Writers, Tired of Rejections? Try Penning a Hermit Crab Essay

A few months ago I started writing a series of rejection letters to myself. Just for fun, to take the edge off my depression over the extensive number of rejection letters from literary publications that arrive in my inbox, most around the beginning of the month. The common wisdom is that you have to submitContinue reading “Writers, Tired of Rejections? Try Penning a Hermit Crab Essay”

What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing

Earlier this week I posted a photograph on social media of one of our sunflowers that had lost its head, literally.  One of our recent thunderstorms with high winds must have snapped off the bud.  However, this particular sunflower refused to give up. Seeking another opportunity to bloom, it managed to create several tiny sunflowerContinue reading “What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing”

The Chautauqua Experience

A summer camp for adults is how I described where I was going to anyone who asked, because I wasn’t sure if I said to Chautauqua, there’d be instant recognition.  How do you explain to someone who has never been to Chautauqua what it exactly is?  The word itself originated with the Iroquois Indians whoContinue reading “The Chautauqua Experience”

What are the Best Kinds of Endings?

It’s difficult to finish things. Jobs. Relationships. Home improvement projects. A manuscript. A writer gets a fabulous idea for a story or a character and then they just don’t know whether they’ve said enough or too much.  You work and work at something with fervor, and sometimes energy and enterprise fade out. You start askingContinue reading “What are the Best Kinds of Endings?”

Should Writers Pay Submission Fees?

Many years ago I had my fortune told. The psychic told me she saw me sitting at a table with another woman surrounded by stacks of books. It sounded like a wonderful future for an aspiring author. But before she commenced with her reading, she asked for a silver coin placed across her palm  andContinue reading “Should Writers Pay Submission Fees?”

Coloring Inside the Lines or Outside the Lines? What Works for You?

I have this memory of sitting outside on the grass, waiting for a country auction to begin. A warm summer day, my mother sat on a white folding chair studying the mimeographed catalogue. From my vantage point I could see two other children, who like myself had been given coloring books. I watched them, toContinue reading “Coloring Inside the Lines or Outside the Lines? What Works for You?”

Trading Places as a Literary Device on a Freaky Friday

See the world, if only for a few moments through someone else’s eyes, and you gain both empathy and knowledge.

With a Little Help From My Friends

This past weekend, I entered a piece of my writing in a contest. Generally, I’m not a fan of writing contests but sometimes to get my adrenaline going, I need a deadline. Writing contests have deadlines. To participate, you are charged a substantial fee—$15-$40.  Thus, a commitment to sending in only what you feel isContinue reading “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Searching for the Right Words When Learning To Tango

Our Tango teacher Julie was trying to find a word to describe that first moment just before you dance, when you establish a connection with your partner. It’s not a romantic moment, when you stare into one another’s eyes, but it is a moment of surrender. I searched my mind for the appropriate word andContinue reading “Searching for the Right Words When Learning To Tango”

Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

One of my personal reasons for giving substantial presents on Valentine’s Day, decades ago, was that February was a great time to buy things. In between Christmas  and Spring, department stores ran clearances to thin out excess stock.  My Valentine’s Day gifts to family included items like robes and slippers, a cozy sweater, and aContinue reading “Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?”

The Rewards and Virtues of Writing Flash Prose

A word I like to use when contemplating short prose is distilling. Your writing job when undertaking flash prose is to extract the most significant elements of what you want to convey. If you are a chef, just think about simmering broth on a stove.

Rejections and Acceptances: Challenging Myself to Do Better in 2022.

As  2022 begins, I  goad myself to come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions. So much is out of my control—the coronavirus, the political divisiveness, our warming planet—I  remind myself it is still possible to initiate positive change. I can share in my writing what I witness. Each day I have the opportunityContinue reading “Rejections and Acceptances: Challenging Myself to Do Better in 2022.”

Gifts You Should Have Thought of That Don’t Have to Be Shipped

It’s getting to that time, when online shopping sites can no longer guarantee Christmas delivery. So don’t fret about selecting which cheese platter or fruit basket. Gifts don’t have to be material things. They can be experiences such as tickets to a show (reserved for pick-up at the box office), a song or story youContinue reading “Gifts You Should Have Thought of That Don’t Have to Be Shipped”

The Creature in the Basement and Other Secrets

Everyone loves a mystery.  Whether it is locating something hidden or unveiling the true villain, when we read something, book or blog, we want to be entertained. I’ve always found animals to be very entertaining. I love to watch them and I love to interact with them. Animals, any sort of animal, can be aContinue reading “The Creature in the Basement and Other Secrets”