Creative Writing Week #2

3429306_origWe had some amazing stories read today in class and we welcomed a new classmate.

Our collective group has an incredible depth of experience to draw from and I’m seeing some common themes emerge.  Strength with a generous dose of hope and humor seems to be the common thread binding our various stories together.

We had surprise twists, irony, foreshadowing, laughter and even some tears. I enjoyed hearing and reading all the stories and I’m excited to see them broken down into elements next week. Thank you everyone for another excellent class.

In the meantime, Laura from class has a few blogs she finds time to work on when not coming up with fantastic stories. I’d like to share her blog, Where Pretty Little Bluebirds Fly.

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Social Media Basics #2

Learning how to use social media :)

Social Media Basics is evolving from being just about Facebook to more of a Tech Workshop.

We have been covering a variety of topics like setting up domain names, email accounts and tablets. Today we took this group photo, posted it and talked about tagging.

I also promised to share some links…

We talked about Straight Talk unlimited talk, text and web for $45.

We talked about the Fire Tablet for sale on Amazon.

We also talked about the iWerkz foldable bluetooth keyboard I use.

Looking forward to next Monday. We’ll be covering security and privacy settings and whatever else comes up.

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Find Your Story Class Notes

img_20160919_155052Today I started teaching my Social Media and Creative Writing classes. Both classes went great, thanks to the excellent group of students in both. Here’s what we covered in Find Your Story…

Today we talked about finding your own, perfect story. Everyone has a story, uniquely theirs, and this class will help us find it. We discussed rules versus guidelines. The three guidelines for this class are:

  1. Word count doesn’t matter.
  2. We are after a perfect story, not perfect writing.
  3. No genre is “the right one.”

We also discussed how spoken word events can be invaluable for developing spontaneous creativity, receiving spontaneous feedback and honing our presentation skills. Many of these events are in my public events calendar here. My favorites are Say The Word every first Wednesday, Stone Soup every third Thursday, TV Dinner Theater every first Friday and Poetry & Music Jam every third Tuesday. I believe all of these are smoke free venues.

I really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the class and I’m excited to see what stories come out of it. This week’s assignment is to find a story and write it. We will be breaking it down and looking at it from different perspectives over the next few weeks.

I look forward to seeing everyone next Monday!

 

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Social Media Class Notes

20160919_094813Today I started teaching my Social Media and Creative Writing classes. Both classes went great, thanks to the excellent group of students in both. Here’s what we covered in Social Media Basics…

In Social Media we went over what social media was good for and what to avoid. We discussed privacy settings, how to use social media management tools like Hootsuite, streamlining your posting and how to make a shortcut for Facebook on your home page.

Next week we will continue with how to post videos and photos and how to tag. Thank you for a great class everyone and I look forward to next week!

We also watched the following video:

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Seven places you can meet me…

fun_book_clock_1The holiday season approaches and I have five book signing events and two classes planned for this fall.

Next Monday I will begin teaching Social Media Basics and Creative Writing at Northwest Florida State College. Sign-up is still open. Social Media Basics will be from September 19 to October 3. The creative writing class will be from September 19 to October 24.

Beginning October 1 I will be kicking off my “Adopt-a-Shelter Dog” month at Cafe Bienville and signing books with fellow author Helene Lund Den Boer. There will be a special decorated Halloween Tree that will highlight the needs of local shelters and pets available for adoption.

On October 4 I will be signing books with fellow children’s authors Helene Lund Den Boer and Katie Kahn at the Niceville Public Library.  On October 15 I will be visiting Harlan Square’s Little Free Library, part of a literary revolution I will be talking more about later.

I will be celebrating Halloween October 29 with a basket full of candy and plenty of books at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida along with authors Robin WiesnethHelene Lund Den Boer and Katie Kahn. Then I’ll be back at Harlan Square’s Little Free Library November 12 to start celebrating Christmas.

You can find complete details of these events and many other local happenings on my public events calendar.

booksigning-sched

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Update on Class Sign-Up

The Student Services Center in Niceville where I will be teaching Social Media Basics this fall.

The Student Services Center in Niceville where I will be teaching Social Media Basics and creative writing this fall.

Just a friendly reminder that registration for fall Personal Enrichment and Fitness/Wellness classes is ongoing.

I will be teaching Social Media Basics and a creative writing class on Mondays on the Niceville campus. The direct link to NWFSC’s website where you can download the brochure is at www.nwfsc.edu/pce.

On-line registration is currently unavailable, BUT you can go to any campus and register in person or you can print and fill out the registration form, enclose a check and mail directly to Laura Schultz and she will be glad to register you and process the fees.  She will then email you back your receipt and schedule.

NWFSC Cont. Ed.

Attn: Laura Schultze

100 College Blvd E

Niceville, FL 32578

Classes will begin mid-September.

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“Death Waits” on Bare Knuckle Podcast

BKP MeslingPete Mesling, host of the Bare Knuckle Podcast, did a wonderful job of reading poetry from the newly released HWA’s Poetry Showcase Volume III, edited by David E. Cowen, and available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.

THE HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION (HWA) is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it.

I’m thrilled Mesling chose my poem, “Death Waits,” to be included in his recorded readings from the book. To be included among so many great names in the dark poetry genre is an thrill.

The poems read, in order:

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.30.52 PM“Another Match,” by Rob E. Boley
“Death Waits,” by Angela Yuriko Smith
“The Trappings of Poetry,” by Michael A. Arnzen
“Alice After,” by Lisa Lepovetsky
“The Straw Man,” by Lisa Morton
“The Lady in White,” by K. A. Opperman
“Enough,” by Bruce Boston
“Self-Portrait as Bad 1950’s Science Fiction Movie,” by Jeannine Hall Gailey
“Wolf Waltz,” by Lucy A. Snyder
“Night among the Dead: 1867,” by Marge Simon
“The Shed,” by Annie Neugebauer
“The Ghost Subway,” by Alessandro Manzetti
“Xiana’s Skull,” by Nancy Etchemendy
“Vigil,” by Rose Blackthorn
“Gratitude,” by Pete Mesling

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700k! Only 300k to go…

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 8.55.50 PMAt the beginning of the year I made a goal to run 1,000 kilometers in 2016, and I joined Under Armor’s You Vs. The Year challenge. Tonight, I hit my 700th kilometer.

Since we moved I’ve struggled to get back into my groove. A few weeks I didn’t run at all. Last week I managed to squeeze in two runs in a week. The enthusiasm wasn’t like it was before. These miles were a struggle. My feet weren’t eating miles… they were plodding.

Now that things are settling I hope to get back into it. Making my 700k milestone is certainly setting a better tone. I’ve also started bring my dog with me on my runs and his enthusiasm is contagious. For the first time in a month I’ve run two days in a row.

Only 300 kilometers to go before I reach my goal and I’m still ahead of schedule. Now I just need to find where I packed my mojo…

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Trying to be better…

Better PeopleI believe we can make the world a better place by being better people.

By “better people” I don’t mean better than someone else. Most of the problems in our world have been caused by one group of people thinking they are better than another group. As I see it, we are each only as good as we strive to be.

None of us is in any position to tell the rest of us how to live. We all have an inner dialogue that tells us right from wrong. Whether you refer to it as your conscience or the spirit of God, in each of us is a certain knowing when we are doing something bad and when we are doing something noble. We know how to be better people. We choose whether or not to act on that knowing.

Yes, some of us are pitifully far from the mark. We are an earthbound, petty species that fights for scrap and thinks far too much of our own existence. Too often we are more concerned with getting, but the more we scramble and grab the more empty we become. We are trying to water our desert with a mirage.

I’m trying to make my world better by being better, but I often fall short. I’m petty, selfish and judgmental. I think mean thoughts all the time, especially when driving and shopping. I laugh at things that probably shouldn’t be funny.

Most of the time, I fail at being the person I would like to be, but failure is temporary. I have to maintain hope that I can, eventually, make a positive difference as long as I continue to try. It’s what keeps me going despite my frequent mis-steps. I have to keep trying.

I have to believe that I can help make the world a better place despite my shortcomings. I have to believe that we can be better… in spite of ourselves.

 

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Class sign up begins…

I’ve had quite a few questions about the two classes I will be teaching this fall at Northwest Florida State College. I will be teaching Social Media Basics and a creative writing class on Mondays on the Niceville campus. Sign up is through the college’s Personal Enrichment Program. Here are the details for all those asking:

Screenshot_2016-07-20-17-59-41   (2016-07-21T02_44_17.814)

Click photo for full size

Find Your Story, Use Your Words – Release the story you already have hidden within you beginning Monday, September 19 until October 24 from 1-3 p.m. in Building 400, Room 300 on the Niceville campus. Class costs $50, registration is through the college’s Personal Enrichment Program. CRN #: 12127

 

Click photo for full size

Click photo for full size

Social Media Basics – This class is for those not familiar with the maze that is social media today. With a focus on using Facebook, we will cover online safety, posting and sharing photos and videos and managing settings.

Class begins Monday, September 19 and meets every Monday until October 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Building 400, Room 309 on the Niceville campus. Class costs $35, registration is through the college’s Personal Enrichment ProgramCRN #: 12128

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