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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 13:23          13,240 subscribers         December 5, 2013
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otherwise noted.  Unauthorized use is a copyright infringement.


by Dawn Copeman
by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: Using a Camera to Collect Stock Images - It's a Snap! 
by Gail Kavanagh
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Bring Them to Life, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf   
Novel, Too!  What if this year you could honestly call yourself 
an author because you could support yourself and your family?
Details Here: http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=592721
* FEEDBACK. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* CONTESTS. Over 50 contests are always open and free to enter.
* FUN! Get feedback, enter writing contests, and learn.
DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing
company and the questions you should ask.
WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has over 60 online courses. Prices are low. If
you can reach our web site, you can take our courses. 
STEP INTO THE WINNER'S CIRCLE! Find more than 1600 contest 
opportunities in Moira Allen's "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide
to Writing Contests"!  Available in print and Kindle.  
Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine


Give Yourself a Gift
So it's that time of year again; the fastest passing month of the
year. A time for panicked buying, rushing around stores, trying to
think of something original to buy and generally feeling frazzled.

Or is it the most wonderful time of the year?  A time to relax with
family and count your blessings.  A time to rejoice, to reflect and
to reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and your life. 

It is, of course, both; it is how you interpret the Holiday Season
that, to some extent, determines how you feel about it.  

The same can be said of life as a freelance writer. 

It is customary at the end of the year to look back and see what we
have or haven't achieved.  This makes good sense.  We all have a
pause over the holidays, a chance to reflect and to plan for the
brand spanking New Year that is just around the corner. 

This period of reflection can be a good thing or a bad thing.  

You could look positively at all you have achieved, as Moira said
in her editorial last month, and see how far you have come. Or you
could just view all the things you wanted to do and haven't. 

You could view your publishing successes with pride - "Hey, someone
published my work!"  Or you could berate yourself over the fact you
haven't yet been published in a big, glossy mag. 

The thing is, as writers, we are ALWAYS hard on ourselves.  We have
the largest inner critic in the world.  We want to share our words
but are on the whole generally, quiet, introverted people.  We set
ourselves up for rejection again and again and again and then, when
we do get published, we second-guess why and play it down. 

This year, in between shopping and eating and spending time with
your loved ones, I want you to give yourself a gift too. I want you
to give yourself a break.  Writing is mentally demanding.  It
requires huge reserves of creativity and also huge quantities of
being hard-skinned to cope with rejection. 

So sometime over the holidays I want you to take time to re-read
your work, to acknowledge that it has value and to be kind to the
writer within you.  This doesn't mean you can tell yourself you are
perfect! We all have things we can improve on.  But take time to
recognize your strengths and to congratulate yourself on still
being a writer. 

Then when the New Year comes, you can start from a position of
peace and strength and love. 

Here's wishing you all a very Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. 


I think I'll also need to give myself the gift of a new laptop
after mine died shortly after writing this editorial and before I
could get the newsletter to Moira!  Cue 48 hours spent trying to
get the thing working again. 

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor
This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here:


A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers!  It helps you plan your schedule, track your billable
hours, organize your tasks, keep track of important deadlines and
due-dates, and track your progress and achievements!  Each week
brings an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E.
To download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or information 
on how to order a hardcopy (this year in two formats!), visit 


By Victoria Grossack

What should you call your book? What title is so wonderful that it
deserves to be front and center on your cover?  What title will
convey to potential readers not only what your darling opus is
about, but will make them want to read it (or at least buy it)?
This article covers some of the issues in creating titles, not only
for your books, but for chapters and other texts.

The Obvious
In this section I'm going to state the obvious, because in many
ways, that's what titles do: they state the obvious.

TITLES ARE SHORT. There's not a lot of space on a book cover or a
screen (some screens are absolutely tiny). If you want to include
some artwork (recommended) and your name (of course) then the title
has even less space available. Besides, we humans can only remember
so many items in short term memory; you don't want a title that
will literally strain your readers' brains.

patently unfair for a book to be titled "Everything You Ever Wanted
to Know about Sex and Were Afraid to Ask," but have the actual
subject be a how-to manual for getting rid of crabgrass. 

TITLES OFTEN HAVE TWO LINES. To meet the objectives in the first
two paragraphs, often titles have the format: "First title phrase"
followed frequently (but not always) by a colon, and then a
"Second, longer title line that explains more about the contents of
the work."  The two-line format is especially common for
non-fiction books, but I use it frequently for my novels.

TITLES TRY TO GRAB ATTENTION. You may have many goals for the title
of your book, but one of them is nearly always for it to be noticed.

