd have to do something like the
above, which is complicated and really not worth the effort.

Copyright 2011 Moira Allen

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BEGINNERS! LEARN THE BASICS of writing for magazines and online
publishers FREE from an experienced freelancer. Learn how to find
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writing. Sign-up for free weekly writing tips.
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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================
Four First Time Novelists Make the Booker Shortlist
---------------------------------------------------
There is much excitement and anticipation amongst the judges of
this year's Man Booker prize as four first time novelists make the
long list. Small and independent publishers are also well
represented in the list. The short list will be announced in
September.  For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/3vyzdf4

Transworld Produces Game App
----------------------------
Publisher Transworld Digital, together with Distinctive
Developments, has developed a game based on Lee Child's character
Jack Reacher.  Lee Child has sold over 50 million copies worldwide
of his books featuring Jack Reacher.  In the game, 'I am Reacher',
the reader has the chance to act as Child's hero.  For more
information visit: http://www.distinctivegames.com/?p=566

Journalists Attacked in London Riots
------------------------------------
Journalists and reporters were attacked in several parts of London.
In scenes not normally seen outside of war zones, London
journalists found themselves under attack for doing their job,
especially any who were seen to be taking photographs or filming
the rioters. For more on this story visit:
http://tinyurl.com/3zv7mee

*****************************************************************

EVERYHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTING FREELANCE FEES! Find out
how to negotiate agreements, choose pricing strategies, define
tasks, deal with difficult customers, and much more in "What
to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants"
(2nd Edition) by Laurie Lewis. In print and Kindle from Amazon
at http://tinyurl.com/setyourfees

***************************************************************

Writing Jobs and Opportunities
=================================================================

Call for Horror Submissions
---------------------------
Hellicious Horrors(TM) Epublishing, the epublishing company devoted
solely to horror e-books starring preteens through young adults, is
looking for fresh, imaginative young writer/new authors. Anyone
submitting *must* have a finished novel (40,000 words or more).

Though we prioritize the young writer/new authors, we encourage ALL
to send in submissions and welcome inquiries. Please see the
submissions guidelines on our website for more information.
http://www.hellicioushorrors.com/

Bull Men's Fiction
------------------
Bull is looking for good stories that address men's issues, span
male perspectives, or otherwise appeal to a male audience. They
want interesting and engaging, acute and insightful. 

If you think men would appreciate your stuff, they want to check it
out.  Open to male or female authors.

Note: "BULL respects the days when editors were editors, that is,
someone who will work with a writer for the sake of a great story.
Which means you'll see quality, cared-for fiction on this site, and
means your submission might kick off a fulfilling and congenial
editorial dialogue." http://bullmensfiction.com/submit.html

*****************************************************************

HOW TO WRITE YOUR BEST STORY
This inspiring, practical new book will help you write
your best story and improve your chances to get published.
These are the most durable, successful, and time-tested tips,
techniques and examples of best practices used by great writers.
http://www.crickhollowbooks.com/write_your_best_story.html

***************************************************************

FEATURE: How to Tell - and Sell - Your Ancestor's Life Story

===============================================================
By Susie Yakowicz

Did your ancestor live during an exciting time in history and share
the experience? Maybe he or she made a noteworthy contribution to
the community or society as a whole. If you think your ancestor has
an interesting life story, now might be the time to tell it.
Writing about a past family member can be one of the most rewarding
and enjoyable projects for any writer. It can also be one of the
most difficult to sell. Not only does your ancestor's story have to
interest people besides you and your family, it has to be told in
an interesting way. The good news is that pulling this off might be
easier than you think. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1.  Use family and public resources for research.
-------------------------------------------------
No matter how well you think you know your ancestor's life story,
you will need to do a reasonable amount of research before you
begin writing. Researching your ancestor's life will not only help
you corroborate the facts, it will uncover new information that
might be useful to you -- and interesting to readers. Where do you
look for information? In the family, for starters. Take advantage
of your living relatives -- especially the older generations -- and
ask them to provide you with anything related to your ancestor.

Some useful resources include scrapbooks, photo albums, family
papers, journals, and diaries. Look for unique details, like quirky
personality traits, unusual hobbies, and newsworthy anecdotes. But
don't stop there. Get your relatives to talk. Find out everything
they remember about your ancestor, and don't take anything for
granted. Even the smallest detail may have a place in your story.
An interview with a relative may lead to more contacts --
neighbors, friends, or other acquaintances who know something about
your ancestor. Follow up on those leads, too.

