Cool Desserts . . . Prompt #590

July is National Ice Cream Month Write about a memorable ice cream or cool dessert. Or write about interesting or unusual ice cream desserts. Wicked Slush Dave and Julie Pokorny have created a destination experience in Petaluma, CA with their unique Wicked Slush. Soft serve with a twist. “Back East, it was Carvel. The creamiest, dreamiest, tallest, most improbable tower of soft serve ice cream, covered in chocolate magic shell. Remember? You had to crack through the shell to get to the goodness inside. Well, in Petaluma, we have Wicked. Creamy, dreamy, towering swirls of soft serve ice cream, made from local, organic Straus Family Creamery Dairy. Now imagine this in not only chocolate or vanilla, but in any one of 26 different flavors! And that magic shell? How about 6 different flavors? How about this concoction sitting in a crunchy sweet waffle cone? Yep. That’s how we roll at Wicked.”…


I Scream, You Scream

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. I Scream, You Scream By Nona Smith It’s been well over a year since I’ve done any grocery shopping at Safeway. Early on in the pandemic, it was Harvest, our other local supermarket, who quickly adopted safety precautions: it made mask-wearing mandatory, limited the number of shoppers inside the store at any given time, provided handwashing stations outside, and offered free Latex gloves. Safeway was slow to adopt protective measures, making me feel unsafe in Safeway. Fast forward eighteen months, and I’m fully vaccinated and in need of a cake mix Harvest doesn’t carry. Being as health conscious as it is, the shelves in the baking section at Harvest are laden with organic, gluten-free, paleo, KETO, dairy-free cake mixes. There are only a handful of non-organic, full-on gluten, white sugar mixes on the very bottom shelf….


Dedicated to Dad

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dedicated to Dad By William Frank Hulse III  I was out on the back patio, grilling some hamburgers. After talking to the two dogs next door I sat down at a little café/bistro table my wife arranged as a little hygge spot for us. Out of the corner of my eye I caught movement and turned to see a beautiful yellow butterfly go passing by, on its way to a luncheon appointment I suppose. I smiled at the thought and then, for some reason, my father came to mind. He died 18 years ago but he has this clever way of making his presence known. Sometimes, it’s one of his nifty quotes that he borrowed from Will Rogers – a local hero of ours. Other times it’s his shadow that looms large when I’m guessing what…


An idyllic afternoon . . . Prompt #588

I have the good fortune of belonging to a Facebook Group called Hygge Life. A group that posts phenomenal photos and all positive comments. Recently, someone posted photos of her inspirational garden in Essex Coast, UK, with this invitation: “Hygge friends! Come take a little stroll with me to my favourite corner of the garden! We can sit a while and sip on our tea/coffee/tissane and gaze at the craziness of our raised veggie beds, the beginnings of the sweet pea pyramid, the formal and wild flowers and listen and watch as the busy white bottomed bees gather pollen! We can stay a while and chit chat about all things Hygge or . . . just listen, smell, and look at the wonder of Mother Nature. Come join me!” Writing Prompt: Imagine being in this garden, sitting at the blue table, across from a friend. What would you chat about?…

Just Write

Personal Essay – Pivotal Event Plus . . .

A personal essay isn’t your life story. It’s a pivotal event. The narrator has an epiphany, or is changed at the end of the story. “Personal essays represent what you think, what you feel . . . your effort to communicate those thoughts and feelings to others . . . What is the point of your essay? Don’t belabor the point too much; let the point grow out of the experience of the essay. It might be true, in fact, that you didn’t even have a point to make when you started writing your essay. Go ahead and write it and see if a point develops.” — The Personal Essay More on personal essay: How to Write a Personal Essay Writing Personal Essays Personal Essay is Memoir in Short Form Still don’t know how to start? Gather your writing implements: Paper, pen, pencil, writing device, choose a writing prompt and…



Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Network By Deb Fenwick It’s new and improved! Try it! Don’t miss this opportunity.  Buy now. No, not goodbye now. But look at this good buy, now! Amazon Prime straight to your door in 24 hours, guaranteed. And, if all goes well, gig workers will deliver your Starbucks just as your DoorDash lunch is arriving. Thank goodness for the bits and bytes that zoom unseen through your Wi-Fi and into a fiber-optic network that traverses the globe. It’s fast. And you are the master of your point-and-click world. Plants have a dynamic unseen life beneath the soil. In late autumn, perennials slowly go into a state of dormancy in response to cold weather and shorter daylight hours. Gradually, leaves and stalks disappear. Life continues underground, and roots go into a potent winter slumber. In spring, in…

Book Reviews

The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year

Reviews of The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year Review by Sande Anfang: The Write Spot founder and writing coach Marlene Cullen has been guiding writers through her Jumpstart workshops. I’ve been lucky to participate in some of them. Marlene’s motto is “Just Write,” as in don’t stop to evaluate what you’ve written during the drafting process—just keep the pen moving until the timer rings. In this collection, she has gathered a wide variety of poetry and short prose pieces from sixteen writers. If there’s a common thread that binds this anthology, it’s a grappling with the surreal nature of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. Being forced to upend our “normal” lives and adapt to changing threats, both medical and socio-political, has created an opportunity for deep investigation that finds catharsis, much-needed humor, and rich forays into family memories. There are inviting dips into the pool of…

Places to submit


Ploughshares has published quality literature since 1971. “Our award-winning literary journal is published four times a year; our lively literary blog publishes new writing daily. Since 1989, we have been based at Emerson College in downtown Boston.” Submissions accepted from June 1 to January 15, at noon EST for: The Journal Plouoghshares Solos series, featuring longer works of fiction and nonfiction Look2 essay Submission Guidelines


Carry on . . . Prompt #587

Writing Prompt: Carry on. Sometimes a word or a phrase enters my mind and I think “that would be a good prompt.” That’s what happened for today’s prompt. But then I wondered, why did this phrase pop into my head. What have I been thinking about? In the July 2021 issue (page 51), Sonoma County Gazette book reviewer Diane McCurdy compared the genesis of The Write Spot: Musings and Ravings From a Pandemic Year with Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron: “In the 14th century when the plague, the black death, was ravaging through the cities of Italy, a writer and a group of friends fled Florence to the caves above the city and to alleviate boredom in what was one of the first sheltering in place locales, they told stories. Giovanni Boccaccio recorded those stories in what became a classic, The Decameron.” I didn’t know about this, never heard of it….