Category Archives: Anthology

Awards Weekend

Saturday, we, the Tri-Valley Writers Club, will be handing out awards to the winners of our high school students’ writing contest. I was on the short story committee and we selected first, second, and third winners.

Sunday, I’m invited to join the writers whose stories were selected to be in Las Positas College’s annual anthology. My story, “George W. Did It”, is  published. The awards celebration is an enjoyable event, with good food, good art displays, readings by some of the writers, and books available for pick up and purchase.

It’s my idea of a grand weekend.

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Las Positas College Anthology Acceptance

Las Positas College accepted my short story, “”George W. Did It”, for their 2013 anthology. I submitted a photo too but they will announce artwork and photos later. The photo is of Grace Cathedral’s Ribbon Project.


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Pont Neuf Setting and Collaborative Plots in Written Across the Genres

My anthology, Written Across the Genres, has two Dock Stories toward the end of the book. The setting is Paris, the dock is below the Pont Neuf, the oldest of the 37 bridges that cross the Seine River. Both versions are collaborative stories. I wrote the first paragraph and each person in my two writing classes added 150 words to the story when it was their turn. Dock Story One had more people that contributed, which made the details of the mystery difficult to coordinate, but it turned out after several months of editing. Dock Story Two had half the entries, about ten, and with the same beginning paragraph, became a totally different plot.

Those stories weren’t outlined. The writers met the challenge of continuing the story so the actions would be logical and the arcs would be clear. We had major problems with the arc in Dock Story One. The first draft, didn’t have an arc, so we had to eliminate everything after the first four entries and start over. Since I am not a writer who uses outlines, I had faith these stories would succeed. My outstanding assistant, Linda, who is a plotter, had doubts but worked hard on managing the details.

Lisa Cron in Wired for Story, Chapter Five, satisfies both plotters and non-plotters in her suggestions to think of outlining, not from beginning to end, but to put into play the Who, Why, Where, How and What Will Happen. That concept works for me, one who shudders at the word outline. In the Dock Stories, I started the Who and Where. The class members had to think in terms of What Will Happen and provided the How and Why.

Check the two versions of the Pont Neuf Dock Stories in Written Across the Genres, and see the differences in What Happened.

The anthology is available on Amazon or can be ordered at most book stores.


Filed under Anthology, Paris, Writing Tips, Written Across the Genres

Written Across the Genres Interview With Cathleen Cordova

I am interviewing the authors who contributed stories, novel excerpts, essays or poems to Written Across the Genres. Today’s interview is with Cathleen Cordova who has retired from a career in law enforcement. She has been published in magazines, anthologies, and in Times They Were A-Changing, edited by Kate Farrell, Linda Joy Myers, and Amber Lea Starfire.

In Written Across the Genres, her essay, “Cooking with Mama” is in the section called About Family. Her second essay, “Round Eye in a World of Hurt” is in the Memoir category.

Julaina: What is your favorite genre and who is your favorite author?

Cathleen: I enjoy murder mysteries, biographies, and historical novels by authors such as Philippa Gregory and Dan Brown. Their novels always move me to research the characters and/or the location the stories are set in to learn more about them.

Julaina: Where do you like to write?

Cathleen: Anywhere the mood strikes me as long as it’s quiet and I can have a cup of coffee too.

Julaina:  What are you working on now?

Cathleen:  I’m writing stories about various members of my family for a booklet to give out at our family reunion in September, 2014.

Thanks, Cathleen, I look forward to reading more of your work.

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New Poetry Contest Page Look at the Menu Above

Check the menu above for the new poetry contest page. The poem should include a theme about CHOICES,  maximum 20 lines, due April 30th. Winners will be published in my new CHOICES anthology  due to be published by the end of 2014. Press reply on the contest page (not here) to enter your poem. Notice, your entry might not post until I approve of it. I don’t check my blog until the evening hours, so there may be a delay.


Filed under Anthology, Contests, Poetry

Question about Posting Interviews

I intend to post an interview a week with authors that have stories, essays, and poems in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. I’d like to know if you’d like shorter interview posts or longer ones like Gary Lea’s whose is the first. Scroll down to see the length of Gary’s interview on my February 11th post.

I’ve wanted to keep my posts short and realized the interview was a long one. I can shorten future ones.

What are your thoughts?


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Written Across the Genres Interview

I will be interviewing the authors who contributed stories, novel excerpts, essays or poems to Written Across the Genres. Here is the first one:

Author Interview with Gary Lea

“Countdown” by Gary Lea, appears in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. It is the story of a day in the life of a computer technician. It introduces Keith, computer repair man extraordinaire, who is endowed with a perfect understanding of computers, a photographic memory, and stamina.
One evening Keith searches for a particularly resistant virus that promises to destroy all of the important information on his client’s computer. The virus periodically predicts how much time is left before it takes action.

How did you get the idea for “Countdown”?

I originally wrote it as a storytelling assignment for my Toastmaster’s group. The story came out of my own experience in getting rid of a stubborn virus for one of my own clients and fervently wishing I had the traits displayed by the hero in this story.

 What is a writing day like for you?

Generally I sit down in front of my computer, bring up Word, and stare at the blank page for awhile trying to remember all those brilliant ideas I had while I was riding on Bart and had forgotten paper and pen. If I’m lucky, I will remember something and start writing. When I’m finished it won’t look anything like that original killer idea that I had, so I will start a re-write, straining to remember those perfect words that I had once strung together in my mind.

 What do you enjoy about writing?

I have spent a lot of time in my life daydreaming about what I thought my perfect life would be like. When I am writing, I can give all those wonderful traits to my characters with the power to solve all of the problems that come their way. Of course, I can’t make it too easy for them but Superman was my favorite comic book when I was a kid so I kind of automatically fall into that bent.

 What is the difficult part of writing?

The most difficult thing for me is to throw the monkey wrenches into the life of my protagonist to create challenges for him and to make the story interesting. It is far too easy for me to go off writing about this person who has a perfect life and is terminally boring.

How has publishing a story changed your life?

Publishing a story has reinforced my desire to continue writing. I hadn’t realized how fulfilling it would be to have one of my stories appear in a book where it can be read by friends, family and even strangers.

What are your plans now?

I have a novel in the works and some short stories. Suddenly there seems to be more ideas sprouting for new characters and plots.

What is a tip for aspiring authors?

For me it has been difficult to set aside a consistent time to sit down and write. When I have been able to do that, I seem to make progress much more quickly than I expected. I think this is probably the main key for anyone who aspires to write. Do everything you can to keep from getting in the way of your writing.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

When I was much younger and knew that I wanted to be a writer, I made it a point to be aware of what was going on around me. I trained myself to see the things that everyone else was too busy to notice, to overhear conversations when in public places, jot down interesting bits and pieces and think up stories I could build around them. I think it enriches my life and my writing.

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San Francisco Writers Conference Anthology Panel

The San Francisco Writers Conference begins Thursday, February 13th. I’ll be volunteering at the registration desk again and this year I will be speaking on an anthology panel with Barbara Santos, Kate Farrell, and Camille Cusumano. I’ll have Written Across the Genres with me to talk about the experience of putting that book together.


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Written Across the Genres Book Reading Event

First book reading event for Written Across the Genres will be at Towne Center Books the end of February. I have four people signed up to read so far.  I hope to schedule more readings at local bookstores  the end of March.

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Cover spread for Written Across the Genres

Cover spread for Written Across the Genres

Here is the cover spread for my anthology that will be available February 7th on Amazon.


January 22, 2014 · 8:55 pm