Posted by: penpatience | June 1, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “My best painting is the next one. I haven’t painted it yet. I am in competition only with myself, and that’s tough, because I believe that each thing I do must be better in some way than the last.” – Ted DeGrazia



Many famous artists have existed for centuries, and most people are aware of Michelangelo’s famous painting of the Sistine Chapel and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.  Artist, Georgia O’keeffe, is well known for her floral work and Norman Rockwell is famous as a 20th century illustrator of American life. Most folks have heard of late bloomer, Anna Mary Robertson Moses (Grandma Moses) who, late in life became famous as an American folk artist.  Are you aware of another unique and talented artist – Ettore (nicknamed Ted) DeGrazia?

I noticed the work of this artist while traveling back and forth to Arizona when visiting family. It was while I was waiting at the Phoenix, Arizona airport for a return flight home that I wandered into a display of his distinctive, Southwest art. I loved the display and carried home my first DeGrazia art piece on the plane.

Ted DeGrazia had a unique and long-term relationship with the western magazine, “Arizona Highways” and it is said, “Make no mistake about this truth: Arizona Highways discovered Ted DeGrazia and put him onstage.” (Arizona Highways-June 2019) Some additional history from this magazine issue about Ted: “Born in the Southern Arizona town of Morenci in 1909…Ted was the child of Italian immigrants. His father was a miner. And so, DeGrazia was exposed at a young age to the sensory extravagances associated with life in a mining town—the languages of the working men, the colors of the desert, the influences of Mexican and Native cultures in music, art, and everyday life.”  It was said he was charming with a magnetic appeal. Of special note, Ted built a relationship with Raymond Carlson, Editor of Arizona Highways, lasting over forty years.  Both Carlson and DeGrazia had a deeply rooted love of Arizona and the Southwest.

Despite his humble beginnings, Ted earned two undergraduate degrees in music and fine art and a Master degree in fine art. Although initially rejected by university leaders and art intelligentsia, Ted sought and gained approval of the newly emerging middle-class market of post-World War II America. Noteworthy: Ted’s best-known work, 1957’s “Los Ninos,” was selected for U NICEF’s 1960 holiday card, allowing DeGrazia fame to spread far beyond the Southwest. (The June 2019 issue of Arizona Highways has extensive coverage of Ted DeGrazia, his life and illustrations of his extensive art.

I muse…I was returning by car to Arizona with my sister from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We stopped at the DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun in Tucson, Arizona. The Gallery is the permanent museum displaying Ted’s life and art and is comprised of six galleries of paintings on display. Each gallery displays a collection revealing subjects of deep interest to this artist. My favorite painting titled, “Free as the Wind, 1961” conveys the motion and speed of four running horses. I returned home with a beautiful copy, had it framed and hung it on my dining area wall. I enjoy and relate to the freedom of these depicted horses every time I pass by.  (Gallery:

Postscript: Ted DeGrazia’s words in the above “Writers Words” quotation could apply to writers.  We are also in competition within ourselves and attempt to improve in some way from the last written attempt.  This month of June is Father’s Day. Ted DeGrazia was the father of three children.




Posted by: penpatience | May 1, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes





May is the month we celebrate motherhood, applauding all females who have given birth from the beginning of time. Women worldwide are the exclusive givers of life. Marriage determined a birth Mom and spousal Mom – a Mom often referred to as mother-in law. Thinking of mothers and in-law moms, I recalled my first experience meeting my new husband’s mother. She advised me, “My name is Edythe spelled with a “Y” not an “I.”

Over time, I got to know Edythe very well and wrote and published a non-fiction short story in May 2012 titled “Edythe with a Y” in the former “The Storyteller Magazine.” This Mother’s Day, I pay tribute to Edythe by sharing excerpts from this story (The entire story is too lengthy for this post)


“I was a new bride the first time Edythe informed me, “my dear you must learn to take the bitter with the sweet.” At the time she threw those words at me, I had just returned home from work tired from a hectic day, still learning how to cook, and eager to see my four-month-old son.

Edythe and I had a new and tenuous relationship-we were still walking the tightrope of getting to know each other. Despite advising me the spelling of her name, Edythe was an ecstatic grandma often walking five blocks from her city flat to babysit while I worked part-time assignments for local companies.  I didn’t know it then, but there would be more witticisms and sayings that followed.

