A Writers Retreat in Paradise

I just had the most amazing experience at a writers retreat in the Bahamas. There’s no better daily commute than a ferry to a private island and a morning doing writing exercises in a coconut grove. If there is a heaven, that’s where I was for a week at the Salt Cay Writers Retreat. Read more.

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A Visit with Trinity

Thanks again to PEN/Faulkner for inviting me to speak with students at Trinity University in Washington, DC. As always I love getting the chance to talk to young people about writing!

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Afterward, PEN/Faulkner posted an interview with me on their site.

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Hurston/Wright Foundation Doing Great Work!

Last month, I spent a week with the Hurston/Wright Foundation, leading a workshop for teens on the campus of Howard University. Hurston/Wright has been offering a Teen Workshop every year since 1996 and I was honored to be a part of it this year. I had nine enthusiastic students from eighth through eleventh grade from schools around the DC-metropolitan area. We studied fiction writing, poetry, plays, memoirs and personal essays. It was a fantastic experience, and to see and hear the teens read their work during the closing ceremony at the end of the week was incredibly satisfying.

My hat goes off to full-time teachers, because preparing for and then leading the workshop for five days was a lot of work! Well worth it, though.

Many thanks to Hurston/Wright for inviting me to participate and for all the work this organization does to promote and encourage writing in the African American community. Please visit their website and consider sending a donation. The work they do is important in not only educating and encouraging young writers, but also in preserving and sharing the work of black writers for generations to come.

 

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Great Visit to Richard Wright PCS

I had a wonderful visit on Monday morning (April 15) to the Richard Wright Public Charter School in DC. Thank you to Ms. Harris and her two classes for such a warm welcome and interesting Q&A sessions about my novel. Lots of discussion about alcohol and sex! But as I said to the kids (who were 15 and 16), while I didn’t write this for teenagers, I believe this age group is mature and thoughtful enough to understand that the characters’ use of alcohol and sex were misguided ways of coping with (or escaping from) their problems. I felt honored to be welcomed so warmly and to have the kids listen so attentively, asking some great probing questions — I could tell this was a journalism school.

A big thanks to Ariel Martino and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation for arranging the visit as part of their Writers in Schools program. One of the students (Jordan) gave me this picture she had drawn as I talked. Isn’t it fabulous!

 

 

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New Book Released for Seniors

I’m excited to share the release of “Health and Fitness for Seniors” – I had the pleasure of working with Newlie Hewson, who turned 90 this year, in helping to edit his book. He has created a comprehensive guide to help seniors live longer, healthier and productive lives. He truly is a testament to having done just that through physical fitness and healthy eating.

It’s a great gift for seniors who want to get fit, and features color pictures throughout and larger type. Take a look! It’s available nationwide on Amazon.com and you can download a copy to your Kindle (if you have one).

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Last Reading of the Year

Had a wonderful time at the Rendezvous on the Bridge literary event earlier this month at the Washington Printmakers Gallery in Silver Spring, Md. What a wonderful gallery – definitely worth a visit, and it was a great location for the reading. The event was sponsored by the Patuxent Arts Bridge and hosted by Resa Moran and Sid Gold. Thanks for the invite to read my work, Sid!

My good friend Randall Myers brought his camera along and took some great pictures. You can find them on flickr.

Thank you to all who came out to support the event. Hope to see you at more events next year!

 

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A Baltimore Book Fest Weekend!

On Saturday, with Sid Gold, poet and my booth partner from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House (WWPH).

Had another fun weekend at the Baltimore Book Festival with the Washington Writers’ Publishing House and the Baltimore Review. The two non-profit organizations shared a booth this year to help reduce costs. Pity there’s not a non-profit price to rent a booth at this event.

Met some great folks, and one interesting note was that all the sales of my book were to men! And here I thought I had written a book that would appeal more to women. I have been surprised at the number of men who have said they really enjoyed it. So, there you go! Never limit your market. You never know who will be attracted to you work.

And the best line of the weekend was from this wonderful older gentleman who said, “Your smile could give someone a sun burn!” I loved that!

 

Keep scrolling down for some great pictures from the weekend.

On Sunday. Congratulations to David Ebenbach, this year’s WWPH Fiction Prize Winner with his short story collection “Into the Wilderness.”

 

Our booth mates: Barbara Diehl and Kathleen Hellen of the Baltimore Review. Congrats also to Kathleen, who is this year’s WWPH Poetry Prize Winner with her book, “Umberto’s Night.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara, Kathleen and Elizabeth Bruce of WWPH. Thanks, ladies, for a fun day!

 

 

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Marita Golden at Busboys and Poets

Enjoyed hearing Marita Golden, award-winning author of more than a dozen books, read from her newest book, “Living Out Loud, A Writer’s Journey” at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. She shared the spotlight with Jamaican-born writer, Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn, who read from her soon-to-be-published novel. It was a great evening shared with wonderful writers. Thank you, Marita, for sharing your wisdom.

Me with Marita Golden at Busboys and Poets

Me with writer Nicole Dennis-Benn

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Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring

For those in the area, look for me this coming Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Fenton Street Market on the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring, Md. I’ll be there selling my novel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come on out and show me some love! 😉

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Story Featured on The Whistling Fire; A Camping Tale!

Many thanks to Athena Lark, guest editor at The Whistling Fire for selecting my short story, “Nikki,” to be featured on the site. She says, “the characters are rich, the setting is intimate, and the plot intriguing.   Hatter gives a knock-out punch with this story of a young woman’s search for enlightenment.” Nice! I hope you enjoy it.

The story was posted on Tuesday, July 3, but a storm on Friday night had knocked out power in my neighborhood. Rather than swelter in the house, my son and I took off to the Shenandoah National Park for an impromptu camping trip. We had already talked about visiting Luray Caverns in Virginia and considered the possibility of camping, but figured a day-trip would be fine. When the power went out and Pepco’s recorded phone message indicated that it would be a week before electricity was restored, away we went!

The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

The weather was gorgeous – quite  hot during the day, so heading underground into the Caverns was perfect. The stalagmites (rising from the ground) and stalactites (dropping from the ceiling) were amazing. If you get the chance to visit, you should. At night, temperatures fell into the 50s – quite chilly after 90s. But so much better than sweating a sea in my house.

Luray Caverns

Nice to see my son with his head in a book!

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