Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Class Flash: February-April Schedule

Here's the list of's upcoming classes. 
I've taken a couple of these and they rock.    

Creating Characters Using Astrology
by Pamela Moran, February 1-12
Do your characters all sound or feel the same? Are you having a hard time developing unique people for each new story? Have you thought about using astrology to chart your characters’ personalities? “Beyond Sun Signs: Getting to the Heart & Soul of Your Character” will show you some new ways of putting astrology to work…ways that will make it easier to round out your heroes, heroines and villains by giving them additional depth.

The Inside Scoop: The Truth Behind Law Enforcement Relationships
by M.A. Taylor, February 15-26
This master class is designed to help writers understand the nuances of how Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) relate to those closest to them. Learn from the experiences of one woman who’s spent more than 30 years married to an officer and another who’s spent more than 20 years as an officer. Speaking from the viewpoints of both the LEO and the one who loves an LEO, these writers will review and discuss the relationship of your law enforcement officer.

Plotting Via Motivation
by Laurie Schnebly, March 1-26
Motivation is what drives your story. Any of us could write a book in which the characters set out for a three hour tour and get shipwrecked on an uncharted desert isle. We’ve seen what seven such characters would do…over and over and over again. But what would YOURS do? If you nail down any character’s motivation, it doesn’t matter whether the ship capsizes or lands safely three hours later. Your characters will create a plot from WHATEVER happens, because you’ve got their motivation built in from the very beginning.

From Plot To Finish
by Laurie Schnebly, April 11-22
A continuation of the Plotting-Via-Motivation process for everyone who's completed that class, this limited-enrollment group gets every member plotting a brand new book (with the 14-point PVM worksheets already on hand) from start to finish. No need to prepare a story idea, character bios or anything else, because you’ll learn how to plot an entire book -- and actually have it ready to type -- by the end of this hands-on workshop.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Class Flash: Get Published ~ From Manuscript To Sale

Get Published: From Manuscript to Sale

In a follow-up to their Novel Writing University program, multi-published authors Amanda Cabot, Mary Gillgannon and Joanne Kennedy will present a full-day workshop covering query letters, finding an agent, and contract negotiation for fiction and nonfiction writers alike.

Laramie County Library, Cheyenne
Saturday, January 30
10:15 – 3  (click on date bar and in a moment the drop down will appear)

Friday, January 15, 2016

CLASS FLASH: Online Screenwriting Class from a Master!

I'm so excited to tell you about this class. Taught by multi-produced screenwriter, Robert Gosnell, it's the perfect way to learn the basics of the craft. Robert teaches in-person classes all the time, but this one is online and paced over a month!

You do NOT need to be a member of RWA/KOD to enroll for this class!

Go to:  (go to workshops) on the header

Class Dates: 
March 1 - 31

Robert Gosnell

Have you ever thought your novel would translate well to the silver screen? Or, maybe you just have a story idea that feels more suited to a motion picture than a novel. Or, perhaps you'd just like to know what this screenwriting business is all about.
If any of the above applies, this class is for you! For the first time, Robert Gosnell presents his beginning screenwriting course, "The Elements of Screenplay" online. The class, which has been has been offered in seminars in the Denver area for more than twenty years, breaks down the screenwriting form into clear, easily digestable lectures, with Q&A's to respond to your questions. 
The class covers Theme, Story Structure, Character, Dialogue, Format and more, and will provide the beginning screenwriter with the tools necessary to take that first important step to a completed screenplay.
Instructor Bio: 
Robert Gosnell has been a working screenwriter for more than thirty years, and is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of Canada. With produced credits in television, cable, studio features and independent features, he has worked for ABC, Turner Broadcasting, Cannon Films, The Disney Channel and many independent companies. 

Robert has authored the Blue Collar Screenwriter and Elements of Screenplay, which is being used in Hollywood by both actors and screenwriters. 

He is also a contributor to this blog

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Introducing My New Blog Contributor, Brad Leach

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the incredible ____ (fill in the blank after you've read his post) mind of Brad Leach, who is on the career path of an Indie Writer.  
He'll join us, hopefully once a month, but certainly whenever the twists of his mind flow to his fingers and onto the keyboard. 

The Tree Sloth Gets Tennis Shoes.

Have you seen the romantic comedy where the guy or girl longs for a loving relationship, then has to help a friend struggling with their romance?  That bittersweet irony as someone else’s dreams are fulfilled?  That’s me when it came to writing.   Always the bridesmaid....  But I wasn’t even the bridesmaid; I was the tailor’s apprentice, holding the gown while the cloth was cut. 

Why was writing such a struggle, you ask?  I had a 9 to 5, at which I wasn’t very good.  A family I loved.  A bank mortgage, utility companies, and a supermarket I supported.  Holidays and hikes, home-schooling, sporting lacrosse,  health and auto insurance, cars for teens.  Church needed an elder, Sunday school needed a teacher.  Throw in aging parents to help, and if I had a little time for writing, I had no energy.  Enter a tree sloth in the decathlon, watch him finish each event last, just as the next race kicks off, and you get a picture of my writing life. 

I don’t want to be a complainer.  Hey, God provided.  As tree sloths go, I’m one of the healthiest sloths out there!  I just didn’t have much time and energy to write.  I did study the craft, joined groups; I helped two or three writing friends with encouragement, plotting help, proof-reading chapters – enough to keep my hand in.  But never the bride....

So I quit my day job!  The cardinal rule writers are not to break.  The big ma-moo.  After 25 years, I’ve busted out.  I’m grabbing the tailor, the dress, and storming the church.  This dress-wearin’ tree sloth is holding the parson at gunpoint, demanding his gold medal.  (There will be a slight pause while I battle this mutated metaphor back into its cage.)

Alright, let’s continue this article with the grace and dignity L.A.’s blog always merits.  I am now writing a fantasy story that I hope to self-publish on Amazon.  Why self-publish? 

Having gotten quite a late start in the writer’s venture, I’m hoping to short-cut my way past those 20 rejections.  You know, where the publishers have you change the characters gender, rewrite in a different point of view, remove any killings,  and make all supporting cast Amish.  Then they will reject it because they have 5 others just like it, and that sort of stuff isn’t selling now.  (They won’t even send the cost of a wig to replace the hair you’ve pulled out!)

I understand they are a business and trying to make money.  But while they “committee” up reasons to reject me, I’m trying to catch up on a dream here.  Why wait years for crappy sales when I can get crappy sales from Amazon now? 

BLURB: So here’s the first glance of my fantasy novel!  It’s about a teenage boy who receives news that his father is missing in the distant goblin wars.  His step-mom decides to pull up tent-pegs for a new life of fun in the sun down in the desert south.  Without him.  He’s also gotten crosswise with the local sheriff who’s better at knocking heads than solving mysteries.  Things couldn’t get worse – or could they?   The young lad has unknowingly run afoul of an unpleasant witch-hag who changes men into horses and rides them to death under the cold moon....

Check back next month for a further glimpse of The Dragon’s Mist Chronicles: The Last Ride in the Moonlight.

Editor's insert :)  Brad has a co-authored book on Amazon under the name of Elliot Leach. 

And for fun, here is a list of names Brad came up with for his blog.  You can vote in the comments if like one better than what I have come up with. Won't hurt my feelings...much.

Revealing the Mind of a Screwball Writer.
Revealing the Mind of a Sideways Writer.
Revealing the Muse of an Unhinged Writer.
Exposing the Mad Muse of a Mental Writer.
Mad Scribblings of a Screwball Scribe.
Uncovering the Mind of a Crackpot Writer.
Exposing Crazy in a Different Kind of Mind.
The Mind Revealed - a Different Writing Perspective.
Wanderings of a Tortuous Pen.
Caging the Mental Flutterings.
Capturing the Mental Flutters.
The Brain Unfolded - a Different Writer.
Mental Can Openers and Writer’s Hash.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Screenwriting Contests 2016: The Top Ten Screenwriting Contests AND Great Links from Stephanie Palmer

With Stephanie Palmer's permission, I'm reposting this. 

Screenwriting Contests 2016: The Top Ten Screenwriting Contests

One of the best ways to get noticed by agents and managers – especially if you don’t have many Hollywood connections – is by winning screenwriting contests and competitions.
Winning screenplay contests is not an automatic ticket to success, but your work is more likely to be read by potential managers, agents, and producers.
BONUS DOWNLOAD: Click here to get a free printable PDF of the 2016 Screenwriting Contest Deadlines organized by month.

Screenwriting Contests Overview

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published February 13, 2015 and has been completely updated to make sure you have all the correct info. Enjoy! 
There are at least 74 screenwriting contests (you can find them here and here), but only a small number (in my opinion) are worth entering.
If you want to enter all the screenplay contests, go for it (though this can get expensive), but I recommend that you focus on taking fewer, higher-quality shots by entering the top screenwriting contests to which industry executives pay attention.
The following ten screenwriting contests are a viable avenue for getting representation and breaking in (especially for those who are outside LA)......TO READ MORE, PLEASE VISIT STEPHANIE'S BLOG, THERE IS A LOT MORE INFORMATION ON THERE.
~Thanks Stephanie for allowing me to repost this.  As always you are most gracious with sharing your information, L.A.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Wishes For A Happy New Year

For all of you; my readers, my guests, 
my blogsite members...
You're the reason I write this blog and my books.