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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back to the Beginning

As we approach the New Year, I've decided to write a little something about each of my books, starting with the first one published. If this little blurb peaks your interest, please go check it out on Amazon.

Mother Confessor

Mother Confessor Book 1

In book one, young children gather around the Mother Confessor, eager for the only story she ever tells. Throughout the decades, they are shocked to hear of the kidnapping, frightened to learn about the murders, and overjoyed to learn that one of their own breaks through the "curse" to save a little girl from their hometown.

Mother Confessor Book Two

In book two, but as children get older, they aren't content to hear the stories.  They want answers they aren't getting.  Despite being their Mother Confessor, their storyteller is withholding information.  Do their lives depend on it?

Or get both books under a shared cover!

Mother Confessor 2 in 1 edition

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Website Overhaul

A loving person sat me down very carefully and told me my website was too busy. This was months ago.

And they were SO right! I just didn't know how to FIX it.

It took me a long time  to clear my brain-space to figure out how I wanted to capture the last decade of my writing life (and some things predate THAT!).

So what I have now is by no means PERFECT, but it is BETTER.

I've made better use of the menu levels and I've updated a lot of links that I should have realized (but didn't) were dead. (Yes, I saw dead links. And they didn't know they were dead. Take that, M. Night!)

This is a weird transition for me in figuring out what Phyl Campbell Press will look like in the coming months. Will it be absorbed into Creative York on terms acceptable to me, as I hope? Will I keep it separate, as may be better for me and the baby -- er, business -- I have built?

Speaking of Creative York, absolutely go check out my classes on their page(s).

Check out Rustic Cup, too!  The owner is a wonderful soul who is getting me to think even bigger and bolder. We haven't solved all the world's problems yet, but I think we're closing in!  ;)

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Joys of Moving

The Empty UHaul

OK. So I've been remiss to the four of you that read my posts. Just kidding. Are there four? I know many people are still reeling from the election, and my friends know that I took election day (because the kids were out of school) to get a lot of packing done. Then, a week after the election, my son and I (with some help from our dear friends) loaded a UHaul which my husband drove to our new home. Then, he went back to work and my son and I unloaded the UHaul. What a task.

So NaNoWriMo -- I think I got 300 words in. It's been one of those years.

Books -- Got two published (I'm not the author) in time for Christmas. Be sure to check out Philly and Jingle on Amazon. Hopefully editing two more that I will have available by Christmas, but I am only half of either Young Author/Editor duo, so...  (no pressure!!)

QR codes -- figured them out. Pretty neat!  People can make them free online. More on that later. ;)
This QR code takes you to the I'm Not Writing a Book Today link on Amazon. Try it!!

Job -- Two teaching venues, with premiere dates December 17 and January 3. Stay tuned.

New things: Mail Chimp -- with so many people leaving off FB for various reasons, I turned to a new method to get info to people. Eventually, I will learn how to conduct all this social media seamlessly without creating new content to say the same thing(s). My apologies to those of you seeing the same message multiple ways.

As a reward for your patience, more pictures...

On the road -- Welcome Center # I lost count

Not impressed having to get this thing up stairs and through small doorways

My son the trooper, putting up with me (to get his video game chair set up)

Dolly Ho!

Yes, the TV is missing. And it STAYED "missing" until many other parts of moving were done. NOT my first move with a teenager!!

UGH!  So many boxes!

Again, I say UGH!

Tool of the trade -- use stepladder and other boxes to get things from "Mama's Attic"

Tools of trade #2

It's finally done happy dance #1

It's finally done Happy Dance #2

In February when we last moved, he couldn't move the ramp himself. How he has grown!

This also wasn't possible for him earlier this year!

Shut the door and lock it up! We're done!!

If you are on FB and have been missing out on updates, be sure to check out Campbells in York PA.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Racism, a Basketball Game, and an Election

People who think racism doesn't exist are missing a lot. Part of that is insulation from life in (usually, though not always) affluent white-dominated communities. Living in GA has opened my eyes to so many things. But another part of people thinking racism doesn't exist is somewhat willful ignorance. I brought something to a Springdale educator's attention privately in an effort not to make waves -- and for my trouble got told if I wasn't personally affected, then I shouldn't complain about being offended by something, even if it was racist, and even if the educator was on the record acknowledging racist content -- but people should just understand it was all in good fun. So who should complain?

