Glimpses at our recent Memoir Writing Workshop

This workshop was held on May 28th at Brushstrokes Art Gallery in Marblehead, MA. Our guest speaker was Molly Lynn Watt, who read excerpts from her book of poetry "On Wings of Song: A Journey into the Civil Rights Era."  Molly also brought in various pictures and momentos from that time period to show the workshop attendees how she took her unique experiences and turned it into a story. 

Meet the Guest Speaker for our next Memoir Writing Workshop

We are so very pleased to have author Molly Lynn Watt as the guest speaker for our next workshop "Write Your Life: Memoir Writing Workshop." To register for this workshop, please click here

About Molly Lynn Watt

In 1963 Molly worked at Highlander Center in Tennessee directing the North South Smoky Mountain Workcamp to build a residential facility that would be used for voter registration training. Dr. Martin Luther King identified 15 young activists from Birmingham, Alabama, and Myles Horton, Director of Highlander Folk School enrolled fifteen volunteers mostly from the North for the residential, and interacial, workcamp. Interrupted in the middle of the night by intruders, the goup was jailed, the camp was burned, this is the basis of Molly’s most recent book, On Wings of Song— A Journey into the Civil Rights Era. Recently she and her husband Dan Lynn Watt were each honored by the University of Rhode Island by the Multicultural Center with an award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service during Freedom Summer 1964.

Molly Lynn Watt, poet, educator, community organizer worker, pursued a professional life committed to leading educational and social reform most often within diverse communities using experiential learning with learners from three months of age to learners well into their nineties. She was a cofounder of the Folksong Society of Greater Boston, Teacher Center Brookline, the Action Research Center at EDC, and the Logo Institute. She served on the Martin Luther King Speakers Bureau sponsored by the AFSC in New Hampshire giving talks, workshops and interviews throughout that state. 

Her book of poems, Shadow People, was published by Ibbetson Street Press in 2007. She served as editor of Bagels with the Bards Anthology, volumes 1-4, as poetry editor for the HILR Review, and for 12 years as the curator of the monthly Fireside Readings. Molly reads her poems, leads workshops and is widely published.

She and her husband, Daniel Lynn Watt, coauthored and perform George and Ruth: Songs and Letters of the Spanish Civil War, also available from CD-Baby.  They serve on the faculty of the weeklong summer institute “Creating Modern Knowledge” directed by Dr, Gary Stager. Together they lead the weeklong Ukulele Festival at World Fellowship Conference Center. They are cofounders—with a couple of dozen others— of Cambridge Co-housing in Massachusetts, where they live and play with the Common Strummers Ukulele Band.

You can learn more about Molly and about her books over at www.MollyLynnWatt.com

Glimpses at our recent creative writing workshop

Scribbler's Ink hosts monthly workshops, here are some photos from our last class. We had quite the fun and energetic group of writers. To learn more about our classes and to register for our next course, click here

Five Writing Tips for Beginning Writers by Karilyn Bentley

When I was asked to write a blog on writing tips I was honored. Even so, I doubted I had the experience to offer much. Yes, I'm published, but I'm not a big seller, so in my mind, who would want my advice? The only advice I've written lately is how to write with a puppy, which is tongue-in-cheek and meant for a chuckle. What to write? What to write? I finally decided to write what I wished someone had told me when I started writing.

 

So, what should writer just starting out know? 

 

1 - For one thing, get a very tough skin. Or never read your reviews. Remember, for every person who loves your book there are others who hate it. And they aren't polite about it either. Get used to the fact not everyone is going to love your characters like you do. In order to survive as a published author a thick, impervious skin is a must.

 

2- A published book does not mean that you will be able to stay home and eat bon-bons all day. Yep, that's exactly what I thought would happen. Really. You can stop laughing. Except for a few envious souls, most authors have to publish several books and build a back-list before they start making a living wage. Even then, many of us still keep our day jobs out of necessity.

 

3- A published book does not mean your publisher will send you on an all-expense paid bookstore tour of the country. Small presses expect you to do your own marketing and publicity, and even being published by one of the Top 5 publishers does not guarantee a book tour. 

