Monday, November 30, 2009


I'd like to thank Katherine for inviting me to join Writers Rising. I'm a 44 (as of December) year old writer who has been steadily creating since I learned how to write. My first writing implement was an Olympia manual typewriter; I learned how to use it in junior high from Mr. McAffee, an eccentric and often frightening South American gentleman who had the tendency to shout out "Heil Hitler!" just to see if everyone was paying attention.

My second writing tool was a Smith-Corona electric colored a sort of greenish brown. It had no brain whatsoever - no memory, no special effects. To make corrections you backspace, switch over to the correction ribbon, and type over the mistake. The letters were often out of line. I kind of wish I still had that typewriter - it presented such a beat-up and impressionistic typeface, it would be pretty retro-cool from a contemporary design point of view.

My third writing tool was one of the first line Macintosh home computers that I used when I was at my then-girlfriend's apartment - this was about 1985 or so. It was sort of mind-bending seeing my words appear on what looked like a black and white TV. The novelty wore off as soon as the relationship fell apart, and I went back to scribbling in journals like a proper poet should.

After some experimentation with borrowed memory typewriters and at one point an elderly S-C manual in a suitcase like journalists used to use (it had a blocky modernist font I think designers would kill to get their hands on now) which I had purchased from a yard sale, I got back to working on a Mac SE for the next few years. When that went the way of the dinosaur I hopscotched through a number of PCs, and there are great many .doc files from those years that are floating around somewhere, probably on 2 1/4" floppy disks.

At the moment I am communicating with you via my refurbished Macbook 15" running OS X v. 10.5.8. It's fairly close to the point of having outlived its usefulness, but I have little income to speak of at the moment and none to direct toward a newer machine.

I've got an awful lot of work done on this machine. I think it's because it's so easy. It's ergonomically easy, it's technologically easy, and since it was used I got it at a very competitive price. I've typed poems, songs, murder mysteries, horror, erotica, resumes, cover letters, emails to my mother, complaint letters, everything imaginable on this machine. It seems fairly advanced now, but I smile thinking of how we'll view these machines ten years from now. Things are going to be so different then I think we'll barely recognize ourselves.

Feel free to write in comments here about writing machines you've used over the years, what you're using now, and what you plan or hope to be using in the future.

Thanks again for making me a part of your group!

- Erik

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hello from Down Under

Ooooh how exciting.
I am officially a contributor!
I could be really cheesy now and say... G'day
But I won't.
My real name is Sharni Montgomery - Sharnanigans is the name of my upcoming website and freelance writing business.
I am stoked to be part of this group.
Thank-you Katherine for having me as a contributor.
I am from a small town in Country NSW in Australia.
I am passionate about writing.
I lived in Sydney for a number of years where I worked for the Sydney Morning Herald .
I worked in an advertising role, however just before I left for the 'One Horse Town" (my nickname for where I live) I had 2 stories published.
One was a little crazy (my pre: settle down a little days) I answered share accommodation advertisements in the paper as a means to find love!
Click here to read
The other was an interview with an Australian rock singer - Jon Stevens.
Since leaving Sydney life has turned on it's head.
I met and fell in love with a farmer - we took off to Vietnam to teach English - but discovered we were pregnant and came home!
It has been a blessing - since becoming a Mother I have started my blog The Chronicles of Sharnia which I am absolutely passionate about.
It has given me a creative outlet as well as allowed me to meet many inspirational writers - that I begrudged not being able to meet in my town - hello cyberspace!
I am in process of having website design - and I hope to interview inspiring people on my here and make a real dent in the cyber world (ambitious! yes!) and I will continue writing the chronicles of my life.
I love being part of a writing group as I love to empower and be empowered by talented writers.
Thanks for having me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gathering Contributors

Hello Everyone! While it would be nice if each of the Writers Rising members could be part of a small group of Writers Rising members, we realize that forming a group may be difficult. This is especially true for those living in a one-horse town. So, if it's possible to form a "live" writing group in your community, that's great. If it's not possible, this virtual online group will serve you well. The point here is to share writing and projects and to get feedback. People who have formed groups can share their own group experience. This blog was set up to be a collaborative way to share writing and writing experiences. Right now, there are two contributors listed on this blog. If you are interested in being a contributor on this site, please leave a comment at the end of this blog and including your name, blog URL and e-mail. Your information will not be posted, but will go to me directly. We want to start with about 20 contributors. Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Writers Rising: About Us

I'm very excited to share with you the first chapter of the organization Writers Rising. We started out as three co-workers with a passion for writing. For the past 6 months we've been meeting every other week. These meetings have been so inspirational and are part of why I keep writing my book. We don't just meet and read our writing to each other. We encourage each other, we share information, we make plans of action on where we are going to submit our writing, we collaborate, we do collages, we eat, we laugh and we have a very good time!

This group is not just about writing. It's about empowering each other. When we leave at the end of the meeting we all feel so much energy and inspiration. I was so inspired I decided to create this blog so that other people who are interested in creating  Writers Rising chapters in their community can do the same. It is best if these groups are small. We find that having three people in a group is perfect. It's just enough people to give constructive feedback without feeling our time is too divided with too many things to read.

Another reason why I created this blog is so that other people who have formed Writers Rising groups can contribute to this blog. This blog will be for Writers Rising members to share their writing, book samples, short stories, etc. The idea is for each chapter to meet in their community, but to have support for the larger group of Writers Rising members. If you are interested in forming a Writers Rising group, please let me know and I'll send information on what we do. Once you form a Writers Rising group and start having regular meetings, I will add you as contributors to this blog so that we can share our writing here and support each other.

In our last meeting, we decided to do a collage. We didn't have a theme for this collage, but since we did it in the writing group it seemed to depict where we were with our writing and our intentions. This was a stream of consciousness activity where we were using the right side of our brains. In the past, I have done similar collages and put them aside only to discover them later and find that many things I had collaged had actually come true in my life. There was a lot of energy built up while we were in this process. Here are some pictures of our collage activity:

I have to admit that I previewed my stack of magazines before my friends arrived at my house and thought there was nothing interesting for us to create from these. Later when the process started, pictures and images literally jumped out the pages. It was a very interesting process. Here's my collage:

After I completed my collage, I tried not to read too much into it. I hung it in my office and left it alone. I do believe there was something to this and I feel inspiration when I see it. I'm looking forward to sharing more Writers Rising events and happenings with you and we may have some of our groups writing displayed soon. Stay tuned for's only going to get better!!

For more information on my book Lessons from the Monk I Married you can check out my blog entitled: