Book Reviews

The Write Spot: Reflections

The Write Spot: Reflections reviewed by Nancy Julien Kopp. I read Marlene Cullen’s newest book cover to cover in one evening. The Write Spot: Reflections is the third in a series of books meant to help writers and wannabe writers. In the introduction, editor Marlene Cullen, says: “If you want to write and don’t know how to get started, this book is for you.    If you are a writer and feeling stuck, this book is for you.  If you like reading a variety of writing for enjoyment, this book is for you.” The book is a collection of short stories, poems and vignettes to entertain but also to inspire writing. Each contributor includes a short bio and a few paragraphs on Why I Write after their writing contributions. I found some illuminating statements in the Why I Write sections. I also found so a great deal to enjoy in the offerings of the different authors….

Prompts

Betrayal. Prompt #410

“A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Write about a time you were betrayed. Or a time you betrayed someone. You could start with: I felt betrayed . . . Or write about a time you were silent and now wish you had spoken up. Or write about a time you could no longer remain silent. You could start with: I want to tell you about what happened . . .

Prompts

A time you felt different. Prompt #408

Prompt: Write about a time you felt different. If you have time . . . write, using this prompt now. Or, think about a time you felt different. Pause. Take some time to remember, “Diversity goes deep and is often handled on intellectual and political levels.” —Pat Schneider, Writing Alone and With Others. Prompt: Generate a list of categories that make us different from one another. Some ideas: Age – Gender – Socioeconomics – Background – Personality – Married or not – Have children or not – Parents alive or not – Lived/grew up with parents in the home – Vegetarian – Athletic – Bookworm – Seeker – Spiritual – Religious – Have tattoos – Have piercings – Hearing impaired – Race – Tall or short Prompt:  Choose a diversity and write a dialogue between two or three people. Prompt: Write about someone being hurt as a result of being…

Prompts

This happened . . . Prompt #402

Today’s prompt is inspired by a talk Ianthe Brautigan gave on March 5, 2001. Memoir is a journey. Just because it’s your life, don’t think you know the end. A beeper could go off and change everything. Life is like a box of chocolates . . . you don’t know what you got until you bite into it. Sometimes your life makes sense after you write and digest your findings. Ianthe suggests writing a memoir in an unusual way, not “this happened and then that happened.” To start: Write excerpts from your past. Write your stories. Don’t worry about where they will go. Tell your story as if sitting around a campfire. If you need inspiration:  Make a collage from magazine articles/photos about what you want to write about. Look at these when you need a nudge to write. Once you start writing, let go of how you should write….

Guest Bloggers

Why write your story?

Why write your story? So you can move on. Today’s post is inspired by Patricia Hampl’s book, “I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourn in the Land of Memory.” Tell your story so you can move on. “When a writer keeps things inside, it becomes a ball of tangled yarn. As each story is told, the ball becomes untangled. Writing from memory can help us to let go of those stories we tell over and over again. We may not even need to tell them again [after writing about them].” Note from Marlene: I think writing from memory can also be a type of self-help . . . a vehicle for transporting oneself back in time and getting in touch with what really happened. Patricia Hampl is an American memoirist, writer, lecturer, and educator. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and is one of…