How do you want to be remembered? Prompt #124

Humorous or serious – what would you write for your epitaph? Compose several brief epitaphs for yourself — the headlines you’d like to see on your headstone. Think of them as messages to future generations that convey how you want to be remembered. And then. . . write a story that explains why the epitaph is appropriate. You could also write this for your fictional character. Here are some ideas: He Was Happiest When He Was Young. Strongest When He Was Old. Family First, Last, and Always I’d Rather Be Smelling the Roses (Than Lying Underneath Them) Wish I Had It All to Do Over Again (So I Could Do It All the Same but Better) Prompt: Write your obituary, or your Life’s Tributes.  Share your writing here, on The Write Spot Blog. From Family Tales, Family Wisdom —  How to gather the stories of a lifetime and share them with…


“First thoughts have tremendous energy.” Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg says . . .   “First thoughts have tremendous energy. It is the way the mind first flashes on something.” Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones. Nat’s quote perfectly describes what a free write can do . . . opens us up to ideas and thoughts that lie within us.  Try it. Go to the prompts category here or here and choose a prompt. Then write . . . freely. Just Write!

Book Reviews

The Upstart Startup: How Cerent Transformed Cisco by Rob Koslowsky

The end of the year seems like a good time for a book review about people who changed the landscape of Sonoma County, people who had amazing foresight about technology, and people who did not, would not, give up nor compromise their visions. The Upstart Startup: How Cerent Transformed Cisco is a story about the people who comprised Cerent and how their beloved Cerent 454 revolutionized the telecommunications world. It’s a story that has drama, intrigue, and involved massive amounts of money that landed in California’s Sonoma County, one of the premiere wine-growing locales in the world. Sharing this story is a tribute to the 210 employees that were the lifeblood of Cerent before Cisco took over. “The team at Cerent had this tenacity and unbelievable conviction in not just building a product but a platform for a successful and sustaining business. Rob’s book captures the innovation in every step and…

Places to submit

Waterways – Poetry in the Mainstream

The Waterways Project of Ten Penny Players and the related Bard Press has published both established and emerging poets. The literary magazine, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, has been in continuous publication since 1979. For thirty years, Waterways and Ten Penny Players worked with special needs and incarcerated children in New York City schools. (Wikipedia) Waterways asks that poems relate to photos on their website, scroll to this page for the photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for submission details. Deadlines for January through May: The 15th of each month. Waterways was introduced to The Write Spot Blog by Arlene Mandell. Now, go write . . . dig through your poems. . . as Arlene says: Edit and Submit!


What is your body telling you? Prompt #123

For today’s writing . . . sit comfortably. Take a deep breath in. Let it out. Another deep, refreshing breath in. Release. One more big, nourishing breath. Let it whoosh out. Mentally scan your body. Become aware of any area that draws your attention – notice what part of your body calls out to you. Place the palm of your writing hand on the place that calls out. Or bring your breath there if it’s not reachable with your hand. Allow your hand to be filled with the information from that place. When you are ready, write about what you have discovered. Or just write about whatever is on your mind.

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Ted A. Moreno – You Don’t Need Silence to Be Quiet

The following is from Ted A. Moreno’s 12/16/14 email, “You Don’t Need Silence to Be Quiet.” Sit back, relax and enjoy. Ted writes: Last night I sat in a filled auditorium and watched as my 9 year old daughter, along with scores of other elementary school kids, gave her first band performance. They played 5 notes. When the curtain rose, she was right in my line of vision, wearing the white shirt and black pants her mom had picked up for her that afternoon. She sat with her clarinet, Taylor Swift hair, and sparkly eyes. She spotted me and returned my thumbs up sign with a huge grin. And even though the auditorium was filled with hooting parents calling out their kids’ names, I felt a stillness within. It hadn’t been a really good day, too busy, but right then and there it got a whole lot better. It wasn’t…


An author is an amateur who never quits. — Richard Bach

I love discovering new things about writers.  You might remember Richard Bach as the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I enjoy Richard’s Bach’s musings. . . here’s the beginning of his September 7, 2014 blog post: “I AM SO SLOW! All my life there have been bright and clear events, all of them happening in plain sight, but I haven’t noticed them, till all of a sudden now.  They’ve never been secrets, they’re like friendly dogs, going for walks with me year after year, and I never noticed.” You might enjoy posts by Richard Bach. October 25, 2014 was the publication date of the New Edition of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  It’s the complete edition, with Part 4, written immediately after Part 3,  years ago, but never published with the first parts.    

Just Write

“When there is an obstacle . . . ” Angelina Jolie

“When there is an obstacle, you have to rise to the challenge, not be overwhelmed by it. And we’re not alone in the world. I don’t know if there’s a name for that — religion or faith — just that there’s something greater than all of us, and it’s uniting and beautiful.” — Angelina Jolie, December 22, 2014 People magazine. From Marlene: Writing unites and connects us and that is, indeed, beautiful. When you reach an obstacle or challenge with your writing, see if you can work around it. Write sideways, in the margins. Come at the problem from a new angle. See the stumbling block as an opportunity to explore the problem and create a new solution. How? By doing a freewrite. Write down the first word that pops into your head and then write, for 12-15 minutes. Click here and here for more writing prompts. Just Write! Photo…

Book Reviews

Hollywood Holidays by D.D. Scott

Hollywood Holidays by D. D. Scott is a delightful “take-me-away” story, transporting lucky readers to a world populated with interesting and likable characters. The story line is enjoyable and easy to read (making for comfortable reading) and on a deeper level, contains important messages covering issues of women’s self-esteem and men’s treatment of women. This “easy to read with an important message format” isn’t an easy feat to accomplish. D.D. Scott successfully created a world in which the heroine, Harper Cantwell, moves from depending on her husband and his activities for self-worth to a woman in an emotionally abusive relationship, then to an assertive woman and finally to a wonderfully self-adjusted woman, comfortable in her skin and new-found freedom . . . freedom to be herself.  Hollywood Holidays should be required reading for engaged couples. . . good instructions how to create and cultivate a loving relationship. Click here for…