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THE WRITE STUFF: Official Newsletter of Word Journeys Inc. and Robert Yehling

V 20, N 1 • January, 2016

Celebrating 20 Years of Serving Authors, Publishers & The Written Word 


Welcome to the 20th anniversary of Word Journeys, Inc. In 1996, I started the company to provide editorial services to magazines and corporate publications. Soon, my goals and the company shifted into the book world, where we have camped since 1999, providing writing, ghostwriting, editing, marketing, promotion, and publicity consulting services to authors, editors, agents, and publishers. We will provide this newsletter of stories, links, and specials to our Google + readers, and mailing list. We cover everything concerning the works of Robert Yehling, Word Journeys clients, and related publishing activities and events. Beginning in February, past issues will be archived on our website, www.wordjourneys.com.


2016: The Year of the Writer

We’re declaring 2016 the year of the writer, and are re-releasing a pair of books to commemorate: The Write Time: 366 Exercises to Fulfill Your Writing Life; and Writes of Life: Using Personal Experiences in Everything You Write. Both books are being published in second edition by Open Books Press of Bloomington, IN. The Write Time is now available, while Writes of Life will soon be available for pre-order on Amazon.com, and will be published in mid-April.

The Write Time features a different exercise for every day of the year — and a story to enhance it. All genres and styles are covered. This is perfect jump-start material if you’re stuck or just need some fresh creative juice. Used in writing conferences, colleges, high schools, and by many published authors. Links to more than 125 top writing and reading websites. http://amzn.to/1O2skaG

Robert Yehling, Martha Brookhart Halda to appear on Write NOW! TV show

Robert Yehling and Martha Brookhart Halda will talk about the writing life, and how they’ve collaborated, on Write NOW!, a TV program in Orange County, CA. The show will air Friday, January 22. Yehling will discuss his various works, while Halda will talk about the German launch of A Taste of Eternity, her remarkable story, and the book’s forthcoming release in the United States. The show hosts are author/publisher Charles Redner, and Judy Saxon.

Just Add Water a Finalist for Dolly Gray Literature Award

Just Add Water is a finalist for the Dolly Gray Literature Award, given to the top family-oriented book with autism themes. It joins ten other finalists for the prestigious award, which is followed by all of the autism organizations and schools. The ceremony is January 25 in Tampa, FL. For more information: http://daddcec.org/Awards/DollyGrayAwards.aspx

The Hummingbird Review: Michael Blake, E.E. King, memoirists featured

The writing of personal story serves as a theme of the winter-spring edition of The Hummingbird Review, now available through bookstores and online. Featured contributors include the late Academy Award-winning Dances With Wolves author/screenwriter Michael Blake, fictionist-poet and Ray Bradbury protégé E.E. King, novelist W. Thompson Ong, Beat-era poet Michael C. Ford, an interview with guided autobiography facilitator Sheri Kohlmann, and the first excerpt of Martha Halda’s memoir A Taste of Eternity to be published in English. Plus more than 60 poems and essays from a dozen nations. Just $10. Order yours! http://amzn.to/1VohQIp

Appearance at Just Add Water at L.A. Times Festival of Books

Robert Yehling will be discussing the development and writing of Just Add Water at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, the nation’s second largest book festival, which takes place April 9-10 on the USC campus in Los Angeles. He will be signing both after the presentation and in a booth on-site. In 2015, more than 150,000 attended the event. Stay tuned for more details. http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/


  • Brandon Cruz, star of the smash late 1960s/early 1970s sitcom The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and I are shopping a pair of titles we’ve been developing for a year, one The Courtship of Eddie, his memoir; and the other a deep look at his work as one of the nation’s foremost alcohol-addiction recovery specialists. Both books are packed with powerful, emotional stories, messages of great hope, and Brandon’s entertaining storytelling style, laced with his sharp wit and insights. Stay tuned…
  • Cracked, Not Broken author Kevin Hines had quite a thrill on January 9, when he spoke at a White House conference on men’s health. Kevin is busily preparing a documentary about his story and speaking engagements worldwide; look for a second book by 2017. http://amzn.to/1Gle6Sf
  • Jeff Emmerson’s long-awaited book, Beyond ADHD, is making the publishing rounds through agent Dana Newman. Emmerson looks beyond the conventional ADHD protocols in this riveting work that combines personal story and the insights of more than 20 medical, neurological, and therapeutic experts. Its findings are not only revolutionary — but potentially transformative. View his Beyond ADHD blog at http://bit.ly/1Rk2lCt
  • Motocross racing fans of a certain age… Remember Gary Wells, the racing and jumping phenom of the 1970s and 1980s? The man who routinely outjumped Evel Knievel for years? As Gary celebrates his 60th birthday this year, his story, Closure, is on its way to publication, thanks to author Tyler Anderson, himself a champion racer. This is a no-holds-barred biography at the up and down sides of America’s love affair with one prodigy and his prowess on a bike, during the biggest 15-year period in U.S. motorcycle racing history. https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=gary%20wells%20closure



How Just Add Water Was Written: Behind the Scenes Story: http://wp.me/p8UUi-hB


Kristen Lamb’s Blog is annually selected one of the Top 100 writers blogs by Writer’s Digest. Not only is it packed with resourceful materials for writers, but readers will delight in all of its behind-the-scenes features. This is a MUST blog to add to your blogroll. https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com


Service: 20% off editing of your next book! We’ll bring your manuscript to a publish-ready polish, as we have done with more than 150 others. All genres. Email ryehling@wordjourneys.com. Through Feb. 29.

