Category Archives: women writers

A Good Read . . .What it is to be a Woman

Introduction

Over many years, I talked and listened to women tell their stories. Whether I waited tables, tended bar, sold or appraised real estate, or leaned on the counter near the cash register on a quiet afternoon in my book shop. I mention the last item because a quiet afternoon in a small town book shop was perfect for a conversation with a woman who needed to release her story to someone who would listen. It didn’t need to be a close friend, maybe even better because I wasn’t. Each one of those stories, though not written here, were not forgotten by me, is honored with this publication. They reveal the various lives we have lived as women.

An anthology is the perfect vehicle to reveal stories untold; to explain, represent and disclose. Like a whisper in my ear from a feminine ancestor, the idea slid right into my mind. It wouldn’t let me sleep until I put thought into action.  Timing is perfect, I said to myself. Women’s achievements of the past are now coming out of vintage trunks. There are tales of heroines of long and not so long ago. Women who made great changes behind the scenes are stepping into limelight they deserve. No more hiding behind curtains or in the backroom.

Reading Jeanmarie Evelly’s History of a Body inRattle #66 set me on fire! It boiled the blood in my veins! It slapped me alert! Excitement charged through me as images passed in front of my eyes. I needed to invite women to tell their stories. I wondered how many women experienced incidents only because they were female. I felt their stories could only be told correctly and completely by them.

It is time to let the world read our words; words reveal who we were, how we lived, loved, and who we are today. We went unnoticed, doing great things in small ways. We influenced others with our quiet deeds.

We postponed and sacrificed our dreams to benefit ones we loved and never mentioned it. Let each reader laugh or cry, cheer for us, or get angry at what happened. Let some disagree with our decisions or shout ‘Brava!’

                                    With kindness and respect,

                                    Arlene S. Bice

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Filed under anthology, Poetry, women, women writers, women's stories, wormen writing

THOUGHTS ABOUT POETRY

Writing poetry in high school was not something I did, even though it was, and still is, common for many teenagers to do. However, I loved English class where Miss Sadley taught us to read and write poetry using all the rules and regulations. I wanted to soak up everything in that class.

I planned to be a writer since I was in grammar school and kept trying as an adult to get to a class to further my study, yet something always blocked my way. Poetry was not my goal. When I began attending the International Women’s Writing Guild annual conferences I took a class in poetry and got hooked. It was very different from high school poetry. The late Judi Beach’s class was an automatic choice after that first time. Then I fell into Marj Hahn’s poetry & art class and loved that particular marriage of creativity.

When I met the poet Thomas Park in Warrenton, NC we, including Sherman Johnson, put together a combined art & poetry presentation at the library. Artists held their work, mostly abstract, and the poet stood next to the artist and read the poetry written about their work. The librarian displayed the art and relevant, matted poetry, alongside it in the library for over a month. I still particularly enjoy writing poetry about art. Paintings have such stories shouting out from the canvas, stories understood differently by various people, stories just waiting to be told. Art and objects play important roles in our lives that we don’t always notice.

I especially enjoy having my writers’ groups compose work about abstract art because we all come up with widely contrasting pieces. We relate differently to the art because we each come from various backgrounds and experiences. I just love the differences in us as people.

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Filed under Poetry, women writers, writing

LUNCH WITH AMY NEWMARK of CHICKEN SOUP for the SOUL FAME!


Yup! I drove 185 miles last Wednesday to have lunch with the delightful Amy Newmark, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame! She graciously treated me, along with 5 other women and a few husbands and a friend in the mix! We dined at Bonefish Grill in Arlington, VA on the best Lump Crab & Corn Chowder, Fish Tacos with steamed spinach/garlic and too full, I brought my cheesecake home for later indulgence. It was just great to chat with the other authors and to hear Amy’s story of the Chicken Soup books. She started telling us from the beginning, about buying the company when other book publishers were fading from sight; into the process of reading all those stories that come in, sorting them out, finding titles for a new series, etc. Ms. Newmark is a woman who exudes happiness as she talks and who leads an interesting life loving what she does.
Her cool assistant Maureen put together gift bags for each of us with Chicken Soup books and a charming mug & matching spoon with the CS for the S logo. It was a lovely 3 hours with a smart, informative and imaginative woman. THANK YOU AMY NEWMARK! You offer opportunities for writers to stretch their writing muscles and get published!
H-m-m-m. My 185 mile ride home gave me plenty of time to think about another story to submit.

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Filed under books, women writers, women's stories, writing

Back to my own story

a nosegay

A Nosegay of Violets is more about my psychic awakening than about my day-to-day life as a young housewife and mother. Although the story that includes the strange happenings to me could not have been written without tapping into my normal life, too. So I continue adding chapters, one at a time, about my daily doings during the years of my first marriage. It’s a story that needs to be told. I know that I will not be completely healed from the pain and sorrow I suffered through that time until my entire story is revealed. It was a journey of learning lessons needed in this lifetime. Now that I look back, I see the growing process that has brought me to be who I am today.

So I return to the guidelines I share with others in my workshop about telling their stories. As I write, my memories will make me relive those moments again, tears will spillover but by the end I will see how far I have come on my journey and be thankful for what I have learned.

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Filed under Memoir, women, women writers, women's stories, writing

THE WOMAN EXPERIENCE

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Another Telling Your Story workshop in South Hill VA is over. Armed with information on how to go about it, clues on how to remember what may be forgotten, more women are on their way to writing their own story as only they can do.

Recently while browsing through the book lists on sovalue.overdrive.com/ purposely looking for women’s memoirs to read, I realized that there weren’t many out there. A few women celebrities have written their success stories, but I was looking for the everyday woman like me who sometimes face concrete walls to climb over just to get through the week and still find pockets of happiness to make it worth it. One by one, I aim to help any woman who wants to record their life for any reason, whether they want to publish, which helps a multitude of sisters out there, or just so their offspring can come to know who they truly are, not just the mother, daughter, sister, etc. but the individual.

Thought-provoking and helpful were words repeated in the comment section which delights me. I thank all who attended.

It’s what I do and I love doing it.

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Filed under Memoir, women, women writers, women's stories, WORKSHOP, wormen writing

About Your Story


About your story. . . .is it tucked away somewhere in bits and pieces in the top drawer of your dresser? Or under your panties and bras, where no one else is allowed to look? Maybe you have photo albums that anyone looking at is supposed to piece together what you were doing, what you were thinking, or who you really are. Photo albums are great for reminding you of the moments in your lives. They are even better when you put words to them. In other words, use them to freshen up your memory while writing your story.
Family and people only know you from the time you came into their lives. How about the you before you met them, the you that made you the who you are today.
There are a couple seats still available at my table for the “Telling Your Story” workshop. Here is the information:
Saturday, 21 April 2018 WOMEN ONLY!
10 am – 4 pm
South Hill, VA
$65.00 includes box lunch
to reserve your spot now,
send an email for Paypal directions, address of workshop, & choice of lunch
checks accepted, too
LIMITED SPACE ~ 12 women
This will be an intimate group, writing our stories like NO ONE else can do. It’s time to get your story down on paper as only you can tell it. Your story is unique whether you want to publish or not, whether you are writing for someone else to read or not.
You will be guided in the best way to make it easier for you. This is a workshop. You will leave at the end of the day with an outline filled with your memories, emotions, and images in words. Get to know yourself by writing it out. Be amazed at the person
you are and the life you have lived. Reserve your spot! Email: arlenebice1633@gmail.com

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Filed under reflection, women writers, women's stories, wormen writing

THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN and ME, TOO


Women of the world, this is the year for you to write your story! You’ve heard how so many brave women have come out and confessed the wrong doings of others-meaning the men who have abused, taken advantage of, or made women in business (and private life) bend to their selfish wishes.
This doesn’t mean only the women who have suffered so in that way. I’m talking to all women. Write the wrongs that have happened to you, no matter how slight you think they were, along with the good, happy right things that have made your life a joy. It’s like remembering so you can finally put it to bed and never have it drag you down again. It’s like wiping a slate clean and starting over. It’s like forgiving those who have hurt you. It is starting fresh.
When moments of severe disappointments as well as people who have disappointed you are written down, the severity of it goes away. Follow that up with the accomplishments in your life and the people you have met that have turned your life onto a new, positive path. It’s a pity that often the failures faced are remembered, not realizing that they were lessons to learn from, while the happy times in between were accepted without particular notice.
This is the time to pick up your pen, start writing about your life, for you, for offspring that come after you, to publish, or not. Let them know about your experiences.
There are still a couple of spaces left for TELLING YOUR STORY workshop.
Saturday, 21 April 2018 WOMEN ONLY!
10 am – 4 pm
South Hill, VA
$65.00 includes box lunch
to reserve your spot now,
send an email for Paypal directions, address of workshop, & choice of lunch
checks accepted, too

LIMITED SPACE ~ 12 women
This will be an intimate group, writing our stories like NO ONE else can do. It’s time
to get your story down on paper as only you can tell it. Your story is unique whether
you want to publish or not, whether you are writing for someone else to read or not.
You will be guided in the best way to make it easier for you. This is a workshop. You
will leave at the end of the day with an outline filled with your memories, emotions,
and images in words. Get to know yourself by writing it out. Be amazed at the person
you are and the life you have lived.

