Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Interview for Denise Willms' WAHM Articles - The Blog

Please check it out:

Click here

And thanks so much to Denise for asking!

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More From "Monologues"

Monologues - Lindsay Arienne Weiner

Monologues - Daliya Karnovsky

Monologues - Yael Miriam

Monologues - Ruby Marez

Monologues - Ilya Khodosh

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Poets Are Everywhere!

Poets are Everywhere! from Liz Brownlee on Vimeo.

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4 Twitter Hashtags Every Writer/Journalist Should Know

1) #journchat
Journalist-to-Journalist, Journalist-to-P.R. People Chat
Click here
Host: Sarah Evans
Click here

2) #editorchat
Writer-to-Editor Chat
Click here
Co-Host: Tim Beyers
Click here
Co-Host: Lydia Dishman
Click here

3) #journ2journ
Journalist-to-Journalist Chat
Click here
Acting Host: Chuck Welch
Click here

4) #writechat
Sunday Afternoon Writing Salon, 12-3PM (PST)
Host: Julie Isaac
Click here

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10 Easy Things You Can Do to Really Boost Your Writing Career

1) Yank the phrase "writer's block" out of your usual patter. Forever!

2)Make a cold call to an editor. Ask him/her for advice on how to improve your writing career. I know it's tough--believe me, no one likes to do it--but what do you have to lose?

3) Start paying attention. Search on Google for the comings and goings of editors at major publishing houses and publications. In other words, get up to your neck in the business!

4) Friend an editor or literary agent on Facebook. Just see what happens. You might make an important contact.

5) Read Stephen King on Writing. Not only is it a great read, but it contains some of the best advice you'll ever find on the craft of writing.

6) Hit the magazine racks. Pick out five magazines you'd like to write for, then write to the editors of those publications telling them you'd love to work for their magazine.

7) Instead of Tweeting your life away, spend a mere half-hour trying to write something good that day. Stop being lazy!

8) If you don't have a blog, start one. It's a free lottery ticket to that all-important thing we call Platform. Get some Platform, my friend, and you're on publishing's easy street.

9) Don't hate yourself all the time for procrastinating. It can just be a natural part of the creative process. While working on stories sometimes, I curl into a fetal position. So, what?

10) Enjoy rejection. That's right. Look forward to it. Smile right in the face of it. Think like a door-to-door salesman. The mindset: Every time a door is slammed in your face simply means you're closer to a sale!

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10 Pieces of Writing Advice

Andre Dubus III: Don’t outline your stories. DO NOT outline your stories. I know some writers do this, but I think the writing process asks us to surrender to the mysteries of the unknown. Nowhere in our culture is this taught. You have to trust your gut, trust your characters to take a story where it’s going to go; and, more often than not, it does that. That’s my two cents.

Elizabeth Evans: Read the best books and write as often as you possibly can. And be respectful of your work. Give it your best shot.

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera: Don’t give up. It’s not a hobby. You can’t be a weekend dabbler. You have to commit. If you can, take a few months off from your job. Writing is not a part-time occupation. And remember that publishing a book is not just writing--you have to promote the book, read the contracts. I didn’t know anything about publishing when I began. I still can’t believe I’ve published books. You know how writers say they don’t really feel like a writer until they see someone on an airplane reading their book. Well, that happened to me recently at the gym. The woman on the bicycle next to me was reading one of my books. I asked her if she liked it. She said yes. And I decided to tell her I was the author.

Olivia Goldsmith: Write every day. Find the hours that suit you. Sit there until something comes. Don’t judge what you write that day--you can do that tomorrow. And if nothing comes, you can edit what you did before. One more thing...your agent does NOT know more than you do, and neither does your editor. I listen to advice, but I don’t always follow it.

Barbara Gowdy: Read everything, especially the classics and poetry. Eavesdrop on real conversations. Don’t watch too much TV, nobody talks like TV people do. Don’t ever be too attached to anything you’ve written; you are the vehicle for the word, not it’s creator. Write what you’re obsessed by.

