Posted by: penpatience | June 1, 2019


WRITERS WORDS: “Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about.” – Cec Murphy

NOTE: “Banjo Man, my fiction short story has been published in the May 10, 2019 edition of Page & Spine Fiction showcase ( and is available for reading.



Learning and continuing to read throughout life is not only educational, but an enjoyable and enriching pastime. Reading fiction, non-fiction in all genres opens our minds to unknown joys, traumas, hardships, historical happenings and just about any topic that comes to mind. A wise woman, my Mother, often reiterated to her children “if you can read you can learn and do anything.”

Readers witness other people’s life journeys by reading Memoirs written by existing and former notables along with many other individuals willing to share their stories. Historical non-fiction books reminds readers of eras past and scientific discoveries affecting our futures. There is so much history to read on past and future developments within our world. Geographical changes, slavery, past conflicts and wars, the settlements of pioneers forging west in covered wagons, the first “horseless carriage” giving way to today’s myriad international car manufacturers. Earlier eras, life expectancies were short due to unidentified diseases and various types of hardships. Today, life spans have lengthened and improved due to scientific discoveries and technological advances making everyday life easier. There is a non-fiction publication for just about every topic of interest.  Reading fiction, whether it’s short stories, novellas, novels in paperbacks or hard-cover books, transports us away from everyday routines as we lose ourselves in romances, mysteries and thrillers that leave us relaxed and breathless as we turn the pages. And then, there are Magazines, so many print and online publications today.  There’s the AARP filled with all types of valuable information for folks over the age of fifty. Magazine topics abound-sports, gardening, home improvement, hunting, fishing, cooking and writing– too many topics to name here. Self-help books are many. I especially like the “For Dummies” books. When you need How-To information most likely there will be a “For Dummies” book that will teach you how to do it. Online opportunities for reading and learning are just a Google and You Tube away. I muse and believe, for writers, the more we read the better we write.

I’m a believer that reading subliminally expands a writer’s vocabulary. When we read many different authors’ published work, we learn different successful writing styles and character developments and very often words that send us to dictionary and thesaurus to check them out. Sometimes we even fall in love with specific words and want to use them, perhaps, too often. Years ago I discovered two words –promulgate and extraneous and just liked the way these two words rolled off my tongue. So far, I have not used them in story, but feel comfortable and have used promulgate a few times within my Musings. (Yes, they are darlings and I often think of Stephen King when I kill them when appropriate.)

So….what if you’re not a voracious reader! What if you just want to sit down and begin writing? Well….Would you jump in the lake before you learned how to swim?  🙂

The writing craft is a learned craft like many others. You sink (rejections) or swim (acceptances). Instruction, Study and Education are key elements within the writing curve. I believe success in writing is determined by dedication to learning the craft for optimization of results. Over time, I’ve accumulated many resources I have found helpful in continuing to swim in the writing lake: (a few listed below)

The Writer’s Digest- May/June, 2019 Issue–“The 21st Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers.(

Hope Clark’s-Funds for Writers Web Site:
The Kill Zone:

Jane Friedman’s site and newsletters:

My favorite writer magazines: Writer’s Digest; The Writer; Poets & Writers and the online Authors Publish.

As a wise mother once said, “If you can read you can learn and do anything.”

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads!


  1. Excellent as usual, Frances! I like to read books written by authors who write the way I would like to write!


    • Thanks, Pat. I find I love the library book sales. I find authors I haven’t read before and look forward to reading them. Best wishes, Frances


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