Category Archives: Writing

In the Zone!

I recently attended my first Zoom Writers’ Conference and I recall one writer’s comment while speaking to the audience. She mentioned that she reread something that she had written and could not believe that she had actually written it!

I also revisited one of my first books, Traveling Streams: A Reflective Journey and some of the writings are over twenty years old. I sat at the lake and reread my own writings and like her, I was entertained as if I was experiencing this for the first time. I inaudibly asked, “Did I write this?” Then, I thought, “I must have really been in the zone!”

I relived each setting and scene that I described in the book as I was reconnected with those events from the past. As the dots connected like points in a maze, I silently bowed my head with a host of affirmative yeps, amens and checks as I agreed with every word.

When we successfully capture what occurred while inviting others in to take a vicarious excursion with us, then we have truly written from memory and recollection. In a trance-like state, we have unleashed our trains of thought and filled up the page with choice words.

If we are lucky, others have packed their bags and traveled with us while we were deeply transfixed on our intentions. They were both mesmerized and entertained and we as writers have found our purpose as we shared while in the zone!

Lynn M.

December 12, 2020

Writing Woes

Years ago, I read and taught Anne Bradstreet’s poem called The Author to her Book.  A friend had taken her work and had it published unbeknownst to her.  She compared it to sending a child out of the house with tattered, torn clothes or something similar.

I can totally relate to her woes as a self-published author.  After many years of rejections from traditional publishers, I was so excited when self-publishing hit the publishing scene.  A dear cousin tested the waters while having her own memoirs published.  Thus, she introduced me to Trafford Publishing, and I now have over eleven works completed through them.

But, using the newly coined phrase, “Here’s the deal.”  Rather than having loads and loads of notes stuffed here, there, and everywhere, this format allows me to put my writings in a book format.  And yes, I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, but at least my sacred ideas are safely stored for those who come behind me.

I recently embarked on a new endeavor and tried my hand at a more historical work.  I wanted to finish some biographical sketches that my mother had started about some of her family members.  I had notes and little slips of paper, tucked in all types of spaces and places from interviews with loved ones over the decades.

So, I embarked on this herculean feat.  I write in longhand.  Then, I do my own data-entry or type as they used to say back in the day.  And though I try to catch the typos, some still appear.  It is an imperfect life that we live.

Also, with this project, there are almost 200 images and I had to put on my media specialist hat and manipulate and touch up the images that family members sent me.  Yesterday, the eBook appeared and yes, I see its blemishes.  The errors stick out in my mind and I feel quite like Anne Bradstreet.

Yet, unapologetically, here it is with all its imperfections.  As in any race, it is a start.  And the young-uns coming behind me can polish it as they run their own races because they now have a leg up from my writing of By Way Of?  Tracing the Johnson, Cooper, Cummings, Matthews and Dixon Families.

Lynn M.                                                                                       October 24, 2020

The Theater of Good Writing

curtian call

I just read a book called Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and I could not put it down!  I stayed up well past my bedtime to see who had killed the narrator’s older sister.  The beginning of a well-written book is comparable to the opening of the curtains of a highly-acclaimed play at a theater. Both must draw the audience in quickly and keep them engaged to be considered top-notch writing.

Good writers and playwrights have the ability to take us on excursions into another place and time.  They can keep us spellbound by the descriptive scenes, choice of words and make us care about the welfare of the characters.

When we have read or heard that last line, we silently push back and pause as if we have completed a hearty meal. We become quietly reflective and a thousand what-if’s race through our minds. Good writers reveal life’s beauty in spite of its many imperfections.

Ingredients such as an irresponsible wealthy family, clandestine affairs, murder and suicide will definitely keep those fingers rapidly turning pages or keep audiences sitting on the edges of their seats.

Sometimes, the entire tale is spilled out in the book or on stage, but often there are those soft innuendos that leave blanks and questions. Those unknowns can become the meat of great book club discussions because life can be seen from so many slants and points of view.  Sometimes, it is what was not said that says the most.

Ernest Hemingway said, “In order to write about life first you must live it.”  William Kent Krueger has obviously seen life up close and felt it personally because his writing was like witnessing a great play.

Lynn M.                                                                                  September  16, 2017

Inspired to Write?

ink pen

Writers, what inspires you?  What makes you pick up a pen or pull out a laptop?  Many things inspire me.  It can be the singing of the birds, the laughter or tears of a child, the rising or setting of the sun or some lyrics or special tune. Or, inspiration may come from conversations with newly acquired friends or from fond remembrances of old acquaintances.

I personally feel that writers need a muse. They need something or someone who piques their interest and heightens certain emotions.  Then, ideas began to flow onto the paper or computer screen. During the overflow of ideas, many of life’s past situations come forth to aid in clearly telling the tale.

Writers may have to take a host of positive traits seen in others and bundle them to create one likeable character or use a composite of adverse attributes to develop that not-so-likeable character.  Yet something has to impress the writer’s consciousness so that they will start a new project because writing itself is no easy task.

Writers can peer into a glass darkly and see the light that others simply cannot detect.  They have great imaginations which often hinge on speaking to the unvoiced emotions of others. Their art awakens those identifiable feelings in its readers though they may not have been spoken. That is the link! That is the voice!  Mostly, that is the hook!

I would venture to say that writers need a muse. They need some form of inspiration that sparks that flame. Then they can write something which will take others along for an unforgettable and vicarious experience.

Writers, “What inspires you?”


Lynn M.                                                                                                         August 5, 2017


Where do you write?

Writing 2 7-7

Do you have a specific place where you jot down your ideas?  Some writers dutifully write at their desks and tap out what they need to put down.  Ideally, this is perfect, but sometimes my ideas will not wait until I reach that designated writing space.

While driving, my ideas may start to flow.  I have had to pull over to a safe spot and capture them before they evaporated into thin air.  Or, I have conducted a quick map search to locate the closest public library.  I’ve gone inside, found a big sturdy table and wrote until I had no more to say at that point. On planned writing days, I often drive to the lakefront and write in my car or write while I sit close to the water while listening to the calming waves.

Writing is a solitary enterprise and the slightest disruption can sometimes halt the entire process.  But good writers can tune out a lot of things.  Actually voices, laughter or men working can serve as incentives. Those sounds can act as a backdrop to life’s movements and contribute to describing a scene.

Like prayer, there is nothing neither boastful nor showy about the writing process.  The Bible speaks of the hypocrisy of public prayer and how men should not pray ‘to be seen of men.’  Most writers write out of the view of others and many live like hermits  They want to share their final products with the world, but the actual process is often done in private hovels.

The writer just needs to empty the mind of those dammed up ideas and let them flow out into the universe.  Sometimes it can wait until a specific place is reached but the overflow can happen anywhere. Those ideas are like jumping fish and the net has to be flung or cast out to catch as many of them as possible. Otherwise, some other writer may be the first to put them in a more marketable form.

Where do you write?

Lynn M.                                                                                                     July 8, 2017