Monday, December 18, 2006

Sharon Poppen's Thoughts on Writing and Stuff

Yahoo!!!!! Heard from Avalon Books. They read the first three chapters of 'Abby' and they said that 'It appears to be a book that may be suited to our needs.' Yahoo, I made the second cut. I just know when they read the entire adventures of Abby and her companions, they'll love it. Hey, I can hope and think positive can't I! And I am! Wow, I'm so excited. Looks like it's going to be a good year. I have a short story coming out in Long Story Short in Feb. and now this! Went to the writer's meeting on Saturday. Small crowd. Lots of folks are gone for the holidays. Got some good reviews on the excerpt from 'Mama Played for the King' It turned into a good story despite my reluctance to work on a semi-autobiography. I still need to let Yvonne read it as it was based on her life story, but I've fictionalized it so much that I'm not sure she'd recognize it. Been so busy getting ready for Christmas that there is little time to write. Got friends staying overnight tomorrow, so again no writing is on the agenda. Then Thurs., it's back up to the Bay Area for Christmas. The days just fly by. I need to work on 'Abby' so I can get it sent off to Avalon within the next week. Avalon Books! Yes! By the way, did you know that it is very hard to type with your fingers crossed? Well it is, but it feels so good and it can't hurt. Avalon Books!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sharon Poppen's Thoughts on Writing and Stuff

I can't believe I've let so much time go by. Where do the days and hours go? Got my feed back on 'Hear About Phil?'. Needs work. Lots of work! :-) Also, got word from the agent that read three chapters of 'Abby'. Here are her comments, 'This is a nice story based on early American history. Unfortunately (you could see that coming), I found no outstanding element here to convince me that it would go in today's very negative market. Sorry to have to pass. Best of luck elsewhere.' Hummmmm, outstanding element and negative market. I understand about not hooking the agent with an 'outstanding element', but I'm not sure what 'negative market' means. Oh well, one man's gold is another man's ..... At least she read a couple of chapters. Had a great Lake Havasu City Writer's Group Christmas party last Friday. Lots of good food, fun presents and warm camaraderie. They are a great bunch of folks. Heard from Jack Simon. He's writing again. Hurray! He sent me a chapter to crit. I'm so flattered. Also, a local newsletter is going to print some of his short stories. They are lucky folks. He's a good writer. Met with Lois and JOan last Thursday night. Two more good writers. We visited and critiqued our short submissions for over 2 hours! Dear, dear friends and I'm blessed to share time with them. I need to start back with 'Hannah' and plan on doing that this afternoon. My editor has been tied up with family illness, but is back to work which means so do I! Nothing exciting about my writing these days and that's probably why I've been lax with my blog. I have been meeting with Dave. He's reading my 'Abby' and I'm reading his story of a turtle and a lizard making a trek across the desert. Our tastes are quite different, so I think we're exchanging good, honest critiques. I look forward to the meetings. Now, off to 'Hannah'. I shall return, soon.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Got My Fingers Crossed

Finally, things are getting back to normal, whatever that is. So much has happened since I last blogged. Let's see. I got a request from an agent and a publisher for 3 chapters of 'Abby' and a synopsis. You all know that's no guarantee that they'll want it, but at least I made the first cut. Yahoo! I'm sort of back to sending out a couple submissions a day, one novel and one short story. I'm actually beginning to enjoy it. Of course, on the short stories especially, I'm getting quick rejections, but hey, they can't like it if they don't get a chance to read it. Had a short, quiet writer's meeting on Saturday. Not too many attendees. Guess the winter visitors aren't back yet. I submitted a silly little piece called 'Hear about Phil?'. I wrote it to satisfy the prompt from the LHCWG and FlashXer. Started out at 400 plus words, but I pared it down to 250 to meet the requirements of the LHCWG prompt of 'fireworks'. Those 250 word exercises are so great in learning how to get your point across without redundancy. After the meeting, around nine of us gathered at the local Denny's to chat. Lots of good ideas come out of those impromptu sessions. Earlier today I got two submissions sent off, got the Telephone Pioneer newsletter ready to go, then cleaned up my backed up email and now I'm updating this blog. Life is good! So, think I'll treat myself to a Law & Order rerun. And oh, that sunset is too good to miss. Now, where's my wine.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Visitor from Virginia Blue Ridge

