For $399 Ellen Tanner Marsh will like your book

Filed under: News — marcia at 1:33 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ellen Tanner MarshI didn’t know who Ellen Tanner Marsh (pictured) was before reading this story on Apparently, she is a “New York Times best selling author.” When she’s not writing romance novels, she writes effusive book-review blurbs in exchange for cash. If you have $399, Marsh will praise your self-published book. And if you don’t like the way she praised it, don’t fret. She’ll praise it in words of your choosing.


Have A Pirate-y Holidays!

Filed under: News — joy at 10:41 am on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Filed under: News — marcia at 1:57 pm on Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Word Pirates dress up for Halloween: Laura the devil, Lindsay the adorable construction worker and Noelani the tiger salamander.

What we talked about Oct. 19

Filed under: News — marcia at 12:54 pm on Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We will have our reading event at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma on Feb. 8, 2007. Hurray! We will be able to feature a ton of visual artists, in addition to the reading stylings of the fabulous Word Pirates. Any artists interested should e-mail us.

We will have another critique sesssion for everyone in December. For Word Pirates who want to read at the event, the December critique is the chance to workshop the piece that will be performed. Then after that, we will have occassions to practice reading so that once the content is all sewed up, you can practice your delivery in front of some friendly faces.

Our very own Noelani is fiction editor of en fuego, a new lit journal. She is looking for stories, so send them to her already!

And now on to the prompt …

We wanted to tie our personal experience with those of others, to connect to our readers. Prompt: Tell a true story about yourself that ties you to a historic event or person. Since this involves some research, we had a brain storming session rather than writing in group. Some good examples of this include a piece in which David Sedaris visits the Anne Frank house during the height of house hunting and decides it’s the perfect house and a piece by Sarah Vowell in which she and her sister, both of Cherokee heritage, visit the Trail of Tears.

Now that you’re a grown-up …

Filed under: News — marcia at 12:57 pm on Friday, September 8, 2006

For those Word Pirates who missed last night’s meeting, you can play along at home. We had a fun prompt that I’m sure you’d love to do.

The idea is to look at something that you loved as a child — a toy, a book, a cartoon, etc. — through adult eyes. Here is a great example of a really funny essay Sam Anderson wrote about the cartoon “He-Man.”


Commemorative Cupcake

Filed under: News — joy at 9:40 am on Friday, August 18, 2006


I declare the first Word Pirates critique a success!

Back by popular demand … Word Pirates will meet twice a month. Isn’t that great? We will meet the first and third Thursday of each month.

Meeting Schedule:

  • Sept. 7
  • Sept. 21
  • Oct. 5
  • Oct. 19
  • Nov. 2
  • Nov. 16
  • Dec. 7
  • (No meeting Dec. 21)

Hot information you need!

Filed under: News — marcia at 11:27 am on Friday, July 21, 2006

Hey, Word Pirates. How are you?
We had a great meeting last night. For those who couldn’t be there, here is the prompt:

Listen to Sarah Vowell read this “list” essay about her experiences. Now you write a list essay. Think of it as a series of connected memories. An example would be remembering five misconceptions you had about sex as a teenager and listing those, while tying it together under one theme about how you have changed and grown. The great thing about a list essay is that it has the succinct and entertaining quality of a bulleted list without the boring repetitiveness of an actual list. It’s a bit hard to explain, so if you want to discuss it more, please e-mail us. Hearing Vowell’s really helps. She rocks.

Our next meeting, on Aug. 17, will be a special critiquing session. We will send you more information by e-mail. However, please get ready to send the whole group your writing via e-mail by July 31. Word Pirates are smart and insightful. And nice! This should be a productive and fun session.

Last meeting

Filed under: News — marcia at 4:28 pm on Tuesday, May 9, 2006

At Thursday’s meeting, after getting a chance to catch up, each Word Pirate read something to the group. Some were based on our first writing prompt (pick a random sentence from a book and write based on it), others were based on past writing group exercises or personal experience. Though the formats varied — stories, essays, poetry — the common thread was that they were all engaging. Can’t wait till the next meeting. Once we have more Word Pirates prompts under our belts, we hope to expand the discussion period about our work. Any Word Pirates who would like to post their work on this site are very welcome to do so!

We went with a two-part writing prompt. For the first part we talked about where our ideas come from and how we manage them. Then we made a list of all our ideas for personal essays and shared some with the group. Next, we spent 15 minutes getting started on one idea so that we can bring a draft of the essay to the next meeting. Anyone who couldn’t make it to the meeting and would like to talk about ideas so s/he can participate in the reading next meeting is welcome to contact us.

Don’t panic. Steven Seagal is still making movies

Filed under: News — marcia at 10:41 am on Monday, April 10, 2006

Steven Seagal

I don’t think I have ever entered a writing contest in my entire life. But last week I found one that required about six minutes of effort on my part, and the prize was $50. I entered it and lost. But why should my six minutes of hard work go to waste.

So I submit to you, fellow Word Pirates and other interested parties, my losing entry.

The prompt was: Steven Seagal has announced that he will no longer make movies, and this devastates you. In 100 words or less, write your suicide note.

And I said …

Without facial expressions or vocal inflections, Steven Seagal managed to touch a part of me that I thought was untouchable. He spoke to my heart in the language of fists. The silencing of those fists brings the silencing of my heart.

If his films have taught me anything, it’s that life is but a rigged cage match fought to win your kidnapped daughter’s freedom from an evil gambling kingpin even though you retired from fighting after winning the world Taekwondo championship.

In heaven, an “Under Seige” sequel comes out every year. I’ll see you there.


PS – “Glimmer Man” Rules!

Winners can be seen (on the April 10 contest results) here

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