I appeared on the Pikes Peak Writers blog in their Sweet Success feature here. The blog is geared toward writers, with craft and motivational articles. They offer authors the chance to mention their accomplishments to their peers.
If you are an aspiring author, find a group like this where you can pick the brains of those further along the publication path. Published authors find writing groups a safe haven where they can talk craft with people who understand the trials and tribulations of writing fiction. Live in a remote area? There are many national groups with on-line loops, local chapters, and opportunities such as podcast recordings of meeting presentations.
Writing can be a lonely, solitary pursuit. Many groups have grown to offer mutual support. Try volunteering, if you have a little time to spare. I have learned more than I can list from groups like these:
Sisters In Crime (brothers welcome, too)
Mystery Writers of America
Pikes Peak Writers
Sunday, April 10, I shared my thoughts about the benefits of writing short fiction on PJ Nunn's Bookbrowsing blog.
I talk about how writing short stories can improve your writing, and give tips for how to get started, if you've never seriously tried writing short fiction.
Whiteout – according to AccuWeather, a whiteout occurs when snow on the ground, falling snow, and gray skies combine to make visibility near zero.
Perfect running weather. Stinging needles of wind-driven snow pelted us. I squinted through frozen eyelashes, but couldn’t avoid the tiny flakes splatting into my eyes. Soon I was coated, turning into a snow-woman. Chunks of snow fell off me as I jogged.
The last Wednesday in March, I joined 14 other women on the Women’s FIT team for our midweek training. Attendance is fifty to seventy five women, on a good day. We were obviously the contingent of the crazy.
I joined the women’s running team with my step-daughter, at the urging of my daughter. We all wanted to get in shape, and I craved running again after a several year break. The FIT team provides camaraderie, motivation, and professional coaching.
My Rock Shop Mystery series features a middle-aged woman who takes up walking and running in response to midlife changes. Characters and plots do not form out of thin air. I have to admit this had a bit of an autobiographical basis, although I was briefly on a college track team. A few years ago, I trained aggressively to run a marathon. I am not new to running.
This is a new chapter, however, with a different attitude. Fitness for life and health, not training for competition.
Wednesday, week 5 of our training program, I struggled against the wind for a mile and a half, alternating walking and running. Admittedly, it was painful, and I began to doubt my judgement. Then something wonderful happened. I turned into the park and enjoyed the protection from the wind offered by ancient cottonwood trees and younger pines. I relaxed into my run.
The park was silent. The few runners and dog-walkers faded from view. I felt warmer, from the exercise and the sheltering trees. Not exactly a runner’s high, but a profound sense of peace and well-being enveloped me.
I run for those moments.
Soon we will enjoy more reliably nice weather. When we’re running in May, I am certain my team members will revel in the heat and sunshine. I will remember the solitude of our snow run. Robert Frost said it better than I in his poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
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