WEbook Goes Global

Expat
We have some serious adventurers in our midst, WEbookers – and they can write!



WEbook top writer Sarah is bringing together
stories of life in distant lands in the anthology Ex-Pat
Journal
.
It’s one of the most active projects on WEbook, and if you haven’t read it yet, you’re
missing out!



As Sarah
writes in the project description for Ex-Pat Journal,
“The best way to see the world is to be a local yourself.” She invites WEbookers to “tell us your
experiences living and working abroad. Share your adventures from around the
world and WEbook authors can help you
become a published author.”



If you’ve ever wondered how
long it takes to get from Nicaragua to Costa Rica on a bus
(answer: a heck of a lot longer when there’s no air
conditioning), or how
to survive a year-long teaching contract in Korea
(answer: carry a pastel blue thermos decorated with cartoon
bunny rabbits wielding toilet plungers),  Ex-Pat Journal is
for you.



Want to join the fun? Take a look at Ex-Pat Journal’s
most recent submission, “Living
Uncomfortably in Cambodia
.” In this
thoughtful and funny piece, georgie
explores the ins and outs of class difference in a country “deeply scarred from
30 years of war and genocide,” where “nothing is quite as it seems.” (And if you think you can’t laugh out loud at
an article with the words Khmer Rouge
in it, georgie will prove
you wrong.)



When you visit Ex-Pat Journal, be
sure to bring your red pens. All the
stories are active works-in-progress, and improving work through feedback
and
revision is at the heart of what it means to be a WEbooker.  Help TsungChi wrap up his curious tale
of an injured
cow, a Thai policeman, and 2000 Bhat
– and suggest some ways for WEbook
featured writer MotherJungle
to answer lingering questions about the root
of spiritual truths, found in the beautiful simplicity of a
child’s birthday party in Costa Rica
.



If you’ve ever lived abroad, you’re invited to contribute to
Ex-Pat Journal. And keep your eyes open – one of these days,
I’ll chime in and tell the whole story of my stint as the honorary postmistress
of the Osaka Prefecture in Japan
.



-- Melissa





WEbook Grab Bag

Way to go, WEbookers! You officially made it impossible for me to
pick just one “featured project” this week. There’s just too much interesting writing happening on the site!



Like Gumshoe
Gertie and the Oriental Daggers
, an old-fashioned whodunit with a
decidedly new-fashioned heroine. Author gumnaam is working on Chapter 2
now – go check
it out
, give your feedback, and help gumnaam figure out what Gertie
should do about the naked corpse in her office.  Who knows? Gumshoe
Gertie
 could shape up into the hottest beach read of the summer
-- and we’ll all be able to say we knew it when.



If you’re in a more serious mood, I recommend WEbooker davidgrundy’s article “An
Echo in Another's Mind: My Grandfather and Glenn Gould's Bach,”
in Rhyme +
Rhythm = Reason for Living
,
a collection of essays about the power of
music in everyday life. Full disclosure
and own-horn-tooting: I am not only the
proud leader and editor of this project – I’m also a contributor! After you’re done reading about how Glenn
Gould helped davidgrundy
find communion with his emotionally distant grandfather, you can read about how
Def Leppard changed my life in “I’m
Hot, Sticky Sweet.”
While you’re at
it, check out the other submissions in Rhyme +
Rhythm = Reason for Living
, and write one of your own!



Finally, work up an appetite over at Food
for Thought: Stories You Can Taste
,
where project leader Gila and her fellow WEbookers are
sharing their culinary trials and tribulations. If you’ve ever wondered what happens if you make matzo balls with
scrambled eggs
, this is the project for you. Read about the father-in-law who won’t pick up the check at his son’s
rehearsal dinner
, the aunt who criticizes everything her niece puts in her
mouth
, and much more. Then share your
own tales of “food don’ts that real people do.”



It’s easier than ever to read and write on WEbook – and it shows! Browse Active Projects for more
great reading. Don’t forget to let the
writers know what you think of ‘em – and if you’re feeling authorial, post a
contribution or start a
project of your own.



--Melissa





If You’re a Runner and You Know it, Grab Your Pen

This morning, the season’s first purple crocus popped its
head out of the dirt in my neighbor’s backyard. Forget that cowardly groundhog -- spring has sprung! And right about now, half a million perky,
ponytailed aerobics instructors are looking out at empty, mirrored rooms,
wondering: Where is everyone?   



