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Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Online Writers Conference

I love to pass along frugal opportunities for writers to learn more about their craft and about promotion. I am doubly pleased to let you know about this absolutely free opportunity because I'll be conducting two seminars. Do know that all are writers are welcome. All the information you need to register is at today.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Your frequent MWSA blogger and contributor

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valentines Promo Idea for Military Writers

As many of you know, my grandson is back now from two tours of duty in Iraq and is now stationed (very luckily) near Monterrey, CA. Thus, the plight of our troops is a subject near and dear to my heart. My poetry writing partner Magdalena Ball and I are giving away e-copies of our chapbook of unconventional love poetry Cherished Pulse to 'our' troops overseas as part of Operation e-book drop. We hope it will help them celebrate our holiday of love and express our love to them. We figured that MWSA members would want to do the same with their books. Find the links and more information at

If you prefer to send a real copy to someone, that is easy, too. It is only $6.95 on Amazon, certainly a doable gift. (The Amazon Link is in this post.) It makes a really beautiful gift with Vicki Thomas’s artwork and you can make it even prettier by tying a slender satin ribbon in the book's crease as a bookmark. Go to .

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence. Find it at Her novel, collection of creative nonfiction and much of her poetry is informed by interest in leading the world toward acceptance of one another. Find her web page dedicated to tolerance at If your Twitter followers would be interested, please pass this on to them using this widget:

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Friday, January 15, 2010

MWSA Book Review Workshop Slide Show

Authors, Poets! Unite for Haiti

This just came to me from Lillian Cauldwell. She is sponsoring a way for authors, poets and other artists to contribute spiritually and financially to Haiti:

On Saturday, January 16, Lillian Cauldwell is sponsoring a Mixed Media event at PIVTR LIVE airwaves to raise monies for the Haitian children.

Programming runs from 2 to 4 p.m. est . Spots are 10 minutes!!

Please reserve a spot to recite poetry, read a short-short story, sing a song or sing-along with me, tell jokes, share a thought or opinion to help raise monies for these kids who are hungry, in need of medical care, clothing, water and the basic necessities especially if they're parnets are missing or died.

All proceeds go to Mission Socorro. (More on how Mission Socorro will use the proceeds below).

Contact Info: Lillian Cauldwell; 734-827-9407;

"Creator" Cauldwell
Voices of the People - United We Roar!

This is information on the organization to which Mission Socorro sends its donations for the Haitian children.

Bethany International is responding to the tragedy in Haiti in several ways. We will send our first relief team to Haiti in six weeks. Two more teams will follow. We welcome you to join one of these teams.

What to Do?
Bethany now oversees a ministry called Short-Term Evangelical Missions (STEM). STEM has sent 115 teams to Haiti over its 20-year history. In light of this, we believe we have a very good awareness of where the teams can go and what they can do once they are in Haiti.

You can learn more about the teams here:

No Gift Too Small
A second way to become involved is through a financial gift. Team members, while they raise their own support for the trip, will need materials and supplies. This will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. You can make an online gift today toward this relief effort. To do this, go to Gifts to the Haiti Relief Initiative are the last option.

Bethany International
6820 Auto Club Road, Suite M, Bloomington, MN 55438

If you are interested in donating to an organization likely to get out immediate relief, you can also easily donate to one of my favorites, The Clinton Foundation.

Posted by your MWSA blogger Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and blogging writers resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website pick

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MWSA Book Review Workshop

Why I Do It-- A Message from a MWSA Officer

I received an e-mail today with "Why I Do It" it in the subjct line. In it I found a poem from our MWSA Vice President. I know he won't mind my sharing it with you.

Shock and Awe

Shock and awe have been used to describe aerial war.
To me those words mean something much more.
They describe what comes over me at certain times.
They tell of my emotions, all bound up inside.

So often I hear stories told by some war’s warrior.
I regularly ingest their fear and absolute terror.
What they have done dwarfs my own meager duty.
I am in awe of them no matter their humility.

Emotionally my understanding is the mission.
As I listen I curl up safe in a fetal position.
I have done just enough to see and understand.
My own contribution pales by comparison.

I close my eyes as one tells of in-coming rounds.
I can hear him and remember those sounds.
Hot shrapnel flies in the air, dripping blood behind.
The images are here and now in my own mind.

He tells of the voices, screams in the fearful dark.
The pain he recalls is so vivid and very stark.
Calls for medics, bandages and cursing all delays
Tear at his heart strings, his nerves are frayed.

I feel with him as he searches for muzzle flashes.
The rounds continue to rain, bombs crashing.
In may be only minutes or even seconds of hell
But the time was eternal as our warriors fell.

It is my hand pressuring the bandaged wound.
My ears hear the blood hitting the ground.
My heart is pounding as fear dictates my pulse.
Let me live one more day is the shouted result!

It is his story but in shock and awe I absorb his tale.
It must be shared and in this I will not fail.
I do not have much to say of what I did back then.
But now I must tell about truly heroic men.

In my few months I did enough to comprehend.
The valor and work of many will never end.
Some died but many lived, keeping history inside.
As long as allowed, their tales I will confide.

In my mind, in a fetal position on emotional defense,
I will know where they were and go where they went.
I am safe; it is not me under attack, living in their hell.
I can share their words, feeling what they all felt.

How do you tell about the smell of decaying flesh?
How do you avoid keeping memories this fresh?
How do you tell of the sounds of too late mercy?
Forgetting, failing them, is our country’s heresy.


Michael D. "Moon" Mullins, author of "Vietnam in Verse, poetry for beer drinkers." "ViV" won the Gold Medal for poetry, 2007, from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA). The book is available on line from Amazon, B&N, and B-a-M book stores.
It is available as an audio-book exclusively from the author. Please contact me at this e-mail address; or via land mail at POB 456 Windfall, In. 46076.
Vietnam Veteran, Delta 3/7, 199th Light Infantry, '68-'69.
Vice President of the MWSA. One dollar from either version goes to the Wounded Warrior Project.


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Thursday, January 7, 2010

MWSA January 2010 Newsletter

MWSA January 2010 Newsletter

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Richard Lowry's Blog