When Writing Feels August

When Writing Feels August

“When Writing Feels August” GUEST POST by TAMI KAMIN MEYER

As a freelance writer with many years of experience, I have written many things. News stories, feature articles, blog posts, essays, emails, social media posts, press releases and more.

More often than not, I write without an outline. The words flow directly from my brain to my fingertips, and I am merely the mechanism for that transfer.

While that harmonious flow is an amazing feeling, it doesn’t guarantee the mass of content I just spewed makes any sense.

You see, I don’t know what led me to journalism and writing. The first time I used the noun and adjective ‘writer’ to describe myself was as a high school senior, when our drama teacher tasked my classmates and I with creating a pictorial collage that captured our essence.

I recall gluing the word ‘writer’ on my collage, but literally do not know why I choose that word. To date, I hadn’t written anything of note, and I didn’t think of myself as a writer, either. I didn’t enjoy reading very much and, other than Judy Blume, didn’t care for many authors.

Still, while my sub-conscious must have known something about my covert desire and ability to write, it sure didn’t mention anything to me.

I am in a zone . . .

. . . when the words flow from my brain to my fingertips, transforming them from random thoughts into concrete language right before my eyes. It is magical, mysterious and exciting. I never know when that utopia will recur, but one of my interview techniques is designed to encourage it as often as possible.

I do not record my interviews, whether by phone, in person or otherwise. People have cautioned me not to skip recording, but I find I do not listen as well when I know the conversation is being recorded.

Another reason I prefer to listen intently and take copious notes rather than record a call is that my notes are more accurate that way. I pay rapt attention. And, if I’m lucky, the interviewee’s quotes and comments inform me how to use them in an article. When that happens, and it is rare, it is like being overtaken by a waterfall. My fingers become a conduit commanded to type the letters creating the words and punctuating the sentences of whatever I’m writing.

Is there something you do that brings you absolute joy? As for me, I will continue to be august about writing and the written word.

This essay first appeared in the August 2021 issue of Write Now ColumbusSubscribe here.

A story 41 years in the making

A story 41 years in the making

“A story 41 years in the making”


My mind wandered on that dark, stormy Thursday afternoon in November, 1980, when I was a high school junior with a crush on my adorable boyfriend, Boris. We had met that past summer as performers in the 11th grade musical, always a silly performance that was a rite of passage at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. I was a dancer and Boris was in the “horse chorus,” a group of junior boys who performed a silly dance dressed like girls which today would be considered sexist and demeaning.

As I sat in the school’s Little Theater during drama class that day, the incessant and insistent thumps of rain that seemed intent on halving the room’s metal roof echoed through my heart. The quick drumming of those raindrops reminded me of how my heart leapt with joy at seeing Boris, holding his hand, being his girl.

Suddenly, the words of a haiku poem flashed in my mind, so I quickly grabbed a sheet of paper from my notebook to write it down.

The raindrops falling
Remind me of my heartbeat
When I am with you.

Although I thought Boris would enjoy the haiku, I never mentioned it to him. Or anyone else, for that matter. No reason. I just didn’t.

Years later, Boris and I became friends on Facebook. We were both married with children and busy with our respective lives. We didn’t communicate for years on end.

Fast forward to June 2021.

My 40th high school reunion was set for the final weekend of the month, and, as recently as the second week of June, I had no intentions of going back to Cincinnati for the gathering. An old friend called to encourage me to attend. I told him in no uncertain terms I was not going, and that was that.

Two days later, one of my closest HS friends announced she was attending the reunion, and I realized I couldn’t be the only one in our posse not to go. I registered, and actually got excited at the prospect of reminiscing with my former classmates.

A week later, our reunion FB page announced that Boris, too, decided to go to the reunion himself. I immediately decided I was finally going to share the haiku with him at the reunion. I texted to tell him I had a surprise to share with him at our upcoming gathering, reassuring him that no, it doesn’t breathe, so it wasn’t that kind of a jolt.

Days before the reunion, Boris surprised me.

He reached out to check if I lived in Columbus because he happened to be driving through. We visited for hours, laughing at our youthful antics until our sides hurt.

I also shared the haiku poem I had written to and about him some 41 years earlier. By sheer happenstance, I had submitted it to a local anthology earlier in 2021, and the printed copy had just been released.