Had a lovely surprise today. I answered my phone this am and a lovely voice said, 'Hi, this is Sharon.' Sharon Tabor Warren is a writing buddy from my Desk Drawer on-line writing group. We have exchanged crits, subs and emails for a couple of years now and it was just great putting a face to a name. She's on her way to a reunion in Blythe, Calif. and had stopped at our Lake Havasu City Wal-Mart. She came up to my house and we got to visit for about an hour, way too short of a time. There was never a quiet or awkward moment. We talked like old friends, and I guess we really are due to our interaction on DD. She's going to be busy, but I'd love for her to find the time to drop by again. I've gotten back to my submission commitment. I sent out one novel query and one short story submission on each of the last two days. Feels good to be submitting again. Also, I noticed that Lois, JOan and I hadn't set up our crit date for Nov., so I suggested the 9th and they agreed. I enjoy our threesome for the crits and the camaraderie of two dear friends. Also, got a notice today that Pat Agnew will be signing her book, 'How to Talk to your Doctor' on Saturday over at Hastings. I'll be there! I'm so happy for her. I printed up my edits to Hannah from June and will try to get to them tomorrow. I hope that gets the creative juices going and I can write a few more chapters. I found out that a former member of our writer's group has subscribed to Hannah. So, I know I have at least 4 subscribers. I'll have to check with Virtual Tales and find out when I'll see any payments. Busy day tomorrow, a property owners policy meeting, a service call by the AC/heater maintenance folks and finally dinner out with a few friends, so I'll call it a night.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Life Goes On

It has been a week now since I lost Dave. It's been hectic, but it has also been a time for reflection on the good side of life, especially when it comes to family and friends. The cards, calls and visits have been almost non-stop. I am trully blessed to have such people in my life. As to my writing, it's been on a back burner. Although, today, I did send out another query to an agent and a short story to an ezine. I received a rejection today from an agent. It reads, 'Awesome! Dear Sharon - we pass, but clearly you can write. Keep at it. Blog, Speak and keep writing - Something will give!' Now if that isn't the ying and yang of the writing world, I don't know what is. Smile-Smile! The coordinator for the local Spring Fling called today and needs my picture, bio and a brief blurb about the topics I'll moderate this coming Feb. on Journaling and Short Story Writing. I'm so looking forward to it. The folks are always so nice and it's a wonderful opportunity to sell my books. Also, Bertha from the college called the other day. She encouraged me to talk to the Enrichment Class coordinator at the college to see if she needs me to do any workshops. I've enjoyed doing them in the past and again, they are a good way to sell books. So many emails to answer, so must sign off for now. Maybe tomorrow, I'll find time to write. I think I hear 'Hannah' calling to me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sad News

Life has changed for me. I arrived home from Denver on Monday morning to find my husband 'asleep' in his recliner in front of the television set. I called the police, who sent the para-medics, but he was gone. He passed sometime between Saturday and Sunday, because he dropped the dog off at the boarding kennel around 10 am Saturday, then wasn't alive to read the Sunday papers. I feel bad that he was alone, but the paramedics, police and mortician feel that he feel asleep watching TV and never woke up. His eyes were closed, his hand folded over his chest and a soft expression graced his face. He's been in ill health for years so one can only hope he has found health, peace and happiness in the beyond where we are all headed. I am doing fine emotionally thanks to the support of all my wonderful family and friends. Their offerings of kindness have been my strength through all of this and I count myself a lucky person to have each and every one of them in my life. Now, with all the associated paperwork generated by this change to my life, my writing has taken a back seat. June, my editor for 'Hannah' has been most understanding. I've let my commitment of one novel and one short story submission every day slide, but I've gotten a couple of rejections, like I needed that right now. However, the ezine Long Story Short accepted on of my short stories which, oddly enough, was about my mother's final days. I really need to get back to answering both my phone and email messages/condolences, so I'll sign off now and hope for sun and rainbows tomorrow in my Arizona sky and in my ever-searching soul.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Still in Denver

Still in Denver. At least the snow from Friday night is gone. It is beautiful here, but I do so miss my Arizona! Haven't had the time to do much writing the past couple of days and I feel like I'm going through withdrawal. I'm having lunch with a cousin and his wife, that I just recently met, and have a couple of hours to spare before I meet them, then fly home. So, naturally, I've got to write. Turned in a flash story to FlashXer for a prompt about something risque. Speaking of FlashXer, there's quite a discussion going on as to whether a series of flash fictions stories can be turned into a novel. Most FlashXers feel that it can't, but one says empahically no. I think my Hannah turned into a good 'novel' and it started with about a dozen flash stories written to a variety of prompts. Who knows who is right or wrong and does it matter. Each individual reads/writes to their taste and that is certainly a varied commodity. I just finished reading 'The Martian Chronicals' by Ray Bradbury and it seems to me that he created quite a powerful novel out of a series of short stories. Oh, got two more rejections from agents. Oh well, still keeping to my committment to one a day. Maybe they'll get tired of hearing from me and feel pity. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Yeah, it will!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Back on Track

