About monika

Monika Rose, from the Mountain Ranch area of Calaveras County, director of Manzanita Writers Press, a Mother Lode publisher, is published in Tule Review, Rattlesnake Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Squaw Valley Review, The Journal, Refrigerate After Opening, Mokehellion Review, Yosemite Poets, Daily Poem, and many others. She runs a small literary press in the foothills with a talented staff -- Manzanita Writers Press, a nonprofit 501(c)3 publishing company at https://www.manzapress.com. Her work appears in Shadows of Light, an anthology of poetry and photography of the Sierra with work in a Yosemite poetry anthology by Scrub Jay Press, in an anthology called Voices of Wisdom (3 vols), and in Out of the Fire, an anthology of Butte Fire writing. She is also featured in Wine, Cheese & Chocolate, an epicurean anthology. Her collection of poems, River by the Glass, by Glen Hill Publishing, is available from her website (www.monikarosewriter.com) and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as at https://manzapress.com/store. Her children's book, Bed Bumps, is available there as well. She is working on a novel, a collection of short fiction, and another children's book. She is currently writing a quirky mystery, a novel about surveillance and rural ranch life, and another novel based on her parents’ WWII war stories in Europe. Her bread-and-butter vocation is English Associate Professor at San Joaquin Delta College and free lance manuscript editor for fellow writers. She has an MA in English. You can contact her at manzanitawp@gmail.com

Submissions invited for Out of the Fire Anthology of the Mother Lode: Butte Fire Memories

Cate Culver: Mixed Media art stemming from the Butte Fire in Calaveras County, 2015

Out of the Fire

Editors invite submissions of Butte Fire stories, poems, photography, art, and all media invited for inclusion in the website online ezine titled Out of the Fire. The September 9, 2015 fire destroyed over 500 homes and another few hundred structures, many of them dwellings, displacing families and individuals permanently, forcing them to relocate and to start all over. The collection commemorates a disaster that devastated several small communities in the beautiful foothill region of the Sierra, the Mother Lode, one that continues to reverberate change. Reflection and insight on the event, one of many historic fire events in our area, brings great art and writing and creativity into the mix, aiding the healing process and providing solace for many.  Go to the website, www.manzapress.com and find Cate Culver’s phoenix image. Below that mixed media art work are links that give more information about the project that nonprofit Manzanita Writers Press is sponsoring. There is a submission form, so just fill it out, scan it and send it back with your attached submission. Follow the instructions and send us work that adds to the many voices communicating a love for this region, its natural beauty and the wonderful people it nurtures,  and providing a sense of looking back and moving forward at the same time. Send us your inspirational creations. We will help you edit the work, so don’t agonize if you are nervous about grammar, usage, and whether your work is good enough. Call us if you have any questions, or email us.


Manzanita Arts Emporium

Come visit the gallery and arts center in historic downtown Angels Camp at 1211 S. Main St., Suite 110, PO Box 460, Angels Camp, CA 95222.  We sell books by regional and local authors, books about the Gold Rush, books about Mark Twain in our Mark Twain book center, and educational historical books focusing on the region.

We represent several artists and their work in a collaborative gallery setting, including handcrafted furniture, jewelry, fine art, books, candles, and more.

Butte Fire Pieces Vignettes

Starting Wed., May 25, the Pieces Vignettes will be housed at Manzanita Arts Emporium until the end of June. These are transformed relics rescued after the Butte Fire ravaged homes and property last Sept. 10, 2015. The pieces in the vignettes were too large to use as mosaic pieces, which Robin Modlin and Anne Cook are preparing for the Butte Fire memorial wall on Sat. Sept. 10, 2016 in Mountain Ranch, CA.  So Anne and Robin arranged them in scenes, and several writers affiliated with Manzanita Writers Press wrote poems and prose to accompany the set pieces. The following writers crafted several works for the project:  Nitya Prema, Gayle Lorraine, Suzanne Murphy, Monika Rose, Ann Cook, Robin Modlin, Blanche Abrams, Denella Kimura, Linda Toren, and Cynthia Restivo.

Check out the new Manzanita Arts Emporium!

Manzanita Writers Press is situated in Historic Downtown Angels Camp, surrounded by wonderful artists and writers’ books in a gorgeous gallery. MWP publishes local and regional authors, community anthologies and historical collections.

MWP hosts Writers Unlimited meetings for writers of all levels, workshops, literary and historical events, lectures, and more.

Artists and photographers featured in the gallery include photographer Ty Childress, botanical artist Janet Trinkle, geometric abstract artist Gary Rose, wood artist and furniture maker Andy Trinkle. Then there is watercolor artist Kevin Brady, acrylic and oil equestrian and bovinic painter Patty Payne, jeweler Roberta Hughes, and oil artist George Haskell.

Other artists and photographers: Wanda Mozcosiek and Robert Standiford, Paul Neil, Judy Wilmot, Cate Culver, Gordon Long, Shay Baker, and Susie Hoffman.

Books:  a large Mark Twain book collection where you can find scholarly books about Mark Twain as well as his novels and collected works.

The bookstore features Manzanita Writers Press authors, such as Glenn Wasson, Jim Fletcher, Stephen Archer, Ted Laskin, Dave Self, Monika Rose, Scott Thomas Anderson, Denella Kimura, Joy Willow, Sy Baldwin, Amy Smith, and other writers from our region.

Check out the Facebook page and our Manzanita Arts emporium website page.  Come in and visit, have a cup of tea, and chat with the editors about your new writing project.

Location:  1211 S. Main St., Suite 110, Angels Camp, CA 95222  Phone: 209-728-6171  – open every day except Tuesday, 10 am to 5 pm.  Writers Unlimited meets 1st and 3rd Monday mornings at 10:30, and 2nd and 4th Monday evenings from 6:30-9:30.


Send a thoughtful, poetic gift to a friend!

Looking for a great gift idea? Send someone you care about an eBook of poems for their Kindle or laptop/desktop computer!  GlenHill Publishing presents River by the Glass as an Amazon Select eBook, with full color photography of river scenes by Ron Pickup and a lifetime collection of poetry by Monika Rose!  River by the Glass on Amazon    Only $2.99 as a download for the holidays! 

 If you’d like a print edition, then you can order from

Monika’s web site,          River by the Glass at monikarosewriter.com  or from

Small Press Distribution!   River by the Glass at spdbooks.org


River by the Glass just came out as an eBook!

Thanks to Lou Gonzales, eBook designer and guru, my collection of about 85 poems that are currently in print form in the collection —River by the Glass– has been birthed as an eBook on Amazon! It’s there right now, like a juicy, ripe fruit dangling from a lush, fruit tree in the family orchard!
You can pick a copy for yourself for $2.99. The nice thing about it is that the photos by Ron Pickup are in color and they are absolutely stunning!  I would love for you to have a copy for your Kindle (and I think you can simply download it to your laptop or computer by downloading something else like their app). This way, when you feel like a poem to lift your spirits, it will always be there for you in your collection. 
In addition, I welcome reviews! This is an important thing–having reviews. Don’t feel you have to rank it a 5, either, even though it might be a 5. It’s better to just give it a 4 or a 3 if you think that’s where it sits. I can handle imperfection. I’m an entity that always strives for improvement. A diamond in the rough. A slightly bruised apple. A comfy pair of old jeans.

River by the Glass is available as an eBook at Amazon! If you’d like a copy for $2.99 for your Kindle, then please go HERE and purchase one! Support your local poet!

If you would like a print version, which is tangible and tactile, you can opt for purchasing one either by going to Small Press Distribution
OR you can purchase directly from the poet (that is I!) at my web site  Monika Rose 


Puppy Love

 Puppy Love ~

What is it about these innocent, cuddly creatures that stimulates the enzymes and produces heart throbs in us as caregivers? Their total absorption in you as a being? Their dependence on your care for their very existence?  Their unconditional love and acceptance of you regardless of your faults? All of these and more.  When I meet her nose to nose, we are surprised at how much we think alike.

Gretchen, the Golden Retriever, brings it all back home. Having had three children, I can feel those tender feelings keep bubbling back up through spending quality time with these remarkable beings.  Had I not had children, I would still feel the heart-expanding devotion to these lovely personalities.  Gretchen, the newest addition to our pack of three, only 12 weeks old as of this writing, knits the pack together and brings the other two older Golden boys to their knees in adoration. They protect her, mollycoddle her, groom her, and take turns putting her in her place as needed.

I will be recording a few adventures we have had and share Gretchen’s forays into our lives. She nudges us into feeling again. With busy lives, we forget to stop and breathe. She forces us to focus on her life and ours, so close to the ground, so close to what crawls and squeaks and burrows beneath the surface.  She demands that we pay attention to the world around us. Yesterday, she brought us a present–a nice poison oak branch. I itch to tell you more.  Last week, we discovered she enjoys eating foxtails from her “brother’s” back legs to help groom him.  This is not a good thing, and we’re breaking her of it. But I can understand her compassion.

When I put my head down and rub against her cheek and floppy ears, like her mama would, pretending to wash her, but keeping my tongue inside my mouth, thank you very much, she responds in little cooey grunts and stretches her neck for more. You can feel the love electric bound across the skin and through us, communicating in ways that humans should practice. Innocent touch. Softness beyond conscious comprehension. Psychologically, soothing and stimulating. But there’s more to it than that. It’s a very primal kind of communication. Thank goodness we don’t speak. It would break the moment.

More adventures with Gretchen to come! Stay tuned!

August 11, 2012 ~ Remember the fox tail grooming habit I told you about earlier? A visit to the vet for foxtail removal from Gretchen’s ear and from her little nose cavity resulted. How did we detect it? She couldn’t stop sneezing. She had to be sedated, poor baby.

We can’t vacuum the universe, but it helped to hose down the entire area and cement patio as well as the decks.  Next year, we are going to eliminate them from a 100-ft radius, at least, planting a sturdy grass so that the scourge can be eliminated.  It’s a California native plant, the foxtail is…I’m not proud to claim it. The other scourge is the burr.

Gretchen has grown by leaps and bounds to about 30 pounds. She lopes with her ears flapping, and has learned how to sit for treats. She steals our shoes from the closet and any socks that might be available. When you ask her for it, she gives it back, unlike the boys who look at you as if you’re crazy when you ask for their toy back. What, me? Give up my favorite object covered in dog slime?

More later!



eBook publishing workshop was a success!

Lou Gonzalez led a wonderful workshop on formatting the eBook using Word last Saturday in San Andreas. The writers that participated are moving ahead with their writing projects and we’ll be reading their books on the Kindle or Nook or ipad some time soon!  You wouldn’t think that in such a small, rural atmosphere, we’d have this virtual neo-Renaissance of literary writing—but there it is and there we are.





How to Avoid Writer Procrastination

Every writer does this–makes excuses about not having time to write, whether it’s the pressure at work, pressing family needs taking precedence, or— fill in the blank for an excuse: 1)______________2)_____________3)____________________4)________________etc.  Does this ring a bell? Yank your chain?

Usually this kind of procrastination can hold a writer back from completing a writing project–it can prevent that novel from getting written, delay the book of poems from seeing daylight, or hinder the query letter from being finished. This is not productive!

 I have found that the best method to solve writer’s block and procrastination in writing your novel is to write in rebellion.

Yes, you heard right. Rebel against another activity that is distasteful.

Go ahead and procrastinate! I give you permission, even. But…..Procrastinate with something else!

 Find an activity that you should be doing, and to avoid doing that activity, sit down and write instead.This works out pretty well for me. Here’s a handy list of things you can choose  NOT TO DO so that you can make time to write. This is a healthy counterbalance to feeling guilty about not writing. It’s good for about 2,000 words of a rough draft of a short story, about 3,000 words of a novel chapter, or several poems.

The following is a handy dandy list of procrastination ideas to get you started:

 1.  Rebel against cleaning – Pretend you’re a Bohemian writer living in Soho or Greenwich Village in the 1960s or early 1970s. No one visiting you in this imaginary Bohemian artistic world would mind if there were earthy leaves lining the bathroom floor, brought in with the wind,  or a little fashionable clutter on your table, or even unmade beds. Being slightly slovenly was fashionable then–and also fashionable today.  Artists and writers used to sleep on their pin-striped mattresses without sheets and leave dirty dishes in the sink, sport unemptied ashtrays proudly displayed on coffee tables, and treat guests to a trail of clothing casually draped over furniture.  Ah, the good old days when non-materialism prevailed in the midst of wealth. Artists and writers coveted their preoccupation with their craft and their avoidance of material worldly clutter. Since you’re creative, you have no time for such mundane things as making a sink shine. You have more important things to do, like write your novel and make a splash in this world. You have important things to say.


2. Yard work — ignore it. Let the weeds take over. Don’t fuss over pulling a few errant plants or trimming off some of the dead stuff and fussing over detritus.These wild entities are perfectly natural in a garden. Why fight nature? You are an eco-naturalist and environmental protective agent. Get your journal out and go sit on your deck or yard and write while a gentle breeze and the warm sun massages your skin. Don’t look at your scruffy plants. The weeds will just get a little higher and become natural sculptures in your garden. Unwanted greenery even adds nutrients, in some cases.


3.  Call in sick one day to your daily job.  You could be sick if you continue like you are going–ignoring your creative side. Take a mental health day. Write in rebellion. Don’t answer any calls from work since you’re in bed writing.


4.  Rebel against checking your calendar and list of to-do items.  Un-check the check marks on your list by turning them into little O’s, then, leave your Franklin planner by its lonesome and take off on a journey–a day trip. Get in your car and go somewhere — without a plan. Have your laptop with you or your spiral writing notebook and a collection of favorite pens. Stop in a cafe for lunch or coffee and deliberately sit near people, and write down people’s conversations near you. Write this into your book-in-progress. You’ll never see these people again. Or park near a natural landscape that inspires you. You could do this on the day you call in sick and take care of two things on this list at once.


5.  Rebel against random shopping. Instead of going to the local drugstore or grocery store and buying things you actually need, but could well do without, put off the trip. Sit down and write instead. You can use that little box of baking soda sitting in your refrigerator to brush your teeth for a couple of days. Economy and thrift help writers to succeed in finishing their projects. Think how much money you will save!


6. Add your own activity that you can avoid right here: ___________________________.

Think of all the things you can procrastinate in doing–distasteful things and those chores you just can’t bear: finishing a project at home; washing your car or cleaning up the garage; doing extra things at home for your job; cleaning out the closets and sorting through memorabilia deciding what to give away to goodwill or what you can keep; or whatever you dread doing. Whatever. Make your list here so that you can choose one at any time to avoid when you need to write.


So–what are you waiting for? Quit procrastinating about writing and procrastinate with some other activity instead! Write in rebellion. Get to your keyboard or writing journal and fire away, while you neglect something else. Your guilt in ignoring the things you are supposed to be doing will be assuaged by the pleasure in writing. The underlying guilt will also give you an edge and a sense of urgency. If you do this at least once a week, picking one task or item a week, you should have a chapter a week finished and your novel completed in 24 weeks!

The other things, well, they will pile up. So what?  Your book will be read by others and may even become art valued by millions of readers some day in a few hundred years.  Who will care if you didn’t weed your garden or whether that little dust bunny grew into a monstrous rabbit that popped out of Lennie’s head in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck’s little novel that the dog almost finished off? Or the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland.  Or Peter Rabbit running from Mr. MacGregor. But I digress, good thing. Instead of doing what I should be doing. Cleaning my toilet. Yes,  I digress. Blissfully so.



10 Great Writers Resolutions for 2012

Ten Great 2012 Resolutions and Other Writerly Activities to Stimulate Your Writing Life

1. Find more creative ways to counteract procrastination including physical pain, if necessary. German method: Slap yourself…but not too hard or you won’t be able to read what you just wrote down.

2. Reward ourselves for writing well.   Get a massage, a glass of wine or other libation, and a loving lick from the dog or cat. WE earned it! 

3. Write in rebellion to generate surprise writing. Type anything in a hurry not worrying about spelling, thought, ideas, or even coherence. Then,  just print it out. Circle the words that form or almost form and use them for something. Voila. Should be good for something. Second thought – get the cat to do it. Furry good words.

4. Put sticky notes with wise words, reminders, inspiring phrases from literary greats, all over the computer screen edge and in other places of the house, including the fridge door and coffeemaker. They will all fall off but the simple act of putting them there draws us closer to the act of writing. Bending over and picking up the drifting sticky notes is great exercise, too! On second thought… Get the cat to do it.

5. Find great lines out of books from favorite, ancient, and/or dead writers and type them up, print them out, and post them on the wall. When feeling inadequate, throw darts at the darn thing. Better yet, copy the lines and change them a lot. A lot, a lot. They’re yours, now, heh-heh-heh.

6. WE will finish our novel this year and get it out to an agent before 2013 arrives. So…how will WE do this?

Typing really works. That thing we do with our fingers. We shouldn’t worry about thinking. Just sit down and type and let  automatic conversation just pour out into the document. Or let’s try the Sony Dragon program and talk the entire novel into the microphone of the computer. It will type it up for us. WE are going to finish our novels this year. Plus, it would help if you would call or email me and nag, dare, or order me around. Let’s get bossy with each other. What else are writer friends for?

7. Back up all writers’ files so we don’t lose anything. Also back up emails and save  attachments.

Charles Herndon recommends the downloadable, free for awhile, viceversa program, which will back files up to an external drive and after that is done, will recognize new files, and back them up, for a very short process!

8. Find a way to make the writing space inviting. Get a massager for the chair, or get your cat and get her to stay there with you, purring away at your feet or in your lap. Better yet, get the cat to write for you while you pet him/her. Dogs won’t do that but they’ll keep your feet warm while you fire away at the keyboard.

9. Write rave reviews about your book even though it isn’t out yet. Put them somewhere in a drawer and sneak a peak at them. Everyone needs a cheering section!

10. LEARN WORD thoroughly. Write something coherent in your blog. Update Facebook regularly with something cool to read about. Update your NING page and blog. Make your web page look cool. Direct traffic over to it this year by putting up articles and information that people love to read about.