Leadville Laurel's
October (2016) Newsletter!
(read my first paragraph link and join me in my challenge)
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On October 1st I decided to step away from several of my biggest distractors to writing. I'd been contemplating the idea for several months, and the combination of competing in a 3-Day Novel writing contest and listening to a podcast about "Deep Work" pushed me over the edge and into my decision. Feeling like you'll never finish the piece you're working on now? Read this and join me in an experiment! Pigs will never fly until you color their wings (you may quote me on that)! And please share this newsletter with friends who like to read and write! I'd love to add them to our group. Have them sign up on my blog at!

NOTE: I've changed my work email to (my publishing company)!


Many fun things to look forward to this fall!

  • Whenever you're ready, you may attend a free online webinar on copyediting! Alexandra O'Connell, CIPA's "Resident Wordsmith," has provided this generous gift to anyone serious about putting their best font forward in the world! Her blurb about "Is Your Book Ready for Press? What Your Editor Can Do For You" with Cathy Fyock follows:

A good editor is an author's best friend. They make sure the manuscript flows well, engages the reader, and avoids nasty mistakes and typos. However, these lovely creatures sometimes speak a different language from the writing public. What does your editor mean when they talk about a copyedit? Join us as we go over the types of work an editor can do for you, what to keep in mind when you contract for editorial help, and ways to figure out what, in fact, you want or need from your editor. To view the recording of the webinar, please go here. (you'll have to register with name and email), and for any questions you have for Alexandra and a mysterious FREEBIE, reach out to her directly at Happy publishing!

  • October 24th,singer, songwriter, writer Bar Scott will present a free workshop in Salida on Memoir writing! See CCWE Upcoming Events for details! Bar will also present a
    Westcliffe Workshop at the West Custer County Library on Saturday Oct 29, 9:00 - 11:00. no registration needed. She explains as follows: "My writing workshops are designed to remind attendees that writing is fun and writing is good for you. They’re inviting, safe, and inspiring. We’ll spend the morning writing short, quick pieces that engage the writer. My hope is that each participant will go home with the sense that they want to write more, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi or memoir. It all comes from the same place: your imagination." Feel free to contact Bar at for further information.
  • Join me for free pizza and drinks and laughs on Friday, October 21st from noon to 1 at the CMC Library! I'll be talking about how Haikus Can Amuse and my crazy new "Twilight Zone-ish" novella (and the even crazier way I wrote it) and my new-new-new release!
  • Author and musician Bar Scott will present a workshop in Salida on October 24 from 9:30-noon and another at the West Custer County Library on October 29 from 9-11!
  • Alissa Johnson has a writing offering you won't want to miss! She explains her program Stop thinking and start writing with the WritingStrides 21-Day Challenge:  "Writing is a lot like life. You want to accomplish something, but you want to make sure you’re doing it right. You want to pick the right topic. Start your story in the right place. Choose the right details. And you want all this even though you know that in writing, just like life, there are no guarantees. The WritingStrides 21-Day Challenge guides you through the unknowns so you can feel inspired, confident and purposeful as you write a new story, essay or chapter. October 24 – November 13. or
  • And don't forget to give NaNoWriMo a try this year! I've been able to knock out huge chunks of my published novels by making the commitment to be accountable to my writing goals for one solid month (and it's FREE)! Check out the site and contact me for more about my personal experience with this November challenge.
  • Get updates from Chaffee County Writers Exchange on upcoming workshops and consider becoming a member! Their workshops are great fun.

(Please! They do so very much for their local authors!)

Exciting news about other authors/bloggers! Check them out! (and if you have news about your work you'd like to share, let me know). The holidays approach, and books make great gifts!

Carol Bellhouse's new novel Places to Hide: San Miguel de Allende will leave you breathless as you run away with her middle-aged refugee, asking the same questions she is asking: Where? Why? How? The ending will stun you.

Singer, Songwriter, Author Bar Scott has released her memoir The Present Giver on Audible. Her story is about her search for meaning and hope when her infant son is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Please support this author's project. (You may also have the opportunity to receive this file FREE in exchange for a review. Contact Bar at for details).

Maria Weber is proud to report a recent big win for the Shavano Poets, who took 7/18 prizes in the State Poetry festival! Maria is the membership chairperson for CCWE (you should join!) and a poet through and through. Click to learn more about the Shavano Poets!

Catherine Scott, author of Divine Ordinariness, is a a therapist and addictions counselor. She has a new book out: Booze at Breakfast, a family portrait of the disease of alcoholism. Catherine is also the Membership Chair for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), which you might want to consider joining. I've learned SO much from the group of authors and service providers in the indie publishing industry!

Andrea K. Stein, Stephanie R. Sorensen and I attended an author panel at the Summit Library recently and enjoyed a rousing conversation about the publishing world! A Breckenridge author, Andrea has several new romance novels available including Fortune's Horizon.

Donna Baier Stein visited at the Lake County Public Library on September 28th and spoke about her #1 New Release in Biographical Fiction: The Silver Baron's Wife (a fictional re-creation of the life of Colorado's Baby Doe Tabor. I didn't want to put it down! Experience Baby Doe's life from a first-person perspective...gorgeous!). Donna also founded and publishes Tiferet Journal. Check it out and submit your work to her contests!

Ann Parker's 5th release in the Silver Rush Mysteries series (What Gold Buys) has Kirkus Reviews saying: "Once again, the fifth from Parker (Iron Ties, 2013, etc.) is much better history than mystery, drawing the reader into the stunning beauty and harsh realities of life in 1880s Colorado." Get her whole series on Amazon, the perfect gift for lovers of the Wild West! Ann's Books

And what about MY new book, you ask? Well, you don't have to be a teacher or a student to enjoy my "abridged" versions of Haikus Can Amuse! 366 Haiku Starters!

Hai CLASS ku: Classroom Warm-ups Book 1 will be available next week, and there's a 2017 contest associated with it for secondary school students across the nation! I'll send a link to it when it's ready, and it will look like this:

Put one in your car, your backpack, your purse, your bathroom...and use it as you'd use a crossword puzzle or Sudoku book! For only $5.75 (because, you know, haiku!) you get 90 days of entertainment. Purchase one for any middle through high school students you know and encourage them to submit to the contest! I'll be publishing a compilation of winning entries in time for Christmas 2017 at cost (i.e., I'll make nothing on the books), and I'll use several as examples in future workbooks!

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

1. Set a timer for 10 minutes and make a list of . . .

every idea that pops into your head about which you could write a piece. Could be a poem, a short story, a novella, a screen play, a novel, a memoir, a "How to" book, a blog, . . .

2. Circle the one thing on your list that grabs you most powerfully

and brainstorm (i.e., write like crazy with no thought of formatting or correctness) thoughts that pour from your head about that one idea.

There. You're on your way to writing something you might consider publishing someday. Step away from your greatest distractions and get to it. Color those pigs' wings!

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. Step away from insidious distractions.

2. Step away from insidious distractions.

3. Step away from insidious distractions, if only for a month.

4. Read TIPS 1-3, and DO IT!


Links to past newsletters:

Sep '16

Jul-Aug '16

Jun '16

Apr-May '16

Mar '16

Feb '16

Jan '16

Dec '15

Mike and I visited "Delicate Arch" in Arches National Park. Read about the very special "Toilet Rules" in the park here!
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