Ending on a Serious Note – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day thirty-one and our final day of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is write.

Ask a writer why they write and you will likely get a somewhat different answer from every person. Within those answers, however, is often a common thread. Writers are driven to write.

Someone asked me if blogging was really writing. Questions like that have an undertone. I have noticed a similar undertone with questions concerning various genres of writing. As if somehow, what a person chooses to write is in some way not ‘real writing’. Then there are the other questions and accusing observations. “Would I know something you’ve written?” “Oh, you self-published (with the eye roll).” “Can’t anyone have a blog?” “Have you written a real book?”

Today as we wrap up this month of prompt writing, I want to thank Linda Hill. Year after year she tirelessly sponsors this challenge and I am always amazed as she is one busy woman, mother, writer, and editor. This year this challenge has inspired me in a way I hope will be revealed as the year progresses. Thank you, Linda!

I want to thank all the bloggers I follow. I wish you knew how many times I refer to something you have written. You are carried into my daily conversations. I frequently speak of the things I have learned from you. I have held positive thoughts for you. I have shared your successes and your stumbles. I have laughed and cried with you. I have prayed for you. You may write in isolation but your are read surrounded by the world!

The same holds true for those who follow and comment on my blog. We have developed relationships. You have expressed your caring for me, my family, and my words. You have encouraged me to continue to write – even if it is just a blog 🙄.

So, thank you all for writing. For allowing me a glimpse of who you are. Thank you for sharing your world, your culture, and your writing. I carry your words with me more than you may have realized.

I want to close with this delicious Ray Bradbury quote. This is what I wish for you.

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” 

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (write) submitted by Linda herself from Life in Progress.


Wriiting Conundrum – Names

Over the last few weeks I have felt compelled to write a short story. All I can think of is the name Meredith. I was curious so I checked the SSA database to see how the popularity of the name had changed over time. (Yes, I can have nerdy tendencies.)

The name Meredith was most popular in 1981. I never knew anyone with this name. I can only think of two celebrities with the name – Meredith Baxter Birney and Merdith MacRae both born in the 1940s.

So why this name? For some unknown and seemingly disconnected reason, I browsed through the short fiction pieces I have posted on my blog this morning. I have used the name Meredith in at least four or five fiction pieces I have written. I find that odd, especially realizing I did not remember ever using the name.

Have you ever experienced something similar? Do the same names, places, or situations frequently surface in your writing? Do you have a mechanism to track characters you write about? I know some writers use spreadsheets. I fear I am not that organized!


One Liner Wednesday and #JusJoJan – On Writing

When I do not believe in the characters someone writes about, I will not go along for the ride. When I know immediately where the writer is going, I will move on rather than visiting somewhere I’ve already been. It’s time time to start a new book.

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
Stephen King

The first book, the one that swept me away, the one that inspired me to write was Charlotte’s Web. Do you remember yours?

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill. Pop over, check out the rules, and join in!


If I Could Speak as Easily as I Write

A few months ago when I was struggling with vertigo, I tried to use my voice-to-text feature on my computer to write. It was an excellent idea that failed miserably. Picking up a pen or putting my hands on the keyboard has a tactile quality important to my writing.

I wonder if it is muscle memory, or perhaps that nanosecond pause shifting the signal from my brain to my fingertips that makes the difference. My mother always said “think before you speak”. I think she had a point.

I can speak in public — larger groups are better for me than intimate groups. Public speaking is a bit of an out-of-body experience. I remember the first major corporate project I ran. I was asked to speak to the board in the board room.

The board room was hallowed ground. To speak there was either an honored invitation or a dreaded summons. Being part of the IT department, I was there often establishing video conferences in days when that was a huge and expensive proposition. But to speak was an entirely different animal.

I received a number of kudos that day and I did not understand it really. I remember speaking, but it was more like me watching a movie of someone else talking. Our board president told me I was in the wrong business, that I should be in front of people speaking. His comment floored me. A career involving public speaking would never have interested me.

I have done some voice-to-text writing since then, but my enunciation seems to trip the programming up. Back in those corporate days we implemented voice recognition software for a voice response unit we were testing. Local dialogue differences (this was Maine with heavy New England accents) often tripped up the software. The technology has come a long way.

Writing has always been the easier path for me. The technology allowing people to write through voice is amazing and such a valuable tool.

I am not giving up yet. I will continue to try it – and maybe improve my lazy enunciation.


Interesting Writing Prompt

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Every day I receive a text with a writing prompt from author Patti Digh. I do not write from them every day, instead choosing only to write those that I find have an unusual challenge. Such was the case today:

”You have been asked to write a description of one of your favorite paintings for a blind audience.”

In thinking of a few of my favorite paintings, it is not simply what you see in the painting but how it makes you feel. Can I successfully convey the feeling?  I will be back later with the description and then a photo of the painting I chose. I suppose it will be up to my readers if I was successful.

Feel free to join in. You can link back to this post if you are interested in stretching your creative muscle.