EPIC board member Kim Votry is writing coach for the Shoreline School District and was recently interviewed on her program to bring together writers from EWHS and a local elementary school. You can read the full story , and check out this list of EWHS student works:

Christina Amsden is writing a play about a sign language interpreter who is interpreting for a deaf man whose mother is dying. She began it while in Mr. Quinn’s creative writing class.

Sylvia Chace's fictional novel,  “The Writing Club,” is about a group of young writers gone awry, told in journal entries from several people and is based on the NaNoWriMo club.

Alexa Stevens participated in her first NaNoWriMo, and is writing a novel about a city of five kinds of vampires, with political rivalry between police, council, and king/prince, in Alaska so that humans don’t interfere. Council members begin dying, so police want to find out what happens and the answer leads to war between the “savages” (old insane vampires) and the civilized vampires.

Emma Tibbits' novel is about an earthquake hitting Seattle, which affects young Victoria. Her father works on Magnitude Project which is supposed to predict earthquakes, but it didn’t predict this earthquake.

Dorian Grimes wrote “Murderous Creatures,” which is available on Amazon and is about a teenage evil boy genius Tevis Jones who works with an evil dolphin to take over the world (dark comedy/satire). Current novel is historical fantasy, which is also a satirical dark comedy about the French Revolution.

Pavi Chance wrote a novel, “The Secret Book,” about a world where you are not aloud to read aloud. Two narrators-in-training, the only people allowed to read, get trapped in a novel and have to get out.

Jackie Kobal wrote a web-based comic with multiple endings about two aliens (an engaged couple) who crash-land into earth, and programmers have to help them get back to their planet. One ending scenario involves the alien king taking over earth; intended as a humorous game.

Anna McLane is working on an ethical choice novel since last August, about a group of people trapped in a bookstore with a shooter who is doing a revenge killing for something in his past, told from the perspective of a girl when a shooter can’t finish it - so the girl has to choose. The book reflects everyone’s perspective to make them all appear innocent. Anna’s problem is deciding what the girl will do (whether to shoot the killer or the criminal who the shooter was going for), needs a solution that isn’t an easy out, but that says something about the girl. Can’t just leave it hanging because it would be too mean if it were left up to the readers.

Liam McDonald is writing a novel as well as a poetry booklet because April is national poetry month, and poetry helps him express his emotions. The booklet is titled “Attention in Time” after a slam poem he wrote for an assignment in English, and it describes struggles and coming to terms with them. The novel is called “Bridge over Troubled Water” for a Simon and Garfunkel song. "Lots of authors write about rags-to-riches, but we ignore the people in the streets - what if someone lost everything and wasn’t given any respect?" Liam’s story tells of Killian Riley, who used to be a CEO of a ‘technology giant’ company in Seattle until it crashed. He is disowned and can’t find another job. He is finally befriended by a department store employee in Seattle. It turns out that not everyone is the cold heartless people we see every day, and that there are people like my friends here who actually care. Writing has been a help, and when he needs it, he sits down at a keyboard and writes poetry, writing through his heart and not his hands.

Belinda Schmitz wrote SciFi-fantasy about dimension jumping half-demons on the run from the government in a graphic novel. She is doing the art herself as well, and Liam says she’s a fabulous artist.

Scarlett Strauss began a novel in 2011, which she finished for NaNoWriMo of November 2013. It's a piratical adventure about a group of high school students who want to escape their ordinary lives, so they turn their imaginings into reality on their own pirate ship.

To see a video of the students, check out

Goodbye to all that! Sometimes she wasn't worth it anyway. But other times she was terrific....especially in the lovemaking arena. And sometimes it was a real arena!

She didn't like half the things I liked and I didn't like half the things she liked, so we were like half a couple. We each needed our alone time to really try to resolve our differences.

Why did two Leos get together anyway? My passions were so different from hers and her passions were so different from mine....except in our mutually agreed arena adventures. Wow, I could write a book or two about that and it would surpass the "Shades of Grey." Why, I'd even call it purple or dark red!

