SPRING WRITING COURSE SALE

Spring into action to receive a tutored writing course for only $237! Use our no interest payment plan!

How long have you been promising yourself you would take a writing course? You’ll never know what could have been if you don’t give it a shot. Can’t begin now? Fine. Take up to one year to complete your course.

Shop and Compare:

Writers.com – Flash Fiction – Their Price – $340 Our Price – $237
Gotham Writers Workshop – Novel Writing – Their Price – $400 Our Price – $237
Writer’s Digest University Short Story – Their Price – $449 Our Price – $237
The Writing School Creative Writing – Their Price – $748 Our Price – $237
Winghill Writing School Writing for Children – Their Price $748 Our Price $237

Sale ends March 31, 2015. Hurry! Only 12 to a class!

http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com

You are Your Worst Critic

Valentine Month Editorial
by Deborah Owen
Why does everything you write have to be perfect? Why must you be your own worst critic? You sweat and stew over churning out one typewritten page until the pleasure is gone from that greatest of all gifts – writing.

Why do you write? Is it not for pleasure? Is it not to give voice to that which lies within? Is it not to lather words in and around your soul until they cannot be contained? And thus you ponder, pander and play with characters, disguising in anonymity the events, episodes and people from your own life until the whole bursts forth as a new found infant.

As a new mother labors to bring her baby into the world, you cannot deny that which refuses to leave… the desire to write. Love it. Nurture it. Move it up the line of priorities until you reap the satisfaction that calls to your heart. Learn the trade at  Creative Writing Institute  with a private tutor. Give yourself a Valentine present. You deserve it. Sign up today and start tonight!

Stream of Consciousness Writing

What is Stream of Consciousness?

by Brent Middleton

When doing creative writing, do you find yourself wanting to experiment with style? Stream of consciousness is a great way to step outside humdrum writing boundaries.

Stream of consciousness is a narrative device that describes the flow of thoughts in the minds of characters. It’s a great alternative to directly convey the thoughts of your characters, but be aware, stream of consciousness is a significantly harder writing style to perfect, characterized by random thoughts and a lack of punctuation.

A fantastic example of stream of consciousness writing can be found in Virginia Woolf’s novel, Mrs. Dalloway:

What a lark! What a plunge! For so it always seemed to me when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which I can hear now, I burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as I then was) solemn, feeling as I did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen …”

In the passage, Mrs. Dalloway breaks away from the retelling of her story to relive it. She reflects on the air and the feeling it gave as her thoughts naturally flow between the present and memories. Though it may seem daunting at first, there are many valuable resources at your disposal to begin learning stream of consciousness writing. Here are just a few:

  1. net: http://literarydevices.net/stream-of-consciousness/
  2. Wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Stream-Of-Consciousness
  3. Qwiklit: http://qwiklit.com/2014/03/22/10-writers-who-use-stream-of-consciousness-better-than-anybody-else/

Look to Creative Writing Institute for all your writing needs.

http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com

Resolutions for the New Year

Re-ignite your writing passion

by Fahreen Gani

New Year means resolutions for most of us. Finishing a novel might be yours, but how many will achieve that goal? Take this survey to find out.

Do you leave stories unfinished?

Does every story have to be perfect before you submit it?

Do you shred your work (and confidence) every time you edit?

Do you fail to write two or more days per week?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are suffering from Bad Writer’s Habits Syndrome (BWHS). Studies show it can develop into a serious case of writer’s block, which  if left untreated, can culminate in psychological writer’s death, evidenced by lack of ideas.

If that triggered a little panic, great. It means the writer within is still alive and your story can be salvaged.

To see how advanced your BWHS is, you need to do a passion scan. Ask yourself this: has your passion for writing cooled due to frustration, rejections, and plot paralysis? After assessing the why and what is causing the lack of excitement, take a deep breath. Here’s how you can reignite your passion.

Delve into your mind, heart and soul. Ask yourself why you want to be a writer. Focus on those answers to stir your passion.

To keep your Bad Writer’s Habits Syndrome in check, take the following steps when necessary.

Keep a bottle of ideas handy. Although they are everywhere, keep your notes updated.

