Publishing and Marketing
Award-winning Anthology of short-short stories, personal essays, memoirs,
journaling, poems derived from personal experiences.
Authors from all over the USA and a few other countries.
INCLUDES Writing Tips!
We all have a library of stories within us, and when we die, it goes with us, if we don’t write it down. People across the world are trying to write these stories down, sometimes as truth and sometimes in the form of fiction. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear or read many of these stories, and felt blessed to have been able to share the experience with the writer. You will find in this book some stories that will make you laugh, make you ponder, and make you cry.
The stories come my way because I am not only a writer, but a writing coach and teacher. I’ve had students submit to me pieces they have worked on for months. I’ve had gems written in a matter of two hours at my workshops, or even 15 minutes in my writers’ circle of friends. Imaginative stories have been submitted over the internet for consideration, to be placed on my web site. Out of all these, a few were carefully chosen and published on the web site, based on their emotional impact and honesty, as well as good writing skills.
I purposely kept the required size of the stories down to a short length so that the reader could get what I call a “5-minute fix.” The reader is quickly and easily permeated with a form of literary inspiration and delight.
I felt it was a shame to have the stories fade away, packed off in a folder or journal. So, I set about putting together this anthology of the best of the short-short stories, personal essays, journal entries and poems that have been published on my web site.
In addition, I publish writing tips and exercises bi-monthly on my web site that many of these stories were motivated by. Once again, it seemed a waste to tuck the lessons away in a folder. If they could inspire such innovative, heartfelt stories once, why not offer them again to a wider audience?
So now we have the marriage of short writing tips and short personal essays. How many times do writing books offer tips, but no clear example of how they can be put into action? This is the answer to that problem.
The book is compiled so that the writing tips can be used alone, and the stories can be read separately, or they can be used in combination with each other. They are not dependent on chronological reading.
In my writing retreat workshops in the mountains of Colorado, I stress two things. The first is that people acknowledge the writer in themselves and honor it by giving their writing a priority, and not the last thing they do when everything else is caught up. And, second that they write from the heart. We do many exercises using the right side (creative) of their brain to get them to let go of the left side (logical) brain’s criticisms and strict structure. This could involve small doses of drawing, reading or even doodling, or taking creative challenges by using unfamiliar objects or prompts.
I hope that reading these lessons and stories will be your inspiration to open up to new writing and reading possibilities.
Over the years, I have taken numerous writing workshops and skimmed through many books on writing, and I have found them to be helpful in providing me with structure, but most of them did not adequately talk about how to dig deep below the surface and write material that spoke from the inner core of "our tale."
I devised a series of exercises for my writing students that helped them first dig deep into their own psyche. Then, after discovering what they could do with a part of their own life story, I had them turn to their own written work or area of interest, and write it from a more rounded, deeper perspective. Based on these exercises, the students found it easier to set pen to paper, and quickly begin to write a comprehensive, insightful story or novel chapter or journal entry.
We took it one step further through analyzing what was going on in the story, and asking whether both the writer and the reader had the same goal in mind. Was it a morality play? a humorous commentary? a heartfelt drama? I ask, “what is the core issue?”
After breaking down the barrier of “I don’t know what to write about,” or “I need to rewrite a few times before I’m any good,” or “this isn’t my best work,” the writer finally feels a freedom to write unchecked, both in the speed of putting down a memorable story and in the spontaneous, but deep message they present.
In this book, I offer a variety of writing tips that will teach, inspire, motivate, or enlighten you to write more creatively in everything you do.
Attend one of our Rocky Mt. writing retreat workshops (average class size is one to three people); join us for either group or individual tutoring sessions.
“The man who doesn't read good books
has no advantage over
the man who can't read them.”
Never underestimate the power of understatement. Many people wonder why Jane Austen's "Emma" has lasted in our hearts so long, and why we linger over her love. Emma's true love is finally recognized at the end: Mr. Knightley. It begins with him declaring his love for her, as they stand alone in a garden. The air is thick with emotion. What does she reply? Austen says: "What did she say? Just what she ought, of course. A lady always does." We end up filling in the blank with our own emotion, and when we think about it months later, we don't remember the absence of words, but the emotion we felt.
Also, it is usually better to show the emotion than to try and put it into the character's words (show it through actions and reactions). In real life, this is often the case.
YELLOW SATIN GYM SHORTS
By: Julie Hurley
It seemed the way to go in my Texas Junior High School. Trying out for cheerleader by the 75 of us looked like it would bridge the gap from baby middle-schooler to being an "teenager", popular and accepted in this new grown up world.
I had never led a cheer; never stood in front of the class (more than to explain a given science experiment); and I had never been, nor wanted to be, popular. But at some point for me, with my grandfather dying (I was his legacy in all things natural); transferring to a new school where I knew only two people; and with a falling down-drunk mother and absent father, I reached for a lifeline.
The rope of salvation to me was not really about "elevation of status", but about being supported by people who at least knew your name. A student body, 700 strong, could possibly prop me up, when, I most likely, left on my own, would be face down before long.
I worked weeks on the moves, my body and limbs mostly misbehaving. But then, my grandfather died and I was whisked by my family from pre-tryouts to a small Kansas railroad town.
However, the next week, and upon my return, donning yellow satin gym shorts (required by all participants) and a simple white cotton tee, I walked on stage in front of the entire student body.
Even though there were three of us dancing at a time, it wasn’t enough to distract from the fact that I was frozen, rigid, not a chance of being able to move.
It was a paralysis I had not anticipated, as tears of grief, humiliation, and fear poured down my face.
...Years later, and as a result, I am a person not "propped-up", standing before the audience of my life, clear, authentic, and strong.
"She opens and stretches the mind into ideas one didn't know existed." D. Byers
"To be able to write well, you need to tell what is under the rug. Thank you for giving me the tools to look," R. Gorishek
"I have been enlightened on how to work with fiction. You have triggered something in me that has brought an additional style to my writing," F. Sher
"Yellow Gym Shorts" ---"It takes a special kind of person to be able to self analyze, admit their fears and overcome them. I believe that you must have." G. Miller
"Life is a Stream of Music" ---"I enjoyed reading this, and I'd like to put it in our mental health counseling newsletter." S R Furness
"My Transpersonal Experience" ---"It initially saddened me because I had failed to meet Charlie before he died...such a unique courageous fellow...In writing this story, she has immortalized him." A. Rodriguez
"Home is Where the Heart Is" ---"It gave me an idea of what some Indian women face, and it's an incredibly pertinent issue you dealt with." G. Towers
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For information on writing retreats in the Rockies
go to our "workshop" Home Page
For a list of additional books
published by Spring Times Publishing,
go to SpringTimeWriters .com/author.htm
View discussions on-line with author Kathleen Spring. It's some old-time social chatting at http://www.virtualchautauqua.com (August 2005) with optional writing exercises. While the discussion is now "closed," feel free to try out the exercises (or read the discussions) and email your reactions to Spring at the email address below.
Subscribe to our quarterly Spring Time Writers Newsletter for more tips on writing, exercises, articles, reviews and news! (and no ads) See a sample online.
We have been or are an active member of :
SPAN Small Publishers Organizations;
Colorado Press Women (award winner),
Colorado Author's League;
and Society of Professional Journalist (award winner)
And are listed in the catalogues of the above organizations, as well as
book distributors: == BookSense==BowkerLink==Borders
(2012, these distributors no longer carry the book)
Cover photograph by Elaine Redmond, Beverly Hills, Michigan (all rights retained)
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Use this Address to send your order and check to:
P. O. Box 512
Lyons, CO 80540-0512
303-823-0997 call 10am to 7pm Mountain MST
Date last modified: April 27, 2012 9:00 AM
Disclaimer Copyright 1998-2012: All logos, photos, and original and html text are Copyright © by Kathleen Spring. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use is prohibited without written permission from owner. All prices are subject to change at the reasonable discretion of the owner.