Author Archives: penpaperandprose

Thoughts on feminism today. What do you think?

Brute Reason

This piece was also published on In Our Words.

Yahoo! has a new CEO. Her name is Marissa Mayer and she is 37 years old, making her the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Mayer’s accomplishments in her career are incredible and she deserves credit for them. However, to some extent, so does feminism.

Mayer was born in 1975, as the women’s movement was really starting to take off. But at the time, it was still controversial for a woman to wear pants rather than a skirt, let alone to cohabit with a boyfriend, work outside the home after marriage, and so on. However, Mayer was able to benefit from the gains of feminism: she attended college (and not just any college, but Stanford University) and became Google’s first female engineer.

On the same day that Yahoo! announced Mayer as its new CEO, Mayer and her husband announced…

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Safe at Home

Home is a shelter from storms – all sorts of storms.  ~ William J. Bennett

Nine years of keeping the home fires burning after the initial conflagration. The shelter is here, the door is open and the children escape the storm. Once again.

Safe at Home

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The importance of quality editors and a need to pay for quality work. The dilemma continues.

An American Editor

I recently reviewed the various groups I am a member of on LinkedIn and was astounded to find a U.S.-based editor soliciting editing work and offering to do that work for $1 per page in all genres. Some further searching led me to discover that this person was not alone in her/his pricing.

What astounds me is less that someone is offering to do editorial work for such a low fee but that people actually believe that is a fair price to pay for professional editing. I recently spoke with an author whose ebooks are badly edited — yes, edited is the correct word — who told me that he/she had paid a professional editor $200 to edit the novel in question and so was surprised at all the errors the novel contained.

Recently, I wrote about the publisher who wants copyediting but calls it proofreading in an attempt to…

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Writing a Wonderful Wednesday

Writers are a lucky bunch. That’s the thought of the week for my writing group. The question for any writer when faced with a blank page is where to go now? Do you want to escape this dreary rain or soak up the sun on some tropical island? Each time a writer sits before a blank page or screen, the possibilities are endless. Mood, scene, character, time, genre, are all open for creation. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? What do you want to say? Oh, the possibilities are limitless.

Write yourself a Wonderful Wednesday and add it to the comments below. Aren’t you the lucky bunch?

Lucky Bunch

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My Mentors, I Thank You

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  ~  Voltaire

“Thank you” seems inadequate to express my appreciation and gratitude to a number of women who have lifted me, supported me, guided me, encouraged me, and yes, rescued me during my life.  A dedication page in a book would continue for several pages, these women are so numerous. The following are a few of the reasons I say, “Thank you” to  my mentors in my career, family, and life.

1. Encouragement.

2. Creative prompts.

3. Financial advice.

4. Listening skills (X’s 10)

5. Belief in me.

6. Broad shoulders

7. Packing ability

8. Great sense of humor.

9. Soft shoes for the kick in the pants.

10. A great example of success.

What have your mentors given to you?

Thank You, Mentors

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The Monday Morning Writing Chain

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.  ~Charles Peguy

Every Monday morning, the writing prompt arrives at 10:00 AM. Joyce Norman, writer, editor and coach posts the prompt on her Facebook status and the fun begins. Anybody can play, all writers are welcome to add a paragraph or two. The dialogue segues into different dialects, the names change and revert to original and the story unfolds throughout the morning. Each author creates, each author moves the storyline forward and the plot develops over the course of a day and sometimes, a week.

Checking in on Monday morning, you might find a medieval castle stormed by invaders with broadswords, or a meeting in a South Pacific bali hai. The plane taking off with a secret stowaway heading into a hurricane gives broad latitude for the action scene to follow. Each author lends voice to the story, with great creative additions stretching over the page.

Advice from the great writers of past and present is: Write. Write. Write. And write. Practice makes perfect is the best advice for any creative effort. And the Monday Morning Writing Chain is available for anybody to add their idea and move the story forward. Add a character, write a few lines of dialogue, join in the fun. Your practice will be done while you create with other great writers of the day.

Every Monday Morning. 10:00 AM. Add your link to the chain. Let’s see what we can create.

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Crossroad Warning – Women of a Certain Age

I am currently researching life choices and new paths women follow after age 50. If you are interested in participating, please contact me here or email If you are changing careers, retiring, becoming a grandparent, raising your granchild, a new student, traveling, facing health issues, ANY and ALL of these would be great topics to discuss. I would love to arrange to speak with you. So many of us are seeking meaning in our lives as we turn the page on another decade. What are YOU doing? I’d love to know!

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

….But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~ Jenny Joseph

Women of a certain age – The Color Purple

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