Tag Archives: Elizabeth H. Cottrell

I’m published!

noboundariescover-frontonly

 

Here’s a holiday selection

From my collection

(changed slightly to accommodate Thanksgiving)
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Holiday Dinner

Chicken runs round the farm yard,

Wishes he was the duck.

Duck runs round the barn yard,

Wishes he was the pig.

Pig runs round the pig sty,

Wishes he was the horse.

Horse smiles, relaxes in stall.

Thanksgiving Eve, he’ll mourn them all.

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My collection includes Family and Friends, God Bless Our Military, Limericks, Beautiful Earth, Art, Imagination, & Miscellany, Haiku, and My Funny Bone.

To order, go to “No Boundaries” at Amazon.

 

 

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Filed under Book Cover Design, E-books & E-publishing, Personal Articles, Prose & Poetry, Publishing

First Ever Word Sharks Conference

I first thought about hosting my own conference years ago. I wondered, “Who would come?” I ruminated, I wondered, I worried.

And then I put the idea out there…on social networking.

I got a handful of responses. I thought, “Hmm, not much interest.”

And then I had another thought: perhaps this first Word Sharks Conference should be small, intimate, personal.

So, the first Word Sharks Conference was created. It will happen this June in Newark, DE, near my hometown. In the home of my brother (the cheapest venue I could find, and he makes awesome ribs).

I am pleased and proud to tell you about the first Word Sharks Conference attendees and presenters.

Prepare for future Word Sharks Conferences. If this one flies – er, swims – we may do it again.

Barbara Forte AbateBarbara Forte Abate –

Finding Your Right Editor

Barbara Forte Abate grew up in Millbrook, New York, and currently lives in a creaky old house in Pennsylvania, where she makes up lies, doses them with truth, and titles it fiction. She is long time married to a very fine man and is the mother of four fabulous children. Barbara is the award-winning author of The Secret of Lies, Asleep Without Dreaming, and newly released, Painted From Memories.

JJ BROWNJ.J. Brown –

Writing for Good – Turning Tragedies Into Tales

J.J. Brown is a health journalist and the author of seven books including short stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction. Originally from the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of New York, she now works and lives in New York City. J.J. Brown completed a PhD in genetics and worked as a research scientist prior to turning to health education, fiction writing and publishing.

Elizabeth CottrellElizabeth H. Cottrell –

Connect With Your Readers: Strategies for Nonfiction Writers

“An effective nonfiction writer teaches, informs, and often persuades or inspires. Connection and clarity are essential elements to outstanding nonfiction content: connection with the needs and desires of your reader and clarity about what will meet those needs and desires.” ~ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

In this workshop, Elizabeth will share strategies for connecting with your readers so they find your nonfiction book more readable, valuable, and compelling.

For over 25 years, Elizabeth has been a technical and freelance writer with content expertise in the areas of small business/entrepreneurship, biology/medicine, and community banking. Since 1991, she’s owned and operated RiverwoodWriter, LLC, offering both writing and desktop publishing services to help others get their ideas expressed and published. She has helped produce regional and family histories, and has ghostwritten a corporate history, a memoir, and several other nonfiction books.

Elizabeth is a bank board member, community activist, Extra Class amateur radio operator (W4EHC), note-writing evangelist, and (from a former life) published leprosy researcher. She and her husband John live in Virginia on the north fork of the Shenandoah River, where every day she is inspired by her surroundings. Elizabeth blogs at Heartspoken.com about strengthening life’s essential connections—with God, with self, with others, and with nature.

Pam WightPamela Wight –

Exploring the Hidden Stories in Your Mind

“Writing is the act of burning through the fog in your mind.” – N. Goldberg. How do we lift the fog and discover our creativity? My creative ‘wighting’ for fun classes help students explore the hidden stories in their minds. In our Delaware explorations, I’ll share some of the writing exercises and tips I’ve used to encourage pens (or laptops) to flow with ease. All you need to bring (besides your writing accoutrements) is a zeal for the zany and poignant, a sense of humor, and a willingness to be open and honest as you write.

