Notes from Marlene Cullen’s talk about freewrites. Scroll down for links about how to use freewrites and how to write about difficult subjects without adding trauma. I gave a talk about freewrites at the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club. I’m sharing my notes so you, too, can enjoy the freewrite method of writing. I love freewrites because they are so . . . freeing. Freewrites can open doors to discoveries. I was thrilled to discover freewrites, unlike short story and novel writing, this was something I could do. I hope these tips help make your freewrites fun and successful in inspiring your writing. What is a freewrite? A freewrite is writing spontaneously with no thinking. Just putting down word after word, with no worries about spelling, punctuation, how it will sound, and no worries about the final product. Sometimes when you are engrossed in your writing project and…
From Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach From the June 15 page: “The Secret Anniversaries of the Heart” The holiest of all holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart, The secret anniversaries of the heart . . —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow This is the traditional month for orange blossoms, lace, and rice, but wedding anniversaries aren’t on my mind. Today I am thinking of singular rites of passage, the secret anniversaries of the heart. These are the anniversaries we never talk about, kept in silence and apart. You might remember a first kiss, while I can’t forget the last time I held my father’s hand. I was speaking to a good friend this morning on the telephone. She was enjoying the preparation of a special dinner for a marvelous new man in her life. Last year her marriage of twenty years ended and she says she’s grateful her…
Today’s writing prompt: Opening line from Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts: “You must not tell anyone, my mother said, what I’m about to tell you.” Or: You must not tell anyone . . . Or: My mother said . . .
The Write Spot: Reflections reviewed by Nancy Julien Kopp. I read Marlene Cullen’s newest book cover to cover in one evening. The Write Spot: Reflections is the third in a series of books meant to help writers and wannabe writers. In the introduction, editor Marlene Cullen, says: “If you want to write and don’t know how to get started, this book is for you. If you are a writer and feeling stuck, this book is for you. If you like reading a variety of writing for enjoyment, this book is for you.” The book is a collection of short stories, poems and vignettes to entertain but also to inspire writing. Each contributor includes a short bio and a few paragraphs on Why I Write after their writing contributions. I found some illuminating statements in the Why I Write sections. I also found so a great deal to enjoy in the offerings of the different authors….
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Write about a pet peeve.
If, for one month, you could live anywhere, any place, in a certain residence, or in a famous home, where would you pick? You can time travel into the past or future.
You have just been notified that you have won a prize on the level of a gold medal at the Olympics, or a Grammy, or an Academy Award, or a Pulitzer Prize. Write about a special skill you have and how you won an award for that. Let your imagination soar. What have you won a prize for? What is your reaction? Write your acceptance speech.
“A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Write about a time you were betrayed. Or a time you betrayed someone. You could start with: I felt betrayed . . . Or write about a time you were silent and now wish you had spoken up. Or write about a time you could no longer remain silent. You could start with: I want to tell you about what happened . . .
Write about a lie someone told you, or a lie you told. White lies, bald-faced lies, untruths, falsehoods, fabrications, whoppers . . . whatever you call ‘em, you have experienced ‘em . . . Now write about ‘em.