Who’s That Indie Author? H. W. Bryce

Author Name: H. W. Bryce

Genre:  Poetry

Book:  Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance

What’s your story and how did you become a writer?  I wrote a Roy Rogers story in Grade 7, and I have been writing off and on since then. While at university, I wrote lyrics and posted them to song magazines. Over the years I entered poetry and story contests.

But the impetus for my current writing was when my wife contracted Alzheimer’s, and I was sinking deep into depression. It was poetry that saved me.

How do you balance your work with other demands?  I reserve my mornings for my writing. The afternoon is often taken up with business; sometimes appointments, etc. For the most part, this works very well.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Both. Often, once I get started, I just forge on. Sometimes a poem will practically form itself and come fairly easily.

Sometimes the poem fights me, and I have to “resort” to planning. Occasionally I try to plan it out first – especially when doing formal poetry with a set rhyme and line scheme.

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  As noted, morning person.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  Mostly I work on my laptop, but I keep a notebook and pen in my pocket at all times. Many, many of my notes become poems.

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea?  The coffee and tea often serve as thinking time as I write.

What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now?  A top fave is still any Philip Marlowe book. The Little Sister movie WAS the book, it followed it so closely. Humphrey Bogart, top of my fave actors.  Storytelling at its best.

I have been reviewing Keats and Tennyson lately, and reading a whole lot of local area poets, many of whom are really good – two of them are laureates, one of them retired.

What shows do you watch?  I watch a lot of British and American mysteries; some nature programs, travel documentaries. I love human interest movies.

Favorite movie:  Probably Casablanca. It has everything, including love lost and found and lost and accepted.

Favorite musician:  Dave Brubeck; also, the Gershwins

Links:
Website: hwbrycewrites.com
Facebook: herb.w.bryce and @ChasingaButterflywithAnn

Awards/special recognition:  I have several certificates of honour for my poetry, a number of poetry competition wins, etc., such as invitations from abroad to appear in their anthologies.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Pamela S. Wight

Author name:  Pamela S. Wight

Genre:  Fiction (romantic suspense, women’s fiction) and children’s picture book

BooksThe Right Wrong Man, Twin Desires, Birds of Paradise; {In process: As Lovely as a Lie (fiction); Molly Finds Her Purr (picture book)}

      

When did you begin your writing career?  Beginning my “writing career” is different than beginning my “writing” (high school friends tell me I wrote stories in class, which I don’t remember!). My first job out of graduate school was as a writer/editor for a feminist newspaper called “New Directions for Women.” From there I became a medical editor for a medical publishing company, Slack, Inc., and then the editor/writer of medical journals and books. I savored creativity, though, and finally began writing short stories in the creative writing classes I began to teach 30 years ago (and still ongoing in the Boston and San Francisco areas).

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner?  Oh, how I’d love to plan my plots. But my characters send me in all directions, and since they’re in charge, I’m a pantser.

What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer?  I begin writing by 6 a.m., usually working on my blog or preparing lessons for the creative writing classes I teach. By 8, I’m ready to work on my next novel or children’s book. I break for exercise and household errands, then resume in the afternoon. But I always take a “reading” break during the day. William Faulkner said: “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. . .”

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand?  Most of the time I work at my computer; but I find that I love writing in long hand at times also. When I write in long hand I tend to not edit as quickly but to just let the writing flow. Then I edit the story or chapter when I type it into my computer file.

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea?  Green tea first, then an Earl Gray tea latte, then iced tea. I have my “tea routine.” :–)

Favorite book:  My favorite book is generally the one I’m reading at the moment. Currently, it’s Louise Penny’s Kingdom of the Blind.  If I’m not engaged with a book within the first two chapters, I drop it back off at the library (or delete from my Kindle). Too many great choices out there to be stuck in one that doesn’t create great characters/setting/description/plot. I don’t read horror or psychological suspense – I get too involved….and scared.

Favorite movieGone with the Wind

Favorite musicians:  The Beatles, Beethoven.