Edythe was a paradox; she was superstitious but also demonstrated great faith in God and her church.  Edythe threw salt over her shoulder to ward off evil spirits and claimed good luck when she found a penny on the sidewalk. She constantly reminded me that bad events happened in threes and proved it when a close friend died, her brother-in-law lost his job, and a neighbor was injured in an auto accident—she drove me crazy.

Despite a sometime uneasy relationship, we found common ground in sharing our love of children and family. However, I now recognized the furrowed brow and stiffened lips that indicated Edythe was biting her tongue at something I’d said. It appeared we both utilized the tongue-biting approach to maintain our amiable peace.

When Edythe died the toddlers were too young to comprehend her loss and saddened relatives confirmed she was a kind, caring person. She did not know I was expecting again. While the family made funeral arrangements and joined in the rituals of her passing, I found myself thinking Edythe would have been right there claiming there’s always a birth for a death. Over the years when some of life changing events happened in “threes,” I caught myself thinking that a delighted Edythe would be lighting candles in heaven.

This past year while searching through family albums for a specific photograph, I found Edythe’s picture then a young mother relaxing in a chair with her two sons. I copied and framed the photo in memory of her deep and devoted love for her three grandchildren. It was just a few weeks after that day I was sitting at the clubhouse table waiting to play a round of golf at one of my favorite courses. The usual female chatter bounced around the room while we awaited our tee times. This day I happened to sit next to a golfer that had a habitual penchant for spouting daily complaints, griping about petty stuff we all had heard many times before. I didn’t bite my tongue.

I heard Edythe’s call loud and clear. I leaned across the clubhouse table my eyes staring unwavering into hers and laid my fingertips on the back of her hand. Leaning in closer so she alone could hear, I said, “girlfriend, you must learn to take the bitter with the sweet.”  Edythe would have been proud.”


This Mother’s Day, I lovingly salute two great, deceased Moms. My mother, Margaret and Mother-in Law, Edythe—spelled with a “Y”





Posted by: penpatience | April 1, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “If you’re caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.” _ Lee Trevino




It’s April. Spring has sprung. Winter doldrums, harsh, inclement weather, hopefully, have departed. Although winter snow sports are fun and enjoyable, it’s time for April showers to bring forth flowers that bloom in May. Spring is a time of rebirth with flowering shrubs, green grass, and perennial plants pushing up through warming soil. And… It’s time to remove the golf bag and clubs from the dark closet into spring sunshine.  What! You’re not a golfer?

Some interesting golf facts: the origins of golf are unclear and much debated. However, it is generally accepted that modern golf developed in Scotland in the Middle Ages. “The game did not find international popularity until the 19th century when it spread into the rest of the United Kingdom and the United States.” (Wikipedia) The Old Course at St. Andrews is widely considered the oldest course in the world. The term “birdie” began accidentally when AB Smith hit a “bird of a shot” in 1889. Golf was the first sport played on the moon. Astronaut, Alan Shepard, Jr., used a 6-iron to play golf. Tiger Woods made his first hole in one when he was 8 years old. The record for the longest hole-in-one belongs to Lou Kretlow who achieved a hole-in-one at a 427-yard course in 1961. And…there are over 34,000 golf courses in the world with the United States having the most courses. The state of Florida alone has over 1,000. And… Augusta National Golf Club remains the most famous golf club in the world.

Today, golf remains a popular sport worldwide. Golfers range from PGA-Male (Professional Golf Association) and LPGA-Female along with all skill levels of enthusiastic players. However, all golfers have much in common. No golfer wants the ball to land in a sand trap, long grass, the water or bounce off a clubhouse wall😊

I muse…I was not interested in the fickle golf sport until, by chance, I found myself riding in a golf cart round at a beautiful resort in the Catskills while a friend was playing a round. The spring air was crisp and sunny, and before long I was jumping out the cart to hold the flags.  An avid outdoor person, I decided right then to learn how to play golf.  How hard could it be?   Very hard for this “lefty,” discouraged when a professional coach suggested I golf with my right hand. I declined and located a great coach who not only instructed me how to play, but taught me how to maintain a positive attitude (not always easy) and avoid “negativity” in play. During these many years, I’ve played golf on many courses and enjoyed many winters golfing in a women’s league in Southeast Florida. Like any player, I’ve had Pars, Bogeys and Birdies. I have yet to achieve an eagle or hole-in-one. Perhaps… with positive thinking…I will!

I always look forward to Spring.  The “birdies” and songbirds have returned and, if you’re lucky, you might sight an “eagle” soaring high in the sky and watch it divebomb into the 18th hole.

Happy Easter holiday to all!

Posted by: penpatience | March 1, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “Don’t forget—no one else sees the world like you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” – Charles de Lint




We are all writers. Writing begins at an early age with “ABC’s throughout life. Writing encompasses many styles, languages and has existed in various forms from the world’s earliest centuries. Historically, cave men used finger painting on cave walls for communication. Ancients utilized styluses, quills, and tablets that over time developed into today’s pencils, ballpoint pens, typewriters (yes, they still exist) and computer software.

Written communications affect all life activities. Many of us develop the love of writing from early exposure by family, schools and all levels of books and magazines.  Individuals from all walks of life have become authors, journalists, editors, novelists, poets, columnists, English professors and creative writing teachers. Writing, like any other profession, requires knowledge and developed skill sets…and most of all, an ongoing commitment and intense desire to write.

I muse…I believe one of the best “Helpmates” is reading. Reading non-fiction/fiction books and other available writings in all genres, over time, is beneficial in developing your writer voice. Writing in all its components has a long learning curve and as the Writer Words quotation above indicates, only you can tell the stories you choose to share with others. Over time I’ve perused many writer “Helpmates.”  I’m listing and sharing below some of my favorite writing support publications:

On Writing – Stephen King

Jane Friedman-online newsletters/writing course studies

Writer’s Digest and The Writer Magazines

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamont

Self-Editing for Fiction – Browne & King

On Writing Well – William Zinsser

Police Procedure and Investigation, A guide for writers – Lee Lofland

Fire Up Your Fiction – Jodi Renner

Worldwide Freelance-Gary McLaren

Funds for Writers, Hope Clark, Author (online)

And a recent 2023 read: “Dear Writers,” Inspiration and Advice on Writing, by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

A quotation by James Michener, well-known successful author: “I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”

And another: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us get up and go to work.”- Stephen King

And… an inspirational poem?


By Bert Leston Taylor

In summer I’m disposed to shirk,

As summer is no time to work.

In winter inspiration dies,

For lack of out-door exercise.

In spring I’m seldom in the mood,

Because of vernal lassitude.

The fall remains. But such a fall!

We’ve really had no fall at all.

I believe reading various writing resources may aid and inspire writers.  However, the greatest “help” is at the end of your arm😊    – JUST WRITE.






Posted by: penpatience | January 31, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” – Mark Twain, American Writer



Earth’s weather, wherever we live, changes every day. Weather is mostly determined by locations: country, state, towns, cities where we reside. Most often, it’s the winter months many folks find challenging.

“Weather can be defined as the atmospheric conditions over relatively short periods of time—from seconds to a few years. Climate is the average and range of weather events over longer periods from decades to centuries – or longer.” (Old Famers Almanac-2023 Special Edition)

Earth’s weather conditions are many: Blizzards, Frost, Snow, Rainbows, Rain, Hail, Tornadoes, Drought, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms, Lightning, Sleet and fog.  Ah, yes, and much appreciated sunshine. And weather doesn’t just happen. Over the years, many scientific disciplines have been studied and utilized over centuries to assist in making long-range predictions. An interesting fact: “We believe that nothing in the universe happens haphazardly, that there is a cause-and-effect pattern to all phenomena. However, although neither we nor any other forecasters have yet gained sufficient insight into the mysteries of the universe to predict the weather with total accuracy, our results are almost always very close to our traditional 80 percent. (Old Farmer Almanac-2023 Special Edition)

I muse…Sometimes weather influences human moodiness. If you’re a jogger in a very hot, humid summer in the southern and western regions, U.S. A., you may become grouchy about postponing a planned, beneficial exercise. And if you’re an outdoor winter sportsperson in the northern U.S.A regions, and an overly heavy, snowy, slippery mess clogs highways and resorts, you may become crabby when a planned event is postponed. And for this former golfer, having your league play cancelled because of a heavy rainfall, is a total “bummer.”  It’s also been said that wind may have a negative effect on our moods in spring and summer versus fall and winter.

Here are a few interesting/fun weather facts:

·       The naming of hurricane and tropical storms officially began in 1953.

·       Fire whirls are tornadoes made of fire caused by wildfires.

·       Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the earth.

·       The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.

·       The country most affected by tornadoes is the USA which faces an average 1200 tornadoes each year. (UGH!)

