Red Letter Day

Today has been a true RED LETTER DAY. Although I read blogs by the hour and follow a long list regularly, I've resisted the temptation to list every interesting blog I read in the sidebar. When I began this blog, I defined a purpose: all content, whether links or posts, must relate directly to lifestory writing, providing inspiration or instruction to help readers write extraordinary stories about their lives and experiences.

Throughout the fifteen months of this blog's life I've had my eyes open for links to other blogs and websites with related material. I determined to list only blogs
focused consistently and directly on writing instruction. Until a couple of weeks ago, I was unable to find such blogs. Then I found The Grammar Police, which you've heard about in a couple of posts.

Today, through a series of synchronistic links, I came across not one, but three additional links. You'll find them all in the links list on the sidebar. The first is Terrisa Meeks’ blog, Just Write. Terrisa has lots of great prompts, book reviews and other
helpful material for lifestory writers and memoirists.

The next blog I encountered,
Red Ravine, is unusual. All of the posts on this multi-author blog originated as Writing Practice, also known as timed writing. This practice was first described by Natalie Goldberg in her 1986 classic book, Writing Down the Bones, which went on to become the best-known book about writing ever published. She revised the book in 2005. For an explanation of Writing Practice, click over to Red Ravine and select the Writing Practice tab at the top. Read some of the posts while you're at it.

Finally, for those moments when you feel stuck, and those times when you want a fresh idea for Writing Practice, find the link in the sidebar and click over to Creative Writing This innovative site has only one page, filled with numbers, from 1 to 236. Hold your mouse over any number and a writing prompt pops up. Fortunately, the prompts are short and easily remembered, because you can't copy and paste them.

It may or may not be a coincidence that I just began rereading Writing Down the Bones last night after a dozen years or so. I liked the book the first time, and it's even better now. If this is the sort of writing one can do as the result of a faithful regimen of Writing Practice, I'm sold. I just hope it doesn't take thirty years to get there!

With these new links and the fresh inspiration provided by Natalie's book, I feel richly blessed indeed, and hope some of it rubs off on you!

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

Countdown: 49 days until the release of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing on July 1. Stay tuned for ordering details.


ybonesy said...

What a delight to read this post. I sense we are, in fact, all kindred spirits in pursuing our own writing but also encouraging others to tell their stories. Have you read Natalie's newest book? Perhaps it hasn't come out yet. I think the title is Old Friend Far Away. I heard her read a few months back--she had just finished it. I think you will find it useful for what you are doing, as it supports the notion that we all have a story to tell.

Shawn Hansen said...


I remain delighted Grammar Police made your list of links.

I have added two of your three new suggestions to my list of reads.

red Ravine has been a staple food for me for a few weeks now: I love their stuff, and I am happy to hear you do as well.

I can also now look forward to the UPS truck as I have just ordered Writing Down the Bones. It sounds like too good a book to have missed, so I am going to play catch-up!

QuoinMonkey said...

Thanks for this post, Sharon. It has a real sense of community. And part of our Vision at red Ravine is to foster writing community and provide structure and support for other writers. It's such a boost to know we might be inspiring a few others out there!

Learning about writing practice with Natalie and reading her books (especially "Bones" and "Wild Mind") are two things that really gave me confidence as a writer. I learned how important it is to have daily structure around writing and to practice.

I have a lot of gratitude for those who are willing to pass on what they have learned.

JoJo said...

"Writing Down the Bones," was the reference book of the FIRST writing class I gingerly signed up for at a local art center. The book and my instructor changed my life forever as I realized my word combos could affect other's emotions and my world was forever changed. In the community of writers in that small room, I found a magical, mystical shared secret of the power and magic of words.

Sharon, thank you for all the links. Your site has successfully stayed between the lines and focus of Life Story references. And in doing so, you yank me back to my own interest in that project when life intrudes with whispers of, "Why write? - it has already been written."

~ Joie