Big Magic

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is must reading for any writer. Or any artist of any kind. This book made me feel as if my entire life was given validation. Reading it gave me the sense that I have been right about everything I’ve done, that my creative life wasn’t a mistake or a waste of time but an example of big magic.

All those unseen pages in the file cabinet. All those books that only sold a few copies. All those blog posts with 8 views. All part of Big Magic.

Read it.

An Open Space for Your Story

A quote from My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

I just began My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. The Prelude made me cry when I read this line, “. . . inside each of us has a purple motorcycle. We have only to discover it – and ride.” (My dream has always been a Vespa.)

Then I read the Introduction and found the page I photographed above. In honor of Gloria Steinem, who has been my lifelong inspiration, we will no longer have comments. We will have an open space for your story on every page.

I hope

Have you read Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed? I read it some time ago. At first I saw some parallels between societies that fail and the US. As time has gone by the the country’s political climate and income disparity grow, I see more and more. I hope our country can avoid the collapse described in this book. I hope.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “I hope.”

The Speed of Thought

The world changes at the speed of thought. If you are having trouble tying your thoughts to the discussion of racism now going on in America, may I suggest the book “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism” as a way to get your mind and thoughts closer to understanding.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “the speed of thought.”

I’m Reading

I’m reading. Are you? What are you reading today? I just finished Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen. That book that should be in the pocket of every person marching because #BlackLivesMatter. Now I’m about halfway through The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. I’m thinking Cristina Henriquez may turn out to be one of my favorite writers.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic, “I’m reading.”

I’m a Blogger

I’m a blogger. I guess you knew that. Are you a blogger, too? Do you ever use the prompts from this blog to get writing ideas for your own blog? That would thrill me if you do. But maybe you blog about something completely different from writing. Tell us about it. Generally one link in a comment will get through the spam filter, so go ahead and add a link to your blog.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “I’m a blogger.”

My Favorite Writer

Alice Walker

You know those games you play where people say, “Who’s your favorite writer?” or “If you could have dinner with a famous person who would it be?” My answer is always the same: Alice Walker.

I spent last week in a place where some amazing and inspiring women shared their wisdom. One of those women was Alice Walker. Whenever I get anywhere near Alice Walker, I feel completely opened up, alive. Being around her is like being in love. Everything is more wonderful – colors, scents, contact. She thrills me completely.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “my favorite writer.”


I’m a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I love Claire Randall with her modern eyes looking onto a world 200 years in the past. I love Jamie Fraser, the handsome Scotsman she meets and loves in that long ago world. I’ve spent many a day reading my eyes out with one of Gabaldon’s huge novels propped on a pillow on my lap because they are too heavy to hold up. Now the novels will be a television series. Will this beloved series of novels be as good on a TV screen as they were in the panorama in my imagination?

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Jamie.”

A Quote

This blog is about writing practice. The rules of writing practice are available here. It’s a technique for writing taught by Natalie Goldberg. Here’s what Natalie Goldberg says it’s about.

“I teach people to accept their minds,” she says, “just like in zazen—it’s all just studying mind. No good, no bad. In writing practice we use the same basic principle as in zazen— you make a commitment for a period of time, and you keep the practice going no matter what. In the case of writing practice, it’s usually ten minutes. The basic rule is: keep your hand moving. No editing, no going back or crossing out, forget about spelling or punctuation. If something comes up that feels dangerous, go for it. That’s where the juice is. By keeping your hand moving you don’t leave any space for what we call monkey mind—the commentator, the internal critic, to come in and get in the way.”

No good, no bad. No space for the monkey mind, the commentator.

I know it’s tempting to comment when you like what someone’s written, but that invites judgement, a focus on good and bad.

Thank you for coming here to write with us. While you’re here, please, just write. No good, no bad. Just write.

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