Links:
Blog: roughwighting.net
Facebook:  facebook.com/roughwighting
Instagram: instagram.com/pam94920
Twitter: @pamelawight

Awards/special recognition:  My illustrated children’s book Birds of Paradise was a Finalist in the International Book Awards (for children’s literature); Certificate of Merit: Writer’s Digest Zine Publishing Competition.

I receive special recognition each time a reader picks up one of my books, reads it, and writes me (or writes a review) about how much she or he has enjoyed it. Makes my day!


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Friday Fiction – Launch – Chapter 1

Hello – I hope you’ll take a look at an excerpt from a book that has been hiding in my creative files for a few years. Because we all have a book in us, don’t we?


Launch – Chapter 1

Cindy Clarke walked through the glass doors and stopped, blinded by the change of light. So bright outside and such a shock to suddenly see nothing but spots as her eyes adjusted to the indoors. She had forgotten her damn sunglasses at the house and had squinted her way through the drive to Marshall Technology. When she could see around her, she looked at the directory. She was sure she needed the second floor, but she’d better check.  What if it was the third floor? Did she have enough time to make that mistake and get there in time?

Second floor. She waited at the elevator, feeling on display for not taking the stairs. The wait seemed unbearably long and she was sure anyone who saw her would laugh at her, think she was lazy for not taking the stairs. But Cindy was somehow off-balance that day and didn’t even want to open the stairwell door and experience the echo of someone else’s feet as they clomped up the waffle-textured rubber stairs, giving her the inexplicable feel of going to class years ago, when she was young and confident but no longer so.

As the elevator doors opened, she stared out stupidly, her eyes widening as if they were in charge of making the next decision. “Left or right?” she wondered. She had been alone in the elevator and she wondered if it looked worse to hesitate inside the elevator or to exit and then stop and look like a lost fool in front of people she might have to impress. “Just go,” she told herself, feeling somehow stronger at the thought of motion.

“So, what can you tell me about yourself that would convince me to hire you?”  It couldn’t possibly be right that the woman across the desk from her would be a decision-maker. She looked so young. Cindy calculated. This woman was probably twenty years younger than Cindy. Her future was in these manicured, professional, unspotted and confident hands.

“Well, I haven’t worked in quite a while, as you can see,” Cindy started. She felt sweat trickling down her back. “But I’m a good typist, and good on the phone.” Were these skills even necessary anymore? Cindy wondered.

Ms. Doyle, looked at her with a plastered face. She was all confidence, but new on the job. She had been interviewing candidates for an administrative assistant and had somehow pictured mentoring someone just out of college, someone she could feel naturally superior to, by the timeline of growth. But the candidates she’d seen so far were not young. They were all older women.  For goodness sakes – they were all mothers! Did she want a mother working alongside her, running office errands? She had pictured going out to lunch with a young protégé, telling her what the world was like, maybe sharing a few details about her romantic life. She imagined giving sage advice to some young newbie. No, you must not call him! Wait, don’t chase.

Cindy was all nerves and sweat. Ms. Doyle would definitely have the upper hand.

“How are you on computers, Mrs. Clarke?”

Cindy tried to focus. She wanted this job. She knew she could do the work. It wasn’t that long ago when she worked in an office, was it? How different could it be? She felt fairly up-to-date with technology. Her children laughed at her but she could work email, she had an iPhone, was on Facebook. She took a leap.

“I’m okay at the computer,” she answered. Stupid answer, where’s your confidence? She took another leap, imagined herself just out of college.

“Look, I’m not a young college girl. I know that. But I’m going to take a chance here. I need a job. I want to work and I think I can do this. You’re much younger than I am, and that is strange to me. Maybe to you, too. I’ll be honest.  We have a computer at home and I use it for email and social media, but I’ve spent the last twenty years of my life being a mother, not learning technology. There have to be some skills I’ve learned along the way that apply to a modern office. I’m not applying for an executive’s job, here. I just want a chance to work.”

Cindy’s heart was pounding. She was shocked at what she was saying. Where was it coming from?

Ms. Doyle’s face had changed. It had taken on a mixed appearance. Half condescension, half childish need. Maybe this was someone she could use.

“Well, the job requires knowledge of Word and Excel. Do you know those programs, Mrs. Clarke?”

“I know Word a little bit. We have it at home. I haven’t been on Excel much, but I’m sure I could learn it.”

