Leadville Laurel's
Happy New Year (2017Newsletter!
(view this email in your browser to see photos right-side-up!)
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Happy 2017! Did anyone get a Fruitcake as a gift this year? I miss the ones I once got, but I don't imagine they make very good gluten free ones. Or DO they?

I always enjoy flipping through my calendar at the end of each year to remind myself of what fun I've had. Frequently, there are surprises. "Oh, yeah! I almost forgot about that!" and, "Oh, yeah. I remember." The year is always full of things I want to remember, even if the "things" were painful.

I pull up the previous end-of-year family newsletter before creating my new one, and always I marvel at the passage of time and how Some things never change . . .


Waterwight: Flux (Book II of the Waterwight Series) is unfolding in ways I'd never imagined until I started writing! Today I'll tackle Chapter 12/63, and if I can continue my pace of one chapter per day--minus the funky days I'll just have to accept--I'll be ready for Beta readers by spring break!

So, who wants to be a Beta reader for me and get your name in the "Praise for" pages when it's published? Shoot me an email at and I'll add you to my list!

  • Nina Amir is more than just a writing coach. I attended one of her seminars at the 2014 Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop and loved her dynamic approach to personal growth. She presents free online webinars and offers packages for personal services. Do you write nonfiction? Check out her blog tips here. Visit her website to see how she might help you become (more) successful this new year!
  • Remember to sign up for updates from Chaffee County Writers Exchange! Join the group and attend their informative events when you can.
  • My friend Michelle Vandepas, who is a brilliant business and marketing coach, is offering a Myth Busting Webinar: Do What you Love and The Money Will Follow (and she'll be teaching why it doesn't work and how to make it work so the money does follow!) Follow this link for the FREE replay of her webinar: Purpose and Profit Training!

Be a "Friend"! Please. They do so very much for their local authors!
I submitted a short fiction piece called "Pearl at the Wheel" to the Alamosa Public Library's
"Messages from the Hidden Lake" Vol. 8 and won 2nd place (a cash prize!)!

You can order this awesome collection from Amazon for only $10, which supports the library AND gets you a great collection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and artwork!

See what Janet at Summit County Library's North Branch did for me below! (look for the pink!)

Exciting news about other authors/bloggers and publishing services providers! Check them out!
If you have news about your work you'd like to share, let me know and I'll include it in my next letter.

The holidays may be a memory, but books create memories all year long. Support readers AND authors throughout this new year!

Bob King has written a book of advice combining principles from Amy Vanderbilt's Book of Etiquette, Covey's Successful Habits, and his own rags-to-happiness life story in his debut book For My Grandchildren: Principles for a Successful Life. Although I cannot be completely impartial as Bob included narratives in each section from people he knows (including me and my husband), I can honestly say that his advice is sage and his book is one that would benefit most young people today.

Cynthia Olsen's Seven Steps for Luminescent Living just came out, and what a wonderful gift to ourselves for the start of a new year! Just downloaded my copy (for a mere $3.99, everyone should) and can't wait to implement her suggestions. Seems we all could add a little luminescence to our lives lately!

Cindy Jewkes will find your missing, misplace, misused words! I have used her GoodTalesEditing service and will continue to for future books. She provides copyediting, proofreading and beta reading services, and has an eagle eye for errors!

Do you like dogs? Cary Unkelbach loves them! Follow her blog about these wonderful loyal friends and share your own stories with her!

Allison Maruska is a YA and mystery/suspense author with a new series out. I just read Drake and the Fliers, a teen coming of age tale set in a post-viral-apocalyptic world. Follow her blog at!

Kathleen Fitzsimmonslocal Leadville educator and author, has a gorgeous new book of photography called Leadville: Then and Now in which she juxtaposes photos taken by her grandfather in the early 1900s with ones she's taken standing where he would have stood! A great gift for history and photo buffs. They're available in Leadville at The Rock Hut and La Resistance Restaurant, or contact her directly at for a personalized copy!
(Don't worry! The photos inside are crystal clear!)


And now, your prompts for the next 30ish days:

1. Image a worldwide virus has altered you in a way that allows you to shift between being an animal and a human at will. What animal would you want to shift into, and how would your life change?

Got this idea from Allison Maruska's YA novel Drake and the Fliers! Shapeshifters are popular in many genres, and I've had fun playing with the idea in my Waterwight series.

2. Study your hands closely. Don't just look at them, study them.

Now, tell me their story. I'll share mine next month.

If you enjoy a book, please write a good review on Amazon and/or Goodreads! Good reviews are (almost) as good as $$$$$ for up-and-coming authors, especially for indie authors!

Please do NOT say that you're the best friend of or are related to the person whose work you review. (This can adversely affect the credibility of your rating and the author). THANK YOU!


1. Savor sumptuous sentences you read. Maybe even write them down. Identify why they made you drool, weep, guffaw.

2. Write about one memorable event. Try to make your reader experience what you experienced.

3. Write in a different location. Not always, of course. You might have the perfect place to write, where everything just seems to flow. Change your environment now and then to taste what flavor it might bring to your writing.

Links to past newsletters:

Dec '16
Nov '16
Oct '16

Sep '16
Jul-Aug '16

Jun '16
Apr-May '16
Mar '16
Feb '16
Jan '16
Dec '15

Summit County Library put on a pink ooze spread for my visit with students in the after-school reading program in honor of Waterwight
See? Libraries are THE BEST!
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