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INside Scoop January, 2008

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And The Band Played On
Drummers are drumming and pipers are piping
By  Julie A. Pierce

I must have been distracted by the music and the parade. Otherwise, how did we get to May already? Narrowing the focus of my reflection on time's recent escape, I realize that I have to take responsibility for the choices I made every day along the way that got me to this present feeling of "what the deuces!"

Yes, it was I who made other things a priority over my writing. It's an undeniable fact that I need to get the bills paid and spend time with loved ones and occasionally eat and sleep. But after those, I should be doing nothing but writing. This is the only approach that makes any sense considering the dedicated writer I wanna be.

Hmm. Yes, I see. I'm a wanna be. Until, I'm actually doing it, I'm simply wanting to be a dedicated writer. The intention is mighty, but it has not proven its strength against the distractions and demands of everyday life.

Well, I'll start again with bolstered intention. I'll re-tune my frequency to the channel that plays my personal drummer and piper. If I change the channel to music that makes me dance with "real" life, it will be only briefly, with vigilance and closely monitored consciousness. Perhaps this approach will get me to the pinnacle of writerhood.

Somehow, I don't think that's a realistic approach. Have you been through this exercise yourself? Then you probably already know such extreme rigidity is no good for creativity. Discipline is important. Prioritization is key. However, engaging with life is critical to the mulch from which your creative seeds grow to full bloom.

This edition of IN delivers great nourishment for your creative seeds. For starters, we present Robert R. McCammon as our cover author and interview. We like to consider ourselves his friends, so we'll refer to him as Rick. His career has been one of interesting turns and the demonstration of an admirable sense of self. My favourite quote from Rick's interview is, "I just do what I do."

INside Authors introduces Constance Wimberley, a children's book author, and Bob Jamison, a nonfiction religious writer. For both of them, the writing life came as the next phase while moving through life's changes. You see, it's never too late to be a writer.

As usual, our columnists serve up a satisfying buffet. Anne Allen demonstrates a balanced meal of hooks, loglines, and pitches, while Jennifer Edelson brings her series on fact checking to a close with a broad list of resources.

Peggy Bechko guides us to smoother writing with six editing hints, and Ken Robinson entertains us with the image of trying to type while wearing ski gloves. He's hoping he's hit bottom and the only possible way now has to be up. Helen Dunn Frame deepens our understanding of how to be effective with description and good background information.

Do you struggle with the linear nature of outlines? Do you believe that you must start at the beginning, fill in the middle, and then conclude? Find relief from these hang-ups in Kimberly Dawn Wells explanation of why it's best to follow your inspiration and then come back to fill in the gaps.

If you are as big a fan of our furry friends as I am, you're going to love the article by Lori Myers in which she attributes her creativity to a critter named Willy. Perhaps you can be the animal writer in your local press.

We all need to feel appreciated, and the hardest person to appreciate is often yourself. Char Milbrett gives us a Top 10 about appreciating your writing ideas. Joan Neubauer sets us straight on getting the word out about your book's new ISBN and explains the nuances of retail pricing in relation to print on demand. She also makes suggestions about building your collection of clips.

In the first part of a two-part series, J.R. Kambak takes us through the steps of hitting key plot points and leaves us with an exercise to apply what we've learned. His review of Christina Hamlett's Screenwriting For Teens is insightful, and Anthony Ackerley is back with reviews of two very different writing books. His opinion and description of what they have to offer make it easy to understand if you should check out these titles or not. Also from J.R. Kambak, we have a report direct from the FADE IN: Hollywood Pitch Festival. I believe you'll find this fascinating even if you don't have a script to pitch.

In Items of INterest, Judy Adourian coaches us to a place of rational confidence to say, "I am a writer," when asked, "What do you do for a living?" This is a must read and re-read for all of us who are not writing on a steady paycheque. Stan Grimes pushes us to get on the Intrnet and grab an audience, and Amanda Eaton has a fun game of incentive that she plays with her rejection letters. Perhaps you'll adopt this game or make up one of your own. And Christina L'Homme helps us remember Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya as she is posthumously awarded the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

There you have the inside scoop on IN. Read it, digest it, and go out and be what you wanna be.

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Julie Pierce
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s 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;
It’s 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
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s 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 “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s 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 you’ll 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 poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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