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That's me on the right

in the green shirt at my parents' 25th Anniversary party. I love the color green. Always have. (If you can't see the photo in your email, click "view images"). 

I'll be 57 when I complete my January newsletter, and I'll have lots more to share with you, having lived a whole extra 30 days by then. If you're getting this newsletter it's because I either love you, know you, met you at a writing conference (Erma Bombeck 2014 or CIPA) or author event, or any combination of the aforementioned. You'll only get one of these per month, but I'll understand if you want to opt out (no, I won't).

Having been raised near Boston and educated at Smith College (my starter school) and West Point ("Proud to Be '83"), my perspective on just about everything may be slightly skewed, but hey, it'll be wicked interesting. (wink)

Living in Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10,200') for over 8 years has ensured I'll never run out of unusual things to write about, and I love to share my stories. My goals for this newsletter are to provide you with a few writing tips, an occasional caution, a writing prompt or two, and a glimpse into what life is like way up here in the thin air mountains.

I post most of my observations about "things" on my web site: http://leadvillelaurel.com/
I love playing with words and finding the humor in everyday situations, though some of my pieces are more poignant than punny. 

Another goal is to highlight upcoming events such as the book talk new author Stephanie Spong will present at the Colorado Mountain College Library at noon on January 29th, other local author events, writing workshops, and new title releases.

Speaking of libraries, I recently attended local author events at the Loveland Public Library: https://www.facebook.com/lovelandpubliclibrary and the Eagle Valley Library: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=eagle%20valley%20library%20district. Please support your local libraries (and authors)! The people working there love to bring readers and writers together.

Also, search your area for writing groups! Leadville's Cloud City Writers meet at our Lake County Public Library every Monday from 4-6 (http://www.lakecountypubliclibrary.org/About%20us.html), and the Chaffee County Writers Exchange hosts frequent events in different locations: http://www.writersexchange.org/


I suppose that's enough for my first ever newsletter,

So ready or not, here are two prompts to consider for the next 30 days:

1.  Write a haiku a day.

We're only talking about 17 syllables here. I double-dog dare you to try it. They don't all have to be brilliant, but I'll bet you . . . um . . . a free copy of my next novel that you'll end up with at least 3 good ones. In order to claim your free novel, you'll have to send me 30 really terrible haikus as proof, so you might as well just allow a few good ones to emerge.

Here's a great place to learn more than you ever want to know about the haiku form. Don't let it intimidate you: http://www.toyomasu.com/haiku/

I'll whip one up right now just to show you I'm not intimidated:

Haiku poems rock   (5 syllables)
Don't let them intimidate   (7 syllables)
Let your brilliance flow   (5 syllables)

Your turn! By the way, I started one of my blog posts ("Need Food") with a haiku. It's published in this month's edition of Colorado Central Magazinehttp://cozine.com/
Here's the link to the story with photos on my blog: http://leadvillelaurel.com/need-food/


2. Write for 15 minutes (or more if the spirit moves you) starting with this thought:
Instead of making a New Year's resolution for 2016, I'd rather . . .

Go ahead and allow your mind to wander. Maybe you'll actually end up making a resolution. Maybe you'll write about past resolutions, or other people's resolutions. It doesn't matter. Just write and see where you end up! Don't worry. No one will grade you.
 

TIPS!
 
1.  Submit an entry for a writing contest. Even if you don’t win, you''ll have a completed piece, and the anticipation of waiting for the results is exciting!
 
2.  Do NOT try to blow crumbs off your keyboard when you still have food in your mouth.
 
3.  Surreptitiously capture authentic dialogue at a coffee shop. 
 
4.  Don't use the word surreptitiously more than once in a piece of writing, unless it's in a newsletter.
 
Planning to publish my new novel
WATERWIGHT
February 1st, 2016!
My first novel
"Miss?"
was re-released
this year with an
editorial essay.
Available in paperback or
Kindle on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017JFHRGS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1
 
I'll write to you again January 15th!

HAPPY
NEW YEAR!


Feel free to check in more frequently on my blog:
http://www.leadvillelaurel.com
I warned my 7th grade students I'd write about them "some year"!
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