850 Eyes


I’m sitting on my porch, taking in the sights and sounds of a cool October evening in Bermuda (I’m lying – it’s 85 degrees right now). Whistling frogs are singing harmoniously, hidden among hibiscus trees, and I can faintly smell the salt from the ocean. The grass seems to glow, after having been watered by a recent sun-shower and as I sip on a steaming cup of mint tea, all seems well; except that when I consider the rejection letter I got earlier this evening, I think that maybe all isn’t well. More

Solution Focused Therapy and Agent Rejection

SolutionSolution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is the school of thought I subscribe to when it comes to my counseling practice. As its name implies, it’s a brief form of therapy, which means that typically, I plan to see clients for a maximum of fifteen sessions. In SFBT, the interventions align with it’s name: It’s solution-focused. It’s like the Olivia Pope of clinical interventions. When a client comes in with an issue, the therapist doesn’t spend a ton of sessions listening to the problem is its various forms. She doesn’t even let you cry for long; maybe the first session, the second, if you’re lucky, but by session three, the client needs to be working on how to fix the issue. In SFBT, you are not to focusing on the problem, but on the solution.

One of my mantras is: ‘What good is it helping others, if I can’t help myself?’ So today, when I received three rejection letters from mentors in a competition I’d entered, the second thing I did (after feeling bouts of discouragement – acknowledging emotions is a part of SFBT) was apply my theoretical orientation to my life and situation. I’m glad to say this is something I do naturally, but I wanted to share the process with you, because as a writer, you may know, all too well, that rejection is no fun. Sometimes it gets to the point where you wonder if it’s worth it all. You might consider giving up, throwing in the proverbial towel. But you can’t! If you do, you’ll never find the solution to the problem and you’ll never reach your goals. Giving up is not an option. More

Writers, Get The Most Out of Your Experiences: 6 Ideas How


Living in a small island, where the population is not even 65,000 people, you will find that Bermudians travel. A lot. We need to. There’s a claustrophobic-type thing that happens when you’ve lived in a place that takes, a measly, one hour to get from one end of it to the other. You have to move, get out. Bermudians don’t require a Visa to travel to the States, so we’re all over the place. Last week in Boston, I was only minimally surprised to bump into not one, but two fellow Bermudians in a Target. (It’s a small world — and Boston is a gateway city).

So we travel. But it’s different when you’re traveling and you’re a writer. Every experience is fuel. Every situation is ammunition. Every landscape jumpstarts creativity and sparks the imagination.  More

You May Be A Writer If… 10 Signs

You may be a writer if

I’ve heard several people say that they’ve always wanted to write, or they think they’d like to write a book, or they’d like to try their hand at writing something. Sometimes, it seems as if people are unsure whether or not they’re up for the task. It has been my understanding that writing a book is not easy. Lucky for me, that’s not been my experience. I’m not published yet (hopefully that day is coming soon), but when I get a good idea, tease out the conflict and design some great characters, I can write 300 pages without breaking a sweat. And that leads me to think: If you have to question whether you’re a writer, maybe you’re not one. Or maybe you are. The best way to find out is to grab a pen or laptop and get to work. But to me, there are some sure-fire signs that will put the writing on the wall (pun intended). More

Pitch Slam Tips: “Don’t Be A Douche-Bag”

Pitch Slam

I’m not one to get nervous: I’ve been the guest speaker at many large functions, both locally and internationally; I’ve sung solos in front of huge crowds, and I do presentations on a regular basis in my capacity as Professional Counselor. However, while participating in the Pitch Slam at the Writer’s Digest Conference this weekend, I was, indeed, nervous. No, it wasn’t a debilitating nervous, but it was nervousness, nonetheless.

For anyone who might be unfamiliar, ‘Pitch Slam’, one of the very popular components of the Writer’s Digest Conference, is like speed-dating for writers, only with agents and editors sitting on the other side of the table, as opposed to handsome hunks and gorgeous gals (though they may be those too). The writer goes around a room, equipped with an Elevator Pitch and 180 seconds, trying to find an agent who might be a good match for their manuscript. Similarly, agents sit, very composed, around the circumference of a huge room, with folded hands and cute haircuts, waiting for those budding authors who will titillate their imaginations and make them say: ‘Send me the first fifty pages’. Like Chuck Sambuchino, the Editor at Writer’s Digest (and pretty much the guy who knows everything about this kind of stuff) said: “An agent giving you his/her card is the goal.”

So how many cards did I get? More

My First Writer’s Conference Experience

Writer's Conference

I’m sitting on the king-sized bed in my hotel room in New York, staring at this computer screen, trying to piece this past weekend together. I know I have to write something about it (the speaker in the seminar on Blog Your Way To a Book Deal said so), but my hands are trembling. Not from fear or trepidation, but from unadulterated excitement. I feel like the cliched kid in the candy store; or about about like popcorn seeds sitting in oil on top of a fire – I’m so excited! Now that I’ve attended my first-ever writer’s conference, there is only one word that comes to mind: Wow! More

Writer’s Block Solution: Stop Putting Words in Their Mouths

writer's block

A few months ago, I bumped into a friend in the city, and she told me that, for the first time in her life, she was attempting to write a book. I was extremely excited. Anytime I hear that someone else has tapped into their creative writing stream, put pen to paper (or fingertip to keyboard), and created a universe of some sort, something bubbles deep inside of me. I encouraged her as best I could. I told her to keep at it, and that soon she would have something she could be proud of.

Three months later, I hadn’t heard anything from her, so I checked in with her on FaceBook to see how her MS was moving along. That was when she told me that, for the last three months, she’d had a severe, and debilitating, case of Writer’s Block. She hadn’t gotten much further than she had when we’d last spoken – the opening chapter. More

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