Guest Bloggers

Chug, Chuff, Hiss, Squeal, Off We Go

Today’s post is inspired by Nancy Julien Kopp’s blog post about using sound in writing. Nancy wrote: This morning, I was catching up on email when I heard the whine of a train whistle, blown several times. I wondered if it was the historic Union Pacific train, known as Big Boy, making its way across Kansas this week in celebration of 150 years of the Transcontinental Railroad. It was due to stop here in our town at 9:30 a.m.  The sound of that whistle made me stop and listen. I always liked to hear train whistles when I was a child. We lived across the street from the railroad tracks, so we were treated to that arresting sound on a frequent basis. I can remember being in bed on a summer night, windows open, hoping for the train to come by and announce its presence. When I did hear it,…

Book Reviews

The Write Spot: Memories

Marlene Cullen’s collection of short essays compiled in The Write Spot: Memories unfolds like a gently-made, multi-colored origami box. Each story is its only piece, its own regretful, loving, confusing, humorous, illuminating tale, yet held together by one theme that touches us all—our fathers and our memories of them when we were children, and our awakenings about them as we became adults. The Write Spot: Memories is for anyone who has had a father—whether present or absent, loving or distant, authoritarian or goofball. Authentic and relatable, each story is written with deep insight and love. —Julie Wilder-Sherman I love this book and the way it encourages, instructs and gives writers practical ideas to keep on writing. The stories are captivating and written from the heart. Each author ends with an honest description of their Inner Critic and how they tame it! I read this book twice because of the honest…

Just Write

Myths and Realities of Blogging

I recently spoke at a meeting of the Writers of the Mendocino Coast, a branch of the California Writers Club, on the subject of blogging. I recommend the blogs and books mentioned below. And of course there are many other blogs, books, and information about blogging on the world wide web. Highlights from my talk on “Myths and Realities of Blogging” If you don’t have a blog, but think you should, something to think about is why? Why should you have an author blog? “Blogging is simply a medium that allows you to connect with people who love the same books, hobbies and activities you do.”  — Gabriela Pereira, May/June 2018, Writer’s Digest magazine Author Blog Find Your Target Audience: Read the reviews of books in your genre on Amazon or Goodreads. Use words from the reviews for your headlines and tags in your posts. What to Post Stories about…

Book Reviews

The Write Spot To Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries

The Write Spot to Jumpstart Your Writing: Discoveries, edited by Marlene Cullen Reading this anthology is like walking into a word bazaar, where the reader is called to taste grief’s shadows, to sample sweet memories. The reader is beckoned by the poetry of human existence, lured to the scents and sounds of places and times. Savor this visit to worlds familiar and unfamiliar. You will leave, feeling satisfied. — Claudia Larson has been published in Tiny Lights, The Write Spot, Searchlights & Signal Flares. Her writing is nourished by nature and her life on the prairies. Marlene Cullen has created a simple, concise format that will instantly inspire you in your own writing. Each collection of poems and short essays will carry you away to different times and places with a hidden gem at the end of every chapter where each author leaves you with “words of encouragement” to help you…

Just Write

Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

The Write Spot Blog is fortunate to have a friend like Francis H. Powell. Even though we have never met in person, Francis is an important part of The Write Spot’s history. He invited us to join a Blog Hop last Halloween and last Christmas and now. . . drum roll. . . Valentine’s Day Blog Hop. Before participating I had heard about blog hops, but didn’t really know what they were. Here’s how this Blog Hop works. When you click on Valentine’s Day Blog Hop (in future Write Spot posts), you land on Francis’ Blog Hop Landing Page. Scroll down and click on a name. Here is a brief summary of talented and creative writers participating in this Blog Hop. Francis H. Powell, author of Flight of Destiny and creator of fabulous Blog Hops. Latoya Wilson has beautiful photos on her website. She hopes her writing offers a warm…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Pat Tyler: About writing, a writer, and freewrite workshops

Guest Blogger Pat Tyler: About writing, a writer, and freewriting workshops For me, writing is like a shot in the arm. When I write alone, my mind becomes infused with new ideas. When I write with others, I’m included in a circle of writers who inspire me, enlighten me, challenge me, beckon me to take up the gauntlet, put on the gloves, step away from the ropes, dance my strategic dance of words, and punch my critic until he stays down at the count of ten, knocked out by my knuckle-punch of powerful, gutsy words. In recent years I became interested in publishing, but I soon learned that it’s not publishing that makes a writer – it’s writing that makes a writer. It may sound over-simplified, but I know this for sure: it’s the physical act of placing pen to paper and refusing to remove it until blood seeps from…

Just Write

Just Write Magic Carpet Ride

For inspiration to Just Write:  Click on a topic below and you will arrive at a (hopefully) inspirational post. Just like being on a magic carpet ride! The following are from the 2013 Just Write Posts Gorgeous Writing by Melanie Thorne Fabulous Character Sketch, Elizabeth Berg Natalie Goldberg talks about writing practice  Twelve Steps to Successful Writing by Marlene Cullen Amy Zhang and Your Scraps of Writing How to get in the mood to write by Marlene Cullen Don’t think. Don’t Plan. Just Write. Marlene Cullen Natalie Goldberg’s Six Rules of Writing Get Started. How to use prompts. Marlene Cullen Pass On The Dream And Tell Its Truth – Natalie Goldberg Elizabeth Berg demystifies how to describe characters Debbie Macomber had so many rejections . . . Writing about place, August Kleinzahler Three top Pointers About Writing Personal Essay by Kelly Caldwell One way to learn how to write, get…

Just Write

The Kathy Myers “Book in a Box” Method (patent pending)

Guest Blogger Kathy Myers writes: Computers are great and all— without them, this blog wouldn’t exist and then what would I do? But when I was younger, my image of a writing life was less technical and more romantic: Jo in Little Women, writing her books in a drafty attic wearing fingerless gloves against the winter chill, or Jane Austen dipping her nib and contemplating her next chapter, while her parents plan a ball where she can meet eligible bachelors. Ah, the good old days. At a Jumpstart Writing Workshop in May, I wrote a fictional scene on the prompt “It happened because . . . ”  Marlene Cullen, always benevolent and encouraging to writers said, “That would be a good beginning for a romance novel.” Jumpstart was on hiatus for the month of June, and this coincided with a flirtation I’d been having about trying the fabled “sit-your-ass-in-a-chair-and-write-a–thousand-words-a-day” method…