Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category


Have you ever wondered? Of course you have. However, you may not have realized what a powerful tool wonderment can be. It is the beginning of all creative activity. When you allow yourself to wonder, you experience life in new ways. Words help capture those experiences.

On a writing retreat in fall of 2007, I wrote the following poem in response to a writing prompt. When I first wrote it, it just seemed like a stream of consciousness, but I liked playing with the ideas. Three years later, I rediscovered this piece, and I reread it with fresh eyes. Suddenly, I realized what I had been doing–I had been wondering.

Dancing with Words

Midnight dances to her own song, velvet skirt swirling softly.

Stars pinprick the sky, diamonds on a ribbon of light.

What is it like to touch their points?

In a carnival of sound, owls hoot, crickets chirp,

water spills over pebbles in a stream.

The blue-black night backdrops much mysterious movement:

silent spider spins her web; thunder shakes the mountain;

flickering fireflies circle the merry-go-round.

What is it like to fly on gossamer wings?


So, go ahead, play with words: experiment, take chances, explore your world, enter new worlds, open your perceptions, and engage your senses—after all, words are wonderful.

The Spark of an Idea

On Sunday morning of my writing retreat, this past weekend on Lake Sunapee, we woke to a chill in the air. Our host lit a fire for us in the hearth of the great room; we sat around the stone fireplace toasting our feet while we wrote in response to my morning prompt. It always amazes me when the subconscious sends ideas and answers to us during these writing sessions. Many of the participants wrote metaphorically about where they are in the present moment of their creative beings. Here is what I wrote:

Dear good naked morning, my name is spark. You know, like the spark of an idea, the spark of a fledgling flame, the spark of a fresh new love. Spark is the promise of something strong and beautiful yet to be. Spark has a crisp, clean sound to it, a white palette ready to burst into explosions of color – reds and golds, yellows and blues, greens and oranges – glittering diamonds of color.

Spark is filled with expectation and anticipation, an excited energy that electrifies the air. There is a moment of breath holding in which the possibility of extinction exists. But, it is short-lived because this spark has too much to say, and experience, and share, to just die out and be forgotten.

Spark is the beginning, the birth of a new dawn of ideas and challenges and accomplishments.

Spark is the beginning of sparkle – meant to light up the room with joy, and color, and crackle.

Dear good, naked morning, you are the dawn of a new day, a new beginning, a promise to uphold. Dear good, naked morning, my name is spark and I am so happy to meet you.

Welcome to My New Site

Welcome to the new Words in Play website. Wander around and explore; discover pages  filled with all sorts of inspiration.

As a writer, I think the hardest thing to write about is one’s self. You have to strike just the right balance between confidence and humility. That’s a very thin tightwire to cross. I hope, in these pages and in my blog, I can impart some of the wisdom I have gained in my travels, and that I can encourage you to write more, write better, and have fun along the way (to borrow a phrase from my dear friend and colleague Joni Cole, author of Toxic Feedback).

I have a quote on my computer from the great Ella Fitzgerald. She says, “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

Thank you Ella, that sentiment has become the foundation for my business. I love writing, but more than that, I love teaching writing. I am inspired by my students, who bring me laughter and joy; there is no greater satisfaction for a creative soul than to spread the joy.

So, today, write about this: who have you inspired lately?