Makes Me Want To Shout!

It’s a sharing-the-good-news kind of day here at Cathy C. Hall because so many of my writer friends have been so very busy! Shout-outs to…

Linda O’Connell, who’s joined the team of instructors over at Coffee House for Writers! Linda, aka the Queen of Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, will be teaching the fine art of essay writing and I can’t think of anyone better suited for the task. If you’ve been trying and trying and trying to get your essays published, try taking this class. I promise you’ll improve with Linda leading the way to publication.

Suzanne Lilly, who’s just released the last book in her California Argonauts series, Gold Rush Barons, and it is a gem of a story! (See what I did there? Gold…gem? Well, I am a writer.) Gosh, I hate to see the story of George and Lucinda come to an end…they’re such strong characters. And I learned so much in this riveting historical fiction, too; I’ll bet I could easily win the “California Gold Rush” category on Jeopardy!

Lisa Ricard Claro, who’s also just released a book–Love to Believe, the second romance in her Fireflies series! If you’ve been missing Maddie and Caleb, then it’s time to catch up–except this time around, you’ll want to know how Caleb’s sister, Rebecca, fares in a man’s world. And you’ll be dying to know what secret she’s keeping from handsome lawyer, Sean Kincaid. Or is it Sean keeping secrets from her? Hmmm…I guess you’ll just have to read Love to Believe for yourself!

Nanci Turner Steveson, whose charming middle grade novel, Swing Sideways, is set to release any day now! Oh my, I loved this story of two unlikely friends spending a summer on the chase for wild horses and…you know what? Go read it before I spill the whole plotline! And when you finish Nanci’s book, check out Janet S. Fox’s creepy good Gothic thriller, The Charmed Children of Rookskill CastleBoth Nanci and Janet were with me at the Highlights Whole Novel Workshop (Nanci in the classes; Janet as an instructor) so I can say that I knew them when.

Though, honestly, they were already gifted storytellers and writers even then. And I’m thrilled to see all the good things happening for them, as well as all the friends I’ve mentioned here today.

It really does make me want to shout, y’all.



Chicken Soup Tips (The Books, Not the Food)

IMG_6754You know that old saying about March roaring in like a lion?

So, yeah, there’s been some crazy roaring over here, but I did have a moment–with a lot of help from a pair of writing buddies–to share tips on getting your story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book over at the Muffin. I call it, “How To Get Your Story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book.”

Catchy, right? But seriously, Sioux and Linda had some great advice, and why not? They’re experts in this genre of writing. You only need to follow their blogs to get a glimpse into their style and voice (but I’d pick up a couple of their Chicken Soup books if you want to really see how pros do it. Um…write, that is.)

Everybody has a Chicken Soup story in them but not everyone gets their story published. The competition is fierce! But if you keep at it–and especially, if you follow these great tips–you will succeed. And I hope you’ll let me know when you do succeed.

As for me, I’m fixin’ to roar off to our regional SCBWI Conference and a wedding and an authors’ reception and…whew. When’s that March lamb thing supposed to kick in?

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Off To Write We Go (After We Visit the Cows)

ImageA few posts ago, I mentioned that writing–and writing often–begets better writing. And that inspired me to pen “Becoming a Better Writer: Easier Than You Think” for my last Muffin musing. ICYMI, you can check it out here. (Public Service Announcement: ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It. It’s embarrassing how long I stared at those letters till I figured it out.)

And for those of you struggling to become a better “tell-a-story-in-an-essay” writer, I’m passing along Linda O’Connell’s excellent tips, over at the Pen and Prosper blog. I read on her blog that she’s giving away a Chicken Soup book to one of the lucky commenters at her Pen and Prosper post. And in my experience, there is nothing like reading 100 Chicken Soup stories to get the feel for writing a Chicken Soup type story/essay.

I’m also including a heads up to the Green River Writers Contest. I like to support writers’ groups and Kentucky is a lovely state. Plus, whatever you’ve been working on to become a better writer is sure to find a category in this contest. (Check out the guidelines for fees and publishing rights.)

Lastly, because all (writing) work and no play makes Cathy a dull girl, I took Cathy-on-a-Stick out on a, uh…uh…whatchamacallit.

(Now see? Writing a sentence like that makes me realize I need to get back to work.)