Link to TED

I like to listen to different talks on the TED website. Here’s a link to one given by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. It’s nineteen minutes long and worth every second. If you’ve never heard of this website, you’re missing something. It’s all free and if you have a fast enough Internet connection, you’ll be able to watch some great videos. Here’s the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

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Writing Contests—Which Ones are Worth the Fee?

So you’re thinking about entering a writing contest but the entry fee is $15. Is it worth it? Contests are a great way to build your writing resume and measure your skills against others, but be careful! Here are a few things I like to consider before I part with my money. 1. Is the contest reputable? Has it been around for at least a few years? Who runs it? It’s easy to Google a contest and get a feel for the history. Chances are if a well-know person has  served as a judge, the contest will be reputable. 2. Is the entry fee 10 percent or less of the prize money? If the fee is $35 and the prize is only $100, it’s probably not worth it. 3. What type of entries have won in the past? If you’ve written a nice story about growing up on a farm...

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Dishwater Words

Here’s a link to Hope Clark’s blog about dishwater words.  How often do we use these watered-down words in our writing? If you’re guilty, this post will help you clean up your manuscript! http://hopeclark.blogspot.com/2011/06/dishwater-words.html

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Nicollet Mall Poetry Contest

Hi everyone! I just found a new contest that looks really interesting. Nicollet Mall is looking for theme based poems of 30 words or less which will be placed on signs between Washington and 4th Street in downtown Minneapolis. There are cash prizes, too.  Make sure you use one of the required (themed) words they have on the website. Doesn’t this sound like a fun project? My hometown library did something similar. Five poems were selected and imprinted on the sidewalk next to the newly remodeled library. I’ll be reading my poem (an untitled haiku) tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Pine City library. For those of you who can’t make it to the library, here’s my poem:  Days flutter past like/the pages of an empty/book read by the...

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Clothesline Cowboys

Finally, after days of rain and cold, the sun is shining here in Pine City. I took advantage of that sunshine this morning and hung the laundry on the clothesline. As I snapped the wet clothes to the line, I thought of my mother and how hanging clothes on the line wasn’t a luxury to be enjoyed on a sunny day, but a chore she did no matter what the weather was like. She would carry the wicker basket of wet clothes to the hill behind our house and clip the clothing on the line, overlapping the edges to save on clothespins. My job was to hand her the wooden pins as she smoothed the creases from the clothing. Your assignment is to write about your experience with clotheslines. Post your writing below so we can all enjoy. And if you have a few extra minutes, I...

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