November is National Novel Writing Month (often abbreviated as NaNoWriMo), where people try to write thousands of words that through editing, revisions, and rewrites may someday be a book. To inspire people attempting this feat, Uptown News has put together a list of local authors who successfully published their books. These authors range from children to elders, but all are united in their connection to San Diego and their use of the written word to express their creativity.
Book for writers by a writer
The executive director of SD Writers, Ink has published a book to help people on their NaNoWriMo journeys full of writing exercises and prompts.
Executive director of San Diego Writers, Ink and former magazine editor, Kristen Fogle, has more than a few ways to help get writers going.
Fogle recently released “Dare to Write: Creative Writing Prompts for Young People and Word Rebels Everywhere,” which is filled with instruction and exercises that help develop a compelling narrative, characters, setting, dialog, conflict, and resolution. The book is geared toward young people of all ages, from teens just starting out to seasoned professionals looking for a fresh perspective.
Fogle’s book is out just in time for NaNoWriMo, which encourages aspiring writers to take the month of November to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – and write that novel they’ve always wanted to. “When I teach writing, I’ve found that asking students a series of detailed questions helps give them clear direction for their stories,” says Fogle. “As much as I love working with writers one on one, I also want to reach aspiring writers in other parts of the country.
“A good prompt can ignite a poem, free a trapped novel, trigger a cathartic brain dump, let a singed heart speak, or simply give you space to rant about the burnt pizza, if that’s what you need to do,” Fogle continues. “Research consistently shows that people who write are happier and healthier, especially young people processing complex feelings and conflicting desires. The point of writing doesn’t have to be publishing a novel, but writing well helps people organize their thoughts and communicate more effectively.”
Bankers Hill author releases new book on childhood loss
By the time Madonna Treadway was 8 years old, both of her parents had died. She moved in with family members and went on to lead a successful life, but always felt a void. That void was not only from the loss of her parents at such a young age, it stemmed from the absence of processing her grief. No one talked about her sadness, anger, or sense of abandonment.
Still, as an adult, Treadway finds that people feel uncomfortable talking about death. “I get it. Talking about death can be difficult,” says the author of the recently published self-help book “Six Healing Questions:A Gentle Path to Healing Childhood Loss of a Parent.” “Part of the reason it’s hard is that we have little experience having these conversations. When I was a child, adults spoke in hushed tones about death or never spoke of it at all. I wondered if there was something shameful, or morally questionable, about dying. And no one ever asked me about my feelings of loss, guilt, and anger over my parents’ deaths.”
These feelings can be exacerbated during the holiday season when everyone else seems to be joyously celebrating with their loved ones. “Loss is always difficult for children, but can be especially emotionally challenging during the holiday season,” says Treadway.
Treadway says she wrote her book with two readers in mind: those who experienced loss of their own parents during their childhood, and people who want to support children who have experienced loss. “I hope that the years of research I have done offer comfort and guidance to people struggling with loss,” she says. “The loss of a parent leaves deep wounds, but that doesn’t mean we have to experience grief for the rest of our lives,” she says. “There are ways to honor, commemorate, and celebrate our loved ones in a way that empowers and heals us.”
10-year-old Francis Parker student releases second book
10-year-old author Arden Pala returns with another exciting chapter to capture the imagination of young readers. “The Adventures of Noah’s Flying Car Through Turkey” is the second in the series “The Adventures of Noah’s Flying Car.” Arden continues to whimsically embrace the unique and beautiful aspects of culture and togetherness.
It is important for Arden to communicate to young readers the goodwill gestures and golden rules of being inclusive and welcoming, despite our differences.
No matter where we come from, we are all human and our cultural differences give us unique lenses and perspectives of the world. Sharing and acceptance are qualities that are at the heart of Arden’s adventurous tales.
A creative and dedicated fifth grader, Arden attends Francis Parker School in San Diego. In addition to writing, he loves professional theater and will be acting with the Old Globe in Balboa Park this upcoming holiday season.
Arden’s first book sold more than 5,000 copies with all proceeds donated to low-income youth. Partial proceeds of this book will be donated to homeless pets.