Do Not Go Back to Sleep–

At the end of the day, when the house is quiet, and just before I turn out my light, I often read a chapter from one of my favorite books.  Often it’s a book on the craft of writing. And yes, as a result, I sometimes lie awake thinking about what I just read.  But I also find that in the early morning hours, during that meditative state when my mind is still free of distraction, I am at my most creative.  This is when I formulate the plan for using what I read the night before.  When I get up I immediately try to put pen to paper, hoping to capture my thoughts before they flit away.

One Rumi’s poems says—

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.Don’t go back to sleep.

I am trying to get up early every day, so as not to let those secrets slip away.  Perhaps that is why so many writers, that I know, write early in the day.


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep. 

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep. 

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch. 

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep. 

From Essential Rumi

by Coleman Barks


Simply Savoring Sounds

I like pretty prose.  I woke up this morning thinking about how rhythm and repetition are nearly always present in pretty prose.  Poets already know it.  Fiction writers often forget it.

First thing I did was check the Three Word Wednesday site.  Much to my delight the words were—bloody and kinky—words that both end in a long “e” sound.

My first thought was terrific.  I can write a terrible tome using words ending with a long “e”.  But then I discovered that Thom had tossed us a twist and added tender to the mix.

It is interesting to investigate the sounds in a passage.  Repetition doesn’t always appear as the first or last letter and it doesn’t always rhyme.  Consider mix and twist, and listen to the “i” sound.

Well folks, I guess I’ll write today until I am weary with words.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be back again tomorrow.

Pick Your Partner Carefully

If you plan to write, pick your partner carefully.

If you have been reading my blog you know that I have spent the past week at a series of writing workshops and presentations. My mind has been totally consumed with all things writing.  Early this morning I was lost in the meditative state that often occurs before I am ready to admit that I am awake.  Since I started writing I have discovered that my body reacts to this time of day differently than it did in the past.  I may be aware of what is going on in the house, but my mind will be exploring a vast array of other possibilities.  My body simply does not get up.  I stay there, mentally transported where ever my mental agenda has taken me.

When I get up, I usually feel this urgency to grab pen and paper and get the thoughts written before I lose them.  This morning was one of those days.  I walked into the kitchen, poured myself a cup a coffee, poured my spouse a cup of coffee and said, “Don’t say anything to me.”  He just smiled and nodded.  He knew immediately what I would do next.

I like the feel of pen to paper.  Although about ninety percent of what I write I write on a computer, I love that early morning time of day, when I sit in a comfortable chair, with journal in my lap, and write whatever is on my mind.

I seldom use this time for structured writing.  It is the time of day when I free my thoughts of all the strange and wonderful ideas germinating in my head.  Often all I need is ten or fifteen minutes and then I can say—

“Good morning, Dear.”

Pick your partner carefully so that no matter when your creative time of day arrives, you have the support you need to say “Don’t say anything to me,” and to know that it is okay.


About Learning to Write with Persun and Wingate

I am still on a mission to improve my writing.  This past weekend I attended a writing workshop at the Writers’ Workshoppe in Port Townsend, Washington.  First–the shop itself.  If you have missed this shop, you have missed a real jewel.  It is a place for writers–would-be-writers, wan-a-be-writers or whatever it is you call yourself.  It has something for you no matter what level of writing you have achieved. It has the best books for improving your craft.  It has space to write.  It is comfortable and friendly.  It hosts lots of writing workshops.   For more information check out their website at

The workshop I attended was Write Award Winning Fiction with Terry Persun and Susan Wingate.  These two have very different writing styles, therefore they give you options.  We learned to structure a novel using Wingate’s very structured method and using Persun’s more organic method.  We were introduced to character development, scene setting and how to effectively use narration.  They teach with humor, exercises and examples.  They are fun, witty and informative.  To learn more about these two authors their websites are:

For information about whether you can work on more than one piece of writing at a time check out Terry’s December 1, 2011 blog.

To see how Susan describes this workshop check out her April 21, blog.

I’d love to know what you are all writing.

If you would like to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself. —Unknown

Carol Cassella–Writer in Residence

It has been my privilege to attend the Writer in Residence events at our local community college this week.   The featured author is Carol Cassella, author of Oxygen and Healer.   Both Oxygen and Healer were selected as Indie Best Picks; Oxygen in 2008, and Healer in 2010.

In addition to the public programs that she has presented  this week she has provided programs to medical and literary students and staff at the college.  I was fortunate to be selected as one of the participants in a writer’s workshop that she conducted.

Prior to the workshop Dr. Cassella took time from a busy schedule to read and make written comments on the manuscripts we submitted before Tuesday’s session..  I was amazed at how generous she was with her time and talent.  She spent one-on-one time with each of the twelve participants; sharing thoughts for improvement, lots of praise for the work we had done and encouraging us to continue writing.  She also willingly answered additional questions about my submission which I asked her after one of her community presentations.

If you haven’t read Dr. Cassella’s novels, I encourage you to get copies.  As a practicing anesthesiologist she has insight to both the practice and the business of medicine that help her weave a realistic journey through a doctor’s life.  She writes books that have original scenarios, engaging stories and provide us with additional knowledge about the world we live in.

For more about Dr. Cassella her web site is