Prompts

Who do you miss? Prompt #462

I’ve been thinking about my mom, who passed away in July 2017. Every so often, like today, I want to phone her. I just want to talk with her. Prompt: Who do you miss? That’s my mom on the cover of The Write Spot: Connections. She was a dancer in her teens, performing at convalescent hospitals in the 1940’s. Connections is a collection of writing from mothers and their adult children. Some are funny, some poignant, some surprising. All are entertaining. Here’s an excerpt: Dime Sightings by Pamela Swanson Although my mother, Ione, could not afford them, she loved diamonds. Eventually she did save up enough money to buy herself a diamond ring. She was so proud of that ring. One year, early in November, Ione died without warning at the age of 54. Suddenly I was traveling the 2,100 miles from California where I lived to the small town…

Places to submit

Writer Advice wants your flash fiction

 “Flash Fiction is a story of 750-words or less that has a protagonist, a conflict, a setting, excellent use of language, and an ending that we didn’t predict when we read the first line. We enjoy stories with a discovery, complex characters, lovely language, and a tone that rings true.” — Writer Advice B. Lynn Goodwin, founder and proprietor of Writer Advice, suggests a winning formula is “A protagonist we care about, a distinctive voice, and a clear impact. Setting helps. So does conflict and resolution. We enjoy stories with a discovery, a surprise, and a tone that rings true.” I like Lynn’s attitude: “If the story feels squeezed at 750-words, don’t force it. There are plenty of journals where you can send your longer pieces.”  DEADLINE:  March 2, 2020. Early submissions strongly encouraged. PRIZES: First Place earns $150; Second Place earns $75; Third Place earns $40; Honorable Mentions will also be listed….

Guest Bloggers

I didn’t want to go.

“I didn’t want to go but I’m glad I did.” Bella Mahaya Carter’s title for her early December email caught my attention, probably because so many times I didn’t want to go but I was glad I went. Here’s what Bella wrote: Dear Friends, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday season!  Today’s post is about showing up for ourselves and for each other.   This past Monday night, I did not want to attend Forest Lawn’s annual “Lights of Remembrance: An Evening of Honoring the Memories of Your Loved Ones.” I was tired (hadn’t slept well the night before) and felt like I was getting sick. I also didn’t want to drive twenty miles at night to a place I’d never been, or go alone (my husband was too tired and my friend declined). I wanted to stay home, lounge by the fireplace, and watch The Crown. …

Guest Bloggers

Early Christmas Morning

As I write this, it’s early Christmas morning, 2019. It will be a quiet day here at Chateau Cullen, except for the swishing of a broom while I sweep the porch and the hum of the washer and dryer, getting ready for our holiday party this weekend and for my granddaughter’s third birthday. Today will be a busy day for some, filled with happy feet and sparkling eyes as young and old open presents under a decorated tree. For others, it will be quieter. Today’s guest blogger, Bella Mahaya Carter shares her holiday thoughts. Dear Friends: I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season—or getting through it with as much grace and ease as possible. One thing that helps keep me calm is walking our dog, Katie, who insists upon frequent and leisurely outings. I don’t mind (usually), because they provide exercise, time outdoors, and inspiration. Check out this leaf she’s…

Guest Bloggers

Just be yourself.

The definition of marketing is connecting with people in a human way and doing it as authentically as possible. Writing can heal and transform lives. Guest blogger Bella Mahaya Carter shares her epiphany about newsletters and marketing. Sometimes I want to lay down my ambition, hit cruise control, and glide through life.  But as an author (and human being) there’s so much I don’t know and want to learn. Case in point: I had a wonderful experience publishing my memoir with She Writes Press. I’ve come close to selling out my 1000-book print run—except for a few boxes left in my garage, which remind me of this important fact: books don’t sell themselves.  The realization that I (along with most authors today) need to take responsibility for the business part of my writing life has been sobering—but also, surprisingly fun. I’ve been reading marketing books the way I used to read craft books as a young writer—inhaling…

Guest Bloggers

Tips To Unlock The Book Only You Can Write

Guest Blogger Jenn Gott writes about 3 Inspiring Ways to Unlock the Book Inside You. Does this sound familiar: You’ve always been drawn to writing and have a mind brimming with ideas. You’ve always loved the idea of holding a book you have written — but somehow, despite all your best intentions and New Year’s Resolutions, it just hasn’t happened. Or maybe you’re a writer who has started a thousand writing projects, only to abandon them all within a few pages. Perhaps you’re not even sure if you want to be a writer, but you’ve always wanted to write a children’s book for your kids. Maybe you’re a poet, or a copywriter, or a journalist, and there’s a book you know you could write, if you just find the right words inside you. Maybe, maybe, maybe. One day. The trouble with “one day” is that it doesn’t exist — each…

Book Reviews

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted And Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg is another well-written book by Elizabeth. This work of fiction opens with: “I began at Dunkin’ Donuts. I hadn’t gone there since I started Weight Watchers a year ago because I had to lose weight; my doctor made me go. I could have switched doctors, but who needs it with all the forms you have to fill out if you switch. You just wish there were a central headquarters with all your information that you write out once so that everyone who needs anything could tap into it.” Isn’t that the truth! The Day . . . gets better and better with each from-the-heart story. “The Day I Ate Nothing I Even Remotely Wanted” might be my favorite chapter. “I began with coffee and skim milk. So you know what drinking coffee with skim…

Guest Bloggers

Yes, you can write that book you’ve been wanting to write!

I read about author Kira Jane Buxton in the Breaking In column, Writer’s Digest, October 2019 issue. I especially appreciate what she worked through to realize “. . . letting go of outside expectations while writing Hollow Kingdom afforded me the freedom to take great risks.” Her advice for writers: “Just have fun with it. Write the thing that’s burning inside you.” I enjoyed reading about her writing journey. I hope you will, too. Kira Jane Buxton I had a solid ten years of professional rejection under my belt by the time I realized I wanted to be a writer. Ten years of trying to ignite an acting career and an art career, seemingly with a broken match and wet kindling. A creative writing class at Santa Monica College (a gift from my husband that I deferred for a year because I was petrified) got my blood pumping and made…