 

4- Get used to social media. Learn how to use it. Or at least present a profile on the top sites (like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads). Spend some time marketing and doing publicity but don't get so caught up in social media that you forget you are a writer. The best publicity is the next book.

 

5- Finally, I'll leave you with advice from the great Nora Roberts: You can't edit a blank page.

So get to writing!

 

About The Author

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories, and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works—a blend of fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest, and started her writing career as an author featuring sexy heroes, and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in North Texas with her own hunky hero, a psycho dog nicknamed Hell Hound, a crazy puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish. More on Karilyn and her books can be found at www.karilynbentley.com.

LINKS:

Website: www.karilynbentley.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley

Blog: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley

Blog: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com

Demon Lore (A Demon Huntress Novel – Book One) - Interview with Karilyn Bentley

I am pleased to welcome multi-published writer of fantasy/romance Karilyn Bentley. 

Karilyn is the author of the recently released, Demon Lore, a riveting page-turner. 

First a few facts about our author:
 

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories, and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works—a blend of fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.


Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest, and started her writing career as an author featuring sexy heroes, and lush fantasy worlds.


Karilyn lives in North Texas with her own hunky hero, a psycho dog nicknamed Hell Hound, a crazy puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish. More on Karilyn and her books can be found at www.karilynbentley.com.


What would you most like your readers to know about you that they might not find in your official bio? 
 

I love hot tea! And have a secret coffee addiction ever since my MIL bought us a Keurig. 

So much fun to stick a little K-cup in the machine, push a button, and watch it brew a 

cup. 
 

What would you like to tell Scribbler’s Ink readers about your book, Demon Lore? 

This was my favorite story to write. It's the story of Gin Crawford, a messed-up ER nurse 

who is also an empath. She finds a mysterious bracelet that gives her demon hunting 

powers—a gig that she's not too happy about. 


Here is a blurb:

Gin Crawford has enough problems dealing with her empath abilities. Finding out she's the world's newest demon-slayer is the last thing she needs. Unfortunately, when she slips on a mysterious bracelet she is given no other choice. On the plus side, her new gig comes with Tall, Dark and Handsome, a mage who may or may not have her best interests at heart. Thrust into a power-play between good and evil, Gin must choose a side before she becomes the next victim in the ongoing battle.


What inspired this story? 

It wasn't so much of an inspiration as my muse put two scenes together and came up 

with a story.


Writing the story in the present tense makes for an interesting read. Why did you 

choose to do this, and was it difficult from the writing-process aspect?

I wanted to try something different and make the story more immediate. It was a little 

difficult at first, but once I got into the story and Gin's voice, it got easier. 


What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation? 

My characters usually pop into my head. I don't base them on people I know. At least 

not the main characters. 


Do you develop a deep backstory for all of your characters before ever sitting down to 

write, or do you just have a general idea of who they are?

I tend to have a generalized idea of who they are and some of their flaws. The rest 

comes to me as I write.


When brainstorming a story idea, do you begin with character or plot?

Hmm. Good question! It's a little of both. I see characters in a scene and then wonder 

who they are and what is happening to them. Then I go from there. 


How much influence do your characters have over which direction the story takes 

you? 

A lot. I can come up with a bit of a plot, but my characters show me interesting things 

about themselves as I write. It adds depth and can change the story.


What is one thing about your heroine, Gin, that drives your hero, Tall, Dark and 

Handsome (TDH) crazy? And, what is the one thing about (TDH) that drives Gin crazy? 

Her snarky mouth drives him nuts. His attitude that he knows best makes her even more 

snarky.


Gin possesses an interesting mix of flaws, vulnerability, courage and determination. I 

don’t see her as a damsel in distress. Do you feel the days of the heroine needing to be 

a damsel in distress in a romance story is over for good? 

I sure hope so! She might be in distress, but she needs more of a plan to get out than a 

prince rescuing her. Nothing wrong with the prince, but the heroine needs to be able to 

hold herself up. Gin's definitely not a damsel in distress! 


Which secondary character was your favorite to write, and will they warrant their own 

story? 

