Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

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Sign up for the Muse Online Writers Conference Now!

Muse Online Writers Conference

We are just over a week away from the 2013 Muse Online Writers Conference. For those unfamiliar with the conference, it’s a free week-long event with workshops and chats. The workshops are forum-based, so you can jump in and participate any time of day. The chats are scheduled throughout the week at various times (times listed are all Eastern US). Workshops can vary from daily exercises to Q&A to more of a casual chat about a topic.

There is something offered for nearly everyone. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, genre or otherwise. Sadly, there are no poetry workshops listed in the schedule at this time.

If you have a finished manuscript, there are pitch sessions with both agents and publishers. These are live chats. If you’re not already signed up, however, your pitch needs to be submitted by TOMORROW, September 30.  Check the website for more details.


For details on how to register, visit: You do not have to register for individual classes. Just check in to the forums for anything that interests you.

The site is a new build, so returnees will want to ensure they have the most recent link, and test their log-in. All accounts should have been migrated from the old site. If you have problems, refer to this HELP page.

One note: The site says registration will be open until Oct 1, but I have it on good authority that you will be able to register up until the start of the conference on Oct 7. But don’t waste time, as you don’t want to hit a problem with registration by waiting until the last moment.

My Experiences with Muse Con

If you’re interested, you can read up on my experience from last year’s conference. I think this will be my sixth(!) conference.

I love Muse Con. It’s a great way for a writer like me, with limited budget, to network with my fellow writers and members of the industry, and work on my skills. I’ve pitched books, started new novels, strengthened existing writing, and generally had a lot of fun.

Our group emerged from this conference, we learned the tools to create our poetry collection LIFELINES. We pitched our book to publishers at a later Muse Conference, and it was during Muse Con that we got our acceptance letter. We owe the success of this group and our book to Muse Conference.

Some of the Workshops

One of the classes I’m interested about this year is Plotting With Scrivener. I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient with Scrivener. And even if you don’t own a copy, you can download the trial version to play with during the conference.

A few of the other 30+ workshops:

  • Breaking into the Homeschool Market
  • Horror and Paranormal Trends
  • Housekeeping for Writers
  • Introduction to ePublishing
  • Creating a Character
  • Plotting a Series

Hope to see you there!

Muse Online Writers Conference
October 7-13, 2013

Mary Butterfly Signature


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Make Visible: Workshop Poems

To continue our series on the Muse Online Writers Conference and our Poetry Workshop last fall, I present to you two poems that were written during the conference.



Even though the Poetic Muselings were “teaching” or facilitating the Poetry Workshop, we also “learned” from each other and the participants.  I always come up with new writing when I attend MuseCon and this time was no exception.  Here are two poems that literally wouldn’t have existed if not for our workshop and MuseCon.








  • Persona Poems




Persona poems are poems that are written in a voice other than that of the author, where the author pretends to be someone else. ~Margaret Fieland




This is the prompt I used for my Persona Poem:




– The loneliest keys on the keyboard that never get used


Typewriter Keys

Typewriter Keys (Photo credit: jon|k)








A Question








I have a question.


Why am I so neglected?


You like E and A


and I far too much.


You never type Quasimodo or Quack


Or even misspell, using Q for K.


I’m in a quandary.


There’s not much I can do,


the letter Q


on your keyboard,


lonely, upset, tired.


I know I shouldn’t quomplain,


but I do.








© Anne Westlund






  • Ekphrasis / Picture Poem




An Ekphrasis or Picture Poem is a poem inspired by a work of art.  I was inspired by Visual 5, a collage by Lin Neiswender.








Visit to the Beauty Shop






Like a chorus of blondes


they tell me my hair is fried


from at-home color




These hairdressers


all perfectly coiffed


like angels of desire


swoop in and mutter over


my split ends




In need of proper maintenance,


conditioning and decent upstanding


expensive $$ permanent color




I don’t know whether to laugh


or cry




I’ll stick to my box color


I’ll stick to my free hair cuts


thank you very much!




The choir shrieks off-key


paling against the vagaries


of economy




So much for a “free” consultation




I don’t leave a tip.






© Anne Westlund






Please check out the Muse Online Writers Conference and sign up for next year’s conference here:








“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director


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