True Story

True Story

At Bay Path’s Writer’s Day, author Lisa C. Taylor led her audience in several writing exercises. For one, she had us start with the words “True story,” and her advice was to choose an actual event from our own lives but to write from the point of view of the other person involved.

Instantly, I thought of a time in junior high school when I stayed at a friend’s house, and her father came in our bedroom late at night with my friend’s uncle by his side. I was mystified by the panic their arrival created in my friend–until years later when she told me her father repeatedly molested her when she was young.

Somehow, the memory of that night–and my naivete–is what popped into my head when Lisa instructed us to tell a true story. Many free exercises astound us in this way, rising up so clearly, innocently and unexpectedly.

I apologize in advance that the content is outside of what I normally post and hope you don’t find it too disturbing.  Continue reading

A Short Piece About Procrastination

A Short Piece About Procrastination

By: Shannon Grossman

I wrote this piece of nonfiction in response to a prompt for a course assignment, having to write in a journal-like format. I spent too long staring at a blank page, thinking, pondering, and struggling with what to write. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me like a light bulb flashing above my head. Duh, start there. So I did. And I was surprised with what happened afterwards. Continue reading

Seven Writing Prompts to Inspire Creativity

Seven Writing Prompts to Inspire Creativity

By Shannon Grossman

Getting into a writing routine can be difficult. It may seem impossible to somehow spout out words on a page, day in and day out, on command. Authors do it all the time; it should be easy, right? Yet when you try to get up an hour early, brew that cup of coffee, sit down with your laptop open on a blank page, words seem impossible. Continue reading

Doing Life and Work Alaina Leary-Style

Doing Life and Work Alaina Leary-Style

By: Shannon Grossman

Alaina Leary knows how to work—hard.

Formerly an intern with Janice and Beetle Press, this 23-year-old whirlwind is currently juggling coursework in Emerson College’s graduate program, freelance work for at least five magazines, full-time work and also, her own creative projects. Continue reading

Stories, Transitions, Plans and Inspiration

Stories, Transitions, Plans and Inspiration

“Grammy, did you know I’m a mind reader?” my grandson Eli asked me one afternoon while we sat playing cards at the dining room table.

“Really?” I responded. “Well, read my mind.”

We put our cards down on the table, and Eli concentrated for a moment, staring at me intently. Then he said, “Hmm, you got nothing, Grammy.” Continue reading

The Long Road into Nonfiction

The Long Road into Nonfiction

By: Shannon Grossman

Judy Kelliher has been a writer and reporter for more than 30 years. She has interviewed hundreds of people—from athletes to scholars to regular folks—for newspapers, magazines and brochures. Interviewing her brother Bobby for a book she is writing about his two tours in Vietnam, though, was unlike anything she’d ever done. Continue reading