Great News. WNC lives on.
Dear Writers and Readers:
Nita here—one final time.
Thank you to the many people who showed interest in helping Write Now Columbus (WNC) continue. I so appreciate the care and concern expressed for my 20-year endeavor. A few comments brought me to tears. Gratefully, we have a plan to continue!
Beginning with the March 2023 issue, Theresa Garee will publish Write Now Columbus!
Tami Kamin Meyer will remain involved and several new faces will join the team.
Together they will turn their vision into reality. Rather than badly summarize their ideas and plans, I’ll let Theresa, et al, share that in future emails.
Theresa is a business woman, an author, a wife, and a mom. She’s used to juggling wriggly things. I’m confident that WNC subscribers, and WNC itself, will be in good hands.
Thank you forever and always to Shannon Jackson Arnold for generously trusting me, more than twenty years ago, with the small but mighty email list that became Write Now Columbus.
Thank you to Tami for helping keep WNC alive for the past several years.
Thank you to each and every subscriber for more than two decades of interest, input, and support. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve you.
And thank you to Theresa for taking the risk to step into this role, and to the new folks she will introduce later.
With that, I’ll show myself out.
Nita Sweeney, retired publisher of WNC
(c) 2023, all rights reserved
“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 Columbus. Subscribe here.
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
Subscribe to Write Now Columbus here.
April’s Not Foolin’ – GUEST POST by TAMI KAMIN MEYER
Write Now Columbus – April 2021
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 Mind. That will subscribe you as well.
WRITING-ISH STUFF WE THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE
EXCEPTIONALLY INTERESTING STUFF!
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, Titanshade) wherever 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com for more information.
CENTRAL OHIO WRITING
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
ABOUT THOSE DONATIONS, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
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 email@example.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 EVENTS: The place to view them on one convenient page.
Read the ARCHIVES. Previous Write Now Columbus essays are archived on Nita’s website.
THE FINE PRINT
You received this newsletter either because you signed up for it at nitasweeney.com/newsletter, on Nita’s Facebook Page, or by replying to an invitation. If you do not want to continue receiving it, see “Get off the List,” below.
STAY ON THE LIST: If your email address changes and you still want to receive the newsletter, email us. This may seem obvious, but if you’re like us, the havoc of changing something as essential as an email address may cause you to lose sight of other important things (like a monthly writing newsletter).
GET OFF THE LIST: Click here to avoid receiving future emails from us.
SUBMISSIONS: Write Now Columbus accepts submissions of writing events, on-going writing groups and open mics only. We do not currently accept articles, markets, or contests except through sponsorship. Please send an email with date, time, place, cost and contact information. We reserve the right to revise submissions and press releases.
DEADLINE: Write 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.
SUGGESTIONS or COMMENTS: Please email us with ideas, quotations, or formatting tips that might make this newsletter more readable, manageable, helpful, workable. It’s your newsletter. We’re just typing. You may contact Nita via snail mail at: 3801 Norbrook Drive, Columbus, OH 43220 or either of us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARANOID EX-LAWYER’S RELEASE: We’re tired. We appreciate your patience. If you find an error, please use your inside voice to let us know. We’ll do our best to correct it.