These ladies are feeling affected, they are following a protocol which has been established by a pro-athlete. They spoke with their coaches about it. It wasn't a whim decision. For me, the push back they are getting says more about how far we have to come as a nation than their silent protest ever did or could.
These ladies are students. They are at the University to learn not just subject matter -- they are learning how to be adults and learning how to be heard. And that is HARD. It is hard for adults at 30 and 40. These young ladies are in their late teens or early 20s. 

I think it is wrong to criticize someone for any kind of protest without having previously engaged the protester in something that addresses their concern. And merely telling the ladies that they don't have a concern is disrespectful at a high, high degree.

People who are generally confused or not knowledgeable about racism in this country -- to me, that's like saying the Holocaust didn't happen and sexism isn't prevalent. I try to excuse as much as I can; I try to understand where people are coming from, but come on. Have they not seen how our President has been talked about -- the birther movement, the threats of lynching -- how did they MISS that? Do they not know what caused the riots in MO, NC, and other places? People not getting fair trials? Do they not understand about the Innocence Project -- what it is, what it does, and who it helps and needs to help? Do they not hear the awful things one of the presidential candidates says about (women,) immigrants and minorities? At some point, ignorance is not an excuse. Smoking causes cancer, drinking alcohol can cause liver damage, and being black can get you arrested, shot, and killed at a higher rate than being white. 

There are people who tweet Darius Rucker that he has no place in country music. There are people willing to yank Gabby Douglas's medal because she wasn't respectful enough. 

Racism can be a bit more subtle -- though we also have evidence that it is direct. You know when someone is looking at you in ways that make you uncomfortable. You may not be able to articulate it. But it still exists. We need to listen to people when they express their discomfort -- especially our young women. We need to give them safe spaces to express their concerns. 

The athletes may be more privileged than the people they kneel for. Maybe they aren't doing it for themselves, but for someone who didn't get their opportunities. And they are shedding light on intolerance. 

Kneeling is not a sign of disrespect. People kneel in their churches. They kneel to pray. For the talking point that kneeling is ever disrespectful -- really? To me, talking that kind of nonsense attempts to criminalize someone for their difference of opinion. And that hurts my heart. It makes me VERY angry. 

When our biker friends prevented Westboro Baptist Church members from protesting military funerals, that was a good protest. WBC was chanting and holding up signs condemning soldiers because we have equality in the military. And the bikers stopped it. The WBC was wrong to protest funerals. Their protest was disrespectful to grieving military families. What the bikers did was important.

Our best effort, until we know how to address the concerns racism presents, is to invite these athletes and people with concerns to talk to us. We need to listen to them. We can't do that while defending the status quo or telling them they are disgusting. We need to find out what they need and then we need to be willing to be uncomfortable so we can provide it. And one thing we can do immediately -- as white folks -- is to tell our neighbors to listen first. We are the privileged race/class. We do have a responsibility to help, and not to harm. 

It's good to struggle with this, but we've got to do more than that. And we need to understand that at this late stage in the game -- in 2016 with a really disrespectful POTUS candidate -- there are people who don't believe equality is a goal for people watching from the sidelines or worse, criticizing people for trying to raise awareness.

I was talking with some fellow authors this weekend and we laughed, but shook our heads at our shared experience. We have a whole month dedicated to black history, but MLK and Rosa Parks were the two representatives of the month mentioned year after year. We talked about all the history lessons where there was the token black and the token female -- and three white guys. Even lessons on suffrage dealt more with the men who fought against it then the women who fought for it. There is more to our history. We need to be open to it.
This post was created in response to the outrage some of my old neighbors had that six students took a knee during the anthem at a Lady Razorback game. And in light of those same people expressing their outrage who are simultaneously backing a candidate who supports violence and oppression of immigrants and minorities. I can't believe we are talking about this vote being close. I hope there is a landslide on Tuesday evening after the polls close -- but we ARE divided. We have some MAJOR problems that people are turning blind eyes to. And we need to help people to be heard. We need to help people to see the truth. I know it's hard. It's also important.

Monday, October 24, 2016

NANOWRIMO REBEL with a cause


starts at midnight Tuesday of next week -- November 1.  I am moving November 19. I have a ton of half-formed ideas. And really I have no idea what's going to happen.

50,000 words in 30 days -- no sweat, right?

And I really ought to be sleeping now, but as usually happens when I know I need to go to bed, my brain thinks "now would be a great time to think about random thing 361,297 and I can either try not to think about it or fire up my laptop and post something.

