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Although the planet hasn't yet healed from the year 2020, I remain hopeful that when it comes time to usher in 2022, we all will be in a better place physically and emotionally. Sure, I've been accused of harboring Pollyanna tendencies, but I'd rather adopt her outlook than Scrooge's any day! 


Having stalled in my writing progress over the holidays (it's always easy to use holidays as justification for taking a break!), I'm now reenergized and excited about completing the first draft of my next novel. I suspended my personal Facebook account until I get that done and already feel a huge burden lifted. 

My ducks are wintering well and still gifting me with yummy eggs, and they inspired me to create a TikTok account--a much easier way of sharing their antics than filming and uploading to YouTube (which I will still do, though far less frequently)! Find me at laureltheduckwrangler on this fun (is it still controversial?) app! (and yes, I hear you, but this girl's gotta have some social media vice!)

Life in Salida, CO still tickles me. Crystal blue skies, sugary snow, towering mountains, cold, clean rivers and lakes, county roads for hiking and skiing--what more could I want?

Oh, yes. An end to the pandemic. I would like that too, please. But until we're safely beyond its dangers, let's do what we can to protect ourselves and others. Let's write more and read more and learn more and move our bodies more and encourage others to do the same. Check out just some of the upcoming free and affordable opportunities coming up in the near future below!

And PLEASE (as always) post some positive reviews on Amazon for authors of books you've enjoyed!

Happy New Year!


Upcoming (and maybe some past) Events!
  • RIGHT NOW! Register for CMC Professor Jeff Runyon's online Poetry Course! Call 970-947-8315 to register!
  • January 21, 2021: Annual Deadline for The Eric Hoffer Book Award. Check out this prestigious award opportunity and see if your completed work might qualify for submission! Best of luck to all!
  • January 25, 9-noon: I will lead the first CCWE "WE Write" of the year! We'll work on SEGUES (and no, not the 2-wheeled Segways on which people look so ridiculous) and will have open question time for participants!
  • January 31, 2021: Deadline for submitting your completed work for the Colorado Authors League (CAL) Writing Awards. Best of luck to all! 
  • February 3, 6-8 p.m.: The first of many online writing critique group meetings (on Zoom) hosted by author L.V. Ditchkus, FREE to CCWE members! Please contact Linda at for more information.
  • February 27, 1-4:30 p.m.: CCWE's first workshop led by California author, teacher, and writing coach Jane Anne Staw. Jane Anne will help you discover and explore the world of creative nonfiction in this half-day
    workshop. $20 for CCWE members, $40 for nonmembers. Questions? Ask me!

***Support your Local Public Libraries and Book Stores!***

(contact me if you'd like a personalized autograph of any of my books)

(please send me literary news you'd like to share)
  • Colorado author Cheryl Carpinello’s "Guinevere Trilogy" was awarded Moonbeam’s 2020 Bronze Medal for Best Book Series-Chapter Book! Check them out for your middle grade readers!   
  • Need a few helpful, reasonable fitness tips for starting off 2021? Check out author Cheryl Ilov's blog post New Year: Now What? Cheryl is a dynamo!
  • Kathleen Kaska is a multi-genre author with a fun new book out for the amateur (and mature!) sleuths out there! The Sherlock Holmes Quiz Book is available now! Watch for my interview with Kathleen next month, and check out my previous visit with her where we discuss her murder mystery A Two Horse Town
  • Do we have any "over 60-year-old" women out there? Have you checked out Persimmon Tree Magazine (online) yet? You may find opportunities to share your writing there!
  • Are you looking for free music for a project you're recording? Belgian musician Jessica Toussaint is offering her work. Check out her website at!
  • Chaffee County Writers Exchange (CCWE) membership is only $20/year, and the benefits are truly worthwhile! Check out their site and consider joining. I'm the new Membership Chairperson this year, so let me know if you have any questions! We have a year's worth of exciting opportunities including a free new WRITING CRITIQUE group run by author Linda Ditchkus (for members only)!
  • You might consider joining Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), a wonderful organization with resources to help writers and authors at every stage of their professional development.
  • Do you have Colorado-related essays? Think about subscribing and submitting to Colorado Central Magazine !

[photo credit: Elise Sunday]

Have you checked out my  podcast Alligator Preserves lately? There are unique short stories and interviews and insights galore! I hope you'll subscribe!

Looking for hot Writing Tips? Check HERE
Please send me some of your own and I'll credit you in my list!

Please let me know if you're participating in any awesome writing contests and if you have any personal writing/publishing news you'd like to share! I do my best to publish this newsletter by the 15th of every month, so keep that in mind when sending me your literary news!

Until next month...
Be kind to yourself. Wash your hands . . . lots. And please wear a mask around others.
(here's a link to all of my books, available in paperback and Kindle and some on audiobook!)
Copyright © 2021 Laurel McHargue, All rights reserved.

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