Alic​e M. Batzel 

Published Author, Playwright,

Journalist, Poet, Freelance Writer 


WELCOME TO THE BLOG!

The landing spot to stay connected:

What's happening in my writing world, or my world in general.

What I'm writing and researching.

Exciting news!

Special events and offers!

Upcoming GIVEAWAYS!







BLOG POST - JUNE 17, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"SUMMER  DAYS ARE NOT  LAZY"


          It's the middle of June 2021, and daytime temperatures over 100 degrees have already repeatedly been experienced in my northern Utah rural community. The drought is historic, vivid, and very real. Wild fires break out easily and spread quickly. We need moisture, and prayers are being offered by many. Adherence to water usage guidelines, conservation, and accountability are currently by the honor system. But stricter regulations and penalties could become commonplace as the scorching days roll ahead.

          This summer is proving to be a busy one. Life is constant with challenges. Thankfully, my health is holding up, though my stamina sometimes falters. I'm pleased that my writing has found opportunities to be squeezed in here and there, even if at 3:00 a.m. when the air becomes cooler and life quiets down. I'm working on several projects simultaneously:

(*) I'm working on final edits of a humor piece that has a quickly approaching deadline. I'll have submitted two stories to that publisher for consideration in their next publication, and I'm hoping they'll find a place in that humor anthology. Goodness knows, we can sure benefit from some laughter during our post-pandemic experience.

(*) I'm working with an editor to polish four of my poems which have been accepted for publication in an anthology to be released in July.

(*) I'm doing revisions and edits on a collection of nonfiction and fiction Christmas stories that I'd like to pitch to a traditional publisher in July.

(*) I'm diving deeply into drafting a fiction mystery for middle-grade readers; after all, even kids can be good detectives! The story takes place in my childhood neighborhood. I'm hoping that I can do a hybrid publication of that manuscript by Halloween 2021.

(*) I'm writing a piece for my 50th high school reunion's closing banquet. This invitation is especially meaningful to me as I reminisce of how quickly those 50 years have passed. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the reunion which is 2,000 miles away. I was one of the senior class officers, Secretary. Having someone read my words to my alumni is a sweet opportunity, and I feel very grateful and honored to have received the invitation.

(*) As is expected, I'll be working on numerous copyright applications throughout the summer and fall months.

          On the home front, a number of home-improvement projects will be underway throughout the summer. Though they are mostly maintenance and safety improvements rather than fashionable upgrades. As a matter of fact, today, I brought window screens to the hardware store for repair and rebuilding, and we consulted with a landscaper last night. Hopefully, cement work will be done in the next few weeks. Most of these projects are just to keep up with the 20+ years we've lived in our home.

          I renewed my driver's license, and I was thrilled that it didn't require cataract surgery or some other senior citizen warning. I even had a good-hair day for the photo. However, I wasn't pleased with having to state my correct weight. Oh well, time is a truth teller.

          One thing that I'm especially looking forward to this summer is seeing one of my sons and his family. Pandemic isolation precautions have robbed many people of such precious reunions. The safety efforts, however, have helped us realize the sweet opportunity that each of us has with continued life, health, and togetherness. We are very aware that it's to be cherished, for many individuals and families globally haven't had the same experience.

          As you can see, with good reason, I'm definitely feeling that SUMMER DAYS ARE NOT LAZY. But as long as I can be healthy, remain upright and breathing, my brain cells functioning, I'll be grateful. Goals have been set, work is underway, and progress is being made. Let's see how the summer continues to move ahead.

          THANK YOU for being my friends, associates, colleagues, and family. Have a safe summer. Be thankful for every drop of rain. May we be kind to one another, and give thanks for every good thing.