It was Ms. Doyle’s third week as Assistant Director of Marketing at Marshall Tech. She had won the job and, besides having an office, she was given the one new perk of having an administrative assistant. She’d never had someone helping her. She’d had to do that all on her own. Her own boss, Jenny Sorano, had said to her, “Get an assistant, Kendra. Line up some interviews, find someone you can work with and get working.”

So Kendra Doyle posted the job description and had been interviewing for a week. She looked at Cindy Clarke and then she thought about all the work that was piling up in her office. She could only program her phone to voicemail for so long. And she didn’t want to waste her time sorting through the hundreds of emails that were filling up her inbox. She thought about some of the other candidates she’d interviewed. They all looked the same to her, in fact, there wasn’t much that distinguished one over the other. It exhausted her to think about choosing one of these women over another. So in an irrational fit, invisible to anyone who was looking, and certainly unnoticed because no one was watching, Kendra Doyle looked closely at Cindy Clarke and made the decision right away.

She organized the papers on her desk, lifted them and banged them into formation. “Okay, let’s do this. We usually give a test on Word and Excel, to check on skills and accuracy. Why don’t you take the weekend to practice at home? Make sure you know how to create documents, work with files, move things around. Learn some Excel, how to enter numbers, sort, edit cells. Then come back on Monday and I’ll give you the test. We’ll see how you do, okay?”

The feeling of being given a break had not quite settled on Cindy, but she thought she saw some hope in this offer. She wondered what it could possibly be that would have made Ms. Kendra Doyle, all confidence and authority, all youth and power, what would have caused her to look at Cindy Clarke and think she could do this job.

Cindy was all rubber, but she mustered up a decent response. “I’m a good learner, Ms. Doyle. I’ll come back on Monday and take the test.”

“Please, call me Kendra.” And Kendra, having thrown Cindy Clarke a bone, softened a bit. She stood, signaling the end of the interview. Cindy stood and felt the sweat on the backs of her legs and she suddenly remembered those hot final days of elementary school, when the Formica seats glued themselves to all the girls and made a strange wet, sticky sound when they stood, like a Band-Aid being ripped off.

Cindy walked through the lobby doors and was again blinded by the change in lighting.  She wondered how her family would react. She hadn’t even told her husband, Ted, that she was looking for a job. And now she had an assignment to learn Word and Excel, not a job yet, but something told her she would get it.

She hadn’t exactly liked Kendra Doyle. Kendra was older than her own two daughters, very polished, but also much rougher than Jessie and Katie. She couldn’t help but think in a motherly way.  That was how she had been programmed. She wondered what kind of mother Kendra had.

Thank you for reading.


Copyright © 2017 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Who’s That Blogger? Amy L. Sauder

whos-that-blogger

Blogmaster:  Amy L Sauder

Blog name:  Amy L. Sauder – Creations: from Creations: from “Once Upon” to “Ever After”  – AmyLSauder.wordpress.com

Type of blog: Creative living

Where in the world?  USA

Blogging since when?  2014

What’s your story? I started a blog to have my own place to document my creative journey “from ‘once upon’ to ‘ever after.’” Sharing my creative life, in mediums that I’m comfortable and confident in, and in mediums that I fumble through in my klutzy way.

What types of blogs do you follow?  Bloggers on creative living or with a creative voice. Some talk about their life, some about fashion, some about writing or reading or story, some share photography, and some share their heart.

Early bird or night owl?  Early bird, however I write in the evening. I get an early start to my day so I can have other obligations finished by evening for blogging. I usually schedule blogs in chunks so I can more readily devote my evenings to other creative endeavors.

Coffee or tea?  Heavily creamered coffee or most preferably a chai latte.

Most recent binge watch or other obsession:  My current guilty pleasure is Rizzoli and Isles – it’s my closest alternative to Gilmore Girls because I can’t get enough of the girl drama <3.

Check out these recent blog posts by Amy L. Sauder:


The first paid gig
Things I am Qualified to Write About
The “Guardian of Ever After” for the Outcasts


Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Blogger? Sarah Brentyn

whos-that-blogger

Blogmaster:  Sarah Brentyn

Blog names: Lemon Shark and my fiction blog, Lemon Shark Reef

Type of blog: I suppose Lemon Shark is an eclectic blog focusing mostly on my thoughts about life and writing and surviving the aforementioned.

