Just Write

Change in Perspective

“Lucky Starr,” an Over the Top Stilt Character from Giddyup Productions The following is excerpted from “A Collected Perspective” by Joanna Gaines, Fall 2023, Magnolia magazine. “There have been times when I’ve felt a need to approach some things differently. When life has handed me new challenges to navigate, and my mind’s been a blank. Maybe you’ve been in a similar place—where the way you’ve always done a thing is no longer working. So,  I tried something new. I started closing my eyes. I’m more alive to the present moment, more aware of my blind spots, when I stretch my point of view. It’s like feeling the moment in total harmony, every new vantage point revealing more of the bigger story being told. Sometimes, it’s as simple as physically shifting my point of view. I’ll take a few steps back. Walk to the other side of the room. Stand instead…

Just Write

The Pulps

The Pulps (1890s-1950s) Made from the cheapest paper available, pulp magazines were among the bestselling fiction publications of their day, with the most popular titles selling hundreds of thousands of copies per month at their height. The pulps paid just a penny or so a word, so writers quickly learned that making a living required a nimble imagination and remarkable speed, with some working on several stories simultaneously. Contemporary fiction writers can learn from pulp magazines the importance of a tight, character-driven narrative; the necessity of imaginative descriptions and how to immediately grab the reader with an action-filled lead. Jack Byrne, managing editor of the pulp magazine publisher fiction House, wrote in an August 1929 Writer’s Digest article detailing the manuscript needs of Fiction House’s 11 magazines: “We must have a good, fast opening. Smack us within the first paragraph. Get our interest aroused. Don’t tell us about the general…


I write to understand . . .

“So, while I still write for understanding, for truth, for clarification, to tell a story, to help people, to help myself and even for fun—I also write for communication, for discussion, for connection. In a world that can feel fragmented and lonely, I write to bring myself closer to others.” —Diane Forman, “Why I Write,” Brevity’s NonFiction Blog, October 31, 2022 More on “Why Write?” Why Do You Write? Why I Write Just Write!


California Winter

California Winter By Patricia Morris (with thanks to Ted Kooser) The wind turns the pages of rain As drops splatter on the skylights,     beating a rhythm punctuated by     the cracks of unmoored oak limbs      hitting the roof.    The rain chain dances,     brass acorns jingling,     water swooshing through its cups.    The creek rushes over rocks,       gushes into the culvert and out again,       making its overground / underground way to the river.   The thirsty earth soaks it in,    filters it down into empty aquifers. One chapter ending, another beginning.   Freewrite inspired by the poem, A Rainy Morning, by Ted Kooser   Patricia Morris misses the summer thunderstorms of her rural Midwestern upbringing, but enjoys observing and writing about the California rains from her home in Petaluma. After careers as diverse as…


What are you afraid of? Prompt #553

Like many, I am worried about the future of America. I believe in the power of writing as a path to healing. If you are feeling overwhelmed and scared, please take a few minutes to write about your feelings. You can’t change what happened. You can change what you think. Today’s prompt is a hope and a chance for you to write about your thoughts and your feelings, as a way to start healing. For more prompts and suggestions for healing through writing, please consider reading the anthology, The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing, available as a paperback and as an ereader through Amazon. Prompt: What are you afraid of?


An object that “speaks” to you. Prompt #430

Picture the house or apartment you grew up in. If there was more than one house or apartment, choose one to focus on for this writing. Imagine standing outside, looking at the door you usually entered. Stand outside for a moment. Walk in and wander until you see a piece of furniture that speaks to you. Describe the object. Write about the memories and feelings it brings up for you. Write until you feel done with this object. Another time write about another object from your childhood or adolescence.