Party Time: The Community Storyboard Is Back!

The Community Storyboard is back and ready for submissions!  Read the guidelines below or click here.


We’re back!!!

After careful consideration and discussions with a panel of experts (we hear voices), we are implementing some not so drastic changes.  In the spirit of keeping this a fair and fun community for everyone, we have rearranged some privileges, made some editorial changes, and adjusted our guidelines.  Some of you who had free posting privileges prior to our closure may now find that you are restricted and need an editor’s approval before posting.  After a history of consistent quality posts, you may regain privileges to post without editor approval.  This is not anything personal or a judgment against your writing or talent, but we are striving to take the CSB in a more positive direction.  To do so, we need to establish more quality control.

Going forward, we ask that people remember that this website is about feedback.  The ‘C’ stands for Community and we mean it.  Even if you dislike a piece, please feel free to comment on it with respect and integrity.  Consistently coming to the editors with an issue about works that are represented on the blog does not help the author in question learn and grow.  If discussions do get heated and cross the line of civility, the editors will step in and there will be the risk of removal of offending party(ies).

Without further ado, here are the New Guidelines!

  • This blog is intended to feature Short fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as art pieces and musical works. We would prefer if your submission was no longer than 1000 words long, unless it has been arranged prior.
  • We ask that you limit your posting to 1 piece per day unless you are an editor or have previous permission.  The exception to this rule is during contests, prompts, and themes that require more than one post per day.
  • The work you submit must be original and all rights must belong to you. If you are submitting work for someone else, you must include a signed release with your submission. Any work that is deemed as not original will be promptly removed from the site and you will no longer be allowed to participate. This includes any art work or photos that are an accompaniment to your writing, unless it is public domain.
  • Your work will be published as determined by the editors of this site, and on the schedule that works for them.
  • We will not edit your work for you. It will be published as is.
  • We maintain the right to refuse to publish a work at our discretion and without any further explanation.
  • We do not claim any rights to your work. It is yours to do with as you wish. If you no longer wish to have your work featured on the site, please use the contact form on the Submission Guidelines Page. Please remember to include the title of your post so that we may easily find and remove it. It may take up to 72 hours for it to be removed from the site.
  • Please keep in mind this is a community.  Choose only your best stuff and post the rest to personal blogs.
  • The formatting of your piece will be handled by our editors, unless you have posting privileges. WordPress sometimes does odd things. We will do the best we can to ensure that it comes out looking great.
  • If you are submitting an excerpt of a published book, please also send us a link to the book and the publisher information.
  • Fan Fiction will NOT be accepted.
  • NO self-promoting via single links to your blog with no other content.
  • All content on this site is property of the individual author. If you are going to use it in part or in whole somewhere else, you must have permission from the author first, with the exception of reblogs.
  • Please include the links to your website/sales pages with your work if you wish to have them posted.
  • Please note: It may take up to a week for one of our editors to get back to you.
  • If you wish to have a photo included with your submission please note this at the top of your submission and we will send you the appropriate email to submit it to. We kindly ask that you limit your photos to one per submission, unless you are doing a photography post that has been previously approved.
  • Please ensure that your photos are appropriate for all audiences and are not offensive.  This includes graphic nudity, violence/gore, sexuality, and anything else that may be construed as inappropriate.

We hope everyone has a good time here and shares in the joy of reading and writing–Thank you, the editorial team.

Keep a look out for a post about coming events such as an artist contest and the bi-monthly theme, which will be replacing the weekly prompts.

8 reasons why a Writer should join twitter. On the shortest day of the year a celebration of writing short

Bridget Whelan offers great reasons for why a writer should join Twitter. It’s not just to promote your writing. Perhaps, more importantly, it’s to build community.


I know writers and readers who embrace every kind of social media but still can’t stand the thought of twitter. I wrote this two years ago on another blog and I still think it’s true…
1) You exercise your writing and editing skills. It’s hard being pithy and witty in 140 characters
2) You can find out what’s happening in the publishing industry – many (most?) publishing houses, editors, publicists and some agents tweet.
Leading London agent Carole Blake (author of From Pitch to Publication) tweets. Chances are your favourite contemporary author tweets.
3) Feel part of it – I once got tweets from a dinner table at the Booker. It was fun to know what everyone was eating or being too nervous to eat (lamb) and who won before it was on the news.
4) Make contacts and friends
5) Increase your blog readership
6) Promote your writing…

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Writing and Personality: The Introvert Within

I’ve been thinking a lot about my personality type lately.  I’ve had the unhappy realization that even in a virtual world, I’m still an introvert.  It may be easier to project myself as an extrovert, as someone who thrives on being with large groups of people, but it ain’t the truth about me.  My favorite face-to-face social events tend to be one-on-one encounters, such as a long lunch with one close friend.  My limit is a dinner party of four, where I am one of the four.  At the young age of 55, I started to finally embrace the introvert that is me after I read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  For the first time in my life, I felt that my introversion was more “normal” than my society wanted me to believe.

