Studio Apartment

By Deb Fenwick She’s ready to set the world on fire. She’s got the requisite credentials: a freshly printed MBA from Wharton and a studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Yes, it’s a studio, but it’s a nice studio—spacious with carefully curated accessories. She even has houseplants. She can’t get to the gym or her Pilates class right now, well, because . . . Covid. She meets up with girlfriends for gossipy, boozy, Zoom happy hours on Fridays where everyone looks great from the waist up. She even puts on lipstick for the calls so that she can see the after image of her lips on the wineglass long after everyone logs off. It’s proof that she had fun. She and her friends are in that sweet spot after college but before the gorgeous weight of marriage, mortgages, and children (in that order) that will bind them to suburban homes with…

Guest Bloggers

Crystallize A Moment

Today’s guest blogger Nancy Julien Kopp muses about capturing and crystalizing a moment. The Wall Street Journal had an article profiling Maggie Smith, a contemporary poet. One of her quotes was simple but said a lot. “A poem doesn’t have to tell a story; it can just crystallize a moment.” I read it two or three times, then copied it on a notepad.  If you’ve ever been stopped by a beautiful sight or sound and wanted to write a poem, you’ll understand her thought to crystallize a moment. There’s no set number of verses to do that, no rhyming pattern, or anything else . . . just crystallize a moment. Maybe you’ve watched your children interacting, and there was a moment that you wanted to keep forever. It’s then that you should get that little notepad you keep nearby and jot down the thoughts you had. If you don’t do…


First Lines From Books . . . Prompt #571

First lines from books can inspire writing. Choose one, or more, and Just Write! “My name is Ruth. I grew up with . . .” — Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson: “This was probably a mistake . . .” —Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell “With wobbly knees, I stood at the edge of the three-foot diving board.” —Beyond Recovery by Shawn Langwell “Marsh is no swamp. Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky.” —Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens “The biggest irony about that night is that I was always scared to fly.” —How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Just Write

First line and Write Towards What You Want To Know

Opening lines of books are so important, as you know. First lines should draw the reader in and inspire the reader to keep reading. Thanks to a book club friend who sent Colum McCann’s article to me, excerpted below. I also like his take on “write what you know.” Colum McCann: A first line should open up your rib cage. It should reach in and twist your heart backward. It should suggest that the world will never be the same again. The opening salvo should be active. It should plunge your reader into something urgent, interesting, informative. It should move your story, your poem, your play, forward. It should whisper in your reader’s ear that everything is about to change. But take it easy too. Don’t stuff the world into your first page. Achieve a balance. Let the story unfold. Think of it as a doorway. Once you get your…


My Dream Is…

By Susie Moses I dream of living for awhile in a cabin in a thick forest at the edge of a quiet lake, possibly in the North Woods of the Adirondacks or the wilds of Minnesota on the Canadian border, or maybe the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington.  Maine would work too. I will have a canoe, or these days, a kayak, easier to manage solo.  I will arise as the sun emerges, put on a jacket and knit cap against the morning chill, and insert myself into my boat for a silent tour of the shoreline. As I watch the light spread from the horizon, changing colors are reflected in the low-lying clouds as the sun burns off the fog. My lake will be sparsely populated, no jet skis or motor craft of any kind, just self-propelled canoes or kayaks, and at that early hour I…


Dinner Party . . . Prompt #570

“Imagine a dinner party post-pandemic. Which humans will be with you around the table? Where will it happen? What music will you listen to? What will you serve? What stories will you tell, what toasts will be made? What truths do you want—maybe need—to share? — Carla Fernandez Prompt inspired by Carla Fernandez, a creative entrepreneur and cofounder of The Dinner Party, the nation’s first community fighting the isolation of grief and loss for 20-40 somethings.  Her work has been featured on NPR, Good Morning America, and O Magazine, and as a case study in a dozen+ books. A Senior Innovation Fellow at USC, she was named one of the city’s “most fascinating people” by L.A. Weekly. She currently lives between Accord, NY, and Joshua Tree, CA, with her partner Ivan and rescue dog, Biscotti. Originally posted in Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals.


Sindee reveals her secret

The Chronicles of Sindee Volume 6:  Sindee reveals her secret By Su Shafer The moon was waxing, getting near to full. She could feel it growing in the night sky. The soft fluttering of wings inside, near her heart. Every night they grew more insistent and she knew that tomorrow night or maybe the next, they would take over: she would change. The fluttering inside made it hard to sleep. Sindee lay awake in her crib, staring at the patterns in the lace canopy. Stuffy was quiet beside her, but she didn’t think he was asleep. “Stuffy, are you asleep?” “No. Are you?” “Obviously not,” Sindee replied, annoyed. She sighed. Stuffy wasn’t the brightest sometimes, but given his tiny dinosaur brain, what could she expect? “I guess I should tell you something,” Sindee went on. “Something important, that I’ve been keeping secret.” “Oh boy, a secret!” Stuffy chirped, flapping his…