Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell


Written By: Jessica Morrell - Oct• 04•22


Written By: Jessica Morrell - Sep• 02•22


Written By: Jessica Morrell - Aug• 04•22

Yes I am a dreamer.

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jul• 06•22

Yes I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he can see dawn before the rest of the world. ~ Oscar Wilde

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jul• 01•22

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

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jun• 10•22

“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 the deepest mysteries, so that we may feel again their majesty and power? What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death so catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking. We should amass half dressed in long lines like tribesmen and shake gourds at each other, to wake up; instead we watch television and miss the show.”

– Annie Dillard

Upcoming workshops at Chanticleer Author’s Conference

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jun• 03•22

A chalky, gloomy sky this morning in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had a few days of soft temperatures and sunshine and now we’re in for more rain, after record-breaking amounts tumbling from the sky. these past months

For those who stop by here, thanks. I haven’t been around much lately because I’ve been editing manuscripts and gardening–not an easy task lately since the clay ground here has been thick, slick mud. Meanwhile, the weeds are wildly enthused by the wet and are trying to stage a coup to take over the yard. I’m not having it.

I wanted to let writers who live in the region or beyond know that I’m teaching three workshops at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference on June 23, 24, and 25th in lovely Bellingham, Washington. I’ll also take part in a ‘kaffee klatch’ which means Kiffer Brown, the founder of Chanticleer and I will chat about language and writing–one of my favorite topics. One the 23 I’m teaching a master class Film Techniques for Fiction Writers. Friday afternoon the 24th, I’ll be teaching Your Brain on Writing–it’s about how the latest neuroscience research can help you become a better writers. On Saturday I’ll be teaching Dangerous Women about female characters who  You can find the schedule here along with registration details. The Hotel Bellweather located on the Bellingham Bay is a perfect setting for a conference. I’ll be around a lot and would love to chat.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jun• 03•22

“In the Eskimo language, the word for ‘to breathe’ and ‘to make a poem’ are the same… Remembering this has been wildly helpful to me. It means a freeness to plunge in, almost like doing a  finger painting. It’s a free flow, suspending fact, meaning, sanity, then  seeing what pours out uncensored, what can be shaped, fashioned, pared down or enlarged to become a poem.” Lyn Lifshin


Written By: Jessica Morrell - Jun• 03•22

Readers need footholds, handholds

Written By: Jessica Morrell - May• 27•22

Readers will climb with you to the most unlikely places if they trust you, if the words give them the right footholds, handholds. ~Jeanette Winterson