But then I reentered the blogosphere and now I have a wide circle of blogging acquaintances, many of whom have become friends that I’ve grown to care about deeply.  I value each one of these new friendships, and yet I still experience that paralyzing feeling I get when I feel multiple demands for my attention.  Like when I open my Gmail account and see 200 new blog posts all wanting and deserving my attention.  These are not people speaking directly to me all at once, but the sensation is the same.  I feel overwhelmed and then I shut down.

So yesterday morning, upon discovering that for some reason WordPress is not sending me the daily digests of the blogs I follow as I requested, I turned to my Facebook page.  I started with Candace Johnson at Change It Up Editing and Writing Services who had shared Lauren Sapala’s blog post on making time to write.  [That is an excellent post, by the way.]  From there, I saw another post Lauren had written called Know Your Type, and Then Sit Down to Write.  Well, there we go.  I was familiar with Jung’s personality test (also referred to the Myers-Briggs test).  [Disclaimer:  what is online is an abridged version of the actual test, and there is some controversy about it.  Still, it’s fun to take and can be very insightful.]  And, true to my introverted self, I love taking tests.  You can take the test here.

I’ve taken this test in the past and as I’ve matured, my scores have changed slightly.  What has not changed is the first letter of the score:  “I” for Introvert.  This morning’s test revealed me to be an ISFJ:  Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging.  To be more specific, I have strong preferences of introversion over extroversion by 89%; sensing over intuition by 12%; feeling over thinking by 38%; and judging over perceiving by 44%.  Over the years, I seem to have become more sensing than intuitive, but my other “preferences” have changed little.  So what’s an introvert like me to do?

I’m not about to retreat into the quiet cocoon of anonymity just because I get a little overwhelmed now and then.  I just need to relearn and pay attention to my limits.  I would never turn back the clock on my blogging, for the friends I’ve gained have enriched my life beyond my imagination.  Not only has my growth as a writer accelerated in the last few months due to the support of my blogging friends, but so has my self-confidence in general.  In my real physical world, I have a handful of friends that I feel comfortable enough with to be fully myself.  It’s a stark, finite number that, while I enjoy solitude, still leaves me uneasy.  Is it me that is incapable of having more than two good friends?  Or is it my immediate physical world that is incapable of accepting me as I am?

In my real virtual world, the number seems infinite.  I am friends with people I never would have met except for the blogosphere, people who live in the U.S. and Canada but also far-flung countries like Australia, Latvia, Italy, Egypt.  For an introvert like myself, this is nothing short of amazing.  For an introvert, this could only happen through writing.

July Camp NaNoWriMo


Hello, my fellow bloggers and blogettes! As many of you know, I am again throwing caution to the wind and entering another Camp NaNoWriMo writing challenge! I did one in April and was successful. That is, I reached my goal of 50 thousand words and actually had a beginning, middle, and end to the novel I was working on. Whether the novel is successful (i.e., readable) is another issue.

Because I’ve made this commitment (and I know a number of you probably think I should be committed), my presence in the blogosphere will be spotty over the next 30 days. Not only have I challenged myself with another 50 thousand words, but I have cabin mates this time. My dear friend, Patti Hall over at 1WritePlace, is a cabin mate. She and a few other mates are already ahead of me in word count and it’s only been one effing day! (Of course, Patti’s snoring kept me up most of the night. I’ll either have to sleep outside or put a pillow over her head.)

Anyway, I digress (as usual … and that’s my secret to winning NaNoWriMos … I digress a lot). I won’t be going totally off the radar, but just wanted to give everyone notice in case you miss me. (And you ask, “how can I miss you if you won’t go away” …. one of my favorite songs from Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks).

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award

I have been honored with another award!  This one–the Liebster Award–comes from Olivia Stocum of The Claymor and Surcoat blog.  As an Irish friend in Latvia would say, “You like me, you really like me!” The rules of this award are simple (but lengthy):  first, thank the person who honored me (Thank you, Olivia!), list  11 unknown facts about myself, and answer 11 questions. Then choose 11 nominees and give them 11 new questions to answer.  I will endeavor to abide by the rules, although I am known for cheating 🙂

11 Unknown Facts About Me:

  1. My life is an open book (no, wait, you all already knew that)
  2. I love cats (whoops! I think most of you have figured that out too)
  3. I’m married (no surprise there!)
  4. I have two graduate degrees:  one in English and one in Social Work (ok, now we’re getting somewhere)
  5. My hair is not naturally straight (boring)
  6. But it is naturally gray (boring)
  7. My mom is one of 12 (makes for a lot of cousins)
  8. I brake for turtles (and move them out of the road because they take forever to cross)
  9. I once had a pet raccoon named Bartholomew (actually, he belonged to a boyfriend but we both raised him until he mysteriously died)
  10. I drove a ’66 Dodge van cross-country in 1978 (totally out of character)
  11. I like snakes (just not in my house)

