free the pen, a blog for writers

February 28, 2017


Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 2:24 pm

hands  Today’s topic is hands. Use your imagination. Are they your hands? A parent’s hands? A lover’s. Write about how these hands feel, what they are doing, what you think they are about to do. Write fast and wild, let your imagination have its way.

Photo is compliments of Jeanne Simonoff, a friend, a colleague writer, and a former Santa Fe neighbor. In case you haven’t heard of Jeanne, let me introduce you. Jeanne wrote
Saving Myself, sving myslf a Los Angeles Childhood. This is a fabulous memoir, in case you are looking for a good read.

Keep the pen moving,


February 27, 2017


Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 3:34 pm

As far as writing prompts go, food is a wonderful, full-bodied prompt with its many aspects such as smells, textures, tastes, colors, and visualizations, i.e., the way food can be designed on a plate to make a beautiful presentation.

And what better way to bring up family memories than write about a relative’s favorite dish or holiday meal. So, if you can’t think of anything to write about, think of your favorite home-cooked meal. I bet you won’t have any problem with that. If you do, then you can always write about its opposite: the meal I wished I had or the meal I never got to taste.

Keep the pen moving,


Jun photo compliments of Jeanne Simonoff, Santa Fe, NM


February 25, 2017

Prompts to Get You Started

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:11 pm

anduze2004    For decades now, whenever I meet someone who knows what an avid writer I am, he/she will ask me how to get started on writing stories about his/her life. I always ask what memory provokes the most emotion. When I suggest that his/her writing start there, I watch as his/her head shakes, resisting any direction to enter that place of pure honesty. I hear instead, why can’t he/she start with something that doesn’t bring up emotion. I say he/she is free to start wherever he/she wants, but just start! I make it clear that to start writing where there is heightened emotion is to start with what holds energetic memory inside the body. The body is great at holding experiences in its memory, it will reveal where lessons were abundant, or where the juice of the experience resides. Writing is a tool for healing, resolving, amending, exploring, and dropping into the true self.

If you are still mind-boggled about where to start, try “firsts” because they usually hold enough emotional and life-changing power in them to get you kick-started. So here are some prompts to take your pen to paper:

  1. your first kiss,
  2. your first date,
  3. the first time you had sex,
  4. your first job interview,
  5. your first baby,
  6. your first trauma,
  7. your first, and
  8. your first heartache.

These are some good places to begin. I do suggest that you not type your written work. Studies indicate that writing activates a different part of the brain that allows healing when you use a pen versus typing on the computer.

Keep the pen moving,


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