Beth Gutcheon: My advice to aspiring writers is, of course, read. But more important, and maybe less obvious (though I’ve already said it once) is, if you aren’t constitutionally suited to being alone for really long stretches, and can’t handle the fairly tricky part of the job description which reads paychecks and reality checks may only arrive every three years, it may not be for you. How does any writer know if she’s good or merely deranged? It’s not a small problem.

Kathryn Harrison: Revise.

Mo Hayder: The usual advice: write, write, write. And, when you’ve done that, write some more. Don’t give up. If you’re unclear about where to pitch your voice, whether you’re steering the right course between the obtuse and the condescending, then imagine yourself as the reader. You have to write for yourself--if you start indulging in writing for a market you’re lost.

Alice Hoffman: No one knows how to write a novel until it’s been written.

Craig Holden: Become a long distance runner. Read a thousand short stories and poems, and hundreds of novels. Write every day. Marry some money, but not too much.

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Award-Winning Poet Marilyn L. Taylor's Book List

Question: "What are 20 poetry books that made you fall in love with poetry, the books that made you think: I want to do this, I need to do this? What are the books that kept you going? Don’t put down the books that you think you’re 'supposed' to like, but list the core ones, the ones that opened all of this up for you."

Here’s Ms. Taylor's list (in no particular order):

Marilyn’s note: Tried desperately to stick to twenty titles; almost made it. Here they are: the books that keep me afloat:

1. Things of This World (Richard Wilbur)
2. North of Boston (Robert Frost)
3. Night Light (Donald Justice)
4. Picnic, Lightning (Billy Collins)
5. View with a Grain of Sand (Wislawa Szymborska)
6. New and Selected Things Taking Place (May Swenson)
7. Heaven and Earth: a Cosmology (Albert Goldbarth)
8. The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson
9. One World at a Time (Ted Kooser)
10. Otherwise (Jane Kenyon)
11. Relations (Eamon Grennan)
12. Firekeeper (Pattianne Rogers)
13. Ode to the Cold War (Dick Allen)
14. The Private Life (Lisel Mueller)
15. Archaic Smile (A.E. Stallings)
16. All My Pretty Ones (Anne Sexton)
17. In Broken Country (David Wagoner)
18. The Great Fires (Jack Gilbert)
19. Where Horizons Go (Rhina Espaillat)
20. My Alexandria (Mark Doty)
21. The Lost Son (Theodore Roethke)
22. The Sonnets (William Shakespeare)

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Writing Quotes of the Day

“Literature is like any other trade; you will never sell anything unless you go to the right shop.”—George Bernard Shaw

“The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”—Arthur Koestler

“The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.”—Marge Piercy

“Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors.”—Pablo Picasso

“Poets need not go to Niagara to write about the force of falling water.”—Robert Frost

“The sound of a word is at least as important as the meaning.”
—Jack Prelutsky

“Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.”—Catherine Drinker Bowen

“Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book; a personality which, by birth and quality, is pledged to the doctrines there set forth, and which exists to see and state things so, and not otherwise.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day."—Ernest Hemingway

"The Word will always come first, and if it is a poetic word, so much the better.”—Efrain Huerta

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Reporters Discuss the New Media Landscape

Reporters Discuss New Media Landscape from Jay Yarow on Vimeo.

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Sad State of Print Journalism: Rocky Mountain News "Final Edition"

It's time for us journalists to reinvent ourselves!

Source: mediabistro's fishbowlNY

Most readers have heard by now that today will be Denver's Rocky Mountain News' last. With the San Francisco Chronicle hanging in the balance, and Seattle holding discussions about what it would be like to be a no-newspaper town, one can only hope the RMN's closure isn't just the first sign of what is to come. Meanwhile the RMN has put together this (well worth watching) good-bye vid which covers the last month of its existence and is currently running on their homepage.

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

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From "Monologues"

Monologues - Ruvym Gilman

Monologues - Farrah Fidler

Monologues - Boris Zilberman

Monologues - Jessica Asch

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Foamy – Open Mic Nights/Two Videos

Warning: Adult Language/For Mature Viewers Only

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Social Media Douchebags Explained

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Be a Blog Star

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So there I was, after watching over an hour of something called “Monologues,” about the search for Jewish identity, weeping—this hardcore journalist of 30 years-plus gushing tears uncontrollably.

In fact, it took everything I had to keep from going soft in the knees and collapsing straight to the floor of The Triad Theatre on West 72nd Street.

That’s how moved I was.

That’s how blown away I was.

That’s how good this show was.

Monolgues, quite simply, consists of a bunch of reflections by 20-something Jewish-Americans who had made first-time trips through Israel for 10 days, sponsored by a group called Taglit-Birthright Israel.

When my new Facebook friend, Farrah Fidler, who's also one of the performers, invited me to attend on Wednesday night, I was convinced I’d be bored to death.

Still, I went—out of support for Farrah, though pretty certain the thing would suck and I’d have to tell Farrah the next day, lying through my teeth, how much I loved it.

And, of course, her.

That never happened.

From the moment the show began, with everything inside me ready to resist, with me having already schemed a quick and quiet exit, I found myself instead pulled right in, and through 12 monologues—soulful and poignant and witty—capped by a rousing close of a rap song, it never let me go.

I laughed out loud. I nodded my head enough times to pull a neck muscle. I got goosebumps. I smiled. I chuckled. And, during each five-minute monologue, at some point, I broke down.

The words were so beautifully crafted, so powerful, so human; the performances all honed to brilliant gems.

I can’t thank all the performers enough for such an unforgettable night: Farrah and Diana Arnold and Jessica Asch and Ruvym Gilman and Greg Aguele and Ilya Khodosh and Ruby Marez and Daliya Karnovsky and Boris Zilberman and Shawn Shafner and Yael Miriam and Lindsay Arienne Weiner and Max!M!l

Your talent awes me, inspires me.

And thanks to director/Def Poet Vanessa Hidary (“The Hebrew Mamita”) and producer Lauren Eisenberg.

You should all be so proud of what you created.

Something truly special.

What a rare thing.

Here are a couple of teaser videos:

Over the next few days, I'll begin posting videos of the complete performances.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Publishing: From Print to Digital

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cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

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Mike Dare: "Why I Write"

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Featured Poem: Crush #37

Crush #37
By Lea Graham

My friend Anne says crushes aren’t bad,
but good in fact,
the hit to the body,
evidence of living,
fecund beings—
not compartmentalized,
relegated to status:
a box or line on forms,
a hole
(as for pigeons, notebooks, bills)
no matter
what year we are always fourteen, or twenty-two
or fill in your own crushing age—that world cerulean,
azure, or baby you
thumped against hoping
he or she might pass by everything
nearly ending again:
Eros, once again, limb-loosener, whirls me
Sappho said—
breath catches, quickens,
a shivering—
turn of hand, lift of chin
name or lilt

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Ways To Write More Interesting Blog Posts

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Inspired Word Reading Series in NYC Debuts March 2nd!

The Inspired Word Reading Series in NYC Debuts Monday Night, March 2nd!

Time: 6:30-8 pm (though you're welcome to stay until the place closes!)

Free wine tasting! Free appetizers! Awesome ambience and food! A great collection of writers and their work!

Scheduled Readers (so far): Caroline Berger, Lea Graham, Alexandra Lukens.

Location: Tierra Sana Restaurant
100-17 Queens Blvd & 67th Road
Forest Hills, Queens
New York City

By subway, take the local R or V to 67th Avenue stop (and it's right there between 67th Road and 67th Avenue along Queens Boulevard).

All you need to bring is your love for the written word.


Mike Geffner

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Charlie Rose - Arthur Miller Obituary

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Featured Poem: This is Our Life in Twenty-Eight Numerical Orders

This is Our Life in Twenty-Eight Numerical Orders
By Alexandra Lukens

1. The wrinkles she lives for bought her a drink, sat patiently while another begged for tobacco screaming in her ear about Beckett. The wrinkles bought her another; she insisted on tipping on top of the bill. The screamer’s facial hair felt terribly close, & while she never truly touched it, she imagined it scraping her cheek raw.
2. What inspired you to buy a flask of cognac? What’s more, you left it here, drank none. There were facts unspoken you wouldn’t dare, & you watched your feet unclimbing the staircase, waiting to return.
3. I cannot. I am a ragdoll whose body is too delicate to house such emotions, & I am ripping thread at each seam, & I am sleeping.
4. She is delivering him to the operator Wednesday around brunch. It’s a late bris & he is hardly Jewish. Together they cringed at knives on organs, & he went generally under to ignore the facts. Last attempt, he hurt so badly he wouldn’t finish; broke her heart.
5. You prefer her manic; more interesting & sexually active. Now that she’s medicated, you can’t stop wondering if it was the mania that made love, so you ask & she twitches gently.
6. There was a moment which I realized the spot where my right nostril connected to my upper lip would never heal. I spent three months wide awake & dreaming, & I was told I looked better than ever, but my mother said I had no ass. That she used the word ass nearly knocked me from my seat, & I vowed internally to return to ingestion.
7. I could only imagine making it through the day by sleeping through it.
8. Why do you hope for a moment of Tourette’s while operating an automobile, in which you violently swing the wheel to the right & see what comes of it? What makes you dream about massive collisions & apocalyptic curfews? Where in your body does your trauma play?
9. The cat has eaten half the plant; this morning he vomited on the foot of my bed. I bought that plant at a hardware store with a terribly confused Buddhist boy who looked saintly naked. The last time we slept together he drank absinthe heavily & vomited next to the mattress. I am always sleeping amidst internal rejections.
10. Their first kiss happened in a tent in the front yard at eleven a.m. If they were pretending to be married, they should kiss like married folks do. It felt like a slug on her face. Later that day her mother was bitten by a tick & contracted borreliosis.
11. My apartment smells like rotten milk. The dishes piled so high in the sink I moved them to the bathtub; I cannot shower for fear that I might step on a fork or slip on a plate.
12. My grandmother got colon cancer, got surgery, got a ; and died.
13. My father loves to talk about how much of an asshole Billy Joel is; how he used to do the lights for his shows 25, 30 years ago, & he was such a piece of shit my dad swore to never work for the guy again.
14. I found my clock in a box on the side of a road. It is fashioned to look like old, rusted gears. The numbers are carved as roman numerals. Instead of writing the number “four” as it should be (IV) it is four “I”s & I am deeply disturbed.
15. Flaneurs end up in places like Queens, where a can of food is eaten, thrown away, picked up by a garbage man, recycled, melted down, turned into a pistol, purchased, & used to kill a husband.
16. In later years, I learned to love to capsize, running on the sideways sail like Jesus walked on water.
17. My first serious car accident left me upside-down with windshield in my forehead. Backwards and bleeding, I kicked out the window. The firemen had to cut my teacher out of the driver’s seat; she was too fat. It was Valentine’s Day, & I had made my father a card that was taken away with the scrapped metal.
18. I was sixteen, early out of high school & studying figure drawing at the Corcoran. A young woman came in, new to public nudity, asked the professor for a robe. She was scolded for not having her own, & was forced to remove her clothing, piece by piece, in front of the whole class. I have never sat through anything more excruciating, but she was stunning nude.
19. You threw up upon arrival, your face hanging loose, dangling from flat rocks you never thought you’d see, & you miss her.
20. I am always cold come summer.
21. She was given a kitten for her thirteenth birthday, & it got trapped & suffocated in her sheets the first night she slept with it.
22. He has fallen deeply for Alice Notley. I recommended her to him because he would love the cover. It reminds me of Leadbelly, & I can’t get the song out of my head. I keep asking him to leave her at home, but he insists on reading her to sleep.
23. Tonight is cold, & the cats’ coats wear it well.
24. I dream often of marrying Werner Herzog.
25. We haven’t slept alone in four months, & we continue as sardines with needle on vinyl until someone finds a date. She did, last week; we’re one less and less lonely.
26. His brother got married to a young virtuoso; she played cello & was almost crowned Miss America & the youngest surgeon in the hospital. They left their unwanted wedding gifts in his grandmother’s basement. We snuck in while she napped & stole a crystal bowl & sold it for one hundred dollars.
27. Ninety people kill themselves everyday in Japan.
28. Your grandmother can see you masturbating from heaven.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Social Media Writing Tip

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Guest Blog: Welcome to the buyer's market—where all my buyers at?