I believe weather does affect many folks’ moods. However, if it’s raining and you usually take a daily walk, open an umbrella, wear a raincoat and go for it!  If your winter event was cancelled because of severe, inclement weather, have a couple of hot toddies by the home fireplace and watch an old, favorite movie for the eighth time.

I can’t help but recall my former, deceased mother-in-law’s words of wisdom: “It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, you can’t control the weather.”

Last year, 2022 and the beginning of 2023 have been fraught with horrific, damaging, and destructive weather events. (i.e., Hurricane IAN and winter heavy snows/floodings)

I note February 2, 2023, is National Groundhog Day (see former musings on the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney) Let’s hope the beloved and celebrated groundhog does not see his shadow and toughs-it-out outside heralding an early Spring.






Posted by: penpatience | January 1, 2023


WRITERS WORDS: “Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.” – Erica Jong

Readers: “Late Bloomin’ Writer,” my non-fiction essay, has recently been published on under the heading “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up. Stop by and read it!






2023– a New Year! My mind chooses not to be filled with this new year’s possible foibles. I remain upbeat hoping for a great 2023 for all. However, lately, my mind, in a good way, has “gone to the dogs.”

Many folks, with or without children, love animals and many have been dog owners. Our family, past and present, have dogs of various breeds from mixed heritage mutts😊 to various purebreds.  Today, dogs run the gamut from professionally trained to specific therapies and duties with many canines owner-trained (Yikes for an untrained dog!)  Dog owners acknowledge their dogs are intuitive and intelligent, but did you know they could also be emotional?

A recent article in the October 2022 issue of National Geographic states, “some animals have minds of their own and have complex emotions just like us.  An interesting fact. “An Australian Shepard being studied at the University of Vienna learned to be motionless in a magnetic resonance machine. Observing dog brains, scientists have found activity in areas similar to those in humans….”  “Words of praise lit up a dog’s reward centers. Videos of caregivers activated regions tied to attachment.” _ National Geographic, October 2022

Many dog owners believe their dogs have feelings, but there hasn’t been much scientific truth to back it up. “Canine cognitive science has come a long way over the past decade and can now prove dogs do have feelings. Not just simple feelings either; they display complex emotions such as jealousy. Researchers are just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding how complex their feelings really are.” – Puppy

I muse…some dogs became famous and were featured in former television shows and movies.  Who doesn’t remember “Lassie,” a fictional Rough Collie dog, originally featured in a short story by Eric Knight, later expanded into a novel called, “Lassie Come Home.” Folks today may   not recall the Saturday A.M. Roy Rogers- Dale Evans TV show. Yes, Roy had Trigger, a famous horse, but their dog “Bullet” always managed to sniff out the bad guys and save the day. There was Rin Tin-Tin, a male German Shepard, born in France who became an international star in motion pictures. Note: it was Rin Tin-Tin who was responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of German Shepard dogs as family pets. My family had Trojan, a purebred German Shepard. Trojan was well-trained, super intelligent with strong scent ability and could sniff out various requested scents.

Dogs are unique in they demonstrate unconditional love to family members. They show love in wagging tails when you return home from a rough workday. They ride, hopefully safe, in a vehicle, glad to be included in family outings even if it’s only to a drugstore or supermarket. They are observant, loyal, and non-judging companions.

Meet my grand-dog, Lancelot (above photo). He’s intuitive, intelligent and “emotional” showing loving reactions to most people.  DOG-GONE IT!  2023 -Is going to be a great year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!



Posted by: penpatience | December 1, 2022


WRITERS WORDS: “Christmas Day is in our grasp, as long as we have hands to clasp! Christmas Day will always be, just as long, as we have we! Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.” – Dr. Seuss

Readers: “Late Bloomin’ Writer,” my non-fiction essay, has recently been published on under the heading “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.  Stop by the site and let me know your thoughts.



December, a time in the Northeast when temperatures drop low and folks hope for a snowfall to prepare for Santa’s reindeer. December is the last month in this tumultuous year, 2022, in the U.S. and abroad. It’s a time when we look past the year’s trials and tribulations and look forward to holiday celebrations with renewed hope for the season and the pending New Year.

I reminisce…I received a much-wanted Sparkle Plenty doll when I was a child. Do any readers recall the Dick Tracy columns/cartoons years ago? Mom baked scrumptious Christmas cookies every year along with Italo-American specialties for the holidays. A special brass Christmas bell that played “Silent Night” hung in her living room archway every holiday season. (PS. My grandson found an identical one years later in a Payson, Arizona antique shop and gifted it to me one Christmas.) My bell remains up year-round and Silent Night is heard often during the holiday season and sometimes beyond.

I muse…Christmas is a special time for children. They look forward to Santa Claus bringing them one of the latest technological or electronic toy, new bicycle, or much coveted sports item. I discovered this poem many years ago about the many diverse gifts we can share with our children – “What Shall We Give the Children:

What shall we give the children

Christmas is almost here.

Toys and Games and playthings,

As we do every year?

Yes, for the magic of Toyland

Is part of the Yuletide lore

To gladden the heart of childhood,

But I shall give something more?

I shall give them patience,

A more sympathetic ear,

A little more time for laughter,

Or tenderly dry a tear.

I shall take time to teach them

The joy of doing some task.

I’ll try to find time to answer

More of the questions they ask.

Time to read books together,

And take long walks in the sun.

Time for a bedtime story,

After the day is done.

I shall give these to my children,

Weaving a closer tie,

Knitting our lives together

With gifts that money can’t buy.   – Author Unknown

I digress…A family member was writing poetry since high school days and continued throughout her early life and retirement years. She was honored with a Silver Poet Award for her book of poetry, “Random Thoughts,” from a publisher in Sacramento, California where she traveled to receive it at age 83!

Peace for Christmas

Again, it’s almost Christmas Day

And time to bow our heads and pray

To every sense of Reason/

To seek and search each avenue and lane

For hope that joy and peace

Will Reign

Throughout the Christmas season. – Margaret E. Weldon


Posted by: penpatience | November 1, 2022


WRITERS WORDS: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy




            It’s that time again-November, the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time when many get together with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy turkey dinners, relaxation, and tune in to a favorite football game. And yes, some family members visit shopping centers for Black Friday sales, although in recent years, the sales have been advertised well before Thanksgiving. However, did you know that November is also National Gratitude Month?

National Gratitude Month is the holiday where we can all gather and share our gratitude to the world.  Basically, gratitude month’s emphasis is putting attention toward the positive versus the negative.

Ralph Waldo Emerson advises: “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously, and because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

I muse…2022 has been a difficult year for many countries, people, and families. Many have experienced heartbreaking losses through climate change turmoil, human brutality due to overseas conflicts threatening world freedoms. Hurricanes and fires have devastated people in our country and abroad leaving many folks deceased, homeless, and feeling helpless. And, for many Americans (Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving) it’s difficult to envision a happy Thanksgiving celebration with limited resources and loss.

But then, gratitude, focusing on positive versus negative and, recalling memories of past traditions, small enjoyments and aiding others are optimistic perspectives.  I often recall my deceased Mom’s encouraging stance. Her credo was something good will come from a bad experience and, eventually, the sun will shine again.

A few positive thoughts for this year 2022: take time out to trot at the local Turkey Trot. Watch the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and our current U.S. President’s annual turkey pardon. Attend religious observances of choice and set aside time to give thanks for personal blessings. Volunteer your time and share your special skills to assist others in having a positive Thanksgiving experience.

I am grateful for what I am and have. My Thanksgiving is perpetual.” – Henry David Thoreau



Don’t be a turkey. Don’t drink and drive


Posted by: penpatience | September 29, 2022


WRITERS WORDS: “There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a lit front porch.”-Robert Brault, American Author






October’s color is orange. It is a time for harvesting and carving scary faces on pumpkins, breathing fresh fall air (in Northeast, USA) and watching trees show off red, orange and other colorful leaves. However, adults and children prepare for the best and last day of the month – October 31stHALLOWEEN. October would not be October without celebrating Halloween, also historically known as All Hallows Eve.

A little historical background on the origins of Halloween… Some historians believed All Hallows Eve originated in the 5th century BC or the Middle Ages and the holiday had both pagan and religious roots. The Gaelic harvest celebration known as Samhain marked the end of the growing season in Celtic England, Ireland, and Scotland. Many Celts believed the barriers between the natural and supernational worlds vanished on Samhain and that the dead could walk among the living. Folks would light fires, dress in animal costumes, and tell each other’s fortunes as part of the festivities.  Over time, the holiday evolved. The Catholic Church turned November first, the original date of Samhain into a religious holiday called, “All Saints Day” or “All Hallows,” making October 31st the date of All Hallows Eve now referred to as Halloween.

In America, Halloween was not recorded until the 1840s. As early as 1875, many people along with the Irish and Scottish immigrants celebrated Halloween. One of the first traditions was the Jack O’ Lantern.  Over time and influenced by a variety of cultures Halloween in American colonies began to change. In the New World it became a time for parties thrown to celebrate the harvest. Many attendees dressed in costumes and told scary stories helping to shape Halloween history into celebrations we enjoy today.

Halloween in the USA is enjoyed by children and adults. School kids parade around school grounds showing off hand-made and purchased outfits honoring animals, portraying super-heroes and other ghostly or scary get-ups.  Many communities participate in door-to-door trick or treating, local fire station and other establishments host “treat” parties for young folks and their families.  Adult Halloween costume parties have become very popular. Families and friends get together, eat, drink, laugh at costumes, tell jokes while sharing bountiful treats.

I muse…a young Halloween memory.  No welcoming light on by the front door-no “treat” sometimes earned a “trick.”  Years ago, during adolescence…a school chum decided this situation required a “trick” and dumped a bag of cow dung (from a friend’s farm) on the house’s front porch. (Hey! It was bagged!)   

Teenagers often decided to join the free candy tour and stuffed pillows in the front of their jeans, donned flannel shirts and a full-face mask and carried home a bag of candy bars. (Yes, regular size Hershey and other brand name bars.)

Unfortunately, we now live in more troubling times including the past two years of coping with the Covid-19 pandemic, but Halloween, remains a favorite October celebration. A reminder:

SAFETY FIRST was a program I initiated for a former employer many years ago and is applicable to young children roaming around in darkening skies. Remember: young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult carrying flashlights to prevent accidents on darkened porches and streets. All treats should be checked before eating and always be aware of your environment.


Posted by: penpatience | August 31, 2022

INSPIRATION! OH, Where OH Where have you been?

WRITERS WORDS: “I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.” – Francoise Sagan


INSPIRATION! OH, Where OH Where have you been!


Writing is a job. Writing is hard work. Writing, like any profession, has its good days, bad days and stuck in the muck days.  Your computer in-box becomes the expedient communication to the fate of your latest project. “Thank you for your interest in our publication. However, this piece is not a “fit” for us currently, etc. etc. etc.  Rejections are usually nicely verbalized.

I note writers do not become writers. They are writers and most writers continue to write despite the trials and tribulations within everyday life. As F. Sagan mentioned in the above quotation, writers must experience life if we are to write and write well.

Our lives are filled with experiences that have potential to fuel imagination and stoke creativity.  Running into an old friend in the super unseen for years, catching up with a shared past. A hair-raising scare from childhood that keeps surfacing when least expected.  Memories- the happy, the weird, the painful, the comical, and a perhaps a shameful secret may contribute to composites or unique character traits in story protagonists.

Inspiration can be a fickle friend. Sometimes a memory, a character surfaces and words tumble out on the page. Other times, a days’ work hits the trash bin.  I muse…for me, as perhaps other writers, the enforced and lengthy claustrophobia caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on my writing. I was not out and about seeing and having new life experiences that often trigger projects. I was not sitting at a favorite shop drinking coffee and people watching, a favorite writing pastime. A short story mystery attempt sat on the kitchen table for months with only a page or two added and later edited out. I missed the personal rapport with people and friends that the Covid pandemic curtailed for a too lengthy time.

I muse… There are ways and means of recovering lost inspiration. I believe most writers have personal methods that often work for them.

Here are a few inspirational thoughts:

·       Take a walk, listen to music, allow your mind to relax and wander. Sometimes, a new thought or solution surfaces.

·       Leave a writing project(s) close by-on the kitchen table, by the computer, at your desk.  You may be annoyed when you pass by these reminders, but other times you may pick up pen or pencil and begin to edit, erase, rewrite, etc. 😊

·       Never leave home without a paper pad and pen!  Carry them in a purse/pocket, in the car, by your bed, at your desk/computer, etc. Do I dare say on vacation! You never know when or where Inspiration will grab you by the throat!

·       Read favorite and new authors.  Reading and enjoying other writers’ prose, may inspire a “can do” inspirational effort.

I recently found in a library book sale an inspirational book for writers. “A Cup of Comfort for Writers,” a national bestselling series edited by Colleen Sell, is filled with inspirational stories that celebrate the literary life. Perhaps reading other writer stories may motivate and inspire you.

It did me!

“The one talent that’s indispensable to a writer is persistence.” – Tom Clancy




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