Guest Bloggers

Nathan Bransford

Guest Blogger Nathan Bransford reflects about this past decade with the constant of books by his side. The following is excerpted from Nathan’s December 30, 2019 blog post. So much can change over the course of a decade or two. Thank goodness the books we read and write will still be there waiting for us when we need them. When the clock struck midnight to ring in January 1, 2010, I was a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. in San Francisco, I was married, and the ink was barely dry on my first book deal for the Jacob Wonderbar series. Little did I know that within a year and a half all that would change. Amid all this change, amid all of this upheaval and turmoil, there’s only one thing in my life that hasn’t changed. Books. The first time I visualized my current life was during a vacation in 2010…

Prompts

How did I get here? Prompt #465

Sometimes we drive a familiar route as if in a daze. At some point we become aware that we have been driving unaware and wonder, “How did I get here?” Sometimes we’re at a job, either paid or volunteer, or we’re enmeshed in an activity, either fun or dramatic or both. Perhaps we’ve been consumed with this activity. Maybe we wake up one day and wonder, “How did I get here?” Sometimes we look around and all of a sudden we’re 40, or 50, or 60 years old, or in my case, in my early seventies. Sometimes we wonder, “How did I get here?” Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice is inspired from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. This journal helps “to alleviate the pressure of knowing what to write about.”  “Writing Becoming led [Michelle] Obama to see the importance of taking time for contemplation. When asked about her…

Book Reviews

Reduce stress!

“Journaling is a great tool to reduce stress and get to know yourself better.” — Paul Anderson, December 2019 Costco Connection Picture me (Marlene) jumping up and down with pom-poms. I believe that we can heal through writing and we can definitely open doors to learning about ourselves when we write, journal-style or freewrite style. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice features questions and quotes to help write family histories and assists with delving into personal issues. “There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This for me, is how we become.” —Michelle Obama Here are some ideas to help start writing: Get Started – How to Use Writing Prompts Don’t think. Don’t plan. Just write….

Places to submit

Wordrunner wants whatever strikes your fancy.

Wordrunner echapbooks wants emotionally complex and compelling writing. This could be from you. Submissions for the Wordrunner echapbooks anthology series are open January 1-February 29, 2020. Submit your best fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry to Wordrunner’s 10th Anniversary issue, to be published in April 2020. There is no theme. “We want emotionally complex and compelling writing about whatever strikes your fancy, be it serious or humorous or both. Please look in the Archives at previous anthologies to get an idea of what we like to publish.” Submission Guidelines

Guest Bloggers

Commenting on Blogs. Good idea?

Anne R. Allen’s post about commenting on blogs elicited 100 comments! Anne writes about commenting on blogs to build your author’s platform: I’ve seen a steep decline in the number of people commenting on blogs over the past few years. I’m not sure why that is. But commenting on blogs is still an easy, painless way to get your name into search engines and build an “author platform.” I realize I’m partly preaching to the choir here. We have wonderful commenters on this blog. But I see a lot of great blogs devoid of comments these days. And there are lots of people who seem to prefer to respond to the link to a blogpost on Facebook or Twitter rather than on the actual post. Unfortunately, sometimes they haven’t read the post, but are responding to the header, which isn’t a good idea. That’s a good way to look like…

Prompts

What challenges do you want to overcome? Prompt #463

Some of the of the writing prompts on The Write Spot Blog are just for fun, like these: What Makes You Smile? Prompt #438 Paint A Word Picture. Prompt #450 Imagination Receiving a Greeting Card. Prompt #455 Others, like today’s, are contemplative. Today’s Writing Prompt: What challenge do you want to overcome? Subscribe to The Write Spot Blog. Posts will magically appear in your email inbox.

Guest Bloggers

Staying Grounded and Centered.

Today’s insightful post is by guest blogger, Rebecca Lawton. I have a dear friend who jokes that, in 2020, we’ll have no need for glasses. A long-time wearer of glasses himself, this friend also loves punning. With or without glasses in 2020, we who love writing and reading want to see clearly in all our endeavors. For me, seeing clearly means staying grounded and centered, understanding what I’m observing with all senses. Doing so requires that I stick with various creative practices, whether in writing, communicating, playing music, reading the work of others, or learning new skills and ideas. Basically, for everything. I consult writing-related resources as well. This time of year, I offer a list of them on my blog. For the first time ever, I’ve also included a few references for clearing the mind. May your practice buoy good health and happiness, for you, yours, and those you meet. May the goodwill you generate extend to the well-being of the planet. I join you…

Book Reviews

The Last Time I Saw You

The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg is a shift from her previous books. We follow along as former classmates make decisions to attend or not attend their fortieth high school reunion. Some attend reluctantly, others hope for a second chance at connections and love. Not much goes as planned. The surprises are unpredictable and there are happy-ever-afters. Elizabeth Berg has this to say about The Last Time I Saw You: “I write novels for different reasons. Sometimes it’s my attempt to understand a certain issue or point of view. Sometimes it’s to pay tribute to someone or some thing. Sometimes it’s to explore relationships. Sometimes it’s all of the above. I also wanted to look at the nature of nostalgia. I wanted to show how sobering a realization it can be to understand that one is entering old age; and I also wanted to show the value…