Fellowship Announcement

I am pleased, honored, and humbly thrilled to share this announcement. Congratulations to my fellow awardees, and many thanks to the Delaware Division of the Arts, the State of Delaware, and the National Endowment for the Arts for their support for art and artists.

Press release here.

2016 Individual Artist Fellowship Winners

The prestigious Individual Artist Fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts recognize artists in a variety of disciplines for their outstanding quality of work and provide monetary awards. Continue reading “Fellowship Announcement”

The Sacred Writing Time Pledge, 2016

On New Year’s Day of 2012, I created the Sacred Writing Time Pledge. The Pledge was born in response to a writing group colleague who bemoaned her lack of organization, willpower, family cooperation, and other reasons (aka excuses) that prevented her from being the steady, daily, productive writer she wanted to be. Continue reading “The Sacred Writing Time Pledge, 2016”

What’s your wheelhouse? A quiz for creatives.

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgA wheelhouse can be defined in three ways: the pilot room of a steamboat; a batter’s power zone in baseball; a person’s area of expertise or interest.

I have no real interest in steamboats, and all I know about baseball is that there is no crying in it, so the focus of this post is the third definition. What is your area of expertise or interest as an artist? Continue reading “What’s your wheelhouse? A quiz for creatives.”

What Do You Want?

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgOnce a month, I attend a Writing as Healing class at a local hospital. Writing as Healing is a journaling course and part of a popular Wellness program. The growth of Wellness courses, and the philosophy of Wellness in general, is an acknowledgment that, alongside the technical parts in medicine, an approach to patient care should include guidance for a positive approach to living. Continue reading “What Do You Want?”

You Can Tell a Lot about a Person

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgLife is a never ending quest. That quest means different things to different people, and some of us have more than one quest. I’m one of those people.

I am constantly on the search for three things: blog post topics, writing prompts, and character studies.

(What, you thought this was going to be about the meaning of life or something? I’m a writer, not a philosopher.) Continue reading “You Can Tell a Lot about a Person”

The Very Good Reason

An excellent explanation of the VGR by Barbara Ross at the Wicked Cozy Author blog.

The Wickeds

by Barb, still recovering from her knee replacement, but getting stronger everyday

Hi. Barb here and today I want to talk about that point where plot and character meet–where it becomes apparent to your sleuth that he or she is the only one who can solve the mystery, bring the guilty to justice, or even, save the world (if you’re writing a thriller.)

I’m talking about the Very Good Reason (or VGR).

I first heard about the Very Good Reason in a course taught by writer, editor and teacher extraordinaire, Ramona DeFelice Long. For the amateur sleuth, the Very Good Reason is why she gets proactively involved in (and not just caught up in) the investigation. For a thriller with an everyman or everywoman protagonist, the Very Good Reason is the reason they don’t just call the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, etc and be done with it. After…

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40 Days of Book Praise, Day 1

RamonaGravitarOn Mardi Gras, I had an epiphany.

There’s been a lot of talk about poorly written books or works that are insensitive, tacky, or harmful to women—so much so that the negativity seems to overshadow any conversation about great works about girls or fantastic fiction for women.

I’ve decided to begin my own little mission of change. For the next 40 days, I will choose a book from my personal book shelves. It will be a book that is insightful, intriguing, or illuminating about women. I will write why I think this book is a relevant and worth reading. This isn’t advertising for me or to promote any of my friends. It’s simply praise for good books.

I hope you’ll join the conversation.


Day 1 – A Gathering of Days, by Joan W. Blos

This middle grade novel written in the epistolary (diary) style won the Newbery Medal in 1980, for excellence in children’s literature. I chose it because, though I was not a child in 1980, it was recommended to me by a child. I worked as a children’s librarian for a while, and a young patron checked out this book. When she returned it, she told me it was the best book she had ever read and it made her want to be kind.

Why is A Gathering of Days relevant in 2015? First, it is set in snowy New Hampshire, which is a fair portrait of this year’s winter. The story is about a young girl who records the hardships and joys of pioneer life in New England in the 1830s. Catherine, the narrator, still mourns her mother and is pained to accept her father’s remarriage. Her new stepmother tries to bond with her through quilting. Catherine and her best friend Cassie secretly help an escaped slave by leaving out food and a blanket—and by not revealing his hiding place. At the end of the story, Curtis sends a note of thanks and a gift for both girls, but it is a bittersweet package.

A Gathering of Days is a quiet book full of drama. It shows that oppressed people will rebel, that youth are naturally generous, that family traditions are important, and that kindness is never forgotten.