Oh, well, it's sad to say goodbye to all that and yet the good memories will be with me forever.

So, what do we do now or, I've got to remember, what do I do now? Yes, I'm a bachelor again and maybe that's the way it should be.

Uh-oh, was that beautiful gal glancing at me? Well, the first thing I have to ask her must be, "Are you a Leo?", and see what her response will be.

"Oh, you are a Leo? Well, I thought you were someone else. I apologize for interrupting your sun bathing."

As I walked away, I thought to myself I should have known better than to be inquiring about relationships on a nude beach in the last hour right before sunset. So I'll say, goodbye to all that!

GOOD BYE TO ALL THAT TRASH, said my editor. “ I want original nonfiction from you” 

I replied, “But, how can I write nonfiction that never happened nor (is) ikely to happen?” 

He said, “Think about you living in a parallel universe so what happens there is new to you and all your readers . Because it happened there it's non fiction.” 

I asked, “How can I write about something  I know absolutely  nothing about?"

“Why be different? Use your imagination,” he replied. "That’s what writers are supposed to do.” 

“But,” Mr.  Editor, “ I thought that line of reasoning applied only to novels.“

He replied, “Think differently. The wilder your imagination, the better your nonfiction. You’ll soon find out if you read enough nonfiction. Take an acorn of truth and make it a mighty oak of a story. Readers don’ t want boring facts; they want vivid stories of suspense and surprise. Come on, Jim, rewrite this and don’t submit until you come up with stories that sizzle.“

“Okay, I’ll do my best. I’m tired of boring people. That’s the bane of history writers. A date here, a date there, people portrayed as cold fish, no spark, no fire. I've been writing about GW the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I'll start telling lies about him."

Mr Ed asked, “How?” 

“You know he slept in 281 beds. I’ll just invent a companion lady of the evening for him each night. That’ll keep the pages turning. And besides maybe he did live in a parallel universe so who can accuse me of fabricating the truth?  It's done every day by our leaders in a town named after GW. They get away with it.  So can I."


James Hodges, Ph.D.
Author of "Beyond the Cherry Tree: the Leadership Wisdom of George Washington"

Leadership by George!


Member: National Speakers Association, American Society for Training and Development

Writer Kay Vreeland provided a link to for Digital Diva and tips on stock photos:

I'm back! Let's dive right in....With the emphasis on images for effective social content marketing, many of us are challenged by the lack of visual assets in our archives. Sure, we have the cool Instagram pics from our family vacation, but if we aren't photographers or photo-oriented businesses, how do we find images we can use on our websites, blogs, and social networks that don't look cheesy and canned?

Here are 5 royalty-free image options ranging from free to pretty affordable that offer some really usable images. Note that most also include video.

1. - I had never thought of this before, but images from U.S. government agencies are technically "owned by the people." I found this out by calling several agencies to find out their image licensing fees including  and the  and was informed that they were free. Find more U.S. government owned and published images on  and also search Flickr. (Note: You may come across some images that have copyrights and usage terms).

2. - One of the largest, totally free stock photo sites out there, it is now owned by Getty Images. The site still offers photos and graphics with pretty flexible usage terms. Sometimes you have to hunt around for something good, but free is definitely an incentive to use it!
3. - People who upload their images to the photo-sharing site Flickr have the ability to set their own copyrights and usage terms such as giving attribution and "share alike" meaning using the same terms you use to distribute your own images.

4.  - This site helped kickstart the crowdsourcing of photos from both amateur and professional photographers. I keep $50 worth of credits in my account for those times I need very specific, professional-looking images for PowerPoint presentations. 

5.  - "An artist owned co-op with a curated royalty-free collection." Some of the photographers selling images here migrated from the larger royalty-free sites. This one is pricier, starting at $10 per image, but the selections are gorgeous.

A few other stock photo sites include , and . Another freebie is . What stock image sites do you use?