Obviously, meeting all these objectives can become pretty
challenging for a phrase or two, but that's what you've got.  And
so by the time you've created your title, you spent a lot of
effort.  It can be especially artistic, with multiple meanings and

The Not-So-Obvious
A sad fact is that titles get ignored, along with italics, poetry
and prologues. One reader reported to me that she was surprised --
shocked! -- to learn of the incestuous relationship between Jocasta
and Oedipus in our book, "Jocasta: The Mother-Wife of Oedipus."
This aspect of the myth is so well known that we felt obliged to
mention it in the title; we even hinted strongly at it in the
prologue. And yet she missed it. Oh, well. At least she had the
chance to experience (vicariously of course) the surprise that
Jocasta felt.

Not all readers have this level of inattention. Most people will
read the title of your book and catch at least its first meaning.
However, secondary meanings frequently go unperceived.  

Many years ago a fellow introduced me to David Eddings' "The
Belgariad," five volumes with the following titles: "Pawn of
Prophecy;" "Queen of Sorcery;" "Magician's Gambit;" "Castle of
Wizardry;" and "Enchanters' End Game." When I glanced at the
titles, I immediately remarked on all the allusions to chess. The
young man had never noticed this, despite these being his "favorite
books of all time!" -- and his playing a lot of chess. Perhaps part
of the problem was due to the fact that he had read them when they
were originally published, months or even years apart, and so had
not taken the bird's-eye view that enabled me to perceive the

Even writers don't always notice multiple meanings. My husband and
I finally watched the series "Lost," on DVD, and as I am always
interested in what actors and writers and directors have to say
about their efforts, I also listened to most of the "Lost"
commentary. Two of the writers were discussing the meaning of the
series' title.  Obviously nearly all the characters are lost on the
island. But, as we learn in flashbacks, they were also lost in
their lives before the series began. One of the writers appeared to
be surprised by this second interpretation of the title. I was
surprised by his surprise; I thought it was obvious, but if he was
not one of the original creators of the series, but only came in
later to do a few episodes, perhaps he accepted the title as it was
and did not look for additional meanings.

Despite the discouraging lack of understanding, I have a penchant
for multiple meanings; I think they add depth. "Fit for the Gods"
is the title of the first chapter of our novel, "Children of
Tantalus," and it has at least three meanings. The first is a
sacrifice fit for the gods; the second is a person fit to become a
god (in his own mind, at least). And finally, the word "fit" can
also refer to an episode of madness, which was also appropriate.
Certainly we enjoyed the phrase -- we even discussed it at length
-- but we are sure that many readers, perhaps most, won't perceive
them all.

Although you may create your titles with many levels in mind, do
not expect everyone to get them. Consider the extra meanings as
hidden gifts for your most attentive readers.

How Titles Assist the Writing Process
You may think of choosing a title as something that belongs to the
beginning of a writing project, as you decide what to do, or
perhaps the finish, as you contemplate book covers. However, I have
discovered that working on titles during the projects can also
assist in process of their creation.

TITLE DOODLING CAN INSPIRE. As a teenager I doodled my first name
in combination with the last name of a dreamy boy. As a mature
married woman who did not take her husband's name, that act no
longer tempts me, but in idle moments I will sketch book covers. I
sometimes even play with graphics, the computer-savvy way of
doodling. This daydreaming of the book-cover-to-be -- of my name
associated with what I hope will be a great novel -- can spur me on
when I am tired or uninspired.

TITLES CAN HELP ME FOCUS. Often in early drafts my story meanders
as my characters talk about their days, complain about not
sleeping, drink coffee and snipe at each other. But when I write
"The Guest of Honor Is Dead" and put it in bold, signaling that it
is a chapter title, it gets me back to the story and the core plot. 

Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen's
Emma," when I named "Losing Silver" as the title of an early
chapter, it connected thematically to later chapters that I called
"Finding Gold" and "Restored Treasure."

TITLES CAN CHANGE. Perhaps, as my work grows, I will find that the
title no longer fits. Choosing a new title helps me acknowledge
that and discard the sections that no longer belong. The right
title helps me create a work that is coherent. Of course, the
sections that don't fit and even the old title can be archived for
a future effort.     

Perhaps you won't use titles for your scenes or even for your
chapters, and even if you do, it's possible that they will not
impress your readers as much as you want them to. Perhaps a
disciplined work ethic and a good outline could do as much to
motivate and streamline your writing. However, titles can be
another way to keep going.

Titles, Marketing and Other Business
Now, although I don't usually get into the business side of
writing, we all know that the title of your book can make a
difference to how and where it sells.  

Classics" was renamed "The Great American Bathroom Book:
Single-Sitting Summaries of All Time Great Books."  Although some
readers objected that the new title lacked the dignity merited by
such a work, the huge increase in revenue made the latter an easy
choice for the editors.  In fact, they were able to expand it into
three volumes, although I believe that the second two volumes are
out of print.  And yes, I keep a copy in my bathroom.

Tapestry of Bronze series is "Antigone & Creon: Guardians of
Thebes." During its creation, Alice and I referred to it all the
time as "Guardians," which is how we still think of it. 
Nevertheless, before publication we decided to include the names
"Antigone" and "Creon". This lets potential readers better know
what the book is about: the names "Antigone and Creon" are more
specific, although less romantic, than "Guardians of Thebes."  It
also ensures that reader looking for information about Antigone or
Creon is more likely to stumble across our book.

titles are not copyrighted. "Copyright does not protect names,
titles, slogans, or short phrases. In many cases, these things may
be protected as trademarks."  

published "The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of
Jane Austen's Emma." However, it turns out that there is a real
Highbury, where real murders have taken place. Alas, murders have
taken place everywhere. I hope I am not offending those who
suffered from these real events, and I hope that the second line of
the title will keep potential readers from confusing my fiction
with reality.

TITLE PATTERNS CAN SIGNAL A SERIES. The allusions to chess in
Eddings' "The Belgariad" may have been too obscure for potential
readers, but in other cases the title pattern makes it clear that
the book belongs to a series. The Harry Potter books all had the
phrase Harry Potter in them.  You have probably also seen book
covers with titles like these: "A is for Alibi;" "B is for
Burglar;" "C is for Corpse." The pattern signals immediately to
potential readers that these are part of the Kinsey Millhone series
by Sue Grafton. If you are considering writing a series, you may
want to create a similar pattern.

Although I've made many suggestions above, these really are only
suggestions. I'm sure you can find many examples in which these
suggestions are ignored, and with great success. Nevertheless I
think we can agree that titles serve a useful purpose for books,
chapters, scenes and even emails. I also challenge you to pause
when reading titles created by others and see if you can discover
their multiple meanings. 

Thanks for reading! Thanks for joining me on my exploration some of
what it takes to craft fabulous fiction; I've appreciated the kind
notes from many of you in response to earlier columns.  See you in

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
Victoria is co-author with Alice Underwood of the Tapestry of
Bronze series (Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes;
Arrow of Artemis; and Antigone & Creon), based on Greek myths and
set in the late Bronze Age. On her own she has written The Highbury
Murders, in which channeled the spirits and styles of Jane Austen
and Agatha Christie.  Her newest novel is Academic Assassination (A
Zofia Martin Mystery) - available now on Kindle and coming soon in
print.  Besides all this, Victoria is married with kids, and
(though American) spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies
include gardening, hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics.
Visit her website at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact
her at tapestry (at) tapestryofbronze (dot) com 

Copyright 2013 Victoria Grossack. 
This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at: 

Link to this article here: 

Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines
or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max.
on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed
or typed, for a chance to win cash prizes. Deadline: 01-16-2014.
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter now!


Henry Winkler and JK Rowling Among UK Literacy Heroes
The National Literacy Trust has been looking for people to crown as
Literacy Heroes, people who have had a positive impact on reading
or who have struggled with and overcome literacy problems of their
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/p3bpl3s

Amazon launches Short Story Imprint
Amazon has made another move into the publishing world by launching
a new short story imprint in the US.  The imprint, entitled "Story
Front," will publish short stories and poetry in a digital format. 
Story Front will also publish a weekly digital literary journal. 
For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/p3ogwjt

Bloomsbury Launches New Science Imprint
Science books are suddenly big sellers.  The market for science
books has grown 8% year per year since 2012 and now Bloomsbury has
launched a new imprint, Sigma, for popular science.  To find out
more visit: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bloomsbury/sigma/


FREELANCE WRITER. A complete manual on how to sell your articles
to magazines, newspapers, in-flights, websites. I've sold more
than 800 articles globally in six years using this innovative
system. Freelancing success all comes down to sales and marketing
because selling your stories is just as important as writing well.
My marketing system will help you sell more articles than you can
write! For more information please go to:


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Literary Agent Looking for Authors to Represent
Linda Epstein, a literary agent at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary
Agency, (http://www.jdlit.com) is looking for fiction authors to
represent. You can find out more information about exactly what she
is and isn't looking for at her blog. 

