Yearnings . . . Prompt #791

As a child, what toys or games did you see advertised on TV, or in the Sears Roebuck catalogue, that you wanted and didn’t get? OR: What toys did you want that your friends had and you didn’t have? OR: Write about being jealous, or feelings of “have not.” OR: Yearnings: Then or now. Frances Lefkowitz wrote a wonderful memoir, “To Have Not.” #justwrite #iamawriter #iamwriting


From The Roots

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. From The Roots By Su Shafer I need to let go of the uncertainty That I am anything else but a dragon. Just a little dragon A little wood dragon Hatched from a little crystal egg As green as the nest of moss it was laid in Carefully built in the cool leaf mould Gathered in the crook of Granny Maple’s Gnarled old roots. There is a fire in my heart But wood dragons are careful Creatures of the trees Where fire is seldom welcome. Shy as a brown creeper, Hiding in plain sight, Few people see me And the ones who do Can hardly believe it. Su Shafer is a creative crafter, fabricating bits of writing in poetry and short stories, and other bits into characters that appear in paintings or sit on various bookshelves…


More First Lines From Books . . . Prompt #771

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . .” “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a dumpster.” “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus “Back in 1961, when women wore shirtwaist dresses and joined garden clubs and drove legions of children around in seatbeltless cars without giving it a second thought; back before anyone knew there’d even be a sixties movement, much less one that its participants would spend the next sixty years chronicling; back when the big wars were over and the secret wars had just begun and people were starting to think fresh and believe everything was possible,…


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…


State fairs, county fairs, bazaars . . . Prompt #740

Photo by Denisse Leon Writing Prompt: State fairs, county fairs, bazaars Where you . . . Tried your luck at winning prizes. Threw a dart to win a stuffed animal, tossed a ring to win a goldfish. Went on a dizzy, scary, gravity-defying ride. Ate fair food:  Fried food, caramel covered apples, cotton candy, funnel cakes, soft-serve cones. Were entertained: Music, hypnotist, magicians, stilt-walkers. Inhaled a variety of smells: Barnyard animals, food. Gazed at exhibits: 4-H crafts, fine art, photography, sculptures. Prompt: State fairs, county fairs, bazaars . . . an overabundance of sensory riches. 

Just Write

Writing That First Thing

“Remember that when you’re writing that first thing, you’re in an incredibly precious time. When you’re writing that book or that early story, write for yourself first and foremost. There’s going to come a time when that won’t be the case anymore, when there are going to be all these people who are involved. So, don’t be in any great hurry to publish or to get it out there into the world. Take your time to hone and draft that first book. Appreciate those early years where you’re writing for yourself because it never is quite the same once you start publishing.” Excerpt from a Writer’s Digest interview with Brandon Taylor. The bestselling (and Booker Prize-shortlisted) author discusses the interconnectedness of his work, the importance of short stories, and his latest release, The Late Americans. Interviewed  Michael Woodson The May/June 2023 issue of Writer’s Digest is all about “Keeping It Short” —short forms of…

Book Reviews

Tangled by Blood

Reviewed by Marlene Cullen “Tangled by Blood, a Memoir in Verse” by Rebecca Evans opens with the powerful “I wanted to be your womb,” letting us know this is a manifesto of bold writing. Unveiling her truth in poetic form offers a lyrical quality to her candid and extremely personal stories, revealing a heart that will not be shattered, a voice that will not be shuttered, and a resilience to be admired. Strong writing, impressive abilities, and remarkable insights, Evans shares her journey with integrity, honesty, and unflinching intelligence. “Tangled by Blood” is a treatise to be read and re-read, picking up different nuances with each reading. Available on Amazon. Rebecca Evans’ work reflects, among many things, fractured relationships. This fracturing influences every subsequent relationship—carrying scars and wounds throughout one’s life. Evans weaves disability, domestic violence, and a fight for survival throughout her narratives, hoping to start conversations, create awareness,…