The Friends I’ve Never Met: ‘Delightful’ Weekend Read

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The Friends I’ve Never Met has reappeared on the Women’s Fiction> Action and Adventure Bestsellers list on Amazon.com!  Thanks for your fantastic support, readers!

If you haven’t decided if it’s worth a read yet, here are some of the reviews posted on Amazon.

RAVE REVIEWS

THE FRIENDS I’VE NEVER MET
4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews

Delightful!
By itsjustus – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition  – What a delightful gem – I’m so glad I discovered this screenplay! The story is full of highly relatable characters, laugh-out-loud humor, touching emotional scenes, and even a fun plot twist I didn’t see coming.

The main character, Jessica, is a mom of three and a writer, just like I am; how could I not relate to that? An author’s life can indeed be lonely, so Jessica goes online to find support/companionship/advice/etc. Even though she hasn’t met her online friends in person, oftentimes they provide better moral support and camaraderie than the people she does see in person. When one of her online friends faces a personal tragedy, the group arranges a face-to-face meeting for the first time. The touching descriptions that follow are so heartfelt and superbly done. It’s also wonderful to witness Jessica coming out of her shell and truly expressing herself.

Overall, The Friends I’ve Never Met really resonated with me. It was an easy and entertaining read, and if you’ve never read a screenplay the way you would a novel, I highly recommend you start with this one – you’ll be glad you did!

5.0 out of 5 stars

When’s the movie coming out?

By S. Dean – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this screenplay – well written, funny and intelligent. I think I would be first in line to see it on a big screen!

5.0 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t put it down!

By J. Kondraciuk – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I have to say I was hesitant about reading a screenplay, but once I started to read it I just couldn’t put it down! I really liked how they helped each other during difficult times each character was going through. How they were there for one another. This is a very good, well written screenplay!

You can find THE FRIENDS I’VE NEVER MET on KINDLE as well as on Kobo, iBooks, Nook Books and Smashwords

What’s Next? This!

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can't wait to create and reveal the cover!

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can’t wait to create and reveal the cover!

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Take Ten Thursday: Social Networking in the Future

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It’s Take Ten Thursday! For those of you who haven’t been following this blog in the last few weeks, I have started a series of Thursday posts meant to encourage you to take time out every day to write.

You don’t need more than ten minutes to get your creativity flowing. I hope you’ll write for more than ten minutes, but I’m trying to prove the point that, when we say, “I don’t have the time to start a book, a poem, or a short story, I have to work and then there’s driving the kids to xx activities, xx times,” we are selling ourselves short. Whether we think we are lacking creativity or that we’re the next E.L. James, we need to give ourselves those ten minutes a day to find out. Skip a shower if you have to! (I’m kidding. Sort of. There are waterproof note pads on the market. You could stick one on your shower wall. See? There are options to get those ten minutes in every day!)

Today, I’d like you to use this photo prompt and the words within the photo quoto to inspire your writing. Your story can be on the theme of Social Networking: In the Future,or you can simply write about a graveyard, or about the future. Just get some words down on paper or on your computer, and don’t over-edit. See what flows naturally. You can edit tomorrow.

I like to read these posts, so keep them coming, keep linking back to me, and posting the links here in the comments section. You can take until next Thursday to publish your piece – as long as you let me know where to find it, I will read and share them all as often as I can!

Happy writing,

Heather

neglected tombstone

Take Ten Thursday: A Snowy Scene

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Take Ten Thursday: A Snowy Scene

Sorry I was late this week with #TTT ! You owe it to yourself to take some time -make it a Fifteen Minute Friday – to write today. Not one minute this Valentine’s Day? Then set aside some time this weekend. After you’ve written something, please let me know in the comments, and link back, so everyone can find your blog post!
Happy writing!

An Interview with Heather Grace Stewart

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Leap, from the author of Where the Butterflies Go, is available for purchase at Lulu.com and Amazon stores worldwide.
It’s also available on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and where all fine ebooks are sold. You can also order an autographed copy via Paypal. Contact the author at writer@hgrace.com. Half the proceeds from sales go to Hearts for Change – an Educational Project for orphaned children in Kenya.


Here’s an interview with the author from 2010:

Questions for a Poet, As Put to Seamus Heaney

Q: Some years ago, Seamus Heaney told an English journalist: “My notion was always that, if the poems were good, they would force their way through.” Is this now your experience?

HGS: Absolutely. Sometimes it comes through in a matter of minutes; other times, I write down a few lines, and the rest follows maybe a day or a few weeks later. But if it’s good, it all ends up on the page…and then typed into a document in my “Poetry in the works” file on my computer, and then, if I still like it after I’ve lived with it a couple weeks, I put it into a “Poetry to publish” file.

Q: Over the years, Heaney often quoted Keats’s observation, “If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all.” Is that just a young poet’s perspective?

