Posts Tagged With: Write by the Rails

“Three Hots and a Cot” by Nancy Wyatt

Take a look at Homelessness from the Comfort of your Home!

Told against the backdrop of a homeless shelter “Three Hots and a Cot” allows you to see the impact of homelessness. This book, adapted form the stage play, is told in vignettes of short monologues. Feel the impact of job loss, chronic illness, and know that you too could become part of this story. The words will help you feel the powerful emotions of those who must live in shelters, for now. Allow this book will move you and impact your heart, open your senses and feel the stories. As a nurse that has worked in the HIV/AIDS community, taken care of patients who were homeless in parking lot’s “Three Hot’s an a Cot” is a look inside these lives that many will never experience. The glimpse goes into the dark hidden spaces of homelessness. It peaks into the reasons that we never thought of. It gives a glimmer of how the homeless children feel and answers some of the “why” do they end up like this. I found this a fascinating read that gave an open honest view of homelessness. I would go so far as to call it a must read for medical professionals and those who volunteer with the homeless. I would encourage all who dare to feel the poignant telling of these true stories and allow yourself to experience the homeless crisis through their eyes! This book has been performed on stage as well and licensing for theater groups is available.

Truth in blogging, Nancy Wyatt is in, “Write by the Rails,” the same writing group I belong to. This is the first of her books I have read and it is such a powerful book! I will encourage my student nurses to read this book! Her writing tells it like it is. I have worked in the community with the homeless and can verify the overarching stories are true to this culture. I have taken care of homeless patients in parking lots as that was the “best address” they had. I worked at a homeless hypothermia shelter and when the third person checking in that night gave the same address I asked what the deal was. “Oh we made it up, everyone needs an address. Especially if you hope to get any work,” came the reply. They had made up an address for their “camp” in the woods.

I encourage you to read this book. Experience the stories. Next time someone asks for help see if it changes your response. I have been carrying water and socks in my car for years to give out to the needy.

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Rising Writers Workshop March 29, 2014


Rising Writers Workshop is March 29, 2014  Hosted by Write by the Rails

Register now for the Rising Writers Workshop, a one-day event for high school and young adults, on Saturday, March 29 from 10 am to 4 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West Street in Old Town Manassas, Virginia. Only 60 spots are available.

This workshop is Speakers and panelists leading interactive discussions on poetry, publishing, science fiction, punk writing and more will include:

Charlottesville poet Sara Robinson, Cricket Design Works copywriter Sarah Crossland, fiction writers Robert Scott and Matt Iden, poetry and prose writers Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt and Zan Hailey, cyberpunk author and musician Nick Kelly, holistic health doctor and author Stacia Kelly, executive editor Stacy Shaw, and humor writer and marketing pro Kelly Harman. The workshop is sponsored by Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club in conjunction with Woodbridge Senior High School’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts (CFPA) Creative Writing Program.

Lunch will be catered by Old Town Manassas coffee shop Grounds Central Station.

Students and alumni from the WSHS Creative Writing Program will lead afternoon mini-sessions in free verse, hip hop, spoken word, the punks, fan fiction and more. The workshop culminates in an open mic session with great door prizes and giveaways.

Registration is only $25.00, including lunch and snacks, thanks to partial funding provided by Prince William County. Download a registration form, due March 22, Questions? Contact Linda Johnston at 703-926-4229 or email

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Write By the Rails Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014!


Write by the Rails – the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club:

Endless Blog Tour 2014: 16 members of Write By the Rails are participating in the 2014 blog tour which will run for the next 8 weeks!

List of Participants & Their Blogs/Websites:

1. Stacia Kelly-

2. Nick Kelly-

3. Tamela J. Ritter-

4. Katherine Gotthardt-

5. Dan Verner-

6. Cindy Brookshire-

7. Patricia Daly-Lipe-

8. Yours Truly – Jan Rayl-

9. Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

10. Angela Bryce-

11. Shay Seaborne-

12.  Mary Rosenthol-

13. Nancy S. Kyme-

14. Linda S. Johnston-

15. Tee Morris-

16. Phillippa Ballantine-

Look for exciting posts from each of these visitors on my blog!


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Wasps in the Bedroom, Butter in the Well: Growing Up During the Great Depression by June Kilpatrick

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Wasps in the Bedroom, Butter in the Well: Growing Up During the Great Depression, by June Kilpatrick is a wonderful read. This book is about life in the Depression. June shares life experiences and has a wonderful ability to tell the story of life in that time.

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Memory Lake by Nancy Kyme

Book Nancy Kyme 2

     Memory Lake, by Nancy Kyme is a wonderful memoir about summer camp. Nancy attended summer camp many times and her book reflects that expertise on the subject. I, Jan, have worked at several summer camps for many summers and reading Nancy’s book takes me right back to many memories common to those who have attended or worked at summer camp.


Memory Lake, by Nancy Kyme is a 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner, Inspirational Category

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Parallel by Claudia Lefeve

Book Claudia Lefeve

Parallel by Claudia Lefeve.  Great read, I will be getting the next book, Paradox, in the Travelers series!  A unique plot that makes for a real page turner – although would love to see it as a movie as well!

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Pennies from a Heav’n by Marvin Josaitis

Book Marvin Josaitis

Pennies from a Heav’n by Marvin Josaitis.  This book is sure to be a treasure to his family and friends.  I think all families should write a history to pass on to the next generation.  This is a great example of such a book.  I like the meaning behind the title too!

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