Friday, March 20, 2009

Fear of pushing buttons

It's 12 days until my first online course for writers, "The Project Bible," starts. So, I decide to test that feature on my Web site, the one where I can send an e-mail to those who signed onto the site. I found the "form," wrote my e-mail, moved the cursor to the "send" button, and paused, finger on hold as, flashing before my eyes were all the times I hit the button and glitches sprang up. The warning menues. The bleeps-- and -- anxiety squeezed my throat with a death grip. How can a person like me allow me, who began computing with a Commodore 64, be cowed by a modern computer? Easy. Fear of the unknown. Does it every time. Okay, add to that the fact that my computer guru, who has the answer to just about everything when it comes to websites, is on vacation until mid-April. If something does go haywire, I've got no help to fix it.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I took a deep breath and with a trembling index finger hit the send button.

Nothing happened. No warnings. No bleeps. Then the words scrolled into view: "Email sent."

Whew! I can breathe again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Honored Again

To my surprize, I have again been honored by being selected for the Pennwriters Meritorius Service Award. The first time I was selected was in 2008. Of course there are three other candidates with impressive records of service to the organization. But, as I said last year, win or lose, it truly is an honor to be considered for this award.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Project Bible Online Course

I am excited to announce that I will be giving my very first online course for writers, "The Project Bible," hosted by Pennwriters Inc.

What is a Project Bible? It is an individualized and customized guide for developing and creating short stories, novellas, and novels from start to finish, regardless of genre. It allows a writer to be more creative, generate cleaner copy, and stay on track to consistently complete marketable fiction. It does not require outlining or following a method or system. Having and using a Project Bible means:

* no more false starts
* no more going off on tangents
* no more losing control of the plot
* no more dead-ending half way through the project
* no more mistakes or confusion that result in endless revisions and rewrites

This eight-session course is based on the workshop I have done at writers' conferences. The course runs April 1 through April 29, 2009 and the cost is $25 for Pennwriters members and $30 for non-members. As an added bonus, those taking the course receive three FREE "Cheat Sheets."

Details of the course and how to sign up for it can be found at:

Catherine McLean

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Online Courses for 2009

I'm giving the following online courses in 2009:

April 1 through 29 - "The Project Bible" Creating a unique-to-the-writer reference and resources to enhance creativity and provide essential information for generating any type of fiction (short story, novella, novels--even creative nonfiction).

September 2009 "Cause & Effect Sequences" deals with action and motivational sequences needed to keep the plot flowing and the story believable for the reader.

Both are hosted by Pennwriters and open to the public (there is a reduced fee for Pennwriters members). To register go to, choose "Courses" then choose "online courses."