So before I find my maturity and hit the hay, I'm going to share a post about my journey as a NANO rebel. I invite you to sign up for NANO this year and dust off any writing pursuit you may have, whether you follow the rules or become a REBEL like me. So click on the hyperlink above and ENJOY!

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer. She writes and conducts workshops on a variety of topics: Education, Women/Feminism/Equality, Book Reviews, and Writing. Her books are available on AmazonIf you'd like to see her speak at an upcoming function, contact her via her website or Facebook page.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Well, it was worth a shot!!

I tried to share a post from my Goodreads Author account -- where I am recognized as an author, not just* a fan.

So I wrote a review of the latest Lisa McMann book I read, and clicked the box to share with my blog and Facebook. So far, neither has posted.

So basically, this is a post created so that the three** of you know that I am writing and trying not to overwhelm with posts. There is lots more I could write about, but I am supposed to be editing.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Word getting done on a Friday night. Funny!!

*Tonight I am done with the words. No offense was meant. Readers and fans are extremely important. What they lack is the responsibility of the profession to post reviews and edit author pages.

**Kidding/not kidding. If it weren't for FB shares, this blog would see very little attention. I almost miss the troll who kept wanting me to buy her dental services. Almost.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Parenting Conversations (and more) as Nonlinear Fiction

I have written a few pieces now on nonlinear writing. And after a great meeting yesterday at Creative York, I came up with one more analogy.

Before I reveal that, I want to say that I write about nonlinear writing because most people hear the word “linear” assume something like “linear equations.” This causes some people to revert to feelings of abject horror from algebra class, and the bad feeling -- the feeling that ears must be covered by hands and feet must run for safety as fast as possible -- ensues.

I often feel awkward talking to people whose background is visual artistry because drawing, creating, and visual arts are not things I feel I do well. I don’t feel I can draw a reasonable stick figure with a stencil. I can produce something that I like and ruin it with one ill-timed swipe of a marker. I don’t have the control over my mouse required for advanced computer graphic art -- or beginner art beyond basic Paint or copy and paste functions, if I’m being totally forthcoming. And I generally am (totally forthcoming, full of TMI, and/or honest to a fault).  

I’m trying to remind myself that other people feel as inadequate about their ability to string sentences together as I am about creating an image. And yet we Facebook, email, text, and talk. And I try to put that in context with people when and where I interview.

Most people who talk -- see what I did there? -- are great storytellers. And there’s a very small baby-step between storytelling and writing. And I hope I did a good job conveying all that yesterday.

I think I did, because as I explained the community building games of Flash Fiction After Dark and the Four Favorites Game, the education director I met with got an even bigger smile on her face. “I could do that,” she said. “That could make me think positively of myself as a writer. And I’m not one.” (I’m paraphrasing, as I did not tape-record the session, but I think I’ve captured her feeling and intent.)

Here's another look at one sample of the FFAD game:

Anyway, I’m getting off track -- something that often happens to nonlinear writers and thinkers. I explained nonlinear writing as the kind that happens when you write what you are most passionate about, like a fight scene, and then write about what happens after the fight or what builds up to the fight.

And that got me to thinking that a lot of bloggers write in nonlinear fashion. Something about the day’s events or the topic du jour produces a stronger feeling, emotion, or reaction than other events of the day. Sometimes it’s a holiday -- like Columbus Day becoming Indigenous Peoples Day -- which unless people talk about it, will go ignored by most people. A federal and no-school holiday. Woo hoo! Unless no school means no free lunch or being home alone because parents have to work. But there I go getting off track again. How very nonlinear of me.

Perhaps the best description I have of nonlinear fiction is when a person’s kid comes home and responds to the question “how was school?” with “OK” or "Fine" OR “Nothing” OR a barrage of hard to follow commentary. Most parents try to suss out the important parts of the day -- and anything they need to be worrying about -- in patterns of nonlinear genius. The children usually fail to appreciate the Herculean efforts of those parents.

And when parents write about any of those experiences, it is typically in nonlinear fashion.
And we read it. We *get* it. And it's awesome.

