Writing Wings For You

Marie Lukasik Wallace ~ # I LIVE Poetry – I'm passionate about life and writing and all things creative and poetic!


Respectful Advice Needed – What to Do for an Elusive Muse

So, my writing friends.  I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before, so I will explain my dilemma, and you tell me what works for you.  Okay?    Over the summer, I fell in love with blogging and found more content than I could possibly get on a blog.  My heart was on a high, my creativity flourished, my writing world was filled with wonder.  And then…reality hit and I had to go back to school.  I became absorbed in that world because that’s what my students deserved.  However, any writer/artist knows, that when your world is filled with something else, especially work, the muse becomes elusive….creativity sometimes is dried up.

My New Year’s goal was just get bottom in seat.  Because at least when I got my bottom in the seat something would happen.   But hmmm…not so good.  I feel like one of those capsules my little first graders get that are holding a mystery shrunken creature just waiting for some great water to pour on top and reveal what I am.

You can be my water!

YOUR TURN:  When you find yourself stuck, what do you write about?   How do you get your creative juices flowing?  Do you go to a book and answer random questions?   Do you start random challenges?

coffee cup


What’s your formula?  I’m all ears.

Happy Sunday my friends.  Marie



Why You MUST Write – A True Story

I implore you.  If you feel the calling, you MUST write.  There are too many people who depend on you to share the gift you’ve been entrusted with.   It’s vital.

Day before yesterday, I freaked about writing my dad’s story…What qualifies me to write it?  How do I finish it when my dad can’t talk?   Am I good enough?

There were so many questions and feelings of inadequacy.  I reached out to my amazing writer friend, Bridget. She knows how to give a voice to others because she writes people’s stories.  I knew she understood what it was like to reach a point of vagueness, or sheer terror, and feelings of inadequacy…and still she wrote on.  She reminded me that if I didn’t write his story, then my dad truly would not have a voice, especially now that he can’t talk at all.

Today, I went to the nursing home and read my dad another chapter of his story….a story I know that has deep meaning for my daddy.  I read it aloud to him, and he crumbled and cried.  Was I looking  to make him cry?  No, of course not.  But what this revealed to me was the power of hearing the voice of a vaulted man.  This is a man who never showed emotion of any kind.  This is a man who used alcohol to not feel pain…not feel emotion…in an era where men were to be invincible over any kind of vulnerability.  When he cried, he showed me that he had been real and honest with me. When he cried, I knew he had heard his own voice out loud.  When he cried, I knew I had captured the essence of what he was feeling.  He had entrusted me with that part of him that revealed to himself he was human.   I remember earlier this summer my dad had said, “You gave me my life back.”   He needed me to be his voice.  He desperately wanted to be a part of this world and to belong.

Lastly, when I left, I reminded him, “Daddy, you’ve done some great things in your life.  You have left a legacy for your grand children and great grand children.  I am proud of what you have accomplished.  I am proud to be your daughter because you are honest and kind and good.”  He mouthed the words thank you with some sounds, squeezed my hand tight fiercely and kissed me.

Yes, he made mistakes…some really bad mistakes in which he felt the deepest darkest shame. But the darkness had not defined him.  As a writer, I got to reveal that the shame was only part of the story…that alcohol was the antagonist for a short time.  But the real Ernest, the one who overcame the darkness had risen and become a victor in his own story.   His reveal had provided a path for others.

This, my writer friends, is your mission, giving a voice to those whom can not speak or do not know how to speak.  This is how we heal our world, one story at a time.


Writing Lessons from a Six Year Old


Have you ever talked with a six year old about writing?  You would be astounded at the advice these kids can give you in a short amount of time.  Most of the time, they teach me.

When I asked them a simple question, what do you know that good writers do?   Here are their answers:

* Write, write, write.   (My 86 year old father-in-law says so too.)

*  think, think, think

* A writer’s work is never done.

* Never stop


* “Listen to the master.”   When he first said it, he was looking at me.  And then I reframed it and said, “Who is the master of your writing?”  “And then he said with a resounding enthusiasm, “I AM!”   So I refined it even more,  “Listen to that still small voice.”

If you ever need advice on writing or anything in life, ask a six year old.  They’re honest, and they haven’t been away from the true source for too long.

