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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blog Post on how to "Enliven your Writing with an Understanding of Clinical and Spiritual Psychology."

I recently attended a fascinating writing workshop presented by Dr. Richard P. Johnson on how writers can enliven their writing to create vivid, believable characters through an understanding of clinical and spiritual psychology.

In his workshop, Dr. Johnson presented his paradigm of personality based on human spiritual strengths.

I posted my notes on Dr. Johnson's workshop on Donna's Book Pub.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Coffee and Critique's Art Interpretation Competition and the Dr. Oz Effect on Book Sales

Charles Rogers, author of Sermon at Dead Man's Bend and Conversations with a Barn Cat, did a great job planning, organizing, conducting, and tallying votes in Coffee and Critique's First Art Interpretation Writing Competition.

Entrants were to look at a piece of artwork selected by Charles then write a story no longer than 100 words. Entries were read aloud by someone other than the writer. No author identification appeared on the entries, which were peer-judged.

Congratulations to the top-two winners and everyone who took up the challenge!

The top-two scoring stories were:

"Alone" by Sarah Angleton (aka The Practical Historian)

"Joplin and the Giant" by Jane Hamilton

In case you missed it: on Wednesday, Jan 28, Dr. Oz mentioned the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel, as part of the segment on "Can Angels Help us Heal?" 

The Touched by An Angel anthology includes the story "A Patchwork of Hope" by Coffee and Critique member Donna Volkenannt, who did a before-and-after analysis of book sales to find out the effect on sales after the book was featured on the Dr. Oz show.

You can find a link to Donna's post about the Dr. Oz dramatic effect on book sales on Donna's Book Pub.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanks to our Coffee and Critique Writers' Group Veterans

Thanks to all our Coffee and Critique writers' group veterans, past and present.Thank you for the sacrifices you have made so the rest of us can enjoy our freedoms.

The following is the roll call of US Veterans who belong to Coffee and Critique writers' group who have honored us with their words, their wit, and their wisdom:


Nick Nixon (USMC, deceased)
Doyle Suit (US Army)
Bill Mueller (US Army)
Jack Zerr (US Navy)
Charles Rogers (USAF)
Bill Spradley (US Navy)
Les Thompson (US Navy)
Lonnie Whitaker (US Army)

Without your service we wouldn't be able to enjoy the liberties at our critique group, including:

* The right to assemble (every Tuesday for two hours and sometimes for lunch afterwards).

* The right of self-expression during our critiques (as long as they don't exceed two minutes).

* The freedom to write without fear or intimidation, (as long as we don't exceed our five, double-spaced page limit with one inch margins all around in Times New Roman or a similar font). ;-)

* The right to read our works and receive generous feedback from everyone present.



Friday, October 31, 2014

Opinion Shaper Alice Muschany

Coffee and Critique writer Alice Muschany is always on the go, what with her new farm, eight grandchildren, taking care of family members, and other responsibilities, yet she still takes time for writing.

And she always does a wonderful job!

Here is a link to another one of her humorous Opinion Shaper columns: A Care Partner for the One I Care About.

The description of Nurse Brenda and "Hospital Secret Service" quip are
great!



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ghostly Tales at Coffee and Critique

Yesterday's Halloween story session was entertaining and lots of fun!

Everyone had a unique take on the topic, and everyone who attended read. One person who couldn't make it e-mailed a story, which I believe will be read next week.
Once again, the guys outnumbered the gals. This time it was 5:3.

Here's a glimpse of what was read;with titles like these, how could we not have a good time?

"Social Guy," a cat fight and a cat with special powers.

"The Crime of my Life," a humorous glimpse about working at a crime lab in Springfield, Illinois.

"Voodoo Barmaid," a guy walks into a bar and strange things happen.

"And the Dead After All are Not Hungry," a touching Halloween story about love and loss.

"Halloween," a mysterious woman, a graveyard, a love potion, and a tombstone.

"Elixir of Life," a magic potion with life-altering properties. Where can I buy some?

"The Ghost of Chateau de Chasse," a family moves in to a Belgian castle, where they're not the only residents.

"Yankee Doodle Dead," the ghost of a Yankee soldier haunts a Missouri family.
.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Scary Times at Coffee and Critique

In the spirit of the Halloween season, the Coffee and Critique writers' group will have a special meeting for members to read (without critiques) stories (true or fiction) or (here's the scary part--poems) with a Halloween-like theme.

Bring your true or made up stories (up to five, double-spaced pages) or poems (up to two, single-spaced pages) about Halloween adventures, ghosts, goblins, zombies, vampires, witches -- things that go bump in the night or raise the hair on the back of your neck.

The scarier the better, but, please, no excessive blood or gore.

This special event will be Tuesday, October 28, from 10-noon at our usual venue -- the Rendezvous Cafe in O'Fallon, MO.

Costumes optional.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Autumn: A Busy Writing Season for Coffee and Critique Writers

Members of Coffee and Critique have had a busy autumn season. They've won contests, gotten published, signed contracts, signed copies of their books, toured Europe, attended conferences, and been speakers at writer events. 


Here are recent updates:

Jane Hamilton's essay, "The Fearless Old Man on the Flying Trapeze," won first place in Saturday Writer's fear-themed writing contest. Jennifer Hasheider's story, "A Slamming Door Gently Closes," placed second, and Doyle Suit's story "Roadblocks" won Honorable Mention.

Berta Rosenberg's short story, "A Blessing" was a finalist in the Uncertain Promise anthology contest and is included in the Uncertain Promise anthology, released in October and available from AKA Publishing/Compass Flower Press.

Donna Volkenannt's true story"A Patchwork of Hope" is included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel, released in October. Donna also signed a contract for her short story, "Sins of the Daughter," to appear in That Mysterious Woman from Mozark Press later this year.

Alice Muschany's true story will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength, released in October.

Marcia Gaye has a short story in Not Your Mother's Book: Working for a Living, released in October.

Bill Spradley (Interludes and Lunch) and Doyle Suit (Baker Mountain) continue to stay busy signing copies of their books. 

Bill Mueller is working on a nonfiction book project with an Oklahoma connection.

Jack Zerr is busy writing while on his European vacation.

Lou Turner and Donna Volkenannt were faculty members for the second year at the Missouri State Teachers' Association annual retreat at Bunker Hill the first weekend in October.

Lou Turner will speak on a panel for the Ozarks Creative Writers Conference the second weekend October. Lou Turner, Marcia Gaye, and Donna Volkenannt served as judges for several OCW contests. Sarah Angleton, Doyle Suit, and Marcia Gaye will also be attending the OCW conference in Eureka Springs, AK.