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    Fictography For Old Time’s Sake and as a Teaching Tool: Back Home

      /FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). A few years ago, I executed a writing challenge whereby readers submitted travel photos they took, and I would write the story that I imagined went along with that photograph. Today, as I write this, my students are engaged in an activity that asks them to write using their five senses—and to see where those senses can take them. They smelled something, tasted something, and touched something, and then they used photos and clips of music to spark a story. When it came to “sight,” I posted three photographs that they could use as…

  • Not Quite There With 5 Days Remaining

    It’s the 25th of November, and I’m still making progress, although it’s not moving as quickly as I would like. The goal for November was to complete 50,000 words (which is, in essence, a small novel). The problem is, this novel (Life with Nan) will more like 80,000+ words, I’m guessing. So, my friends, I have a way to go, but if that’s the case, then I’ll try to find some solace in the fact that I hit the halfway point by going over 40,000 words. Nan and my main character, Calista, still have more to uncover as their relationship of living together as granddaughter and grandmother continue, and as…

  • The End of #Frocktober and The Beginning of Something New

    As today is Halloween and also the last day of October, it marks the end of the month of #FROCKTOBER, which I’ve been participating in on Instagram at stephverni. In order to highlight and bring awareness to OVARIAN CANCER, I posted one outfit each day for the month of October. While I’m sort of relieved it’s over, I always finish what I’ve started, and I hope I’ve raised awareness of this type of cancer, which my colleague and friend, Chris Noya, is battling. It’s never to late to contribute: visit Cancer.org (American Cancer Society) or ovarian.org (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition) to donate and help change lives. Here are the last…

  • Update on Novel #3 And Words of Encouragement

    * I’ve been working on my third novel this summer, and have been having so much fun doing the research and writing of this one. It’s different from the previous two, but it’s an idea that’s been in my head for several years. Finally, it is all coming together. UPDATES Currently, I have 42,000+ words written–This novel will probably top out at around 55,000 words to 60,000 words and will be about the same length as Beneath the Mimosa Tree (novel #1). People have asked me how I write, what my writing process is, and if I outline my novel. I do not make outlines (nor am I a list…

  • Okay. Okay. I’ll Come.

    * * * I know what Maya Angelou meant here. There are times when you sit down to write and nothing comes. Then, there are times when your fingers can’t type as quickly as your brain is working, and the fingers have trouble keeping up with the thoughts that barrel through you. We lost a great sage, writing influence, and someone with limitless amounts of creativity. Her influence will be missed. * * * * * * In Memory of Maya Angelou, A Poem The ideas don’t flow the way they should; Noise litters your head— An angry word, a moment of doubt— Insecurities pounding, wanting to come in. Yet…