A Wordsmith Studio Homecoming


Three years ago this month, with a touch of amusement and curiosity, I committed to participating in a Writers Platform Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer (Writer’s Digest/Poetic Asides) on his My Name is Not Bob blog. I remember the month as a whirlwind of online activity. Truly, at the time, all I knew how to do online was search, email, and Facebook. Daily, Robert walked us through how to set up a blog, how to join Linked In, how to participate in a Twitter chat, how to think like a writer, and  . . . basically anything and everything else we needed to know about branding and connecting as writers.

(I like to kid that it’s Not Bob’s fault that I’m addicted to social media.)

Out of that challenge arose Wordsmith Studio, an online writer’s group. We share information, host weekly Twitter chats, challenge each other, critique each other’s manuscripts, cheer each other’s victories, and lament the defeats. Many of us have forged friendships and met in person. I love our bantering about pantsers and liners. I love the easy-going sass and wit. I love that there is always someone to kiss our boo boos then tell us to get back on the horse.

For me personally, in the past three years I have had dozens of poems published, finished one novel, began a chapbook, began taking copyediting classes, and created a handful of websites and blogs for myself and others including my church and a few businesses.

This is something I never thought I’d be able to do. Nobody else knows more than me how technically inept I am. (I had to get today’s PAD prompt in there!)

But, without Not Bob’s challenge, I’d would have never known what I could do. So, I want to take this moment to personally thank him.

And to thank all my Wordsmith Studio partners and friends.

Three years down.

Here’s to thirty more!

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Virtual Blog Tour Stop Over

The tour requests to Land


The virtual blog tour has a layover at Writing on the Sun today.

I was invited by Michelle Pond, my pal poet from MA Poet (FocusinI Keep You With Meg on life with a lens and a verse.) Michelle is in my writing group, Wordsmith Studio.

What I appreciate about her poetry is that she is not afraid to delve into difficult subjects.

Her chapbook, I Keep You With Me, attests to her skill at writing about grief.

Click to purchase her chapbook for .99 on your Kindle or Kindle for PC. You’ll understand what I mean.


Welcome to Writing on the Sun

The tour is simple. It is really just a series of three questions that I answer and then I send the tour on its way.

1. Why do I write what I do?

Easy Peasy.

As it pertains to this blog, poetry is how I connect, explore, and sort life.

Also, I think in verse. Which sometimes makes it hard to write in sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. But, that won’t stop me from . . .  (see #3b.)

2. How does my writing process work?


If I’m creating plot, characterization, or “what ifs,” I  play inside that sand box in the mornings and in the wee hours of the night.

If I’m editing, that waits until the afternoon.

If I’m doing something visual, (see answer #3c) that’s a evening/night thing.

However, interspersed between creative spurts, I dabble in my research to reset my brain. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. Truthfully, research is my Achilles heal in that I grab both achilles heals and disappear in that rabbit hole faster than a March Hare.

A right and left brain phenomenon? I don’t know. It just works that way with me.

Got it?


Neither do I. Sometimes the order flip flops. With no warning. It’s quite unnerving to wake up with my face in (see #3c) and go to sleep with my brain in 3b mode, which aggravates my insomniac sleeping patterns.

3. What am I working on?

a. I began a new blog awhile back. The Slow Forget. I pass on info about Dementia and then sometimes I write a poem about my mom’s journey in that neverland of memory. I’m interested in utilizing Nina Amir’s method of Blogging a Book. But, not sure how to approach it yet.

b. I’m tidying up my first novel. It is still to be determined if it ever sees the light of day. Beta reader is reading. (I think) I’m toying with the synopsis still but with trepidation cuz if Beta says story stinks, then I need a total revamp of story and synopsis, which is almost as difficult to write as story itself. Then I need to decide if money is important because I may need to hire an editor. But, already, the new WIP has some traction. This time I’m going to use Scrivener to write it so I’m watching the How-to videos to learn.

c. I’m taking a more serious interest in Visual Poetry. Actually, it’s something I’ve toyed with for a long time but just now am roaming the literary journals to begin submitting some of the my work. If I get bit by the brave bug, I’ll post some here.

d.The other thing I do is read. And read. And read. I decided I read so much that I became a professional reader on NetGalley, which really means I am privileged to read advanced copies of books and write reviews. For fun.

Tickets! please take my tickets!

I’m offering free tickets to the blog tour to the following writers, who are also members of Wordsmith Studio. Please stop over at their place for some tea and pleasant reading.

Gerry Wilson

Gerry W

Gerry Wilson is a fiction writer, wife, mother of four sons, grandmother seven times over (four boys and three girls), and step-grandmom to three more boys, including a set of fraternal twins.

A life-long Mississippian, Gerry’s work is sometimes “Southern,” but not always. Her short fiction has appeared in Prime Number Magazine Volumes 19 and 37, Prime Number Editors’ Choice Anthology 2012, Good Housekeeping Magazine, and a number of other journals and magazines. The opening chapter of a novel, Spirit Lamp, won a “best of” award in Jane Hamilton’s fiction workshop at Eckerd College’s Writers in Paradise (2011). Besides Ms. Hamilton, Gerry has studied fiction writing with Antonya Nelson, Ann Hood, Connie May Fowler, Dorothy Allison, and Ron Hansen. She’s currently querying her second novel, working on a third, and polishing up a short story collection.

