My guest today is an author with a unique story. She’s published three books, two of which are nonfiction, inspired by her own experiences. The third is a work of fiction, so she traverses both realms. In addition she does editing and acts as a writing coach for her fellow authors on her site, Writer Advice. Her book, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, which she’s going to tell us about, has recently become a 2018 National Indie Excellence Award finalist. I am pleased to welcome B. Lynn Goodwin to Writing to be Read.
Kaye: Would you share briefly the story of your own publishing journey?
Lynn: I began writing seriously while I was also caring for my mother in the last years of her life. It was a great outlet. I also began Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, which started as an e-mail newsletter…
It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Winner in the 12th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards. Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.
The lists of winners and finalists are proudly displayed on our website, please log on to www.indieexcellence.com and click on the Winners & Finalists tab to see your name and book cover highlighted for all to see. Awards are available for download and purchase on our website including: cover stickers, certificates, and medals. The 12th Annual NIEA contest’s Press Release will go out to a wide array of news, media and industry outlets (it is also on our website as a download for your use).
The team at the National Indie Excellence® Awards sincerely hope your participation in our contest will serve you well in your ongoing success. You have our deepest congratulations.
The Team at the National Indie Excellence® Awards
Exciting news indeed. In third grade I came in second in the spelling bee. In high school speech contests I once got a third place, but nothing better. In 1976 I was named Teacher of the Year by an alternative, unsanctioned high school newspaper.
A couple years ago I won a Bronze Medal for Talent and later I was a finalist in the Sarton Writing Contest.
Today I actually won. Best in my category as they would say at horse races and county fairs. Everything changes.
My husband, a major player in Never Too Late, says, “You don’t lose until you quit trying.” Good statement!
Would you like feedback on your writing as well as a chance to win a prize? Writer Advice seeks flash fiction(750 words or less).
Draw us in.
Open our eyes.
Dazzle, delight, and entice us.
Give us new insights.
Winners receive cash prizes and are published. Low fee for solid feedback.
FEE: $15.50 for individualized feedback and the possibility of winning a prize.
First Place: $160
Second Place: $ 80
Third Place: $ 40
Honorable Mention Winners will also be listed.
Questions, but not submissions go to Lgood67334 AT Comcast DOT net. We look forward to reading your work.
Writer Advice has been running this contest for over 10 years, so we have lots of experience explaining what works and why as well as suggesting improvements.
👍✍️ 🎤✍️ 🗝✍️ 👍✍️
COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS CONTESTANTS:
“You are the first professional to offer feedback and your encouraging words have given me additional motivation! It is reassuring to know that I was on the right track; you have a remarkable ability to give constructive feedback in a positive way (and you are absolutely correct). Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration. I look forward to submitting more stories and continuing to improve.”
“Thank you so much for your feedback! I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts. I’m always striving to improve my writing, and feedback from editors like you make it much easier to do so.”
–Margarite R. Stever
“Many thanks for your response, from it, I can tell you’re very good at what you do.”
–Kisa, Visually Versed
“Thank you so much for your detailed feedback!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read and analyze my work . . . It’s not every day a contest gives you comprehensive feedback instead of a simple yes/no!”
“Thank you so much for your feedback, it always makes me feel inspired and motivated.”
“Thanks for the wonderful feedback, never, never, got that before in thirty years.”
“Do tell your writer friends about the newsletter. They can subscribe by sending a blank subject header email to: FlashFictionFlash-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com.” Pamelyn Castro offers an excellent newsletter about Flash Fiction and I’m happy to share this resource.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of writing. Thinking is great. Doing is better. To encourage you to keep writing, I’d like to share a few excerpts from an interview Carol Smallwood did with me about my new book, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. The title says it all, but the memoir says it in so much more detail.
When I started making notes for the book, while Richard and I were dating, I was filled with “what ifs.”
What if this wasn’t the real deal?
What if I lost my identity and my money—not that I had an overwhelming amount.
What if I couldn’t live with 62-years of being alone?
I journaled about these questions and much more. Writing gave me perspective and insight. We got married on February 17, 2012.
Once the book came out, it was time for interviews. Carol Smallwood, a prolific librarian, asked some great questions, and I was happy to answer them. I loved it when she asked, “From working closely with writers, what advice would you give someone struggling with getting started as a writer?
So here are A Dozen Flexible Rules for Struggling Writers:
Write daily. Start by writing for 10-20 minutes.
Give yourself permission to get lost in your writing
Write about whatever you want, and if one day you want to write a list, start there.
Go wherever the writing takes you. No one ever has to read it but you.
When you are done, reread what you’ve written and underline 2-3 places that have energy for you.
Pick one the next day that you really like and start there.
Or write another list.
Or write about whatever is on your mind.
Can’t write? Read a story.
Look at how professionals put a story together.
Go back to your journal and say what you liked about the story.
Let the writing go wherever it wants before repeating Steps 5 & 6.
Start anywhere! Writing daily matters. Your techniques will improve. So will the speed at which you get ideas.
I’ve been writing Monday through Friday for the last 6 weeks or so. Theoretically, I write first thing in the morning—but I usually do some stretches, feed Eddie McPuppers, and pour a cup of coffee before I start. Usually, I write for 10 minutes, but I often go longer. Then polish for another 15-20. I started doing this to help me get back on track after publishing Never Too Late. I don’t consider myself a struggling writer, but this helps so much that I recommend it anytime anyone gets in a slump.
NOTE: If you defy rules:
Quitting is not an option.
Doodling is not an option.
Checking the Internet or my e-mail is not an option.
If I could get going a little earlier, I’d start looking at the flash fiction, flash memoir, and potential for longer stories in this eclectic collection I’m building. You have to have the material before you can start shaping it, and I feel more and more ready to shape and sculpt my stories every day.
As a woman I heard speak recently said, “Write, revise, send, and repeat.” I think I’ve got the first two down. It’s time to start practicing send and repeat, and see where those steps take me.
If you’d like to read Carol’s interview with me and learn more about Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, go to www.writeradvice.com.
B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, http://www.writeradvice.com. Her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was released in December. She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregiversand Talent, which was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award, won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.
Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good Housekeeping.com, Purple Clover.com and many other places. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is an editor, writer and manuscript coach at Writer Advice.
Reading for groups is great fun. Especially when your husby, who is the subject of your book, comes along. 🙃😉
We had such fun last night sharing a part of Never Too Late at Get Lit, which is held quarterly at the Aqus Cafe in Petaluma, CA last night.
My husband suggested I start with his Craigslist ad, so I did. He has the inside track sometimes, and I know when to do as he says and when to have “selective hearing.”
Following his suggestion, I started with the ad in which he compared himself to a 1944 roadster. He’s a funny guy and the audience loved what he said. They also loved my response, and more. Somehow I came in under 5 minutes, despite the laughs after almost every sentence.
In the interests of total honesty, I’ll also say that someone said he should write and share, and he can’t wait to get started. WTG!
And the moral of this story is that I want to do more presentations. If you’d like me to do a You Tube video for your book club, service group, or dating organization, please let me know. I can talk about getting married late in life, writing a memoir, writing a novel, getting started with a story, acceptance, changing your life, opening your heart, and a lot of other topics. Let me know how I can help you and your group.