Have a happy Sunday, and may you write, write, write and heal, heal, heal. ~Namaste.


Throwback Thursday – I am a Writer

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Sometimes, I need to remember:  I am a Writer.  This summer I got to LIVE and BREATHE writing, and it nourished my soul.  Yes, I remember soaking in the sunniness of it’s words and feeling it fill my body and created “I LIVE Poetry.”  Each day, I lived poetically with music and photography and art and just noticing…and my friends, I must say, I had never been happier.  I had to return to my job…which I love, but it IS a time sucker.   Soon I was in a whirlwind of meetings and have tos, instead of I want tos…and literally writing almost came to a screeching halt.  I pined for my artistic side to be fed…I remember noticing many things I wanted to sit and write about…but alas, my seat in the seat could not happen.  The best part was I understood it was temporary…

Last night, I got to enjoy a fabulous group of writers, and they reminded me of the beauty of words and the healing of words and yes, sometimes the mysteries and elusiveness of words.  I reveled in all that they shared.  Windows to souls…and I knew I wasn’t the teacher anymore, but a fellow participant who just loved what I was doing, ENGAGING in writing.

Writing, it has MAGIC POWERS…it can heal…it can bring joy.

Have a blessed day my friends.   And thanks to my buddy Michael, that sometimes it’s committing to just a few words a day.


Fill Your Paper



Funny Story – My 77 Year Old Dad got his first “Twitter” Account

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My dad is a Doctor Dolittle. He certainly has a way with animals. He interacts with them like people, mostly because he is a man who lives out in the country, and animals are the closest things to talk to. He has regular people conversations with animals; and like Dr. Dolittle, it is not limited to cats or dogs. Currently, he has 2 cats and 3 dogs and a frog that comes and sits.

One day when I visited dad, he surprised me by telling me the conversation he was having with a bird outside. Rarely does my dad get excited about things. Most of our conversations consist of the weather and typical daily chores. But on this day, my dad carried on about his interaction with the bird.

Dad continues, “Marie, the bird would make a sound ‘tweet, tweet’ and then I would echo back, ‘tweet, tweet.’ Then dad would start it, giving a new pattern, ‘tweet, tweet, tweet,’ and the bird would reply back, ‘tweet, tweet, tweet.’   The bird copied the pattern!

My dad carried on about their conversation, and his eyes lit up, and he was very animated, excited about this forged relationship with yet another animal. My favorite part however, was that my dad said, “Hey, now I’ve tweeted!”   My mouth dropped open in utter surprise. I didn’t even know he KNEW what tweeting was!

This interaction with my daddy got me curious about the origins of Twitter and just had to look it up. And though Wikipedia isn’t a formal, technical way of finding things out, it most certainly has a line or two that suggests how it came about.

Dorsey has explained the origin of the “Twitter” title:

…we came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.[

It was quite an interesting article. You can read more about it HERE.

Later that day, I heard the “twitter” of the birds and just smiled a sweet smile just thinking that maybe a man like my dad could have been an originator of the first tweets.

Another glorious day with my daddy.  :0)


images from free Google images



For Writers – Writing Resources


BELOW YOU WILL FIND Recommendations & Links for :

Writer’s Conferences, Great Writing books & helpful Writing Sites



BIRD BY BIRD – Anne Lamott – What I love about this book is that it gives the writer a “buddy,” a pal that can relate to your writing woes:  when you write like crap, when you can’t write at all, when you stay staring at a computer screen…she helps you to feel normal.  And then she gives you some great tips on how to solve these problems.  It’s a quick read, and it’s stock-piled with HUMOR!  This book has been giving writers great advice for over twenty years.

ON WRITING – Stephen King – This book not only gives great tools from a writer who’s obviously been very successful, but it’s laced with humor and how writing and living are closely connected.  It’s been around for over 10 years and still well loved.  That says a lot about this book.

WRITING DOWN THE BONES: by Natalie Goldberg – Natalie applauds the age old adage that if you want to improve your craft, you need time to practice and experience. Good tips on how to get the stream of consciousness going and leaving the editor behind. Though it was first published 20 years ago, there is still sound writerly advice.  (quick read)  She has several other books that are helpful to writers as well.  Other books:  One on secrets of writing Memoir – Old Friend from Afar ; and one related to her writing workshops – The True Secret of Writing Connecting Life

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron– Great way to start a wrtierly life -Morning Pages allow you to use your stream of consciousness writing and get rid of the editor.  There is no focus or judgement just a commitment to writing a certain amount of time every day.  You’ll be surprised what happens!  You get real gold nuggets!  (and lots of ideas too.)  

