Time Travel . . . Prompt #559

Think about a relative or an ancestor who you know very little about. You can jot down names or how the person is related to you if you don’t know their names. Take about two minutes for this. Choose one person to focus on. Time travel to when that person lived. Write about that person in a “take me back” way . . . using location or place, date, other characters or people who lived then as details to learn about this person. You can make things up, imagine conversation, imagine circumstances.   There are no wrong answers. Have fun exploring the possibilities of “what if?” What if you lived during this time, what would you be doing? Where are you in this scene? The Free February 18, 2021 Writers Forum event features Kate Farrell, Waights Taylor, Jr., and Bev Scott chatting about how to research family history and shape your…


Every Riddle is a Bridge

Dawna Markova, PhD: “I was a six-year-old wild child. My parents tried to tame me by warning me about all the terrible threatening things in the world that could hurt me. On the surface, I ignored or defied them, but late at night their fears took root in my mind and strangled my dreams. One Friday morning, I asked my precious grandmother, who had escaped from the Cossacks and didn’t seem to be afraid of anything how she had learned to be so brave. She lifted my fingertips to her wrinkly warm lips one by one, kissing them as she whispered, ‘I’ve told you that each print proves what a precious one-of-a-kind being you are, worthy of great care. Never again will there be another such as you. So pay attention to the warnings and protect the miracle of your life.’ Pausing, she stretched out my arm so and pointed it…



Flood By Karen Ely A riddle is a bridge. A bridge to the truth, arching over the angry, churning river that is our nation’s canker.   The howling denials humiliating trials of fact versus fiction 0ur country’s affliction.   And the riddle is this: What lies on the other side?   A people of unity, Indivisible or a new status quo leaving gospel invisible As we strive To thrive Keep hope alive Compromise.   Calm the beast and keep the peace. Cross over that muddy sludge On a one lane bridge Feet dry Expectations high.   Looking for the promised land, The pot of gold, The rainbow’s end.   Yet the river remains. Always raging Turning the soil Trumpers loyal Ready to spill over the banks and flood the fields of honest, hard-won crops. The hatred never really stops. Perhaps we need a dam. Karen Ely was born and raised…


Poem by Dawna Markova . . . Prompt #558

 I Will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova I will not die an unlived life.I will not live in fearof falling or catching fire.I choose to inhabit my days,to allow my living to open me,to make me less afraid,more accessible:to loosen my heartuntil it becomes a wing,a torch, a promise.I choose to risk my significance,to live so that which came to me as seedgoes to the next as blossom,and that which came to me as blossom,goes on as fruit. Prompt: You can write on the mood or the theme of the poem. Or use a line or a word as a springboard for your writing. Dawna Markova followed her precious grandmother’s footsteps to become a midwife, but rather than babies, she helps birth possibilities within and between people.  She has lived many incarnations in the past seven decades as an author, teacher, psychotherapist, researcher, executive advisor, and organizational fairy godmother….


Explore Characters . . . Prompt #557

Create a character, or develop a character. ~ The character could be you . . . when you were younger, or looking ahead, you in the future. ~ Someone you know, dead or alive. ~ A fictional character you created. Give your character a name:  Younger Me. Older Me. Someone you know. Your fictional character. Woman in 1940s. Man on a Mission. Person in a foreign country. Get up and walk around your space, looking at things, touching things, as if you were that character. Look through the eyes of the character you are writing about. Say, or think, the name of your character as you walk around. Walk in your character’s shoes. Spend 3-5 minutes on this. When you return to your chair, respond to the prompt from your character’s point of view. Use one of these prompts as a springboard to write about a character of your choice….


Illuminating Ordinary Life

We read for many reasons and different kinds of pleasures. One of those pleasures is recognition—of a moment, a place, a feeling state. It’s the writer’s job to find language for those moments, those feeling states, that allows the reader to access their own feelings, that makes them think, “Oh, I never thought of it that way before. I could never find the words or the language for that.” Illuminating ordinary life, to me, is one of the most beautiful ways to write and to read. —Dani Shapiro, in conversation with Suleika Jaouad


Sounds Of The Unheard, A Connection To Self

Sounds Of The Unheard, A Connection To Self By Joop Delahaye Silence: The perennial challenge in my meditation practice. Tara Brach says that that is the real draw for her now in her meditation practice. I am not sure if that is true for me. I have been attracted to the sounds of the usually unheard things when “normal” sounds are absent. That has been something I have paid attention to most of my life. No planes overhead, no 101 traffic, no Petaluma Creamery machinery, no dumb drivers going west on B Street. No leaf blowers or power washers! What is there when these are absent? What is there now? Swaying tree branches, birds in my neighbor’s old tree, the wind. The “thermal compressions” I have heard for years. I have learned to listen for it, to it. This sound became a barometer of my connection to self, to the…

Guest Bloggers

Calm Your Brain

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray has this to say: With anxiety and fear running high in the world these days, I wanted to share how we can make friends with these feelings and use them to our advantage. Anxiety and fear can prevent us from being creative or living a life we love. To live and create fully, we be must be willing again and again to step out of our old comfortable life and into unknown territory. This always feels scary. Many years ago I read the self-help book Feel the Fear, And Do It Anyway which presents the premise that just because we feel a sense of fear about a project or moving in a new direction in our lives doesn’t mean we are supposed to stop ourselves from proceeding. More recently I’ve been fine-tuning my understanding of what this really means and feels like, how to best use it in…


Ideas . . . Prompt #556

Write about an idea you have. Something you have thought about doing. You can also write from your fictional character’s point of view. Perhaps something on your wish list. A dream. I want to . . . ~ write about . . . ~ create an art project about . . . ~ a gardening project . . . ~ something that will help me . . . ~ help my community . . . ~ help the world . . . ~ this is what I want to accomplish . . . ~ my dream is . . .