Where in the world?  Ooh! I know this one! “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?” Score ten for the Shark.

Blogging since when? I don’t really keep track of these things. However, there’s a handy list on the side of my blog so, with just a peek, I can see I’ve been blogging at Lemon Shark since…2014.

What’s your story? What is my story? “It was a dark and stormy night…” Damn! Taken. My blogging story is odd. Why? Because, although I have a blog (two, actually, I have two and, yes, I know that’s not a “good idea” or whatever but I have a fiction blog called Lemon Shark Reef) and…where was I? Right, although I have a blog (two!), I don’t consider myself a blogger. So that’s the odd I was referring to: I’m participating in a series on bloggers and I don’t think of myself as one.

What types of blogs do you follow? I follow all sorts of blogs: personal, travel, education, writing, book reviews, movie reviews, poetry, photography…

Early bird or night owl? Owl. I am definitely an owl. I’ve always been an owl. I love owls. (Now I’m just trying to see how many times I can fit the word “owl” into this answer.) Owl. Is that six? And, wow, I would love to sleep during the day. Like an owl. Seven.

Coffee or tea? Both. Coffee: I like my sugar with coffee and cream. (Credit: Beastie Boys and, then, me) Tea: I don’t drink “tea”. I know. I just said I did. I drink “herbal tea” which is a misnomer. It has no tea leaves in it so, technically, it’s not tea. I’m done. Apologies.

Most recent binge watch (or other obsession): Alias. (Just started binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Again.)

Cheers!


Check out these recent posts on Lemon Shark and hop over Lemon Shark Reef to enjoy Sarah’s flash fiction!


Does Size Really Matter? (In Defense of the Pithy Blog Post)
How Should I Write My Book?
It’s My Blog and I Can Fail if I Want To


Hey bloggers!  Are you interested in expanding your blogging world?  Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com to be featured on Who’s That Blogger!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Bryan Collins

Who's That Indie Author pic

bryan-collins

Author name:  Bryan Collins

Genre:  Creativity, Productivity, Non-fiction

BooksA Handbook for the Productive Writer; The Power of Creativity

a-handbook-for-the-productive-writer      the-power-of-creativity

Bio:  When I was six years of age, I read The BFG by Roald Dahl. I was enthralled by the idea of a Big Friendly Giant who collects the dreams of children.                             

Dahl was a creative God to me, so I decided I wanted to become a writer. I did all the things I was supposed to do. I went to school and then college and later, I got a job as a journalist. There was just one problem. I wasn’t a very good journalist. I didn’t have the nose for news that journalists need and, although I enjoyed writing, I couldn’t give my editors what they wanted. I missed my deadlines, and my news stories were inconsequential. Journalism cast me out. The recession didn’t help.

I drifted in and out of other jobs (I once even plucked chickens). Then, I discovered today’s writers spend time building relationships online and self-publishing.

So, I started a free email course, Become a Writer Today to help writers launch their careers and become more creative and productive.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  That you can take an idea, shape it, tell stories about it and (hopefully) help other readers with your work.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Balancing finding the right readers and then finding enough time to write is always a challenge. Also much great writing involves being unremittingly honest and not holding back from painful truths while writing. Doing this is always a challenge because it takes more work.

Favorite book:  There are so many to pick from and really depends on what I’m reading right now, but in no particular order I recommend:

The Journals by John Cheever, Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life by Twyla Tharp, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Contact Information:  You can find me on my website:  Become a Writer Today or ask me questions on Twitter @bryanjcollins.


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Gold Cuff Bracelet

Gold Cuff bracelet pic

Mom had a golf cuff bracelet and when she wore this bracelet I knew she was dressed to go out.  Something between everyday and fancy, it was a bracelet she’d wear to Thanksgiving dinner, or to a luncheon, or to her bridge club, with a straight skirt and sweater, or with a sleeveless wool dress.  It was the only bracelet I ever remember Mom wearing.  And wearing that bracelet was special to me because even though Mom was dressed up for an occasion, she was still accessible during these times.  Not so fancy that I couldn’t touch her, or sit on her lap and play with the bracelet as it circled her wrist.

Mom always took it off if I asked, which meant turning her wrist and pulling at the bracelet’s sides so she could squeeze her wrist through an opening which looked impossible to me and maybe even painful to her and then handing it to me.  I would slide it on my small arm and sometimes change the size which I did by squeezing the sides together and Mom would let me even if it changed the shape of the bracelet a little bit.  And I’d let it slip up and down my arm and imagine how a grown-up bracelet like that would look on me when I was just like Mom.

I have a cuff bracelet now.  It’s silver and it doesn’t look much like Mom’s.  But I have taken it off in the same way as she did, twisting my arm, feeling the straight edge push into the soft inside of my wrist, just as she must have felt.  And I have handed that bracelet to my own children who have asked to look at it and feel it in their hands and try it on even though they are boys, feel the warmth of the silver from my wearing it, just as I felt the warmth of my own mother’s bracelet as it circled my arm.  And I think there must be some kind of meaning behind this small, ordinary moment, a connection that tells me, yes, you are doing the things that your mother did because they are part of those comfortable, safe and familiar moments that link mother to child, generation to generation.

Weeding behind the azaleas

azalea

“Don’t forget the weeds behind the azaleas,” my Dad reminded me. I was ten years old and I hated weeding. I hated the heat and how the backs of my knees were sweating and how the bugs and twigs tickled my arms and legs. I wiped the sweat off my face and looked at the weeds that grew around and in back of the bushes. It was a big job, an impossible job for a girl my size, I thought, and I could hear my best friend Eileen calling me from her house, one street down, with our secret signal. The signal we used instead of the phone, to announce we were outside and ready. I wanted to quit and run to her house.

Today was my day to help my father. He worked hard in his garden and in the yard, I thought, harder than I knew how. He tended his tomatoes and green beans, cut back bushes, dug out weeds. I could find all these jobs on a list he kept on his desk in the den. If I looked, and I often did, I would see his detailed plans for our yard. I didn’t think anyone could do that much. My father did it all.

I think he liked doing all that yard work, as his own father did. I had other things to do and I wanted to finish fast. “Don’t go so fast!” That was advice I always heard as a girl. I didn’t understand this advice. I couldn’t focus on the value of taking the time to do it right.

I looked at the insides of my arms, itchy and red from brushing against the bushes. “I can’t do this,” I wailed to myself. Feeling miserable, I knelt down and yanked out the weeds one by one. I remembered Dad’s voice, “Make sure you get the roots or they will grow right back,” so I jammed my shovel down hard in frustration, deep enough to pull out the roots. I watched the worms wiggle through the soil and saw the pill bugs coil in defense as I attacked their dirt.

At last I finished. I filled the bag, dragged it into the garage and yelled through the screen door to my mother, “I’m finished, Mom. I’m going to Eileen’s!”  “Okay, but you better tell Dad before you leave!” she answered. I stopped and groaned, hoping to escape without inspection. Did I do a good enough job? I wondered what he would think when he looked at the bushes to check my work. I wanted his approval, to be set free.

I looked in the back yard and saw him, bent over the garden, pulling weeds from his tomato plants. I walked over to him. “I’m finished, Dad.”  He turned to me, his face hot and sweaty, eyes in a squint against the sun. “Did you put the bag in the garage?” he asked. “Yes, near the door. Can I go to Eileen’s now?” He smiled. “Sure, Sweet Pea.” Sweet Pea. Even at ten I liked to hear his name for me. He didn’t check my work. My word was good enough and I was glad to be free. As I turned to leave, I felt a flash of shame run through me and I hoped that he hadn’t seen me at work, complaining to myself, at what I suddenly realized was just a small job in the yard. When he looked I hoped he would be pleased.

“Thanks for helping.  Have fun!” he added.  Then he bent back down over the tomatoes and returned to his work.  Released, I ran down the driveway, through our neighbor’s yard and into Eileen’s yard.  “Weeowweeee!” I called our signal, hoping she was still around.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!