Jan Marquart, Author

Write On!

The Contest, a novel

Posted on | October 27, 2015 | Comments Off on The Contest, a novel

janbenbookfestivalLet me introduce my friend Ben Easton, the author of the fabulous novel The Contest. Ben is one of those rare authors who captures the reader with his writing and keeps him moving through his story as if he were watching it on the screen in a theater.

If you like a good read that expands your horizons, your vocabulary, and your understanding of global issues, then this is the book for you. The Contest is a novel set in the immediate near future in which the status quo comes under intense scrutiny and ideas that can transform the world suddenly have their chance. 

The protagonist, Minerva Bennett, is a billionaire philanthropist who questions her legacy; she believes that her world-class foundation has not done the job for which she created it decades earlier. She throws caution to the wind and puts her reputation on the line in a bold departure. She launches the largest competition in history, the objective of which is to produce manifestos that solve the world’s most intractable issues. 

For such a positive vision and such a magnanimous gesture, she is surprised at the antagonists that crop up from the outset. Not only her family and her colleagues, but many in the upper echelons of society seek to derail her efforts. A few go to any lengths to put a stop to the global media frenzy that becomes known simply as “The Contest.” 

Find out how Minerva and her team square off against dark forces in order to bring about a cultural sea change … from cynical resignation to genuine hope regarding the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.
Go to: http://www.bennetteaston.com/ to order The Contest.
Thank you Ben —
Keep the pen moving,

Scott Hastie Did It Again!

Posted on | October 21, 2015 | Comments Off on Scott Hastie Did It Again!

scotthastieScott Hastie has done it again! Without further ado, please enjoy this.

Whenever you can conjure

The stillness to notice,

There is

A sense of the ancient

Hanging in the air.

A lingering spiritual fragrance,

Full of knowing,

That dresses

Contemporary journeys

Like ours.

And always set against

Such a broad tapestry,

Long woven too

With telling details

That confirm who we are,

Albeit still as raw

And naive as any infant.

All the more so

When stood, toe to toe,

With the luminosity

Of days gone by.

And embarking,

As best we can,

On the benevolent


Of one thin slice

Of a chosen life,

However glorious,

Or loaded with pathos

This eventually becomes.

No chance of tragedy

Here though!

For we truly are,

As we come to recognise

Ourselves to be,

Mere receptacles.

Gilded chariots

That our spirits ride out,

But for a hallowed moment in time.

The merest splash of presence

In the serried halls of wonder.

Thanks Scott, as always, I love your poems and thank you for sharing them with my audience. Please check out Scott’s site: http://www.scotthastie.com/?p=3434

Keep the pen moving, Jan

Writing with Authenticity

Posted on | August 28, 2015 | Comments Off on Writing with Authenticity

jan-smallI was asked to speak to a group of writers about two years ago and to bring the many books I had written. I had a memoir, two novels, three writing books, and more. As I was describing each of my books to the group of writers one of the women bitingly asked me: “Are there any books you didn’t write about you?”

I  quickly dropped into a place of shame as if writing about myself meant something was wrong with me and couldn’t write them right. I took a breath and looked at her then answered quite emphatically, “NO.” How could I do that and why would I want to? Writing is a way of honor my personal experiences. It is a way to stay authentic. My books are about life, my life, how my life experiences can offer you a certain perspective, how hard times still have paths leading out of them, and that with courage and vulnerability you can lead your life into a place of satisfaction. Even my novels draw upon my own experiences or how else would I be able to write and make my message authentic?

This particular woman was in the thick of writing a memoir and quite stuck in her writing. As I saw it she was not stuck because she had an awful use of the English language but because she refused to drop deep into her own narrative and tell her story in all its bold and fascinating truth. She was afraid of her own story. Perhaps she was afraid someone would ask her what she asked me. Everything we write, everything we live through, everything we desire or don’t has to do with a connection to our own life. Nothing can be removed from our personal narrative, nothing.

So, is it the case that all my books reveal something directly or indirectly about my life? Absolutely. Can my stories also be about your life? Absolutely? Can I write about something of which I know not? Hell no! Does putting your writing ‘out there’ increase vulnerability? Yes!

There will always be critics who would rather pull you apart when you are falling to your knees and again when you have made it out of the darkness. I show up for my life. I share my vulnerability. I move away from those who like to kick me when I’m down. I found a fleeting sense of courage and I like it. I like not pretending. I still fall. And I still get up and I’ll still share it, like it or not.

Until next time,



Always Stay Loyal

Posted on | July 27, 2015 | Comments Off on Always Stay Loyal




Hi Everyone, Well my poet friend Scott Hastie has done it again. He has written an amazing poem. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I do. To read about Scott please go to: http://www.scotthastie.com/?p=3226

Always stay loyal

To that which feeds your soul,

Knowing, as mortal entities,

We can never go any higher

Than when we nourish

A little of God in ourselves.


Like a thin seam

Of silvered mineral within

There’s a hint of divinity here,

Some mystical suffused essence

That stays charged,

As if in the flow

Of an endless crystal stream,

Till our own sparking current fails…


This being so,

As our own life’s energies

Leak steadily away,

Every step we take

Is interlaced with goodness,

But that we knew it.


For deep, deep down

In the very wellhead of life,

Far beyond melancholy and despair,

Where real sweetness dwells,

There is an ever abundant

Reservoir of light

To be drawn upon by angels.


Fuel for a gathering readiness

That looks to ensure

We will be more than content,

When the time comes,

To simply surrender all we are.

And, in doing so,

Give sap,

Some shape, some form

To the many blossoms still to come.

Thanks Scott.

Keep the pen moving,




Meet Linda Schupp, PhD.

Posted on | May 11, 2015 | Comments Off on Meet Linda Schupp, PhD.

Hi Everyone,

I want to introduce my friend and colleague Linda Schupp, PhD. For those of you who know me, you know what I’ve been through with PTSD and for those of you who know my psychotherapy work, you know that I work with PTSD sufferers in my psychotherapy practice. I first met Linda through her first book Assessing and Treating Trauma & PTSD. I was excited to find a book that addressed the reality of PTSD and ways to treat it effectively.

I didn’t think the book could get any better and then Linda sent me Assessing and Treating Trauma & PTSD, Second Edition and it knocked my socks off. This 196 page book is easy-to-read and non-clinicians can understand its language. This is a must read for anyone treating clients or experiencing symptoms of trauma and PTSD.

Here is Linda’s bio:


Linda J. Schupp, PhD. is a national and internationally recognized trauma expert, author and speaker who has trained tens of thousands of people in her seminars.  For more than 45 years she has been counseling, teaching, and writing for professionals and survivors.  Her private practice in Colorado specializes in trauma, PTSD, depression, traumatic stress and grief.


Thank you Linda for writing such a fabulous book. I know my readers will benefit from the work you put into it. Linda is in the process of designing her website but you can check out both books on Amazon.com


Until next time,


as we toil and spin…

Posted on | April 27, 2015 | Comments Off on as we toil and spin…

as we toil and spin…


By now you all have met my friend Scott Hastie and his fabulous poems. Here is his new poem “As We Toil and Spin” that I must share with you. I know you will love it as much as I do.

As We Toil and Spin

As we toil and spin,

Pause and gather in the stillness,

Whenever you are able.


Trusting that,

Time after time,

This might bind ever deeper

In your soul

And, one day,

Come gloriously to bear.


Otherwise how vain

A deceit

Is such constant distraction,

That leaks into everything

To spoil our chances.


And, in so doing,

Look how we fashion instead

A raw and unnecessarily restless

Sadness in our hearts.


For it is what it is,

This life,

No more and no less…

And everyday

It shines upon us

With a patience

That is inestimable.


So take heart from this

And simply surrender in moments,

As best you can,

Even if only in modest ripples

That gently caress

The shore of your dreams.


Thank you Scott. You always inspire me and my readers. Keep your pen moving!

To read more of Scott’s poems go to his site: www.Scotthastie.com

Until next time,


The Contest by Ben Easton

Posted on | April 8, 2015 | Comments Off on The Contest by Ben Easton

beneaston I’d like to introduce a very special writer. My friend and colleague Bennett Easton. Bennett writes with flare and dimension. His new book, The Contest, is extraordinary. With the summer approaching, this is a great book to take to the lake, beach, or park. Please check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Contest-Bennett-Easton/dp/1507653344/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428517602&sr=1-1&keywords=bennett+easton+the+contest

Bennett Easton is a former math teacher and software trainer who now works as a freelance writer in Austin, Texas. He pushes the envelope on political and social issues in the hopes of inspiring his readers and serving mankind. And an inspiration he is. You must read how The Contest came to fruition.
Ben’s story about how his new book, The Contest, came to be a reality:
I came up with the idea for The Contest while writing in my “morning pages,” part of The Artist’s Way regimen. I was already in mid-manuscript on another book, but when the novel turned into a memoir, and then back into a novel, I knew I needed clarity. If I were losing focus, my readers would no doubt follow suit!
I asked myself, “What would give people a reason to pay attention to a story about ideals – perhaps a cultural dialogue – for an extended period of time?” One answer came immediately: “Money … lots of money.” Okay … so I followed this thought up with another question: “What if a billionaire were to sponsor a global contest that focused attention on solutions to our biggest problems … sort of a showdown between Idealism and Pragmatism?”
For whatever reason, I moved on. This little nugget remained a one-paragraph entry in my journal … for almost four months. I would think about it occasionally, but I continued trying to breathe new life into the novel-memoir-novel-thing.
Eventually demoralized, I reached out to a trusted friend who knows a great deal more about writing than I do. He instructed me to take a legal pad and list every single asset in my author mind … everything from seed idea to outlined projects to largely completed. Within minutes, I wrote down a dozen ideas, and I handed him the list. He went through every item, asking me to expand on any that still inspired me. While the work-in-progress received only a mild 5 on his “enthusiasm” scale, he informed me that the global contest idea registered a 9. I was amazed.
A long discussion ensued, mostly centered around the guilt and fear that I imagined I would feel if I were to suddenly stop work on my manuscript in order to start again from scratch. After all, I had already invested one year on the damn thing! My friend convinced me, however, that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Stay true – follow your passion.”
The next day, I sifted through several months of journal entries and found the seed. I planted it, and The Contest is the result.
Thank you Ben. I know my followers are going to love your book as much as I do. But what I am most impressed with is how you turned a simple writing practice exercise into a fabulous book. We all need to take this attitude into our writing and ‘make it happen.’
Keep the pen moving,
Until next time,


Posted on | January 21, 2015 | Comments Off on Dialogue

Have you ever gone to a restaurant or coffee house and overheard a conversation that drove you nuts or touched your soul or made you want to step in with advice? As a writer, what does that tell you? To me it says that if a conversation stirred me up that much that it is powerful enough to write out and maybe drop into a story.

I speak with many writers who have difficult getting dialogue succinct and with impact. But dialogues happen all around us. You don’t have to use every one you hear, but some are pearls just waiting to be plucked and valued.

So – go out there with journal in hand and start documenting dialogues for your next story.

Keep the pen moving!


author of 11 books

The Power of Poetry to Inspire Writing

Posted on | January 7, 2015 | Comments Off on The Power of Poetry to Inspire Writing

  Scott Hastie is a powerful poet. Each time I read his poems I get inspired to write. I know he will do the same for you. All writers must read to keep themselves on top of their writing mind. And don’t we just love how poetry inspires us to pick up our own pen! So, let me share Scott’s poem with you. I know you will enjoy it and you too just might spend the day writing as you get filled with wild enthusiasm.scotthastie


The Price of Wisdom

Posted on | December 18, 2014 | Comments Off on The Price of Wisdom

Jan2014I’m sure everyone has heard the maxim, Youth is wasted on the young. When I was young that sounded silly. Now, in my 60’s it makes so much sense. Just when we think we finally understand how life works and how much more there is to learn we wonder where all the years have gone. That is the price of wisdom isn’t it? One must actually live through a variety of experiences in order to learn the meaning and purpose of what being human is about.

When someone asks me about my life and I begin my story I am often asked how I got through it all, especially since I traveled my hard times alone often with harsh judgment and abandonment by those I thought would always be around when tough times hit. I’ve learned that everyone has his/her limits of compassion and the ability to give. I’ve learned that is okay. My life is mine and only mine so no one has to give help just because I need it. That philosophy has saved me tons of grief. It has allowed me to move on in a positive, hopeful, and easier way. But that is not to say I have denied any honest disappointment or confusion about which way I had to go next or why trusted people seemed untrustworthy. I simply took out my pen and wrote it all out. I wrote about my emotions, my thoughts, my expectations, my wishes, my plans, my resources, and what I could do to create an open door for the next step. Was it easy? Heck no! Was it desirable? Heck no! Was it necessary? Only if I wanted to live a life without letting anger and disasters destroy me.

Claiming my life and its separateness from others put matters into perspective. I truly didn’t want anyone not interested in being supportive to walk a difficult path with me anyway. This was most difficult because we all need help when faced with tragedy and difficulties. I felt thrown into a position to face creating my life alone and I wasn’t happy about it. But it was a powerful way to find my unique inner voice and I had to become my own companion and allow my inner sense to direct me to do what I had to and go where I had to in order to take care of my health.  Not all of this journey was desirable, in fact, in the last 15 years much of it was unwanted. Luckily, by writing my story day to day, whether in my journal or in books, articles, or poems for publication, I have witnessed the writing process save my life. I felt an inner power I didn’t fully feel before and it took over led me. As it turned out, that was better than the help I would have gotten from the people who turned away whose lives were a mess of their own.

I no longer keep my journals. I write and just as I cross days lived off my calendar, I shred my journals. I do not carry the past if there is a way to unload it except for the great wisdom I discovered. The price of wisdom is living difficult journeys, reflecting upon them, spending time knowing how your mind works so you can continue to create the life you want, and listening, listening intently to the power of the voice that lives within.

I recommend everyone write daily. Write for 30 minutes each day. Know your mind, face your emotions, study your actions, get the wisdom of what you really need to do for yourself because wisdom is all we use day to day when we need to make decisions and plans for the rest of our lives.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and above all —

keep the pen moving.


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