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To our WOW! Winter Contest Entrants: Let me begin with an agonizing, heart wrenching truth. Angela and I are so thankful we don't have to judge between the many outstanding stories we received!
The real world of writing delivers a sting when you've written an excellent piece only to find someone submitted something similar... although inferior, but with better timing. In the case of our contest, it isn't a matter of timing; it's the fact that only ten entries can occupy the top ten spots. That may seem obvious, but we want you to know that all concerned see way beyond the obvious; we see something unique in each entry. It takes talent, imagination, and courage (just to name three characteristics) to enter a flash fiction contest with a word limit of 500--and convey emotion(s) and tell a story. We hope each of you that put part of yourself into your short-short stories to feel good about your entry. We recognized some of you from our first contest and were delighted to see you continuing to write, to grow, and that you're still hanging in there with us.
Every one of you deserves an award; and we wish that we could do something terrific for each of you. You have certainly done something special for us--by being a part of our second (!) contest. Writer to writer: Thank you for sharing your heart, talent, courage, and growth with us. We know what it feels like to open heart, brain, and that special place that houses our creativity...and put our work out for all to see, to judge...and enjoy and benefit from. Therefore, if you sent your entry in because you love to write, want to work on your craft, touch others with your words, and are an active part of the writing community: You just took First Place!
We also wanted to address the special theme this month. While freelance editors are well acquainted with the variety of services offered, we felt that many writers preparing their work for first-time publication might not be aware of the choices they have in the way of Freelance Editors' services. We felt we couldn't top the concise categorization and descriptions found at www.frugalmarketing.com/dtb/freelance-editor.shtml. Jennifer Tribe points out that there are different levels and varieties of editing. She gives the breakdown on the three most common: Substantive editing; copy editing, and proofreading. If you're closing in on the need for an editor's services, you will want to begin by checking her article out.
We'll windup by thanking our Freelancers: Kenna McHugh, Heidi K. Brown, Jennifer Brown Banks, Laurie Lewis, C. J. Domino, Diana Ewing, C. Hope Clark, Debbie Feldstein, Beth Morrissey, and Nadia Ali (see on our blog).  Obviously, WOW! would not be the same without them. They turned in amazing work and demonstrated the exceeding value of a Freelancers' Union!
And what a beautiful addition to our WOW! family we have to announce: WELCOME TO OUR NEW WOW! INTERNS: Jean Lauzier, Joanne Stacey, Chynna Laird, Sue Donckels, and Cher'ley Grogg. The support and generous spirit while stepping up to the plate to do whatever they can has been amazing. Getting our WOW! email connections functioning didn't go as smoothly as hoped. But as each has entered the channel of communication, the help has been remarkable. Thank you doesn't cover it, but it is a start. We appreciate you and look forward to working with you, facilitating some exciting additions to WOW! in the near future. Every one stay tuned!



“I was twelve years old when my mother passed away, and a friend gave me a journal to write in, as a substitute shrink. Although it was pond scum green with tired-looking brown horses on the cover, it came with a gold lock that only I owned the key to. That gave me the security to ‘lift my skirt up and fly’ and to never look back; except to edit, of course! Now, I just wonder which family member will be reading my crazy journals when I die, and if they’ll be auctioned off on Ebay.”

Angela owns a graphic design business in Orange County, is an award-winning artist and a published short fiction writer. She is currently working on a collection of intertwined short stories for a novel.


"Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I wrote short stories when my creativity kicked in, which was usually around midnight and beyond. After I married, my husband told me that wasn't working for him. So, I turned to creating business plans, presentations, brochures and everything else we needed as business owners.during the daytime. Close to three years ago, my husband of thirty-six years died, and I returned to writing."

Beryl is a published non-fiction writer, a writer of flash fiction, personal essays and is currently working on a novel.



Life has a way of taking control of your days. You have something you want/need to do and it becomes a storyline for the old Mission Impossible. What can we do? Experts say to set priorities.

Great advice, because my top priority for today was to be at the Orange County Writers' MeetUp Group, for a luncheon with two successful writers Kathryn JordanHot Water(her second visit to our group) and her dear friend and funny lady, Sherry Halperin Rescue Me, He's Wearing a Moose Hat. (See Inspiration in this issue)

Was I ever glad I overcame so many obstacles that I couldn't count them all! It brought to my mind the importance of seeing ourselves as professionals; living up to our responsibilities and that includes allowing ourselves to flourish among 'our own kind.' One of the writers was being discouraged by her father because she said her book would be finished last year; well, what was she doing? Still working on the same book? The advice was "associate with writers because they understand."

What a privileged group we were, to hear from two authors with diverse experiences in getting published. Sherry, after confessing to be a closet-writer all of her life, shared that as a writer (for TV shows, magazine articles) she disciplined herself to be very observant. Therefore, when genius struck and she decided to write her book she had notes to go back to. And her book was picked up without an agent! Kathryn found herself caught between literary and commercial, and vice versa...and waited 20 years to be published! She says she's still getting up at 4:30 a.m. She laughed and said, "I don't have to do that any more but I can't wait to get to the computer." These two ladies demonstrate what it takes to be a successful writer and have a lot of fun doing it.

Just as a reminder when you're fighting to make it to a writing event and you wonder whether it is worth the effort—we had some writer myths blown apart—yes, it's worth the effort.

Speaking of hard work, let's give a round of applause for Russell Traughber, the organizer for this Orange County MeetUp Group. He put together another stellar event. He more than matched any effort made by the attendees to get there—and I know how much effort that called for. Match your group organizer's efforts next event, go and grow! Enjoy the pictures that capture some of our fun.

FYI: Before checking those pictures out, wanted to tell you that Angela is going to be sharing the fabulous time we had with Kathryn at Two Bunch Palms recently. Keep an eye on the blog, for those of you receiving our newsletter, you'll be advised!

We thank Ella Jean Quitoriano, in this picture with me, for supplying the pictures that you are enjoying. You see the beautiful and tasty food that Russell was responsible for arranging. You see him to the left of my head. You can't see the great cookies they brought out later. Scrumptious

Two proud authors, Sherry on the left and Kathryn on the right, and a great group of happy writers behind them.

Sherry and Kathryn with Ella Jean.


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