Write about a character and music. Prompt #67

Today’s prompt is inspired from the May 2014 issue of The Writer magazine. Write about a character (real or fictional) surrounded by music. What instruments? What songs? Describe the soundtrack to the character’s story. How does music affect his or her actions, and what role does it play in the narrative? More from this issue: “Write the way people actually talk. You can use imagery and be poetic, of course, but the best lyrics sound like something people might actually say.” — Murray Horwitz, co-writer of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’

Just Write

How do you handle rejection?

First, don’t take rejection personally. When you submit your writing for inclusion in an anthology, magazine. . . to an editor, publisher, agent. . . and you receive a “no, thanks” letter, or worse, you never hear back . . . don’t take it personally. It may or may not be the quality of writing, but it’s definitely not a rejection of you personally. My Submission Philosophy You won’t receive rejection notices unless you submit your writing. And if you submit your writing . . . you will probably receive a rejection note, or two, or more. Welcome to The Club I wrote a story about pesky gophers around 2007. Shopped it around. Submitted to a little contest. Won second place. I was thrilled. But really, this was a miniscule contest. Probably two entries. So I shopped it some more. Got accepted. But the editor said since it was seasonal,…


Which is more valuable, inspiration or discipline? Prompt #66

Today’s prompt is inspired from Susan Bono’s July 15, 2005 Searchlights and Signal Flares, from Tiny Lights online, A Journal of Personal Narrative — an oldie and goodie I have saved all these years! To read what writers  Rebecca Lawton, Charlene Bunas, Jodi Hottel, Betty Winslow, Susan Winters and Susan Bono, have to say on this prompt, click here. Prompt: Which is more valuable, inspiration or discipline?

Book Reviews

Catching Light: Collected Poems of Joanna McClure

Joanna McClure’s poems reveal the story of a central woman writer of the San Francisco Beat generation counterculture. Married to Beat poet Michael McClure soon after she arrived in San Francisco in 1954, Joanna McClure became a significant figure in the Beat poetry scene. Growing up on a ranch in the Arizona desert, Joanna developed early on a deep sensitivity to the beauty of nature. Her move to San Francisco as a young woman in 1951 launched a lifelong love affair with that city and the poetry it engendered. Thriving on the energy of the Beat movement, the young poet found herself inside a circle of famous poets and great writers in American poetry and American literature, including San Francisco Renaissance poet Robert Duncan and his lover, artist Jess Collins, as well as the Beats Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and Gary Snyder. She heard Ginsberg’s first public reading…

Places to submit

Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest

Voices of Lincoln 10th Annual Poetry Contest has five categories: *Once Upon A Time *Ten Years From Now *It’s A Miracle *A Journey Worth Taking *People Are Funny You may submit a maximum of three poems, no more than one in each of three of the five contest categories. Everyone is encouraged to enter the contest. You do not have to live in Lincoln to be eligible. All poems must be received no later than Saturday, July 26, 2014. Mail entries (with the entry form) to: Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest c/o Alan Lowe, Coordinator 1235 Picket Fence Lane Lincoln, CA 95648 If you need additional information or an entry form, please email or phone Alan Lowe at (916-408-1274). slolowe -at- You can access Entry Form by clicking here.  Scroll down to entry form: highlight, copy, print just the entry form. Good Luck!

Guest Bloggers

Guest blogger Carol Cassara serves grammar on plates . . .

. . . and offers prizes. This contest has ended. Thanks for everyone who participated. Excerpted from Carol’s January 16, 2014  Blog Post . Carol’s Grammar Plates I’m not a perfect grammarian but I do have most of the basics down. And so should anyone who calls him- or her–self a writer, or you lose credibility. For this complete blog post (where the plate photos are clearer), please go to Carol Cassara’s blog post, Grammar Served On A Plate. I’m not a perfect grammarian, but I do have most of the basics down. And so should anyone who calls him- or her–self a writer. – See more at: I’m not a perfect grammarian, but I do have most of the basics down. And so should anyone who calls him- or her–self a writer. – See more at: No one wants to use the word “me” any  more. I…


Sometimes writing badly leads to something better.

Do you ever have writer’s block? Anna Quindlen was asked this question. She answers: Some days I fear writing dreadfully, but I do it anyway. I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing. — April 20, 2014 Parade magazine.   The Writer’s Block, 786 Ideas To Jump-Start Your Imagination by Jason Relulak.  


Tell just one small story . . .Prompt #65

If you could tell just one small story that would capture your mother’s character and keep her spirit alive into the future, what would it be? — Lynn Cook Henriksen, Writing The Mother Memoir Variations on theme of The Mother Memoir: The Mother Figure Write the single story you could tell about the person who is your mother figure. Write one vignette about a woman in your life.   Lynn Henriksen keeps spirits alive at Telltales Souls: “I’m always looking for good stories for TellTale Souls for Volume Two.” Click here for submission guidelines. Lynn will post your story on her blog. Email your story to Lynn Henriksen at:  lynn(at) Prompt:  Tell just one small story about your mother or mother figure.

Just Write

Live in the world of your imagination and take young readers with you.

Want to write books for children or young adults?  Here are some ideas for you. Excerpted from “Child’s Play,” Yvonne Coppard and Linda Newberry, March 2014 issue of The Writer Magazine. An author must find his or her own voice and style and use them to express concerns that are passionately felt and imagined. Good writing for children has the same qualities as good writing for any age group: What stands out is authority, the confidence to be what it is. It tells the reader that the journey will be worthwhile. To write well, an author must have an ear for rhythm, control of pace and awareness of what drives a story and engages a reader. The author needs the knack of evoking universal experiences from the particular, inviting the reader to share the trials and triumphs of the viewpoint character. There are no right ways to do this, and…


Imagine you are invited. . . Prompt #64

Imagine. . . . You receive an invitation to a party. You are invited to dress as a character according to the book you are currently writing or reading. OR, you are invited to the type of party you’ve always wanted to be invited to . . .1950s cocktail? 1880’s garden party? Costume party? Bon voyage party?    Options: ~Write about the invitation you received. ~Your thoughts, or your fictional character’s thoughts, as you or he/she anticipate the party. ~Write about a party you have attended. ~Write about a party you would like to give or attend. Prompt: Imagine you are invited to a party . . .