Saturday, January 28, 2012

Author Interview: Sylvia Ney

Sylvia Ney resides in southeast Texas. She is a published author who sometimes ghost writes for others. Her poetry, short stories, essays, articles and photography can be found in journals, anthologies, newspapers, and online. She keeps a regular blog: Writing in Wonderland. Sylvia taught both elementary and high school students over the last twelve years. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two preschoolers and editor of GATOR TALK newsletter.

1) What are you reading now? I’m always reading several books at a time. Right Now - How to be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of your Life by Pat Williams with Jim Denney, Stephen King’s On Writing (again), Writer’s Digest: February issue, and Shadow Music by Julie Garwood.

2) Classic you’ve been meaning to read? War and Peace - I might cheat and watch the Audrey Hepburn movie version to get motivated.

3) The last book you finished in a single sitting? The Napping House by Audrey Wood – my daughters love this book.

4) Book you borrowed and never returned? Only heathens would do such a thing! ;-)

5) Favorite book from childhood? The Fire Cat by Esther Holden Averill and then the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene.

6) Best thing you’ve read online recently? There are a number of blogs and sites I visit continually, but one of my favorites is Author, Jody Hedlund. She is a talented author who is never afraid to expose herself and share what she has learned. I’m always learning something and finding nuggets of inspiration on her blog.

7) What do you do when you have writer's block? Exercise, read a book, watch a good movie, listen to great music, travel – anything that gets me away from the work and relaxed. Then I can return with a fresh mind and renewed energy.

8) What is your writing process like? Certain hours that you find more productive, a routine, a set amount of time or a number of pages you make yourself write every day etc. I don’t have a set goal or defined process. I’m a stay-at-home mom to two preschoolers so I write when I have time or am inspired. When the children are in school, I hope to develop a more defined daily schedule.

9) When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? I never preplan. I always start out with an idea, scene or emotion and write until I can’t go anymore. When I run out of steam, I take a break and then write out an outline or sets of goals for the story and its characters.

10) Are there any tips you would like to share with new writers? Read and write every day. Read a variety of genres, read books on the craft, read blogs of other authors. There is a multitude of information and contradictory advice out there. Weed through and find what works for you. Our minds don’t work the same and we all have different interests and strengths. Be willing to learn and find your own process for success.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

McNeese Leisure Learning for Writers

McNeese University is offering four leisure learning classes for writers. For more information or to register: here.

1) Journaling the Poetic Experience: A Beginner's Entry into Poetry Writing
    Instructor: Kevin Thomason
    Location: McNeese Library, Meeting Room A
    Date: Tues, Feb 28, Mar 6, 13, 20, 27
    Time: 6-7 pm
    Cost: $45/$49 after Feb 14

2) Memoir: Writing Your Life Story
    Instructor: J.D. Hibbits
    Location: McNeese Library, Meeting Room C
    Date: Thurs, Mar 8, 15, 22
    Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
    Cost: $39/$45 after Feb 23

3) Non-Fiction Boot Camp (Online)
    Instructor: Jessica Ferguson (info) This course covers the basics of nonfiction writing. You will learn by doing, discuss and research markets for your work and come away from this class with the fundamentals of being a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers.
   Location: Online
   Date: **Tuesdays** Feb 7, 14, 21, 28 and Mar 6, 13
   Time: 6 - 7 pm
   Cost: $69/$79 after Jan 24

4) The Short Story
    Instructor: J.D. Hibbits Do you enjoy reading and writing? Are you looking for something new and intellectually stimulating? This introductory course will examine short fiction through readings, class discussions, and creative writing exercises. You will learn some of the “tricks of the trade” to help you polish up a writing project or begin a new one. So bring your love of language and come prepared to experience a new approach to literature!
   Location: TBA
   Date: Thur, Jan 26, Feb 2, 9, 16, 23
   Time: 6:30-8 pm
   Cost: $59/$69 after Jan 17

Sidenote: This post was provided by Sylvia Ney.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Members Celebrate First Anniversary With Poetry Reading

January sixth was the first anniversary of the poetry reading at The Porch on Common St. BWG members celebrated with a repeat performance. Seven members read their poems this year.
Sherry Perkins started the evening with several striking poems from her collection. Beth Savoie read some delightfully funny short stories and Rebecca Stelly received many encores for her own work. Becky’s mother contributed an impressive poem Rebecca wrote as a child.
There was such a friendly and receptive group in attendance that one of the customers asked to read her poem as did one of the staff. 
The Porch hosts readings on the first friday of each month. February 3 will be a fiction reading. The time slots may all be full,  according to Erica McCreedy the coordinator from Arts & Humanities, but anyone can come listen. And you never know when a spot may become available. Readings will begin at approximately 7 pm.

Sherry Perkins, BWG President

Marcia Dutton

Beth Savoie

Rebecca Stelly

Luke Saucier

A special thank-you to Marcia Dutton for providing these pictures.