Besides researching your ancestor within the family, take advantage
of all public resources that may have something to offer.
Researching an ancestor's life requires some basic genealogy work.
Historical libraries and government agencies can provide you with
all kinds of factual information, including census records, church
records, and birth and death certificates. Or, try The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (http://www.lds.org/), where a
large collection of genealogy records can be found. Archived
newspapers from the town where your ancestor lived are also a good
resource. They can provide information on births, deaths,
marriages, and interesting events that helped shape your ancestor's
life.

2.  Decide whether a book or an article is best.
------------------------------------------------
Once you've gathered and studied your research, you'll have to
decide what's the best format for delivering your story -- a book
or an article? An important thing to consider is your audience.
Although writing a book about an ancestor is an admirable
undertaking, it may not be a practical one for targeting readers
outside the family. Even if your ancestor lived a full life that
included many achievements and honors, that may not all be
captivating enough to hold the public's attention page after page.
An article, on the other hand, allows you to focus on the most
fascinating details of your ancestor's life and create a tighter,
more enjoyable story for everyone.

Of course, if there's plenty to tell about your ancestor that would
keep your audience interested through many chapters, a book, such
as a biography or memoir, is the way to go. Biographies usually
cover an entire life, whereas a memoir might focus on a certain
aspect or time frame of the subject's life. Family history books
are also popular formats; however, family histories usually include
several generations of people and don't always attract public
interest.

Whether you decide on a book or article, it's a good idea to
research a number of magazine, newspaper, or book publishers that
might be good prospects for your ancestor's story. Browse their
websites, review their writer's guidelines, and study their works
for style and structure. If you're writing a book, you have the
option to self publish, which means you can write the book however
you want. Just make sure you understand all the pros and cons of
doing it yourself.

3. Write an actual story, from beginning to end.
------------------------------------------------

Some writers prefer to work off an outline; others don't. Either
way, your ancestor's story will have a better chance of interesting
readers if it's organized and written like an actual story -- with
an engaging beginning, middle, and end. Not sure how to begin? Try
NOT at the beginning. One way to draw in the reader is to get right
to an exciting part of your ancestor's story. Open with a scene of
conflict or suspense, for example. Then continue to engage the
reader and bring the history to life with lively dialogue, vivid
details, and action.

Fictionalizing, or adding imaginary details, may be necessary when
writing your ancestor's story and can be a useful technique. Many
biographers fictionalize parts of their stories to give them better
readability and fill in gaps. But understand that made-up material
still needs to be credible. Details that contradict the facts and
dialect that doesn't jive with the time and place will give the
reader reason to pause and question the validity of the story.

Just as fictionalizing can make a nonfiction piece more interesting
and enjoyable to read, so can clear, error-free writing. Take the
time and effort to check for proper spelling, grammar, and word
usage. And watch out for clutter -- words and phrases that are
redundant and don't add anything new to the narrative. Finally,
avoid using the passive voice. Like clutter, the passive voice can
make a good story drag on or fall flat for the reader.

4.  Write without bias.
-----------------------
One important word of caution -- and this is probably the hardest
part about writing a family piece: If you want your ancestor's
story to interest the public, it's going to have to be written
without bias. A story riddled with favoritism or opinion can raise
the amateur red flag -- and likely kill your chances of a sale.

How can you tell if your writing sounds biased or not? You probably
can't, so ask a nonfamily member, preferably a distant acquaintance
whose judgment you respect (another writer, historian, or educator
perhaps), to read your first draft and give you some feedback. If
you receive a comment like, "I can tell you're very proud of your
great-great-aunt," well, maybe it's time to rethink (and rewrite)
the piece. But keep in mind that writing without bias doesn't mean
you can't write with feeling. Successful writers do both.

5. Gather interesting images.
-----------------------------
Pictures can speak a thousand words -- and help sell manuscripts.
Although your descriptions may be thorough and vivid, they won't
take the place of an actual image for the reader. And editors tend
to be more interested in manuscripts that have accompanying photos
than those that don't. But your images don't have to be limited to
photographs. Diary excerpts, sketches, handwritten letters, and
maps, for example, can all help tell your ancestor's story. Dig
deep and be selective with your choices. Several good images will
be more valuable than many poor quality ones.

When it comes to gathering images, the family collection isn't the
only place to look. Check out history centers, local museums, and
town libraries for photos, too. And don't forget to look online --
you never know what might show up. But before using an image, take
care to follow copyright and reproduction policies. Most family
photos require no special permissions or fees to reprint, however
images from historical societies, online sources, or other public
information centers often do.

Now that you know the basics of writing a sellable family story,
it's time to get started. Writing about an ancestor is the perfect
way to create an exciting tale that's unique and near and dear to
the heart. And by following a few simple tips, you can interest an
audience that extends way beyond the family. 