Welcome to the buyer's market—where all my buyers at?
By Leslea M. Harmon
Click here

A publisher called me a couple of weeks to interview me for a job. It was a coveted work-from-home position, a writer/editor sort of thing, possibly with benefits. "Everything's negotiable at this point," she explained. "We really need someone to step into this role and we need it to be the right person." The implication was that while money was a factor, it wasn't the primary factor in hiring.

A sound business decision, right?

It seemed I was a strong candidate for the job—it was a trade mag for a specialized field I have years of experience and loads of viable contacts in, so it would definitely be a good fit—if the job still existed.

A week after the interview, the publisher called me frantically, and I definitely got the feeling she needed to talk about my start date, a second interview, training—something along those lines.

"We've had 200 resumes to sort through," she explained.

"We're definitely going to use a lot of freelancers, but we're not sure we want to hire someone full-time anymore."

And why should they?

Welcome to the buyer's market.

There are so many journalists and media professionals right now scrambling for jobs, it's alarming. Once in awhile, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself not to panic.

Sure, I was let down that someone called me to tell me I was great and they wanted to hire me, but that they decided to put the job search on hold altogether—that's a weird call to get, for sure, but I have a feeling this scenario is happening a lot, all around us. Every day I read that another magazine has bit the dust, or another Editor-in-Chief is out of work, being blamed for weak sales in the face of an unstable economy.

But what am I, the lowly job-seeker to take away from this? Should I panic and take whatever writing job I can get on the rebound? No way. Absolutely not. I've got a degree in accounting, a field that's always hiring, and if I'm going to sell out, I'll sell out in that direction. If I'm going to continue a writing career, I need to write the kind of stories I enjoy, myself. Period.

I've learned that it's better to establish a great relationship with an editor as the go-to freelancer than it is to rush into a permanent job with a nasty boss and bitter co-workers, driven by panic.

Committed to undesirable projects, you can't possibly do your best work—and when you take a job somewhere, you often don't have the option of saying "no". Freelancers pass on work when they're too booked up to produce on time. Cubicle slaves do not.

Cubicle slaves might have health insurance benefits, but they also have dry cleaning bills and commutes, not to mention co-workers wasting your time asking if you've watched the latest Crime Scene Emergency Room Courtroom Drama.

They also sometimes get emails that say "Clean out your desk by 2pm, our department just got cut."

No, thanks.

The reality is, if you want to write your career your way, you've got to be flexible and not get discouraged just because others are freaking out. Maybe that means working temporary gigs, maybe it means branching out with your freelance work, or maybe, just possibly, it means jumping to Plan B and doing something else.

Take some time and think about this stuff quite seriously before you make any major career decisions. The fact is, being a self-employed writer has always been a lot of work—and just like any other field where people are losing their jobs, there will be a lot of people leaving this line of work to search for greener pastures.

As for me, I'm still looking.

I've got a manuscript I've been polishing for the past few months, and I'm dividing my time between current projects, the freelancer's never-ending quest for new projects, looking for an ongoing writing/editing job, as well as landing my dream job of being the next JK Rowling. (Okay, I'll settle for being the next Melissa Marr or Holly Black.)

Last I checked, the aforementioned publisher had decided to put hiring completely on hold for the position they were so desperate to fill a month ago. Citing circumstances beyond their control, they're not sounding so confident in today's climate. The fear virus definitely seems to be going around, but I refuse to catch it.

The writer's life has always been filled with pitches and rejections--I'm hoping the economy stabilizes and people stop freaking out, but this isn't exactly unfamiliar territory.

Who knows, maybe once publishers realize they've still got markets to sell to, they'll find themselves in a shortage for relevant content, and it'll become the writer's market, once again.

Leslea M. Harmon is a freelance journalist in the Louisville, KY area. She writes the column Guerilla Mothering and serves as a reporter/correspondent for various regional publications.

Visit her website at, or follow her tweets at

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"Meet the Press" Moderator Gets All Up in Social Networking

Meet the Press Moderator Gets All Up in Social Networking
Source:'s Daily WebNewser

Last week, he went micro-blog by launching a Twitter account. This week NBC's David Gregory went one further by launching a TypePad blog called, "The View From Here" ( It includes posts on what's coming up on Meet the Press, his Twitter feed, a section on what Gregory is reading, and a list of his favorite sites (ahem, neither WebNewser nor TVNewser are on the list!)

What's interesting about the blog is that it's not associated with, which is the starting point for many of the dispatches from NBC Newsers including Brian Williams' blog.

In addition to Twittering and blogging Gregory is also becoming staff photographer. After his Today show live shot this morning, he snapped this picture and others in a nearby studio where MSNBC's Morning Joe was taping. He then uploaded it via to his Facebook Fan page.

Who says old media isn't evolving?

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Baseball Spring Training Memories

This'll be the first spring training I'll miss in years. That is, unless something breaks with a magazine story at the last second. Been thinking about that. Also thinking about all the great times I had in places like Tampa and Tucson and Ft. Lauderdale and Vero Beach, among so many other places in Florida and Arizona.

Here are 10 of my favorite spring training memories:

1) Interviewing Sandy Koufax twice, once at Dodgertown in the early 80's, then just last year in Port St. Lucie. Still an icon for me. Still awed by him. Still can't believe I stood only inches away from him.

2) Watching Don Mattingly, then a kid in his early 20's, trying to make the Yankees. He reminded my dad, who came over from Boca Raton to see him, of Lou Gehrig. Mattingly didn't make the team that year, but my dad, now long gone, was right.

3) Hanging out for a week with Roger Clemens at his condo against the water in Tampa, eight years before the Mitchell Report. We listened to country music, shared rows of ribs at a down-home barbecue house, and chatted the days away. I liked him then and like him now, steroids controversy notwithstanding. I still defend his presumption of innocence. Oh, by the way, there was this guy who tagged along with us a few times, someone by the name of Brian McNamee.

4) Talking to "Let's Get It On" singer Marvin Gaye, who dropped by the Yankees camp to take some batting practice. What a serene presence he was. Cool, totally cool. Yet, incredibly, so stunningly...he was dead just months later, shot by his dad.

5) Shooting the breeze in West Palm Beach, under the shade of palms and on a wooden bench, with a 6-foot-10 rookie pitcher named Randy Johnson. We talked about whether height made a differecne for pitchers. He thought it did. I agreed. It was a nice chat. He seemed like an okay guy. Who know that he'd end up being one of the most anti-social baseball players ever to play the game, swatting away the media as if they were gnats.

6) Cringing when I introduced my dad, a lifelong Yankee fanatic, to then-Yankees manager Clyde King, and my dad proceeding to tell King what he needed to do with the lineup and rotation to make it right. LOL

7) Interviewing David Wright and freaking out when I realized that my recorder wasn't on. He didn't miss a beat. "I'll just do the interview all over again," Wright said. What a great kid. Nobody else would ever do that.

8) Asking Alex Rodriguez what he did all winter and him telling me he read self-help and motivational books. Guess he could really use them now.

9) Playing pool with Dave LaPoint, a journeyman pitcher for the Yankees in the 80's who told everyone he was a bit of hustler. I couldn't help but challenge him to an eight-ball duel. So, after a workout one day, he and I headed over to a huge sports bar in Ft. Lauderdale where they had full-size tables. We played around 10 games together. He lost every single one. So much for the self-proclaimed rep. I remember his face turning a shade of red I'd never seen before.

