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Sonoma County Gazette
Discoveries: The Write Spot Anthology

Book Review:
Discoveries: The Write Spot to
Jumpstart Your Writing

Dec 29, 2017
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews


Book groups proliferate so why not writing groups? That old beatnik, pre-hippie poetKenneth Rexroth said, “Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense: the creative act.” And with so much unease in our society, with threats of war, polarization of political ideologies, hurricanes and fires why not diffuse some of that negativity by creating? Let us write stories, and poems, and essays, perhaps to stave off some ruin and stay semi-sane at least. 

Marlene Cullen is the creator ofJumpstart Writing Workshop. In a comfortable, non-threatening atmosphere, participants write and write and write. Their products turned out out be so compelling that she wanted to share them with all of us. She has assembled a charming anthology entitled Discoveries. Discoveries is a compendium of all different kinds of creative acts and for each selection the creative process is described in detail. Writers are given a “prompt.” At the end of each piece we are told exactly what the inspiration was. For example, one writer recounts a comic interlude with a recalcitrant Weber BBQ. The impetus for this was, “write about a leap you have taken.” At the end of each author's section there is a mini-biography and some words of encouragement that describes their process.

Part of the delight elicited by this collection is the disparate range of topics. This little book includes something for everyones preferences. Subjects include old-fashioned laundry rituals, the great hot lunch, cold lunch school dilemma, hormones, romance, gloves and soap. 

The ending segment reads like a lesson plan to start a writing group of ones own. There are hints on what to do if your creative juices are stuck, a list of prompts and a generous bibliography. Entries are short and in our busy, very busy lives it is easy to pick up the book and read a few inclusive selections and then put it down for another day to discover a different author's work. Available on,


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