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Andrea S Campbell

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Newsletter Dated: 11/8/2001 12:21:42 PM

Subject: Soups On!

Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter

November/December 2001

*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. I promise not to divulge your name or give your email address to any other business or mailing list. If you are receiving this letter for the first time, I hope it meets with your approval and you will continue to read and enjoy it.

Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down "helpful hints." This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.

*** Conference Reports ***

In October I participated in the second annual World’s Largest Writing Workshop. A community happening put on in cooperation with Writer’s Digest Books and all the Barnes and Noble bookstores across the country, the WLWW allows readers a different kind of glimpse into the world of writing. Attendants listened to local authors talk about their different genres and many participants kept notes as writers offered ideas to those who wanted to know more about writing basics and the life. I spoke at the Barnes and Noble store in West Little Rock, and want to welcome new friends and subscribers to this list who were at that event.

Conference Tips:

At the BN workshop we heard from local poet extraordinaire, Andrea Hollander Budy. Andrea is the author of two full-length collections of poems, most recently, House Without a Dreamer. Andrea presented some valuable information about "jump-starting your muse." I asked Andrea if she would allow me to share a few of these ingenious notes with you. As gracious as she is talented, she agreed.

o One of the suggestions Andrea had was to "Give yourself assignments." For example: Grab a copy of the National Enquirer or the National Examiner, etc. Take the silliest headline you can find, such as "Mole on Man’s Back in Shape of Elvis," and write about this topic until it is no longer silly.

o Another good jumpstart technique is choose a novel from your collection, run your finger down any inside page, and take the first sentence your finger comes upon for stimulus. Create a scenario or story beginning from that random act.

For more jump-start ideas I’d like to recommend my book: Your Corner of the Universe: A Guide to Self-Therapy Through Journal Writing. Although this book came about as a result of my being unable to communicate during several jaw surgeries—my mouth was wired shut for 8-10 weeks at a time—there are dozens of exercises devoted to a plethora of needs including: goal setting, solving problems, analyzing strengths, satisfying a creative urge, etc. Originally published by Bob Adams, this book has been reprinted under the umbrella of the ASJA Press and iUniverse.

* YOUR CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE: A Guide to Self-Therapy Through Journal Writing
* Category: Journals/Writing/Psychology
* Reading Level: Adults
* Trade Paperback
* ISBN: 0-595-14125-0
* Size 6" X 9" 162 pages
* Retail price $12.95
ASJA Press/iUniverse

"Clustering" was a landmark technique developed by writer Gabriele Lusser Rico in 1973. (A similar technique was emerging about the same time in the work of Englishman Tony Buzan, under a process he called "mapping.")

The purpose of clustering is to undercut tension, anxiety, and the natural resistance to writing and expression. . .

Clusters, also referred to as bubbles, pillows and clouds, is an easy technique. To begin, a topic word or small phrase is circled in the middle of a fresh sheet of paper. For example, you might put the word "tree" in a centered circle. Now, let your mind build up some loose connections to that word. Jot each one down as it occurs to you and circle it; then connect the new cluster word to the original circle by drawing a line between the two, radiating out in any direction. For the starter word "tree," you might logically, on first-level thinking, come up with the word "branches." Branches would then be put in a circle positioned close to the topic word tree and a line drawn between the two to connect them. This procedure continues until all the unpressured associations to the word tree are exhausted.

Rico’s "Design mind shorthand," as she calls it, forms patterns of ideas and associations rather than sequential thoughts. The free-sketching feeling and non-threatening pattern of mapping your mind’s thoughts in small, self-contained vignettes makes it easy to web the small ideas that pop into you head into a larger, more comprehensive whole. . .

*** Web Site Store ***
Yippee! You can now order "autographed" books directly from my web site at: Click on the link that says "Buy Books." With the help of PayPal, I am able to take credit card orders, check payment or online debit. The shopping cart offers a secure service and you will be able to get customized autographed books for gifts, friends or for yourself.

*** Buck Up! ***

I recently got an email from a writer/friend and I thought I would address an issue of concern that came up as a result of our conversation. My friend has interests in a lot of writing endeavors—in fact, I met him as the result of an interview he conducted with me for a couple of web sites. He is currently seeking publication in book form, and is kind enough to share some of his experience with me. In one of his remarks, he spoke about sending a book ms. to an editor who will only read it for a fee. Dear unpublished writer friends, this is not an industry standard.

