Just Write


So, you had trouble falling asleep. Again. Or, you woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Or both. Why does this happen and what to do about it? The following is excepted from “Up at 4 A.M.?” by Amy Spencer, in the magazine, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Jan-Feb 2015 (an oldie, and hopefully a goodie). What happens If we’re not sure how something will play out, our primitive mind prepares us for the worst possible outcome. Survival Back in our cave days, our ancestors needed to be prepared to fight or flee to survive. Key The primitive part of the brain—the amygdala—thinks our idle ruminations are urgent matters that need to be dealt with right away, as if they are real emergencies. Wide Awake And there we are, wide awake, ready and alert, to battle the catastrophe that we have imagined. What To Do Take some deep, relaxing…

Places to submit

Brave Healer Productions

Brave Healer Productions Writing Contest Theme: How your pain became your purpose. Submit your 500-word or less entry by noon, EST, July 1, 2022 Include a 50-word bio with one link. Include your high-resolution headshot. Brave Healer Productions sponsors ongoing writing contests. So, if this topic doesn’t work for you, check their website for the next contest theme. Brave Healer Productions Blog Brave Healer works with writers to produce their books, such as: “Shaman Heart, Turning Pain Into Passion and Purpose,” an remarkable book that inspires readers to develop a shaman heart — one that can only be obtained by coming through our darkest moments more healed and whole and then lighting the way for others. 

Just Write

Strenghten Your Writing

Ideas for strong writing. Use active voice rather than passive voice. ~From www.dailywritingtips.com  –  sign up to receive free daily emails with writing tips: English verbs are said to have two voices: active and passive. Active Voice: the subject of the sentence performs the action: His son catches fly balls. Creative children often dream in class. Passive Voice: the subject receives the action: The ball was caught by the first baseman.The duty is performed by the new recruits.The dough was beaten by the mixer.The mailman was bitten by the dog. ~From Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon Adjectives: Use sparingly and consciously. Overuse indicates a need to find more precise nouns and to show rather than tell. Adverbs: Too often, writers use these to beef up weak verbs. Your goal should be to make verbs strong enough to do the work themselves and kill off your adverbs. You won’t be able…

Places to submit

The New Verse News

The New Verse News covers the news of the day with poems on issues, large and small, international and local. It relies on the submission of poems (especially those of a politically progressive bent) by writers from all over the world. The editors update the website every day or two with the best work received. What’s best? A genuinely poetic take on a very current and specific news story or event. TIPS FROM THE EDITOR See the website for guidelines and for examples of the kinds of poems the New Verse News publishes. Scroll down to read thesubmission guidelines in the sidebar. Paste your submission and a brief bio in the text of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to nvneditor [at] gmail.com Write “Verse News Submission” in the subject line of your e-mail. Unpublished poems only. No payment. No simultaneous submissions. For an example of what is published, please read: “Hope” by Sandra Anfang,…

Guest Bloggers

Good Old Writers

Today’s guest blogger, Victoria Zackheim, writes about how to keep up the energy, faith, and courage to write. I recently walked into my newly built kitchen and discovered a large, grayish rectangular stain on the quartz counter. Had I placed a hot pan there? Not likely. Spilled bleach? Definitely not. I wiped, scrubbed, gently scoured… nothing helped. And then I lifted my arm and noticed a change in the shape of the stain. I had been trying to remove a reflection of light coming through the kitchen window. This is the opening paragraph of an essay I wrote about aging. I smiled as I wrote what I expected to be the preface of my new book. However, I’ve been told by literary agents and several editor friends that writing about aging might be cathartic for me, the writer, but it doesn’t stir up much interest among the public. Really? In…


My Secret Cottage

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. My Secret Cottage By Kathy Guthormsen I open the back door to dew sparkling in the morning sun and hints of rainbows shimmering in the lingering mist. They let me catch a fleeting glimpse before their magic fades. Goosebumps raise along my bare arms as I race through the grass and turn to look at my wet footprints. The sun will soon erase this evidence of my footsteps. I won’t be followed as I skip through an imaginary forest to my secret cottage at the far end of an enchanted glade. Rabbit hops along next to me hoping for the reward of a carrot. Cat slinks across the trail, hunting. She’d like to catch Rabbit, but he’s bigger than she is. And wilier. I raise my hand to shade my eyes and turn in a circle….