Reserve your spot! Email: arlenebice1633@gmail.com

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Filed under family, genealogy, Memoir, women, women writers, women's stories, wormen writing

KEEPING WORDS ALIVE @ FIRST FRIDAY POETRY OPEN MIC NIGHT


That’s what we at WAM (Warren Artists Market) do and have been doing it since our first gathering in 2012. In February 2013, we sponsored an Art & Poetry reception where we poets wrote poems about the art exhibited by hometown artists and read the poetry while standing next to the artwork. It was great! The art and related-framed poems remained in the library (by request) for 2 months!
The artists were the late Jay Person, Wheeler Smith, and Ronnie Williams. The poets were Thomas Park, Sherman Johnson, and me. And so it began.
We hosted FFP open mic nights at the Warren Food Works, moved a few times when they were closed, and came back again. Their crew was always helpful and encouraging, supplying us with food and great liquid refreshments. Special nights were held, sometimes honoring particular holidays, sometimes featuring live music, sometimes dancers performed. Singers performed a cappela. Other special nights were held sponsoring Book Release Parties & Signings. Sterling Cheston added music selections to our events. Guest readers were featured. Often it was standing room only!
We facilitated a writing group at the Senior Center resulting in Chapbooks published; hosted play readings, and held workshops.
WAM began publishing an annual anthology in 2013 with SITTING WITH A DRUNKEN SORCERESS Poems and Prose to invite you, to incite you, to delight you, followed by Life Preserved: Memories An Anthology and INSPIRATIONS, an anthology on Warren County, and THIS I KNOW an anthology. Presently we are accepting submissions for HOME an anthology.
WAM is a writer’s collective and offers after school creative writing-arts programs. It was founded by writer, teacher Thomas Haywood Park.
We continue to grow and improve, to draw participants from greater distances, letting artists and writers know that our door is open and the mic is on.

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Filed under First Friday Poetry Night, Poetry, Warren Artists' Market, warren county nc, Warren FoodWorks, women writers, women's stories, writing

About TELLING YOUR STORY Workshop

Reading memoirs, even more so than biographies, are one of my favorite ways to spend my time. I love reading how someone else has moved through life, how they faced problems, overcame them, and moved on. We are basically the same, often face the same difficulties but somehow saw them differently. We have lived in places very opposite, had thoughts so varied from each other.
How does that happen? I want to know what your childhood experiences were, how you moved into your teens and adulthood. Did you have some of the same experiences than me? What was your life like? Come join me in my TELLING YOUR STORY workshop. Here’s the info:
WORKSHOP LEADER: Arlene S. Bice, author of 13 books (2 memoirs)
Saturday, 21 April 2018 WOMEN ONLY! 10 am – 4 pm
South Hill, VA
$65.00 includes box lunch
to reserve your spot now,
send an email for Paypal directions, address of workshop, & choice of lunch
checks accepted, too

LIMITED SPACE ~ 12 women
This will be an intimate group, writing our stories like NO ONE else can do. It’s time
to get your story down on paper as only you can tell it. Your story is unique whether
you want to publish or not, whether you are writing for someone else to read or not.
You will be guided in the best way to make it easier for you. This is a workshop. You
will leave at the end of the day with an outline filled with your memories, emotions,
and images in words. Get to know yourself by writing it out. Be amazed at the person
you are and the life you have lived.

Reserve your spot! Email: arlenebice1633@gmail.com

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Filed under women, women writers, women's stories, WORKSHOP, wormen writing

MAISIE DOBBS and WRITING YOUR OWN STORY


TO DIE BUT ONCE- Jacqueline Winspear and WRITING YOUR OWN STORY
This latest book in her Maisie Dobbs series has just as much excitement, tension, human interest, and knowledge about WW II as her earlier books. Like most of her others in the series, I began to read it as soon as it came into my hands. Oh, to find out what was going on in Maisie Dobbs life since her last story! I read it in one day.
In reading about the author, she discusses how, as a child she grew up listening to the stories about the war from her close and extended family. Her family was large with many uncles, each with their own version of what they experienced. This meant that they covered most of the areas involved in the Second World War. The women of the family had their own stories about home life, their volunteer work and the struggles they lived through.
In 2003 her first book in the series was published with the story based during WWI coming from growing up listening to her grandparents talk about their life during those years. The stories included many of the social changes going on in England that would become permanent.
You may not realize it, but your stories of growing up and the stories you heard from your family and their friends are just as important and exciting to someone else as what Ms. Winspear has built a writing career about.
Writing your story, telling it as it happened to you, how you saw it, maybe differently than your siblings, is important. As you write, you will relive moments you thought you had forgotten. Unhappy experiences will be seen and felt differently, healing old wounds as you write.
Writing is beneficial in so many ways whether you write with pen in hand or on a computer. This is the excitement in why I offer workshops on Memoir . . . . Writing Your Story.

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Filed under Memoir, reflection, women, women writers, women's stories, WORKSHOP, wormen writing, writing