Today is National Dog Day. While Rosie was a 7th birthday present for our daughter Alice, who is now 16, she has become the best friend to all of us. I am sure that cats also make great companions for writers (I'm allergic, so I'd hardly know, though I did have a beautiful Manx cat once), but one nice thing about dogs is that at least once a day they make you get out from behind your computer and go outside for a walk. Rosie is 9 1/2 and this is still the favorite part of her day, though she also likes to cuddle, takes naps, and meditate in the sun. For a writer who still suffers from headaches over too much computer time, she is a wonderful role model.

Do you have a dog? A pet? What do you love about him or her?

Happy National Dog Day, from Rosie and me! xo
Iowa Summer Writing Festival

It's time to register for Adult Summer Camp for Writers--aka, The Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Every year, writers gather in this UNESCO City of Literature to write, learn, share, create, be inspired, inspire, prespire (whether due to hard work or Midwestern humidity or a combination of the two, I'll let you decide...) and I can't wait to be a part of the fun. I'm teaching:

FLASH FICTION IN A FLASH: Writing (and Submitting) Publishable Flash Fiction June 23-24

FIVE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL: One for Every Day of the Workshop Week June 24-29

WRITING THE POPULAR NOVEL: in Any Genre July 21-22


Hope you'll sign up for a class with me (or with one of my fantastic colleagues)! Let's get those novels started--or finished!

Image result for iowa summer writing festival

Due to University of Wisconsin system budget cuts, we don't have quite enough money to print enough copies of our beautiful color glossy literary magazine, THE SPIRIT LAKE REVIEW, as we're used to doing this year, so the college students such as Kendrick (above) and I decided to have a fund raiser. Jordan (and others) work at our local Culver's restaurant, so they organized a share night--which means that Culver's shares its sales with us. The community came out to eat burgers, fries, and custard, the students delivered food and wiped down tables, and we'll earn a percentage of the night's sales. Will it be enough to make up the difference between what the campus allocated us, and what we'll need to print a couple of hundred copies? Stay tuned... In any case, we had fun!

And if you're a Wisconsin writer, or an artist from anywhere in the U.S., then please submit your work to us by 22 February at:

We'll try to promise not to eat it up, no matter how yummy it is!
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