Guest Bloggers

Storytelling: Family Secrets

Today’s Guest Blogger, Kate Farrell, author of Story Power, with her unique experience as a storyteller, shares methods to unlock family secrets, There’s nothing louder than a family secret—it pesters and pokes until someone speaks up. Secrets have a way of hiding in plain sight. There are always the whispered rumors, missing pieces of a puzzle, stories that keep changing. But just as shared family folklore can develop strength and identity, keeping family secrets can destroy trust. Secrets that persist, unspoken and misunderstood, can erode the very foundation of a family. Family members who are perceptive, who sense hidden truths, may become fearful or internalize guilt and shame. At the very least, family secrets isolate—family members from one another and the entire family from their community. Some family secrets are more harmful to keep than others. Those that were traumatic, that violated some taboo, or were life-changing are vital to…

Prompts

Today I trust. Prompt #508

I usually like to include a photo or an image with the writing prompts. It usually takes me longer to find an image than to create the prompt. Today’s writing prompt is multiple choice: What image would you use to go with this writing prompt? Or: What song lyrics would you use for this prompt? You can create your own song lyrics, or use a song you know to write about. I’m thinking of “You Raise Me Up,” by Josh Groban. Writing Prompt: Today I trust. Just Write!

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp and The Writing Fairies

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp writes about her struggles and success with Good Fairy/Bad Fairy. 2012 I’ve had a story swirling in the recesses of my mind for several weeks. One that I think would work for a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Last night, I opened a blank page in Word and began to write the story. I wrote for well over an hour. The story seemed to be coming together nicely. I was aiming for 1200 words, and by the time I was ready to call it quits for the day, I had over 700 words and still a lot to be told. I didn’t take time to read over what I’d written, knew there would be time to do that in the morning. I got ready for bed, feeling satisfied that more than half the first draft was complete. I settled down in bed to watch the…

Prompts

I want to tell you about . . . Prompt #506

If you want someone to understand you, what would you tell them about your past? Imagine a room full of people, they are looking at a speaker behind a podium. They want to know more about the topic. In a way, they want to be entertained. They are talking about you. Who knows more about you than you?  Who best to celebrate the essence of you, than you?  Write about you . . . Provide enough information so the people in that room have a clear vision or impression of you and your life.  Prompt: I want to tell you about . . .

Prompts

Significant Events . . . Prompt #505

Make a List. Start with the year you were born and make a list of significant events that happened in your life, both personally and historically. If you are having trouble thinking of major events, here are a few: 1950-1975       Vietnam Conflict 1958                Explorer I, first American satellite is launched January 1959   Alaska becomes the 49th state August 1959   Hawaii becomes the 50th state January 1961   John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president August 1963   Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream” Speech Nov. 1963       President Kennedy is assassinated 1964                Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan Show April 1968       Martin Luther King is assassinated June 1963        Sen. Robert Kennedy is assassinated July 1969        Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon 1973                Roe v. Wade, legalizes abortion 1973                Watergate cover-up. July 1974        Nixon resigns 1986                Space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff 1990                Iraqi…

Prompts

Write about an important person. Prompt #503

Write about someone who was, or is, important to you. Write how that person impacted you. Bonus points for a crazy coincidence . . . The unexplainable event . . . The hilarious accident. The outsized personality. Write about how that person impressed you or changed you. Today’s Prompt is inspired by Brandon Stanton and his Humans of New York project. I learned about Brandon Stanton around 2009 as he began his Humans of New York project. Intrigued, I pre-ordered his book, which is now a prized possession. From Brandon’s Humans of New York’s May 17 Facebook Page, about not being able to have personal interviews on the streets. I was initially worried about doing these interviews remotely. I thought that without the context of the street-—the stories might lose their sense of immediacy and randomness. But the experiment has been quite a success. These remote interviews have been a…

Places to submit

Chicken Soup for the Soul

About Chicken Soup for the Soul, from their website: Chicken Soup for the Soul, the world’s favorite and most recognized storyteller, publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, “chicken soup for the soul” is one of the world’s best-known phrases and is regularly referenced in pop culture. Today, over 25 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and hope through its books, this socially conscious company continues to publish a new title a month Please visit Story Guidelines page, which will answer many of your questions about subject matter, length, and style. Following the guidelines will give you the best possible chance of being accepted. For a list of new topics, complete with descriptions and deadlines, please visit  Possible Book Topics page….

Prompts

Entering a cave . . . Prompt #502

For this writing prompt, we’ll go through a visualization first, then I’ll suggest the writing prompt. Please remember: The prompts are only suggestions. Go with what is on your mind while you are writing. Listen to what you really want to write about . . . what you really want to say. Honor that. That is how to do a freewrite . . . go with what is uppermost on your mind The Visualization As we go through this visualization, you can tap on your chest, just above the breast bone, with the tips of your fingers. This is a calming and centering activity. As we go, take deep breaths, another calming technique. Sit back in your chair. Get comfortable. Take a deep breath in. Hold for a moment. Release. Imagine you are about to enter a cave. You see the opening to the cave and see the darkness ahead….