The Page a Day Writers Group

pexels-photo-88703_1Hello everyone! Announcing the launch of my new venture, the Magic Word Editing Co.​ My team of experts and I offer a full range of editorial and e-book design services for fiction and nonfiction authors, science and academic writers, and small businesses.

You can find us on LinkedIn and Facebook, too. There we’ll share news features, services, developments and announcements as the business grows. We’re happy to answer your questions and take suggestions on how best to fulfill your editorial and writing service needs. Projects in progress: a welcome video and a quick quiz to help our clients choose which of our services best meet their needs.

Do take a few moments to check out the site. Remember, we offer reduced-price service packages, and a 10% discount for referral clients. http://www.magicwordeditingco.com

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Startup Stock PhotosWorking on a memoir?
Join Kirsten Imani Kasai for a 3-hour workshop on Tuesday June 6 at San Diego Writers Ink and learn how to mine your memories and life experiences to craft the compelling memoir or personal essay that you yearn to write. We’ll explore different techniques for finding the narrative amidst our memories, identifying elements of our story and discuss how to use creative license to handle fuzzy or painful memories. You’ll also discover how to bring real people to life as characters and identify what role you play within the story.

$45 for member/$54 for nonmembers

Register now

By Trish Wilkinson

iStock_000001688703SmallWith academic demands ratcheting higher, stressing out children and their parents, seven years ago, I set out to write Grade by Grade: A Guide to Raising Smart, Happy Kids, K—6. The book would be a What to Expect When You’re Expecting for elementary school.

I’d collected a boatload of convenient games for parents and children to play on car rides, at the doctor’s office, or in line at the grocery store at each grade level—activities to help kids thrive, whatever their learning environment.

After twenty-three years of teaching, three years of research and interviews with lots of professionals and parents, I took an online class with Media Bistro and wrote a killer book proposal.

But once I started sending out queries and talking to agents and publishers at conferences, the response was always the same:

“It’s a great idea, but parenting books written by teachers don’t sell well.”

It didn’t matter that I’m one of the few teachers who has taught all the grades, from kindergarten through sixth, so I could speak from experience. I didn’t have a PhD or several thousand blog followers, so the book wasn’t worth publishing.

My plastic file box, jammed with folders of notes, articles, research studies, and interviews, collected dust in our garage for three more years.

When our older daughter graduated from Cal Poly, and our younger daughter was in her senior year at Williams College, my husband and I decided to move to Bend, Oregon to put 94.9 Central Oregon Fox Sports Radio on the air. To make the move from San Diego, California, we threw out eighteen years of accumulated non-essentials—including my box full of research.

But no effort is wasted.

I often remind my clients of this. Our endeavors don’t always get rewarded in the time-frame we expect. Sometimes the skills we learn on a project apply to the next one that gets the results we’ve been seeking.

Shortly after my husband and I moved to Bend, I arranged for Howard Shulman to give a presentation on his book Running From the Mirror and to teach a workshop with me on how to write a memoir at the San Diego Southern California Writers’ Conference in February 2016. His publisher, Sandra, of Sandra Jonas Publishing in Boulder Colorado, called me to coordinate promotions for the book.

And the two of us hit it off.

Sandra is an incredibly conscientious, passionate hard-worker—like I am.

After the conference, we kept in contact, and she asked me to do a developmental edit for one of her authors. This author’s novel had a fabulous premise, but the story and characters needed fleshing out—which we did, and it’s awesome now!

Watermelon Snow by debut author William Lippett, an intriguing story of scientists, melting glaciers, catastrophic egos, treacherous journeys across the ice, and a bit of romantic tension, chock-full of suspense that’s sure to keep you turning pages, will be released in July 2017.

When wrapping up the edit for Watermelon Snow, Sandra mentioned one of her other authors, Jacqueline Frischknecht. Jackie was a PhD who’d done a ton of brain research related to how function and development affect children’s education. She wrote a manuscript called Boosting Brain Power: Leveraging Students’ Learning Abilities.

“What a fabulous idea!” I said and gave Sandra my one-sentence summary of the Grade by Grade project, so she would know I had the background to provide whatever help she might need.

Sadly, Jackie passed away while working to develop the manuscript for publication. The prose still needed focus, organization, and a friendlier tone.

Jackie’s dying wish had been to publish the book, and her family wanted to see that wish granted. Sandra asked me to read the manuscript to see if I could do a content edit that would: a) make Jackie’s writing sound more conversational, b) hone the focus, and c) flesh out the work to make the book user-friendly for parents and teachers. Excited to work with Sandra on another project, I told her I would be happy to read the manuscript and come up with a plan to get it in shape for publication.

Jackie’s research was excellent and her ideas empowering.

However, to make the book an effective resource, the material needed to be geared for parents or educators, not both. Experts all over the country train teachers to use brain research to drive curriculum, such as Dr. Eric Jenkins who has written many books for educators, Dr. Carol Dwek, and veteran teacher Pat Wolfe, so I told Sandra that Jackie’s work may best serve parents.

