The Three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and Roaming

May 15, 2018

I’m so glad to talk with author R.R. Campbell about his upcoming 2018 release “Accounting for it All”. Campbell is a Wisconsin author and editor as well as the host of Writescast, a podcast for writers, by writers.

Ryan, tell us a little bit about how you got started writing. Have you always been a storyteller?

I've always loved stories. I remember as a young child I wanted to start a newsletter that everyone in my extended family could contribute to, so we could stay in touch between holidays (this was pre-internet, of course). Though that enterprise ultimately didn't come together, throughout my childhood I tinkered with writing short stories, poetry, and even wrote a serial for my fifth-grade class during our free-write time. 

I was also on competitive... Continue Reading

May 8, 2018

Welcome back to author Amanda Zieba, who I first introduced you to in the kick-off post for 2018 on Forging (Real Person-to Person) Connections. I appreciated very much Amanda's post about writing book reviews--so much so that I'm giving the whole thing to you here. (However, you can also access it on Amanda's blog.)


Writing Reviews by Amanda Zieba

What do you do when you read a good book? You tell somebody about it, right?!?!

“Oh my gosh, you have to read this book! I stayed up way too late finishing it. It’s going to change your life! You just have to read this!”... Continue Reading

April 30, 2018

Two years ago, we spent the latter part of April in Ireland and visited the Beltany Stone Circle in County Donegal. You can hear all about that trip in my blog post from May of 2016. I would be very happy to be back again to celebrate May Day at Beltany today. You might not know that Beltane is another name for May Day. This stone circle is a very special place, particularly on this day when it is perfectly oriented toward the sun. (We will never know the answer to how this feat of engineering was accomplished 5000 years ago.)  





May Day is a cross quarter day, meaning it falls half way between the spring equinox (Ostara) and the... Continue Reading

April 27, 2018

THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ARTICLES: What to Do About Facebook Author Page Changes & my Wisconsin Author Project Contest Warning (NOTE: I am NOT picking a fight with public libraries!) Plus, Celebrate Indpendent Bookstore Day, Compare publishing platforms, take a look at the new social media app Litsy and (much more . . . 

The second year of the Writers' Forum continues! Each month there is no shortage of important publishing news and helpful writing information to share with other authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. This is a compilation of the news you need to know along with a preview of the upcoming book events in southern Wisconsin. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and... Continue Reading

April 27, 2018

At the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute in April of 2018, I presented a session called “The Winner’s Circle: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees?”.  I discussed the ways to check if a contest is reputable, which ones are good to enter, and what to do if you win. Later, I took my PowerPoint and narrated it before uploading it to YouTube. You can watch it here.

So, I was already thinking a bit about contests and the warnings I made to my fellow writers about paying careful attention to the pesky fine print. Sometimes the contest rules have the writer sign over the rights to work JUST BY ENTERING!! Yes, it’s true. You would think it would be relatively unknown, shady groups that do this sort of thing... Continue Reading

April 23, 2018

Happy Release day to author Rex Owens and the final book in the Irish Troubles series--Dead Reckoning!

This is Owens' best book yet! (And that is a huge compliment because books one and two in this series are excellent reads!) If you have an interest in the past few decades of political turmoil in Ireland, you'll appreciate this entire series. In Dead Reckoning, Ian Murphy confronts his Irish Republican Army past in and offers redemption in a uniquely artistic way. We feel for this character and those around him as he creates a stage play, revealing his secrets as an act of atonement.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Ian Murphy buries his life-long friend Kieran Fitzpatrick. As a result his life adrift, Ian is incapable of overcoming dependence on whiskey. Every day, he battles the... Continue Reading

April 19, 2018

Wow, it’s hard to believe that spring is here with all the snow we’ve been getting. UGH—I’m so ready for warmer weather! (Kudos to whomever coined the new word "sprinter" to describe this horribly snowy spring.)

I’m in the thick of writing conference season, which means I wouldn’t be outside much anyway, but at least I’m indoors with some lovely company in the form of other writers.





This past weekend, I was at the Writers’ Institute in Madison. This is the 9th time I’ve been at this conference and the second time that I’ve presented sessions. It was wonderful to see so many old friends and make new ones. If you’ve never attended a writing conference, that’s exactly what happens!

Through the years, I’ve... Continue Reading

April 10, 2018






As April is the month of my birthday, it seemed natural to compose a blog post about gifts for writers. In fact, as I researched this post, it became clear that this will be an annual event; I will collect ideas during the year and present them in the month of sunshine, flowers, warmer weather—ah, never mind. Spring surely will come, right? I mean, saying it’s “Christmas in April” has a whole new meaning this year.

Few things have cheered me lately: I’m a warm weather person and the cold, December-like days that so far are ruining my favorite month are straining my brain.... Continue Reading

April 3, 2018

With more than 20 titles checked off the list in February and March, I have more than a few stand-out favorites to share with you.

In the past few weeks I’ve given five-star reviews to the following children's books and featured the titles along with interviews of the authors. 

“The Field” by Baptiste Paul

“Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School” by Janet Halfmann

... Continue Reading

April 3, 2018

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School by Janet Halfmann is an incredible treasure of a story, bringing readers into the life of this little-known and exceptionally brave teacher who ignored the law of the mid-1800s, which made it illegal to teach enslaved people to read and write. As a lover of history, I have to say a huge thank you to Halfmann for the fine details she brings to this book. I can feel the nervousness of the pupils (and teacher) as they sneak out to attend school in the darkness of the night, knowing that their punishment could be very severe if caught. What a testament to the strong will to learn, teach, and help one another! This story also shows young readers how... Continue Reading