Gerry and her husband live in Jackson, Mississippi, with their neurotic Siamese cat, Oliver.

To learn more about her, visit The Writerly Life and her writer’s page on Facebook. Her Twitter handle is @gerrywil.

Elissa Field


Elissa Field lives in Florida where she where she balances her time as a busy writer, teacher and mother of two sons. She has had short fiction published in venues including Conjunctions online. She is seeking an agent for her first novel, while at work finishing a second, and often shares writing resources, posts on process and reading lists at her blog. Her Twitter handle is @elissafield


6 a.m. and still no coffee

This week at Wordsmith Studio we’re cranking our brains. (just a little bit because this week is just too busy to do much else.)

The premise: The first Thanksgiving in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest.

The lesson:  But, did you know the phrase “to give thanks,” is from the same root as “think?” So, in essence, the word Thanksgiving is a THOUGHT and EXPRESSION of thanks.

The prompt: There are 370 words that can be created from the word Thanksgiving, not including proper names. THINK of eight and then write your giblets off.


6 a.m. and no coffee

Resting at my morning round table
Tending to the schooled knights of old
Thinking the giant thoughts of saints
Inking last minute history essays
Brain crumbling into ash

Writers Tell All

Secrets revealed.

I have been nominated by my pal and blogger extraordinaire  Carol Cooney (from my writer’s group Wordsmith Studio) to be part of the “Writers Tell All blog hop. Thank you,  Carol!

Participants are asked to answer three questions and then nominate three others.

What are you working on?

My first big reveal. This poetry gig doesn’t pay. It’s one of my creative outlets. I’m addicted to the mysteries of poetry. Yet, I firmly believe creating poetry is THE best way to learn how to write with intention, to write tightly, and to choose words carefully. I have a few other projects taking shape outside of the poetry world. One of my WIP’s is a novel. I was labeling it a dramady.  I guess “they” call it upmarket. So, since “they” know more than I do, I’ll go with their label. It’s in the revision stage right now.

My second WIP— I’m creating a program for writers and non-writers alike to assist them in uncovering their own valuable unique voice. I’ve learned a few things after reading books, magazines, etc. for the past five decades. Too many authors/writers box themselves into tones and styles of writing that sound more like robotic mirroring of text book prose or they “steal” a style from another author or they are simply afraid. Their writing doesn’t reflect their own selves, their personalities, their experiences and I feel they are doing the world and themselves a disservice by copying or hiding their Voice.  I’m considering Blogging the Book.

The third WIP is the brand spanking new website to reflect these WIP’s. I should just call it WIP in Action. But, “they” say I need to use my own name as a domain. So, that’s that.

How does your writing process work?

Different parts of the brain get fired up during different phases of writing so I don’t have a set process each day. Yet, I can say, I balance midway between being a pantser and an outliner when it comes to writing the story. I don’t need to wait for inspiration. After a brief prayer, I just write.  If I get stuck it’s usually because I need some filling—some aesthetic therapy. Or a Coke. Editing is another ball game. It’s taxing. It’s like molding plywood into the shape of a body. It’s puzzling. And seems impossible. But, when it finally takes shape, it’s satisfying.

Some people swear by writing morning pages as suggested and taught by Julia Cameron. I don’t. I feel like I need to write from within the tension. Perhaps writing poetry is my version of morning pages.

One more thing, I read more about the craft and business of writing than I do actually writing.

Who are authors you most admire?

Steinbeck has always been my favorite. I can’t write like him. I haven’t yet learned how to dig deep into the vulnerabilities of characters and present them as real people as he does. There are numerous other writers I admire for different reasons: F. Scott Fitzgerald, C.S. Lewis, Willa Cather, Cormac Mccarthy, Daphne du Maurier, Maurice Sendak, Tomie dePaola, Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Kingsolver, etc.

My nominations for Writers Reveal oops  . . . Writers Tell All are:

1. Paul Ellis We need to hear more from our guy writers at Wordsmith Studio.

2. Dana Dampier at Crazy Poetic Life I’m pretty sure if I was caring for three little boys, my poems would end up like sounding like Spaghetti O’s and Jello. Hers don’t.

3. Kris Swanguarin at Milk of Moonlight  Now that Kris is a metal head, it’s time to learn if that helps or hinders his writing.

Write ON!!!

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A poem in love




the marriage of our silent saturnine moods.
between the first goodnight kiss
and the final brush of breath
eyelash to eyelash
till death do us


Wordsmith Studio Poetry Prompt: Love

Chasing the moon

Early evening
escape into the bleak of sorrows.

The gentle drift of inky sky,
the whinny of the horses at my back,


the cold slap of late spring upon my cheeks
as the blurring of the day


I find myself
chasing the moon
instead of sorrow.



Wordsmith Studio photo prompt:
The Moon

Oh, how I wish I had a real camera!
These were taken on my Iphone and
spruced up using PhotoStudio.

Do you have any great shots of the moon
and what photo editing source do you