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green flat lichen on tree bark

Writing Prompt: Dependence

Maybe if I were 40 years younger and could, or wanted to, drive a tractor, wield a chainsaw, shoot and grow my own food, crawl to a doctor, or set my own broken bones and stitch my own cut jaw. But that ain’t me. We have one “close” neighbor. Meaning we can see their house […]

Meadow in foreground, hills behind, clear blue sky

Writing Prompt: Thunder

Thunder “All systems go,” she said into her mic. No one answered. This was a recording, not a conversation. She was on her own.

wasp on a black background insect macro wild

Writing Prompt: Yellow Jacket

Because I often write nature essays, my writing partners thought for sure I’d go with the insect for this prompt. But I want to stretch my science fiction muscles. There isn’t much to this—we only have 20 or so minutes to write, then countless minutes getting the Zoom connection up for the meeting portion of […]

Linda Hamilton holding gun and ready to fight in Terminator 2.

Writing Prompt: A Fight

Here’s what came of my most recent writing group session… A Fight There’s a meme going around Facebook where you give yourself a point for everything on a list you haven’t done. One is “punch someone.” I suppose I have. You can’t get through toddlerhood without punching someone. The only fight I remember never made […]

tunnel_wormhole

Writing Prompt: I’m from…

This week’s prompt also said to use the five senses. I strayed from the prompt, as we are allowed, though I agree that using all the senses makes, well, sense. I only had 20 minutes, and, frankly, ran out of steam before that. Here ’tis:   I’m From… Kate stared at the young woman sitting […]

LEGO Rebels with guns

Writing Prompt: Rebellion

Twice a month, I get together with some other writers. We pull a prompt from an envelope and write for 30 minutes, then read to each other and chat. Now, with Covid, we do this remotely–one has the envelope and emails the prompt to the rest. We write then Zoom the rest of the meeting. […]

bare branches against a blue sky

On Completing a Second Draft

Last spring I wrote about finishing my first draft. Yay, me! That was a significant milestone, so I’m told. Pat yourself on the back. You did it! So the second draft might be a bit anticlimactic, but it feels important to me. As I foreshadowed in that piece, I did finish it by fall. But […]

Pond with lily pads seen through trees

A Writer, an Editor, and a Reader Walked into a Bar

I started the following essay when I heard about the call to fill the wonderful anthology, Our Happy Hours, edited by S. Renée Bess and Lee Lynch (aka “Story Collectors”). Then I heard Cindy Rizzo was going to write about Boston in the 1970s and knew she’d do a much better job than I could […]

Black and white downy woodpecker on a cage of suet

On Completing a First Draft

I haven’t written about writing in a while. I’ve been working on a novel since approximately the dawn of written language. Almost three years ago, I wrote about breaking through a block (“The Insecurities of Being a Writer”). Last fall, I waxed enthusiastically in “Writing Is like a Fungus” about the guidebooks I used to […]

Stream and trees in snow

Winter Notes

In the evening when it’s dark and the stars shine bright, I like to stand by an open window and listen and breathe and look into the night. Winter air can be odorless. Or a pocket of scent might startle me, usually when walking through the woods. It could be the mild skunk-like musk of […]

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