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Festive Masks for Everyone?

I've stayed extra busy and mostly productive this past month despite the drama in realms beyond my control. I completed the 30-day NaNoWriMo challenge on November 30th with over 14,000 new words written (more than the zero words had I not committed to the challenge) and 8 chapters drafted for my new book. I'm delighted with my new characters and stunning scenes, and I'll keep writing until I get to where I think this book will end!

at The Book Haven with Ranger, Cary Unkelbach's pup!
On December 12th I shared space in The Book Haven in Salida with debut author Cary Unkelbach and her pup Ranger! Visitors to the shop were respectful and in great spirits (how could they not be with the unexpected and furry-friendly greeter?) and we were happy to autograph lots of books for holiday gifts. We are grateful to John Cameron, new owner of the lovely bookstore, and hope everyone reading this has as welcoming a local bookstore to patronize.

On my way to my car in the dark after the event, I greeted a young man walking alone up the sidewalk.
"Good evening!" I said.
"Good evening!" he replied. "I love your energy!"
(well, I was wearing a Santa outfit)
"Would you like a book?" I offered. Why not? It would make my bag lighter. And . . . I was wearing a Santa outfit!
"Do you have anything I could read to my 3-year-old?" he asked.
I hesitated. Surely not The Hare, Raising Truth, I thought. I told him about Waterwight
"I'd love to read that to him!"
"What's your name?" I pulled out the book and a pen.
"A. N. D. R. E. with an accent aigu over the E?" 
"Yes! Wow! You're the first person ever to spell my name right!"
I always ask before I write. Even the most obvious names can deceive.

And so, I ended a lovely afternoon on a lovely note and returned home quite happy. Just thought I'd share this exchange with you. I've noticed people avoiding others--even avoiding eye contact--frequently during this pandemic, and it hurts. I know we're all being extra cautious, and if we don't make eye contact with another, we don't have to speak to them. But I believe there are ways we can maintain our social bearing safely, and now more than ever, people are craving connection. Moving forward, let's not fear looking at those we pass on the street. Let's give ourselves permission to say "Good evening!"

COVID-19 has affected, and in some cases infected, All-Holidays-20. It's still not finished with us, but hope is on the horizon with promising vaccines. That said, please don't let down your guard these next few months!
Until next month--NEXT YEAR!--stay well, wash your hands, be respectful of others by wearing a mask when in public . . .
and PLEASE post some positive reviews for authors of books you've enjoyed!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, May All Your Year-End and New Year Celebrations be Joyful!


Upcoming (and maybe some past) Events!
  • December 31: Deadline to submit to the Craft Literary has a Creative nonfiction contest  for works  up to 6,000 words! $20 reading fee. Prize money and more! Click the link for complete information, and good luck to all who enter!
  • 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!
  • May 2021: Denver Pop Culture Con has already cancelled all events for the upcoming year. I'm sure it was stressful for all involved in the multiple postponements this year, and I know they want to ensure the safety of the thousands who will be delighted to attend once the pandemic is under control.

***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)
  • Our new book--Peace by Piece: 10 Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle--is available in Kindle and paperback now, and Amazon has finally approved the audiobook files for it! Please share with anyone who enjoys puzzling and self-help books with healthy doses of humor and if you enjoy it, would you please post a quick review on Amazon? Reviews are soooo important to indie authors (like me)! Thank you!
  • 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!
  • 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 !

So grateful to Elise Sunday for my new professional photos! 

Have you checked out my weekly 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 © 2020 Laurel McHargue, All rights reserved.

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