Hop, skip, jump . . . Prompt #746                 

Below is a list of things you may have experienced. As you read the list, when a word causes a reaction . . . when you notice a feeling in your body . . . use that word or phrase as a writing prompt and start writing. Write about where you were and who was with you. If you ate it, played with it, read it, or wore it, write about it. Add sensory detail of texture . . . what did these things feel like? Add your memory of taste, smell, sound, and what the item looked like. And, of course, you may have also experienced these things as a teen-ager and as an adult. Just Write! Jello salad Hot Wheels Roller Skates Sugar Frosted Flakes Poodle skirt Hopscotch Petticoats Barbie dolls Marbles Jacks Skipping Nancy Drew books Jump rope Little League Drive-in movies Hula hoop Trampoline Parks Used…

Book Reviews

Diva: A Novel

“Diva: A Novel” reviewed by Rebecca Rosenberg. “Diva” by Daisy Goodwin is a remarkable novel that tells the story of Maria Callas, one of the most celebrated opera singers of all time. Goodwin does an excellent job of bringing Callas to life, capturing her passion for music, her determination to succeed, and her vulnerability. The novel also explores Callas’s complex relationship with Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate who was one of the richest men in the world. Goodwin’s writing is vivid and engrossing, and she does a masterful job of weaving together fact and fiction. The novel is full of fascinating details about Callas’s life, including her childhood in Nazi-occupied Greece, her rise to fame, and her love affair with Onassis. Goodwin also does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the time, from the glamour of the opera world to the scandal of Callas’s relationship with Onassis….


Childhood Stories . . . Prompt #745

Stories from our childhood can be rich material to write about. Let’s start with going back in time. See yourself at 6 years of age, five years, 4 years. See yourself at the kitchen table where you ate breakfast. Maybe swinging your legs because your feet couldn’t reach the floor. Listen. Hear the adult chatter.  Maybe there was no ‘round the kitchen table time for you. Maybe it was a picnic table, or a dining room table. Perhaps there was no table. Maybe family time was in the family room, or the TV room, the den, or the rumpus room. Possibly there was no family time. Friends might have been significant in your child life. Maybe most of your childhood was spent outside. Take a deep breath in. Let it out. See the room or the place where you spent a lot of time as a child. Write about that…

Book Reviews

Madame Pommery

“Madame Pommery” review by Julie Porter.“Madame Pommery” by Rebecca Rosenberg is a captivating novel about a woman’s struggle to survive war, run her own business in a male dominated society, provide a future for her children, and create something beautiful, unique, and lasting. Alexandrine, in the middle of her journey, is close to her 50’s and still recovering from the death of her husband, Louis. She is trying to retain a brave front for her two-year-old daughter, Louise, and curtailing the sharp criticisms from her school aged son, who blames his father’s death on his need to return to work after Louise’s surprise birth. Alexandrine also has to contend with the loss of her family finances and that unless something is done soon, they will be left destitute. Alexandrine’s character arc shows her challenging the role expected of her as an upper-class Frenchwoman. She was originally someone who read and…

Just Write

Change in Perspective

“Lucky Starr,” an Over the Top Stilt Character from Giddyup Productions The following is excerpted from “A Collected Perspective” by Joanna Gaines, Fall 2023, Magnolia magazine. “There have been times when I’ve felt a need to approach some things differently. When life has handed me new challenges to navigate, and my mind’s been a blank. Maybe you’ve been in a similar place—where the way you’ve always done a thing is no longer working. So,  I tried something new. I started closing my eyes. I’m more alive to the present moment, more aware of my blind spots, when I stretch my point of view. It’s like feeling the moment in total harmony, every new vantage point revealing more of the bigger story being told. Sometimes, it’s as simple as physically shifting my point of view. I’ll take a few steps back. Walk to the other side of the room. Stand instead…


Outside the Norm . . . Prompt #744

“Totem of Confessions” by Michael Garlington at Burning Man What have you done that is “outside the norm?” Been to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert? “Burning Man is all about self-expression and the rejection of corporatism and capitalism. The experience of creating and viewing art and living in the moment is Burning Man’s purpose.” —Reno Gazette Journal, Aug. 31, 2022 Or,  perhaps something like seeing the musical Hair, “where friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution, with their rebellion against the war, their conservative parents, and society.” Writing Prompt: Write about an experience you have had that is “outside the norm.” #justwrite  #amwriting  #iamawriter

Guest Bloggers

Letting Go . . . An Essential Skill For Writers

Guest Blogger Bella Mahaya Carter: Last week, I went to the dark side. I kept trying to get out of my low mood, which I created by misinterpreting a situation, making presumptions about other people’s opinions about me, and then listening to—and believing—the small voice inside my head ranting about what a terrible person I am. These thoughts looked real. They weren’t. They were expressions of fear. Having been beaten as a small child, I can sometimes be a hyper-vigilant people-pleaser, and when I sense others are unhappy with me, it can trigger the kid who feels unsafe. Last week, when I was in that low mood, I kept trying to do things to get out of it, but nothing helped. I finally realized there was nothing to do except sit with my uncomfortable feelings, be compassionate with myself, and wait for my mental storm to pass. There was nothing…


All In Good Time

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. All in Good time By Lynn Levy “How do you work it?” Joe finally asked. Agnes smiled. It was one of her rules. No cell phones in the house. Not no phones, but by the time these kids got handed over to her, less-is-more turned out to be a good starting place. “What’s the phone number?” Agnes asked. Joe shrugged, which was not a surprise. Kids didn’t memorize numbers anymore. The phone stored them. “Alright,” Agnes said. “The first thing you have to do is memorize the phone number here. Get it down until you can say it by heart. It’s just 10 numbers. 304-555-0058. Say it back.” “Three oh four,” Joe started and faltered. “Can I write it down, at least?” Joe asked. Agnes shook her head, and repeated the number. This first test told…


Neuroplasticity & Character Development . . .  Prompt #743

Neuroplasticity We have well-worn neural pathways that help us get through routine activities without having to think about the details of each one. For example: Driving to a destination and arriving without having remembered every detail on the route. When that neural pathway gets interrupted, there is an opportunity for: Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to form new connections and neural pathways.  That change of habit can enrich perspectives: The way we look at our world, the way we meet challenges, and problem solve. Prompt #1 Set the scene. Choose a fairytale character, a fictional character you create, or someone from your life (this could be you): Finish the sentences: A character wants ___________________________ To get it, character needs to ____________________ But (obstacles) ______________________________ What if: Neural pathway gets interrupted. An opportunity for neuroplasticity? _________ Prompt #2 Choose one path to follow Path One: Fractured Fairytales: Start with a well-known fairytale…

Book Reviews

A Christmas Legacy

“A Christmas Legacy” reviewed by Rebecca Rosenberg. “A Christmas Legacy” by Anne Perry is a heartwarming and suspenseful historical mystery novel set in London in the late 19th century. The story follows Gracie, a former maid who is now married and has a child of her own. When her friend’s daughter, Millie, comes to her with a story about missing items from the kitchen of the household where she works, Gracie agrees to take her place for a few days to investigate. Gracie soon discovers that the couple who employs Millie are neglectful of their elderly grandmother, who lives in the upstairs bedroom. The husband and wife are hoping that the grandmother will die soon so that they can inherit her money. Gracie is determined to help Millie clear her name and to protect the grandmother from further neglect. “A Christmas Legacy” is a well-written and suspenseful mystery novel. Perry…