Pamela Wight has an M.A. in Literature and is a writer, editor, and teacher with a focus on adult fiction. She has published two books (The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires) and writes a weekly blog called Roughwighting. Pamela’s career has included editing medical textbooks, writing medical articles for Advance newsmagazines, and devoting years as the managing editor of the journal Radiologic Technology. Pamela has taught creative writing classes for over 25 years in both the San Francisco and Boston areas.

Karen Sanderson (4)Karen R. Sanderson –

Editing and Proofreading Tidbits and Tricks

Karen will call on her years of research and work with writers to provide editing tidbits and proofreading tricks to help make your writing better and more concise.

Karen R. Sanderson was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Karen completed writing coursework through UCLA and University of New Mexico and was the winner of the SouthWest Writers 2009 Writing Contest – The Best Hook. She is currently pursuing her BA in English at Minot State University. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com. 

Stephen King –

He’s been invited but probably won’t show up.

And if his people tell him about the invitation I sent…I suggested he show up with a basket full of Maine lobsters.

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Filed under Special Events

I’m a guest on Elizabeth H. Cottrell’s Small Biz Spoken blog

ELIZABETH HEADER

Elizabeth H. Cottrell’s Small Biz Spoken blog shares relationship marketing and customer connection strategies. I am a guest on the blog today with A cautionary tale – do you really own your domain name?

I thought TheWordShark.com was mine – until my web designer died. I did a lot of scrambling, waiting, and sweating while TheWordShark.com went through the expiration and auction block process.

Read my cautionary tale at Elizabeth’s fabulous Small Biz Spoken blog today!

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Filed under My Guest Posts, Personal Articles

Less blogging leads to more procrastinating

DSC01134You may have noticed – I’ve been blogging a lot less. Or maybe you didn’t notice – eek!

Poetry collection

My original intent was to work less on blogging and more on my poetry collection (for self-publication). Although I have been doing more poetry writing and editing, I’ve not been doing as much as I originally intended.

Procrastination

It’s a scourge. I do more procrastinating every day. Though I am making little dents in my “to do” list.

Blogging

So you may see some repeat blogs (I do want to refresh my content – search engines like that), but it might not be fresh.

Other fabulous blogs

With me not blogging as much, you have more time to check out these fabulous blogs –

Shawn MacKENZIE

Shawn MacKenzie – She’s my editor and is providing loads of great advice on the poetry collection. She SO gets me! Find her blog at MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest. Her Editor’s Corner is especially awesome.

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Elizabeth Cottrell

Elizabeth H. Cottrell – Find her blogging at Heartspoken, where you will discover wise advice for connecting with God, nature, others, and self. See her new tab for The Nature Store. Elizabeth is also helping me slog through CreateSpace.

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Linda Boulanger

Linda Boulanger – Wait til you see her book covers! I’m going to tap her when I get my poetry collection together, and I have the artwork done (yes, I’m doing it myself). She creates striking covers! She can design a cover for you – no matter the genre. Check out her site. 

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pamela wight

Pamela Wight – She writes over at Rough Wighting, a blog of daily living. She’s a relatively new gal pal, and I think we were separated at birth – we are so in sync! Pamela has two published novels and teaches creative writing.

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Susannah Friis

Susannah Friis – She and her hubs write articles and publish in Brisbane, Australia. Find Susannah at Personally Speaking. She blogs to “explore life in such a way as to enlighten and broaden my own thoughts and perspectives.” She is a breath of fresh air.

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Vaugh Roycroft

Vaughn Roycroft – He does not blog a lot, but when he does, they are significant. He is a gentleman and a scholar, and he writes darn good blogs. Find Vaughn at Seeking the Inner Ancient.

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Eboch credit Sonya Sones
Chris Eboch – Funny I didn’t “meet” her until after I moved away from NM – she’s in NM! Chris is a writer of MG, YA, and adult fiction. And she edits too. See her awesome blog at Write Like a Pro!

