January 26, 2014



invited me to participate in the Blog Hop Tour. Keep an eye out for Sandra's upcoming release Bluebonnets for Elly.

I was asked to respond to four questions about my own writing process, and then tag three authors at the end of the post who have joined us in our hop.

What am I working on?

I wish I could be the writer who manages one thing at a time, completes that task, then moves on to the next. Sadly I am not. I tend to several irons in the proverbial fire, doing my best to give equal heating time to each. 

Marketing is a time-consuming but essential part of an author’s responsibilities. Books do not get written by themselves; neither do they get sold without buyers. I promote my own writings and those of my author friends. Writers may ply their craft alone, but they need to promote their finished works in community with other writers.

I write everyday so that writing becomes easier for me. Whether it’s a poem, a flash, a short story, a blog –– it doesn’t matter. The ideas and plots that swim in my head need to reach dry land.

In addition to marketing and writing new material, I am editing two of my novels, working on an upcoming e-book called Flash Reflections, as well as a short teleplay called Hazy, Hot, and Humid.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

No two writing styles are ever alike. Writers bring to the creative scene their own reading, learning, and life experiences. I once read several crime books by Andy Stack and several by Anne Rule. It dawned on me that the style was too close to be two different writers, so I wrote to Anne Rule and asked her if Andy Stack was her pen name. Hardly believing one could discern that, she admitted they were one and the same crime author!

In my writings I have three objectives: 

(1) to use precise words to create images that readers can clearly see, allowing them to move along with my plot;
(2) to deliver some degree of emotional impact. If it’s meant to be funny, I try to make them laugh. If it’s sad –– hey, crying is not so bad. 
(3) to weed out unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, and clauses that slow down a story, particularly in flash fiction. 

Why do I write what I do?

My first love is writing poetry, the craft of which I take very seriously. As an English teacher for nearly thirty years, I made it my business to come to class prepared. I could not dare teach students about poetry writing without knowing and loving poetry myself and imparting that love to them. I studied the forms, the meters, the history –– whatever touched on the subject of poetry, so much so that all these years later I am still reading books about the poet’s craft and poems by famous and not-so-famous poets all over the world. Why? Because I still hold the belief that poetry elevates the inner person to a greater appreciation of God’s creation.

Flash fiction is another favorite of mine. To feast the eyes on he quick read, the collection or anthology of short-short stories often on only a page or two is inviting and quite entertaining. They say writers should write what they know. I’ll add to that by saying writers should write what they enjoy reading. 

Both Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, my two flash collections, provide readers with the entire gamut of story types and genres from A to Z: adventurous to zany. In this fast-paced society we live in, they can read a few different stories in the time it takes to read a chapter of a novel. Each story contains a beginning, middle, and ending. Small bites to delight like in a smorgasbord where diners manage to try everything, and may I add, go back for seconds and thirds. Many who have read my flash fiction books have told me they read those stories over and over again. That’s what I call “more book bang for the buck.”

How does my writing process work?

If it’s poetry I’m writing, I first get a feeling, a few first-line words rhythmically flowing, or an image that propels me into the poem. I let the feeling and the image keep me on track as I write the poem. Once the poem is down on paper or screen, I ask a few questions of the poem. Is the point of view most effective or should I change the “I” to “you” or “he” or “she”? Does the form match the mood? Can the poetic feet be lessened or increased, determined by the effect the poem might have on readers? Will internal or end-of-line rhymes help or hinder the poem’s delivery? These questions are typical ones I ask in the revising stage. Sometimes I am lucky and leave the poem as it is first written, but not so with flash fiction.

First of all, my flash stories begin as scenes in my head, and I never sit down to write a flash until the scenes move from the beginning hook, to developing scenes, and to the final closing scene. The scenes in my head I allow to become clearer as I start mentally seeing the character or characters –– their faces, hair coloring, walk, talk, height, weight. 

Dreams also present me with possible plots. For this  reason I keep a notepad and pen close by during the night because I know from experiences if I don’t jot something down it will vanish by morning.

Once I see all this and run through several “rehearsals” and am content with what I have up there, I sit and write it all down in a first draft. It’s at that point I come up with names of characters, setting, personalities via dialogue and actions. Lastly I let my wife Sharon read the flash and make constructive comments. An avid reader, she has no problem finding the weaknesses in my flashes and I have no problem making her suggested changes.


Salvatore Buttaci was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His poems, stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications that include New York Times, U.S.A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Cats Magazine, The National Enquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Thinking Ten, Pen 10, and Six Sentences.

      Look for Sal's latest collection of short-short fiction in 200 Shorts, Flashing My Shorts, his collection of flash stories; and A Family of Siciliansa collection of his poems, letters, and stories. 

     Sal lives with his wife Sharon in West Virginia. 


At this time I would like to invite the following three authors to join our Blog Hop Tour next week:

Monica M. Brinkman believes in stories worth telling. A poet at heart, she delved into novel writing when it became apparent this was yet another venue to bring readers entertainment along with opening minds and hearts to books that held much meaning and thought, long after the read was completed. 

