Just Write

Strategies For Stress Reduction

By now, many of us know the drill to stay safe during the 2020 pandemic: Wash hands, wear a mask, and social distancing. But what about our mind, body, and spirit? “My lab’s study found the best recipe for dealing with everyday stressors is to try to simultaneously plan ahead about what you can control and stay in the moment mindfully.” —Shevan D. Neupert, Ph.D, “How to Soothe Your Soul,” August 2020 Consumer Reports The activities listed to soothe your soul in this article are the same as the restorative activities in the resource section of The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing. ~ Prepare and plan. “Tasks that distract you now but also benefit you in the future are wonderful.” — Joyce A. Corsica, Ph.D, “How to Soothe Your Soul,” August 2020 Consumer Reports If you are working on a writing project, plan for the result. If…

Prompts

A Blues Poem . . . Prompt #530

A blues poem takes on themes of struggle, despair, bad weather, any suffering.   It can also be funny: Fruit Flies Everywhere. Three-line Blues Poetry A statement in the first line, A variation in the second line, an ironic alternative in the third line. My baby walked out that door. My baby walked out and now my broken door won’t open up no more. And I had to walk back to Texas. I had to get on my feet  cuz my baby she took my Lexus. Four-line: When a woman gets the blues She hangs her head and cries But when a man gets the blues He hops on a freight train and rides With both types, you can continue the pattern. You can also repeat lines. You can write something in narration, then pull out lines to condense for a poem. You can start with these lines: When I woke…

Prompts

Collage in Poetry . . . Prompt #529

I would like to share collage in writing with you, some things I learned from the poet Dave Seter. His poem, “Fargo Airport, Waiting in a Bar” in The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is an example of using collage in poetry. The lines in italics in his poem are from signs on the wall and on the label on a bottle. He seamlessly incorporates “lines from others” into his poetry. Look around you . . . what writing do you see that you can use in your writing? Perhaps: A book title, a greeting card, writing on décor, writing on a tissue box, or a piece of mail. Or: A note you have written, writing on a coffee mug, a sign on a wall. A label on a jar, a can, or a bottle. You can also use song lyrics as a jumping off point for…

Book Reviews

Writing as a Path to Healing

In reference to The Write Spot:  Writing as a Path to Healing, author Elizabeth Beechwood said, “The contributing writers delve into the pain of their past, reveal their vulnerabilities, and share the lessons they’ve learned with all of us. Their courage is written on every page of this collection.”  After reading my contributor’s copy of editor, Marlene Cullen’s newest anthology, I am in full agreement with Ms. Beechwood. Especially the last sentence regarding courage written on every page. It is not easy to write about traumatic events, but twenty-one people have done so and were willing to share stories and poems with readers. The writers come from various walks of life and offer readers a look into difficult times they experienced at some point. These writers all used writing as a step on their path to healing and to offer support to others. Some who write about troubled parts of their…

Prompts

What have you been thinking about? Prompt #526

What have you been thinking about lately? I’ve been thinking about hair. The following is an excerpt from My Generation magazine, Sept-Oct 2001. “You can’t say hair without muttering a bitter, Ha! Hair is the Achilles’ heel atop our skulls: the curse of baldness, the pathos of the comb-over, the futility of the hairpiece. The double cross of auburn, chestnut, raven locks—your crowning glory—suddenly blanching the color of steel wool. Curly hair that won’t straighten, straight hair that won’t curl. The heartbreak of the impermanent wave, the bungled dye jobs, split ends, dandruff. Every head of hair in the civilized world is shackled to a monthly treadmill of maintenance, overhaul and gardening, hostage to the grooming industry and its literal clip joints. You could buy a new Ferrari with the money you shell out over a lifetime for the upkeep of that mat of third-rate fur.” Prompt: Hair Or: What…