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Cyndi Briggs

Cyndi Briggs – She blogs over yonder at The Sophia Project. Her blogs address and tackle serious stuff in a fun, sometimes introspective, way. A joy of a blog.

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What fabulous blogs do you follow? Feel free to mention them here and provide links so we can all find them.

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Filed under Blogging, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking

Words, words words: tools for touching hearts and lives, by Elizabeth H. Cottrell

Bundle of Letters - Words of Love

“Bundle of letters – Words of Love” Photo by Christian Mueringer

Saved and treasured notes and letters

My paternal grandfather Robert Beverley Herbert was 71 years old when I was born in 1950. Tucked inside the desk I’ve had since childhood, there is a well-worn, much-treasured bundle of letters from him—letters he mailed me starting when I was a young girl. They were the first meaningful letters I ever received, and they contained news, advice, and wisdom from a man who was born only 14 years after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. Such is the connection power of words that they can cross centuries, miles, and even lifetimes.

Since those first letters in my life, over the last many decades, I’ve received hundreds of beautiful messages in the form of handwritten notes and letters from friends, loved ones, and even strangers:

  • Congratulations when I reached milestones in my life.
  • Appreciation for things I’ve done or given.
  • Sympathy when I’ve experienced a loss.
  • Encouragement when I’ve been in the midst of a challenge.
  • Offers to help when I was heavily burdened.
  • “Thinking of you” notes for no particular reason.

I’ve saved the most special of these and re-read them often. Of course any note from my children and their spouses falls in the category of treasured correspondence! I consider each a precious gift, and they carry value far beyond the cost of the paper and postage.

Reviving the art of personal note writing

Now I’m trying to revive the art of personal note writing and encourage others to see what a powerful connection tool it is.

Not just because it’s a nice thing to do (but it is).

Not just because it’s often proper etiquette (although it is).

Absolutely not because I want to put anyone on a guilt trip.

No, the reason I’m committed to shining a spotlight on the personal, handwritten note is because I believe notes containing words from your heart—heartspoken—written by hand on a piece of paper and mailed to the recipient, are too often overlooked as effective tools for connecting with others.

Why is connection so important?

I believe connection with others is nothing short of a conduit for God’s love.

Scripture in the gospel of Matthew describes Jesus telling a Pharisee: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV)

And from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

If you believe, as I do, that love is what life is all about, you’ll see why I get so excited about a simple, affordable tool for using words to connect and share love with others quickly and easily.

Why don’t people write more notes?

I hear many reasons from kind, well-intentioned people about why they don’t write more personal notes:

  • They don’t have time.
  • They don’t know what to say (this is particularly true when writing to someone grieving or in any other awkward situation).
  • They don’t think of it when it’s convenient.
  • They procrastinate, and then it feels too late.

Of course there are people who can’t write because of physical disability. There are others who prefer to connect in other ways: by phone, in person, or by email. Personal note writing is not for everyone.

You can learn to write beautiful notes

If you’d like to write meaningful notes more easily, don’t miss my special free guide that will teach you how to overcome the obstacles above and write heartspoken personal notes that comfort, encourage, and inspire. You can get it at my blog, Heartspoken.com. Just put your email in the box at the top of the right sidebar to receive information on how to access this guide.

While you’re there, you might enjoy other note writing posts as well as letter and note writing gifts.

Here are links to articles loaded with note writing encouragement and tips:

Words, words, words

Words are powerful, and I applaud Karen for reminding us of their richness and purpose in our lives.

Please add personal handwritten notes to your arsenal of tools for using words to spread more love to others in your life. They are your legacy of love.

Photo credit: “Bundle of Letters” by Christian Meuringer via BigStockPhoto.com

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Elizabeth Cottrell headshotElizabeth H. Cottrell, a.k.a. RiverwoodWriter, is a master connector who curates information and resources about the power of connection to present them in ways that provide meaning and value to her readers. She is a passionate student of everything related to life’s essential connections: with God, with self, with others, and with nature.

Elizabeth shares connection findings, inspiration, and guidance at Heartspoken.com, where she is also reviving the art of writing personal notes that comfort, encourage, and inspire.

Connect with Elizabeth on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events, Words & Vocabulary

Poetry Week wrap up on Heartspoken.com

CactusBloomKSExDesert Canvas wraps up Poetry Week

Months ago, Elizabeth H. Cottrell and I started to chat about featuring one of my poems on her Heartspoken blog…then we both got, ya know, busy.

I decided to have a Poetry Week on my blog, and the blocks fell into place.

The Poetry Week wrap-up, Desert Canvas, is on Elizabeth’s Heartspoken blog.

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Are you a small business owner? Learn how to connect, create, and communicate on Elizabeth’s Riverwood Writer blog.

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Filed under My Guest Posts, Prose & Poetry, Special Events

What is “branding?”

brandingBranding – what the heck is it?

An “expert” came to me with a proposed guest blog about branding. I looked at her site, Twitter, Fan Page. Her site had a rheumy picture and bland copy. Her Twitter had five tweets (still has five tweets months later), and her Fan Page had four posts in six months. Each site looked different. There was no consistent message. What kind of branding is that?

Why would I follow her advice (or feature her on my blog) when she can’t brand herself out of a paper bag? Couldn’t brand herself with two hands and a map.

In proper Word Shark fashion, I started to research. I Googled “branding.” I read a bunch of blogs and articles. And I asked my connections what they thought.

April Michelle Davis Editorial Inspirations – “My website, business card, print materials, and everything about my company has the same colors, fonts, look, and feel.”

I think the theme/scheme is important. You don’t want to be pastels and floral on one page, and dark and gruesome skulls on another page. You want your colors and your feel to translate from one page to the next.

Shark and bluek

If you look at my Fan Page, you see a shark in blue water. If you look at my Twitter profile, you see a shark in blue water. My website – shark and blue. My blog – shark, blue.

Published writer Ilil Arbel – “Personal branding is positively grabbing someone’s attention by creating a unique, unforgettable image. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Each one of us has to develop their own USP – Unique Selling Proposition – to communicate our brand, as the big corporations do.”

Ilil digs deeper – “Yes, I think branding goes deeper than a logo and a color scheme. It has to create an image that is strong enough to be remembered by concept, not just shape.”

Going deeper

I like what Ilil said about going deeper. Branding is not just a color scheme or font. It’s what you stand for, it’s what you deliver; it’s following through on promises and conducting oneself with professional integrity.

Public identification

Elizabeth H. Cottrell of Heartspoken and Riverwood Writer says, “Branding is the development of a public identification through marketing, imagery, logo, and consistent messaging. In includes everything related to social media activity, advertising, etc. In a nutshell, it’s what pops into people’s minds when you or your company name is mentioned.”

k 2Consistent messaging

I try to put forth a consistent message about the importance of editing and proofreading. I like to introduce new writers, bloggers, poets, musicians, and artists in my special monthly features. I am a bit (a bit?) sarcastic at times, but try to present it in a humorous fashion. I share what I’ve learned and pay it forward.

Consistent message

Artist and illustrator, Janice Phelps Williams – “Good branding is nothing more than knowing who you are, who you want to be, what you are good at, what people will respond to, and how to live your personal and professional life in a consistent manner. It is being consistent in words, in graphics, in subject. It is being focused and knowing where the boundaries are. These are the only rules I focus on. I don’t really think of my brand, but I know when something ‘doesn’t feel like me.’”

Doesn’t feel like me   

There are certain bloggy features that don’t feel like me, i.e., book reviews, interviews, or constantly hawking myself or my services. So, I just don’t do any of those things.

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What is “branding” to you? What is your consistent message?

“Become someone worth knowing. Then your book will become something worth buying.” – C. Hope Clark

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Filed under Branding & Platform