Tag Archives: military

Breadcrumbs to Blogs

There is so much to read on the web! Think of these as breadcrumbs, leading to a banquet of selections for your plate of experiences here in the wild internet.

First up – Molly Greene: Writer.

Molly has two previous books  and launching now, her latest mystery novel Rapunzel. Find out more about her books on her site. She blogs on writing and the writing life several times a week. Check out her post Self-Publishing: 6 Valuable Lessons I Learned Between Book #1 & #2 for some helpful hints post publishing that first book. The one that really stood out for me? Number 3 – “Confidence and experience strengthened my personal filter.” The key take away: There is a great deal of information out there, use other opinions on what to do as a guide but do what is best for you as long as you cover the basics – “You must have a well-written, well-edited, well-proofed and well-formatted book with a professional-looking cover.”

Second – O-Dark-Thirty.

O-Dark-Thirty is the literary journal for the Veterans Writing Project. The Veterans Writing Project provides no cost writing workshops and conferences for veterans, service members and military family members. Combining both print (O Dark Thirty) and online (The Report), the site offers opportunity for members of the military community to publish their work and for those without military experience to gain insight and perspective on what our service members and their families go through. The print journal publishes 4 times a year. The Report updates often with new work. Make this one of your must read stops when surfing the net and order a print subscription. For a sample read, Kevin Neirbo’s Later explores a Marine’s coming of age.

Third – Beyond The Margins.

Truly a smorgasbord of writerly edification options. “Think literary magazine run amok,” is how the site describes itself. A dozen contributing writers plus guest posters present diverse voices and experiences on the craft of writing and business of publishing. A recent post by Randy Sue Myers entitled Manners for Writers has some useful hints about writer behavior in the literary community. A key point not enough bloggers and tweeters understand – “Most readers…don’t want to hear complaints about how tired you are, how much you hate writing, and what a grind it is to revise. It’s better not to show how the sausage is made.” Yep,  and I’ve done this too, it’s easy when it’s time to log on and make a new post to fall back to what isn’t working. I see more than a few updates that are complaints and there is nothing in a complaint that encourages me to keep writing. If you can take that complaint and turn it into a useful piece of reflection, well, that’s another story.

Three breadcrumbs to follow, and each will lead you to other resources and readings. Enjoy.

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Write What You Know

Today a rare, non-writing related posting.

Friday was the ceremony marking my retirement after thirty-three years of service in the United States Army. More than three decades and during much of that time, my writing, (ok, it is a writing related posting) was inhibited. We are always told to “write what you know.” If I’d written what I knew, fiction or nonfiction, I risked losing everything in the military for I served under the entire lifespan of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

In retrospect – I wish I had written more and published what I’d written. What is written reflects the culture, good and bad. When social change is needed, it often is explored through literature, theater and song.

So get out there and write. Write what you know, and what you want to know in the future. Vicki Hudson Army Retirement Ceremony


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Veterans Writing Project – What a Week!

Poets with GWU Writing Program Director

Poets with GWU Writing Program Director

The time spent immersed with veterans across conflicts and generations was without compare. This was so much more than a writing retreat. Yes, there was lots and lots of creative writing. Yes, there was much discussion of craft. Yes, there were word prompts and revision and work shopping of deeply personal moments in the life of someone who just days before was a complete stranger. The biggest gift though was the common thread of respect and mutual regard as veterans. No one had to prove anything. All of us had already “been there, done that.”

I attended in a genre not my usual focal point, poetry. I’ve been spending a large part of this year concentrating on poetry though nonfiction narrative is where my MFA and much of what I publish remains. In part, this has been to return myself to my writing first love and first roots. I’ve considered returning for another MFA, in Poetry, as I don’t feel I have the “poetics” muscle well developed, and lack the scholarly experience the genre seems to demand for an educated discussion within the poetry community. Or perhaps I’m placing too much weight in the academic side of the poetry community. What my experience immersed in poetry this week with four other poets and the wonderful tutelage from North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti gave me was tremendous validation as a poet. That the narratives I write, in poetry or in prose are a means to give voice and that this is a calling I must continue.


On the final night, we all gave readings, please give a listen to my reading of the original poem, When Jenny Comes Marching Home.

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Next Big Thing Blog Tour

Janet Hardy has tagged me on the author Next Big Thing Blog tour where I talk about a current book project. While I have several projects working, I’ll discuss my novel in process. When you get to the end, you’ll find several other authors I’ve tagged to carry on the tour as well as a link back to Janet.

My Next Big Thing –

1) What is the working title of your book? The Republic and the Patriot or The Republic – I am back and forth undecided.

2)Where did the idea for the book come from? A couple of presidential elections ago I considered what might happen if the peaceful transfer of power that is the United States presidential election was perverted via terrorism and what if that terrorism was home-grown?

