Monday Morning Inspiration: A Creative Writing Prompt

September 25, 2017
Alright everyone, let's try something not-so-new. Some time ago I did a writing prompt for my blog! It was a great way to be creative for the week and flex creative muscles even when I wasn't really feeling it. Then I decided to step away from it because I just wasn't feeling like blogging anymore at all. Now I'm back again and trying to get active into the blogging community as well as with my own writing. And this is an excellent way to start.

So, this is my weekly writing prompt. You'll get one photo and five words. The only rule is that you must use all five words in your prompt response and you can use the photo provided in any way you think it applies to your story, poem, etc.

Okay you guys, here is the photo (Creative Commons License)

photo credit: Massimo Accarino via photopin (license)

And here's the five words to use (chosen at random thanks to this site)






I would love to see what you come up with if you decide to respond! I'll do what I did last time and give everyone a week. So by next Monday morning, everyone will get a new photo and new words. If you decide to respond to this prompt, come back here and post a link to your post in the comments or the link up widget (if it's showing). I'll come by and check it out! If you do, I'll share it on my newest writing prompt next Monday!

Happy writing!

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The Books that Haunt Us

September 23, 2017
Image courtesy of Flickr 
I've been an avid reader all my life. I love libraries and bookstores. I'm guilty of folding down the corner of the page to save my place. I'm guilty of losing track of bookmarks. I leave stacks of books in closets and beside my bookshelves and underneath my desk at work that I keep meaning to give away or donate but can't quite bring myself to do it. I love genre fiction, literary fiction, poetry and the occasional non fiction book. I nosy into books people are reading and will shameless lean my head to catch a glimpse of the book title. I just love books.

Here's the thing though - I'm not good at all about remembering book titles. When I think of it, I try save the book onto Goodreads so I can keep track of things. The problem is though that I haven't done that for a good majority of my avid reading life. And lately I've gotten into finding the books I can't remember.

The first major one that haunts me is one I recall reading in my younger years. I remember the day we went to the library and I decided to check it out. It is a book with a lighthouse on the cover I believe and it's set in a stormy, beachy, islandy type of place. It's a series and I thought that the atmosphere was a little on the dark side. A family was the focus of the story I think and potentially this haunted island or haunted house they rented for the summer, the winter, or maybe the fall. I'm not sure. I've posted this book to forums and even wrote to the very library that I checked it out at to see if they could remember it. Not a single recommendation quite hit it. Nothing where I could say, "Ah! That's it!"

But you see? There's more. There's another book by this female writer who wrote novels with these incredible twists in the end. One was where you find out the daughter of this family was the killer and you had no idea. Or this other one where the neighbor was a killer and she was just a kindly woman most of the book.

Another book for you. The cover showed a unicorn with a blue horn in a white room. The book was about this guy with no memory and he wakes up trying to figure out who he is and what he's doing there.

Oh wait, there's more! I also recall a book I read where this main character worked as a tour guide for authors who came by his city for their book tour. He was a blocked writer himself and he detested the idea this college friend of his actually published a successful book. It's all about him getting unblocked and writing again.

These books haunt me and swirl around my head just waiting for me to figure out their titles. Does anyone else go through this? I'd love to say that it will make me more disciplined about writing down books I've read, but I don't always remember. I'm an enormous fan of purchasing books for this reason and if I ever find any of the above titles I plan on buying them.

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WOW! Women on Writing Presents Blog Tour for Evidence of Flossing by Jennifer A. Payne

September 18, 2017
I'm excited to announce that I'm joining the WOW! Women on Writing team. And I wanted to announce to you an incredible book by Jennifer A. Payne that is in need of some blog stops! So mark your calendars blogging and reading peeps, the tour starts on November 27th and ends December 1st.

What's the book about? Well, since you asked...

Part social commentary, part lament, the 73 poems in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind are, at their heart, love poems to the something greater within all of us. Their investigation of the human condition and its folly — politics, religion, development, technology, consumerism — is juxtaposed to a series of poems about our natural world and the possibility of divine connection.

Poetry + Trash Ask Readers to Consider “What is our legacy in this vast and wondrous Universe?”
Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Explore the answers to these questions and more in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, a new book by Connecticut author/artist Jen Payne.

A timely publication given the state of our world, Evidence of Flossing is more than a simple poetry chapbook. Its pages are illustrated by a random, absurd, and heartbreaking assortment of original and vintage photographs, including a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the title of the book. 
A take on traditional street photography, these images examine human nature from a different and thought-provoking perspective. Several of the photographs were featured in a recent Arts Council of Greater New Haven art exhibit entitled “Where the Whole Universe Dwells.” They are part of a collection of more than 100 photographs of used dental flossers found by Payne between 2014 - 2017, and speak to the subtitle of the book: What will we leave behind? 

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind follows on the heels of Payne’s 2014 well-received book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, and continues a dialogue about our innate connection with nature. Both books are published by Three Chairs Publishing,

Check out more information on Crystal Otto's blog post. Or go ahead and send me an email at

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Hey Writers, Would You Join a Blog Share?

September 16, 2017

photo credit: wuestenigel to do list via photopin (license)
For anyone still out there who used to know my blog from ages ago, I used to host a weekly writing prompt. Well, I've been away from blogging just a little bit but I'm ready to get back into it! The thing is? I don't have that same blogging community I used to have on my blog. So to get myself back on track, I was wondering...

Would you be interested in joining a weekly blog share?

I'm thinking it would be a great way for bloggers to come together to share what they've posted that week and just come by and visit each others blogs and comment. I know there are probably a ton of things out there like that, but I'm a DIY kind of lady, so that's why I thought to do this myself.

I guess the idea would be that if you leave your link, go by and check out the other links in the post, assuming it's not a huge list of blogs.

Maybe one day I'll bring back a writing prompt. So let's get started! I've included my own link below and go ahead and add yours. I'll come by and say hi!

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Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haim [Review & Giveaway]

September 10, 2017

I received a free copy of Real American: A Memoir in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Over the last few weeks of summer, I received the opportunity to read and review a book called Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haim. To be honest, I'm not usually one for non-fiction, but considering the times we are in, how racism and violent racist acts are becoming a norm and White Supremacy is a frightening trend, I figured it was important to expand my horizons and read something outside of my comfort zone. The subject of this book was perfect for what I was looking to find.

Author Julie Lythcott-Haim pens a book that describes her life growing up as the child of a black father and white mother. She talks in great, honest detail about the impact this had on her identity and self acceptance. She writes about her experiences in society and trying to became part of the black community surrounding her, despite how small it often was. Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, certainly didn't help. Despite the success of her father, who was an accomplished physician and even an Assistant Surgeon General of the United States in 1977, she dealt with racism regularly, even from those she thought of as friends. The struggle for her identity while accepting and loving herself began in her early childhood and remained a challenge throughout her adult years.

I wanted to do this book justice after reading it. I almost was nervous about my review. This book was an important read for me and inspired me with my own writing and personal journey. Despite how reluctant I am about reading non-fiction in general, this book caught me immediately. I feel like this book wasn't just insight into someone's life and journey to self acceptance, but this was a mirror as well. When I read insensitive comments that were judging this woman by the color of her skin or the way her hair looked, I asked myself along the way, "Have I ever done this?" I think that's why this book was important to me. It's one I'll go back to and share with others. The format of the book and how it was written was unique, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. It was in essay format, and each essay was sometimes a paragraph and others a few pages. Yet, it still told a story, each section connecting with the other. I think it would be easy to pick it up right now and just flip it to a random page and still gain something from it.

I've heard time and time again change starts with yourself. If you want to change the world, change you. Learning about how you think of the world around you and understanding the journey of others is a way to start. I recommend you read this book and share it with your family and start a discussion. Find out more information about Real American: A Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haim by visiting this Publishers Weekly page.

Best of all, I have a giveaway for you to enter! Enter to receive one of 10 copies of the book Real American. Giveaway ends on September 29th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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