So much has been going on these past couple of weeks! Too much life to live and too few hours in the days/weeks to get it all in. Just tonight, I had my monthly writers meeting with Lois and JOan. Not only do we learn so much from each other, but we enjoy each other's company as we share our thoughts on writing, family and just stuff. Tonight they gave me crits on my 'Rodeo Romances' and I was pleased that they liked it. I ran into a writer friend the other day. Her name is Shirley Wolford and she has had numerous books published. She is now 92 years old and is busy editing a novel that is due to be published next year. She asked me how my writing was going and I told her that I hadn't been sending my novels out to publishers/agents recently. She said, "Why do you write them, if no one is going to read them?" Her words made me do some soul searching. I found that I would write no matter if my words were never read by anyone. I have to write! But, it is a wonderful feeling to have someone read your novel/story and then start talking about your characters. I love my characters, some more than others, but I love for others to meet and enjoy them. When I'm asked how I come up with my stories, I always tell folks that I think writers are schizophrenic. But, they only hear good voices, not voices that tell us to take and Uzi and ..., well you get the idea. But, back to Shirley. I decided that she made a good point, so I promised my self that I'd start submitting again. I dusted up my old novel submission letter, made it more generic, gave info about how much I've written and gotten published. I've set a goal of one novel and one short story submission per day. So far so good. Publishing World, here I come!! Now, I must sign off and try to finish my Mario Puzo book 'Omerta'. My book club meets Saturday and I'm not even half way through the book. I must say, I do like the way Puzo develops his characters, which is my true love in any book. So, good night for now!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Home Again

The days fly by far too fast! Not only am I back from Calif., but I've been to Chicago and back. Attended a 75th birthday party for a dear, dear aunt. It was fun, but again, I missed my time to write. Mike's Flash Tales Ezine came out last month and he did right by my story 'The Pencil Collection'. I can only hope his ezine becomes extremely successful. I've been away from my western serial for a couple of weeks now and I really need to move Hannah along. Besides, I miss her. Lots of interest regarding the value of on-line writing groups this week. Both FlashXer and Desk Drawer moderators sent out queries about the value of the prompts. Both got great reviews and I can only hope it encourages them to continue doing the fine job we subscribers have come to appreciate. We learn so much and stretch our imaginations on both sites. I was so happy to find a sub from Lois on Flashers-Dozen. I'd never read that story and rally enjoyed it. Sandra read it too and sent Lois a nice crit. I'm off to Parker, AZ today to attend our Telephone Pioneers Sunday Social at the Roadrunner Floating Bar & Restaurant. We had a blast last time, so I'm looking for a good time today. And, we'll probably stop at the casino on the way home!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hannah & Stuff

It's the end of August. That's so hard to believe. The days just fly by. I'm still in No. Calif. and am more than ready to head back to Havasu. I miss having the time to devote to my writing. Being with the kids/grandkids is too wonderful to let slide, so I focus on them when I'm here. But, between Hannah and some other on-line publications, I need to focus on my writing. Mike's Flash Tales ezine is due out Sept. 1st and I'm excited to check out my 'Pencil Collection' and to see all the stories in his new publication. Sure hope it goes well. Sandra Seaman sent me an email today and she has a piece accepted by Mike, too. I watched the movie 'Rent'last night. Very sad, but a good watch. I would never buy it, but it was an excellent study on life in NY for struggling artists. Went to see 'A Step Above' the other day. Very sweet movie and the dancing was spectacular. I sent out three subs to my various writing groups and have been getting some great crits back. It's funny, but you can read, read, read you own stuff and still miss things. The writing groups are so helpful in learning and sharping one's editorial skills. Only four more days until we head back to Lake Havasu city. Yeah!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Off to the Redwoods

Gosh time slips away much too fast. Today is my birthday and I'm here in Calif. celebrating it with my kids and grandkids. They're taking me to my favorite New Mexico cuisine restaurant. We drove up here to Pleasanton last Saturday and have been busy ever since. Not getting too much writing done. Oh, I did get some good news. Mike Kechula from my FlashXer writing group is starting his own ezine. He requested my story, 'The Pencil Collection' for his inaugural issue. That was so unexpected and it's a paying ezine. So, I was doubly flattered. To counter that success, I received a rejection from another ezine. They said they like my writing, but it didn't fit their needs. Ah, the old seesaw of the writing world. Because I'll be away from the computer for the next couple of days camping in the redwoods above San Francisco, I'd better sign off for now and finish another chapter of 'Hannah' before I leave. So, so long pardner!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bear Day

