• Op-Ed: Everything Sucks

    By on July 10, 2022 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments Comments Off on Op-Ed: Everything Sucks
    Jul
    10

    There’s a scene in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road where “the man” finds some slow-flowing water. In this dry and ashy post-apocalyptic landscape, it’s a potentially life-saving discovery. I pictured myself diving headlong into the water, splashing around and taking immoderate, choking gulps and probably screaming and peeing from the excitement and relief. But the man is more measured: “He got a cloth from the cart and a plastic jar and came back and wrapped the cloth over the mouth of the jar and sank it in the water and watched it fill.” Then he holds the water to the sunlight: “It didn’t look too bad.” The man and his son, “filtering the ash from the water,” drink until they’re full.

    Nearly subconsciously I looked around for something to write with, wanting to scribble a note, something like “filter water through a cloth!”

    It struck me then: Though I’d started this book out of obligation (Yak Babies group discussion, episode TK) and hoping for entertainment and escape, by the end I was reading for tips. For prep. You know, for the coming dystopia.

    When The Road came out in 2006, the kind of future the man and his son roam through felt far off, kept away by a long line of horrifying but foundationally stable dominos.

    Here in 2022 that future feels much nearer. read more

    Prompt: “All sorrows can be borne”

    By on March 19, 2022 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 14 comments
    Mar
    19

     

    Writing Prompt: Write a response to the following line from Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen): “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” If you’d like to share — and we hope you will! — post it in the comments below.

     

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    Your Best 2021 Writing Experience

    By on February 19, 2022 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 23 comments
    Feb
    19

     

    Discussion question: What was your best 2021 writing experience? That one particular day when every word was the right word? That time the walls came down and you wrote your way through a problem that had been nagging at you for months or years? Or when your writing and the environment in which you wrote combined to form a memorable experience? Let us hear about it in the comments.

     

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    Your Best 2021 Reading Experience

    By on January 22, 2022 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 31 comments
    Jan
    22

     

     

    Discussion question: What was your best 2021 reading experience? When timing, environment, and the book itself came together in a memorable way? read more

    Prompt: In 2021, I; In 2022, I

    By on January 1, 2022 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 49 comments
    Jan
    1

     

     

    Writing Prompt: Fill in the blanks: “In 2021 I ______” and “In 2022 I ______.” Your responses do not have to be about writing & reading! Take it where you want it to go; let it take you wherever it wants you to go. read more

    The Writer’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

    By on December 18, 2021 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 37 comments
    Dec
    18

     

     

    Discussion question: Help us build the writer’s ultimate holiday gift guide. What are the best literary gifts you’ve ever given or received? 

     

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    Prompt: Hurts, Hearts, Keep Going

    By on December 4, 2021 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 28 comments
    Dec
    4

     

     

    Discussion question: This week we welcome two new writing coaches! For a prompt, write a response to one of the following pieces of writing advice offered by Tariq and Darcie: 1) Write what hurts most; 2) Keep going; 3) Ask yourself what the story is doing in the reader’s heart.

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    Prompt: All the Places You’ve Written

    By on November 13, 2021 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 26 comments
    Nov
    13

     

     

    Discussion questions: This week I want us to take a look at some of the memorable places we’ve written, whether they’re former favorite writing spots or one-time stolen moments during our travels, or even during our everyday lives. Write about the places you’ve written! And like last time, feel free to share a photo. read more

    Prompt: Your Writing Space

    By on October 30, 2021 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 48 comments
    Oct
    30

     

     

    Discussion question: This week’s post is a simple prompt: Write about your writing space. And share a photo with us!

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    Prompt: Your Last 10 Words

    By on October 3, 2021 Posted in ABCs of Writing     Comments 42 comments
    Oct
    3

    Discussion questions: Not a question, but write a story or poem or *something* using the last five to ten words you’ve looked up on your dictionary app or online or, if you can remember, in your actual dictionary. (If you don’t have such a log, you can use my words.) Also, share with us why you looked up these words, if there’s an interesting reason.

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