Prompts

Angry? Too nice? Prompt #454

Congratulations on being here, taking time to do something for yourself. Sometimes the writing prompts on The Write Spot Blog are serious, sometimes fun, and sometimes instrumental in learning something about writing and learning about ourselves. You are always free to write whatever you want. The prompts are just ideas to get you started. If you are writing and run out of things to say, either repeat the prompt, or write “what I really want to say.” And go from there. When you read the prompt, write it down, and just start writing. Get rid of the editor that sits on your shoulder. Don’t think. Don’t overthink. Write whatever comes into your mind. The writing prompts are meant to encourage you to write what you really want to write (no judgement on good or bad, nice or not nice content). But what if what you really want to write isn’t…

Guest Bloggers

Reflections after a year of travel

Guest Blogger Alisha Wielfaert encourages us to work through the difficulties rather than be stuck in the mud. This excerpt is from her December 4, 2017 blog post, with her epiphany about her year of travel. The glowing orange moon rose over the cypress swamp as we drove home with tired limbs, hungry bellies and full hearts after a long day of kayaking. I had almost bowed out of this trip before it even started.  Maia called me on my last trip to DC before I left for Paris and said, “We’re camping at Carolina beach and taking a few of my students to kayak the three sisters swamp to visit some of the oldest cypress trees in the world.  Can you join us?”   Maia, full of energy and excitement, just isn’t someone you tell “no” even though I knew saying yes meant two days away from home after only…

Just Write

NaNoWriMo-Is it for you?

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month. “NaNoWriMo believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.” —NaNoWriMo website “A month of NaNoWriMo can lead to a lifetime of better writing.” Grant Faulkner, founder and creator of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November. Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel — but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is! NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that supports writing fluency and education. It’s a teaching tool, it’s a curriculum, and its programs run year-round. Whatever you…

Book Reviews

True to Form

True to Form by Elizabeth Berg. Elizabeth Berg has a unique ability to create characters who could live down the block, or they could be characters who peopled my growing up years. Berg’s writing style draws in readers to nuances and complex relationships, revealed through subtle actions and detailed dialogue. Her characters face the consequences of their decisions in ways that are remarkable because they are so familiar and yet told with such grace and eloquence that the story seems fresh and heretofore untold. It is such a pleasure to read an Elizabeth Berg Book.

Places to submit

New Delta Review

New Delta Review is an online literary and arts journal produced by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Louisiana State University. Since 1984, NDR has published the work of emerging and established writers. Each issue includes original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews, interviews, and artwork. “In our 30 years of publication, authors of international renown — Anne Carson, Billy Collins, Robert Olen Butler, J. Robert Lennon and Alissa Nutting, to name a few — have shared our pages with tomorrow’s literary stars. Our contributors are regularly included in anthologies such as Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, and Best American Poetry. As a journal we are committed to publishing underrepresented voices, and aim to foster diversity in our issues. Although we ask for a small fee for our general submissions, this fee helps us sustain and extend this practice into our community by hosting and supporting readings and…

Guest Bloggers

Bookstagrammers & Influeners

Hello from Marlene, host of The Write Spot Blog, I originally read the post below by Julie Valerie on Anne R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris. Today’s guest blog post is longer than my usual posts. Take it in small bites. There is a lot of content here. All good stuff. I learned so much I didn’t know about things such as bookstagrammers and influencers (the book kind). Guest Blogger Julie Valerie: From Book Blog to Book Deal Julie asks: Does a book blog still land a book deal? Of course they do. Great writing and great content will always find an audience, and where there’s an audience, especially a sizable one, there’s typically a book deal waiting to happen. Think Julie Powell, Candice Bushnell, Jen Lancaster, and Jenny Lawson. Not to mention, entire empires (with books launched along the way), have been built on the humble foundations of blog…

Prompts

Weather. Prompt #452

Strangers do it. Neighbors do it. Friends do it. We all do it. Talk about the weather. Now, write about it. Write about how weather affects you. What is your favorite type of weather? Does weather play a small or large role in your life? How? Why? Write about weather. Me? I like rain, as long as I don’t have to be out in it. Photo: View from my front porch on a lovely rainy day.

Book Reviews

The Secret Spice Café Trilogy

Patricia V. Davis, author of spellbinding and captivating stories and creator of complex characters, weaves stories with unique twists aboard an unusual location in The Secret Spice Café Trilogy. Book One of The Secret Spice Café Trilogy: Cooking for Ghosts A Vegas cocktail waitress. An Indian herbalist. A British chemistry professor. An Italian-American widow. Four unique women with one thing in common: each is haunted by a tragedy from her past. Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes. They open The Secret Spice, an elegant café on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California. Rich in history and tales of supernatural occurrences, the ship hides her own dark secrets. The women are surrounded by ghosts long before they step aboard, and once they do, nothing is quite what it seems. Not the people they meet, not their brooding chef’s mystic recipes,…

Prompts

An experience in nature. . . Prompt #451

Today’s writing prompt is inspired by Poetic Medicine by John Fox, Infusing our poems with what nature teaches us: A forest fire is awesome and frightening but clears the forest floor for new growth. Metaphors and poetic images of earth can often express such feelings better than plain descriptive words, which seem to crack under the pressure of deep feeling. Feelings of grief might bring to mind images of winter’s coldness. Pablo Neruda crystalizes a wintry grief image: Yes: seed germs, and grief, and everything that throbs frightened in the crackling January light will ripen, will burn, as the fruit burned ripe. The insights we gain by observing nature, and the poems we make which include these insights, help us cope with our rage, grief and pain. The poetry of earth offers us a chance to experience something more about life than our self-definition and ordinary language usually permit. Like…