Plotting blog and “Magic” class

Two things this morning: 

#1  Posted a blog to Writer Unboxed this morning, Plotting for the Severely Right-Brained.  Might be helpful for some of you who have a brain like mine. 

#2 Reclaiming the Magic class starts on Monday.  The published workshop is nearly full (one spot left), but there is plenty of room in the aspiring class.    I really thought it would go the other way!  This is not divided for elitist reasons, but so that we can focus on the issues writers have at different stages of their careers. 

Some of the things that might specifically come up for aspiring writers:

How do you keep writing after three or five or ten years when you haven’t published and people around you have stopped believing you’ll ever publish?  How do you keep believing in yourself?  What tricks and techniques can help you get your work done even when you’re exhausted from kids/work/life?   How do you recover from a string of painful rejections or bad contest commentary?  How do you deal with other people publishing when you’ve been writing longer?   If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, please email me.

And DON’T FORGET: THERE ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR BOTH PUBLISHED AND ASPIRING WRITERS! Only a couple of people have tossed their names in the hat this time.  If you’d like to take the class but just can’t afford it, you might as well give it a shot, right?   Send me an email with “scholarship” in the title.




Did Joan wash her hands at the same sink?

Joan Didion, the celebrated writer, went to Columbia Elementary School for awhile. The old building, made of red sandstone (as well as I can recollect), not the modern version that occupies the lot these days. I have been drunkenly reading her work, admiring the western cleanness, the spare and unsentimental way she captures the world, my world, the west. I was electrified to read her casual mention of the school, a brief sojurn while her father worked at Petersen Field, and even though I now wish to find the exact reference, I can’t. It was small and not very important.

Is is important to me, however, because I went to Columbia Elementary School, too, back when it was a tall, graceful building with long double hung windows. I, too, am a writer. I remember my classroom on the first floor, the western side of the building, where the teacher had hung squares of construction paper with the names of colors written on them. Orange. Brown. Red. Yellow. It seemed I could own those colors by knowing their names, leash them with letters. Mine!

Did Joan Didion sit in the same chair ….Read the rest of this post

Reclaiming the magic of writing at Writer Unboxed today

Wrote a piece on reclaiming the joy of writing for my monthly blog at Writer Unboxed today.  If you’re in the doldrums, check it out.  If you’re not in the doldrums and know how to help others out, please go and tell everyone how you do it.

Things I’m considering: when to schedule more Voice and a (revised) version of Girls in the Basement. If you are burning to take them, email me.

Also thinking about a group (Facebook group, private email, blog?) devoted to art and balance in someway.  Nothing super organized, but it seems to be one of those things we all have trouble with.  If you would be willing to help me, I need two or three people.   Email me on that, too.   If you have suggestions on the best place to gather, please put them in the comments.  

Brilliant Colorado day, BTW.  All of you frozen folks might want to schedule Colorado sunshine into your planners.

Now the timer is going off (see how good I am!) and I must get off the internet and finish my novella.


New website is up!!

The new Barbara O’Neal website is live.   I have been working hard with my amazing team (720 Media here in Colorado Springs) to get it up in time for Christmas, and it’s ready!.   I’m sure I will not have any time to post anything there until the weekend, but at least it’s live and it’s BEAUTIFUL!  I’m absolutely delighted. 

Check it out here: