Tag Archives: creative writing

Writing with Latino Youth

One of the great things I was involved with this summer was a twice-weekly writing workshop with Latino youth in Indianapolis – middle schoolers through seniors in high school. As part of their summer program, some of them were excited to be there.  Nervous, yes, but they liked to write and wanted to do more. For others, well, let’s just say they got stuck with their last choice. We used writing prompts in every session, some related to hobbies and some to heritage.  On Wednesdays, a spoken word poet came for the last hour and guided us through memories and feelings to create prose poems. No matter what their attitude when they started, by the end of our six weeks, these teens had produced some powerful writing.  Strong emotions, some lovely phrases, and an amazing sense of empowerment for all of them. One of our early prompts was: “Just because ____, doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

My Solar-Powered Self

The power of thunderstorms fascinates me.  Tree branches whip in the wind, rain pelts against the roof, hail clatters on the deck and the skylights.  Thunder rolls and cracks, and I count seconds until the flash of white.  When the lightning and thunder come on top of each other, I startle, shudder and look on in amazement, safe in my house.  No matter what I’m supposed to be doing (including sleeping at night) I find myself drawn to the window to witness the spectacle. On the other hand, when cottony fog muffles the outside world, cocooning me in my solitary day, I’m grateful that the only commute I have is the three paces to my computer.  And when a soft, gentle rain waters the grass and flowers, the patter on the roof becomes white noise.  These gray days make me glad to stay home and curl up.  It should be … Continue reading

Posted in Misc, TAKE JOY! | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Newbie, Apprentice, or Master Writer?

I’m not a newbie writer anymore.  I don’t even cringe as I say the words that used to scare me:  “I’m a writer.”  Nope, that’s ME! But despite the people who tell me I’m a genius and are waiting breathlessly for my next book (yes, there are a few of them out there), I’m nowhere near a master.  I’m solidly in my apprenticeship, working and learning along the way. Kristen Lamb blogged about this yesterday and gave permission to share.  Here’s our Jedi Master on the three stages of a writing career: The mark of a pro is they make whatever we want to do look easy. From running a business to playing guitar to wicked cool Kung Fu moves, masters rarely seem to even break a sweat. Same with authors. With the pros? The story flows, pulls us in, and appears seamless and effortless. Many of us decided to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogs, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Newbie, Apprentice, or Master Writer?

Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

Stolen Ohio chickens, a lost Michigan militia, and men with numbers for names?  You never know what your fiction research is going to uncover. There I was, digging into Midwest canals and railroads for Book 2 of my Shimmer of Time series.  Lots of cool stuff for the book, right?  But I got sidetracked completely by Benjamin Franklin Stickney, who had weird tastes in names and was (probably) responsible for a war most of us have never heard of. Stickney’s mother was a favorite niece of Benjamin Franklin (that’s right, the key-on-a-kite-string Benjamin Franklin, “discoverer” of electricity and inventor of my ever-necessary bifocals), and she named her son after him in 1773.  So Benjamin Stickney grew up, got married, and named his sons … wait for it . . . One and Two!  Evidently he wanted to let them choose their own names when they got older, but they never did.  … Continue reading

Posted in History, Misc, SHIMMER OF TIME | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

What Can You Say in a Six Word Memoir?

We talked about Six Word Stories in the last post, and some of you came up with some great ones – thanks!  But did you ever think about a Six Word Memoir? I came across the idea about a month ago, over at Smith Mag.  They have some fabulous categories – Six Word Questions, Six Words on Love, Six Words by Tony Winners. The idea behind it is to put something of your day into six words, and the results range from humorous to heartbreaking to gee-I’ve-been-there.  Here’s a sample: Wish I’d take my own advice.  (Also the book title of teen memoirs.) Everybody really does know my name. Summer’s not the season for quarrels. Great, huh?  If you follow #sixwords on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of people expressing philosophy and inner thoughts as well as memoir, sometimes with a photo, sometimes in poem form:   untethered :: I … Continue reading

Posted in Deep Thoughts, Social Media, Story Prompts, WRITING | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments