Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Archive for the 'Jessica Page Morrell' Category

Potent Beginnings Deliver

Potent fiction beginnings sweep readers far from their armchairs, or airplane seats, or beds. The first words yank, tug, propel them into a new world or a familiar world that offers new insights.  Potent openings introduce characters readers start caring about immediately.  Or at least wonder or worry about. Openings begin an immersive experience for […]

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Reframing writer’s block: Maybe the Secret to Writing is not Writing

It’s a drizzly morning in Oregon and I was gazing out my window at a raised bed of tomatoes, drooping in the wet, with many fruit still on the vine. Peering into the gloom and wondering how many are ready to pick. I was wondering about my next gardening steps since this autumn seems too […]

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A writer is someone…

A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing , what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in […]

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The potent opening of “Haunting Olivia” by Karen Russell

The weather is warm these days, but bearable and I’ve got a sprinklers running. My tomatoes are ripening so fast I need to check them every morning. Which isn’t that easy because one bed is an untidy jungle of branches, no matter how often I trim suckers.  I love the smell of tomato leaves on […]

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Do what  you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

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September

Autumn Walk with Umbrella, R. Beal

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Writing….

“There is one thing you should know about writing. It will inevitably lead you to terrible places, as you cannot write about something if you have not lived it. Though the most important thing to bear in mind is this: you are there as a tourist and and must always remain one. There was a […]

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Rest in peace Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison has died at age 88. Here is one of her many obituaries. Author of novels Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Sula, The Song of Solomon, and more, she taught us so much about the black experience, the power of language, and speaking truth. My favorite of her novels was Sula and 20-some years (or […]

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August

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Advice from C.S. Lewis

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who  achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”

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