Folsom's 93

The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men


Pre-Order Folsom’s + A Writing Planner Giveaway

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You can pre-order a copy of Folsom’s 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison’s Executed Men, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble due for release July 1, 2013. Yes, I realize that’s still a ways away, but I wanted to show that this book really does exist; that I haven’t been making all this up. But feel free to pre-order a copy to make it truly official.

My friend and fellow writer, Patricia Stoltey, is giving away a copy of the NCW Writing Planner that myself and Kerrie Flanagan, director of the NCW, have created. In between writing, I do illustration and this is the second year in a row I’ve created images for this planner. (You can see more of my work HERE). Pat is an amazing author and has published two mystery novels with several more in the works. I encourage you to check out her great site that is filled with book reviews, author interviews, and writing tips.

2013 Planner Cover


Top of the Mountain Book Award

As contest coordinator, I’m thrilled to announce the Northern Colorado Writers are now accepting submissions for the 2nd annual Top of the Mountain Book Award. The contest is open unpublished works of fiction, creative/narrative nonfiction, and nonfiction. The contest is open until march 1, 2013. Winners receive a $100 and a framed certificate, as well as recognition at the NCW Conference April 26, 2013. Get the submission guidelines HERE and good luck!

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The writing planner is here!

The 2012 writing planner is finally here! Actually, it came together surprisingly fast. After doing 13 illustrations in a month, it’s great to see them all together in a finished product. You can order one for $13.95 and pick it up at the NCW Studio or $18 if you need it shipped. It feels great getting back into illustration, but the planner is hopefully going to help me write and stay on track so I can finish Folsom’s 93.

Alice in Wonderland

Peter Pan

Life of Pi

Kerrie Flanagan (creator of the planner) and I hope that it will help writers set and accomplish their goals. Kerrie even added a Submission Tracker page in the back. If you live in the Fort Collins area, stop by the NCW Studio on Friday, November 25th and Saturday, the 26th from 9-3 for the annual Holiday Mart. There will be lots of handcrafted items and food, as well as journals featuring a few of the planner’s illustrations.

Have a great Thanksgiving!


Art-Inspired Writing

Earlier this week, I ran a workshop at the Northern Colorado Writers on how art can help inspire a writer, whether it’s a story idea, character sketch, poem, or flash fiction. I grew up with a love for writing and art and found myself as an art major in college. I also owned and operated a greeting card company for ten years. You could say that I’m trying to make the most of the right side of my brain and I hope to someday get back to a children’s book that I’ve written and illustrated.

Monday’s workshop featured the artwork of Jim Fronapfel, local Fort Collins artist who works mainly in pastels. As the Visual Designer at the NCW, I get the amazing job of finding local artists to display their work in our studio. The moment I saw Jim’s work, I knew it’d be perfect for this workshop. He has this uncanny ability to capture something about his subjects, something that just tells a story. Myself and each of the participants picked one of Jim’s pieces of artwork, and we wrote for 20 minutes. Brave attendees then read what they wrote, followed by Jim describing his own inspiration behind the canvas.

So how do you spot the story in a piece of art?

The Mood. Artists often convey the mood through texture, technique, and color.

  • Texture is the actual surface of the work, or the way the work is represented.Can you see actual texture or is it simulated?
  • Technique shows how a piece of art is created. Does it look quickly drawn?Rough? Or smooth and soft?
  • Color can depict the mood of piece of art. This is often subjective where the same color canmean something different to different viewers. What do the colors say to you?

The Time Period/Setting It may not be obvious what time period the work is depicting. If you can put the subject of the work into a certain setting, such as the Depression, would that evoke a story? Does it help while doing a character sketch?

Find the Genre. Historical fiction? Young adult? Thriller? Poetry? Romance? Horror? Can you see several potential genres in the same picture?

 Online Art Resources for Writers

Art Project by Google:  Explore museums without even leaving your home. Google brings several galleries, including the National Gallery in London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to your computer. Like giving you a street view of your neighborhood, Google does the same of the inside of galleries. View the art as if you’re actually sitting in front of it.

 Art Resource: This site allows you to browse through thousands of pieces of art. Type in a subject matter and the results could yield hundreds, if not thousands of story-inspiring art.

Jim Fronapfel’s site, of course! Click on the image under “Other Works” on the right hand side and you’ll be able to view over a 100 different works of Jim’s that are sure to inspire an essay, poem, character, or story.

While we wrote, Jim spent the time creating a masterpiece on an Etch-A-Sketch:

All I’d be able to do is a really cool set of stairs . . .