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer. She writes and conducts workshops on a variety of topics: Education, Women/Feminism/Equality, Book Reviews, and Writing. Her books are available on AmazonIf you'd like to see her speak at an upcoming function, contact her via her website or Facebook page.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

White Discussion

Tonight, a sixteen year old student -- with a 3.8 GPA, two jobs, a clothing line, and a book of advice for people his age -- is launching his book. And because I helped him publish that book, I'm part -- a very small part -- of that story. And I've got to worry that this young man might not be safe getting to his own book launch and getting home afterwards.

I worry about all my students. But not quite like this. 

Because my guy -- because, yeah, that's how I think of anyone I've helped publish -- is getting a lot of support for his success. And it isn't the book that has made him successful. He's been a National Agri-Science Finalist. Twice. Which means he won all the semis and local competitions leading up to Nationals. That GPA -- did I mention that? A clothing line? A guy with a clothing line? And two jobs -- two jobs where he isn't the boss and he has to miss a lot of life and a lot of fun and a lot of teen age experiences.

He's 16. He wants to be successful and he wants to help teens. 

He's 16. And he towers over my five feet eight inches. Which might be a problem.

Because when this young author gets off work, when this honor roll student clocks out, when this National Agri-Science Finalist walks to his mother's car, when the young guy with the clothing line is driven home by his mom -- in fact, all the time -- he's black. 

I have watched people flock around this guy. In fact, I've encouraged it. He's 16. The GPA. The clothing line. The two jobs. Now the book. A BOOK. My son won't willingly write a single page essay, and this guy wrote a book.

We should support sixteen year old young men with big goals and bigger dreams. 

We shouldn't have to worry about 16 year olds getting shot because they are tall.

Sixteen year old authors shouldn't have their book launches shadowed by racism.

Even if they tower over tall women like me.

Even if they are black.

I was thinking about tonight's book launch when the following exchange occurred yesterday on FB:
A -- Original Poster -- she married a HS classmate of mine. For many topics of frugality, we're on the same wavelength. But I saw a different and ugly side of her tonight. And I think it comes from where we grew up, in the same lily white community where there were so few people of color that we could think all manner of ignorant things and if they left our mouths, there wouldn't be any repercussions. We honestly didn't think. As the exchange will show, the other people involved just don't know. 

B -- OP's friend
C -- OP's friend
D -- OP's friend

E -- OP's friend
And then there's me. I didn't block my name. 

Ignorance. Pure and simple
Townhall VideoLike Page (This is the video: It came from a conservative Facebook group, and the video title (shown below) is misleading.)
7 hrs · 
Charlotte Activists: Get Ready For More Violence, We're Not Going To Stop.
Top of Form
LikeShow more reactions


Could not agree more. Instead of helping the situation, he is going to help make the situation much more worse! Be part of the solution and not the problem!
Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs · Edited

Phyl Campbell SO what is the solution? That football guy took a knee and people are going nuts, so people clearly don't think peaceful protest is the solution. I'm equally appalled when people suggest killing Hilary Clinton is an option if she wins the election. I don't think electing DT is the solution. I think equal rights is a solution. I think better pay, equipment, and training for officers is a solution. I think HEAVILY fining CEOs who steal from their employees is a solution. But some people think that would be too expensive. So clearly the people that are being killed -- being SHOT and killed by police -- aren't worth as much to people who think it's too expensive. So what is the solution?
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

 Solution-- bring God back into our country. Plain and simple. Some may not agree. Some will agree.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Phyl Campbell But the same group of people who think the football player should be fired or tortured or whatever also think Muslims should be deported because they support Sharia law. 
And there are more wars between religious groups than between religious groups and Atheists. 
So I don't think bringing God back (God is ALL OVER the South, judging by the number of churches and preachers) is the solution. But I'm open to hearing other suggestions. Honestly.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

 I don't have the solution and won't pretend that I do. What I do know is that, people as the one in this video are only fueling the racial fire. When was the last time a person of any race was pulled over, fully complied with what he or she was asked to do and was killed? You couldn't pay me enough to be a police officer right now. There are too many Monday morning quarterbacks, that want to tear apart decisions that these officers make. Don't be a thug, and do what you are told. If I were to get pulled over tonight, and did not comply, went back to my car, or showed any action that made an officer feel threatened I would probably get shot. Think it would make the national news?
Like · Reply · 1 · 25 mins · Edited

 Agree! Follow the rules! There's no racial motive to this.
Like · Reply · 18 mins

Phyl Campbell Do you know how many times people have been pulled over for driving while black? And it didn't make the news?
I know I'm more likely to 
get pulled over more than women in mini-vans. I know when we get pulled over, we are less likely to die if we are white. 
But don't listen to me -- watch this:



Phyl Campbell I watched the video you shared again. The headline says there will be violence, but the speaker only mentioned economic boycott of the city of Charlotte. And that is totally understandable protest.
Like · Reply · 5 mins · Edited

not accurate. He speaks of regress and not getting justice. He speaks of telling his"brothers" to keep doing what they are doing and it will not stop.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

 I'm always up for good debate, but there is no end to this. Someone will always be wrong. My opinion. Stands firm. Obey the law, live to see another day. Continue to act like thugs, and pay the consequences. Pretty simple. Are there going to be rouge cops. Sure. Just like there are corrupt teachers, coaches, managers, and diplomatic leaders.
Like · Reply · Just now

Phyl Campbell Not accurate? You're kidding me. Or we somehow watched different videos. Is it possible we saw different videos? I really want to understand where you're coming from, but these people are DEAD. I'm having a hard time getting past that. DEAD. Our classmates are freaking out trying to figure out how to tell their kids to be safe. Another person was shot for reading a book in his car.
If people weren't being SHOT DEAD, I could call this a debate. But this is a tragedy.
Like · Reply · Just now


 A book? Read a little deeper. Police recovered a loaded firearm in the car. I guess he was using the pistol as a book rest. Nothing to see here. Sure he's dead. Because he didn't obey commands. Obey the law. Carry around guns and don't comply. You get shot. I have no remorse for that. It's not because he's black. I don't care what color he was. Obey the law, it's simple. Millions of people do it everyday and don't get shot.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Phyl Campbell Terrorists can be taken into custody after killing people. Alive. Police put bullet proof vests on suspected shooters and they get to stand trial.
This guy MIGHT have had a loaded gun in his car. Who was he shooting? Why is he dead? That person's van broke down. He was walking away with his hands in the air. Why is he dead? She was in a jail cell. Why is she dead?
Like · Reply · Just now


 The man from Tulsa was fried out of his mind on PCP. Officers recovered mass quantities in the car. The van was not broke down, the man was hallucinating and said the car was on fire
Like · Reply · 1 min


 Liberal media strikes again.
Like · Reply · Just now

Phyl Campbell Can you prove that? Even if that was 100% true -- WHY ARE THEY DEAD? Why are they not worthy of a trial? Why do actual murderers get protection that they don't?
Like · Reply · Just now

Can you prove it was just a book? Can you prove that the guy in Tulsa was telling the cops he was simply going back to his car? Everyone wants to assume the worst.
Like · Reply · 22 mins

Phyl Campbell "Everyone" wants to assume the worst? The guy is DEAD. I don't have to assume the worst. He's DEAD. I mean, you might be assuming the worst, because if he wasn't killed and then killed a bunch of people -- if the cop killed one person to save a bunch -- OK. I could understand that. But I don't see any evidence that supports that. I see a guy that's DEAD.
That's not my liberal agenda, although I am a liberal and I am proud to fight for equal rights. It isn't equal that James Holmes is alive and going through trial, Dylann Roof is alive and getting justice, Robert Lewis Dear is getting justice -- and they are all white and they all actually killed people (allegedly) -- and that in the same country, Keith Scott is DEAD, Terence Crutcher is DEAD, Tamir Rice is DEAD, Sandra Bland is DEAD. And I could list many many more.
Like · Reply · Just now

Ignorance, will get you know where. Its unfortunate that anyone has to be subjected to any kind of violence ,no matter what the job,color religion or race. We need to stand together as one nation,only then will we all win.
Like · Reply · 2 mins · Edited


Does boycott = looting?

Those of us who are white need to keep talking. The actual person we're arguing with may not listen. Chances are they wonder why Obama wasn't in the White House on 9/11 or they think DT will make America great again. And we're not really talking to those people who won't listen.
But we're talking to them to get help. To bear witness. For the rest of everybody at the table to see the crazy and know that they won't be alone because we've already called out the BS. They will have a ride home if they stand with us. So give them a place to stand.

I will when I get home tonight. I gotta go help a guy celebrate his success. And if you want to join me, get details here: book launch event

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer. She writes and conducts workshops on a variety of topics: Education, Women/Feminism/Equality, Book Reviews, and Writing. Her books are available on AmazonIf you'd like to see her speak at an upcoming function, contact her via her website or Facebook page.