Thursday, May 30, 2013

Christian Writers Conference near Manitowoc in August!

Becky Lafferty offers a 2-day writing conference in August at their small alpaca farm just south of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Last year’s conference was such a blessing and this year we are excited to have: 

·       five (5) fabulous Christian authors to teach us what we need to know to get published and improve our writing;
·       a diverse variety of Christian writers’ topics;
·       wonderful upgraded conference facilities on our 100+ year old alpaca farm;
·       a full day of events on Saturday, which are included (with a hearty country lunch) in the registration fee;
·       opportunities for critiques and Query Letters seminar on Friday evening, for additional fees;
·       an early bird registration fee through July 1, 2013; and
·       a block of reserved rooms at the Holiday Inn-Manitowoc. 

It was such fun to meet some of you last year, and we hope to gather even more Christian writers this year. We are a unique group of people and it is exhilarating to meet other like-minded individuals! 

Seating is limited, so please register online at


God has put this event on my heart. To Him be the glory. 

If you have any questions, please phone or email.  

Heartfelt blessings to you all,


Rebecca McLafferty



Tuesday, May 28, 2013



Gardeners present a quirky way of living life. For this child of parents who made growing plants a part of everyday living, the memories kept, as well collected from relatives, developed into a fun retrospective.

Author Chris Eirschele shares her recollections of growing up with gardening parents all living in a little pink house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in an ebook entitled, Garden Truths From My Family’s Stories. Made up of eight chapters of comical, sad and inspirational essays, the pages are dotted with photos from the author’s collection. According to Eirschele, “The garden became a knowable space where I was at home before I ever realized these feelings would even matter.” The author’s parents shared their garden life in their decidedly middle-class Wisconsin home with family and friends. Sometimes quirky or funny but always sincere, they brought the gardening life with them wherever they visited.

Chris Eirschele is a freelance garden writer whose current work is found on Chris' inspiration for writing comes from plants grown, gardens explored and garden paths traveled. Her articles have been read in such far ranging publications as Ohio Gardener, Greenhouse Grower and Milwaukee Magazine. Her muse resides at her blog,

She is a past Master Gardener with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee County Extension and as member of the Southeast Wisconsin Master Gardeners and was horticulturally educated at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

A native of Wisconsin, Chris now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
She has maintained a membership with the Garden Writers Association since 2006. Chris' past memberships include the Perennial Plant Association and the Daylily Society of SouthEast Wisconsin.

Garden Truths From My Family’s Stories is her first ebook. Self-published and sold by Amazon

 Digital Services, Inc. (ASIN: B00BDV05U0)
--Watch for my review in August!

Monday, May 27, 2013

New book details 100+ day trails in NW Wisconsin


New book details 100+ day trails in NW Wisconsin
‘Headin’ to the Cabin’ focuses on recreational communities in 9 counties

HUDSON, WIS. (May 25, 2013) – Ah, “headin’ to the cabin” – those few words alone are enough to conjure images of a relaxing weekend by the lake, of a pleasant stroll through the woods or along a beach, of a place where one’s cell phone hopefully doesn’t work.

And what better way to experience all that the “up north” has to offer than through a day hike?

Cabin-goers to Wisconsin’s Northwoods now have available the most complete listing of the region’s day hiking trails in the new book, “Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin,” by Rob Bignell. The book was released this month.

Describing more than 100 trails, the book covers nine Wisconsin counties – Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk, St. Croix, Sawyer and Washburn.

“In Northwest Wisconsin you can walk across 1.2 billion-year-old rock, dip your toes in the world’s largest freshwater lake, tramp along the same routes that the first European explorers bushwhacked during the 1600s, and see the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rockies,” said Bignell, an avid hiker and author of the popular and critically acclaimed “Hikes with Tykes” guidebooks. “I’ve hiked in more than 30 states now, and Northwest Wisconsin certainly ranks up there with the best.”

The book separates trails by communities that cabin-goers frequent. Each community entry includes at least one feature article about a great local trail and then includes snapshot descriptions of several other area day hiking trails as well as a list of neighboring communities for easy cross-referencing.

“Almost all trail guidebooks for the region fall into one of two categories: They’re either for backpackers making multi-day overnight trips or they cherry pick the region’s ‘best’ trails,” Bignell said. “But what if you’re spending a weekend up north and don’t have time to do a four- or five-day trip? Or what if you’re vacationing for a week, but the only trails listed in the guidebook all are a couple of hours drive from you?

“‘Headin’ to the Cabin’ in contrast focuses on day hiking trails that you can do in under a few hours and lists multiple trails in every major recreational community.”

A long-time hiker, editor and journalist, Bignell is uniquely qualified to discuss hiking. He and his son Kieran have hiked through old groves of redwood trees that soared 150 feet over their heads, peakbagged mountains, rambled along ocean coastlines, searched fossil and gem trails, and explored remote desert canyons, often all in the same month.

Those experiences led to Bignell’s previously published hiking books, “Hikes with Tykes” A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids” (2011) and “Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities” (2012). He’s also the author of three writing/self-publishing guidebooks, a novel, and a collection of poetry.

Bignell served as an infantryman in the Army National Guard and taught middle school students in New Mexico and Wisconsin. His newspaper work has won several journalism awards, from editorial writing to sports reporting. In 2001, The Prescott Journal, which he served as managing editor of, was named Wisconsin’s Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

A Wisconsin native, Bignell now lives with his son in Hudson, Wis.

“Headin’ to the Cabin” is available for purchase in paperback or ebook at

Book specs:
 Publish date: April 5, 2013 (ebook); April 12, 2013 (paperback)
 Publisher: Atiswinic Press
 ISBN: 978-0-9858739-6-7
 Price: $9.95 (paper); $1.99 (ebook)
 Pages: 168 (paper)
 Cover: Paperback (paper)
 Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5 (paper)
 Website:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Reveiw: Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises, an anthology of death and renewal

Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises: Stories of Death and Renewal
Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises: stories of Death and Renewal

An anthology, by Charlene Elderkin

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 4, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1479320374
·       ISBN-13: 978-1479320370

I am the last person who considers attending to death and all that goes with it in a supportive way. I think it’s selfishness on my part, a fear not of death itself, but of the ugly and inability to discipline my emotion in the moment.

Stories of death was not necessarily something I looked forward to, even with the Wendell Berry poem, and the exemplary Driftless Workshop credits to the author.

I was wrong.

These thirty amazing journey stories, some from first-time authors, from all walks of life and representing many cultures and belief systems, rip out our deepest angst and force us to examine the intertwining nature of humanity.

From the opening story, a daughter’s quest to spend time with her dying father that echoes the book's title, to Elderkin’s experience with her mother, and on to a sister never met—to spouses and children, each story tugs at the heart in a way that makes fear supercilious.

Each story is accompanied by a photo and short biography of the author.

Beautifully designed and easy to read, these stories, journals, and poems are meant to touch and hold anyone who’s ever experienced the death of a close one, and was changed because of the person’s life and passing.
About the author: Charlene Elderkin is a hospice volunteer, a home funeral educator, a member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and co-founded the Threshold Care Circle, the first home funeral educational organization in the Midwest. An experienced speaker with audiences ranging from a handful to several hundred, giving presentations on home and green funerals to the Wisconsin Coroner and Medical Examiner’s Conference and the Chicago Memorial Society. Her works on death related topics have been published in Essential Inklings, The Correspondence, Lilipoh, and she co-authored an advance-planning book, My Final Wishes, available at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PUT YOUR WORDS on stage at All Writers Workshop June 1

Put your words on stage!

WAUKESHA –  The 10-minute play is no longer a fad.  It is considered a legitimate form of theatre that has proven highly popular with audiences around the world.  The compact form forces playwrights to get the story moving quickly and keep dramatic tension tight.  It also helps when writing full-length plays to form concise scenes within acts.  For the playwright, 10-minute plays are FUN to write!

Join us on June 1 for a one-day workshop, Enter Laughing (or Crying), with playwrights Gail Sterkel and Kathleen Allison Johnson, to learn about writing the short play.  Leave the workshop with new ideas and material to spark your creative fire!

GAIL STERKEL has written numerous ten-minute plays and monologues that have been produced on various Madison stages.  In addition, Gail’s one-act play, “Lust Through Infiniti,” was a finalist in the New Jersey Rep’s Seven Deadly Sins contest.  Gail currently teaches writing at Madison College; she has taught an abundant number of creative writing classes and workshops for the UW and other venues. Gail is currently writing a “how to” book on ten minute plays.

KATHLEEN ALLISON JOHNSON has had ten plays produced on various Madison stages.  Her full-length play, The Eleventh Hour, was a semi-finalist for the Panowski Playwriting Award.  Her short stories, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in magazines including American Heritage, Kaleidoscope, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and Rosebud.  Kathleen has degrees in math and English.  She has written a novel and is currently at work on her second.

Together, Gail and Kathleen are delighted to announce that their collaborative full-length play, Ten Thousand Moons From Here, will be produced by Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre of Madison, on the stage of the Bartell Theatre in Madison, June 2013. 

This class will be held at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, 234 Brook Street, Unit 2, Waukesha, WI, on Saturday, June 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The cost for this event is $85, and includes lunch.  You can register by calling 262-446-0284 or online at, click on Celebrity Saturdays.

AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop offers on-site and online writing courses in all genres and abilities of creative writing, as well as coaching and editing services.  A schedule of classes and registration is available online at or you can call 262-446-0284.

Kathie Giorgio
Director, AllWriters' Workplace & Workshop LLC
Author, The Home For Wayward Clocks
234 Brook St., Unit 2
Waukesha WI  53188
Phone:  (262) 446-0284
AllWriters' Website:
Kathie's Website:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Last Minute Opening at the Clearing for retreat in May

Judy Bridges says: I have some room I rarely have. It's the "Writers' Wellspring," May 19-25. If you happen to know anyone who'd be interested, perhaps you could pass the word. It's a great opportunity for someone who really wants to get better at writing. Here's a class description:


Class #8

Writers’ Wellspring

Judy Bridges

May 19 - May 25

If you ever wished for the perfect opportunity to explore your love for writing, this is it. Whether you want to write family stories, personal essays, short stories, nonfiction, plays or novels, you will appreciate having the support of an experienced coach and a group of like-minded friends. Designed for beginning to intermediate writers, Writers' Wellspring is the perfect blend of time, space and inspiration.

Time… A full week for you to dress casually, sleep 'til the bell rings and show up just in time for meals. Learn more about writing in the morning, write in the afternoon and read, write or hang out by the fire in the evening.

Space… Log cabins. Wooded trails. A shimmering lake. More stars than some people see in a lifetime—every one of them twinkling. "Do you want to write? Do it! Do it! Do it!"

Inspiration… Breathe in the good energy of every writer, every artist, every interesting person who has ever visited The Clearing. Read the books in the Lodge. Sit in the Cliffhouse and listen to the words in the waves.

Craft coaching includes character development, scene visualization, point-of-view, lively writing and a primer on various methods of publication. Judy is committed to helping you make progress on the path you choose.

Judy Bridges is the author of Shut Up & Write! and the founder of Redbird Studio writing center in Milwaukee. Prior to founding the studio, she earned her living writing articles, short stories, plays and corporate communications. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in creative writing and adult education. Her next book will be a collection of family stories titled, You Drive, You're too Drunk to Sing.