  1. Don’t wait too long to use them and don’t churn them out too quickly. Be patient,      and allow them to take on a life and grow.
  1. Do regular writing checkups. Do you use repetitive words? Do your grammar skills need work? Find your weaknesses and strengthen them.
  1.  Borrow a cup of encouragement from a friend.
  1. Supplement with doses of Self-Motivation.
  1. Take a shot of Constructive Criticism from a peer.
  1. For a speedy recovery and booster, take a writing course.
  1. Participate in a contest.
  1. Research your setting.
  1. Conduct interviews with your characters.
  1. Figure out what’s wrong with an old story.
  1. Use active voice instead of passive.
  1. Do writing exercises. Flex those writing muscles every day.
  1. Working on novels and stories gets exhausting. Take frequent breaks to preserve your sanity and keep your piece fresh.
  1. Distractions can be injurious. Avoid them. When the perfect word eludes you, don’t give in. Highlight the area and go back to it later.
  1. Read! It produces antibodies (new ideas) to fight writer’s block.
  1. Discipline will bring success. Enjoy your writing.

Make these your new year’s resolutions. Flaunt your writing masterpieces. Enter contests this year and we will applaud you for overcoming bad habits.

Go to www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com to find out about our creative writing courses

Help us Find the Mystery Lady

Creative Writing Institute and the Mystery Lady
by Deborah Owen

Creative Writing Institute has an amazing story lurking behind the scenes. We seek the woman who inspired our creation. The woman whose name we don’t know. The woman we have never met and cannot find. The woman who doesn’t even know we exist. We call her… the Mystery Lady.

In the spring of 2008, I browsed the net and happened across an article. The woman’s beautiful smile reached out and grabbed me. I could not escape until I read that article. She told the story of her success as a businesswoman until the day she discovered she had cancer. As her body wasted away, friends and coworkers became uncomfortable in her presence and at length, only immediate family remained. Bald, sick, suicidal, and dying, she decided to do something she had always wanted to do – write.

At first, she wrote a couple of times a week. Then, as short stories painted new worlds into existence, she discovered it relieved her stress. She didn’t realize she had stumbled across a scientific method called writing therapy.

Combined with medical treatment, she not only experienced a full and miraculous recovery, but also returned to the hospital where she had been a patient and shared her story with other cancer patients. She encouraged them to write stories, picked them up and made comments on them, and returned them to the patients. The article concluded by saying that the Mystery Lady had one desire – to take a writing course.

A week later, I was still thinking about that lady. I decided to gift a course and privately tutor her, but to my dismay, I couldn’t find the article again. I now realize that by not finding her, I felt called to carry her torch. So I began to wonder:

1. Why couldn’t a writing school be a non-profit organization that could scholarship thousands?
2. We could educate and encourage sick children
3. We could train the unemployed
4. We could give senior citizens new purpose in life
5. Public tuition, grants, and donors could support the scholarship program

The possibilities were endless! So here we are. Creative Writing Institute still seeks the Mystery Lady. We want to tell her how far her courage has reached, but who is she? Where is she? We think she’s in Dallas or Austin, Texas. We must find her to tell her… one person CAN… and DID… make a difference. YOU can make a difference, too. Here’s how:

1. Any size gift will help, especially monthly support. Send your tax deductible donation to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com or mail to:
Creative Writing Institute
9702 E. Washington St.
Ste. 400-318
Indianapolis, IN 46229
2. We have a volunteer team that gathers writing articles, posts social networking, helps with office duties, fundraising, research, develops the reference room, etc. Some jobs require no experience. Even if you aren’t a writer and you can devote only 10 minutes a day, we have jobs that you can do. Just write to me at DeborahOwen@CWinst.com.
3. Donate a product or expertise and write it off as a tax deduction.
4. Donate ad space on your site.
5. Carry our link.
6. Recommend this site to everyone you know.
7. Help us find the Mystery Lady!
9. Click on our blogs, “like” us, and make comments to help our ratings.
10. Sponsor a cancer patient for $260 (includes a private tutor).

So how about it? Wouldn’t you like to make a difference in life? You CAN by donating here. Will you? Thanks for dropping by!

Contact me here:
Twitter: deborahowen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.owen.31
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/deborahowen1/

You are Cordially Invited to Join My Family for Christmas Dec. 28

by Deborah Owen

Note: The astute reader will notice a strong inconsistency in the pictures. What is it? I’ll give you the answer to the mystery question at the very end.

———————————–

*knock knock

Oh, you did come! I’m so glad! Come in and meet my family. We usually gather on Christmas Eve so everyone can be home for Christmas, but this year the family gathering is on December 28.

Dory B-day, 12-28-12 (57)

Okay, from left to right, Mom is first. She’s 96, can you believe it? *whisper* She’s a pistol. Don’t get her stirred up. And that’s my twin standing next to her. (Okay. I lied. I don’t have a twin, but it sure mixes the story up if I don’t use that slight embellishment. Yes, I know I don’t look like my picture. It’s a bad hair day and I’m not photogenic.) The little guy in blue is my youngest grandson, now 14, and the cutie in the white top is my oldest granddaughter, now 22, who just made me a great-grandma! Back to the left, behind Mom, is my precious daughter, Dory; her hubby is peeking over Mom’s head. Next to him is my beautiful younger granddaughter, now 18. See the big ham in the back? That’s my oldest grandson, and next to him is his father (my son), then my sweet daughter-in-law, and the old fellow on the right is my husband. We’ll celebrate our 55th anniversary on December 30. I’ve decided to keep him.

We all welcome you! This isn’t the first time we’ve had a visitor for Christmas. Today, you are our honored guest.

Did you see all the food in the dining room? Bet you smelled the ham the minute you came in.

2013 Christmas, Dorys house, Franklin IN (3)

We have ham sandwiches, chips, Dory’s special Jello-mold salad – out of this world – and various other treats and desserts. Stuff yourself! We also have Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, and Root Beer. What? You’ve never heard of Root Beer? Oh, I love it! It’s a soft drink that foams and spritzes your nose when you take your first drink. It has a little licorice flavoring. Here. Have a taste… oh dear. That bad, eh? Okay, maybe you’d rather have Coke.

Let’s grab a sandwich and hog the seats in front of the fireplace! *giggles Isn’t it beautiful?

2013 Christmas, Dorys house, Franklin IN (7)

No stress is allowed in this room. Let’s sit on the loveseat. There’s a handle on the side. Pull it out and a footrest will pop out. Whoops! Ha ha… you weren’t quite ready for that, were you?

Hmm? No. That’s not real wood in the fireplace. It’s a fireplace log. It’ll burn six hours and won’t cause creosote to build up in the chimney. We had a chimney fire at our house one time. The neighbor called and said, “Do you know you have flames shooting 50 feet out of your chimney?” Well, duh, no! We ran outside, and man alive! We were lighting up the sky! It’s a miracle the house didn’t burn down, but I love fireplaces, don’t you? We used to burn Christmas wrapping paper and watch the flames turn different colors. [It doesn’t take much to entertain us. lol]

Hey! It’s time to open presents. Let’s go in the living room. Isn’t that a gorgeous tree? I love it.

Christmas Eve 2010 Stephen's House (5)

As soon as everyone gathers, my son-in-law will read the first twenty verses of Luke, chapter two, that recounts the birth of Jesus. Sometimes we talk about it for a few minutes. You know, according to the customs of Bible days, Mary may have been as young as 16 or 17. Can you imagine having a baby in a barn? I wonder how long she labored, and what baby Jesus weighed. Mary had a wonderful husband. He wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes, which in those days, were burial shrouds, and laid Him in an animal’s feeding trough. The swaddling clothes were a prophecy that this baby would live a perfect life and die to pay our sin debt. We certainly can’t pay it ourselves. Anyway, after we pray, we’ll open gifts. We don’t spend a lot on one another. We give sweaters, scarves, books, DVDs and the like. Our gifts are meant to show our love for each other, just as God showed His love by giving us His Son.

By the way, we thought you might be coming tonight, so each person bought you a token gift. Now don’t feel bad about it. You’re our guest and we want to be a blessing to you.

Since Ethan is the youngest, he’ll probably pass out the presents. When we get them, we shake them and try to guess what’s inside. Dory usually has the two boys open one gift, then the two girls open one, and the kids alternate like that until they’re done. Then they go into the other room while we open ours.

Last year we had a White Elephant Christmas, which was almost like a game. Everyone brought something from home that they didn’t want, and the gifts were wrapped. We took turns choosing a mystery package. I chose the biggest one, of course. The gang went into an uproar!

Christmas Eve,2012 Enhanced (19)

I should have chosen the gift my oldest grandson chose. Continue reading

CEO, Deborah Owen’s First Story

Here is my personal Christmas gift to you… a cherished memory, complete with glaring errors… the first story I ever wrote, at age 15. Believe it or not, it won third place in the high school writing contest and was printed on the front page of our school newspaper. Sharing it now for the first time makes me feel like I’m naked in Times Square. Little did I know I would become a writing tutor and found a writing school as a nonprofit charity. By the way, the setting for this story was a Quonset hut that sat behind our property.

There’s a place for comments at the end. Be kind. lol


Poverty Stricken Children Keep Belief in Santa Claus

by Deborah Owen

At night, I always take a walk, no matter what the weather. Sometimes I walk a mile and sometimes more. I often take a friend along. Tonight I would like to take you with me.

Last week I found a little house, more like a hut, in the woods. As I drew nearer, my eyes pierced the broken pattern of the frosty window. I saw a family of seven huddled around a small, pot-bellied stove. The children were shabbily dressed.

One boy, about the age of nine, wore pants almost up to his knees. The little girl was about six. She wore a short dress far above her knees. She was shivering, and her small, frail arms were bare as was most of her body. The other, youngest child, about one, lay contented on his mother’s lap. The other children were girl twins about three, with long, blonde hair. They wore different colored sleeveless dresses with no buttons on them. They shivered from the cold, cutting winds that bypassed the sagging door.

The room itself was bare of furniture. The only furniture in sight was the pot-bellied stove and a single table and chair.

No Christmas Tree

So far as I could see, there was only one other room but there was no way for me to see into it. There was no Christmas tree as you might expect to see, this being the night before Christmas Eve.

Needless to say, these people are poor and can’t even clothe themselves and their children, let alone buy a Christmas tree and gifts for the children.

At one time, these children knew as happy a Christmas as anyone until their father fell seriously ill and lost his job. Then they were put out of their home and by chance, found the little hut where they now live.

This would be the first Christmas without Santa Claus. Their mother had tried to explain to them that he had so many children to visit that he might forget some. Since they lived so far back in the woods, he might not see them. But even then, the children had faith in Santa Claus and five stockings hung on the wall for him to fill.

It broke the parents’ hearts to know the children would be so cruelly disappointed. But Ann, the six-year-old, kept saying, “Don’t worry, mommy, Santa Claus never forgets.” Anne had even given up her slight supper for him, explaining that she didn’t want Santa to be as hungry as she was.

Christmas Eve came and went as normal as any other day, in most respects. They never had anymore than canned beans and some leftover meat – no milk and no coffee.

Parents Dread Christmas

The parents were dreading the coming Christmas, dreading to witness the first real heartbreak of their children’s young lives, not knowing how to prevent it, but never ceasing in their efforts to lessen their coming grief.

It was Christmas Eve when all the children said their prayers. There was no need to pray that Santa Claus might not forget, for they sincerely believed that he wouldn’t. The coming Christmas would be one of sorrow. It would be one in which all faith and confidence would be shattered.

It was getting late, and the children were asleep. There wouldn’t be any chicken dinner for them. It would be the same canned beans they ate every day.

Then I started home, for it was getting late. As I prepared for bed, the peace and contentment that surrounded me gave way to the horizon of a new thought! The night was a busy one.

In the morning I returned to see the results of my surprise. I woke early on Christmas Day. My first thought was the poor family I encountered on Christmas Eve.

A White Christmas

Silently, I dressed and slipped out of the house. As I left, I noticed it had snowed during the night. It would be a white Christmas. I made my way to the house in the woods some two miles away.

As I neared, I saw the children jumping and laughing through the window. Ann was holding a doll in her arms, not new, but in good condition. Her big brother had a used glove and a baseball.

The twins had twin dolls, and the baby held a teddy bear. Their mother was admiring a plump chicken ready to be cooked which had a red ribbon around it and a note reading, “Merry Christmas,” and as she read the note, Ann said, “See, Mommy, I told you Santa wouldn’t forget.”

And her parents agreed with her, as they knelt to thank the Lord for another MERRY CHRISTMAS.