Tag Archives: Jessica Barksdale

Jessica Barksdale Writing Retreat 2015

Jessica's my beta readersLast day of Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreat. I’m happy I found two Beta readers for Norman in the Painting. Kari Ann Flickinger and Gretchen Nordstrom. Now all I have to do is get the remaining one third of the book written, send it to them, make revisions from what they find is confusing, then send it to Jessica to edit. More revisions after that and then it will be published. I have a sequel in mind.

Jessica and me.

Jessica and me.

how-to-bake-a-man-with-shadowJessica’s newest novel available on Amazon.

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Novel Revision on My Mind

IMG_1616Outside at a friend’s party in Pleasanton to see tonight’s sunset.

IMG_1640On the patio after the stunning view. I’m thinking of the changes I need to make on one page in my novel before tomorrow morning. It’s the last day of Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreat. Each participant will read a revision of a page that needs clarification.  My assignment is  where I wrote that Jill’s sister inherited the family home. People wondered why Jill didn’t get half of the inheritance. The real reason is explained several chapters later, but Jessica suggested I at least write how Jill felt about it.

Back to work on it at midnight.

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Writing Retreat Weekend Coming Up

Jessica BarksdaleMy writer mentor teacher from years ago at Diablo Valley College, Jessica Barksdale, will be leading a writing retreat this coming weekend. I’ve submitted my ten pages and look forward to hear what is working and what isn’t. A chapter from  Norman in the Painting will be scrutinized.

She supplies us with breakfast and lunch, scrumptious sustainable food to keep us writing and critiquing. Her two dogs will keep us company.

I’m looking forward to it.

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Write with the Monitor Off

blank monitor screenGary, one of the members in my Dublin writing class also is taking an on-line course with Jessica Barksdale, who was one of my instructors when I started writing years ago. I continue to go on her retreats in summer and she is still an inspiration. Jessica’s assignment that Gary shared with me was to turn off the monitor and type. Gary followed directions and ended up with an eight hundred-word story, endearing main character, a poignant arc, and minimal rewriting needed.

The inner editor doesn’t have a chance to interfere. Gary said he did worry whether he had his fingers on the right keys, but he kept on going. It’s worth the time to do the exercise. What is produced can be a success.

Let me know if you try it.

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Jessica Barksdale’s Writing Retreat starts tomorrow

Jessica Barksdale The next two days will be the third time I’ve attended Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreats. Set among the tress in the East Bay hills, with several cozy places to write in between her lectures and critiques of participants 25 page submissions, it’s my favorite place to join writers.

Jessica Barksdale is the author of twelve traditionally published novels, including the best-selling Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When you Believe.  Her next novel How to Bake a Man is forthcoming in the fall from Ghostwoods Books. She has published several eBooks and a women’s studies textbook, Diverse Voices of Women.

Jessica teaches composition, creative writing, mythology, and women’s literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and online novel writing courses for UCLA Extension.

I’ve taken several classes Jessica has taught. On-line writing classes set me forward in my writing career, and her mythology class at DVC was outstanding. The latter reminded me of attending theater plays every day in that semester. Her skill as a presenter/instructor kept every one looking forward to the next class and leaving each one with increased knowledge and joy in time well spent.

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