Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Why I Write > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Why I Write

I started writing as a way of keeping safe memories of a particularly adventurous 3 years of my life when I became totally addicted to the world of online chat rooms and met a number of 'gentlemen' for real that I met in fantasyland online.

However after I allowed an educated friend to read my short stories, I was motivated to attempt a manuscript, and whilst it was extremely daunting to open my life up for judgement, I considered the good I could do by way of educating people on the dangers of this kind of activity far outweighed my personal discomfort.

My manuscript became reality and in turn became a book that is now released in the USA. The title? Secrets, Lies & Chat. Since writing the manuscript and gaining a contract I have branched out in my writing but always on issues that I'm passionate about.

They call me opinionated, one-eyed, in it for the money (that one is a real hoot), out to ruin the internet etc etc. My real aim? Education of the uninititated to the world of the Internet. And no, not to ruin any part of the Internet, but to give the newbies an edge so that what they will ultimately find online won't have such a huge impact hopefully, as it did on me.

Bitter? Never. The Internet is the best thing I can think of that has happened in my lifetime and will grow in power and might. The one big problem is the anonymity, and everyone who naively comes online needs to be aware and wary. End of story. My writing is the way I can use words to hopefully make a difference, even a small one. A little cog in a big wheel, but maybe one that makes the wheel work how it should. One can hope.

Whenever I can gain a forum, I speak the truth of what I've found on the Internet. I voice my fears for the children who are already online chatting. I know they will eventually wander into teenage rooms and I know what they will find once they become part of that scene. I've met the predators online, I've spoken to teenagers and heard their side of the story, and their disgust with what goes on in some of the rooms.

Online chat is a lifeline for many people and can be a wonderful way to spend idle time. Friends online are like penpals of the old days, with one huge difference. No longer does anyone have to wait by the postbox, disheartened when there are no letters. A simple connection to the internet, and there are your penfriends waiting for you to join in with the fun and banter and gossip. And yet underneath all that goodness, lurks something very different. Many never find it, but many do and are scarred for life by what they experience. Many would say I am an alarmist, a dreamer, a liar even. But I know, and so do many others, that there is danger on the Internet.

Why I write is to spread the word, both good and bad, so people have a choice, so people have knowledge of what they may encounter online. No matter what they think of what I say, with a bit of luck it will linger in the back of their minds, and one day they may be in a situation that will set them back on their heels, and they may may have reason to say, "Vena was right, there are things in here that aren't quite right".

If we all sit back and say nothing, just accept what is on offer and turn our back on it as 'someone else's problem' then the Internet that I love will become something to fear. I will do my utmost in any forum I can, to stir up some passion, to get people thinking, and my primary targets are children, young adults and parents.

I am an Australian author, living in Sydney, and have had my first book released in the USA during May this year. I have copies for sale on my website and those copies will be personally signed by me. I am divorced, have three grown children and one grand-daughter. I work full-time for the New South Wales Government in Administration/Supervision. Writing for me began as a hobby, something I always wanted to do, but as an avid reader of many styles of author, I could never see that I could ever write a book. After three years online involved heavily in chat rooms and a couple of exposures to online dating, I felt I had a story to share even though it would open my personal life up for anyone who read my book to judge. I considered my options carefully but really, I had no option. I knew what I had to do, and alone with no help from a literary agent, I did it. I scored a contract, and I have a book. I want nothing much more from this adventure but to be part of the education of people about the internet. The money I expended has gone on a dream :)

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

Chicago Tribune

Why we should ask who's writing TV shows
Chicago Tribune
On Tuesday, the hashtag #ShowUsYourRoom was launched by Amanda Idoko (a writer on the animated series “Central Park” for Apple's forthcoming streaming service) encouraging showrunners to post group photos of their writing staff on social media.

and more »


San Diego Diocese Kept Writing Letters of Recommendation for Priest Accused of Abuse
Six years ago, the San Diego Diocese recommended a priest — who faced credible accusations of sexual abuse — to continue ministering, including to children. The Rev. J. Patrick Foley told KQED that the sexual abuse accusations against him are “false ...

Retreat to the Springs! — A Roaming Writing Workshop
Circleville Herald
Interested in a quick writing retreat? Peaceful, idyllic Yellow Springs, Ohio, is the perfect place to get away and refresh your writing. Whether you're a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between, Retreat to the Springs! gives you a break from the ...

SW News Media

MEA teen writing camp made possible through grant
SW News Media
HOPKINS — For students looking to work on creative writing, a Novel Writing for Teenagers class will be happening over MEA weekend, said Sigma's Bookshelf owner Rachel Anderson. On Oct. 18 and 19, the class will be held at the Hopkins Center for the ...

Mental Floss

Writing a Term Paper? This Font Is a Sneaky Way to Meet Your Page Count
Mental Floss
Stretching the margins, widening line spaces, making your periods slightly larger than the rest of the text—these tricks should sound familiar to any past or current students who've ever struggled to meet the page requirements of a writing assignment ...

and more »

Shenandoah Valley Book Festival celebrates reading and writing
The Winchester Star
Nearly 20 authors from Virginia and West Virginia are scheduled to sign books, hold discussions, and offer writing and publishing advice. Keelor, who is also a local writer and editor, has partnered with several published authors in the region to plan ...

'Writing Naturally' program on Sept. 22
HAWARDEN—Sioux County naturalists and novelist James Schaap are hosting a “Writing Naturally” program 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 22, at Oak Grove Park near Hawarden. Meet at the open shelter by the river or Big Sioux Shelter if it rains. Naturalists ...

KIND Snacks Founder: Never Stop Grinding, No Matter How Successful You Become
Writing too much. "It's easy to overlook the importance of clarity and brevity in emails," Weiner explains. "The longer and more complex an email, the more questions get raised and people are looking for follow-up answers and you have to send more ...

Rolling Stone

Normani on 'Love Lies' Going Number One, Her Relationship Style, Writing for Women
Rolling Stone
When 22-year-old pop singer and dancer Normani flew the Fifth Harmony coop to embark on a solo career, timing could not have been more perfect for a big, brazen pop anthem. With all the choreo queens — Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé — occupied by ...


Take a course on writing for TV from Shonda Rhimes herself
Shonda Rhimes is the writer, creator, and executive producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder and was also named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." Oh, and basically everything ...

and more »
Google News

What you Dont Know About Book Publishing Can Cost You

Dream that your book can be a number one best... Read More

How to Avoid the 11 Biggest Mistakes of First Time Authors

"If you want to change your life," Harry Beckwith wrote... Read More

Plotting Problems - Episodic Writing

The rejection letter says: "Your story, on the surface, appears... Read More

Who Else Wants To Make $3546 By Simply Pressing a Button!

If you have been online for any length of time... Read More

Why Manners Maketh the Freelance Writer

Lately I've been noticing an odd trend amongst the freelance... Read More

Building Character

Names are important. Names give clues about us, where we... Read More

Know Your Editing Choices

Each author has special editing needs. To save yourself time... Read More

The Writers Angst

What is this annoying, insidious angst that permeates my psyche?... Read More

Weaving Your Personal Statement Together


Top Seven Mistakes Writers Make and What to Do About Them

Writers often get stuck because they make assumptions about writing,... Read More

Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters ? Good Ideas for Stories

The principle for writing good screenplays begins with good idea... Read More

8 Tips to Get Publishers to Notice You

If your articles aren't getting published very often, or you... Read More

Top Seven Ways to Select a Book Topic That Sells

Authors need to write their book according to their target... Read More

Starting a Local Writers Group

My husband is no poet, so when I offer my... Read More

Teachers Should Write, During Their Summers

Before I became a teacher, I was a sports writer.... Read More


I recently read a book where everything was akimbo. Arms... Read More

7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers

The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free... Read More

Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success

At some point along the way, most of us have... Read More

Dont Make This Huge Writing Mistake!

You can create a great headline, a dynamic first sentence,... Read More

Crime Writing Beckons

If your cash is running out fast and you have... Read More

Should You Write a Book?

One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails... Read More

Novel to Screenplay: The Challenges of Adaptation

ADAPTATION 101Brimming with confidence, you've just signed the check purchasing... Read More

Zany Ideas That Increase Writing Productivity And Quality

Welcome to the zany ideas of a productive writer. My... Read More

8 Quick Tips on Creating Vivid, Memorable Characters

These 8 tips on using characters in your stories will... Read More

The Value of Adding Images to Technical Documentation

It's cliché, but true-a picture does paint a thousand words.... Read More