Lovecraftzine Open to Submissions
The Lovecraft Ezine is currently looking for Lovecraftian and
Cthulhu Mythos fiction.  They do not want pastiches, but are
looking for stories that feature the themes of Lovecraft. 
They are a paying market.  For more information visit: 

Chicken Soup for the Soul, lots of deadlines for early January
The Chicken Soup for the Soul is currently seeking stories for
various anthologies with submission dates in late December and
early January. For more information visit: 


EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  Moira Allen's new "The Writer's
Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 of
them for instant inspiration on those days when you can't think of
a thing to write about?  Holiday topics are a perennial favorite of
magazine editors around the world -- so fuel your inspiration and
jumpstart your articles today!  Available in print and Kindle
editions; visit http://www.writing-world.com/year/holidays.shtml


FEATURE: Using a Camera to Collect Stock Images - It's a Snap!

By Gail Kavanagh
If you write or blog, you may come across many situations where you
have to go searching for stock photos, and if you are the typical
writer or blogger, you will be strapped for cash and looking for
free images. The words to keep in mind are Public Domain and
Creative Commons, which allow you to use images without having to
pay for them. But you will soon discover that finding the right
image is not as easy as it seems.

You write your words - why not take your own images? Building up a
library of generic stock images you don't have to search for or pay
for is surprisingly easy. All you need is a digital camera, and you
probably already have one and a stack of images on your hard drive.

First, decide what images you need. If you are a niche writer or
blogger, this isn't too hard. You love writing about gardening, so
head out into your garden, or the local park, or your mum's garden,
with your camera. This time you are not framing pretty pictures of
your dog or grandchildren; you are looking for stunning flower
heads, deeply shaded groves and copses, little eye-catching
vignettes and anything that will make a good illustration.

You don't have to travel far afield to get great stock shots; they
can all be had around your local area (although it is smart to keep
your eyes open for great stock shots when you are travelling, too).
Just remember a few important little rules. If you take a picture
of a car (because you need a picture of a car), make sure the
licence plate is hard to see or use your photo software to blank it
out. If you take a picture of a stranger, make sure you have
permission to publish. 

If you are snapping at a public place or event, you should be OK,
because it is difficult to canvas hundreds of people for their
written permissions. But it is wise not to identify anyone too
closely, or single anyone out for a photo, especially if they are
doing something embarrassing. 

It is simply common sense to avoid photographing children in a way
that makes them identifiable. Parents are naturally wary of anyone
taking pictures of their children, and kids in government care are
not permitted to be photographed, even by the press. Trouble is,
you don't know which one has got an angry parent, or an angry
government agency, behind them. So give cute kiddy shots a miss
unless you have permission.

Property is another matter. Here the charge you want to avoid is
trespass. You can photograph private dwellings as long as you do
not trespass onto the property. Street shots are OK and can be used
generically for illustration purposes. These are public areas, but
if you want to take photos inside a shopping centre, big store or
other privately owned public space, be sure to ask the management
first. Some may take no notice, but others will demand to know what
you are doing.

It is permitted to photograph a public event, such as a bike race,
that takes place on a public road or playing field. But if you go
into an arena or sports stadium, you will need to know the policy
on using cameras. At concerts and stage shows it is generally not
allowed, but at an open air concert in a public space you can snap

It is always safest to ask, or to look for a sign, when planning to
take photos in a place you suspect might not be regarded as public.
In these security conscious times, it can even be risky to run
around taking photos willy nilly. The rest is simple courtesy and
common sense.

It is always wise to carry spare batteries and a spare storage with
you in whatever format you use - SD, CF or memory stick. There's
nothing worse than missing a great shot because the battery is
flat, or because the card is full. 

Sometimes an image will suggest a story to go with it, so don't
forget a notebook and pen, or keep a note on your phone. Images
make great story prompts, so if you have an idea, grab a few images
to go with it, and trigger your memory later.

To make your stock library, create a new folder on your hard drive,
and add sub-folders for different subjects that you will be
collecting. When you download your photos, separate the different
images into the appropriate folders. Get to know your camera's
imaging software, or use one of the free image manipulation
programs on the Internet, to make your images perfect. Programs
like GIMP, Picasa and paint.net are free and easy to use.

