published writing

Seeds of…Volume II: Anthology of Pacific Northwest Writers

SEEDS OF…Volume II: Anthology of Pacific NW Writers (Volume 2) is the latest collection of writers from Writers in the Grove and community writers from around the Pacific Northwest published by Tawk Press.

Complied, edited, and published by Writer’s in the Grove leader, MaryJane Nordgren, the anthology features a wide but cohesive collection of stories, poems, and prose that will delight you and keep you reading page after page, even out loud to friends, family, and strangers on the bus.

The publisher’s description on Amazon describes the book best:

This second collection of essays, stories and poems by writers from Oregon and Washington varies in outlook and philosophy, in form and style as widely as does the Pacific Northwest community.

Diana Lubarsky leads off “Coping” with a hilarious crisis in the lives of her characters from Dante’s Angels. Mark Thalman reminds of the fragility of the line between life and death. Ross Hall, Lois Akerson and Bunny Hansen grow from loss. In a letter to Dorothy, Fred Melden contemplates where we are after life’s experiences. Joe Schrader follows poachers from Minnesota who are little better off hunting in Oregon. Mitch Metcalf engulfs us in a disaster in the North Sea. “Relating” brings Roger Ritchey, Rebecca Robinson, Hannah Kolehmainen and Matthew Hampton in touch with Nature. Beverly Walker and G.A. Meyerink rely on love of animals to bring out the best in people. Charles Pritchard, Joan Graves and Everett Goodwin define self in relationship with another. Joan Ritchey is reminded of generations of love by the family mantle clock. Bill Stafford’s humor wrings joy from plays on words beginning with ‘O.’ In “Finding Self,” Jessica Morrell’s planned escape to Nature becomes a lesson in tolerance and the joy in giving. Nel Rand, near the end of life, returns to what has mattered most. Paula Adams’ fearful tadpoles ponder one of their own who reaches beyond the known.

Rosemary Lombard, Barbara Schultz and Susan Munger reach into foreign settings. Karen Hessen, Eva Foster, Sarah Hampton and Gerlinde Schrader grow from difficult childhood challenges. Julie Caulfield and her brother’s inability to swallow at the dictate of their father brings challenges to their mother. Sandra Mason’s heart is beside the Pacific, but her roots are deep in the Midwest in “Remembering.” Susan Schmidlin wrestles with the hitches in farm maintenance. Susan Field and Muriel Marble remember life changing in a hurricane and a war. In “Reflecting,” Marilyn Schmidlin leans on and learns from a strong tree of life. Phil Pochurek and Wafford Tornieri explore humanness in the cycles of season and the moon. Alisa Hampton and M.J. Nordgren ponder the interconnectedness of seen and unseen.

These thirty-nine authors scatter wild and domestic seed abroad into the far-flung, fertile soil of imagination. But uniting them all is the love of the strength, beauty and challenge of Pacific Northwest area of the country.

Seeds of…Volume II is available in print on as a paperback.


Her First Camel

Due to a technical glitch, the final paragraphs were not published of “Her First Camel” by Susan Munger in “SEEDS OF…Volume II: Anthology of Pacific NW Writers (Volume 2)” by MaryJane Nordgren, an anthology representing many members of Writers in the Grove including Susan, we publish the full version of the story here. Our sincere apologies to Susan, and gratitude for this wonderful story.

Aysha stretched her thin, bony back for a moment, willing the long, hot day to be over, wishing the wind would stop whining through their stall, wondering if she would ever get enough to eat. As Aysha returned to bending the tiny wires in and around the small golden beads, her father Azam, seated next to her, continued to shape and solder the heavier frame of the next camel.

They sat cross-legged on a thread-bare carpet in a cramped and dim corner of the marketplace, doggedly working their trade from first light to dusk. Every now and then, Aysha would have to pause and hand the camel back to her father for further soldering. No words were exchanged; the rhythm of the work made talk unnecessary.

Aysha’s father worked over a tiny fire, using a soldering iron that had a block of copper pointed at the tip to provide just the right amount of heat, uniting the solder to the wire. He knew just how much to apply, having learned this skill from his father before him. Aysha’s older brother studied every move and practiced making a stylized camel frame on which the wire and beads would be attached. It was his destiny to someday take over this role while Azam sat home resting and smoking in their scrap of a tent. For his efforts, the son earned a small fee out of the day’s take. It wasn’t much, but it was more than Aysha got, which was nothing. Nothing, that is, but her meal. Even that was pitiful, but it kept her eight-year-old body sufficiently sustained for another day of work. And another. This had always been the way. (more…)

Writing Tips for Editors July 2015

This roundup of writing tips comes from editors – specifically editors screaming to writers to LISTEN AND OBEY!

Editors are the sheriff to our published words, the one who rounds up the misbegotten criminals and victims of our words. We owe it to them to listen to their great words of advice so we become better writers before we hand over our words to them.

Ten useful writing tips from a frustrated editor – One Salty Blonde: This is not directly from an editor but from a writer with a fantastic editor who left notes on her book that not only made it better, but made her a better writer.

5. Avoid weak adjectives and most adverbs. They weaken writing. So instead of walked quickly, write dashed or bolted. Instead of tall man, write about him towering over something.

6. Do a search of “that” when you are done with a piece. Then take out the ones that are unnecessary. It will be lots of them. “He said that he didn’t do it.” Imagine you must pay $5 for every unneeded that.

Another great article on editing is designed for blogging, but applies to writing of all types. It comes from “7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful” by Shane Arthur of Boost Blog Traffic:

There are some bloggers who seem to have a natural gift when it comes to writing. Some bloggers seem to be naturally gifted writers.

They manage to get their ideas across clearly and economically, which means that readers can easily follow what they write. Readers devour their clear, economical prose.

Not only is there a lot of respect for what they have to say, but also the way that they say it. People respect what they say – and love how they say it.

Some beautiful lessons on editing in that.

Here are a few more good tips, advice, and instructions from editors to editors and to writers.