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Write About Your Loss

Write About Your Loss By Ninette Hartley “Well, he has a broken leg but that’s the least of his problems. He has suffered some trauma to his head. In this country we . . . how can I put it? . . . we would say he is brain dead.”   On the 13th of January 2011 my twenty-seven-year-old son Thomas was rushed to intensive care in Porto, having fallen through a skylight whilst searching for somewhere to paint graffiti. I received a phone call from a doctor in the hospital, and when I asked her how bad it was she explained his injuries to me. Her English was good, but I couldn’t quite take it in. His step-father and I had to get from Italy (where we lived at the time) to Portugal as quickly as we could. The hospital was waiting impatiently for me, his next of kin, to…

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Layering: The goal of layering in writing is to take unrelated elements and bring them together in a single piece of writing. “Layering means that we’re weaving in different elements of our story, characters, writing craft, etc. Some writers even start with just one element—such as writing their whole story just as dialogue—and then layer in everything else once they have the shape of the story.” — Jami Gold Ideas to add layering in your writing. Start with lists: List #1: Some facts about yourself or your fictional character List#2: Favorite food or music List #3: Favorite movies or TV shows List #4: Philosophical sayings List #5: A type of clothing or furniture Freewrite: #1: Using a word or phrase from each of the lists, spend a few minutes creating a piece of writing. Freewrite #2, Layering: Add an outside event as a metaphor to echo the theme of your freewrite….

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Writer Wounds and Scar Tissue

By Rebecca Evans We tell stories. But before we tell them, we hold them, think them, sometimes, we thank them. We recall and carry and live with them in our bodies. We embody them. Sometimes, they embody us. Some of our stories are built from sandbox and rhyme-singing childhoods. Others, built from bullies beneath the monkey bars. Many are the stories told to us, about us, some true, though most are not. And still others, the most difficult ones, are born from experiences. Someone one asked how long it took to write my memoir. 55 years. Yes. All of my years, because I lived through the experiences first. The truth is that we don’t just live through our experiences. We also don’t “get through” or “get over” the tough stuff—grief, loss, trauma. They live in us. If we’re lucky and wield pens, we push them out and onto the page….

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Becoming a Writer in the Third Chapter of Life

Guest Post by Carole Duff All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. —Anatole France Western culture divides life into three stages: birth/student, work/family, and retirement/death. My husband and I, moving into our retirement years and building a new house, borrowed the Hindu concept of four stages, adding a time of spiritual growth and reconnection between retirement and death. The third stage of life, Vanaprastha, the name we chose for our mountain home, means retreat to the forest. Not retirement but time to learn, reflect, and grow. Time to take the internal journey and heal past wounds from loss, rejection, and inexplicable disruptions. Time to explore, discover, seek meaning, share wisdom, and serve others. Time to become our truer selves. As it turned out, I became a writer….

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Colors and Moods . . . Prompt #655

I am fascinated with finding writing prompts in a variety of places. Today’s prompt is inspired from the Editor’s Letter in Better & Homes Gardens magazine, April 2018, by Stephen Orr, Editor-in-Chief. “Color Theory” “Remember mood rings? As a kid, I was obsessed for one hot Texas summer about the idea that the ‘jewel’ in those rings could indicate how a person was feeling emotionally: Pink was happy, black was depressed, blue was optimistic. My little glass oval was often an indecipherable shade of puce . . .” — Stephen Orr What mood would you assign to these colors? Purple Red Yellow Orange Green Choose a color and write what mood, or emotion, or character trait comes up for you when you think about this color. Using color when writing Describe your character by the colors they wear, or what colors they surround themselves with where they live, or work,…

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Jon Batiste. This is Who I Am.

As I prepared this blog post, we were a country in mourning. Another school shooting. Ukraine. And more. My heart is breaking. Maybe yours is, too. I try not to get overwhelmed by tragedies. I always fail. I try to look on the bright side. I usually succeed. Today’s post highlights Jonathon Michael Batiste, looking on the bright side. In his commencement address at Salve Regina University, May 21, 2017, Jon Batiste asked, “Who can you help along the way?” In my Write Spot Blog posts, I hope to inspire writing. I hope to encourage and offer ideas for you to Just Write.   Perhaps Jon’s from-the-heart commencement address will uplift and inspire you. Quotes from the commence talk “Be as humane as possible. It’s really important to stay human.” “Who are you?” “Who do you want to be?” “What is your purpose?” “. . . internal fortitude amidst the…

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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…

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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…

Just Write, Prompts

The Freedom of Freewrites

The freedom to write whatever you want. Writing freely is like soaring with no limitations. Freewrites can lead to: ~ Ruminating, resulting in new thoughts. ~ Discovery, leading to innovative realizations ~ Revelations, finding the “aha” ~ Exciting, uncover fresh ideas ~ Jubilations, the joy of making connections Writing prompts can help generate writing. There are over 600 writing prompts on The Write Spot Blog, as well as a list of places where you can submit your writing. Just Write! #justwrite #iamwriting #iamawriter

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Write to exorcize what’s haunting you.

“Write to exorcize what’s haunting you. Write about whatever it is you can’t get out of your head—a person, a place, a fear, a fictional scene, a memory from your past, a fantasy for your future. Allow yourself to think obsessively and shamelessly about only that one thing for as long as it takes to get it down on paper.” —Puloma Ghosh, The Isolation Journals, created by Suleika Joauad. This type of writing is like unpeeling layers of emotions. Just Write. The Isolation Journals is Suleika Joauad’s newsletter for people seeking to transform life’s interruptions into creative grist. Both free and paid subscriptions are available. Memory Lane offers ideas to spark writing about what a memory from your past, or a fantasy for your future. #amwriting #justwrite #iamawriter