He was touched, and pleased, and I felt my heart patter quickly, much like the day I wrote him the poem. He whipped out his phone to take photos of the anthology and the haiku itself, promising to order the book, too.

The reunion followed a few days later, and it was one of the best weekends of my life. Until I saw all my former classmates in the hallway of our former school, I hadn’t realized what an accomplishment it was to make it to that day.

And, knowing how through writing I was able to bring joy to my dear friend Boris made the past 41 years feel like a simple turn of a page.

(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2021, all rights reserved

This essay first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Write Now Columbus. Subscribe here.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Bexley Couple Produces Pandemic Anthology

Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Bexley Couple Produces Pandemic Anthology


Kristopher and Gretchen Armstrong, of Bexley, accomplished something during the COVID-19 quarantine that few others can say they did. The couple, married seven years and parents of a blended family of four children, decided to produce an anthology.

Because the quarantine slowed their lives to a trickle, when normally the family would have been incessantly busy with activities, the Armstrongs figured the time was right to create Tomorrow and Tomorrow. According to Kristopher, who lovingly refers to the anthology as the couple’s “pandemic baby,” he and Gretchen had discussed collaborating on a literary project upon retirement but seized the free time engendered by the shutdown to produce it now.

“We wanted to see if we could do it, especially during a pandemic,” says Kristopher. When the couple solicited contributions of stories, poems and art during 2020, they weren’t sure how many responses they would receive.

Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem. “We were amazed at the number of submissions we received,” says Gretchen. So many, in fact, the couple held lengthy discussions about which pieces would fill the pages of Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

While the anthology was going to be a one-time project, the enthusiastic welcome it has received persuaded the couple to continue with it. Not only is a second issue planned for later this year, the Armstrongs will publish two issues annually, in spring and fall.

Submissions for the second issue are being accepted through June 30, 2021. For further details, consult www.tomorrowandtomorrow.net.

Meanwhile, a book launching party to celebrate the launch of Tomorrow and Tomorrow is set for June 24, 2021 at Austen & Company, 1530 S. High Street, Columbus, from 7-9 pm. The evening will include readings by some of the contributors and a panel discussion on creativity in the current moment, as well as time to meet with writers and other creatives.

Note from Tami: I am proud to have contributed a haiku poem called ‘Raindrops,’ to Tomorrow and Tomorrow. I wrote it during a heavy rainstorm when I was a junior in high school for Boris, my crush. If you read it, you’ll understand why the context tells the story.

This essay first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Write Now Columbus. Subscribe here.

May You Be Well — WNC, May 2021

May You Be Well

by Tami Kamin Meyer, Editor of Write Now Columbus
This post also appeared in Write Now Columbus, May 2021.

Writing has been a huge part of my life for nearly four decades. It has afforded me unique and cherished opportunities like meeting and interviewing baseball legend Hank Aaron, interviewing and subsequently befriending best-selling authors like Brad Meltzer and Neal Karlen and visiting destinations throughout the US for various travel articles.

But, my absolutely most coveted reason I am thankful to be a writer is that it brought Bradley Wayne McFarland into my life.

Newly divorced in early 2013, I decided to look for a new platonic friend on the now-banned Craigslist’s section for people seeking new pals. One post, in particular, caught my attention.

The headline read: “Writer/Editor Wanted.”

Why was someone advertising a writing opportunity in the platonic section of Craigslist, I thought to myself.

Of course, I clicked on the ad. As a freelance writer and editor, I’m eternally searching for new opportunities, even if my calendar is full and my brain exploding. That’s what we do. We hustle. We scour for the next opportunity.

I opened the page and was immediately struck by the two color photographs this would-be employer posted of himself in the post. “Why would an employer post their picture?” I thought to myself. On the other hand, he was incredibly handsome, so my interest was definitely piqued.

His note explained how he had a story in mind for a book he had been trying to write, but he didn’t know anything about the publishing industry. Nor editing. Nor writing, for that matter.

Knowing I was qualified to help, I responded to his ad, regaling him with my various qualifications and eagerness to assist. However, I also knew how adorable I thought he was, and how that would definitely be distracting for me. While I would not advise this to anyone else, I added the following to the end of my introductory email: “If you are gay or married, please do not respond. You are too cute to work with.”

