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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Commitment to Write

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By Laurie Epps

Dear Readers,

I am so sorry that I didn't get my Monday Morning Book Club column up. I've had a lot of family issues come up that demanded my attention, so please continue to come back every week for my column. If you follow my blog, Facebook, or Twitter accounts, you'll find that I'm changing directions a bit professionally. I'm encouraged and enthusiastic for these changes to unfold. Stay tuned to my Keeping Up with Laurie column on Sundays to follow all of that.

However, I will continue to work on the craft of writing both educationally in college and on my writing book column on Mondays. We are still reading along with Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. I hope if you are new, you'll just pick up the book and follow along with us. I'd love to hear your comments and ideas regarding writing along with your own experiences.

Blessings,
Laurie

Bible Girlfriends Online

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Bible Girlfriends Online
I met Adrianna Vermillion at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference back in May 2013. Fast forward two months later, and we got together and talked a little girl talk to connect about her brainchild of a virtual online support system for women.
As women, there are times when family commitments, work commitments, dealing with a newborn or elderly parent, or health issues can take over our lives. But that doesn't mean we should depart from God, and that doesn't mean that we don't need to fellowship with other women. Bible Girlfriends Online gives us a place to do just that: reconnect with God, connect with new friends, and reconnect to ourselves as women. So won't you join us?
To find Bible Girlfriends Online, go to our Facebook page, and don't forget to also buy our first devotional book. We love to get to know about you, and grow in Christ with you.
Blessings, Laurie and Adriana


Laurie Epps is a non-fiction author, essayist, editor, and poet…

Outline of Chapters 7-10 of Forrest Gump

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Outline by Laurie Epps

We're beginning our countdown of when the Fall semester begins at Anderson University. This fall, one of the many English classes is Fiction to Film (also known as ENG 365).

For prospective students, I've created an overview of the books that will be covered in the class. However, it is not a requirement that you are a student to follow along. I've started with Forrest Gump since it seemed like the most approachable of the texts.

This column will evolve over time. Now it serves as an introduction to the course, when school begins next month I will post my notes from the class. Next year, January 2014, it will spin off to a column all it's own with my own literary comparison's of books that become movies.  Please let me know what you think.


Southern Summer Swelter

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Intro by Laurie Epps

The sweltering summer heat in the Southern U.S. is notorious for being muggy with temps as high as the humidity. Nothing else is like a southern thunderstorm in the middle of July. Thunderstorms are often very loud, and give life to legends like God moving around his furniture or having a party in heaven. 

So break out your lawn chair, shorts, lemonade or sweet tea, and get comfortable. Play a little blues, and make sure to serve up some Carolina barbecue for this nostalgic type poem from our beloved Kenneth O'Shaunnessy.

Outline of Ch. 3-6 of Forrest Gump

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Outline By Laurie Epps

Forrest Gump is one of the seven books that made film in our upcoming English 365 class at Anderson University. It seemed to be one of the most approachable of the books on the list, so I am starting there. Forrest Gump, like many other books that were made into film form, is nothing like the movie version.

As the first day of school approaches, I am both nervous and excited by all that the new year promises. Ready to see my old friends again, and knowing that it will probably be my last year working towards my undergraduate degree. I hope you will join along with me in this delightful little story. I think we all feel like a big "oaf sometimes" which is part of what makes Forrest such a relatable character.

Reflections on My Skin

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By Laurie Epps

Something about the carefree days of summer gets you to go outside, either to a park or to wade in a shallow stream. Whatever the case may be, this particular poem was written about a moment when I was waiting for my daughter to come out of swimming class and I was hanging out on a nearby swim. Something about the sun shining through the leaves spoke to me. I confess, I do have a love affair with light. Maybe some of you are afflicted with it? Please share with me if you are, I'd like to know I'm not alone.

Finding Your Way and Breaking Free From Doubt

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By Laurie Epps

We are beginning Week #11 with Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. This is a collection of essays that you can can read in small chunks. If you are new, you can just jump in and join the conversation. These essays are directly relevant for writing, but they also parallel life. Everything in life is a process, it is not exclusive to writing. Won't you join us?