 

Still, to create such a manuscript, I would have to read more recent studies as brain development has been a hot topic over the last decade in the research community. I’d have to almost rewrite Jackie’s book to make it work.

“Would you mind sending me your Grade by Grade book proposal, so I can get an idea of what you’re talking about?” Sandra asked.

Although I’d tossed my magic box of research, the proposal had been saved on a flash drive, so I said, “Sure,” and attached the file to an email without much thought.

A week later, Sandra called and said she loved my book proposal: my voice, the grade-by-grade progression, how I present what will be expected of kids that year socially and academically, the games, the “Real Deal” (goofy true-life stories), the tips for everything from communicating with teachers to family organization to healthy snacks on the go…

And Sandra had sent the proposal to Jackie’s family. She asked them how they would feel about me co-writing the book with Jackie; that is, using Jackie’s brain research and ideas for capitalizing on current brain development and function to my grade by grade structure, integrating my information on social development, games, tips for organization, and all the rest.

Jackie’s family liked the idea and even paid me a stipend to work like crazy for five months (in the proposal, I’d given myself a year) to complete the manuscript. I mourned the loss of the box I’d thrown out in the move, but truthfully, the more recent interviews and research will better serve parents anyway.

THIS is the book that was meant to be published.

Jacqueline Frischkknecht 1932-2015

Though I never had the pleasure to meet Jackie in person, we share our passion for educating and empowering children and families. At times, I felt her looking over my shoulder, guiding my research, nudging me to include this or that as my fingers flew across the keyboard. I learned so much about brain development and the nuts and bolts of how humans learn.

BRAIN STAGES

A Grade by Grade Guide to Raising Smart, Happy Kids, K—5

                                        by Jacqueline Frischknecht, Ph.D. and Trish Wilkinson

                                       will be released in early March 2018.

Parents who have children at various grade levels are reading chapters to give feedback, and we’re fine-tuning the manuscript now. But mostly they say things like:

“I used to get annoyed with my daughter, but now that I know what’s going on in her brain, somehow the things she does are less frustrating. Our house is so much more relaxed than it was before I read that chapter.”

Soon I plan to launch a Brain Stages website where I’ll post videos of kids and parents playing some of the games in the book as well as all kinds of helpful hints for raising smart, happy kids, so stay tuned…

I’d say, “Wish us luck,” except there have been too many “coincidences” involved with this project. 

Whatever your beliefs, providence or the cosmos, BRAIN STAGES: A Grade by Grade Guide to Raising Smart, Happy Kids, K—5 was simply meant to be.

 

Woman@Heart

To celebrate the release of A CORNER OF HER HEART, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  More about that later,  but first, here’s a sneak peek inside the pages …

acorner-of-her-heart-3d-smallerMonica lifted her head from the pillow. That was a mistake. Why did I order that third pitcher? Her head, heavier than a bowling ball, pounded as though she had used it to throw a strike. Voices seeped through her bedroom door. Joyful sounds of Brad and the boys playing. She licked her lips, hoping to get the saliva moving. No luck. Cotton balls would fall from her mouth at any moment.

 She didn’t remember much after Kate brought her home, except Brad holding her hair while she hugged the toilet. Tequila is not my friend.

Monica forced herself up and reached for a water bottle Brad had left on her nightstand. She slowly sipped, listening to what sounded like…

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CoverDraft2Am I excited to share this news!!

The Kindle edition of “A Corner of Her Heart” is available for pre-order. This is first installment in my Begin Again series. The novel will also be available in paperback on the October 14 release date.

Hope you enjoy this peek inside the pages . . .

Monica lifted her head from the pillow. That was a mistake. Why did I order that third pitcher? Her head, heavier than a bowling ball, pounded as though she had used it to throw a strike. Voices seeped through her bedroom door. Joyful sounds of Brad and the boys playing. She licked her lips, hoping to get the saliva moving. No luck. Cotton balls would fall from her mouth at any moment. She didn’t remember much after Kate brought her home, except Brad holding her hair while she hugged the toilet. Tequila is not my friend.

Monica forced herself up and reached for a water bottle Brad had left on her nightstand. She slowly sipped, listening to what sounded like bodies bouncing off the walls. Definitely a sock war was underway. Monica would find her sons’ socks, now rolled up into balls as ammunition, for days. Guys could make a game out of anything.

She gingerly placed her feet on the carpet and ambled toward the family room. A cobalt-colored orb Monica recognized as part of Burke’s soccer uniform flew past her nose.

“Mom,” nine-year-old Burke shouted, “get back, you’re in the battle zone.”

“Cease fire.” Brad appeared from behind a chair and waved his arms. “Hi honey. Feeling better?”

“A little. What time is it?”

“About three,” Brady answered, stepping in from the hallway, “Dad kept us quiet all morning.”

“I asked to play sock war,” Bodie said, his voice barely higher than a peep. “Dad and me are a team.”

Monica moved to where Bodie sat and joined him on the couch. “Are you winning?”

“I think so,” Bodie replied, pointing to an arsenal of socks.