Answer 11 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite vacation destination and why?  San Francisco, CA, because I used to live there.  It’s also where my husband and I met and started our life together.
  2. What’s your favorite book? Book as in singular?  No can do.  I can’t pick just one.  I’ve enjoyed too many and they all speak to me in different ways, from Dickens’ Bleak House to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones to Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake to George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
  3. What do you like on pizza? Veggies with a little pesto sauce to taste
  4. Do you have a favorite song? Again, singular?  Depends on my mood, but I can say that B.B. King is The Man 😉
  5. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Establish trusts for my grandniece and grandnephews; buy a home in the San Francisco Bay Area; and partition the rest to ensure that we can live comfortably for the rest of our lives (yes, I know, that was terribly boring)
  6. What was your favorite pet?  Don’t tell the other cats, but it was Mikey, my orange kitty (RIP)
  7. If you had a time machine, where would you go? I’d stay put.  If I go back in time, I’m afraid I’ll get marked as a witch.  If I go forward, my worst fears might be realized.
  8. Do you wish I would stop asking so many questions? Now that you’ve mentioned it, yes 🙂
  9. If you found a magic lamp and was given three wishes, what would they be?  Love, Happiness and Good Health for everyone
  10. How many cups of coffee do you drink in one day? A 12-ounce mug during the work week, maybe twice that on weekends.  Most times I drink Earl Grey.
  11. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully back on the West Coast.

Now for the 11 nominees:

11 Questions for the Nominees (if they choose to answer):

  1. Are you a spy?
  2. What has to happen for you to say you had a perfect writing day?
  3. If you won a two-week all-expenses-paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  4. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  5. Do you have a master plan to take over the world?
  6. Who do you think should inherit the earth and why?
  7. If you had the funds to design your perfect writing space, what would it look like?
  8. What is your favorite animal (wild or domesticated)?
  9. Where did you hide the money?
  10. Have you ever been in a witness protection program?
  11. Do you think I’m crazy? (trick question)

Unseen Friends

An eloquent tribute to our friends in the ether.

Legends of Windemere

They live close to our heart
Though we have never met
Friends from the ether
Connected by words
Read off the screen

Somehow we found each other
And decided to hang out
Creating bonds of virtual light
That dot the social landscape
Of the world of cyberspace

We share our pains and joys
Console the grieving and the sick
As if the distance is not there
Celebrate victories and milestones
With the sincerity of friendship

A family of the unseen
Is what many have become
Joined in words upon the screen
Which is enough
To forge friendships strong and pure


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It’s never the work of one…

It’s Awards Time!

I have to pinch myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m dreaming. I am a shy, sensitive introvert: someone who doesn’t make friends easily, someone who feels more comfortable with furry four-legged critters than people. I’m often inclined to think that people have more reason to not like me, than to like me. That’s just part of who I am. But since I’ve been blogging, I’ve been showered with awards from people I have never met. All I’ve done is commented on and liked your posts, followed your blogs, and tried to give support for your writing and other ventures when I can. And in return I get these awards.

Super-Sweet Award

Super-Sweet Award

Earlier this week, RunningToHerDreams honored me with the Super Sweet Blogger Award, my second one! And she is herself a super sweet and inspiring person, so please visit her blog.

Then Briana Vedsted created a new award and I’m among the first to be honored!


Now for the Rules:
Post a picture of the award somewhere on your blog.
List five things that make you happy.
Choose 5 people to nominate who have been a virtual shoulder to cry on, checked in on you when they knew things were rough, or has always been there for you.
Comment on their blogs to thank them and let them know you nominated you.

Things that make me happy:

1. My husband (OK, he’s not a thing but he’s the first and last and in-between in my happiness)
2. When any of my cats curl up on my lap
3. Giving hand-knitted gifts to friends
3. Writing
4. Reading
5. This community of bloggers

Briana already gave the award to two of my favorite bloggers, so here a few more of my favorites.

My nominees:

Thank you again, Briana and RunningToHerDreams, and a big hug to everyone who has supported me and my writing.

Our First Post!

First post on the new Community Storyboard blog run by Ionia Martin and friends. Visit, read, like, submit, and repeat 🙂

The Community Storyboard

Sunset & Sky 165

Hey everyone! Welcome to the Community Story Board! This is our first post ever:) It is my honest hope that we can make this a fun place for everyone to share their ideas and individual literary expression. The following is a group poem written by (in order of contribution)  petitemagique  Ionia Martin
Mohamed Ossama
Charles Yallowitz


Broken, yet again.
Smashed into pieces, devastated
Left alone in the dark, beyond repair
Painfully lost, feelings annihilated

Giving up, no more
Lost the fight, strength has crumbled
Maybe for good this time
Ripped apart, courage scrambled

Twisting, coiling, burning
turning me outside in
a silent viper of regret
confirming all my sins

Darkness creeping, crawling
until my soul is lost
forever falling weightless
no matter the cost

Thinking musing deeply,
wondering if I’m really dead.
Oblivious to the fact
that I’m just lying awake in bed.

Heart is pumping blood,

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