3) What genre does it fall under? Fiction, thriller

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Jodie Foster for Lieutenant Colonel Rockabye, the kick ass hero, Bruce Greenwood as the domestic terrorist foil, and Karl Urban as Captain Rockabye’s son who responds to a dare that has unimaginable consequences.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Military officers swear to uphold the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic – foreign is easy, domestic not so much.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Undecided at this point in the process.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft? I’m mid way through the first draft now. I expect to finish by midsummer.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hard question at the moment – but some movies that come to mind include U.S. Marshals, and The General’s Daughter where something is different from what it seems.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? The beginning concept came from a briefing I received during training as an Information Operations Officer in the Army that raised the question how does a serving officer respond to domestic constitutional threats? The book grew from a homework assignment from author Rosemary Graham when in her novel craft class while a MFA student. I revised a short story I was working and expanded it as the characters didn’t want to remain a short story.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Parts of the story reflect the experiences of Army reserve soldiers recalled to active duty, highlighting the integral and largely misunderstood part they play in the national defense. The overall theme is duty, honor, country; family, and sacrifice for blood or treasure. Read the first chapter here.

Check out these other authors on the blog tour –

Joleene Naylor, author of the Amaranthine Series

Quannie Mitchell, the 2013 Emerging Writer Honoree

also mentioned Janet Hardy author of Girlfag and Rosemary Graham, author of Stalker Girl


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War Cats Awarded Honorable Mention

I am pleased to announce that the essay, War Cats, was selected as a finalist in the Adanna Literary Journal’s Women and War competition. War Cats will be published in the upcoming Winter 2013 issue – Women and War: A Tribute to Adrienne Rich. War Cat

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Guest Post at OutServe Magazine

Visit OutServe Magazine for my guest blog post regarding Chaplains in the Military as Force Multiplier or Force Distracter.

The Chaplain must be greater than his or her personal beliefs; for if not, all those that believe different are unable to trust the Chaplain, and their spiritual needs within the unit will go without an avenue for relief. A Chaplain who is unable to attend to the diverse and pluralistic nature of any given military unit is not a force multiplier, but a force distracter.

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Chow named as Global E-book finalist!

Chow is a Finalist in Dan Poynter’s Global E-book awards, military nonfiction category!

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Chow Nominated for Global E-Book Award

Chow has been accepted into nomination for a Global E-book Award. The Global Ebook Awards honor and bring attention to the future of book publishing: Ebooks. Now in its second year, the Awards are in 72 specific categories. They are open to all publishers large and small so that a winner is the best in its category not just the best of small or regionally-published ebooks. Most ebooks are also available as printed books as well. The awards ceremony will be in gorgeous Santa Barbara on August 18, 2012.

Chow is an excerpt from Hudson’s unpublished collection of essays recounting her career of 32 years in the Army Reserves. An Army moves on its stomach but combat rations only go so far for so long and a Soldier has to find something else to eat. From mess halls to mess kits, Chow chronicles one Soldier’s inventiveness and adventure in food while deployed in wartime. A small snapshot into what many never think about – what’s to eat?

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Military Repeal Day – When DADT Became History


Seeking personal accounts of actions or experiences of serving LGBT military members and your families on 20 September 2011, date of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal and your experiences throughout the first year until the Anniversary date of 20 September 2012. Did you take part in a celebration, make a point of coming out to those you work with, do a small yet significant or symbolic action (like update your DD 93 and change ‘friend’ to ‘spouse’) that marked the change from forced in the closest to finally able to be yourself and true about those who are your family? What is your story of how you experienced Military Repeal Day? What was the significance of the day for you and your family? How does the repeal affect you? In the months following September 20th, what was life like for you in the service? What was your experience in that first year? What are your thoughts, opinions, emotions, and observations for you and your family during this historic first year when LGBT service members were finally visible?  Are you an ally? What was your experience of your compatriots no longer having to hide? Were you a leader? How did this impact your unit or leader responsabilities?

Submit your story as RTF or Word document to Victoria.A.Hudson@gmail.com. Please include your name, rank, service, phone number, email and snail mailing address.  Alternately, mail hard copy to MRD c/o Hudson, P.O. Box 387, Hayward, CA 94543. Deadline is October 1, 2013.

Submissions will be considered for the anthology Military Repeal Day – September 20, 2011, When DADT Became History, edited by Victoria Hudson.

 Victoria Hudson deployed for the First Gulf War, NATO IFOR Peace Enforcement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and service in Iraq. Additionally, she served in two domestic call-ups post 9/11. She has over 32 years of service. Currently, she commands an Army Reserve Battalion in Northern California.  She is a plaintiff in a service-member and veterans’ constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act denying military and veteran same sex couples the benefits of federal recognition and spousal benefits.


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