Guest Bloggers

Are you enjoying life or racing to your grave?

Guest Blogger Ted Moreno asks: Are you enjoying life or racing to your grave?   Life has been very busy… In fact, it has been at times overwhelming, like life has been turned up to a higher speed. Ever feel that way? I don’t do very well when I feel like life is an out of control ride and I can’t get off. I don’t sleep as well, don’t eat as healthy as I like to. I start to feel out of control. What’s that line from that Ozzy Osborne song? “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train.” I know I can’t control how life shows up, but I do try to control my response to whatever life is giving (or throwing at) me. I want to stay calm, positive and un-freaky. It’s not easy. There are two things I do that are necessary for me to stay…


Preserve Your Culture . . . Prompt #377

“Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” — Cesar Chavez Write about your culture. Write about food, customs, clothing. Write about nuances, sayings, prophecies. Write about your culture’s beliefs, social customs, traits, religious beliefs. You can write about the culture you grew up in, or write about a culture you have adopted. Write about shared attitudes, goals, values. Write about your culture’s music, art, ways and methods of communicating. Just Write! Photo by Jim C. March

Guest Bloggers

Suzanne Murray: Using imagination for creativity

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray writes about using imagination with a quote from Thoreau. This world is but a canvas to our imagination. – Henry David Thoreau   We use our imagination all the time, whether we realize it or not. When we are worrying about a future event we are imagining the possibility of a negative outcome. When we are thinking about our next dream vacation we are imagining the place and what we may be doing there. When we are being creative we are imagining scenes as we write, the cake rising as we mix the ingredients for baking, or the blank canvas giving rise to color. Yet most of us don’t think much about the ways we use our imagination and the mystery of how it works. Most of us hold tight to the confines of the mind, living from its repeating pattern rather than being open to the infinite…


Describe a task. Prompt #376

  Tillie taught me how to fill a pen, or, as she said, “How to properly  fill a pen.” One: Turn the filling plunger counterclockwise as far as it will go. Two: Dip the nib completely into the ink. Three: Turn the filling plunger clockwise until it stops. Four: Hold the nib above the ink bottle and turn the plunger counter-clockwise again until three drops of ink fall back into the bottle. Five: Turn the plunger clockwise to stop the drops. Six: Wipe the excess ink completely from pen and nib. When I told Tillie that six steps seemed a lot to have to do before you begin, she said, “You must think of those six steps not as preparation for the beginning but as the beginning itself.”  — The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg Prompt: Desribe the steps to accomplish something. Or: Write about preparing something. Just…

Book Reviews

The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Connections

Marlene Cullen has created a series of books that allow talented writers to showcase their work. While each book is packed with insightful, wistful and poignant essays and stories, what I really like about this series is the title of each book. Marlene masterfully reveals the theme of each book with a single, well-chosen word, and chooses cover artwork accordingly. It is this unspoken promise of words carefully crafted that makes you want to jump right in and explore. — Amazon Reviewer Even if you do not consider yourself a writer, Connections is an enjoyable escape. Reading a variety of short personal stories left me smiling, laughing, sighing, and contemplating. Editor Marlene Cullen cleverly includes over 25 authors with different writing styles in this anthology. At the end of each story there is a writing prompt, advice about life, and pictures of the authors when they were children, including some vintage…


Patterns Prompt #375

Take a mental trip down Memory Lane. See yourself at five years of age. Picture that child. See him or her. Grab some detail. Smiling? Serious? Able to sit still? Has to move around?’ Now, see yourself at twelve years of age. Take a moment to really see that image of yourself as a young teenager. Notice the clothes you wore, your hairstyle. What did you like to do? Who were your friends? Were you a serious student? Were you frivolous? Care free? Fast forward to twenty-five years old. How do you see yourself? How did you move . .  slow paced, bustling around, steady, focused, scattered?  Were you scaling corporate ladders? Were you climbing walls, anxious to get going, to start your career, start your life? How about thirty or forty or fifty years of age . .  did you shine your light on projects or people? Where were…

Guest Bloggers

Paint a rich picture. Roger Lubeck

Guest Blogger Roger Lubeck: The importance of details in memoir to enhance your story. There are people and events in our life that shape who we are. What we value and the lives we lead. The events and people can be big and small. Stopping for cigarettes and the car accident that followed. Taking the last United flight out of New York on September 10, 2001. Growing up in Michigan, water was a part of my life. Swimming and boating, lake cottages, and fish frys; frog legs, whitefish (pike) and perch were staples in that culture and still are. The same was true in Minnesota, except the preferred fish was Walleye caught while ice fishing. Sometimes in telling a personal story we get lost in the wrong details and back stories. In telling a personal story we forget about plot and pace. Often, I have found myself saying, “I guess you…