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Affirmations for the Writer--or inspiration for the would-be writer

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Writing is a journey. Every time we sit down to begin a piece or write the first chapter or the first line we are venturing into uncharted territory. We never know how it is going to turn out. Oh, we have a certain idea, like most pioneers or explorers. But, these journeys can take detours; we have to react to circumstances and often go with our gut. 365 Affirmations for theWriter is about listening to those who have gone before us and letting them guide us with their insight, their own trials. They know the terrain, how harsh it can be; they know where we can find water, shade, and rest along the way. By reading what others have said, we can survey the path before us, count the cost, and plunge ahead. My motivation for compiling 365 Affirmationsfor the Writer is to offer light along the way. From day to day, week to week, we are getting further inside our writing, further down the path. The book is 365 days of inspiration—quotes from writers and writing prompts. Here is a what you mi

Order today for 2023

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Writing is a journey. Every time we sit down to begin a piece or write the first chapter or the first line we are venturing into uncharted territory. We never know how it is going to turn out. Oh, we have a certain idea, like most pioneers or explorers. But, these journeys can take detours; we have to react to circumstances and often go with our gut. 365 Affirmations for the Writer is about listening to those who have gone before us and letting them guide us with their insight, their own trials. They know the terrain, how harsh it can be; they know where we can find water, shade, and rest along the way. By reading what others have said, we can survey the path before us, count the cost, and plunge ahead. My motivation for compiling 365 Affirmations for the Writer is to offer light along the way. From day to day, week to week, we are getting further inside our writing, further down the path. The book is 365 days of inspiration—quotes from writers and writing prompts. Here is a what you m

A Sense of Well-Being

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Lately I’ve been asking myself: Whatever happened to Chicago Jane? I lived in Chicago from 1982 to 2020. Thirty-eight years! When I first moved there I had to make peace with the piles of litter on the streets, with drunks sleeping (at first I thought they were dead) in doorways or crumpled up on the sidewalk, with all the concrete and pollution-faded facades on buildings. There was very little grass—even in parks. It had been trampled and ground away. Everywhere was gray or dirt brown. At times, even the sky was colorless, clouded over or in some way obscured. I had to get used to living with less light, less sun, less nature. I think that’s why I loved cycling so much—it was a chance to get away and see things outside of the city. Don’t get me wrong: I loved living in a culturally vibrant and diverse place. Chicago is a great place for art of all sorts. Just a bus ride away was landmark museums full of art, science, and all sorts of curiosities. I certainly made use of FREE d

“December” by James Schuyler

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This time every year I am reminded of James Schuyler's December--where even the most jaded or the atheist is summoned into the sublime, where we stand in awe of the season--and what it means. “December” by James Schuyler Il va neiger dans quelques jours FRANCIS JAMMES The giant Norway spruce from Podunk, its lower branches bound, this morning was reared into place at Rockefeller Center. I thought I saw a cold blue dusty light sough in its boughs the way other years the wind thrashing at the giant ornaments recalled other years and Christmas trees more homey. Each December! I always think I hate “the over-commercialized event” and then bells ring, or tiny light bulbs wink above the entrance to Bonwit Teller or Katherine going on five wants to look at all the empty sample gift-wrapped boxes up Fifth Avenue in swank shops and how can I help falling in love? A calm secret exultation of the spirit that tastes like Sealtest eggnog, made from milk solids, Vanillin, artificial rum flavorin

The Iranian Revolution

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Recently on PBS ln American Experience there has aired a two-part series on the taking of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and what became the American Hostage Crisis that lasted 444 days. Pretty much the course of American policy in Iran since then has been stuck. Very little has changed diplomatically. That period of time was the background for my novel Cloud of Witnesses about a boy growing up in rural poverty in southern Ohio. What, you may ask, has the Iranian Revolution got to do with Athens, Ohio. Well, I was a student then at Ohio University and there were many internationals on campus and from there I spun out a story about an unlikely friendship between 2 boys coming to terms with their own feelings of being an outsider. One was an exile within his own family and the other was truly learning that he wouldn’t be able to go back, that home was out of reach. I tend to start first with an idea and then flesh it out with story. Sort of like a philosophical challenge or