I suggest that if you are getting responses from an "editor," "agent" or someone of that ilk who will only read your submission for a fee—I say, check into this further. No member of the Association of Author’s Representatives—a professional agency organization—will charge for a reading. If a reputable agency does charge a fee, ask more questions. Will the ms. be read cover-to-cover? Will they provide a detailed and useful critique? According to many experts, the agency should be willing to reveal what percentage of their prospective writer-clients are in fact offered representation. Don’t fall prey to an agency that charges hundreds of dollars for a single reading—attending a writing workshop may be worth more to you in the long run; make connections there instead.

For more helpful information, read Jeff Herman’s book, The Insider’s Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents (updated yearly now), or, there is always the 2002 Writer’s Market, or Literary Market Place (found at your local library). Remember, a professional writer’s life should include adequate amounts of market study and promotion as well as writing and perfecting your craft. Simply put, unless you are writing corporate profiles, personal advancement including advertising your expertise, is part of the package for most writers today.

*** Your Questions Answered ***

I answer a lot of questions. Most of the queries come to me as a result of my participation with the online site, Pitsco’s "Ask An Expert." And just recently I started a column for the Guppies Newsletter First Draft called "No Stone Unturned." No Stone Unturned runs mainly technical, forensic-type questions but I receive others from heavens only knows where. To illustrate, today’s question comes from Lisa. Lisa says:

"Could you possibly answer the following which I haven’t be able to find an answer for. Why is the temperature in a morgue different to that of a temperature in a household freezer. Maybe I think of this because I saw a film whereby a murderer put his victim in a freezer to trick the pathologist into thinking they died later than they actually did!"

Answer: The reason bodies are put into cold storage is because bacteria operates best at warm temperatures. In the area where the pathologist work it is cool, but not frigid or his/her fingers would not be able to perform an autopsy. Also, the smells and gases are released and the temperature and circulation of air is vital to the room. I found a series of sites for you to check out about body storage unit, AND, some other oddities.

Products for morgues:

More than you wanted to know about morgue refrigerators:

Other equipment:

Read this story about the problems of keeping a body:

New scientific developments:

Check out this site for fun-- Ask Dr. Skully:

*** More Than 15 Minutes ***

Well, it was bound to happen: ZIGGY IS LEAVING.
Yes, Ziggy, our Helping Hands capuchin monkey, will be going to college the first week in February. Well, I call it "college" but actually, she will be going to the Helping Hands training center in Boston. After almost 13 years, her life as a helper/companion to a quadriplegic will begin.

And before you ask, it will be harder on me than her for sure. She will get to go on a plane ride,( sitting in the cabin with the flight attendants), she will meet other monkeys, she will have tons of attention lavished on her by trainers, vets, and additional Helping Hands volunteers; and she will spend many hours learning different crafts.

Me? I will have to get used to the big, empty hole where her cage once sat. I will no longer have someone snuggling inside my shirt every evening, no one will groom me or pick through my hair, and my walks will be solitary for the first time since forever—remember, when I got her she was five weeks old . . . So the subject of my book, Bringing Up Ziggy, and the recipient of my life and love for this last dozen years, is going away.

*** Special Offering ***

The first person to find a misspelling in this newsletter will win a copy of my new games/party book, PERFECT PARTY GAMES! (Just in time for those holiday parties, or as a great gift for a friend.) Simply locate the error and send me an email with the mistake and your home address. It’s as easy as that! (Address:

Also, anyone who purchases a copy of either GREAT GAMES FOR GREAT PARTIES or PERFECT PARTY GAMES and are planning on throwing a party to get out of this malaise we are all suffering—if you need advice about a specific idea, game, or theme, just write to me privately and I will give you more personalized ideas.


*** ***

The past two months I have painted, gilded, sewed, stripped wallpaper, hung border and curtains, and moved furniture more times than I care to think about. Yes, we’re remodeling our house and it’s a long time coming. But my efforts can be particularly good news for you and my readers at my new online web site entitled:

Not only can you read the best articles about decorating, including featured interviews with the top people in the design business but eventualy, I will let you in on the secrets I’ve learned about decorating on a budget. (Just as a teaser, the first estimate I got for carpeting three bedrooms, a hall, stairs, and laminate in a bath from a local CarpetOne was $7,179.16 installed. I managed to get equivalent carpet quality for two bedrooms, the hall and stairs, installed, for $2,368.50—and it looks terrific!) I hope that this experience and others will culminate in a book or e-book called Decorating Rich: Interior Design On a Budget You Can Live With.

And one final note about Interior-interests: DO NOT VISIT FOR AT LEAST A MONTH! Yes, you’ve read it correctly. My publisher, WebSeed, is in the throes of updating to a new system. Consequently, my site is a colorful mess. I am asking you to not visit until I can do some serious tweaking, which may take me several weeks. So, if you are judging the site for content, come visit. If you’re looking for design polish--check it later!

Future Newsletters
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )

Copyright©2001 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.

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