Archive for April, 2009

That’s a wrap!

Celebrate the final day of April and Poetry month with Poem in your Pocket Day! Check out the month long entries of poems or print one to carry in your pocket today and any day!

pocket_logo1My 10-yr-old needs to memorize and recite a poem in class tomorrow. In helping him search, I stumbled upon this fun poetry site from a poet living in the UK.  Check it out:

Patrick Winstanley has lots of cool links to other funny and gross poetry sites. Some even accept poems from young writers like you!


April 30, 2009 at 11:22 am

“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.”

Robert H. Schuller, Minister and Author

Have you ever talked yourself out of a dream?  Here’s the scenario: You get this amazing idea, you map it out carefully, your adrenaline is pumping, excited butterflies twitter in your belly, then you vocalize your idea. Maybe you share it with a friend, parent or teacher. The expression on their face is anything but excitement, in fact maybe it is a frown or (horror!) a smirk.

Other people’s opinions can be overcome. But only if you have full belief in your own dreams. If you have doubt or a negative attitude, well, my friend, your dreams will never become reality.

But, Mary Jo, I’m just trying to be realistic, you say.   It was a pretty cool dream , but it could never happen. I don’t have the time, the money or the resources.

OK, I get that.  And we all fall into a slump of doubt. But the key is to get out of that slump.

What works for me is surrounding myself with people who have joy in their lives. They are happy and positive influences on my own thought process.

You should also find a group of like-minded writers. Find a writers group, organization or class where you can reveal your dreams and listen to the dreams of others. Believe me, nothing gives you a boost like talking about your writing with other writers. Check out Capitol City Young Writers, where you can become part of a community of young writers mentored by professional writers in every industry (songwriting, novelists, memoirists, radio broadcasting, etc.) If you’re local to DuPage County, IL, come to my monthly writers groups (see the events page for details).

And, lastly, adopt the motto: Never Give Up! Sometimes, it helps to plow through the rough patches by just chanting nevergiveup, nevergiveup

For more tips on how writers get over those stubborn bumps on the road to success, check out this article, The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful Authors, by Suzanne Harrison   

Or share your ideas here! What do you dream of accomplishing?  Do you need a helpful dose of positive thinking?

April 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm 3 comments

5 Prompt Friday


  1. Write about something you’ve never done on summer break but always wanted to
  2. Does your family have a quirky tradition or ritual, maybe silly nicknames used or practical jokes played in your household? Write about them!
  3. Write about a topsy-turvy day when liquids become solids and solids become liquids. How would this effect daily living?
  4. Pretend you had unlimited space and money to design your own writing workspace: what would it look like? What would you buy first?
  5. If you could meet any author in history (living or dead) who would it be and what would you ask them?


Please share your ideas or replies or comments here! I’m interested to hear what you guys come up with, especially for numbers 4 &5 this week.  Talk to me!

April 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

Wacky Wednesday!

In keeping with Wacky Wednesday and Poetry Month, let’s throw another theme in today’s post: Earth Day!

Write about something silly that could happen due to Earth Day.

Hmm, maybe a recycling activist goes overboard and removes all the napkins and toilet paper in the entire school…

Or in an effort to eat more organic produce, your mom creates a new recipe that is, well, unique…

Try something really wacky: write a poem on a canvas board or the backs of old school papers to save the forest!

April 22, 2009 at 12:23 am

5 Prompt Friday

Because the gloomy gray skies and frost-inducing weather has FINALLY lifted from the Chicago area (for today, at least),  I’m feeling a spring-like energy surging through my body.

So, today’s prompts will be about feelings (Aw, do you have wittle bitty feelings to share?)


  1. Write about a time you were so overcome with jealousy, you did something you weren’t proud of
  2. Write about an argument you witnessed that made you very uncomfortable
  3. Write about the excited feeling you get when looking forward to a particular event.
  4. Write about the comfort you feel around a favorite relative
  5. Write about something goofy you said or did when you were feeling   silly.

April 17, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Wacky Wednesday!

Today, instead of the usual list of wacky writing prompts, I am posting a Wacky writing contest I found at Hope Clark’s WritingKid newsletter (which is free to you if you sign up!)

Good luck writers!


First Prize $75, Second Prize $50, Third Prize $25.
Write a story about what happens one very topsey – turvey
day when pets act like parents and parents act like pets.
How will you convince the giggling aliens to put things
back the way they were? Or will you? Entry must not exceed
1,000 words. Deadline May 4, 2009.

April 15, 2009 at 12:19 am

Join the Frequent Writer’s Club


The second Tuesday of every month, beginning tomorrow April 14, we will be at the Bolingbrook Promenade Barnes & Noble Bookstore )in Illinois) for the monthly young writers group.

Not only will you have a chance to meet fellow writers, but we will have a blast with writing exercises, time to read, critique and write some more.

And, as a special incentive to keep your pens moving and keep you coming back for more, I’ve created the Frequent Writer’s Club. You must register for this free ongoing club and have your card punched each time you attend. Cool writing prizes will be given when you’ve attended 4 consecutive meetings!

Space is limited each month – register now by emailing me at mjcwriter “at” comcast “dot” net

April 13, 2009 at 12:17 am 1 comment

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Young Writers Program: NANOWRIMO

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