Beth AloneMy story’s probably pretty typical as far as writers go. Big imagination. Got in trouble at school because of it. If I were a kid today, I’d probably be on Ritalin. “Non-hyperactive ADD” they’d call it.

I was a late bloomer. Mostly because I tried pretty much every profession I could think of before I finally realized I was running from writing. I guess I didn’t think I could make a living tapping the keyboard.

I began writing professionally around 1995 and sold my first novel to a publisher two months after my dear writing partner died. His name was Bentley, a beautiful black schnauzer.

Two weeks later, Lucy, the Rat Terrier Wonder Dog, joined me. What a trip she was. Healthy and strong, the girl kept me on my toes. I figure the Good Lord gave her to me to teach me how important it is to (according to the famous words of Ms Frizzle of Magic School Bus fame) “Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy.” Lu lived by that mantra without even trying.

Sadly, Lu is no longer with me and today I write with Rudie and Jake. Both are Humane Society pups and are the light of my day.

But I digress. As usual.

All in all, I’ve written (literally) hundreds of articles, six nonfiction titles, and three novels. I also write ad copy for businesses nation wide. And all of us at Filbert Publishing pump out issues of Writing Etc. twice a month. Now, that’s a great time.

I love writing and wouldn’t trade this past decade for anything. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible.

Many of my original gurus have stumbled. Some have stood the test of time. I’ve enjoyed a few professional friendships… some that will endure, others that have already crumbled.

I’ve lost sight of my writing goals more than once, but always seem to manage to pull myself together and get back on track. In the process, I’ve learned there’s nothing more painful than living someone else’s dream. And nothing is more unfortunate than discovering you’re deep inside a friendship where your dreams contain no relevance.

The biggest change (so far) to my freelance life began in ’13 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. The following year was rough and I learned a lot about human nature, medical science, and quackery. I didn’t write much about the experience; I figured if I died, I didn’t want to do so in a public forum.

But, so far it appears as though I might be classified “in remission.” I hope it holds. I’ve got a lot to do before I deal with the Big C again.

So, if you join me in this wacky world of freelancing, if just for a while, I welcome you with open arms.

If you’re a lover of words, a voracious reader… you’re my kind of people.

But most importantly, here’s a quick message to all of us who belong to the brotherhood of the pen: May our voices always remain true to our dreams and may we leave this world a better place because we had the courage to broadcast our convictions.

Talk later,




  • You edited one of my short stories called White Rice, and I liked what you said. Your insight was encouraging and clearly a great help. Do you edit larger stories for a fee, or do it to publish the short stories on Filbert?
    Filbert nuts, by the way, have powerful anticancer properties that I can attest to. I had a cancerous tumor the size of my palm that shrank to nothing after I took curcumin, thistle seed extract, raw filberts and Flore-essence. That effort took a year and a half. Then, the church prayer group helped the last part of it, about the size of a fifty cent piece, vanish. That happened eleven years ago. Afterward, skin lay flat on my ribs and half of one breast was missing, so Dr. VanWinkle x-rayed my lungs and did a blood test each year to make sure nothing was growing there.

    I have produced about fifty short stories (mystery novels on the psychic side, scifi fantasy novels, and a few powerful short stories of actual spiritual events). There are ten novels in all. Two are for MG and two for YA. In the past fifteen years, I have a received over two hundred rejections from agents. None were sent in more than two duplicate queries at a time. As a member of SCBWI, I finally got accepted to send manuscripts to Albert Whitman last June and my husband had a major heart attack. his heart stopped and he is still recuperating. Recently, the editor retired. I will send pieces there soon to the new editor, but I would like to know how you charge for editing, or linking writers to agents. By any chance are you planning to have another contest?

    • Beth

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for the story! Sadly, I’m not an editor, I think you have me confused with someone else. I don’t link to agents either.

      But YES! I’ll be hosting another contest soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

      Beth 🙂

  • p Carr

    Loved the advanced cat yodelling! (Did I misspell that, or just dare to use something besides the root word?)

    I’ve learned so much from Beth, if I come across anything whatever I can share–

    Just a note to Beth: In my background, a Bugger is either in the C.I.A., or just a regular pest! A booger, on the other hand, is the punch line in that old joke about the poor veterans riding the train. Number 3 vet is asked, “I suppose you got that [jerking hand] in the war, too?” whereupon he replies, “No! I just got it from my nose!”

    • Beth

      Thanks! I like the yodeling as well.

      Thanks for your kind words… and the joke. I love afternoon giggles.

      Beth 🙂

  • Giorgio (what I’ve been called since a kid)

    Hi Beth,
    I had this urge to write to you tho I’ve fought it for a long time. As a subscriber, to your newsletter & purchaser of some of the books & CD’s you’ve written , I couldn’t hold back any longer.
    You are truly an amazing woman (which is right above the word Amazon in the dictionary, did you know). Your Volumes I, II, III of Advice to Freelance Writers has inspired me to get back to my writing goals more than anything I’ve read over the last two years. It was the kick in the seat of the pants I needed.
    When I’m at my desk writing, it feels like you are standing behind me whispering the incouraging words and suggestions I need to keep me going on. It’s like I finaly “woke up” as you describe in volume II on page 14.
    It must be so hard to juggle your personal life, professional writing life and yet some how find time to give us future writers all the advice that you do. I know it’s meaning often can be an understatement in todays society but: THANK YOU!
    I collect quotes that inspire me and this one by George Elliot is my mantra. ” It’s never to late to be what you might have been.”
    Sincerely, Giorgio

    • Beth

      Hey Giorgio,

      You totally made my day. Thanks for your kind words. The George Elliot quote is perfect. May we all take it to heart.

      Beth 🙂

  • Hi Beth, I enjoy your email newsletter. Thank you 🙂

    • Beth

      Thanks, Lisa. You made my day. 🙂

  • nik


    i was looking for an email contact on this page but could not find one. I was curious why your other site is “plantbasedchef.com”, being that it apparently has nothing to do with plant based food, or being a chef.
    would you consider selling it? you can email me at nikalonzo@hotmail.com