Word Arts Collage by Peggy Heller – Though this book was intended for the use of Poetry Therapists, it also has some great tips and tricks for put imagery and words together.

Writer’s Market 2014 – Guide to getting Published – This book has been very helpful in finding publishers and agents, getting published in magazines and writing contests.  It also has going rates for Publishing costs, Advertising & Public Relations, Business, etc.  so you can get a better picture of how much it will cost to run the business side of things.




Here are a few events that I have attended this year  or will be attending that I know you will love.

 Inspired Legacy –  next Workshop November 13th-16th – Bridget is a New York Times Best Seller – I have been to three of Bridget’s retreats, and they are worth every penny.


*  Wicked tools to organize your research and your writing

*  Tips and tricks of the writing trade

*  DOs and DON’Ts of getting an Agent & Getting Published

* Special one on one with Bridget – brilliant, intuitive, relevant feedback

* Collaboration with peers – give and get feedback

(She holds one every three months or so.  There are also opportunities for yearlong coaching workshops.  AMAZING!)

Sun Valley Writer’s Conference – intimate setting in a beautiful resort in Sun Valley.  You can make connection and meet with awesome writers all over.  Next conference is July 2015.  TBA

 Destiny  & Legacy Workshops with Frank White & Sheli G

Destiny -This workshop is more for the business aspect of your writing/author business.   What you will like is that they “get real” and they have a lot of business savvy.  You will learn what’s working and not working.   – This version is for women only.   DESTINY will probably come back around in 2015.  I will keep you posted.

Legacy 2014 – the men’s version of the above Destiny workshop is due to come out around October.  As soon as I hear something, I will let you know!

Diane McKinnon – Live to Write – RETREAT in NH – I don’t know Diane, but I do know she is passionate about writing; and when someone is passionate and on fire, they usually have some juicy good things to impart!



Writers’ Digest – This is a magazine full of writing tips and tricks and advice on everything from writing to publishing and how to get an agent.  They have contests too.  Don’t want a magazine coming to your door?  Go to their web-site!


National Novel Writing Month – This is a tool for writers who have a difficult time being on one project and staying on one project.  It offers you a chance to be with cabin mates who can cheer you along, and there’s a way to watch your progress through word count.  How it helped me was to accept my writing as not having to be perfect every day.  Get it down, edit, craft, beautify later.  Get the bones built; put the skin on later.  November is the big month for writing 50,000 words toward your novel, but the have smaller camps too.

Writer’s Reference Guide This web-site goes along with the book version to getting published.  Has the same information as above.


BLOGS I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT WRITING ARE  HERE. (link is temporarily broken)



The Writing Process – Blogging Tour #2

I’ve been tagged by:

Shawn at: http://shawnbird.com/  (a most lovely author of poetry and YA novels. Check her out!)

Shawn has invited me on a blogging tour to talk about my writing process.   I feel like my process is evolving as I have been learning, so I am answering the questions again and elaborating more.

I enjoy learning how others write so I can get clues and improve on my own writing process. I can’t wait to hear what works for you! 

 1.) What am I working on at the moment?

I am currently working on writing my dad’s biography.  He has always been a closed man.  I call him a “vaulted” man.  He has Alzheimer’s and is a recovered alcoholic.  Through various techniques, like Poetry Therapy and my education experience, I am learning more about my dad and developing a relationship with him.

In addition, I’m developing my poetry style.  Usually I jot down phrases of things I notice and put together throughout the day.  I have a small journal I carry sometimes…I also have that great app “Colornote” which allows me to jot a note any time, any place I have my sweet little phone. I love that app!  Sticky notes for my phone…awesome.

Reading the poetry of amazing poets here in the blogging world has inspired me to write more and add juiciness to my work.  I know I’m still clunky at times, and sometimes not as thorough following to the end of a thought, but I do feel I’m getting better.  What I’ve learned from others is that daily  practice,  multiple poems a day, a sprinkling in of quotes and essays, assist me greatly in working it out and keeps the muse going as well.

