Prompts

A Blues Poem . . . Prompt #530

A blues poem takes on themes of struggle, despair, bad weather, any suffering.   It can also be funny: Fruit Flies Everywhere. Three-line Blues Poetry A statement in the first line, A variation in the second line, an ironic alternative in the third line. My baby walked out that door. My baby walked out and now my broken door won’t open up no more. And I had to walk back to Texas. I had to get on my feet  cuz my baby she took my Lexus. Four-line: When a woman gets the blues She hangs her head and cries But when a man gets the blues He hops on a freight train and rides With both types, you can continue the pattern. You can also repeat lines. You can write something in narration, then pull out lines to condense for a poem. You can start with these lines: When I woke…

Prompts

Collage in Poetry . . . Prompt #529

I would like to share collage in writing with you, some things I learned from the poet Dave Seter. His poem, “Fargo Airport, Waiting in a Bar” in The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is an example of using collage in poetry. The lines in italics in his poem are from signs on the wall and on the label on a bottle. He seamlessly incorporates “lines from others” into his poetry. Look around you . . . what writing do you see that you can use in your writing? Perhaps: A book title, a greeting card, writing on décor, writing on a tissue box, or a piece of mail. Or: A note you have written, writing on a coffee mug, a sign on a wall. A label on a jar, a can, or a bottle. You can also use song lyrics as a jumping off point for…

Book Reviews

Writing as a Path to Healing

In reference to The Write Spot:  Writing as a Path to Healing, author Elizabeth Beechwood said, “The contributing writers delve into the pain of their past, reveal their vulnerabilities, and share the lessons they’ve learned with all of us. Their courage is written on every page of this collection.”  After reading my contributor’s copy of editor, Marlene Cullen’s newest anthology, I am in full agreement with Ms. Beechwood. Especially the last sentence regarding courage written on every page. It is not easy to write about traumatic events, but twenty-one people have done so and were willing to share stories and poems with readers. The writers come from various walks of life and offer readers a look into difficult times they experienced at some point. These writers all used writing as a step on their path to healing and to offer support to others. Some who write about troubled parts of their…

Prompts

What have you been thinking about? Prompt #526

What have you been thinking about lately? I’ve been thinking about hair. The following is an excerpt from My Generation magazine, Sept-Oct 2001. “You can’t say hair without muttering a bitter, Ha! Hair is the Achilles’ heel atop our skulls: the curse of baldness, the pathos of the comb-over, the futility of the hairpiece. The double cross of auburn, chestnut, raven locks—your crowning glory—suddenly blanching the color of steel wool. Curly hair that won’t straighten, straight hair that won’t curl. The heartbreak of the impermanent wave, the bungled dye jobs, split ends, dandruff. Every head of hair in the civilized world is shackled to a monthly treadmill of maintenance, overhaul and gardening, hostage to the grooming industry and its literal clip joints. You could buy a new Ferrari with the money you shell out over a lifetime for the upkeep of that mat of third-rate fur.” Prompt: Hair Or: What…

Guest Bloggers

You Can’t Wait For Inspiration

Today’s Guest Blogger post is about inspiration, by Suzanne Murray. Excerpted from Suzanne’s September 5, 2020 Creativity Goes Wild Blog Post. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London Recently a new writing coaching client emailed me to say, “I haven’t been writing. I just don’t feel inspired.” I immediately shot a message back, “You can’t wait for inspiration. If you get nothing else out of our coaching together, this awareness will make a huge difference in your creative life.” No writer or other artist waits for inspiration before showing up. Painter Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” Flannery O’Connor, the noted Southern writer, described her habit of going to her office every day from 8 am to noon, “she wasn’t sure if anything was going to happen but she…

Prompts

Mapping The Journey . . . Prompt #524

Stories are about characters desiring something and the things that prevent them from getting what they want.  This is true for both fiction and memoir. Another word for desire is yearning, suggesting the deepest level of desire. Characters have problems and yearnings. Do they overcome them? What obstacles get in the way? Answering these questions results in story-telling. Writing Prompts as a guide, or a map, leading the way to telling the narrator’s story: Interview yourself or your fictional character, by answering these questions: How did you get started in your line of work? How did you become interested in your hobby? What did you desire at age 18? What did you desire at age 25? What do you desire now?

Just Write

Writing Advice

I’m going through old writing magazines and finding gems, like this one, “Top Five Fiction Mistakes.” — by Moira Allen, The Writer, September 2002. “Ask most fiction editors how to avoid rejection, and you’ll hear the same thing: Read the guidelines. Review the publication. Don’t send a science fiction story to a literary magazine. Don’t send a 10,000-word manuscript to a magazine that never publishes anything longer than 5,000 words. Spell-check. Proofread. Check your grammar.” “The one piece of advice nearly every editor had to offer was: Read, read, read. Read widely. Read the authors who have won awards in your genre to find out what has already been done, so that you don’t end up offering old, trite plots without even realizing it. Then, ‘Write!’ says Max Keele of Fiction Inferno. And keep writing. And write some more. When you’re finished, ‘’Let the story sit for a few days…