What do you pretend to not care about? Prompt #274

Excerpt from I Could Do Anything . . .  If I only knew what it was, by Barbara Sher Rescuing Your Past Something inside you is too loyal to permit you to turn your back on everything you loved and simply walk away. No matter how many times people tell you to let the past go, it’s never possible. You’ll never  move wholeheartedly into the future unless you take your beloved past with you.  And that’s exactly as it should be. There’s no reason to turn your back on a happy past. Sometimes we try to turn away from the past because we feel it somehow betrayed us. It’s as though we loved our past, but our past didn’t love us. So we go on strike and pretend we don’t care, as if to punish fate for being unkind. Fate never cares, of course, so we only hurt ourselves. Prompt:…

Places to submit

Carve Magazine offers a unique take on declined submissions.

Carve Magazine Submissions Guidelines sound pretty friendly, like they are just waiting for your manuscript which they might read over blackberry pie and coffee. “We accept short story, poetry, and nonfiction submissions year-round and from anywhere in the world. Send us your best work. We’d love to read it.” A partial list of Submission Guidelines: FICTION Carve seeks good honest fiction in the form of short stories, with emotional jeopardy, soul, and honesty. POETRY Carve seeks poetry that is both quiet and expansive; elicits an authentic emotional connection. Every word should purposefully add to the voice, sound, and imagery. NONFICTION Carve seeks nonfiction that reflects the honest place of literature in our lives with experiential reflections and literary overlays, inlays, or even underlays. ‘Tell us what happened and how we, as literature lovers, connect to it.” Unique to Carve:  DECLINE/ACCEPT  We want to support all writers, even the ones we…


Our Tribes . . . Prompt #273

I’m thinking about our connections with one another. This excerpt seems timely. Excerpt from Your Mythic Journey by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox “Pre-modern people didn’t think of themselves as individuals — they were members of a tribe as well as of a family. Ancient philosophers knew that human dignity begins with ‘We are a people, therefore I am.’ Modern people are tribal too but we call our tribes by different names —  churches, corporations, states, nations. Each of us was nurtured within and shaped by several corporate bodies, voluntary organizations and professional corporations that molded our values and behavior — schools, athletic teams businesses, clubs, temples, and local, national, and international governments.” Prompt:  I am from . . . Or: What uniforms or emblems have you worn? Or: What groups have you been a member of?  Brownies, Blue Birds, Daisies, Girl Scouts, athletic groups, sorority, secret clubs.


Threads Connect Generations

I’m thinking about ancestors this week and how we inherit some of their traits, like threads weaving from one generation to the next, connecting us. For this prompt, remember your grandfather, your father or an uncle doing something he likes, or liked to do, whatever it is or was.  If they built something or maintained something . . . picture what that looks like. Take a deep breathe in. Let it out. Now, think about your grandmother, your mother, or an aunt, doing something she likes, or liked, to do,  whatever it is or was. If she built something, or made something, picture what that looks like. Go back a generation or two or three, before electricity, before modern conveniences, pioneer days. Picture your grandfather or grandmother or great-grandparents. If you know how they spent their time, picture that. If you don’t know how they spent their time, use your…

Places to submit

Creative Nonfiction literary magazine

Creative Nonfiction Literary magazine publishes nonfiction prose such as “long-and-short-form nonfiction narratives [and] columns that examine the craft, style trends and ethics of the nonfiction writing life, [as well as] interviews with established writers.”—Writer’s Digest, July/August 2016 issue. Lee Gutkind, Founder and Editor of Creative Nonfiction: “In some ways, creative nonfiction is like jazz—it’s a rich mix of flavors, ideas, and techniques, some of which are newly invented and others as old as writing itself. Creative nonfiction can be an essay, a journal article, a research paper, a memoir, or a poem; it can be personal or not, or it can be all of these. The words ‘creative’ and ‘nonfiction’ describe the form. The word ‘creative’ refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to…


“Show” Using Dialogue . . . Prompt #271

Today’s writing prompts are about “showing” through dialogue. Show what characters are thinking, show their personalities, their quirks, move the story forward through dialogue. Remember, with freewrites, the writing is spontaneous. There is no crossing out.  This could be called “practice writing,” as Natalie Goldberg says. With dialogue we can show character, scene and drama. Use these prompts for practice writing. Respond as your fictional characters would respond. Or, respond in the first person, “I,” with yourself as the primary character . . . You playing the character of you. Prompt: Write a scene, where two characters talk about what they are afraid of. Prompt: Same or different characters. One confesses “I’ve lied about . .  .” Prompt: Same or different characters: “I wish I would not have . . . ” You can have a turning point – where the drama takes an unexpected turn, excitement mounting. Throw is…

Guest Bloggers

Joys and discoveries when re-reading books.

Do you feel guilty when you re-read a book (on purpose, not because you forgot you previously read it)? Juan Vidal wrote a thoughtful essay about the joys and discoveries one makes when re-reading. “Returning to a book you’ve read multiple times can feel like drinks with an old friend. There’s a welcome familiarity — but also sometimes a slight suspicion that time has changed you both, and thus the relationship. But books don’t change, people do. And that’s what makes the act of rereading so rich and transformative. The beauty of rereading lies in the idea that our engagement with the work is based on our current mental, emotional, and even spiritual register. It’s true, the older I get, the more I feel time has wings. But with reading, it’s all about the present. It’s about the now and what one contributes to the now, because reading is a…


Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over . . . Prompt #270

Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly. If you have been following the prompts on The Write Spot Blog, you know what to do. If you are new to freewriting: set your timer for 15-20 minutes and just start writing. Write whatever comes up for you. Shush your inner critic, invite your internal editor to sit outside the room. This is your time to write freely and openly. Just as the caterpillar’s cocoon morphs into a butterfly, let your writing become whatever it wants to be. Just write.


I’m sorry you are experiencing this.

This Write Spot Blog Post is inspired by The Writings of Tim Lawrence, The Adversity Within, Shining Light on Dark Places. Tim offers ideas in his blog post about helping someone who is grieving: “I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.” “Grief is brutally painful. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. When relationships fall apart, you grieve. When opportunities are shattered, you grieve. When dreams die, you grieve. When illnesses wreck you, you grieve. So I’m going to repeat a few words I’ve uttered countless times: Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.  These words come from my dear friend Megan Devine, one of the only writers in the field of loss and trauma I endorse. These words are so poignant because they aim right at the pathetic platitudes our culture has come to embody on an increasingly hopeless level. Losing a child cannot…

Book Reviews

The Best Little Grammar Book Ever! by Arlene Miller

Reviews for: The Best Little Grammar Book Ever!: Speak and Write with Confidence / Avoid Common Mistakes 2nd Edition, by Arlene Miller. Joel Friedlander reviews The Best Little Grammar Book Ever! In this delightful book, Arlene Miller demystifies the basics of grammar to help you communicate with more clarity. And she does it without talking down to the reader, and without boring you to tears. This is not a compendium of grammar practice; it’s a streamlined overview with lots of tips and hints that will have you writing better right away. Joel Friedlander is an award-winning book designer, a blogger, the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish and The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. He’s been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 and writes, a popular blog on book design, book marketing and the future of the book. Sheri Graves reviews The Best Little Grammar Book Ever!…