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4 Helpful Sites to Improve Your Writing Groove

I’m learning how much it helps my own writing “groove” to spread the word on great sites to others who are trying to improve their own “groove.” It seems writers are big into helping eachother out, as the folks at the sites below have done for me. I won’t repeat that overused, but catchy saying, but I will hope that you pass it on!

I’ve been submitting a few stories, poems and such to a friendly site,  that has been great practice for me.. I’ve had a good number of readers, a few commenters, and a couple of favs from the writing community there. I’m still on the lookout for a way to get more readers and/or to find other sites that might work better for me.

Two days ago I got brave, I mean really brave, and joined the campers at National Novel Writing Month. You can find them here, The next writing starts in June, so I hope to have my act together enough to participate. They are very serious about getting writers to commit to a completed 50,000 word novel in one month. Yikes.

Good ole Robert Lee Brewer is the bane of my existence lately. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m following along his April challenge for writers to build their platform. He can be found here if you want some great step-by-step help in building your platform. I’m thinking I’ll just get a box to stand on and shout at people to buy my damn book. Now there’s a platform I could get behind. Seriously, he has links for his links to every useful site a writer could ever want.

Sue Mitchell at has me doing memoir work every few days that seems to be building into something…although one trusted critiquer in my local writing class thought my first stab sounded “clinical.”  I have even had counselors tell me that in the past. Come on people! Do you think I’d be walking upright if the horrors of life struck me full force like a rogue wave? Uh, nooo. Okay, I’m working on it.

My 3-week writing class is going well. We’re learning a lot and getting to know the other local writers that are at the class. We’re talking about doing some community work writing the stories of some of our local seniors, after this class is over. Here’s a link to the dog book that my instructor, Rex Paul Martin, co-produced with a friend,

Last but not least, I’m still working on biz cards as challenged by the leader of my monthly writer group at the local library. I’m looking for cool writerly clip art, if you know of any, please leave it in a comment.



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Monsters Happen

Dee startled awake from the dream, sat up in bed and looked around the room. The dream came back–hazy, yet clearer by the second. Dee had been warning the girl in her dream that he was a monster; that she shouldn’t talk to him, should stay far away from him.

Like most of her dreams, she had no idea who the girl was or who the monster was. She still felt the very real anxiety and fear tingle all her senses. Can you smell or taste fear? Dee was sure she could; it was metallic, like blood. The feeling on her skin was tingling, but almost electric. As for sight; her eyelids drooped, begging to be allowed to close, to escape what they might see. Her ears were simply hyper vigilant; waiting for the wrong sound.

There is was.  She heard the voices out on the shared deck. One was a monster’s voice.

Not sure how she could have translated her dream world to real life, Dee raced out of the patio doors and came screeching to a halt when she saw them. The monster stood looming over the young girl, yet she didn’t look afraid. The girl’s calm seemed to work magic on Dee’s fear as she slowly walked to the far end of the deck where the pair stood. Just before Dee reached them the monster looked up, shot Dee a wave, turned and strolled away.

Dee reached out and touched the girl’s shoulder, “Are you okay?”

“Sure, I’m fine. Why?”

Looking over the girl’s head toward the monster, Dee’s mouth fell open, she sputtered, “He, uh, how..?”

The girl turned and looked behind her in the direction that the monster had walked, “Oh, I don’t know how he does that, but he’s just my uncle, so I know he’s not going to hurt me.”

Dee could not believe her eyes. The dark, scary monster had turned into an average-looking man in his mid 30’s.

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The Bombs & Blood of Texas & Boston

Running into the fire, the smoke and the chaos;

selfless first responders, innocent bystanders,

and dedicated runners; all garner our deep pathos.

Their universe completely tilted by such grievous wrongs;

despicable company & inspectors too, despicable brothers–

blame pours down on their shoulders, where it surely belongs.

Pain and agony courses through innocent bodies and minds,

ripples through their families and friends,

then stranger’s arms open, where kindness unwinds.

This was no disease that seeped into bones & veins,

these deeds were done with thought and choice,

by people who belong in rusty locked chains.

That little town in Texas, that iconic marathon in Boston,

what you mean to your people, what you mean to the world;

your torture and suffering will not ever be forgotten.


© Patti Hall and, 2013.

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Blog schedule, Facebook, Twitter, Copyright & Creative Commons, Oh My!

What a learning weekend; blog schedule, joined facebook & twitter, added copyright & creative commons.

Good morning, Monday. I changed things around on the site–I got that rearranging-the-furniture bug from my mom. With all the damn social media there is to plug into, and all the researching and writing I need to do, I have decided to try and keep a schedule. Don’t laugh, I can TRY.

The plan is to write new posts here on Mondays and Thursdays. During the days in between, I will keep a draft going with daily doings, and I will (of course) answer comments as they come in. That may mean more than one post on those 2 days (like today). Maybe a poem or a story, plus my regular writer’s journal.

One more step complete; I now have a damn facebook page! Look for Patti Hall. Now Twitter @pattihallwrite.

As you see below, I learned how to add copyright notice to my writing here, and also creative commons notices. I found the info I needed in  wordpress.

Holy crow will I ever get to write again? Just kiddin’. I wrote a poem.

© Patti Hall and, 2013.

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1984 With a Twist; Corporations Not Government

Yes, 1984 with a twist: it is corporations, not government taking over our lives. Former Google chief, Eric Schmidt and Google Idea think tank member, Jared Cohen wrote the book on it and it comes out Tuesday. It’s no surprise to many of us that they predict a time that all of our online information will be merged into one big profile. Here’s a link to the AP story:

As part of a writer challenge that I’m taking from Robert Lee Brewer’s site, I have spent the weekend signing on to several social media sites.

Later I went to look something up on BING, and guess what? There’s my profile picture and mini profile info from Facebook. But it came up on top, asking if I want to tag myself, to be used across the board on other media.  Sheesh, I’m in deep now!

What do you think?




A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, Nascar, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,


© Patti Hall and, 2013.