Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Author Archive

According to Dorothy Allison: the transformative power of story

On Tuesday night I spoke to writers in Portland and while out of practice with public speaking, I returned to the topic of  the importance of keeping writer’s notebooks, commonplace books, word lists, and ephemera that inspire. Because sometimes words and visions can appear so fleeting it’s best to capture them whenever, however possible. And […]

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June

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Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare…

“Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds […]

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Portland, OR area writers I’ll be speaking on June 4

  We’ve got another cloudy morning here in the Pacific Northwest as spring winds down.  I’m working on another manuscript with the deadline fast approaching–it’s the third in a thriller series and is appropriately twisty, fast-paced, and more than a little scary. As usual, I’m trying to turn up the thrill and tension. And speaking […]

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Tribal: Part 2

We’ve got a changing weather pattern happening that’s destined to hang around after a bout of cold, unseasonal  temperatures, waking to frost in May, snow accumulations in the mountains, and profound rainfalls drenching the valleys. On Sunday I ventured out to a giant, outdoor plant and garden sale wearing a heavy sweatshirt and jeans, tbick […]

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Tribal: Advice for Writers

It’s a chalky-sky morning here in the Pacific Northwest. It started raining last Thursday and there have been deluges and downpours and drizzles. This is a pause before more rain returns tonight. I’m still practically swooning in gratitude. Because rain washes away pollen. Let me set the table here: Over the years I’ve become allergic […]

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May

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Frodo says…they keep going

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April already?

It’s a Saturday afternoon in the lovely Pacific Northwest. Despite medications {plural} my is head thick and eyes burning from allergies as the nearby, behemoth cottonwoods are blooming. Not to mention all the other trees around here. Then, too, my back is complaining from yesterday’s gardening bout that included digging and hoeing.  So I’ve been […]

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