Your turn – tell me what you want to learn: Breakthrough for the week of 7/15/2019

What is this person looking for? How did s/he arrive at this shoreline? What will s/he see when s/he turns around? Would you trade places with this watcher?
I most often write about the deeper blocks and releases of writing. I live with them every minute of every day. I learned English/writing/journalism in the 1940’s and 50’s, so I’m solidly grounded in diagramming sentences; the importance of active sentences; being sure that subject and verb are well connected; believable character development; honed, yet detailed setting description.
I notice these days when I teach one-day writing workshops that not every writer has been blessed with that kind of language grounding. Please write me at and tell me what you want to learn. Are there gaps in your craft? Do you find yourself not caring about your characters? And, just how the hell do we move a character out of the living-room into the kitchen with causing our readers to fall asleep? I welcome your questions.

Here is Cin Norris

I had been assured that it always rained in the Pacific Northwest, and I wasn’t disappointed. I can only describe it as a “friendly” rain, especially compared to the water bullets that stream from the sky at home in Flagstaff. It was no trial to walk in, no bother if I had to wait. It felt like a blessing, energizing and healing me. 

My friends had taken me to a bar in Port Townsend, although it was more like an English pub. I was just getting to know some new people, and had found a soul-deep connection with a lost sister. I had also found the bottom of a few glasses, which tended to make me emotional. No one questioned me as I slipped out of the enormous booth and across the old wood floors, attempting to look sober and probably failing spectacularly. I needed some air.

The back doors which would lead to a tiny, paved, and fenced in yard in any similar bar at home opened onto a narrow balcony overlooking some finger of the Pacific Ocean. My breath caught hard in my chest. The salt smell enfolded me in its chilly embrace, the feeling of a dear friend too long absent. It no longer mattered that I was half-drunk and far from my family; or that I was in pain and anxious about my future. I leaned against the railing and looked out onto the calm, gray sea, while the misty rain kissed my face, my hands, my hair. The ocean cried on me and I returned the favor. 

A hundred years could have passed before I realized I was cold. I licked the salt from my lips and took a quarter from my pocket. I kissed it and prayed to the Lady for the best of all outcomes. I flipped it hard, and held my breath as it spun, silver and singing. I watched it plunge into deep water, such a small vessel to carry so much hope.

*** Note: I read this evocation and couldn’t resist using an old picture from a long ago time. ms


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