These moments made Monica’s life. Her sons enjoying each other, laughter rising throughout her home. Getting drunk last night was an escape, but she couldn’t escape her obligations. She didn’t want to. God blessed her with four sons to love and guide into manhood.

 She soaked in their faces, sweaty and innocent. How could she steal this life from them? Monica would never forget what Brad had done. Still, she had to find a way to forgive him and make their family whole again. Her sons’ childhood depended on that.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

iTunes: Coming Soon

About the Author

When she’s not playing with her granddaughter, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first.

There’s a special spot in Claire’s heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who’s received a birthday card from her. Claire cheers on the San Diego State Aztecs, her alma mater, and she is a Black & Gold fan — Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The mother of three, she lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and two spoiled dogs, Bandit and Jersey Girl.

Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia.” A Corner of Her Heart” is her debut novel.Follow her on Twitter @claireflaire, email her at claire@clairefadden.com, join her Facebook Fan Page or visit her at clairefadden.com. Join her mailing list for sneak peeks, prizes and fun.

 

 

 

2D07078A00000578-0-image-a-15_1443824642109Hi there. Trish Wilkinson here, novelist, writing coach, freelance editor, and member of Page a Day Writers. Recently, I decided to post writing tools on my Write to Win! website using materials I present at workshops. I thought Page-a-Day readers might appreciate them as well. Below is the beginning of the outline author Howard Shulman and I used to teach workshops in February on writing memoir for San Diego Writers’ Ink and the Southern California Writers’ Conference. If you have questions or would like further assistance, send an email to Trish@write-to-win.com, and I’ll be happy to help.

 

Memoir: How to Write a Salable Personal Story and Enjoy the Process

  • The three things that will make your memoir successful:

 

  1. Write your story as the illustration of a universal theme

(what Marion Roach Smith, author of The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text for Writing and Life(TMP), calls “The algorithm”, p.23)

Exercise 1: Write your own statement that describes your memoir below.

 

“This is a story about ____________________________ and the illustration is

 

________________________________________________________________.

 

Examples: – This is a story about the struggle for love and acceptance, and the illustration is Howard Shulman’s disfigurement as an infant and subsequent abandonment by his birth parents. Running from the Mirror

– This is a story about self-discovery, and the illustration is Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey choosing places to explore pleasure, spirituality and love. Eat, Pray, Love

– This is a story about emotional survival, and the illustration is Augusten Burroughs’s childhood, coping with his mother’s mental illness. Running with Scissors

– This is a story about love and loss, and the illustration is Nicholas Sparks’s relationships with his family members.Three Weeks with My Brother

Ask yourself: Who are you in your memoir? What is your position as the expert who has experienced your theme? What is your purpose; that is, what’s in it for the reader?

 

  1. Tell the truth (be real, for better or worse, because that’s what gives you credibility).

 

  1. In the revision phase, make every word/page drive your story forward in a context the reader can relate to (see hand out for the “how to” on “showing” vesrsu”telling”). If a sentence or scene doesn’t relate to your theme, leave it out.

 

“…when you have a flash of understanding on one topic, you can write an essay. Write an essay and you tackle a scene. Master the scene, and you can write seventy-five of them and have yourself a book. And here’s an unexpected dividend: Write a book about an aspect of your life, and you might gain perspective since … success in writing is all about which details you choose to emphasize.” (TMP, p. 34)

Click here for two more exercises, specific steps for revision once you’ve written your first draft, and concrete publishing options.

Happy writing!

Trish W.

 

2D0688C300000578-0-image-a-6_1443820018926

Imagine you’re born perfectly normal, but then a virulent infection devours your eyelids, nose and lips. Your parents decide they can’t handle raising such a needy kid, so you become a ward of the state – and a doctor gets permission to do experimental plastic surgery on you.

This is Howard Shulman’s story.2D07078A00000578-0-image-a-15_1443824642109

Recently, his memoir Running from the Mirror was released by Sandra Jonas Publishing, and it’s riveting.

I met Howard a few months before his book was released. He’d called and told me he met a friend of mine in line at Starbucks who gave him my number. He wanted to talk to a local fellow author about giving writers’ workshops together. We met at a coffee shop in Chula Vista, California, where Howard shared his experience writing his memoir: cleansing yet uncomfortable, often frustrating, sometimes sad or filled with regret. Still, the satisfaction of knowing how far he has come and the hope his story might give to others made the project worth the effort.

Talk about grit. They don’t make ‘em much more bad ass than Howard.

Now in his 50s, what he treasures most is his family.2D068F5100000578-0-image-a-5_1443820009163

Since that first meeting, Howard and I have become friends, and we’ve planned some great workshops on writing craft, character development, and story structure. Be prepared to hone your skills, save time in revisions, and have a lot more fun, whether you write fiction or nonfiction. If you’re interested in participating in a writers’ workshop with Howard and me, please leave a comment with your contact information, or email me at writetowinwithtrish@gmail.com.

A portion of Howard’s sales go to Hillsides, an organization that works to recreate the lives of at-risk kids. For more information about Howard’s book or to order Running from the Mirror, click here.

Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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