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Susie Yakowicz writes for children and adults on a number of
topics. She especially enjoys researching and writing about her
ancestors. To learn more about her work, please visit her website
at http://www.susieyakowicz.com/.

Copyright 2011 Susie Yakowicz

For more information on writing family history visit:
http://www.writing-world.com/freelance/famhist.shtml

****************************************************************

EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED
An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own ebooks.
http://www.publishyourownebooks.com/

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THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

52/250
------
This was a yearlong project to produce flash fiction stories of 250
words or less every week for a year.  If you love flash fiction or
want to start writing it, this is a great place to visit.
http://52250flash.wordpress.com/

Editorial Department
--------------------
This site contains a wealth of information for writers of fiction
and nonfiction alike.  Check out their resources and in particular
the First 50, where they look at what made fifty books publishable.

http://www.editorialdepartment.com/

MicroHorror.com
---------------
Here is a site to hone your flash and horror writing skills.  This
site accepts horror stories of 666 words or less. For some short
but spine tingling stories, check this site out.
http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/

TOTALLY AWESOME BLOG OF THE MONTH:
Ghostwriter Dad, by Sean Platt
------------------------------
Don't let the title fool you! This blog covers topics of interest
to any professional writer, not just ghostwriters. And there are
lots of tips here! Recent posts have covered grammar, writing
tweets, social media, and ways to earn more money.
http://ghostwriterdad.com/

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WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories,
poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the
US and internationally. Newly updated for 2010, WRITING TO WIN by
Moira Allen is the one-stop resource you need for contests and
contest tips. Visit Writing-WorldCom's bookstore for details:
http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml

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WRITING CONTESTS
=================================================================
This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers.
For a guide to more than 1000 writing contests throughout the
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal
Guide to Writing Contests"
(http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml).

BO'S CAFE LIFE FICTION CONTEST!
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DEADLINE: August 31, 2011
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS:  1000-word story inspired by cafe life. Wayne E. Pollard,
creator of Bo's Cafe Life, and Regina Williams, publisher of The
Storyteller magazine, will judge.
PRIZE: A copy of the Bo's Cafe Life collection "I'm Not Out of
Work...I'm a Writer!!" and publication in The Storyteller
Magazine.  
URL: http://boscafelife.wordpress.com/bos-cafe-life-contests/

HELEN SCHAIBLE SHAKESPEAREAN/PETRARCHAN SONNET CONTEST
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DEADLINE: September 1, 2011 
GENRE:  Poetry 
DETAILS:   One 14-line traditional form sonnet
PRIZES:  $50, $35, $15
URL:  http://poetsandpatrons.net/Schaibel11.html
 
FAMILY CIRCLE FICTION CONTEST
-----------------------------
DEADLINE: September 9, 2011
GENRE: Short stories 
OPEN TO: US residents only aged 18+.
DETAILS: Submit a maximum of two stories, 2500 words each.
PRIZE:  $750, Possible publication in Family Circle, a gift
certificate to one mediabistro.com course of his or her choice (up
to a value of $610), a one-year mediabistro.com AvantGuild
membership (valued at $55), and a one-year mediabistro.com On
Demand Videos membership (valued at $147)   
URL: http://tinyurl.com/3hnrpr8

ATLAS SHRUGGED ESSAY CONTEST FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS
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DEADLINE:  September 17, 2011
GENRE: Young Writers
OPEN TO: High school seniors, college students, and graduate
students
DETAILS:   800-1,600 words essay in answer to one of the questions
on the website about Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged.".
PRIZE:  $10,000, Three 2nd Prizes of $2,000, five 3rd Prizes of
$1,000, 25 finalist prizes of $100, 50 semifinalists of $50
URL: http://tinyurl.com/423xry8

ANDERBO SEEKS NOVELIST CONTEST
------------------------------
DEADLINE: September 21, 2011
GENRE:  Books
DETAILS:  Submit first 36 pages, 9000 words of your novel to
Anderbo by email.
PRIZE:  $500 and publication of your extract on the literary
website for six months.
URL:  http://www.anderbo.com/anderbo1/andernovelcontest-02.html

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AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

Lady Father, by Susan Bowman

Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know:
just click on the link below to list your book.
http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml

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ADVERTISE in WRITING WORLD or on WRITING-WORLD.COM!  For details
on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your
product, service or book title, visit
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
http://www.writing-world.com/

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors@writing-world.com)

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial@writing-world.com)

Copyright 2011 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at
http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/index.shtml

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