Birth Day . . . Prompt #749

Remember self-care when writing about difficult topics: Get up, walk around. Take a sip of water or herbal tea. Choose something in your surroundings to look at when the writing gets difficult. Look at that focal point as a reminder to breathe. Take a deep breath in. Hold. And release. Take a few more calming breaths. Write this in your notebook or on a piece of paper. What I really want to say . . . I remember . . . I don’t remember . . . If you are stuck with writing, you can use one of these phrases and go from there. Writing Prompt: Birth Day Think about your Birth Day. Maybe you had many birthday parties. Maybe you had a handful of parties, or one or two. Maybe your Birth Day is a big deal and you wildly celebrate. Or, maybe you are the quiet type, preferring…

Guest Bloggers

The Seasons of Being A Writer

Guest Blogger Megan Aronson writes about the seasons and cycles of life and being a writer. “I’ve been lost and reclusive of late as I deal with the most recent iteration of my grief-growth cycle,” my friend Candace Cahill, author of Goodbye Again, wrote in an online writing group I belong to. “Learning—the hard way, mostly—new things about myself and the challenges still ahead.” My eyes hovered over her words as her thoughts echoed my own. I wasn’t the only one who’d stopped at the words “grief-growth cycle.” Soon the comments were flooded with replies like, “Grief-growth cycle. I feel that. Never thought of it that way before.” In two sentences, Candace had fully encapsulated the collective experience of being a writer. Continually turning ourselves inside out on the page and off, we each instantly recognized the “grief-growth cycle” as the intersection of life affecting our writing, and writing affecting our…


One Cup At A Time

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. One Cup At A Time By DSBriggs Judith saw her hand reaching out and towards her mug. She noticed since her brain injury, she had to mentally plan any movement step by step.  She closed one eye so that only one mug was in her vision. “OK. Lift the hand out of the lap. Make sure the arm isn’t taking a side trip of its own.  All right, aim for the mug on the right. Uncurl fingers. That’s progress. No one has to unbend and stretch ‘em.” The knuckles on her hand were swollen and she noticed she was thinking in third person.  “My knuckles, my knuckles are swollen. I have crooked fingers too.” She watched her arm and hand work in unison as she reached for her mug. She mentally told herself to grab as tight as she…


Change . . . Scary or exciting?    Prompt #748

Is change scary or exciting for you? With a palpitating heart, sweaty palms, and a fluttering stomach, I changed the name of my Facebook/Meta Writing Page from “Writers Forum” to: “Marlene Cullen’s Write Spot,” to better reflect what this Facebook page is about. But, I wonder, why was I nervous . . . okay . . . scared to do this? I think the answer is: Consequences. I didn’t know if it would trigger an avalanche of problems. I was willing to take my changes. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and make a change. Writing Prompt: Is change scary or exciting? Or: Sometimes you have to take the plunge. Write about a time you took a chance and made a change. What happened? #justwrite #iamawriter #iamwriting


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…


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


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…