Much to my surprise, he answered quickly. We exchanged phone numbers to discuss the opportunity further, and then made plans to meet that evening to delve deeper.

We met at a coffee shop on North High Street in Columbus that since became a Mexican restaurant that among our favorite eateries.

He walked in and strode confidently towards me. I stood up to greet him and started to hold out my right hand to shake his, but his right hand did not meet mine. Instead, he placed it delicately in my small of my back, pulled me close and kissed me, full on the lips.

I distinctly recall my reaction, having just been kissed by a gorgeous stranger I thought was going to interview me for a job. I stepped back and said, “Hey, what kind of job am I interviewing for, anyway?” His sparkly blue eyes shined and he smiled as he sat in a chair next to the couch where I had been sitting a moment before. Momentarily, he seemed in a trance. He was slowly rubbing his palms on his thighs back and forth as he quietly and repeatedly murmured, “Thank goodness that’s over with. Now I can be myself.”

I laughed. “Well, what would I have gotten if you didn’t like what you saw?” I asked, smiling.

Without skipping a beat, he responded, “You would have gotten a hug.”

That was my beloved Brad.

I met Brad on May 3, 2013. We dated exclusively from that kiss on, and enjoyed a healthy, supportive and happy relationship for which I am eternally grateful. He was my best friend, greatest cheerleader and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Horrifically, Brad died suddenly on May 3, 2019 while we were in New York City celebrating our sixth anniversary. We had traveled to my favorite city in the world, one that was growing on my rural-loving boyfriend, to enjoy Broadway, stuff ourselves with yummy dumplings in Chinatown and more.

May 3 will be bittersweet to me for the rest of my life. Brad isn’t here to support me in the physical world, but I still feel his love and encouragement. He consistently wanted the best for me, which made me believe I deserved it. It also became our little joke that no, I never did help him write that book, but he was going to stick around to see if I ever would.

While certainly I would much rather Brad be here with me than being my Angel in Heaven, meeting him because I happen to be a writer empowers me to continue on the path that led me to him in the first place.

(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2021, all rights reserved

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April’s Not Foolin’

April’s Not Foolin’ – GUEST POST by TAMI KAMIN MEYER

Write Now Columbus – April 2021

Tami here.

One of my favorite aspects of my home is a large, lovely magnolia tree in my front yard. When it reveals its gorgeous pink flowers in early Spring, I revel in its welcoming, sweet scent gently wafting in the breeze. It is what I call “a fan favorite,” with me playing the role of “the fan.”

After our recent cold, snowy and simply ‘unfriendly’ winter, I checked the tree daily to watch for signs of its reawakening. I was thrilled the last week of March to see small, oval, velvety buds on the branches. That meant its beautiful pink flowers would blossom soon. And, seemingly overnight, they did! The tree is a testament to patience… good things come to those who wait.

As it happened, on April 1, of all dates, I gazed upon the tree, remembering back to an April not long ago when the bursting flowers were destroyed in one chilly night. That’s all it takes to kill those precious and sensitive flowers. So, I snapped a quick photo of the tree, capturing it in its blossoming state, just in case Mother Nature decided she was in a mischievous mood yet again.

I woke April 2 to a magnolia tree adorned with dead and brown petals. The flowers had been killed overnight by an unforgiving cold snap. No perfumy scents of magnolia will be wafting in the air this spring. No pink flowers that seemingly challenge anything or anyone to be sad or in pain will brighten my yard.

It hit me hard.

Life is like that, too. One moment we can be coasting along, without a care in the world, and then, suddenly, unexpectedly, a ‘cold snap’ interjects and ruins our plans.

I was instantly grateful I had literally just stopped what I had been doing the day before to take that photo. I would have been much sadder if I hadn’t.

I am thankful for those daily life lessons. While they may be gentle in presentation, their message is powerful and unmistakable.

Stop and smell the roses. The rest is distraction.

(c) Tami Kamin Meyer, 2021, all rights reserved


Nita stepped back this month to work on writing projects. That allowed me to step forward. We continue to figure out our roles and shape a vision for Write Now Columbus. To hear directly from Nita on a regular basis, please subscribe to her newsletter or download her free ebook, Three Ways to Heal Your MindThat will subscribe you as well.


