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Nancy Owens Barnes

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Member Since: Nov, 2007

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The Wager: A Humorous Novel About Dog Parks, Seniors and Gam
by Rosemary Patterson

Six wealthy ladies in a Seniors dog walking club make a wager to get a new boyfriend.The result is a hilarious romp through the unknown territory of senior sexuality...  
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The Corporate Rat Race: The Rats Are Winning
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Nancy Owens Barnes

Got Writing Struggles? You're Not Alone!
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On Our Own
By Nancy Owens Barnes   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, December 30, 2007
Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2007

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A Writer's Education...Free for the Taking!

Ten years ago the realization that my education as a writer had always been within my reach, waiting for me to merely pick it up and put it to use, finally revealed itself.  I was reminded of this recently while reading David Petersen’s, Writing Naturally: A Down-to-earth Guide for Nature Writing, in which he writes:


"Yes, a formal writing education can help you to write better.

Yes, writing workshops can help you to write better.

Yes, how-to books and magazines and even correspondence courses can help you to write better.


Yet the best any and all such external aids can do is to help you help yourself.  What makes good writers isn't nearly so much teaching as it is learning...learning via reading, studying and dissecting the work of other writers, good and bad; learning by writing and revising and getting rejected and revising some more and weighing informed criticism and eventually getting published and never-ever fooling yourself into believing you know it all.  These things, such self-directed educational struggles, adapted as a lifestyle, make good writers."


During the final two years of my formal education at Vermont College, students were required to read and annotate twenty books in their area of study per semester, approximately one book per week.  As I worked my way through book after book, I began to see that, although my classes and instructors provided me specific instruction, mentoring and structure, the books provided the education. 


The books documented life---its mysteries, its dreams, its facts, its ideas---and each one was not a product authored by a faceless abstract being, but the manifestation of an individual’s heart and mind.  I learned to read as a writer, to focus on how the authors told their stories; their techniques, their tone, their structure.


Yes, attend writing workshops, conferences, and classes to connect with other writers and to gain new ideas and guidance.  But you must also read, read, read.  Read every book on writing instruction you can get your hands on.  If you want to write mysteries, read mysteries.  If you want to write poetry, read poetry.  If you want to write, read.


My grandmother once sent me a homemade bookmark on which she scribbled the words of Mark Twain, “Those who do not read have no advantage over those who can’t.”


Books hold the world between their covers, and it is there simply for the taking.


Web Site: South to Alaska

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Perils & Promises, Life on Mission by Frances Seymour

Tossed out of one's comfort zone and to the end of the land. You'll enjoy the humourous prose used to descibe life in the down east area of Atlantic, North Carolina--..  
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The River of Winged Dreams (Hardcover Gift Edition) by Aberjhani

What began as Songs of the Angelic Gaze in the summer of 2006 continued the following year as The Bridge of Silver Wings, and developed even further two years after that into The B..  
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