Just got home from working on our Telephone Pioneer 'hug-a-bears'. I'm not much help, but I do stuff the little fellows with filling. Then, their ribbons are added, final stitches are made to close them up and voila, they are ready to be sent over to the local hospital emergency room to be give to children in trauma. Always feels good to do this. Decided to use my latest prompt about a hug from my FlashXer on-line group to close out a story I wrote to a prompt given a week ago about a romp. Part 2 turned out well and left the reader with a happy ending. Getting good crits back. Even from some men. Funny, these characters would not let me go. I kept thinking of them and it seemed they wanted closure. I love it when that happens. Will leave for a few minutes for lunch with a friend. I sure hate leaving her to go Calif. next week. She's pretty much made herself into a shut-in and I can't get through to her that she'd feel better if she stayed active. Is there a mental switch that kicks in at a certain age that says, 'I'm old. I'll just sit here, take my medicine and wait for the grim reaper to arrive.'? I hope not. Then this afternoon, it's back to writing. I'd like to finish chap. 34 of 'Hannah'. I've killed off the bad guy, so now I need to think of another mess to get Hannah and Liam involved in. Hear that, Muse? Muse? Muse? Ah,... where are you?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Just got home from my Telephone Pioneers luncheon. The camaraderie amonst those folks is one of life's pleasures for sure. Trouble is, we're not getting any younger and we've not had new members for some time. Hopefully, this fall, the arrival of the snow birds will fill some ranks. Getting lots of helpful crits on my last few submissions to my on-line writer groups. It's always interesting to see who gets your message/plot manipulation and who doesn't. The varied styles and interests of the groups make for invaluable feedback. Today's prompt from FlashXer deals with hugs. I think I'll expand on my previous story 'Lapse in judgment'. Anyway, the rest of the day is mine. Oh, went to see the new movie 'World Trade Center' yesterday afternoon. It was difficult to watch some scenes as they were actual footage of the horror of that day. But, overall it was a movie about human kindness, family relationships and the will to live. I think the actor who portrayed Will deserves an Oscar nod. Also, I was surprised at Oliver Stone's ability to just tell a story without nudging his audience with his agendas. Okay, time to write. Take care.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, Monday ...

When I still did the 9 to 5 thing, I hated Mondays. Now, I look at them as a new beginning. Speaking of new beginnins, I sent out Chapter 33 to my editor, June, yesterday. Then, it came to me that I had focused so much on plot manipulation, that I forgot to address two important character details. Hurried up and upgraded the chapter and resent it. Hope June gets the upgrade before she edits the first one. Yikes! Talked with my daughter and granddaughter yesterday. I just love to do that, because I miss seeing them so much. Now, about my son! I miss talking with and visiting with him, too. I guess when you single parent it, it's hard to let go. I always think of those years in the words of my favorite songs of the day. Helen Reddy's, 'You and me against the world.' and the old favorite, 'Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money, ... side by side.' Got to run now. It's off to water aerobics, walk the dog, enjoy the sound of the cleaning ladies (I have them in once a month - it's so worth it!), then off to a Republican Women's luncheon and finally home for some writing. You have a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thoughts on Writing and Stuff

Wonderful day of writing yesterday. Got Liam to find the baby in my 'Hannah' story. Today I'm going to work on getting Hannah out of the mess she's in. Also, watched the movie cocoon. Lots of holes in the plot, but it was a movie to make you dream. I was asked if I'd go with the aliens to outerspace and leave my family and friends behind. And my answer was yes. I love living and the thought of living for centuries while traveling the universe is too much to resist. I thought the conflict showing the emotions of one of the couples who were torn about leaving their grandson, but went anyway, pretty much expressed my feeling. Now, on to today. First, it's read the Sunday papers and walk the dog, then lunch with an ailing friend, maybe a stop to check out the big sale at Penny's and then maybe a trip across the river tonight for a couple of hours of keno. No matter how it turns out, it looks like a lovely day. Hope yours is too.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thoughts on Writing and Stuff

Nothing to do today! Yeah! A writing day! By the way, JOan, I got your comment and why do you need to start another blog? Oh, I subbed another story. I sent it to Whim's Place ( ). They have a $5 entry fee, but they pay wins all the way to 8th place. An online writer associate won last quarter. Check it out. My FlashXer writer's prompt for yesterday was 'trash'. I wrote a story about an undercover terrorist. Crits have been interesting and most helpful in fixing some holes in the piece. Need to do some more work on 'Hannah' today and probably will. Want to go see the new 9/11 movie and probably will this weekend. Ahhh, the muse calls ...

Friday, August 11, 2006


Had a great meeting with Lois and JOan last night. It's our monthly crit night at Denny's. Lois' story of a rekindled old love was a delight. JOan's saga of April is well written, but it nearly breaks your heart. Got another lead today to send a sub. It's 'Flash Me' ezine. Jeanne Eddy, LHCWG member, is an editor there and she sent the info. to me. Got some good prompts today from my on-line writing groups so I hope the creative juices get a nudge from the muses. Wait, I think I hear one now! Gotta run,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Great day for me. Lots of writing accomplished and even submitted a story to A Cruel World Ezine. A friend who had crit the story suggested it, so all they can do is reject it. God know I know how that feels! Now it's onto the mundane things like answering phone calls, paying bills, making supper ..... But, this am was glorious as I spent time with my characters!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And so I've begun.