Appearance in Book Fun Magazine

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By Laurie Epps
I was both elated and excited when my friend on Facebook messaged me and asked if I had seen my picture in Book Fun Magazine. Of course, I had to check that out, and I am pictured at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference on page 24. So my claim to fame, I have been pictured in a writing magazine. Check out my picture below:


Two Opening Chapters of Forrest Gump

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Intro by Laurie Epps

Forrest Gump, much like other films is nothing whatsoever like the book. The only similarity is that he lives in a small town in Alabama and is intellectually challenged. Some of his adventures are the same, but most are not. The film is much like a Disney version of the story, they used the same premise as the book, and then just ran amuck with it artistically. Both are wonderful, but very different versions.

True to any piece of literature, the first couple of chapters are filled with outlines and nuances about characters that you will need for the rest of the book. So today, we will begin with the first two chapters.

Chapter 1


Forrest doesn't like being called an idiotForrest got his name from a civil war hero; General Nathan Bedford (p.2)Forrest's father died on the docks when a bail of banana's fell on him (p.3)His mama is a fine person, and received a pension from the incidentForrest was kept inside as a child which caused alienationForrest was put i…

Be a Patriot

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Introduction by Laurie Epps

Whenever I think of romanticism, I think of Eugene Delacroix's Painting of Lady Liberty Leading the People (1830). The centerpiece, Marianne, remains an eternal symbol of the republic (of France).

For July, my theme for the month is Patriotism and our vision of Marianne exudes this very spirit. Still used as the symbol of the French government, Marianne is the used in the seal of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of the Army. It embodies and glamorizes young men sacrificing themselves in the name of freedom. Freedom is so easily taken for granted, and so the painting remains a symbol of all that is means to be a patriot.

Today's entry from Kenneth O'Shaughnessy was inspired from the same scene that is the climax of Les Miserables musical that is in book, stage musical, and film form. Marianne leads us to battle in bonnet rouge and the story is now ethereal and has a legend all on it's own. With Bastille Day this coming Sunday, Marianne se…

Start Small, and Broaden Your Horizons

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By Laurie Epps

For the last ten weeks, we have been discussing a book on writing called Writing Down the Bones. But this week's entry is different since we will discuss how to get our writing to the next level. How do you make a story great? It's the little subtleties that will get you there. Buckle up, and be prepared to dazzle your readers.

Please share in the comments section if you have applied any of these techniques in your own writing.

A Big Topic: Eroticism
pp. 105-107

When you write about eroticism, it is important to begin slowly. You do this by focusing specific in the room or somewhere in the scene. Think about it, when you experience the feeling of eroticism, you have it strike during an otherwise innocent moment. Try explaining a tea cup and saucer, a man washing his face in a stream, zoom in and out of your scene. Describe what you see, and go where it takes you.


A Tourist in Your Own Town
pp. 108-109

Sometimes we will live someplace for a long time and take it for gran…

Launch of Fiction to Film Fridays

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By Laurie Epps

Fiction to Film Fridays is meant to be an accompaniment to English 365 at Anderson University. Class begins this fall, and I will use this forum to post class notes, and outline the books that are being covered in class.

Since there are lots of books that have made wonderful movies, this column will evolve at the completion of the course into my own analysis and I'm hoping my readers will submit books that they'd like to see in this forum.


The Outcome

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Intro by Laurie Epps
Happy Birthday America!
As you go out for your barbecue, cookout, or fireworks display with your friends or family today, I'd like you to consider what our forefathers went through to forge this great nation of ours. What they were doing was standing up for what they believed in, and this is not a small feat. In fact, at the time, it was a form of tyranny. Some of the possible disciplinary actions included imprisonment and even death.
As I have learned about our forefathers as both college student and home schooling mom, I can say these were very noble, honorable, and well educated men. Our government was founded on principles of the Ancient Greeks, and Romans with influences that also formed offices of Parliament in England and now those same ideals still influence countries forming a democratic government today.

A Place to Write

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By Laurie Epps

"Writing is the act of burning through the fog of your mind." ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

This week we are going to talk about preparing a place to work on your craft, not just a home office as I am erecting, but a space in your mind to get settled, and get to the craft of writing. If you'd like to follow along, you can buy your own copy of the book by clicking on this link for Writing Down the Bones