The Way I See It

window-shopping-rosita-larssonI have watched you from this window for so long that I have to wonder how often you can go on looking and never seeing. I’m right here in plain sight.

Always the same routine with you: every day searching for something that is right before your eyes, stopping to observe as crowds hustle past.

I see it in your blank face, your empty expression, the way you stare. You want something more, something to quell the dissatisfaction. But you don’t even know what that something is. Your reflection shimmers with desire as you stand there.

If only you weren’t so frozen, unable to move beyond this prison not of your own devising. You let yourself be used, positioned for everyone else’s happiness at the cost of your own. Now you’re on display for the entire world to see, all the while pretending you are invisible, hidden away on the top floor, safe above the masses below.

From every angle you are visible, from inside and out. And you don’t even know I’m watching. If you could just tip your head up or tilt it down, a bit to the left, maybe the right, you would see me there as rigid as a soldier yet at ease. Patiently waiting. And never touching, we would share a smile and know that everything will be all right.

Instead, you fix your hair, straighten your clothes, stand at perfect, stylish attention, retreat within. It’s time to move on; tomorrow, we will repeat the whole process.


Thank you to my dear friend, Rosita Larrson, for allowing me to use her beautiful photography as a visual writing prompt.  This particular photograph, “Window Shopping,” can be found at Rosita Larrson, fineartamerica, in the gallery titled Mannequins Display Windows Reflections.

Dripping Ink – Questions for Self-critique

The Writer Has the Last Word

It is my very great pleasure to share an article by Caroline Totten of The Greater Canton Writers’ Guild, Inc.  The following article was featured in the September newsletter.  Information regarding the Guild can be found at:

Dripping Ink by Caroline Totten

Questions for Self-critique

Do your demons imitate the gods by grabbing and holding attention? (Your demons are ideas that keep poking you in the eye. If the idea arouses laughter, tears, paranoia, fright, curiosity or indignation, etc., you have acquired a point of view, which may boil into a plot.)

Does the plot offer an opportunity to provide fresh insight into the theme? (Ideally, the plot begins with a distress signal in the middle of the story. The action is already in progress and tinged with an emotional element in the main character. Usually, the setting fits the character and supports the viewpoint.)

Is the character(s) consistent in the context of the plot? (Draw the emotional tone from your personal experience and place it in the persona of the protagonist, the main character. The conflict may be psychological, physical, or ideological, or a combination of these elements.)

Here are a few aspects of the reader/author relationship to keep in mind. By being a writer, or hoping to become one, your entire self becomes an instrument to observe and record human experience. When you extrapolate heartache, joy, fear, whatever, and put them into your character, you are actually putting the reader in touch with his emotions. (Numbness, repression, or suppression are emotional factors.)

Psychologically, mystery, or suspense stories excite the mind of the reader.

Horror stories, by a circuitous route, help the reader release his fear.

Adventure stories encourage bravery.

Love stories release hormones that tenderize the heart.

Fantasy encourages imagination by offering another way of perceiving the resolution of conflict even though at the outset, the reader may be looking for escape.

Humor may release attitudes that might otherwise be socially rude or crude.

Actually, stories that contain violence, corruption, and greed may contribute to the reduction of these elements and/or act as a catharsis for the reader.

Reading fiction is not an idle past time. Its factual component may differ from nonfiction, but the result is similar. The point of view alters the reader’s perceptions.   Effective writing heightens awareness of the subject by allowing the reader to participate in the physical and mental experience of the character. Most effective stories show the character in action. In some cases, “thinking” by the character rather than dialogue or confrontation may be the entrance into a story. The approach depends on the genre, your style, and editorial desires. (At times, magazine and book editors don’t know what they want until they see it.)

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