Guest Bloggers

Envision your best year ever

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray writes: Amid what seems like a world gone mad, can you relax, take a deep breath and consider the possibility that all that is happening around us, that seems so disturbing, is really an opportunity for so many to awaken to the divine spark within each of us? The place that holds the light and the creative solutions our world so very much needs. This, I suspect, is what Albert Einstein meant when he said that the problems we face won’t be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. We need instead to approach the monumental challenges we face in our lives and the world from the level of our heart, soul and spirit. We need to work with our creative imagination which is really our hotline to the divine. From here we can respond to situations from a place of love that we…


Despair and broken promises. Prompt #306

You might know that I facilitate Jumpstart writing workshops. One day, a participant read her freewrite which contained the phrase, “Despair and broken promises.” I immediately thought that would make a great writing prompt.  What do you think? And that reminds me, during this season of many deaths, if you need to write a condolence note and are stymied about what to write, take a look at “The Condolence Note – What to Write.”  You might get some ideas. Today’s writing prompt:  Despair and broken promises. Post your writing on The Write Spot Blog and I’ll offer commentary  . . . always positive.


“I was very careful never to take an interesting job.” —Mary Oliver

Poet Mary Oliver was born in 1935 in Maple Heights, Ohio. She had an unhappy childhood and spent most of her time outside, wandering around the woods, reading and writing poems. From the time she was young, she knew that writers didn’t make very much money, so she sat down and made a list of all the things in life she would never be able to have — a nice car, fancy clothes, and eating out at expensive restaurants. But Mary decided she wanted to be a poet anyway. Mary tried college, but dropped out. She made a pilgrimage to visit Edna St. Vincent Millay’s 800-acre estate in Austerlitz, New York. The poet had been dead for several years, but Millay’s sister Norma lived there. Mary and Norma hit it off, and Mary lived there for years, helping out on the estate, keeping Norma company, and working on her own…

Just Write

Nostalgia and writing

When responding to a writing prompt, you are completely free to write the absolute truth, with no worries about what anyone will think.  You are also free to write fiction. You have the freedom to write whatever you want . . .  these writings are called freewrites. There are over 300 prompts on The Write Spot Blog. You can choose one at any time and just write. Sometimes our writing takes us to memories from our childhood, a very powerful place that is important and so intoxicating. From Writers Dreaming, by Naomi Epel,  chapter by James W. Hall: “One of the things that I’ve discovered through reading a lot of best-sellers, studying a lot of popular fiction for courses that I’ve given at the university, is that there are certain recurrent, mythic qualities in books that we could consider, from an elitist academic viewpoint, to be pulp or low-life, mass-market…

Places to submit

Outside magazine

The mission of Outside magazine: To inspire active participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the people, sports, places, adventure, discoveries, healthy and fitness, gear and apparel, trends, and events that make up an active lifestyle. Contributor guidelines Outside is a monthly national magazine dedicated to covering the people, sports and activities, politics, art, literature, and hardware of the outdoors. Although our features are usually assigned to a regular stable of experienced and proven writers, we’re always interested in new authors and their ideas. In particular, we look for articles on outdoor events, regions, and activities; informative seasonal service pieces; sports and adventure travel pieces; profiles of engaging outdoor characters; and investigative stories on environmental issues. Queries should present a clear, original, and provocative thesis, not merely a topic or idea, and should reflect familiarity with the magazine’s content and tone. Features are generally 1,500 to 5,000 words…


Something you have had forever. Prompt #304

Write about something you have had forever. Write about your oldest possession. You could also write about your earliest memory. I have had this rocking chair since I was two years old. I used to rock in it while watching I Love Lucy on our black and white television set. I lent it to my sister when her children were little. Then my three children enjoyed it. And now, my granddaughter reads her books while rocking. The books:  The Wonderful World of Oz and The Secret of the Old Clock . . those go way back. I spent hours captivated by Nancy Drew’s amazing sleuthing abilities and fascinated with the variety of characters in the Oz books. I was especially intrigued about how much time was spent for Dorothy and some of her companions to sleep or look for food. Time that could have been used to get them to…


Unique. Prompt #301

What makes your fictional characters unique?  What makes one person different from others? Write about someone from real life or write about a fictional character who embodies a unique quality. You can use the following list to describe a special characteristic or trait that sets a person apart from others. Charisma: charm or personal magnetism (from the Greek word meaning “favor”) Chutzpah: admirable or excessive self-confidence; this word and ginger are the only ones on this list that have both positive and negative connotations (from Hebrew by way of Yiddish; several other spellings are used, but this one is the most common) Élan: enthusiasm Esprit: vivacious wit (French, from the Latin term spiritus, “spirit”) Flair: style, or talent or tendency Ginger: spirit, or temper Gumption: initiative Gusto: enthusiasm (the Italian word for “taste,” from the Latin term gustus) Je ne sais quoi: a quality not easily described or expressed (a…