Jane Friedman’s opinion on blogging versus email newsletters.


WRITE TO THE FINISH: Is this your year to write a book? Join Write to the Finish online course by phone and email (no Zoom!) led by award-winning authors Sean Murphy & Tania Casselle. Starts May 15 – early bird discount. Our small group supports you through writing a book with craft, community, focus & feedback. For fiction, nonfiction or memoir writers, whether starting your book idea from scratch or finishing a work in progress. Visit the website or email for details.

JUST PUBLISHED:  Stephen M. Millett, The Activist. A Novel is available from Amazon. A grandfather who went to Columbia and Ohio State, argues with his libertarian grandson about the Indiana Klan of 1920s, student radicals of the 1960s, and today’s Trump base.  The grandson has his own battles at college. 

TITAN SONG –  Forbidden magic, murder…. and disco. Carter’s day keeps getting worse. Titan Song is a noir fantasy thriller soaked in corruption, sorcery, and bell bottom jeans. You can find Titan Song (or the first in the series, Titanshadewherever your favorite books are sold

Writing From Where You Are, Zoom Contemplative Writing Retreat. April 8–12, led by award-winning writers Tania Casselle & Sean Murphy. A soulful writing retreat in 8 x 2 hour sessions over 5 days in a small group, including meditation and mindfulness. Sliding scale fees. “This retreat will remain in my memory as one of my most life-affirming experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a previous participant. Info and registration here.

PITCH-O-RAMA PLUS! – April 10, 2021 – This event, a fabulous opportunity meet and pitch to agents and editors, is usually held in the Bay Area. But pandemic! Register here to Zoom in.

HIRE US – Did you know you can hire Tami and/or Nita?

~ Nita offers one-off consultation sessions to help writers find authentic material, navigate the writing and publishing process, and share her many resources and extensive experience.

~ Tami is a seasoned freelance writer, editor, and attorney, always on the lookout for interesting gigs including ghost writing.

~ Contact either (or both) of us at writenowcolumbus@gmail.com


Want to feature your new book? Promote a class you’re teaching? Need more participants in your workshop? Holding a contest?

If you or your organization would like to sponsor Write Now Columbus, the fee is $11 for one issue or $26 for three. (That’s $10 + paypal fee or $25 plus paypal fee. Sponsorships must be paid in full.) Contact Nita or Tami at writenowcolumbus@gmail.com for more information.


With everyone zooming, the number of events on the calendar continues to increase. The April calendar shows 52 events (up from 35 last month.) We will add any we learn of as the month goes on. 

If you know of an event we haven’t listed, please email Tami and Nita at writenowcolumbus@gmail.com and we will add it. And if we can do anything else to help you, please reach out.

Thanks always and have a great month!

~ Nita and Tami

Nita Sweeney, Publisher
Tami Kamin Meyer, Editor
(c)Write Now Columbus, 2021, all rights reserved

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: If you purchase anything from the affiliate links on this page or in this email, Write Now Columbus will receive a portion of the proceeds. This helps us keep the website up and the internet on.


Donations continue to trickle in. We’re so grateful for each donation to help us pay our expenses. We’re holding off on the subscription option for now due to the fees, but feel free to donate monthly or send an annual donation.

To contribute, click DONATE. That takes you to a page with a paypal button. Or, you can email Nita for an address to send a check. We spend every penny toward keeping the site, the server, the email sending service, etc. etc. up and running.

If you have any questions, you can reach Nita and Tami at writenowcolumbus@gmail.com.

As your donations and sponsorships allow, we will move Write Now Columbus to its own website.

DONATIONS to Write Now Columbus are gratefully accepted. To Donate, Click Here.


CHECK OUT Nita’s EVENTSThe place to view them on one convenient page.

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DEADLINEWrite Now Columbus is published on the 3rd of each month. If you want an event to be on the calendar before the monthly email goes out, please send it before the 25th of the month unless the event is on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. For those dates, please submit it the month before. (e.g. For a May 4th event, submit by April 25th. For a May 3rd event, submit by the March 25th.) But please send events any time. We can add them to the calendar whenever you send them.

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