Author Alice M. Batzel


          P.S. During the busy summer months, whenever I'm absent from social media, I can be reached as follows:

(email) [email protected]

(website)  https://www.alicembatzel.com/*-contact






BLOG POST - MAY 15, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"KEYBOARD ALIENS"





          Well. What can I say? I’m a writer. Yes. However, not much writing is getting done. Strange things are happening to my keyboard because it's not getting the daylights pounded out on it like it needs. Life has called and I answered the phone. I'm hoping to get back to finishing two humor stories before the deadline. That's the goal. But I refuse to feel defeated just because I'm falling behind on my writing goals for 2021. I mean, we are still trying to recover from a pandemic. And it's not like I'm just doing nothing. After all, I have washed a lot of laundry, shopped for a new washer and dryer, vacuumed the carpets, dusted, changed sheets, cooked numerous meals, baked items from scratch, washed dishes, took inventory of the safety deposit box at the bank a couple of times, got my PIN reprogrammed for the ATM, picked up pharmacy items, did grocery shopping, prepared crepes for the first time (awesome!), made Belgian waffles (out of this world wonderful!), went to the dentist, went to the dermatologist, had a mammogram, made an appointment with a new family doctor, drove out of town for errands, prepared new tax files, wrote and mailed a check to the Utah State Tax Commission, scrubbed/mopped the floor, changed bed sheets, cleaned out the freezer, organized and took a giant load of clothing and household items to the DI and unloaded the car by myself when I got there, cut my own hair, packed away winter clothes and then unpacked and laundered spring/summer clothes, made homemade rolls, and I killed a spider. 

          It feels pretty good to have accomplished all of that stuff. Yes, there still is a lot more to be done, and I'll get back at it again when I get up again in the morning. But, at this pace, I haven't gone to bed yet, and now the sun is coming up. On the top of the to-do list is scrub the tub and shower walls. Goodie. Don’t misunderstand me, please. I’m grateful that I’ve not had to extinguish a kitchen fire, nor have I needed to manually lift up the double garage door. And I’m very thankful I haven’t had to bust my giant golf umbrella to kill a mouse in the house. But, for crying out loud, I would like to sit and read a book or do some writing to meet the goals that I made at the first of the year. But it will have to wait. As I said, life has called, and I answered the phone. Maybe some vegetables will grow in those sprouts on the keyboard. Let's hope so. It would save me a trip to the produce department at the grocery store.  


          P.S. To  my writing friends/colleagues, this has not been edited or put through spell check.  I don't have time for that. The buzzer is blasting on the clothes dryer, and I have to get that load out before it catches fire, or the smoke alarm goes off.  Priorities, people. Priorities.

Author Alice M. Batzel






BLOG POST - MAY 1, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"UNMASKING THE WRITER'S LIFE"


          A writer's life is not what the general public thinks it is. Writers aren't always sitting and dreaming, writing, reading, plotting, outlining, revising, receiving royalty checks, and accepting awards. Far from it. You have to live life, and sometimes it gets very, very hard. A writer is 'driven' to write, but life often pulls a writer away from the solitude of their creative process. Sometimes there are unexpected unpleasant life challenges that must be faced urgently, such as sickness or injury. Sometimes you receive bad news about essential things. Some challenges are temporary, and some are potentially terminal. Sometimes life's obstacles look like steep mountains that are too treacherous to climb. There are times when you have to put everything on hold and nurse someone else's health, heart, or soul. Sometimes it's your heart that gets smashed. When life's experiences disable us emotionally, you cannot write because you have to pick up the pieces, sort it all out, and, well, just breathe. Life still has to be lived. Writing often has to wait its turn. Sometimes, writing has to wait a very, very long time.

          My silver-white hair testifies that I've lived a good many years. I've learned that life doesn't get easier the older that you get. You'll be disappointed if you think you'll have a lot more time to write when you retire. Life gets more complex with age and maturity. Challenges don't get smaller. Your back weakens, your strength lessens, your heart can still break, and there are plenty of disappointments just around the corner. Life can still become fragmented and complicated. But I've also learned that the pieces get gathered, picked up, sorted through, and you can claim private moments to collect your thoughts. Strength and courage can be rebuilt, and eventually, you can reclaim your solace in writing.

However, let's certainly not forget the many positive and happy events of life that also pull a writer away from their writing. There are birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, graduations, weddings, and a myriad of other celebrations to observe. While you're rounding out the list, add non-writing employment, professional obligations, religious/charity contributions into the mix. It's a wonder that a writer ever gets any writing done!

          Here's to all my friends and colleagues in the writing community...onward with living life! Make no apology for it! Though writing deadlines are very real in a writer's world, they seem trivial compared to the magnitude of life's deadline, which deservedly demands greater attention. I intend to embrace the charge, "Onward with living life, while picking up the pieces!" Life is often the inspiration for writing. Write when you can, and always live life fully and gratefully.

Author Alice M. Batzel



BLOG POST - APRIL 17, 2021

FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:

"BACK INJURY RECOVERY, AND MOVING FORWARD WITH WRITING"

          What a difference time, rest, medication, and cautious physical therapy can make! There currently is hope on the horizon, and daily victories are being achieved!

          I'll admit, my recent back strain was the worst back-related setback I have ever experienced. My expectation for recovery was negatively impacted as well. Activities of daily living had already been affected by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic's home isolation that my husband and I had observed for the past year. At least I had been able to freely move about in our home, both upstairs and in the basement. However, with the onset of my back injury, I became confined to my bedroom and specifically to my bed. This additional limitation of confinement was quite a challenge for me.

          The good news is that after many days I could see gradual improvement, and I was able to steadily regain mobility, ambulation, and resume activity throughout the home. With that victory came the opportunity for me to return to my home office and continue my writing. However, I had to gradually build up my time of sitting at the computer. At this point, I feel in good health; I have good mobility, though I do have to continue with gentle yoga and guard my movements so that I won't reinjure my back. I'd say that shouting "VICTORY" is justified!

          More good news is that I've been able to submit some of my poetry to a couple of anthologies for publication consideration. TODAY, I received notification that one has been accepted for publication! What good news! I'm currently writing two short stories to submit for publication consideration in a humor anthology. I'm polishing a new piece of poetry for a writing contest. I'm also working on a small collection of Christmas short stories that I hope to get published later this year.

          It feels good to be writing again. My back injury taught me, again, that setbacks come throughout our life. Some can literally lay us down. During those times, we have the opportunity to meditate, read/study, rest, and heal. I feel thankful for the healing and improvement. I just wish the misery didn't have to come first. That's life. I'm glad to be living life, but I'm still learning how to navigate among the alligators along the way. And yes, the experience has given me some new writing material. After all, I am living a writer's life.

Author Alice M. Batzel




 BLOG POST - 

MARCH 26, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"BACK INJURY IMPEDES WRITING"

          I have to admit, a ba​ck injury can lay a person right down. Now, I can say it from experience. My writing efforts have been sharply curtailed because sitting in front of the computer was abruptly halted for nearly three weeks. Moving an exercise bike from one end of the house to the opposite was not a smart thing for me to do; but I did it. My back "reminds" me of that poor decision, and its cautionary whispering guards my every movement. Computer time is minimally returning with a trickle of tolerance to sitting for a limited period of time. Nevertheless, during this "down" time I have been able to refine some poetry for submission to two anthologies, and I hope to receive a favorable response. My mind is churning with ideas and desire to get back to my story writing, but my back is not cooperating quite enough to spend the necessary time at the computer. Life has called, and my gradually building mobility is reserved for accomplishing daily living activities. Writing will take a backseat for a while. It's been frustrating for sure, and using a laptop computer while reclining on a heating pad is not for me. This is a good time for reading, study, and meditation. Time is never lost when we can change gears. Though I do hear my desk calling...

Author Alice M. Batzel





BLOG POST - JAN. 26, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"WINTER BRAIN FREEZE"


          

          It happens every year. I can count on it. My writer's brain experiences WINTER BRAIN FREEZE.  Without question, I'm looking forward to spring thaw! Until then, I find myself reminiscing of warmer times and places of my youth.  Come along with me as I journey back a few years.  Perhaps you can relate!  Read about it here: https://www.alicembatzel.com/%22g_r_i_t_s_%22

Author Alice M. Batzel






BLOG POST - JANUARY 5, 2021


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"NEW YEAR'S WRITING GOALS WITH FELLOW WRITERS"




          I'm encouraged by the goals that some of my writing colleagues expressed at our monthly Brigham City Writers (League of Utah Writers Chapter) meeting tonight. It looks like there's going to be some serious writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing going on in our small group while the pandemic continues to hold us hostage in 2021. Here are just a few goals that were shared by our members tonight:

1) Write a collection of short stories and self-publish it.

2) Complete a collection of Christmas short stories (fiction and nonfiction) and pursue publication.

3) Self-publish another humor anthology.

4) Continue working on the memoir and tall tales of personal/family travel adventures.

5) Facilitate the self-publishing for another author's writing.

6) Contribute to an anthology to be published this year.

7) Team edit, format, and self-publish an anthology for our group.

8) Complete illustrations for a children's book, and self-publish it.

9) Learn a new illustration program on a newly acquired computer.

10) Complete the development of an innovative website that will serve to review books, promote/market books and authors, etc.

          A lot of hard work is surely underway. Helpful insight and recommendations were given to one another in our open-forum discussion. I'm happy to be part of such a diverse group of creative individuals. Here's wishing for every one of these GOALS to be achieved in 2021!

Author Alice M. Batzel



BLOG POST - DECEMBER 16, 2020


LAUNCHING GIVEAWAY - WINTER 2020

SUPPORTING HUMOR AUTHORS...As They End 2020 With Laughter.  

Featuring the Utah Humor Anthology, Vol. 2,  UTAH'S SPECIAL BLEND...Local Humorists Spill The Beans!


I am one of 12 authors whose humor writing is featured in this publication.

My two stories are:

(1) The Birds And The Bees

(2) Water Amusement Parks...The Truth Of It.


Three free copies of this book are being given away as a literacy promotional AND as a goodwill effort for Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic relief.

Visit the event page and join the free contest!

https://www.alicembatzel.com/giveaway-winter-2020





BLOG POST - JUNE 3, 2020


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:


"THE VAULT - MY IDEA FILE"




         For many years, I was unable to do the writing that I wanted to do. My artistic expression was suppressed by many things. Employment demands, raising a family, attending college, and living life received primary attention. It was survival mode. Also, supporting my husband's time-consuming work and his many artistic pursuits was a considerable time commitment and a commitment of the heart. I sometimes felt like I disappeared, that I became invisible. All the while, I was invested in keeping our family nurtured and directed, and for my husband's professional/artistic dreams to be achieved. In my exhaustion, I wondered if there would ever come a time when I would be able to do the writing that I longed to do.  

          During that time, I developed an IDEA FILE, which became a repository for my artistic hope. This file contained story outlines, character profiles, brief notations of character dialogue, observations of life, poems, essays, newspaper articles inspiring a story idea, drafts for magazine articles, unfinished stage scripts, and novel manuscripts, etc. Sadly, only snippets were what I had time to write. But at least I was writing…a little. It made me feel like my desire for writing was not doomed to forever be unfulfilled; it was kept alive in my idea file.

          In time, when life's demands permitted a slice of time "for me," I would retrieve one of the items from my idea file and further develop it. If I didn't finish it, it would wait again in my writing vault until another day. Occasionally during those years, I was able to complete a few pieces and get them published. How encouraging! What a good feeling! As a writer, those publications proved to me that my life was not void of opportunity for my own artistic expression. Even if those earlier writing opportunities were just moments, those moments were savored, stored, developed, and then shared with readers.

          Today, at age 67, my idea file continues to grow, though I now dip into it with more frequency. I've enjoyed my limited growing publication thus far, and I continue to learn more about the craft of writing. I learned much about life during the many years when my writing desire was suppressed. Those life lessons are often what fuels my writing today. I'm grateful that my idea file kept the hope alive that one day I would be able to write the stories that I longed to tell and write the poems that often reflect the footsteps of my life's path.

          Sometimes I'm asked if I have any advice for someone who would like to be a writer. My answer is always the same: Learn about the craft of writing. Study the work of the authors that you most enjoy reading. Be honest in what you write. Do your best work whenever you have the opportunity to write. Be thankful for your desire to write, your writing talent, your appreciation for words, language, expression, and your voice as a writer. Always, always, always, keep an idea file, and feed it regularly.

Author Alice M. Batzel




BLOG POST - MAY 20, 2020


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK


"LEAGUE OF UTAH WRITERS 2020 WRITING CONTEST"

          Last week I completed the process of submitting a few entries in the League Of Utah Writer's 2020 Writing Contest. Wahoo! It felt good to finish all the editing, proof-reading, and push that "submit button" for each entry. With each year's contest, cash prizes for winning are always welcomed and eagerly anticipated. But one of the best features of the LUW's annual writing contest is that all entries receive feedback from a judge. That feedback consists of (1) a numerical scoring ballot on various technical aspects of writing composition, and (2) written comments stating what works well in your entry and what needs improvement. That dialogue can be of great value as the author reworks, revises, and polishes their piece before entering it in another writing contest or pursuing publication.

          In the past, I've reworked some pieces several times from the judge's guidance, and it resulted in a better-written article, poem, story, or essay. There's always the chance that the writer may strongly disagree with the judge's perspective/opinion, and the writer's disagreement could be valid. Judging writing can be complex and complicated. Still, writers hope that a judge of poetry is well-versed in poetry and poetic composition. Similarly, writers hope that the judge of a romance novel is not a science fiction author, and vice versa. That's pretty basic, but I say it because sometimes weird things happen, and it can affect the outcome of a writing contest.

          When you get your scoring ballot and the judge's comments, the writer also needs to remember that it's just one person's opinion. Yes, winning or losing a contest can be based on one person's scoring, one person's opinion. That's why it's essential to put your best effort into your work before you submit it. Putting the winner's pride and cash prizes aside, a writer must always own their work and maintain the vision of what they want their work to be.

          So here's a shout-out to all my writing colleagues, first-time writers, friends, writing enthusiasts, GOOD LUCK with whatever writing contests you may enter! May your writing experience a favorable reception worthy of your hard work! Keep writing, keep reading, and I'll see you around the bookshelf!

Author Alice M. Batzel




BLOG POST - APRIL 5, 2020


FROM MY WRITER'S DESK


"UPDATE ON WRITING PROJECTS"

        After a very long cold winter, my brain cells are beginning to thaw and I'm delighted with the sensation! Long-awaited, and at long last, it has arrived. Plasma and blood flow are once again circulating in my head; I do love a good Spring thaw! Plotting, drafting, writing, and revisions are underway in my home office. I'm grateful that two anthologies that I've hoped to publish with during this year have recently extended their submission deadlines a little bit. With all the muck we citizens are dealing with concerning the COVID-19 pandemic the gracious extension of the deadlines was a welcomed gift. I'm currently in the final revision stage for each of my entries and plan to hit the "Send" button this week. Stay safe and stay well as we all continue to carefully navigate through the remainder of our nation's journey with the Coronavirus.

Author Alice M. Batzel




BLOG POST - JANUARY 2020

FROM MY WRITER'S DESK:

It was an honor to be invited to be a featured writer on the LDSPMA BLOG.  My article,  "From The Writer's Toolbox: Thematic Purpose," was published on January 27, 2020, and can be read at this link::https://www.ldspma.org/from-the-writers-toolbox-thematic-purpose/





BLOG POST - DECEMBER 2019


MERRY CHRISTMAS!


I hope you'll enjoy reading the short story that I've written for Christmas 2019.


"ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS TIME"


https://www.alicembatzel.com/once-upon-a-christmas-time








BLOG POST - OCTOBER 2019

GIVEAWAY - FALL/WINTER 2019

"CELEBRATING STORY AND VOICE"


Official launch date is October 15, 2019!   This is a literacy promotional sponsored by my writer's website.

Check it out and participate to win FREE PRIZES: books, audio books, writing tools for young writers, and a Barnes and Noble gift card! 

Full details here:   https://www.alicembatzel.com/giveaway-fall-winter-2019 

UPDATE: THIS LITERACY PROMOTIONAL  ENDED Oct. 31, 2019.

A list of all the winners and their prize selection(s) has been posted to the event page.



 BLOG POST - OCTOBER  2019

          I'll be speaking at this free literary event at the Brigham City Library in Brigham City, Utah, on October 15, 2019. If you're in the area, I'd love to see you that evening!

          Come and meet the 11 authors of SPIRALS, an anthology of prose and poetry from Utah's northern edge!

Hear about the inspiration behind each of their pieces in this publication.

          Books will be sold and book-signing will be conducted at the end of the presentation.  



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