Monday, September 28, 2009

Meeting Cancelled

Due to some work at the local library where we meet, tonight's group meeting has been cancelled. The date of the next meeting will be posted here once it is set.

In the meantime, if anyone would like a writing prompt to help them along for the next meeting, how about writing something with a Halloween theme. We would love to hear some ghost stories at our next meeting. You can also find some prompts at the Creative Writing Prompts website.

Happy Writing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday

Friday, June 5th was group member Margaret York's birthday. I cannot believe I forgot to post it here. (I apologize for that, Margaret.)

Anyhoo, Margaret is a wonderful poet and a great addition to our little group. And she's such a nice person, I know she'll forgive me for forgetting to post her birthday. :-}


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in our group and those who read our blog.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I love quotes. Many writers do. We collect them like knick-knacks, setting them up on "shelves" to be brought down and used later as a jumping off point for our writing. We get ideas just from looking at them, observing them, letting them roll off our tongues. These ideas sometimes take seed and grow into full-fledged stories, essays or poems. You just never know where a simple quote is going to take you, and you never know when you will hear such a quote. I've pulled my little notebook from my purse in dark theaters just so I can write down something I just heard in the movie, something I felt I may be able to use later.

Today, I am going to share a few of my favorite quotes and where I first heard them. Maybe they can inspire your own creativity.

"[R]emember, no matter where you go, there you are."
-Buckaroo Banzai (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension)

"You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push."
-The Joker (The Dark Knight)

"The shrinks diagnosed me as a sociopath with paranoid delusions. But they were just out to get me because I threatened to kill them."
-From the TV show Heroes: don't remember the character's name

"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."
-Oscar Lavant

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."
-H. L. Mencken

Take those and run with them.....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Shirley Phillips

Today we say happy birthday to group member Shirley Phillips.

Shirley is not only a writer of great stories inspired by her childhood, she is also an artist. She hasn't been able to come to as many of the meetings lately as we'd like, but she is still a much loved and very valuable member of the group.

We look forward to her next visit.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Susan Picciotto

Today we are wishing a happy birthday to an absent member, Susan Picciotto. Haven't seen her in a while, but she's still a part of the group.

Susan writes some great essays, and we hope to hear from her again soon.

Where ever you are....


Friday, April 3, 2009

Blue Moon Bookstore

Independent bookstores have a hard time staying open when the economy is good, but an even harder time when things are tough. The latest casualty is Blue Moon in Spruce Pine. We've held our monthly meetings here for years. The building used to be a pharmacy complete with soda fountain I'm told, and it has such great historic charm. Hopefully it won't stay empty for long. (There's even talk of someone else wanting to try their hand at the bookstore thing, with maybe art classes and such as well.)

This is my friend Sharon Huskey. She bought the bookstore (building is rented) a few years ago and has been a downtown fixture ever since. She held on as long as she could, but it just wasn't meant to be. But Sharon has come out the other side with a bushel of friends at her side and a strength only a woman, especially a red-headed woman, can have. ;-)

Judith Smith, a member of my writers' group, organized a pot luck at the store on Tuesday evening, the last day of business. Lots of people came to offer Sharon support and she really seemed to be enjoying the company. Great people hang out at bookstores.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Literary Magazines

Here are some literary magazines that are accepting submissions. We're highlighting those that take electronic submissions although some of them also accept snail mail manuscripts if you prefer. Check out their websites for more information.

Returning to print after a four year hiatus is XENITH. This magazine accepts many forms of writing, not just fiction. Pieces can be as short as you want, but should not be any longer than 8,000 words. Response time is usually one to two months, which isn't too bad actually. You can get more information on their submission page.

Epiphany only publishes two print and two online issues a year, but it could be worth checking out. Mind you, their response time is five months at least, so there is a bit of a wait. They are currently so flooded with submissions they are holding off accepting any more until May, but it wouldn't hurt to take the time to familiarize yourself with the magazine.

I think this description of Pank speaks for itself: "PANK comes from the end of the road, the edge of things, a north shore, up country, a place of amalgamation, and unplumbed depths, where things are made and unmade, and unimagined futures are born. PANK is a ghost town around the next bend. It is hidden in caves in the withered hills. It is buried under impassable drifts of snow. An Ultima Thule, PANK – no soft pink hands here. It bears old scars, fresh scabs, callous, blood, and dirt. It is serene melancholy, spiritual longing, quirk, and anomaly. PANK inhabits its contradictions." It only publishes one print issue a year, but it's online monthly. Take a look at their submission guidelines for more info.

Friday, March 13, 2009

12½ Writing Rules

I saw this poster online and thought it would be perfect to post on our blog.

Now go write something.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Walter Rein

Today we're celebrating the birthday of group member Walter Rein.

Besides being a continuous contributor to our little group, Walter has published two books: Wonderful Wawa's Words of Wisdom (which can be found on and The Purple Rain in Zanzibar, his children's book which besides being carried by the publisher and Amazon, will soon appear nationwide on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.

I'm sure Walter is spending his birthday today with his wonderful wife, Janell, another person we all adore.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Purple Rain in Barnes & Noble

Dr. Seuss was born 105 years ago today. And what better way to celebrate than to give a pat on the back to a group member whose children's book, in my humble opinion, is a work of art along the lines of anything Seuss did?

Walter Rein was informed by his publisher (Grateful Steps) that Barnes & Noble will be carrying his book The Purple Rain in Zanzibar in their stores nationwide. This is wonderful news and we are very proud of both Walter and illustrator Jack Ferrell.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey: 1918 - 2009

The Mayland Writers' Group salutes the legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey who passed away today at the age of 90. He will be greatly missed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Taylor Reese

Today we'd like to wish a very happy birthday to group member Taylor Reese.

Taylor has written several books of humor including Humor is Where You Find It and Humor and a Whole Lot More, a collection of poetry titled A Glimpse at Life and two volumes (so far) of his memoirs.

Taylor has coauthored (with Jack Pyle) books on using the almanac and moon signs for planting and life in general: Raising with the Moon and You and the Man in the Moon. (You can check out their website at


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Congratulations Suzan McCoury

Congratulations are in order for group member Suzan Tanner McCoury. Her children's novel The Crystal Swan was recently published by Grateful Steps Publishing. The description on the publisher's website reads:

"No one would suspect that a mysterious adventure could start in a nursing home, but that is precisely what happened to thirteen-year old Leah Ward. Leah wanted to spend time with her friends. The last thing on her mind that fateful day was to go with her mother on a visit to Shady Springs rest home. A reluctant teenager went with her mother and was given an object that would change the way she saw the world forever.
The Crystal Swan is a little bit mystery and a little bit adventure. It follows the story of a thirteen-year old girl who receives an unusual gift. The gift changes the course of the end of one school year through the beginning of another. Follow along with Leah and discover the mystery of, The Crystal Swan."

This is Suzan's second book and can be purchased at the publisher's website, on or through your local bookstore. Her first novel, the self-published The Most Unusual Adventures of Black Shadow Smokey and The Blue Streak, can be found on or through your local bookstore.

Besides being a member of our little group, Suzan belongs to The Society of Children's Book Writers and The Appalachian Author's Guild. We look forward to her future works.

Congratulations, Suzan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2009 Writing Prompts II

Time for some new writing prompts. I have searched the 'net and here's what I've found for us today.

1) What was the first CD (or record or cassette) you ever purchased? Write about the way that particular album made you feel then. Write about how it makes you feel now.

2) What's your number one pet peeve? Develop a punishment for anyone caught in the act.

3) Who had the stronger influence on you? Write about a person who made you feel like a writer compared to someone who didn't.

There ya' go...three to choose from. Take one, two or take them all and run with it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congratulations Chrissy McVay

Author and group member Chrissy K. McVay recently entered The Movie Deal screenplay contest ( Her screenplay Souls of the North Wind, based upon her novel of the same name, was named among the top ten in the action/adventure category. And her screenplay Only Eagles Know My Name received an honorable mention.

We are very proud of Chrissy and look forward to the day when we can go to the theater to see a movie based on one of her screenplays. (It will happen.)

Chrissy's novel, Souls of the North Wind, can be found at Amazon ( Check it out.

Congratulations Chrissy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Walter Rein Wins Book Award

Group member Walter Rein recently received much deserved recognition for his book The Purple Rain in Zanzibar. It was chosen to receive the Silver Mom's Choice award for a Children's Picture Book in the Bedtime Stories category. (The entire list can be viewed here:

The judges for this award include the creators of Reading Rainbow and the Baby Einstein Series.

This is a great honor and we are proud of Walter and the book's illustrator, Jack Farrell.

Congratulations guys!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Writing Prompt for 2009

It's time for a new writing prompt for the new year. And what a year this is going to be. History was made last November when we elected the first African-American to the highest job in the land. And history continues this coming Tuesday, January 20th, as Barack Obama takes the oath of office in Washington, D.C.

This brings us to our writing prompt. Your assignment, if you choose to accept, is to watch the inauguration and write about it. If you're upset that Obama won, write about it. If you're happy, write about it. You can write a poem, a short story, an essay...anything. Just take this time to reflect on history in the making and write, write, write.


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