By Ken Delpit Individual voices are fascinating. They reflect uniqueness.They involve specific characteristics and abilities, both physical and mental. In tone and in lyric, they express specific perspectives and emotions. They can be soft; they can be harsh. They can be musical to some, grating to others. They can be up-lifting, but also down-putting. Voices may not define us completely, but they certainly represent us while the rest of us waits backstage. But voices rarely come just one to a customer. Multiple voices can reside in a single person. This is certainly true for writers. Each fictional character, partially invented and partially native, taps into its writer’s own voice box. Voices within propel writers’ fingers, and shape their stories. With few exceptions, it is also true that everyone has multiple voices, whether writer or not. Anyone who hides true feelings or conceals real intentions uses a voice convenient for the…


Significant Events . . . Prompt #505

Make a List. Start with the year you were born and make a list of significant events that happened in your life, both personally and historically. If you are having trouble thinking of major events, here are a few: 1950-1975       Vietnam Conflict 1958                Explorer I, first American satellite is launched January 1959   Alaska becomes the 49th state August 1959   Hawaii becomes the 50th state January 1961   John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president August 1963   Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream” Speech Nov. 1963       President Kennedy is assassinated 1964                Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan Show April 1968       Martin Luther King is assassinated June 1963        Sen. Robert Kennedy is assassinated July 1969        Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon 1973                Roe v. Wade, legalizes abortion 1973                Watergate cover-up. July 1974        Nixon resigns 1986                Space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff 1990                Iraqi…

Book Reviews

Women Food And God

Writers usually are deep thinkers and often write in their heads as they go about their day. I’m always looking for writing prompts to inspire writing. Women Food and God by Geneen Roth is filled with practical tips for life as well as inspiration to get the stuff in your head onto paper, where you can reflect and find answers to difficult life situations. You can use the ideas in this book as writing prompts. Excerpts from Women Food and God and writing prompts: “Stephen Levine, a Buddhist teacher, says that hell is wanting to be somewhere different from where you are. Being in one place and wanting to be somewhere else. Being constantly agitated—another word for nonaccepting—about the inevitable. Being in a relationship with someone and refusing to surrender to the low because you don’t want to give yourself to something you will eventually lose. That’s called living in…

Book Reviews

The Last Time I Saw You

The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg is a shift from her previous books. We follow along as former classmates make decisions to attend or not attend their fortieth high school reunion. Some attend reluctantly, others hope for a second chance at connections and love. Not much goes as planned. The surprises are unpredictable and there are happy-ever-afters. Elizabeth Berg has this to say about The Last Time I Saw You: “I write novels for different reasons. Sometimes it’s my attempt to understand a certain issue or point of view. Sometimes it’s to pay tribute to someone or some thing. Sometimes it’s to explore relationships. Sometimes it’s all of the above. I also wanted to look at the nature of nostalgia. I wanted to show how sobering a realization it can be to understand that one is entering old age; and I also wanted to show the value…

Guest Bloggers

Tips To Unlock The Book Only You Can Write

Guest Blogger Jenn Gott writes about 3 Inspiring Ways to Unlock the Book Inside You. Does this sound familiar: You’ve always been drawn to writing and have a mind brimming with ideas. You’ve always loved the idea of holding a book you have written — but somehow, despite all your best intentions and New Year’s Resolutions, it just hasn’t happened. Or maybe you’re a writer who has started a thousand writing projects, only to abandon them all within a few pages. Perhaps you’re not even sure if you want to be a writer, but you’ve always wanted to write a children’s book for your kids. Maybe you’re a poet, or a copywriter, or a journalist, and there’s a book you know you could write, if you just find the right words inside you. Maybe, maybe, maybe. One day. The trouble with “one day” is that it doesn’t exist — each…

Just Write

NaNoWriMo-Is it for you?

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month. “NaNoWriMo believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.” —NaNoWriMo website “A month of NaNoWriMo can lead to a lifetime of better writing.” Grant Faulkner, founder and creator of NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel during the thirty days of November. Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand-new novel — but that’s not all that NaNoWriMo is! NaNoWriMo is a nonprofit organization that supports writing fluency and education. It’s a teaching tool, it’s a curriculum, and its programs run year-round. Whatever you…

Just Write

Freewrites: Opening Doors to Discoveries

Notes from Marlene Cullen’s talk about freewrites. Scroll down for links about how to use freewrites and how to write about difficult subjects without adding trauma. I gave a talk about freewrites at the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club. I’m sharing my notes so you, too, can enjoy the freewrite method of writing. I love freewrites because they are so . . . freeing. Freewrites can open doors to discoveries. I was thrilled to discover freewrites, unlike short story and novel writing, this was something I could do. I hope these tips help make your freewrites fun and successful in inspiring your writing.  What is a freewrite? A freewrite is writing spontaneously with no thinking. Just putting down word after word, with no worries about spelling, punctuation, how it will sound, and no worries about the final product. Sometimes when you are engrossed in your writing project and…


Secret Anniversary. . . Prompt #429

From Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach From the June 15 page: “The Secret Anniversaries of the Heart” The holiest of all holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart, The secret anniversaries of the heart  . .  —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow This is the traditional month for orange blossoms, lace, and rice, but wedding anniversaries aren’t on my mind. Today I am thinking of singular rites of passage, the secret anniversaries of the heart. These are the anniversaries we never talk about, kept in silence and apart. You might remember a first kiss, while I can’t forget the last time I held my father’s hand. I was speaking to a good friend this morning on the telephone. She was enjoying the preparation of a special dinner for a marvelous new man in her life. Last year her marriage of twenty years ended and she says she’s grateful her…

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….