We’re all in the park, of course – running!



If you’re out there, too, you’re in good company at WEbook. Check out My
Running Life
, where project leader JenWilloughby and her
fellow WEbookers share their tales from the trails. Read about krysk’s return to running after a
cold-weather hiatus. Share WEbook
featured writer MotherJungle’s
travails and triumphs as a running newbie. And find out what keeps WEbooker MHeinz out on those L.A.
sidewalks even though, as she says, “I’m not sure I like to run.”



When you’re done reading, help JenWilloughby “see into
the hearts of other runners.” Pick up
your pen, stretch those writing muscles, and share the story of why, how, and
where you run. Then put those shoes back
on and treat yourself to a nice, long…walk.



Now, doesn’t that feel good?



--Melissa





WEbook, Meet MotherJungle

Motherjungle
I’m not the first person to be impressed by WEbooker MotherJungle’s
writing. Years ago, she wrote a story
for ARTnews, about art from a dog’s point of view. She says it was “a silly piece…in response to
[an article by] Steve Martin.” Well,
apparently Steve Martin didn’t think it was so silly. A few weeks after she submitted the article
to ARTnews, MotherJungle
got a call from International Creative Management. The agent on the other end of the line said
her article was “one of the funniest things he’d read.” Did MotherJungle have anything
else he could take a look at?



“The silence,” writes MotherJungle. “ I’ll
always remember the silence. I had nothing.”



Lucky for WEbook, MotherJungle has been
writing up a storm since that long-ago phone call. You can read about spirituality and community
in Costa Rica in her article for WEbook’s Ex-Pat Journal,
Costa
Rica has Taught Me a Thing or Two.
” Or go to The First Year to
read “Math
Wasn’t Like This in My School
,” a touching story about a young teacher, a student
with a butane lighter, and the most important equation of all: Trust. 



MotherJungle
hails from Minnesota, and has lived in Costa Rica for ten years. She left the States “with a husband and three
dogs.” Now she’s single with two kids. Her youngest son was born with Down Syndrome,
and MotherJungle says that “the
incredible help I get for his care heavily tilts the scales to stay in this
safe and peaceful Central American country.”



MotherJungle
first realized she was a writer when she read Bird by Bird, Ann Lamott’s classic memoir about the writing
life, on a long flight to Florida twelve years ago. And she’s not just a writer! She’s also produced and hosted two radio
programs at an international radio station in Costa Rica, and she’s working on
her third, SunStruck Radio. (Listen to the podcast here.)



In addition to “Costa
Rica has Taught Me a Thing or Two
” and “Math
Wasn’t Like This in My School
,” MotherJungle has also
written articles for WEbooks My Running Life,
Motherhood, and Bouncing
Back from a Breakup.
 



Wow! What a WEbook resume!



Keep an eye out for this top writer – I have a feeling we’re
going to be seeing a lot more of her on WEbook
in the days to come.



-- Melissa



The Gunhands Phenomenon

The American Heritage Dictionary says a phenomenon is “An
unusual, significant, or unaccountable fact or occurrence; a marvel.” Well, WEbookers, we have a phenomenon in our
midst, and it is Gunhands
Part I: The Legend is Born.



The brainchild of WEbook
top writer Schang1, Gunhands
Part I
tells the story of Gunther Hans, WWII sharpshooter and victim of a freak
accident that leaves his guns fused to the acid-eaten stumps of his wrists, and
his mind consumed by a passion for revenge.



In answer to my burning question: “Are you serious?” Schang1 assures me that he is “DEADLY
serious. Like Gunhands himself.” And he’s
not the only one. Gunhands
Part I
currently has ten WEbookers collaborating in an active forum
discussion
, brainstorming plot ideas and building a roster of characters
such as Rayford
Ironshell
, a cross-eyed American fighter ace and the best sidekick a
mutilated revenge-mad German could hope for. Schang1’s first
submission
to the project is written in screen-play format; as he points
out on the forums, “They made Snakes on a Plane.”



Secure your invite to the Hollywood premier of Gunhands
Part I
by joining the fun now. Get
over to the project
forum
and help Schang1
and his friends decide whether the Female
Assassin
should be played by Lucy Liu or Roseanne Barr.



Only on WEbook.



-- Melissa





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