Tooting My Horn Tuesday on Thin Threads: Compassion and Giving

Many years ago, when my children were very young (they were so young, the third one was just a gleam in the Good Lord’s eye), I watched as a young mother walked out of a K-Mart and left her little brown-haired girl behind. The episode, and how the event unfolded, rocked me to the core of my beliefs. But it changed me, too.

Years later, when I started writing essays, the K-Mart story surfaced and begged to be told. I bet I wrote a dozen versions of that story. And each time I submitted the essay to a market, it came back with a “No, thanks.” I can’t say that surprised me. I knew there was something more I needed to tell, and that I hadn’t gotten to the heart of the story. Then I saw the Thin Threads Contest.

As described on the website, a thin thread is a “moment, event, setback, crossroad or encounter that connected you to a person, place or an opportunity that changed your life for the better.” I knew immediately that I had to try again.

I suppose that this time, I got it right. Because “A Little Brown-Haired Girl” was selected for Thin Threads, Special Edition: Compassion and Giving. They’re always looking for life-changing stories, and maybe you have one that’s just right for this series. Find out more at their website. Or submit your story for the Thin Threads Contest like I did.

I’ll be ordering a few copies of the Thin Threads Compassion and Giving, perhaps have a contest here and give it away. But it won’t really compare with what a little brown-haired girl gave me so many years ago.

Tooting My Horn Tuesday on Bylines Calendar 2010!

Wow! I had a bit of a book bonanza when I went to the mailbox today! But too much tooting’s not very nice, so…Um, that didn’t come out quite right. Er, neither did that. Let’s just move on, shall we?

I found my Bylines 2010 Writer’s Desk Calendar and there I was, right across from Christmas week, sounding off on some writerly thing. But that’s not all I found in this splendiferous desk calendar. There’s a page for you to list (and check off!) writing goals, as well as monthly Writer To Do pages. You’ll find a submission tracker, pages for conference notes, an expenses sheet, a mileage sheet, web sources, and probably a lot more writing stuff I’m leaving out. Obviously, you need this desk calendar. But you can’t have mine. You can order your own from the Bylines website.

And you know what else I found? I saw a lot of writers I recognized. Check out the Submission guidelines here. ‘Cause next year, I want to find you in the Bylines Calendar 2011!

Tooting My Horn Tuesday on WINNERS! The Enchanted Conversation and The Giveaway

Oh, how I love the smell of victory in the morning!

So, come celebrate with me over at The Enchanted Conversation, a new blogazine (what will they think of next?) that debuted on January 1st! I love the genre of this blogazine (Fairy Tales! Woohoo!) and I love that the editor, Kate Wolford, worked hard to get her new venture out despite the difficulties of a business start-up AND is paying her contributors (Double WooHoo!)! All that combines to make The Enchanted Conversation a winner. And maybe you’ll be a winner if you enter one of the contests going on over there right now.

Then you can read my poem “The Problem with Fairy Tales.” Or read my poem, then enter the contest. Yeah, that’s the ticket. And if you write a scathingly brilliant comment about my poem (or anything else, for that matter), you might win 25 bucks! C’mon, how easy is that? I’d love to see one of the Hall of Fame regulars win! Heck, I’d like to see me win. So, it’s on, people. May the best comment-er win!

Speaking of best comment-ers, I had plenty of readers’ comments on the Hall of Fame in December. I really wish I could have pulled everyone’s lovely name out of Santa’s Hat for the First Holiday Hall of Fame Giveaway (Have you noticed I’ve called this contest something different every time???)

The point is, Juniorest Hall, who is by far the most honest of the clan, drew GAIL’S name out of the hat! So, Woohoo for Gail, the winner of lots of wonderful writing whatnot! Gail, send me your address and your package will arrive soon.

Isn’t that a lovely way to start the New Year? And now, I think I smell something else…I’m gonna call it Sally the crazy dog (and go take a shower).

Finding Something Friday on, The Muffin, and Me

I found the holiday edition of my free newsletter from in my inbox this week. And that means I found “Santa Baby for Writers” by yours truly!

I do so wish I could share Santa Baby with you (the song, not my SB, the Beneficent Mr. Hall) but it’s only available in the newsletter. I can give you the sweet link to Writing-World here so that you can dash away and sign up. Then, you’ll get the latest newsletter, full of all things from the world of writing, including Cathy C. Hall’s cool Yule song for writers. Absolutely free!

And after you sign up for Writing-World, dash away over to the WOW! Women on Writing’s blog, the Muffin, to see who went on and on for Friday’s Speak Out guest blogger. The topic’s “After Nano: Rewrites Can Be (Sorta) Fun.” Off you go to The Muffin

Okay, I admit that wasn’t much of a surprise. But it’s not like today’s post was titled “Writing-World, the Muffin and Yul Brynner.”You knew I’d be coming up sooner or later. Or more or less.

Turns out, it’s more. ‘Cause I’ve been a very busy little elf the last few days, making over the Cathy C. Hall website. Nothing too drastic; Gladys the Goose is still there, doing her thing. And I hope I’ve made my thing more about humor writing, and less about “waterfowl writing.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It’s just that all I want for Christmas is…well, Santa Baby’s heard that song before.

Tooting My Horn Tuesday on Restaurant Tips

If you’re a regular reader here at the Cathy C. Hall of Fame, then you know on Tuesdays, I like to share my published work, so that you, the regular reader, can say, “Well, dang! I guess she does actually get published. I thought she just played around on the internet all day.”

I know that’s what my mom says. (Not that she’s a regular reader here on the blog. Mom wouldn’t read a personal message from the Pope if it came through an email.) There’s also a matter of Mom being a tad sensitive to what may (or may not) be written about her and her activities. But I think this might be one time that Mom would be okay with me telling a story on her. And because mostly, this column has more to do with Dad.

So, here’s Restaurant Tips from Modern Senior Living. And yes, that last bit about Mom and Dad really did happen. (But no one needs to tell Mom I shared this story, or the picture, with you and a gazillion folks on the internet.)