For use on the Internet, you can save your images at a low
resolution such as 72-100 dpi (digital pixels per inch). This will
ensure they upload and download quickly, so that neither you nor
your site visitors will have to wait around. But if you plan to use
images in print, you will need resolution of at least 300 dpi. That
is why it is always best to take your images at the highest
resolution possible on your camera, and downsize them on your
computer for the Internet. That way you will get lovely sharp
images on your blog, instead of the pixelated images you normally
get at low resolution. Doing it the other way -- taking the image
at a low resolution and trying to upsize it with your graphic
software -- just won't work. The result will be horrible.

Once you get the hang of stock images, you can set up photo shoots
of ordinary objects around the home, such as coffee cups,
furnishings and your computer desk, and anything to do with your
hobbies and interests. Before long, you will have a stock image
library that rivals anything you will find on the Internet, and
which will actually work much better for you.

Gail Kavanagh is a freelance writer living in Queensland, 
Australia. Gail's articles have been published all over the
Internet and in print. She is the author of How to Make a Miniature 
Gypsy Wagon, available at Amazon.

Link to this article here: 

For more advice on taking your own photos, visit our freelance
Photography section:


A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.



By Aline Lechaye

Writers obsess over their characters. We obsess over their names,
hair color, eye color, height, weight, back-story, family members,
friends... the list goes on and on. We want our characters to be
more than people who live inside our heads -- we want them to be
real. We want them to live inside the heads of other people as

But anyone who's ever seen a favorite book adapted for the silver
screen knows that there's a big difference between the way a
character is described and the way said character looks inside
readers' minds. In the past, a writer needed to be talented at art
(or be friends with a police artist) to be able to draw the
characters inside their minds. In the modern world, a computer and
patience are the only two things that a writer needs to make their
characters come to life...

The Portrait Illustration Maker 
(http://illustmaker.abi-station.com/index_en.shtml) is a web-based
portrait illustrator originally used for creating forum avatars.
However, the site has a dizzying array of features that make it
perfect for drawing fictional characters. You can choose from a
variety of hairstyles, face shapes, eyebrows, eyes, noses, and
mouths, and you can also add accessories and make-up. The
customized image can then be saved to your computer. The only
drawback of the website is that as it's a "portrait" illustrator,
you can only draw your characters from the neck up. The Portrait
Illustration Maker is also available in Chinese and Japanese, and
you do not have to log in or create an account to use the site. 

The Hero Machine (http://www.heromachine.com/heromachine-1-1/) is
another piece of web-based software, one that was originally used
for drawing superheroes. Unlike the Portrait Illustration Maker
above, the Hero Machine allows you to create a new character from
head to toe. Choose from different eyes, eyebrows, noses, mouths,
and hairstyles, and then move on to choosing the appropriate attire
for your character. Once you're done customizing your character,
you can print out the finished character or download a text file
that will enable you to load your finished character to the Hero
Machine the next time you visit the site. (Note that a more
advanced version of the Hero Machine with more features and
accessories can be found at 
http://www.heromachine.com/heromachine-3-lab/. However, this
version takes more time to load than the one above.) 

If you're a fan of Japanese anime, you'll love this next piece of
web-based software. As you can probably tell from the title,
Anonymous D.'s Anime Character Maker (
is a software for creating anime characters. The software has a
cute interface and is extremely simple to use. Start by choosing
whether your character is male or female, and then go on to
customize hair, eyes, skin, clothes, weapons, and other
accessories. Currently there is no option to save your finished
characters, so you'll have to use the "print screen" key on your
keyboard to save your work (simply press the "print screen" key on
your keyboard, open up a new word document, and then right-click to


Copyright Aline Lechaye 2013

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye at gmail.com

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission 
of the author. 


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Although this site has not been updated in a while, it is still
full of some handy hints for new or wannabe ghost-writers, written
by actual ghost-writers.  

This is another site that hasn't been updated in a long time, but
again, another site with some good hints and tips from writers who
make a living writing greeting cards. 

Progressive Greetings
Progressive Greetings is the name of the trade magazine of the UK
greetings card market.  This page has an e-newsletter as well as
tips on how to write for the greeting card market. 


To Win" features over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide. 
The current edition has more than 450 NEW listings.  You won't find
a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere.  Available 
in print and Kindle editions.
Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates, by
Moira Allen
The Writer's Year: 2014, by Moira Allen, 

Find these and more great books at

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 140,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Readers are welcome to forward this newsletter by e-mail IN ITS
ENTIRETY.  This newsletter may not be reposted or republished in
any form, online or in print, nor may individual articles be 
published or posted without the written permission of the author
unless otherwise indicated.

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 
Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2013 Moira Allen

Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor