Military Writers Society of America Helps Veterans Write

The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) will hold a free writing workshop Thur., Sept. 12, 2019, at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Seasoned writers will present on the topics of storytelling, character, conflict, dialogue, memoir, short story, non-fiction, and editing.

MWSA published authors have conducted veteran-focused workshops over the past five years at VA medical and veteran centers in Phoenix; Waco, Texas; San Antonio; and Charleston, S.C. The goal of the writing workshops has been to help veterans and their families share their stories through a positive writing workshop venue at no cost to attendees.

Jim Tritten, an Albuquerque writer and MWSA board member, will present ideas on how to write short stories. A Navy veteran patient who participates in the medical center’s creative writing program, Tritten has twice won Gold Medals for 1st Place in the annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Tritten said, “Writing short stories has been a natural path to follow as I process my PTSD symptoms and the road to recovery.”

MWSA’s Director of Education Jack W. London started the program in 2014. London, a multiple award-winning author and Army veteran, said, “Writers helping writers. Veterans helping veterans. These workshops focus on the things that all of us need help with – organizing the non-fiction and fiction, story, characters and dialogue, memoir – the things we want to write.”

London continued, “Our faculty have all won awards for their writing, and we do not charge for our workshops. Our reward is the best reward of all: the satisfaction from giving back with our talents to help you with yours.”

The workshops aim to achieve one of MWSA’s organizational purposes “to reach out to reach out to schools, military organizations, and veterans’ groups  and encourage an interest in writing….” In addition to MWSA volunteers London and Tritten, the faculty will include Valerie Ormond, Robin Hutton, Dane Zeller, Jacqueline Loring, Nancy Arbuthnot and Joseph Badal.

Any veteran being treated at any VA hospital or clinic is welcome to attend. In addition, anyone registered for the Joint MWSA/SouthWest Writers (SWW) Conference held Friday, Sept. 13 – Sun., Sept. 14, in Albuquerque may attend. Event organizers request attendees register so they may prepare a sufficient number of books, worksheets, and other handouts. To register for the VA Writing Workshop, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/1247577138714012/.

For additional information about the Military Writers Society of America or the Joint MWSA/SWW Conference, please see http://www.mwsadispatches.com/.

 

About the Military Writers Society of America

The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) exists to help military service members, veterans, their families, supporters, and historians record history and the complexities of military life, and to encourage writing as therapy. The501(c)3 non-profit organization focuses on using the writing of MWSA members to educate the general public, students, and the military community. Learn more at http://www.mwsadispatches.com/.

About the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center

The Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center is part of the New Mexico VA Health Care System and is located at 1501 San Pedro SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. The Medical Center can be reached via telephone at (505)265-1711 or (800)465-8262. For more information on the VA Writing Workshop, please see https://www.facebook.com/events/1247577138714012/.

Leadership – General Colin Powell’s Rules

           I recently spoke to a class of graduating seniors at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland about being a consultant. The instructor said, “It would be nice if you could speak for a few minutes on leadership, too.”

Besides sharing my personal thoughts, I relied on what has worked for me for years: General Colin Powell’s Rules. I first read them when they became popular when General Powell released his first book, My American Journey, in 1995. I understood them immediately and gained a greater understanding of them while reading his book. I posted them on or near my desk or workplace in every job I could and still have a copy on my desk today.

Why? I’ve never found a time where at least one of them has not applied to the situation I faced. Sometimes, more than one applies. They also serve as a powerful reminder of perspective, human nature, and decision making in so many ways. So here they are.

General Colin Powell’s Rules:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done!
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share Credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

I hope these may come in useful to you at some point, and thank you, General Powell, for sharing them with the rest of us.

Photo Credit: Photo illustration by Peggy Frierson

Veteran Writing Services Celebrates Five Years in Business!

Who would have known that the first scribblings of a horse book would turn into Veteran Writing Services, now a a successful company for five years?

As crazy as it sounds, I woke up one night in October 2009 with an idea for a book sparked by an idea from a friend. My supportive husband understood, and I went to the living room and took down notes until early in the morning for what became the outline of my first book, Believing In Horses. I also fortunately had former bosses [Read more…]

Returning Freedom to Those Who Fought for Ours

In honor of the final day of Veterans Month, I share a story I wrote that appeared in the Inside the Gate magazine last month.

Veteran patients from Walter Reed Medical Center didn’t know horses would help them. Gold Star Mothers didn’t realize how equine relationships would evolve. And military families weren’t aware of local horse facilities and the joy they would bring their children. Horses Help Heroes marched in and made a difference. [Read more…]

A Lucky Call to Serve

So excited to share this story featured in the beautiful Sidelines magazine. I had the opportunity to write this story about inspiring young Jessica Groen, her road to the U.S. Air Force Academy, and her special connection with our horse, Lucky. (Click above for full story.)

Lucky also happens to be a central character in books Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too and has appeared in this blog frequently over the years.

Thank you to the Groen family and the Sidelines editorial staff for helping tell this story.

Military Writers – Julia Maki

As I head off to the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Conference, it seems a good time to recognize military writers.
On September 7, I have the privilege of joining award-winning authors Jack Woodville London and Don Helin to conduct the “Writing Your Story” one-day workshop at the Audie Murphy Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Center in San Antonio, Texas. [Read more…]