T, Gin's twin brother was my favorite to write. I'm not sure yet if he gets his own story or 

remains a part of hers. I'll have to think on that one! 


What is the most interesting activity you’ve participated in for research? 

I'm boring. Most research I do online, in books, or I ask people. 


Can we have an excerpt from Demon Lore? 

Most definitely! I love to share!

The evil man-thing stands on my porch, his lips turning in a menacing smile of death. I 

don’t need to touch him to know he wants me dead. Muscles freeze, trapping my 

breath in my lungs. Like a rabbit in view of a wolf, I’m immobilized, waiting for death’s 

blow. Time slows, his gaze locks on mine, trapping me in place.

Move, move, move! My mind screams as the man’s fingers twitch.

But the spike of adrenaline explodes into my limbs too late to stop the backhand blow 

slamming across my jaw.

I Superman it halfway across the living room. Land on the hardwood floor in a thud of 

pain-ridden limbs. My jaw morphs into a screaming ball of nerves. My head no sooner 

hits the floor than I hear the bracelet scream, a high-pitched wail quivering through my 

skin like vibrations from a tuning fork. The bracelet tightens around my wrist, cutting off 

the circulation, and then it loosens with a pop at the same time I hear the door click 

closed.

Ohgodohgodohgod, I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. No, no, no, no, no. Pain and 

terror hold me crumpled on the floor as my mind crawls backward in time. 

But I’m no longer a child, fearful of fists and words, cowering on the ground.

I’m a fighter. 

My head spins, but I refuse to lie on the floor waiting to be killed, so I attempt to stand. 

Evil Guy laughs as I ass-plant it. Laughs as a moan escapes my lips. He takes a step 

toward me, right arm drawn back for a hit. His fist hurls toward my face, but I manage to 

block it with my left arm. My right arm, the one with the bracelet, shoves forward, 

slamming into his chest.

His black eyes widen, mouth open in surprise, his hands fluttering to his chest before 

dropping. I stare at my hand, stare hard, for I’m as surprised as Evil Guy. The bracelet 

had become a sword, a long, thin spike of metal extending from the silver links, straight 

into Evil Guy’s heart.

A sword?

Definitely a sword. The flat of the blade rests against the back of my hand, cool metal 

heating from the warmth of my skin. Small silver links circle around my palm, lending 

stability to the two-foot long sword.

I’m not sure which scares me more, Evil Guy paying me a visit or the fact the bracelet 

performed a morphing trick. 


Do you have a critique partner/belong to a critique group? 

I used to belong to a critique group when I started out, but we seem to have gone our 

separate ways as far as critiquing goes. I have a couple of beta readers who read 

through my work once the book is finished and give me feedback. And I'm a member of 

the Plotting Princesses.  They're an awesome group of ladies who help each other plot, 

come up with blurbs and other writing help. I'm really excited they asked me to join 

because I've gotten so much out of the group.


Do you write by the seat of your pants or are you an outliner? 

A pantser! In case you couldn't tell! Writing an outline kills the story for me. I usually 

know the general idea (as in Gin gets a mysterious bracelet and must come to terms 

with wearing it) and a bit on how the story ends (Gin comes to terms with wearing it). 

Everything else comes to me as I write. Which means a lot of discoveries from 

characters I thought I knew. 


What is the writing process like for you? 

If you were to describe your process in one word, what would it be? 

After determining the general idea of the story and the characters, I start at the 

beginning and keep going until the story ends. Usually about 10K words in, I get stuck 

and the muse runs off to the beach leaving me to figure things out. Then about a little 

over halfway through my muse comes back, which is really good. I miss her! My process 

in one word? That's a hard one. Maybe difficult?


Do you write at the same time, same place every day?  Do you write every day? 

I did, until we got a puppy last year. Now I tend to write more in the kitchen than my 

office (puppy likes all her humans in one place, we aren't spoiling her, no, we are not) 

and at odd times. As she ages, it's getting better and I'm starting to move back into my 

office. 


How do you balance the need for self-promotion with the need for writing time?

Good question. Hard answer. I don't know if I have the right balance. I'm still working on 

it!


What writer has most influenced your work?

