Writing Tools to QuickStart Your Memoir

I was straightening out a bookshelf and I noticed a gift I’d forgotten about, a large  hardback  with a floral cover I’d catalogued with the cookbooks. The title, “A Mother’s Journal.”  Divided into sections, it has questions such as “Where I lived” and “What I remember about my family home” and  “How Your Father andContinue reading “Writing Tools to QuickStart Your Memoir”

Opening Our Minds to Time Travel

We don’t (to my knowledge) have a physical time machine to step into, but perhaps within our own minds we can make a journey.

Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish

The quest to achieve your heart’s desire can make you susceptible to the wiles of snake oil salesmen. Over and over again I see blogs with titles that claim to include insider information for writers peppered with phrases that include: how to get published, insider tips, and editors’ preferences. I plead guilty to putting theseContinue reading “Close Your Eyes and Make a Wish”

The Best Tomatoes for a Fast Yummy Sauce

Cherry tomatoes. I’ve been obsessing over them. Yes, I know I’ve written several blogs about home grown tomatoes, but not one specifically focused on cherry tomatoes. This year’s crop is huge. Usually I’m picking the cherry tomatoes while they are still a red/orange, anxious to pop them in my mouth, but this year we haveContinue reading “The Best Tomatoes for a Fast Yummy Sauce”

My Favorite Place To Shop

It doesn’t matter how many times I go to a Farmers’ Market it always feels like the first time. And maybe it is the first time I see the fresh mustard greens or the bright yellow squash for sale that particular day. I stop at each booth. I ask questions. What is your favorite wayContinue reading “My Favorite Place To Shop”

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”

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?”

What Does Our Democracy Have in Common with a Cup of Coffee?

I’m not real excited about celebrating Independence Day this year. The two words that keep flashing into my mind are Why Bother? If you’re ordering  fancy coffee, Why Bother?  is a phase to describe a decaf skim milk cappuccino or latte. Take away the caffeine and the milk fat and you’re sipping a faded imitationContinue reading “What Does Our Democracy Have in Common with a Cup of Coffee?”

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Remember when you were a kid and you’d lie about something small. I’d be called in from playing outside and my mother would ask, Have you  washed your hands?  I’d look down at my pink palms just before dinner was about to be served. They didn’t look dirty. I wanted to sit down at theContinue reading “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”

Sports and Exercise the best cure for Stress

I was petrified, the first time I went downhill skiing. But it was great, because I realized after congratulating myself for making it down the mountain still standing, that I felt completely refreshed. While one could chalk this up to adrenalin, I attribute this to something else. Challenging myself to learn an unfamiliar sport, tookContinue reading “Sports and Exercise the best cure for Stress”

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?”

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”