HGS: I think so. It doesn’t always come naturally to me. Sometimes I just need to sit down and force myself to write. Stop listening to the whining voice; shut it out, and just “do it.”

Q: Does this mean that a poem essentially begins for you when you find a form?

HGS: A poem essentially begins for me when I’ve found my voice for it; the form takes shape with the voice.

Q: Is there a poetry time of day and a prose time of day?

HGS: Used to be I used my early mornings for poetry and at sunset, and prose anytime, but now that I am a mother, it’s when I have a notepad, pen, and that spare minute when I’m not being asked to wipe a bum or put Barbie’s head back on.

Q: I remember Anne Yeats saying that her father mumbled to himself when he started to write. Would the Stewart household know that a poem was coming on?

HGS: In my household my hubby can usually tell a poem (for kids or adults) is being born if he comes home at 6:30 p.m. and DD is beside me doing a puzzle; a grilled cheese or rice is burning on the stove, and I’m soaking wet; just out of the shower in a towel with a focused look on my face, typing at the computer, “Just a minute, honey I have this idea…” And he’s so cool about that. He’s used to me by now. Now my daughter’s getting in on it, too. She looks at my face sometimes and says, “Mommy, what? Do you have an idea? Tell me, tell me, what is it? ” I try hard to be in the moment with her as often as I can, but the kid is smart, she’s onto me…so I usually end up spilling, because I don’t like to talk down to her, and sometimes, just by explaining it to her, she helps me better formulate the idea. Just wait, you guys are going to love our kids poem, ‘Cats Can’t Cook!’

Q: Do you ever feel burdened by the sheer amount of work you know it will require to do justice to a particular inspiration?

HGS: All the time. All the time. Right now, I’m trying to write a poem that’s going to do justice to this amazing group of people I’ve met online, and become close to over a year and a bit. Some might guffaw that you can make special friendships online. I beg to differ. I don’t know how I’m going to write something that truly speaks to this experience I’ve had. I think maybe they’ll help me somehow, because a lot of them are writers…actually, I’ve dedicated LEAP in part to them.

Q: How can you tell a poem is finished?

When it stops shouting at me. ;-)

Q: Do you keep a notebook of phrases and images for later use?

HGS: I have several notebooks, with penned poems/ ideas to type out later, and my images are saved on the computer by date.

Q: Does the poem come more quickly if there is a form? Would you be offended to be called a formalist?

HGS: I don’t think anyone would call me a formalist, but I definitely use techniques. Just not formally. Okay, seriously now, I’ve written haiku, tanka,
and Villanelles, using proper form. I just don’t like being weighed down by form. As Frank sang, I’ll do it my way ;)

Q: Do you have a preference for pararhymes and half rhymes over full rhymes?

HGS: I only use rhyme when it will only come to me that way, and even then, I hesitate to use it. I have to think about it first. I ask myself, is this form going to help the message or hinder it?

Q: Are you a poet for whom the sound the words make is crucial?

HGS: It’s all about sound for me. I love alliteration. Sometimes a poem starts out with words that sound great together; they just come to me and I have to write them down. For instance, I was walking to a Queen’s University class at 8 a.m. one rainy spring day in Kingston, and couldn’t get this line out of my head: ‘These are the days, quickly melting away,” (from the poem EQUINOX). The poem took off from there.

Q: Would you accept Eliot’s contention that the subject matter is simply a device to keep the reader distracted while the poem performs its real work subliminally?

HGS: To some extent. But I don’t do it on purpose. It must be subliminal. ;)

Q: What role does humor play in your poetry?

HGS: I don’t try to be funny. I don’t try to be anything. I just write the way I think, and I think people find my honesty refreshing and humorous.

Q: What are your thoughts about accessibility and obscurity in poetry?

HGS: Accessibility is probably my trademark: something I’m proud of and at the same time it’s my tragic flaw, if you will, because I’m so accessible, many journals wouldn’t be interested. I’ve managed to get several respected online journals interested, and printed ones in the UK, and even a Canadian textbook company sought me out. I’ve been published in international anthologies, including a very special one memorializing 911–Babylon Burning, edited by the great Canadian poet Todd Swift–and in a few print journals in Canada, but not the most “elite” ones–the ones that have been around almost 100 years. I’ve kind of given up trying because I don’t think it’s that important to me any more. I want to touch real people’s lives; not just the academics. I want to write something that might comfort a stay-at-home mom or a couple struggling with their love/ marriage or a depressed person looking for a glimmer of hope in a fast-paced world. I think the people I’m trying to reach are more likely to happen upon my poetry on the Net, not so much in the special collections rooms of their libraries. I know that people can understand my poetry without having to go look in some reference book (except for the odd references I make to items in the news, and even then I try not to be obscure) and that’s quite odd. But I can’t change the way I write. I guess I’m destined to be a Fridge Poet – the one that makes it to everyone’s fridge beside their kids’ finger paintings. And at the same time, to help a few children in third-world countries get the education they wouldn’t otherwise get. That’s just fine with me.

