Get it Write
January 2019

Welcome to the first issue of Get it Write!

Each month, I receive many inquiries and conduct a lot of research for both my fiction and insurance writing. With Get it Write, I hope to share the most interesting bits of  information I run across for both readers and writers. Each issue will contain the following topics: If you have information my subscribers or I might enjoy, feel free to reach out to me. And if you're a writer who'd like to be spotlighted, provide me with details of your new release, event, or other big news. I'm also open to having 1 or 2 other sections in the newsletter, so don't hold back when it comes to sharing!

Happy New Year!

Publishing News

Conferences and Competitions

Interested in a few upcoming writer's conferences and events? Writer's Digest is known for its numerous competitions. (Yours truly actually was fortunate enough to place #15 of 25 in its 2017 Annual Short Short Story Competition.)

The deadline for WD's 88th Annual Writing Competition is May 6, 2019, so you'd better get the ball rolling. Categories include:
  • Inspirational/Spiritual
  • Memoirs/Personal Essay
  • Print or Online Article
  • Genre Short Story (Mystery, Romance, etc.)
  • Mainstream/Literary Short Story
  • Rhyming Poetry
  • Non-rhyming Poetry
  • Script (Stage Play or Television/Movie Script)
  • Children’s/Young Adult Fiction
For more information, visit the Writer's Digest website at


Tips (Not Advice)


When writing fiction, my plotting skills seem to be weaker than my skills at creating enjoyable characters are.  If I attend a writer's conference, the first workshops I register for are those that reveal the speaker's view about how to build an engaging, riveting plot.

I attended the New England Crime Bake last fall, and (fortunately for me) Gayle Lynds' plotting workshop was the first event I participated in. I walked away with an entirely different method of plotting because her advice actually enabled me to view plotting from a character-driven perspective.

Here were my takeaways from her phenomenal presentation, and what I now keep in mind as I plot fiction:


Did You Know?

Are You an Introvert, an Extrovert, or ... an Ambivert?

Whether you're a writer crafting characters or trying to wow your boss with your sales ability, you know a lot about people. What makes them tick... What motivations them... Why they laugh, cry, and get angry...

Well, we used to believe that if you were outgoing and sociable, you were an extrovert. Therefore, if you were reserved and shy, you had to be an introvert.

Well, that's not what many psychologists believe these days. They view introversion and extroversion on a sliding scale, and ambiversion is right in the middle.

Author Spotlight

Herb Holeman

Herb is a great guy with an interesting background, a classic example of how a writer can take life experiences and transform them into all kinds of published works. His mystery novel, Switcheroo, is available on Amazon and he's in the process of producing an audio version of it.
Herbert Holeman, Ph.D. is, by profession, a criminologist with law enforcement experience in beat policing and criminal investigation. He has served as a Bureau Chief in the California Department of Justice and as the principal investigator of research studies in the Department of Corrections.

His criminal justice publications include such varied topics as outlaw motorcycle gangs and a landmark study of women correctional officers working in male prisons.

You can find Herb online at:


I've always struggled with making decisions. Is it nature or nurture? Black or white? Free will or destiny?
Over time, I've realized that nothing is always black or white. Yes, some nights it's so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. And some days, the sun is so bright you can't see for the yellow spots in your eyes.
We're always looking for answers ... and we want those answers to be guarantees. We seek the absolute, because it makes us feel more secure. In reality, life is more often grey than it is black and white.
From the time I was in fourth grade, I knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. By the time I reached high school, my parents and just about everyone I knew told me that was an unrealistic dream. After all, everyone knows writers can't support themselves with their writing.
Being a practical person when I'm not dreaming, I decided to change my mind about what to be when I grew up. Being a teacher of special needs students became my goal. All during high school, I traded study hall for volunteering in the classes with kids who had down syndrome and other developmental handicaps.
Fast forward through dropping out of college, getting married, having 3 kids, establishing my own business, getting divorced, establishing two more businesses, doing the marriage/divorce thing again, and having several other adventures. I am now officially all grown up and facing retirement age in a few short years.
Remember what I wanted to be when I grew up? First choice: a writer. Second choice: a teacher. Well, what I'm doing is writing and teaching because I AM both a writer and a teacher.
When I was young, I saw things in black and white. I could either be a writer OR a teacher. I could only write certain types of words or teach certain types of children.
No matter what life threw at me, I continued writing. Most of the time, I didn't consider myself a writer because I wasn't writing bestselling novels. And I didn't consider myself a real teacher because I didn't have a college degree.
Now that my hair is turning grey, and I've come to like and accept the color, I can see clearly that I'm doing exactly what I was meant to do and I have always been a writer and a teacher. For a long time, I let the different shades of other people's opinions color my view of myself.
Don't do that. Be who you are. Paint your own story and don't pay attention to the lines.
Copyright © 2019 Linda McHenry, All rights reserved.

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