10) Noticing a tiny, rail-thin, earnest-looking kid with big, unblinking eyes running around doing errands for Boss Steinbrenner, who in his heyday certainly knew how to keep people running around. The kid eventually grew in the organization until he became the GM. The kid is Brian Cashman.

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Forget about Page Rank and Build a Great Blog

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The Writing Life Workshop is Tomorrow!

We have writers coming in from Virginia Beach and Columbia, Maryland, and Philly, Pa., as well as from all over New York City. Wish you could be there. It's always a blast. Once, in fact, we all hugged afterwards. And I can't tell you the incredible joy I feel looking into the eyes of writers after I've given them a slew of different ways to look at things. Nothing better. Nothing.

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Thinking Different: 5 Ways to Inspire Creativity

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WAHM Interview Coming Soon

I'm being interviewed by Denise Willms, owner of WAHM Articles:
Click here

I promise to let all you guys know ASAP when the interview appears and where to find it.



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Advice on Writing a Book

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Guest Blog: Book Publishing 2009- Twist, Turns & Possibilities

Book Publishing 2009- Twist, Turns & Possibilities
By Cheryl Pickett
Click here

Many writers dream of writing a book someday. In years past, the process was fairly simple. Write the book, or at least have a strong start, propose it to an agent or publisher and there was a decent chance your dream could come true. Fast forward to 2009 however, and you'll quickly discover a very different set of circumstances. The traditional publishing industry has more turns and detours than a mountain road, and there are so many other choices that even researching what to do can become mind-boggling in a matter of moments.

So what's a would-be author to do? Move forward, but take it slow and steady. Here are three tips to help you navigate that twisting road on your way to making your dreams a reality.

1. Make a Plan:
My favorite analogy for this strategy is to think of making decisions about publishing a book like taking a trip. If you want to take a trip, one of the first things you need to do is decide where you're going; if you don't know where you're going, the rest of the decisions are tough, if not impossible to make.

The same goes with deciding when are the best time and the best way to get your book into the world. Whether you're just starting to write or you have a complete project, take time out to consider key points like: Why this topic or story now? Is writing this book going to be for fun or part of a business? What do you want your book to accomplish for you?

2. Understand Your Audience:
Not that long ago, if you said you wrote a book, people would have expected to look in a bookstore if they wanted to buy it. Obviously, this is far from the case now. Besides being able to order print books everywhere from Wal-Mart to Amazon, books are now delivered in audio and digital formats. Beyond that, digital formats may be read on a computer on your desk, on your laptop or on your phone and still others are willing to carry an e-reader like a favorite novel.

Now more than ever, it is important to know what your audience wants. Once you have a good idea as to what that is, you can do your best to give it to them. When you both meet at the same place, you have a better chance at selling what you write either to a publisher or directly to your reader.

3. Understand Your Options
One of the benefits of the Internet is getting almost any information you want in a matter of a few keystrokes. It is truly an advantage compared to older research methods. However, when it comes to choosing a publishing option, a handful of quick searches will not suffice.

For example, if you type something like "publish a book" into the search engines, you'll undoubtedly find a lot of POD/fee-based publishers will top the list. To the uneducated, these companies may look the same as commercial publishers. They also often make their process very tempting; make a reasonable investment in your project and you'll have a book in no time.

If you don't realize this is not the same as being published traditionally, but traditional is what you're expecting, you're likely headed for a big disappointment. On the other hand, if you've done your homework thoroughly, you are clear on the options and you know how to filter through the information you gather, you'll find the journey to published is much smoother.

As I stated in the beginning, the publishing industry is going through a world of change right now. The good news is that even though there are new twists and turns almost daily, it is still very possible to get where you want to go. Make a roadmap, get directions as needed and enjoy the journey.

Cheryl Pickett has been a freelance writer for almost a decade. Her new book, Publishing Possibilities: 8 Steps to Understanding Your Options & Choosing the Best Path for Your Book, helps authors publish with less stress and more success. Find out more about the book and Cheryl's other services at

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