Friday, August 12, 2022
Thursday, August 11, 2022
My online writing group, writersandcritters, is in the midst of a WRITE-A-THON for the full month of August. We did this last year, and it was a great success, so onward again in 2022.
Normally, we are each committed to sending in two submissions per month and four critiques. At least, we aim for that. Life and what it delivers sometimes makes it less than that or more, depending the circumstances. But for August, we do not need to sub or crit, unless we want to. What we are doing is writing something every single day. No length requirements, no time limits. A prompt is given which can help some members get started, but it is not necessary to use.
We head each email to the group with something like Nancy's THON #11, which means it is my offereing for the 11th day of August. We shortened the full name which works just fine.
It has been interesting to read what other members have sent. Sometimes, it is a poem. It can be a paragraph, or a full page. It's whatever the writer wants to do. I've never had a problem finding a topic.
A few have selected a theme to follow. One member is traveling through Germany with her husband and daughter, so she writes every day about their travels. Another is writing about culture differences. One is writing about how she met her husband in a continuing story. One is writing childhood memories. Some have no theme at all, something different each day. That's my category, although many of mine have been memory pieces.
It's nice to do this with a group, but you can do it on your own, as well. You can start tomorrow on August 11 and go through September 10. A full month. Or wait until September 1st and run through that 30 day period. There are no real rules. The direction is to write something every day. Write with abandon. Write with passion. Most of all, don't worry about time limits or deadlines or commitments. The WRITE-A-THON is for you. Just write and enjoy!
I have already found a few of my daily THON offerings that could be expanded into a personal essay. I am keeping each day's writing in file folder, so that I can go back later and work on the ones that seem of interest.
So how about it? Will any of you accept my challenge to participate in your own WRITE-A-THON? If you belong to any kind of writing group, draft the members to do this with you. If not, do it yourself. You might be surprised at how much comes from this. The pieces often start with fluff, and then the good stuff starts coming forth.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Writers often give other writers a helping hand. My helping hand today is Marlene Cullen who gives us some interesting suggestions gleaned from a workshop she attended. Yes, one writer helps another.
Thoughts Personal Narrative by Marlene Cullen
I attended a writing workshop where the teacher, Susan Bono, talked about personal narrative as documents of transformation.
She talked about writing the big story, then take one small action or decision that altered things.
Another way to look at this: Something happened and the narrator was not the same after.
It might take years to understand and realize what happened. Sometimes we need the perspective of distance to figure out that we were forever changed after an event.
How to get that place in your writing . . . where you write about the pivotal moment your life was changed.
One way is to write about the event and drill down to the precise moment, or inciting catalyst that changed you
You can also use this method to flesh out your fictional characters.
An example is my Texas Parking Lot story in “The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing.”
I wrote about our family cross-country car trip. I narrowed that trip down to an incident that happened in a motel parking lot in Texas.
Then I drilled down and focused on an argument in that parking lot.
Then I drilled further down to something my mother said.
It took years to discover the epiphany. She was not capable of emotionally caring for her daughters. She could no longer be the mother who had admirably raised her daughters without the support of a husband.
Your writing prompt: Write about an emotionally charged situation.
Look at the scene as if you are hovering in the air, looking down. Then focus closer, telescope in to see the fine details.
Details to help see this scene and remember what took place:
Who is in this scene?
Describe what people were wearing.
Describe the scenery if outdoors, or the room if indoors.
What was the weather like?
Was there food or drink involved?
What happened immediately prior to this scene? What happened after?
Write from the point of view of years later. Write what you remember.
What happened to the people in this scene?
Start with one scene and go from there. Just write!
The Write Spot anthologies, edited by Marlene, are collections of short stories, poems, and vignettes that entertain, with prompts to inspire writing.
The Write Spot: https://www.thewritespot.us/
Monday, August 8, 2022
Dragonflies and Fairies published by the Southern Arizona Press is available for free as a pdf download. You can download the book of poems, along with an earlier one titled The Stars and Moon in the Evening Sky. My poem, Fairy Kisses, is included in the newest anthology. Go to http://www.
