welcome readers & writers! in this cyber space please find: + a photo writing prompt + a place to post your creative writing response (poem, memoir, short story or the like) to the prompt + a community of readers and fellow writers excited to read your writing + morsels of genuine fiction, poetry & creative non-fiction as the blog is updated. share a response as often as you'd like. everyday discoveries from my life, captured on film, will serve as prompts. this is not a place where we will critique one another's work; however, words of encouragement or praise for writers who share their work are most welcome. writers, share your story, poem or creative non-fiction response to the photo by clicking on comments; word count is flexible. cheers! demery

Friday, February 11, 2011


welcome, readers & writers. thank you for stopping by!
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writers, care to join me for a writing warm up using the photo above as inspiration? share your short story, poetic or creative non-fiction response by clicking on comments below. readers, comments are open to you as well! see below for my non-fiction response to the photo.
The year I graduated from college, a friend and mentor gave be the book A Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburgh. Written on a solitary writing retreat in a simple cottage by the sea, the book of essays is abundant with wisdom about life and relationships; each chapter is inspired by a different element of the seashore ~ shells, waves, gulls, sand, etc. One insight that has stayed closely with me all these years is the metaphor she drew between relationships and tides. There is a natural ebb and flow to all relationships, she believes. At times the tide is in and the relationship is marked by abundance ~ joy, communication, affinity.  When the tide is out, and it will go out, there is distance. We often feel that distance as loss. We fear being left alone and cold and vulnerable on a washed out beach. Ms. Morrow Lindburgh sought to reframe, re-think those "tide is out" phases.
When the tide is out in a relationship, she says, it is the perfect time to explore the smooth, glossy surface of the ocean floor...  to look for treasures, the shells, clams (pearls) and starfish hidden just beneath the sand, pieces of ourselves we've never seen or have long forgotten. Trusting that the tide will indeed return, we can enjoy the solitude and time to focus on ourselves. We can wait with patience and hope and excitement for the tide to rush in again. This photo brought the beautiful wisdom of A Gift From the Sea back to me. When the world feels empty, bereft of color, we find beauty in unexpected ways. The brilliant yellow of the flower in the photo is muted, stilled. But the gorgeous, inky stain spreading out from the center of the pansy gets its moment to shine.


  1. I read A Gift From the Sea in college, and I remember being taken by the same essay, though I'm not sure I was old enough to fully appreciate it at the time. Lovely book.

    And, yes, I can see the same concept in this photo, now that you've pointed it out. Nicely done. :)


    Grew in rich ground which was
    moistened and bitched by blood
    and bodies cut from surrounding trees
    shrubbed in epithets and hatred
    wintered in silences, iced atmospheres
    tempered in falls of motley
    jazzed in births of roots
    weathered in Spring speeches
    and summer murders
    riots and freaky injustices
    enslaved and crowned
    and mixed and stirred as
    in a cauldron yet retaining
    individual characters until
    like the cultures it frothed
    in spawned forth in beauty
    of living rejoicing by
    merely and utterly

  3. I have recently gone threw a fais of reading book involving nature; both fiction,and non-fiction alike. however, i am always disappointed. In these novels the hero or heroine always walks down a mighty river and is taken by the awe and wounder of the scene. The writer tells of the the wonder and power that flows with the water, and breaths from the rocks. The hero/heroine is taken by the strength and age of a mountain or canon, and reminded of their own weakness.
    This, of course, is all very well for the hero, but what about me? I have never been to the Rocky Mountains or to the Grand Canyon, therefore i cannot possible understand what the writer is saying. I cannot feel that power and might in my back yard. But isn't it the same? Isn't it from the same Creator?
    We go about our lives and look for the great, the strong, and we often turn to Mother Nature for that. But Mother Nature is a mother, not a god, or warrior. And, to me, her greatest, and most beautiful, are the thinks we can find in any park.
    the little things.
    the delicate flowers that grow in abundance anywhere they are allowed. The peace that they bring is enough to bring tears to the eyes.
    the flower is powerful, yet it's power is in its weakness, and vulnerability.

  4. Calling all readers and writers!
    i am a 12 year old girl and i love to write! i just finished a 48,600 word novel. prob is i want to write more, but have no idea how to start! I have taken a break but i need to start again.
    My odd list of favorite books includes: Jane Eyer, The Bogart, The Enchanted Castle, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudiced, and the Harry Potter books (all)
    if you have any suggested start i would be most obliged.
    thank you

  5. Linda - Many thanks! It is interesting how Gift From the Sea, like so many other books, can be read at different stages in life and still be a gift.

    Chuck - Wow, this one is intense and beautiful. Intensely beautiful. Thank you for writing with me!

    Johnsons - Thank you for writing with me, too :) I really think you're a gifted writer and I know you're on the right track already! Like Dory in Finding Nemo, just keep swimming, er writing. I'd recommend that you read and follow the exercises in a book called The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. It will teach you a lot about creativity and discipline as a writer. Hope to read your work again soon!

  6. Johnsons - I thought about this a bit, because I have no experience with twelve year old girls, but you are pretty advanced. I suggest you jump up to your intellectual potential: E. L. Doctorow, anything by him, but especially City Of God, Loon Lake, Billy Bathgate, The Water Works and Lives Of The Poets. Jonathan Stanton Foer, whose Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is predominately written from a ten year old's POV. Carson McCullers The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe. There's a couple of months reading list that will introduce you to a great oldie, a magnificent current guy and a brand new guy, and to some of the best writing in America. Also, I recommend Francine Prose's Read Like Writer. Good luck - you're wonderful.

  7. Thank a lot. i will start as soon as i get to borders.