Stroll down memory lane . . . Prompt # 81

Today’s writing prompt is inspired by Rebecca Lawton’s May 26, 2014 blog post, which begins: “Candles of buckeye blossoms and their subtle fragrance have always confirmed the return of summer. Seeing them this week reminded me that certain sights, sounds, and smells trigger strong memories. The whisking sound of a broom on stairs recalls family vacations at the lake, where our host rose early to sweep fallen live oak leaves. The musky scent of open water reminds me of being on a raft enjoying the primal sensations of floating a muddy river. The first bars of a Beatles song bring back the excitement of junior high school dances. Sipping tequila reminds me of kayaking from Loreto to La Paz on the Sea of Cortez.” Click here to read the rest of the post. Writing Prompt: Stroll down memory lane . . . pause when a remembered event causes a visceral…

Just Write

Rebecca Lawton Week

This is “Rebecca Lawton Week” on The Write Spot Blot. Today’s inspiration for “Just Write” is from her book, Reading Water, Lessons from the River: The water-level fluctuations, both daily and seasonal, gave us regular lessons in how the river varied depending on flow. The thalweg, or deepest or best navigable channel, didn’t always follow a direct path. On one key day early in my training, I followed a boatman friend named John through the long, straight, placid reach of the Stanislaus below Razorback Rapids. As I rowed down the middle of the river, choosing the course where the main flow had been weeks before, I noticed John’s boat meandering from one side of the river to the other. He kept his hands on the oars but barely exerted himself, simply using the oars to adjust his boat’s position on the water surface. He moved briskly downstream through the calms…


I Spy. . . Prompt #80

Today’s writing prompt is inspired from the book, Write Free, Attracting the Creative Life by Rebecca Lawton and Jordan E. Rosenfeld This writing exercise is called: I Spy List a few things that happened this morning or yesterday. They don’t have to be big or memorable, just whatever falls into your mind. The goal is to slow down and take stock of those things you do not normally notice. Writing Prompt: Focus on one event and write how you felt about this encounter. Jot down your feelings and then do a freewrite. Did the event make you think of anything else? Did it remind you of other events, experiences, memories or feelings? What were you thinking while it happened, or just before or after? Write your freewrite. Type your freewrite and save it.  Log on and post your writing on The Write Spot Blog.

Book Reviews

Reading Water by Rebecca Lawton

Reading Water, Lessons from the River by Rebecca Lawton is written with superb eloquence . . . insightful, honest, focused and entertaining, making it fun to read.  Her elegant writing illustrates how to write a book that has enduring interest.  Reading Water was published in 2002 and found a new audience in 2008. I wonder if 2014 will see renewed interest in this timeless book. Rebecca describes her love for water: “Raised in the city and having just burst out of high school, I ached for wilderness, and the lovely, unleashed river instantly called to me. . . . rivers led me to countless unspoiled places, challenged me to be strong, and introduced me to lifelong friends. Moreover, the river taught me to read water — to psyche out where rocks hide in riffles, find safe runs in inscrutable rapids, and keep moving through the flatwater.” Note from Marlene. ….

Places to submit

Writer Advice introduces a new project

Writer Advice introduces a new project: Communicate an important message to a child, parent, spouse, lover, neighbor, fictitious character, or real literary agent. Write a letter that fits a category below: •     Letter to a parent, child, spouse, or other family member •     Letter to a lover •     Letter to a neighbor •     Letter to a civil servant or other service provider •     Letter from a character to you or to another character •     Letter to a potential agent or publisher Express yourself, hone your voice, find new subjects for your writing, share issues, share your thoughts and voice with the world. B. Lynn Goodwin (Writer Advice) will let you know the message she gets from your letter and the impression she receives of you as the author of the letter. You may be determined, confused, frustrated, wise, or inspiring. Letters only please. Keep them short. Less is more. Suggested…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Rebecca Lawton: conflict = bringing opposing forces to light

Rebecca Lawton writes about conflict . . . the kind writers want to have in their writing. Recently I read an article by a bestselling novelist who claimed she didn’t follow the well-worn advice to include conflict in story. “I hate conflict,” she wrote. “I don’t like to read it, and I don’t like to write it.” Wondering what techniques she did use to captivate her devoted followers, I turned to my bookshelf and opened one of her latest works to the first page. The initial paragraph set a sunny, peaceful scene in which couples and families strolled and played outdoors; the second paragraph described a situation only blocks away where a crowd was experiencing danger that had “turned their perfect Saturday into a nightmare.” Bingo. Conflict. The word is via the Latin conflictus, meaning contest. My good old Oxford English Dictionary describes conflict as “an incompatibility between two or…


Your gut may lead you astray, but . . .

“Your gut may lead you astray, but it’s never wrong. If you don’t have the guts to act on something and the moment passes, you will always remember that you were a gutless wonder. In gut we trust.” Herb Caen Herb Caen (1916–1997) was a journalist whose daily column of local goings-on and insider gossip, social and political happenings, painful puns and offbeat anecdotes appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly  sixty years. “The secret of Caen’s success [was] his outstanding ability to take a wisp of fog, a chance phrase overheard in an elevator, a happy child on a cable car, a deb in a tizzy over a social reversal, a family in distress and give each circumstance the magic touch that makes a reader an understanding eyewitness of the day’s happenings.”  Wikipedia  

Just Write

Writing is like excavating . . .

Writing prompts on The Write Spot Blog are designed to encourage writing that takes the writer on a journey of discovery. Our freewrites can refresh our memories and remind us of times past. It’s like excavating — digging deep and dredging up memories. You can start writing very simply — with pen or pencil and paper or keyboard. To go deep into your writing — rest both feet on the floor, rest your hands lightly on your lap or on the table. Take in a deep, nourishing breath and slowly let it out. Another deep breath in and s-l-o-w-l-y release. Sink into your breath and relax on the out breath. Review the prompt and start writing. If you get stuck and don’t know what to write next: ~ Write the prompt . . . sometimes re-writing the prompt brings up new ideas. ~ Write “I remember. . . ” and…