Q: And the avant-garde?

HGS: I’d love to be avant-garde. I’d love to be Avant anything. Ahead by a Century. That’s cool. I think some of my poems are there (for instance, my collection Leap features the concept of the Status Update as poetry), others, not so much, and I guess we’ll see which ones stand the test of time in 100 years. Well, no, unless I live to be 137, I guess I won’t see that. But whether they’re set in a classic or innovative style, as long as my words can touch a few people’s hearts along the way…for me, that’s really all that matters.

Thanks for reading! —Heather Grace Stewart

Take Ten Thursday Writing Prompt

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Take Ten Thursday Writing Prompt

Today I’d like to start something with you readers called Take Ten Thursday. Ten sit ups? Ten Coffees? You can do those things too, sure, but I’m encouraging you to spend JUST TEN MINUTES today on writing.

It can be poetry. It can be prose. It can be the start of a novel. It can be the middle of your novel. It can be as short as a haiku, as old-fashioned as a sonnet, or as modern as lyrics to a mash up song.

Just Take Ten. Take ten minutes for yourself in a quiet room, all alone, and just write – and do not edit what you write.

If you can continue past ten, great, but what I want to teach you is that if you think you aren’t creative, or you think you don’t have time, just ten minutes can get you started.

You’ll need to pick up what you did tomorrow and add to it, maybe edit it a little (although it’d be great if you leave it alone and keep adding to it throughout your weekend, and only edit it on Sunday). That’s why I wanted to start this on Thursday. I’d like to see what you came up with by SUNDAY every week. Or, if you’re too shy to share, simply post a comment here telling me that you did the exercise and how it went.

Today, I’m writing a few paragraphs in my novel about a ferris wheel. So, I thought I’d make the first writing photo prompt one of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, where there’s a lovely ferris wheel on the beach.

Look at it carefully, and then use the photo to get you started writing. If you don’t feel inspired by it, try looking out your window. Don’t feel obliged to use my photo prompt. Do whatever it takes during your writing session to get something down on paper or on your computer.

I’m looking forward to hearing about how it goes in the comments below, and receiving LINKS here to your writing on your blogs!

Have fun with it!
Heather

Do Not Think…Just Write.

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Do not ‘Think’ you have a book inside of you.

Go from ‘Think’ to ‘Do!’ by scribbling or typing some of it down -at least 1,000 words of it- without editing it as you go.

Do it today. Do not tear up what you’ve done, or allow yourself to listen to the voices telling you the premise is silly and that everyone’s going to hate your book. Wake up early and do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day. Then, keep going.

There is a book inside everyone.

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Morning Rain Publishing To Publish My Novel

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I’m thrilled to announce that Canadian publisher Morning Rain Publishing has acquired my novel, ‘Strangely, Incredibly Good,’ for publication.

It has been a long, winding journey to my first novel, and I’m so excited that 14 months of imagining, writing & rewriting has resulted in a publishing deal with a fantastic publishing house.

I hope you wonderful regular readers will follow right along with me, right to the book launch (hopefully in early June 2014 in ebook, and a few months later in print).

Here is Morning Rain Publishing’s official announcement:

Announcing Our Newest Author

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can't wait to create and reveal the cover!

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can’t wait to create and reveal the cover!

Another Five Star Review for Three Spaces!

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THREE SPACES
5.0 out of 5 stars

A self-contained trilogy of insight in microcosm and macro-wisdom January 16, 2014
By Carl J Dubois

Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase

The concept of “Three Spaces” is more genius than appears at first glance. Public Space and Personal Space are prelude and context for Cyberspace, and they set up beautifully the expression of the mixed emotions inspired by the new connectivity we find ourselves navigating in this changing world.

“Dances With My Daughter,” in the Personal Space section, reveals — perhaps more than anywhere else — the poet, the woman, the mother, the wife, the person — the author and thinker coming to terms with all of life’s demands, and the juggling act required by them, but mostly the liver of life who knows where the real stuff resides, and why we juggle.

It is instructive, accessible reflection from someone who finds the time to observe in a briefly detached way before rushing back into all of life’s entanglements, commitments and momentum. So wonderful too how often it feels communal, as if she is expressing what we feel but struggle to say.

Open it to any page and enjoy the simple wisdom and honest revelations of self from a soul whose writing feels like her balancing act — beauty found in the spaces between all of our appointments, and like gifts rather than some obligation we have to read it so we can move on to the next thing on our list. You will want to keep it close by, to see what gifts it reveals next time.

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