 J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Karen Marie Moning. I know, I know, that's three. I 

never was good at math! 


Now for some fun questions:

 

If you could have one super power what would it be? 

I'd be able to turn into a fly, buzz into rooms with closed meetings and eavesdrop. 

Imagine all the ear-burning things I could learn!

 

If money were no object, where would you most like to live? 

Colorado. I love the mountains.

 

What is your favorite curse word? 

Hell. It's versatile. 

 

What is your favorite sound? 

Water over rocks.

 

What is your least favorite sound? 

Loud music, and fingernails on a chalkboard.

 

What are you currently reading? 

Burned, by Karen Marie Moning

 

What is the best and worst piece of writing advice you have ever received? 

Best: Put butt in chair and hands on keyboard. I can't think of a worst one. 

 

What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future? 

The fourth book in my Draconia Tales series, The Detective's Dragon, is coming out this 

year. I also have four more books in the Demon Huntress series planned. Stay tuned!

 

LINKS:

Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00PKY3CC4

Website: www.karilynbentley.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarilynBentleyAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karilynbentley1

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karilynbentley

Blog: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com

Do You Have a Writing Goal?

                        Bobbi Lerman

                        Bobbi Lerman

Do you think about writing all day long, but never actually sit down and make the time to do it? Do you envision yourself one day being on the New York Times best-selling list, or signing a multi-book, six-figure contract, but fail to put the pen to paper? If you have the desire and the passion to make writing your life, the key is to start with immediate and attainable goals. Tell yourself what you will accomplish each day, or each week, and stick to it.

Too busy, you say?  Not enough hours in the day, or energy at night to fit in any amount of significant writing time between your job, kids, family, friends, and the sundry of other obligations pulling you away from the pen and notebook?

If you are at all like me, your days often take charge over you, versus you managing your day. Now is the time to stop letting everything and everyone take a place in line ahead of what you really want to be doing—writing!

If you are going to make time to write, you first need to think about how and where you are going to fit that time in. How are you spending your time now? Are there small changes you can make such as altering the time you need to be at work? What about altering the way you get to work? Would you free up some writing time if you took the train versus driving in? Could you arrange to have someone else pick-up the kids to allow you an extra half hour of writing time that you normally wouldn’t get? 

Just as a doctor’s appointment is for your body, and a tune-up is for your car, writing time is crucial to your success at pursuing your writing dreams, and it needs to be scheduled. Sure, it may not be as romantic a thought as suddenly being hit with a block of inspiration thrown by that elusive muse that you are forever in search of, but without scheduling writing time, you will never get that book finished… or even started. 

After setting aside fifteen to thirty minutes of writing time, you can move on to setting your writing goal. Again, the key is attainability. Can you commit to one page a day? Three hundred words a day? If this still feels too overwhelming, have no fear. You can always begin with a smaller, more manageable amount, and work up over time. Anne Lamott (one of my favorite writers) suggests that writers "Write in short bursts, a paragraph at a time, one scene." She calls these "short assignments," suggesting the writer give no consideration to the distance between the beginning of the story, and the ending.

Come up with a list of realistic goals. For example some of my past ones have been: 

Write 1 page a day for 90 days. 

Write 300 words a day for 12 weeks. 

Write from a different point of view

If any word count feels overwhelming, try the oven timer technique. Set a timer for as little as five minutes and write. Whatever comes out onto the page in that five minutes is more than you had before, and let's face it, anyone can find five minutes a day to pursue their passion.  

The key is to write something at least five days a week, seven if you can manage, but don't beat yourself up if you can't.

Now, choose one of the goals from the list you've come up with to focus on. You want to make sure the goal you choose has a specific outcome whether it be word count, pages, etc. And you want to give yourself a time frame, a deadline whether it be six weeks or six years, it doesn't matter as long as you have an end date for completion. 

And now for the final and most important tip:

When you have reached your daily or weekly goal, whether it be completing a paragraph, a page, or a chapter, don’t forget to reward yourself, even if it's a self pat on the back, though I prefer chocolate myself. 

Acknowledge your accomplishments, feel good about yourself, and then write on some more. 

In time, your story will be told.