Product: $5 off hard-cover, signed copies of Just Add Water: A Surfing Savant’s Journey with Asperger’s, the biography of autistic surfing great Clay Marzo. Shipped direct from author. Email: ryehling@wordjourneys.com. Through Jan. 31.


“Reach into your bookshelf and grab twenty titles of any kind. Read the first paragraphs of each, quickly and in succession. What pops out? What really grabs your eye? How did the writer grab you? Now return to your work, and in the spirit of what you have just read and compared, make your sentences pop and snap.” — From The Write Time, by Robert Yehling


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A Great Time for The Written Word

What a week for poetry, spoken word, and the greater cause of literature. Last weekend, I had the distinct honor of coordinating, co-producing and emceeing The Hummingbird Review Poetry Revue, an afternoon of readings from seven current and future contributors to The Hummingbird Review, the literary anthology that I edit.

Then, a few nights later, I joined Hummingbird Review producer Charlie Redner, Dances With Wolves author Michael Blake and San Diego spoken word favorite Maggi DeRosa, author of The Fool Is King, in a spirited and wonderful hour-long discussion about poetry and the written word to a global listening audience on WorldStreams Radio. If you didn’t hear the show live, you can right now: click on the link and enjoy!

The live reading was fantastic. Held at Vista (CA) City Library, nearly 100 people came to the event, which also featured a splendid open mic by our hosts, Dick Eiden and the Sunset Poets, as well as a four-page program that Millennium Media Masters and The Hummingbird Review published for the occasion. During the open mic, Hummingbird Review publisher Charlie Redner and I kept glancing at each other; several of the poets that read can expect phone calls or emails from us. We want your poems for the next issue! Of particular note: Sunset Poets co-director Clifford King’s “Buffalo,” which he read directly to a man who knows something about buffaloes, Michael Blake. I’m still tingling over that honoring moment.

Our all-star cast represented not only four different writing genres, but the literary, cinema and music worlds as well. Leading the way were our headliners, Michael Blake and American Haiku magazine co-founder Don Eulert. Michael read his moving poem “Horse Number 1202,” then talked about his 20 years of work to restore and save buffaloes and wild horses, including the bid to establish a “Buffalo Commons” for native wild animals to inhabit on some of the 250 million acres of public land in the West. He finished by showing the wonderful artwork accompanying his new novel, Into the Stars, which releases Monday, Nov. 1.

Don read a yearlong cycle of full moon poems from his haiku masterpiece, Field: A Haiku Circle.” His 55 years of poetry writing experience shimmered in every word he uttered as she shared poems of love, nature, social reality and a highlight of the day — donning a full coyote pelt to read a pair of coyote poems, one by the great poet Gary Snyder, who sent along greetings to his old friend.

Our third renowned reader was John Doe, best known as the lead singer/songwriter/bass guitarist for the legendary Los Angeles punk-rockabilly band X. John’s poetry centered on themes of the west, love, challenge and horses, and reflect the same well-chosen, clear languaging that has made him one of the best lyricists of the past 30 years. He also let a cat out of the bag: X will be touring on the West Coast during the holiday season, so check for dates. Also, look for John’s work in the next issue of The Hummingbird Review.

Much of the day’s accolades went to Maggi DeRosa, the San Diego open mic and spoken word favorite who delivered a tour de force of poems from her collection, The Fool Is King, and newer material. Maggi sprinkled four- and five-line poems among larger works, and showcased part of The Hummingbird Review’s purpose: to present works by great young poets whose voices need an international stage.

We had a momentous occasion, as The Hummingbird Review publisher Charlie Redner read a selection of his works and others, including material from Luis Alberto Urrea and Robert Wrigley. For Charlie, a late convert to poetry, it was his first public reading — and he rocked.

Our other guest reader was Alwyn Martin, the 2009 Southern California Writers Conference writing award winner, whose read from her short story “Pete’s Van.” Alwyn is working on a novel, Stories & Cigarettes, that will be published in 2011 or 2012. I’ve heard excerpts of this book — it’s fantastic. Alwyn also read the frontispiece poem from the second issue of The Hummingbird Review, Martin Espada’s “The Republic of Poetry.”

In addition to emceeing the event, I snuck in a few poems from my Shades of Green, Coyotes in Broad Daylight and The River-Fed Stone collections: “Paths on a Face,” “Strings of Wisdom,” “No Longer a Boy Wonder,” and “The Muse Will Not Be Harnessed.” I also read poet-musician Joy Harjo’s immortal poem, “The Eagle’s Prayer.” Joy will be featured in the next issue of The Hummingbird Review.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be uploading video from all seven featured readers onto YouTube and three websites: http://www.hummingbirdreview.com, http://www.wordjourneys.com and http://www.millenniummediamasters.com.  Be sure to check it out: as readings go, this was tip-top.

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