Posted by: penpatience | July 1, 2022

WRITER HODGEPODGE: Memories, Memoir, Miscellaneous

WRITERS WORDS: “If you don’t have time read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King



WRITER HODGEPODGE: Memories, Memoir, Miscellaneous


HODGEPODGE – “An unorganized collection or mixture of various things.” (Merriam-Webster) It’s mind-boggling. Perhaps too much “hodgepodge” instructional information, sources and resources are available for writer perusal. There are many Writer Websites (Hope Clark-Funds for Writers,) Writer Magazines (Writer’s Digest, The Writer), and educational books (Bird by Bird-Anne Lamott; On Writing Well-William Zinsser; On Writing-Stephen King) and college courses offering diversified writing opportunities.

A brief description of Memories, Memoirs and Miscellaneous:  Memories can be something triggered by daydreaming at the beach or any experience that brings a recall to mind.  A Memoir is your account of a specific event or time in your life not to be confused by a Biography where you cover a “cradle to grave” story before you say Goodbye to life. Miscellaneous is anything that inspires you to begin writing words on pad, computer or the back of your hand. Also, a negative situation such as “REJECTION” of a written piece you thought would become the next “best seller of the year.” Anything regarding the writing craft can be categorized as Miscellany.

I muse…Looking back through accumulated and overflowing files filled with writer information, early writing Memories came to mind.  After enrolling in a yearlong study program focused on short story writing, my first writing professor died before Lesson Three. What I remember is the feedback received for the first two lessons. Too many conjunctions “ands, buts, etc.” underlined. Too many “that’s. and unnecessary pronouns.”   Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. I was crushed. I continued on with the second instructor through the end of the program. Yes, there were multitudes of red pen corrections, suggestions, etc., but I successfully completed the program and shortly after published my first fiction short story. (Yay!)  Perhaps one of the best tidbits of advice received from a now deceased professor/author was: “throw your English teacher under the bus – go with your creativity gut. Just write what your senses tell you, what you feel, see, hear, smell and even fantasize about.”

Love Apples,” a short Memoir I wrote for a former Women’s Memoir publication contest (2012) requiring a recipe was one of twenty-five winners. An excerpt: “Mom was up with our rooster’s crow every morning getting Dad off to work and four kids off to school. Many mornings the scent of fresh baking wafted through the kitchen-a baked muffin or other goodie was in the oven. I could smell the apples and cinnamon from the hallway upstairs on the morning an apple crisp was baking. Still warm, Mom cut pieces from the pan; flipped the pieces over so the baked apples were on top and crumbled crust on the bottom. Pouring fresh cream over the apples, we ate a tasty and healthful breakfast before we walked to school. As I recall, Mom baked from scratch with all fresh ingredients. We were lucky kids.” 

My mother, now deceased, believed food was more than just sustenance, and her Apple Crisp was a gift that kept on giving through three generations.

Aah!  Miscellaneous stuff affects writers. Writers experience daily emotional elations, traumas and disappointments.  A writer’s day may be fraught with both positive and negative turmoil. Rejection of a submission, creativity droughts that attack without notice and the days page(s) end up in the waste basket. A half-written story lays on the desk and needs to be rewritten or tossed. Days when the words just won’t flow. And…then, when you least expect it, you pour a favorite beverage or take a leisurely walk, your mind relaxes and creative juices flow again.  I agree with one of my favorite authors, Stephen King (I’ve read all his books). Since childhood, I’ve been a reader and the more you read, the more you appreciate other authors’ successes and learn from them. I believe, every read book contributes to writer creativity. A writer’s learning curve is long and, perhaps, never over.

A Literary Miss    by Oliver Marble

There once was a lit’rary miss;

And all that she needed for bliss

Was some ink and a pen,

Reams of paper, and then

Thirty days to describe half a kiss.

Read On!       Write on!




  1. Hi Frances! I love all your musings but this one was especially wonderful! So full of information and good advice! You reminded me to finish reading Stephen King’s On Writing! To Keep on Writing! Thank you!


  2. Pat, so great to hear from you. You made my day. Yes, I have copy of King’s “OnWriting” and continue to read it on and off. Happy Reading and Writing. Be well. Frances


  3. Very good!👏🏻 Oh the fond memories that shape us and delight us.
    Apple crisp and a cup of coffee is a great way to start the day. 😉☕️


  4. I enjoyed this post! I like your professor’s advice to go flow of your creative instincts. I think the magic is in the miscellaneous, those daily tidbits we leave on our plate sometimes as we take the present moments for granted.


    • Thank you for following Pen and Patience. I truly appreciated your comments on our mutual writing crafts.
      Best wishes, Frances

      Liked by 1 person

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