I’m sorry you are experiencing this.

This Write Spot Blog Post is inspired by The Writings of Tim Lawrence, The Adversity Within, Shining Light on Dark Places. Tim offers ideas in his blog post about helping someone who is grieving: “I acknowledge your pain. I am here with you.” “Grief is brutally painful. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. When relationships fall apart, you grieve. When opportunities are shattered, you grieve. When dreams die, you grieve. When illnesses wreck you, you grieve. So I’m going to repeat a few words I’ve uttered countless times: Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.  These words come from my dear friend Megan Devine, one of the only writers in the field of loss and trauma I endorse. These words are so poignant because they aim right at the pathetic platitudes our culture has come to embody on an increasingly hopeless level. Losing a child cannot…

Book Reviews

The Best Little Grammar Book Ever! by Arlene Miller

Reviews for: The Best Little Grammar Book Ever!: Speak and Write with Confidence / Avoid Common Mistakes 2nd Edition, by Arlene Miller. Joel Friedlander reviews The Best Little Grammar Book Ever! In this delightful book, Arlene Miller demystifies the basics of grammar to help you communicate with more clarity. And she does it without talking down to the reader, and without boring you to tears. This is not a compendium of grammar practice; it’s a streamlined overview with lots of tips and hints that will have you writing better right away. Joel Friedlander is an award-winning book designer, a blogger, the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish and The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide. He’s been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 and writes TheBookDesigner.com, a popular blog on book design, book marketing and the future of the book. Sheri Graves reviews The Best Little Grammar Book Ever!…

Places to submit

Enter Writer Advice Contest And Receive Feedback.

If you want your writing to be published, you have to submit. If you want to be a better writer, you need feedback. You can get both when submitting to Writer Advice contests. B. Lynn Goodwin, founder of Writer Advice, reads every manuscript submitted. She will give you excellent feedback, tell you what’s working and identify anything that trips her up. I first met Lynn in a writing workshop in Berkeley, CA, summer of 2007. I admired her writing then and admire her editing skills now. Lynn’s tips on how to win a contest: Entice. Grab attention. Make the reader want to know more. Give reasons for the reader to care. Due by September 1: Scintillating Starts:  Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult novels. 1000 words or less. Fee: $15. First prize: $160. Second prize. $50. Due by December 1: Scintillating Starts: Fiction, memoir, or creative non-fiction. 1000 words or…


Does your heart hurt? Prompt #269

Does your heart hurt? I’ve been hearing “My heart hurts” from  several friends these past few days. And when I hear their stories, my heart hurts, also. What to do? I believe in healing through writing. So, let’s write. Write about: Does your heart hurt?   Write all the details you can about this. What happened?  Write all the details that you know. If you were directly involved: Be as detailed and as explicit as you can. When did it happen?  Day of week? Time of day? Where did it happen? Who was involved? What were you wearing? Were you standing or sitting? If you weren’t directly involved: Write as many details as you know. Then, focus on why you are affected. What connects you to what happened? Why are you affected so strongly? Read the next part after you have written about why your heart hurts and how and why…

Guest Bloggers

What about “They?” Arlene Miller answers.

Guest Blogger Arlene Miller, The Grammar Diva, gives us a sneak preview into her recently published second edition of The Best Little Grammar Book Ever! If you are a member of the nerdy world of grammarians, you know that there are “controversial” grammar topics. One of those is the use of the Oxford comma. Another is the use of the singular they. I use the Oxford comma, and I don’t use the singular they. But both these issues are up to you. Let’s talk about the singular they. They is a pronoun. A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun. We know that they is third person plural. Third person singular pronouns are he, she, and it.  Now how many times have you said, or heard someone say, Everyone is bringing their book to the meeting or something similar? Let’s pick that sentence apart: This is an issue of…


Unplug . . . a moment for yourself. Prompt #268

“We often rate our days by what we’ve accomplished, applauding ourselves for a workout logged, an errand completed, a task crossed off. But consider grading today on a new curve. Give yourself credit not for doing but simply for being—for taking time to sit alone, listening, daydreaming, creating space to think. Only then can you connect with the most important person in your world: yourself. “— author unknown Imagine you have all the time in the world. There isn’t anything you have to do. Whatever needs to be done in your real world is magically done for you. In this dream world, you have no worries and no cares.  You are able to unplug and relax into the softness and enjoy the moments of bliss. As you enjoy this time of freedom, you connect with the most important person in your world: yourself. Writing prompt:  If you could unplug, what…

Places to submit

EatingWell Welcomes Freelancers

EatingWell magazine is looking for articles about cooking, nutrition science, and the origins of food and social issues related to food networks, and welcomes ideas from new writers. “EatingWell’s voice is journalistic and authoritative; it speaks to both men and women. We cover nutrition with a newsy, science-based approach.” Before submitting, become familiar with EatingWell magazine and departments. “It’s difficult for us to contract with someone to write a story—no matter how brilliant the idea is—if it doesn’t fit into a specific department in the magazine. Send us ideas for specific sections in the magazine.” “You increase your chance of scoring an assignment with us if you 1) develop your pitch following the format for past columns, and 2) explain why the proposed topic should be covered in a specific issue.”  Go to EatingWell Submission Guidelines for examples and pitching tips. EatingWell welcome freelancers. “In this front-of-book section, we feature…


You have survived. Prompt #267

The pink ladies are about to bloom in Northern California where I live. Their proper name is Amaryllis belladonna. “A plant gone wild and therefore become rugged, indestructible, indomitable, in short: tough, resilient, like anyone or thing has to be in order to survive.”   —  The Ubiquitous Day Lily of July by David Budbill   This last sentence in The Ubiquitous Day Lily of July reminds me of our pink ladies and is the inspiration for today’s writing prompt. Write about something you have survived.