A member of The Missouri Writers Guild, Writers Center, Columnist for Authors Info, Ms. Brinkman received the reward of one of the best books of 2011 via Readers Choice.  The highly rated reviews of The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, embrace both her creativity and unique story line. You will find her articles and short stories in A Word With You Press, Enzine Articles, Broowaha, and All Voices, to name a few.  Monica Brinkman is currently working on the sequel and final book of the Karmic Wheel series, The Wheel's Final Turn

Along with writing, Monica hosts a weekly radio show, It Matters Radio with co-hosts Kenneth Weene and Kerry Hall.  Each broadcast showcases talented musical artists as well as authors, non-profit organizations, political/news figures or celebrities. If we find something important and meaningful, we will bring it to our listeners. You may visit the web-site for more information: www.itmattersradio.com

An advocate in funding research for the rare, incurable genetic disease Epidermolysis Bullosa, Ms. Brinkman donates a portion of all sales of her books to EBMRF, a foundation that uses 98% of all funding on actual research. Her website – Meaningful Writings and blog site – A Touch of Karma, reflect her deep-rooted passion in opening eyes and minds to injustice, E.B., and provide inspiration to all who visit.

After living in the East Coast and West Coast for many years, Ms. Brinkman now resides in Missouri with her husband, five cats and Harry the dog. 

Linda Hales is retired and devotes her time to writing in various genres for both freelance and pleasure.  Her greatest passion is writing motivational stories for young children.  Linda has two Sunshine books, an Activity Story Book and Andy-Roo which was recently awarded the 2013 Kart Kids Book List award for Creative Storytelling.   

Learn more about Linda and her books at:
Website:  http://www.linnieslittlebooks.com.
All books are available on Amazon     http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Hales/e/B004YKW4QU/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_nu_I4tGrb51FD314 
And Clayton Bye’s Online Store    http://shop.claytonbye.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=87 

Marta Merajver-Kurlat is an Argentinian novelist, essayist, translator and psychoanalyst. 

Her vast production of fiction and non-fiction can be found on her Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Marta-Merajver-Kurlat/e/B009TC8C5A 

Her official website http://www.martamerajver.com.ar/marta/ features the philosophy of her writing and showcases other writers and works.

Gracias por la muerte, her first novel, published in 2006 and translated into English as Just Toss the Ashes, has been selling steadily ever since.

Marta is a regular guest lecturer at Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina and Escuela Freudiana de Buenos Aires and a contributor to http://www.thewriteroomblog.com 

January 21, 2014


Hello Writer Friends,

A Word with You Press is an established publishing house always looking for a way to have fun on the internet and meet and inspire new writers.  They do this with regular contests with unusual prompts and sometime even more unusual prizes. (although their last contest prize was a straight and simple $500)

They have come up with a great contest for Valentine's Day. Jerry Rubin once wrote that the word "love" had lost all value because "Cars love Shell." Help AWWYP give the word meaning and passion once more. Write a love story between four and five hundred words, or a poem of up to 300 words, and somewhere in your story use the phrase: "but it was only a rumor." 

Prizes for the winner and runner-ups. 

It's a great chance for writer's in your group to hone their skills, write to a deadline within certain parameters, get their work published on line, and get valuable feedback not just from the editorial staff but from other writers who regularly enter their contests. And maybe even get bragging rights as a winner!

Here is a link to their current contest:

Will you help their on-line community grow by passing this email and link along to those in your own writing group?

Please do pass this on, and share it with all manner of social media.

And a happy Valentine's Day to you!

Sal Buttaci
                                                  * * * *

January 3, 2014


In Memory of Frank Buttaci
              (01/04/55 - 05/28/89)

  Salvatore Buttaci

Do not say my brother Frank has died,
That from this fleeting life he since has passed away.
Do not speak of him that way.
Do not say my brother Frank is dead,
He lost his life, he is no more.
Instead, say only this of him:
        Frank has gone to glory!
        Frank has gone to glory!

My brother did not die,
He did not pass away.
He left this life of pain
Where nothing lasts forever.
He left this earthly place
To claim everlasting space
With Jesus and the saints.
My brother Frank will never die.      
         Frank has gone to glory!
         Frank has gone to glory!

Do not remember him as you saw him last
In that sleeping pose,
His cold hands clasped in seeming prayer.
He was not there!
Nor does he sleep eternally.
His peace is not a slumber,
But rather a walk in Glory,
Living forever in the Light of Christ.
         Frank has gone to glory!
         Frank has gone to glory!

Do not be sad for him, as if in exile
He were banished from this earth.
From birth he gave glory to the Lord,
And in exchange, that glory has come back to him.
I did not lose my brother.
Through Christ’s promise, he was found.
He did not die; he did not pass away.
You ask me then what has become of him?
My young brother has gone to glory.
         He is not here.
         The Prince of Peace has brought him home to Glory!


This poem first appeared in Bereavement: A Magazine of Hope and Healing (March/April 1990), 25.

Sal Buttaci is the author of two short-short story collections published by All Things That Matter Press: Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts, both available at Amazon.com.

He lives in West Virginia with his loved and loving wife Sharon.