Saturday, February 28, 2015

The South Jersey Writers Database, part 1

Folks are always asking for a central source, a database of where to find the work and social media of the members of the South Jersey Writers' Group - so here you go. Here is the first part, and it's by no means complete. We'll be adding and updating as we go along, but this is certainly a good start.

South Jersey Writers

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes

Kristin Battestella

Dawn Byrne

Patricia Catacalos

Michael X Christopher

Wade Cohen

Bob Cook

Joanne Costantino

L.D. Davis

Mark Doenges

Jennifer Eaton

MK England

John Farquhar

Gregg Feistman
Publisher website:

Cindy Ferraino

Jord Fox

Ron Geraci

Marie Gilbert

Barb Godshalk

Karen Harbin

Christine Hardy

Sarah Hawkins-Miduski

Amy Holiday

Hypothetical Press

Katrina Janco

Laura J. Kaighn

James Knipp

Victoria M. Lees

John Leone

Krista Magrowski
Blog: Literary Debauchery:

Rosanna Martella

Lisen Minetti

John Minot

Patti O'Brien

Bob Phillips

We hope you'll check out these links, and we'll see you next week with part 2 of our writers social media database.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SJWG and The Storyteller Cards

Ever since our SJWG President Amy Holiday discovered the Storyteller Cards, she has been telling us all in the group how cool these writing prompt tools are. Last week at our February meeting, we all got to find out firsthand and meet the man behind these awesome cards, Jason Tagmire.

From the Storyteller Cards website: "Each card features an illustration with 4 unique elements. There is a character, holding an item, completing an action, in a location. Each of these elements can be used to create something new, get you out of a mid-project slump, or just to have some creative fun with family and friends."

The game we all played at last week's meeting was the task of taking one card, and writing a 25-word story about what was happening in the card. Below are some of our stories.

The two above were by writer Loretta Sisco.

The one above was writer by Christine Nelson.

The two above were by writer Mark A. Smith.  

These two above come from writer and blogger Barb Godshalk.  

And the final two above are by me

Perhaps we'll have more, but until then, please check out Storyteller Cards, great games, great fun, and great for breaking writers block.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Year, New Rant

Presenting another in our series spotlighting various members of the South Jersey Writers' Group - today's guest blog is by Barbara Godshalk.

While it’s still only February, I thought I’d pass along a few thoughts on the new year. To quote my six year old daughter, “How many more days until spring, mommy?” I guess I got spoiled by last winter. We delicate flowers need our heat. It’s been absolutely rude out there. We haven’t even had a decent snow yet. You would think after all the carbohydrates from the holidays I’d be warm enough but no, as we say in these parts, it’s friggin’ freezing. I’ve been living in layers like a walking wool parfait. Isn’t that one 'advantage' of winter? I don’t have to see all those carbs, they’re buried under sweaters!

It’s taken years, but I’ve finally smartened up when it comes to mitigating the damage from all that shopping. Only buy what you have to for the people you’re going to see in the order you see them. For that special breed of masochists who shop on Black Friday, God bless you. I’d rather stick forks in my eyes. I’ve been able to scoop up a few bargains for friends’ kids at the post holiday clearance sales. I also shopped in my basement as much as possible. I’m a year round squirreler. If I find something for someone in July, I’ll grab it for later use.

This January has been every bit as annoying as last year. The difference is I’m feeling slightly better. I didn’t say optimistic, let’s not get crazy. I am however, busy at home and very lucky that I still have that ability. It does feel funny that I don’t have any official job lined up for tax season this year. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll be hanging out watching the “he-did-it-fry-the-bastard” channel while my girl is at school. My guilty pleasure isn’t reality TV per se, but those "Dateline" style crime shows (not something I’m proud of).

While I won’t be receiving a steady paycheck in the near future I have found money in my house (at least a few shekels). I’m getting ready for a huge clearance sale. My development has a yard sale every spring. The gory details can be found in a whole separate soap opera previously published (Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey). Yes, I haven’t given up on that. Why? We need the space.

Toys "R" Us explodes in our house every Christmas and every birthday. This goes beyond the idea of ‘it’s not the kid, it’s the crap they come with.’ This mushrooms into the network of our friends’ kids that we buy for and get gifts from. It’s like a warped Catholic Hanukkah (with a lot less meaning). The gifts go on for a lot longer than eight days. I’m trying to remember that we’re lucky to have a herd to thin. As every parent knows, old toys must disappear by stealth. We could own something my daughter hasn’t touched in over nine months. I will start to view this as a possible good candidate for sale. This toy will emit some sort of distress signal to our girl and she will suddenly find it fascinating! I never see the leftovers in our refrigerator do this.

There are also the ancient mommy clothes hiding in my dresser. I am referring to the fact that the last time I went grown up clothes shopping was for maternity clothes and maybe one other time in the last six years. If it’s older than my daughter, there’s a good chance it’s way older and should probably leave. Unlike the music I listened to in college, however, I wouldn’t call those old clothes 'classic.' No one’s possessions are safe, especially when I can’t answer the question "Why the hell are we keeping this?"

Once again, I could use to put those hearts up around the house and maybe a few turkeys would have been nice it they’d only remind me to be grateful. The problem is I need something that says, "be grateful," not "we Heart poultry." Hearts yes, but turkeys??? (I’m open to suggestions.)

If I could be said to be 'looking forward' to anything, it would be to seeing the floor in our basement. By then, the weather will be warmer, I hope. In the meantime, I’m planning to help myself survive the winter by planning a summer getaway - not for me. I’ll be looking for summer camps for our daughter!

Happy New Year, enjoy your ride in the slingshot.

About today's guest-blogger:

Barb Godshalk is a married mommy of a now six-year-old wealth of material and lives with her supportive husband in South Jersey. Her work had been featured on the In the Powder Room website as well as on Sirius XM's late lamented Lime Radio. Recently, you can find her in the South Jersey Writers' Group anthology
Tall Tales and Short Stories. The majority of works involve memoir and life lessons pieces with as much humor as readers can tolerate. You can check out Barb's blog Momsanity here. Enjoy.