There are two more anthologies by this press in the works. The paragraph below gives you information for submitting:
We thank you again for your submissions and hope that you will continue to consider submitting works for future anthologies. Our next anthology is a Halloween edition titled Ghostly Ghouls and Haunted Happenings and a very special project anthology for 11 November titled The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance. For more information on these upcoming anthologies, visit the Current Submissions page of our website - http://www.
Perhaps you have a poem in your files that would work for one of these upcoming books of poetry. Or try writing a new poem geared to either theme. The poet gets his/her poem published, and a photo and bio which will be printed above the poem(s). I noted that some people had more than one poem accepted. There were a few poems that had been previously published.
As for me, when I saw the theme of Dragonflies and Fairies, I immediately thought of a poem I wrote quite a few years ago, meant for a children's magazine. Somehow, I never did anything with it, but suddenly, there was a place to send it.
There is no payment, nor do you receive a print copy of the book, although print copies are for sale.
I plan to write a poem for the book on The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance. Maybe you can, too.
My simpe little poem in the latest Souther Arizona Press book is below:
Fairy kisses float
on soft summer air.
Tiny little folk send
them soaring high.
Catch one feather light.
Drop it in a glass jar.
Save it for another day
when you feel a bit blue.
Remove it, treasure the love
a fairy’s kiss will bring.
Then send it on its way.
Friday, August 5, 2022
Today's poster shows some young, limber person exercising. There was a time I could do this, but not now. Instead, I choose writing exercises which strengthen my writing abilities.
A couple weeks ago, I attended a writing workshop moderated by Marlene Cullen. ( www.thewritespot.us) She lives in California, and I live in Kansas, but thanks to the miracle of zoom, I was able to join her group. Marlene is the lady of writing prompts. She has ever so many good ones.
That evening, she gave those who attended one prompt that I particularly liked. We all spent a few minutes writing whatever popped into our minds when we were given the prompt. Then, several read their efforts. One prompt, but all wrote about something different. That's the beauty of writing to a prompt.
I have three writing prompts for you today. With the weekend upon us, perhaps you can set aside a little time to respond to them. Note that I didn't say that you might find a little time. Instead, I asked that you set aside some time. Two different things, aren't they?
Now to the prompts: (# 1 is the one Marlene gave us)
Prompt #1: My mother told me...
Prompt #2: My father told me...
Prompt #3: My teacher told me...
Use the freewrite method. Look at the prompt, then start writing and don't stop to think. Let the words flow until you run out. Or set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and stop when time is up.
Physical exercise is aimed at muscles and flexibility. Writing exercises work on your writing muscles and flexibility. Do both kinds, and you'll be a sensation!
Thursday, August 4, 2022
I am a little late to welcome August, but it's only the fourth day of this eighth month of the year. Besides the Hello August greeting, the poster says 'To All Those Who Are Reading This, I really Hope Something Good Happens For You This Month.'
I will second that sentiment. I have hopes for you, too. A list of my hopes for you this month follows:
A. I hope you find joy in writing.
B. I hope you will submit at least two pieces of writing to a publication.
C. I hope you will do one writing exercise at least three days a week.
D. I hope you are inspired to write.
E. I hope you attend one writer's meeting, either in person or via zoom.
F. I hope you work on the negatives in your writing life.
G. I hope you have at least one conversation with another writer.
H. I hope you can overcome any fears you have about writing.
I. I hope you get one acceptance from a publisher this month.
J. I hope you will share my blog posts with other writers.
K. I hope you will consider joining a writing group of some kind.
L. I hope you writing becomes stronger day by day.
M. I hope you can use a rejection as a learning experience.
N. I hope this is a topnotch month of writing for you.
This is a long list, and not every one of my hopes will come true for you, but perhaps some will. One way to make sure is to give writing everything you've got this month. No slacking, no excuses, and no whining. I truly hope August is a very satisfying month for each and every one of you.
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