free the pen, a blog for writers

July 31, 2017


Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 3:21 pm

bigstock-Vogue-style-vintage-portrait-35629610 Oh, that word failure! How many times has the fear of it kept you from doing what you wanted? How has it zapped your courage? What would happen if you failed? Who would be most disappointed in you? Who would be supportive of you to keep going, try again, get back on that horse, as the saying goes? check this out:

Now, wat if you erased the words ‘failure’ and ‘success’ out of your Webster’s Dictionary. Wouldn’t life feel freer?

Keep the pen moving,



July 30, 2017

Life Raft

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:02 pm

Child Everyone needs a life raft at some point in life. When have you needed to be rescued? Who or what rescued you? What were the circumstances? How did you manage?

Keep the pen moving,


July 29, 2017

Piece of Clothing

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 12:48 pm

littleoldlady What piece of clothing would you never wear? For me, young or old, I never have and never plan to wear anything tye-died. In the 70s there were tye-died shirts, skirts, pants, nightgowns, socks, scarves, hats, gloves, even bathing suits. I never liked that look. Tye-died clothing always looked like people were wearing rags.

What piece of clothing would you never wear? Why? Did you ever wear it?

Keep the pen moving,


July 28, 2017

My Proudest Moment

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:17 pm

bachelor76 Everyone has at least one moment when they look back and swell with pride for all they have done, accomplished, given, or received. One of my moments was when I graduated with a bachelor degree in philosophy. I was 26 by the time I graduated, having given up a great paying job on Wall Street and sending my family and friends into a frenzy because, well, women in Brooklyn didn’t head into college in masses in 1976, let alone move across the country to do it. My family never forgave me and most of my friends never talked to me again. Nevertheless, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I worked and took out school loans. I lived in a house with other students to cut costs. I lived with broken flea market furniture, ate hot dogs and lipton soup, large pots of stuffed cabbage, learned to make my clothes. I was quite disappointed, to say the least, when my family did not show up for my graduation. As far as what I had to do for myself to create a new life when love failed me at 22, I regret nothing. Walking across that stage was one of my proudest moments.

So, what’s yours?

Keep the pen moving,



July 27, 2017


Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:53 pm

JanandPeter2015 What means home to you? Is it running into an old friend and sharing childhood memories, as when Peter and I met in Austin? We have known each other since we were eight and lived on the same street in Brooklyn. Is it a keepsake? Is it a photo album? Is it a feeling at Christmas or a certain kind of ice cream? Write it and let your mind and emotions flow with the pen.

Keep the pen moving,


July 26, 2017

The One That Got Away

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 2:33 pm

two brothers play in rain outdoors Sometimes people, opportunities, new life directions, and more can get away from us. Maybe you missed an opportunity to play in the rain because you thought filing papers was more important when what you really needed was fun. Maybe you broke off a romance because you were afraid of being happy. Maybe a career opportunity, the one you always wanted, showed up at your door but you let it slide by because you were afraid of making people unhappy with your happiness. What got away? Describe it in all its emotional and factual details.

Keep the pen moving,


July 25, 2017

Things I Never Told My Mother

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 2:30 pm

meandmom70s There are always those ‘things’ we don’t want to tell our mothers, especially our mothers. What things hadn’t you told your mother. What things would you still not tell your mother. Write out your narrative in as much detail, including emotional, content as possible.

Keep the pen moving,


July 24, 2017

Best Compliment

Filed under: Journal writing — freethepen @ 1:24 pm

Long Stem Red RoseWhat is the best compliment you ever got? Who said it? How old were you? Where where you? Did you have to do anything for the compliment? Did you earn the compliment? Describe it in all its details. Include place, time, emotions, repercussions, and all that is involved.

Keep the pen moving,


July 23, 2017

Tie, High Heels, Purse

Filed under: fiction — freethepen @ 1:02 pm

KODAK Digital Still Camera I like to take three unrelated items and fit them into a story. So take the items, tie, high heels, and purse and write them into a story. Write in detail. Give colors, who is wearing these items, why people are wearing these items. Set your timer and write for 20 minutes without stopping. Let your mind get used to running wild with imagination. Have fun!

Keep the pen moving,


July 22, 2017

I Look Like My Mother . . .

Filed under: memoir — freethepen @ 12:20 pm

meandmom70s “I look like my mother. . . ” starts a line in Allende’s book, Maya’s Notebook. That line brought up all sorts of emotions for me. What about you? Does that line bring up emotions for you? What are they? In what ways do you think you look like your mother? Is that a good thing or not? Write with every nuance and detail.

Keep the pen moving,


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