Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Inspiration By Brenda Bellinger Toward the end of his life, my father, who used to enjoy painting, would often say he couldn’t “get in the mood” or “just lost interest.” His easel stood waiting, a blank canvas in place and a table of brushes and paints nearby. Sometimes, writing can feel that way, as though you’re engaged in a stare down with a blank screen. Which of you is going to win? You can wait to be inspired (it might be a while), you can use a writing prompt or you can just let your thoughts spill onto the page in a stream-of-consciousness fashion and see what shape they take. The thing about inspiration is that it’s bound to strike at an inopportune moment like when you’re in the shower or you’re driving or you’re in…


Green . . . Prompt #638

Writing Prompt:  Green “Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and wall street. The color green has healing power and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing color for the human eye to view. Green also stands for new growth and rebirth, common in the spring season when all of the plants are coming back to life with fresh growth and life after the cold winter months. The color green affects us physically and mentally in several different ways. Green is soothing, relaxing, and youthful. Green is a color that helps alleviate anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Green also brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, and renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony. Additional words that represent different shades, tints, and values…


The Smell of Old, Ancient Time

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. The Smell of Old, Ancient Time By Mary E. O’Brien Old smells like perfume That’s past its life cycle The scent you get when you are Hoping for exquisite but discover stale.   Old is stale sheets that have absorbed The fevers and worries And peaceful slumbers of The maximum number of humans.  Old time has absorbed into its pores A thousand smiles, given in vain To cheer or to greet, Unreturned.  Old time is a black satin circle, Etched with circular lines that contain, Miraculously, violins piercing the sorry soul Or wandering heart.  Old, ancient time is beige sand Cradling the bones of saints and gladiators Clinging to crevices to keep their shame and secrets in the grave Which we all have a right to.  Old, ancient time smells like a baby’s hair. The very…


Songs . . . Prompt #637

Song titles and song lyrics can be beneficial in producing thought-provoking writing. Click on the link to read the lyrics or hear the song. The currently popular “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” from the movie “Encanto.” Inspired by talking with a washroom attendant, “She Works Hard For The Money,” by Donna Summer. “The Very Thought of You,” by Nat King Cole “It’s Now or Never,” by Elvis Presley “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong “Dancing in the Streets,” by Martha & The Vandellas “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” by  Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole Be inspired. Just Write!


A Day in Rome

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. A Day in Rome By Rebecca Olivia Jones We arrive by taxi at our pensione in Rome. The taxi driver had been blowing his nose but he was helpful with the luggage. We check in at the front kiosk of what had been a convent. A couple of nuns assign us a room with two single beds. We are informed of a continental breakfast in the kitchen 6:00 am-8:00 am and the rules that include making your bed each day and leaving the building by 9:00. Be back before 10:00 pm when the front door is locked. The pensione is located up the street from the Forum, across the cobblestone street from an ancient church with a Gothic bell tower and near a tiny restaurante that makes fresh pasta. For two days we hike the hills…

Just Write

Write to exorcize what’s haunting you.

“Write to exorcize what’s haunting you. Write about whatever it is you can’t get out of your head—a person, a place, a fear, a fictional scene, a memory from your past, a fantasy for your future. Allow yourself to think obsessively and shamelessly about only that one thing for as long as it takes to get it down on paper.” —Puloma Ghosh, The Isolation Journals, created by Suleika Joauad. This type of writing is like unpeeling layers of emotions. Just Write. The Isolation Journals is Suleika Joauad’s newsletter for people seeking to transform life’s interruptions into creative grist. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. Memory Lane offers ideas to spark writing about what a memory from your past, or a fantasy for your future. #amwriting #justwrite #iamawriter

Places to submit

More Chicken Soup For The Soul

Do you think submitting stories to Chicken Soup For The Soul books are for someone else, not for you? Do you think you have no chance of your writing being selected? Well, I know three people who have had their writing accepted. So, why not you? One of the key things is to follow their guidelines. Thank you, John Lesjack, for letting me know about the holiday topics (deadline 5/1/22). John has been published in Chicken Soup books over ten times. Nancy Julien Kopp has been published in Chicken Soup books over 20 times! Possible Chicken Soup Topics Angels (deadline 4/15/22) Crazy, eccentric, wacky lovable, fun families (4/30/22) Cats (deadline 5/30/22) Dogs (deadline 5/30/22) How stepping outside my comfort zone changed me (deadline 7/31/22) Chicken Soup Holiday Topics Are the memories from this past holiday season still fresh in your mind? We sure hope so! That’s why, just a few…


What nourishes you? Prompt #636

Prompt: What nourishes you?  Write for 15 minutes. Use sensory details:  sight, smell & sound. ********************* Next: Picture the kitchen in the house you grew up in. See the table and chairs, the counter, the cupboards. Open a cupboard . . . or walk into the pantry. Take a look around. Open the spice cabinet. Breathe deeply. Prompt: What food reminds you of the kitchen in the house where you grew up in? Memories surrounding that food? ********************* Prompt: Take a few words from previous two freewrites and expand, or describe, using smell and sound. For example, from “The Martian Chronicles by” Ray Bradbury: “There was a smell of Time in the air tonight . . . What did Time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like, it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt…



Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Gratitude By Kathryn Petruccelli Spring in a cold place. Which means everything is so heartbreakingly tender—tulips lifting their dusky prom skirts, dandelions twinkling in their green sky. I’ve lived here a little while, this rural New England town, its six months of winter, a place accustomed to waiting for beauty to appear. I’ve left somewhere I loved to move far away in service to a restless heart, the bonus draw of family. In the time since, I’ve witnessed a father-in-law dissolve from brain cancer, a second-born survive the bypass machine, tiny heart sewn back together. Walking through the park with the baby, I call a friend back home to catch her up, or to remember who I am, or to plead with her to come visit and if she can’t, at least to understand. The wheels…


Memory Lane . . . Prompt #635

Today’s Writing Prompt has four parts. Part 1 Imagine you are going on a trip. Cost is no object. You can go anywhere and take anything you want. Spend a few minutes writing what you would take.                               ************************ Part 2 Mentally add safety items to your suitcase, or duffle bag, or backpack. You might have already packed some of these things. Medical supplies, bandages, antiseptic. Flares, flashlight. Things to protect you: sunscreen, a soft pillow for a cushioned landing in case you fall, a safety net to catch you. ************************ Part 3 Go on a trip down Memory Lane. Choose a time in your life when something deeply affected you or was troubling. Write about a difficult time, a pivotal moment, when something happened and you were not the same after. If you experience a strong reaction while you are writing, stop writing. Shake out your hands, or look…