“Stories in the Making”—Guest Post at Lara Britt’s Writing Space

Grandmother and Blackie

“Stories in the Making” appears today as part of Lara Britt’s Memoir Mondays series on her blog, Writing Space—my first guest post ever! Thanks, Lara, for the invitation.

“Stories in the Making” is about the influence of previous generations on my fiction. Here’s a bit of the post. “She” is my maternal grandmother.

The story she always told about her father’s death is a special gift to me in terms of writing material. He died in a hunting accident when she was twenty-three. My mother would have been two years old at the time. My grandmother was at her parents’ home when neighbor men brought her father’s body back from the woods. She always said she had nightmares for a long time after that day, the image of his bloody head still stark in her mind.

Hop on over to Lara’s Writing Space to read the whole piece. Happy story hunting!

Passing It On: “Seven Out-of-the-Box Author Blogging Ideas” by Shari Stauch

Hop over to Writer Unboxed for this terrific guest post by Shari Stauch, CEO of Shark Marketing. Shari has been involved in publishing and marketing for many years, and it shows. She offers terrific advice for writing topics to take us out of the ordinary. To quote Shari:

Even if you believe your story is “small,” it’s not. There’s always a bigger picture/issue lurking around the corner. So think about widening your lens where your own work is concerned. Ask yourself these two questions: “To whom does my writing speak?” and “What can I share with those people that matters?”

Change of Plans

Wow! A Liebster Blog Award has come my way, courtesy of Michelle Reynoso at My Writing Life. Thanks so much, Michelle!

I had a post ready to go today, but in light of the award, I feel compelled to write about something else: community. Yes. Bear with me . . .

Turns out that community has a range of definitions. Maybe a neighborhood first comes to mind—a group of people living together in one place, in harmony and good will. Community also means people bound together by race, religion, profession, or common interest. That one’s closer to what I have in mind. (These are coming from my dashboard dictionary, so you may come up with others.)

The third and most striking definition is this: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

This definition best fits a community of writers like the MNINBers, literally scattered across the globe. Proximity doesn’t bind us. Our common “profession” does, but we also share interests, goals, and a spirit of fellowship that transcends boundaries of time and place. (Mightn’t we also add space here, since our connections are mostly in cyberspace?)

Before the April MNINB platform challenge, maybe some of us were acquaintances or friends, or we were familiar with each other’s blogs or writing projects. For the most part, though, I suspect we were a bunch of strangers thrown together by a common goal: to build community, not just among our writerly selves but among readers, as well. It seems to me that friendships begun in the context of completing our tasks during the APC strengthened even after the challenge ended. We continue to cheer each other on.

As we share, we learn more about each other. And as we learn, we share on a deeper level. We’re happy when one of us succeeds, and we’re sad when rejections come along. Regardless, we are there, and our little community of writers will survive and make a difference.

In that spirit, I get to pass on the Liebster Blog Award! Here are the rules.

1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back (done, above).

2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers (below).

3. Let the nominees know by leaving a comment at their sites (in process).

4. Add the award image to your site (done, with pleasure).

Here are my nominees for the Liebster Blog Award:

Joy Weese Moll     Joy’s Book Blog

Veronica Roth    Veronica Roth: Well then…this is a life moment…isn’t it

Kim Bussey     Purrfect Tale

E. B. Pike    Writerlious     

Kasey Whitener    Life on Clemson Road

So fellow bloggers, I know we’re beyond the challenge, but here’s your call to action: Perform one small act today that extends your writing or artist community in some way. There. Doesn’t that feel good?