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INside AUTHORS January, 2008

Word Wright

INtroducing . . .
Sharon Shaw Elrod and Dough Foshee
By  Penelope Jensen and Steve Neubauer

Every issue, IN presents INside Authors, a look at authors from around the world who have significantly caught our attention and deserve a little space and recognition. The following two authors are this month's choices, based on the heat arising from their corners. Our hope is to provide a glimpse, a snapshot, an overview of some of the finest writers of our time making waves both tidal and ripple.

Sharon Shaw Elrod, Nonfiction Author

Background INfo: In 1966, I did the worst thing a young woman could possibly do. I got pregnant. I wasnít married and the father of my baby abandoned me when I told him. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and immediately surrendered her for adoption to cover up my shame and guilt.

I didn't tell anyone outside my immediate family. I lived the lie for 36 years. In January 2001, I drove 1000 miles to say good-bye to my favourite uncle who was dying, and the universe opened up. I stopped lying and started writing. Before that I did a lot of things that have mostly nothing to do with my career as an author. I did some professional writing as a social worker and educator, but nothing that required the creative flair. Then my passion surfaced, and the story along with it.

I was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in the little burg of New Hartford with my three best-friend sisters. My favourite subject, English, taught me how to put a sentence together according to all the rules of the language. Thatís an obvious basic for a writer. More importantly, Mother frequently told me and my sisters that we could do or be anything we chose. I grew up with the notion I could do anything. Later in life, I realized passion drove my choices.

INfluences: Writing became a passion when my baby girl, came back to find me. A dream I barely allowed myself to acknowledge began to emerge. My baby returned to find me . . . a request I left with her when I surrendered her to an unknown couple to raise her as their own. The story screamed to be written. Steve and Joan Neubauer (, along with my insanely dedicated family, encouraged me to write Shar's Story, A Mother And Daughter Reunited. I knew or sensed that I had to write what happened in that incredible life experience. I think the message in that is to write what you absolutely know to be the truth, because you lived it.

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Advice: When you write about your life experience, write about how it felt when you went through it. We all feel the depths of passion in our lives. Some of us may not know it or have difficulty identifying it. Talk about your story with friends and family, people who will help you identify your peculiar and idiosyncratic way of looking at and feeling your experience. If you always wanted to write, find your passion, your bliss! You'll discover success when you write about how it felt when you experienced it. But don't get schmaltzy, that doesn't work. And donít lie. Lies create failure.

On the other hand, if you think you've had a ho-hum life and don't have anything to write about, find someone in your family or among your friends who has a story you can tell. In that case, tell their story and stretch the truth! Create some passion that may not be totally accurate, and identify your story as based on a true experience. Remember: Passion is the key!

Internet Presence: My website provides a lot of information about my memoir and I encourage you to take a look at I agree with what every writer I know says about the Internet, itís the greatest communication and marketing tool around!

The Future: As a result of the success of Shar's Story, my son-in-law asked me to help him write his memoir. Heís a retired NFL football player with a poignant story to tell, and weíre about two-thirds of the way to getting his book published with the help of some football related folk in the NFL and sports-related writers. I feel passionately about his story, as does he.


Shar's Story, A Mother And Daughter Reunited. WordWright, September 2005

Doug Foshee, Cowboy Poet

Background INfo: I wrote my first cowboy poetry after attending the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas in February of 1993. I was raised in the coastal area near Houston, Texas. Each time I moved I ended up further west. I have always had a deep abiding love and respect for the real west (not what you see on TV or the silver screen). I spent 32 years in the education profession, eleven as a Speech Therapist, and 21 as a principal. After retiring in the spring of 2004, my wife, Clara, and my daughter, Joy, encouraged me to publish my collection of poems.

INfluences: Western heritage and the cowboy way of life have always been there for me. I got my first pair of boots before I could walk. I worked on ranches during the summers and part time while teaching and usually kept a few horses around. I have read, heard, and been influenced by such great cowboy poets as Red Stegall, J.B. Allen, Baxter Black, and Waddie Mitchell just to name a few.

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Advice: Enjoy your writing. Have fun with it. Try to talk and write about what you know. Don't try to fake your way through a subject you know nothing about. Especially in cowboy poetry, be genuine. Be respectful and reverent about the cowboy way of life. You can have fun, but do not make fun of the life. Interject humour when it is appropriate. Cowboy poetry is family oriented. There is no room for vulgarities or crudeness in this genre.

Internet Presence: I don't have a website.

The Future: I have completed a children's book with a western theme, which my wife illustrated, that I have not published to date. I am continuing to write cowboy poetry and hopefully will have a second book of poems out in the near future.


Cowboy Heart, Soul, and Humor, WordWright, 2006

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Penelope Jensen considers herself a citizen of the world, aligning herself at this moment with the purposes of IN, where you'll find her writing articles and interviewing authors, among other things. You can reach Penny at:

Steve Neubauer is a co-founder of the publishing firm, Inc. The company serves as an incubator for new authors and works with professional speakers and consultants to create books about their specialty areas. Steve focuses on helping new writers establish themselves and fulfill their publication dreams.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

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Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."