I’ve always loved writing and getting to know people, so the blogging world has been perfect for me. and keeps me writing.  I used to do a blog about ten years ago and really enjoyed the community.  I also aspire to do a variety of other book projects that are budding for me.

2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

My current writing shows a budding relationship between a daddy and daughter, after 50 years, putting aside all the years of heartache and hard roads and differences from living with an alcoholism to forge a new relationship, leading from a soberly life.  I’m also hoping to offer ways for others to assist their loved ones in living a more quality life if they have Alzheimer’s.

It began with curiosity and a series of questions from a book about a Father’s Legacy and has developed into something more through a willingness to explore and trust.  It’s not an easy road, but it has its rewards.  There is much tenacity involved.

3.) Why do I write what I do?

My dad’s biography began as an adventure to gather some family history and seeking to know him better as a person.  Throughout my life, my dad revealed very little of himself unless it had to deal with the weather or fishing or other activities as part of his outside world.  I found some questions in a book that daddy allowed me to ask which opened a door for us.  Through a lot of patience and tender loving care of my daddy’s feelings and life, he began to trust me enough to work on building his biography.  Through the encouragement of a dear friend, I went from a 3 page essay to taking on the writing of a biography. Writing this way is a challenge and an adventure, but I’m truly enjoying the journey!

Each day brings about new discoveries and delights, and I am finding out how we are alike.  (And many ways I’m glad we are not alike..hee hee)

It’s also been fun to discover ways to access my dad’s memories through poetry and music and patience at getting the uglies out first so he can concentrate on what is meaningful to him.

His words on my last trip were that “You gave me back my life, thank you.”  No, dad I thought to myself, I just listened.  Everyone just wants and needs to belong.

 4.) How does my writing process work?

Because my dad is a vaulted man and has Alzheimer’s, it’s a delicate thing to gather information and to write about his life, especially linearly.  Life stories don’t come to him that way.  Often times I will get the same stories over again, but with new details, so I have to really be on my toes. And there are some stories, I can’t seem to access yet.  So, I’ve developed a system of interviewing him daily and taking notes and saving them in folders by category so as to access them later.

I have a living, breathing outline for my book.  As I discover things about my dad that are important to him or make vital, meaningful connections about his life, I revise it.  So my book is always “evolving” in a really good way!

If you have questions, please fire away!

My main advice to a writer is just write!     Get up everyday and just do it.  :0).

I would love to know what you do.

Here are some people I am tagging.


Amy Rose



A Poem with a Taste Challenge


Okay my friends…I was inspired by a poem I read yesterday that involved the tastes of a place.   And food brings about joyous memories with friends and families and those special people we love.  So, here’s my challenge:

Write a poem about the tastes of YOUR place…and then maybe include one of your favorite recipes…it can be from that place your wrote about, or one of your favorite recipes…I think it would be really cool to gather recipes of places from around the world….Then I can wake up and say things like, I’d like to travel to Austrailia today or Georgia, and pull a recipe out and be reminded of you!   Besides, my recipe box needs new tastes!   ENJOY!


Though I live in Idaho now…my strongest memories of taste are from Texas…

So, here’s my poem:

Random thoughts on the Flavors of Texas

I’ll tell you a

half dozen things about

the flavors of Texas.

The best bar-b-que ribs

and brisket you

ever did taste

because it’s grilled

in a brick fire pit

with Mesquite wood

and a homemade with a

vinegar/beer concoction.

Even Bill Miller’s

on a Texas corner can make

it almost like that.

Unlike Boise’s Dickey’s,

whose food tastes

cold and processed…

The sauce isn’t too bad though.

And Ahhhh…

the Mexican food

so close to the border

has its advantages.

Those Mexican mamas making masa.

Enchiladas made from real corn tortillas,

with joy from hands which love

to dish deliciousness and

make your tongue tingle with taste.

Now that’s Texas

a true taste corner.

And did I tell you

about Big Red,

bubble gum soda,

the flavor of childhood

and firemen’s picnics…

and Blue Bonnet icecream…

You can’t buy that here in Idaho,

a state

so lackluster in flavor.

Is it because the

borders are so far way?

or is it because I miss

The taste of home…

Even Idaho potatoes

tasted better in Texas

grilled with my daddy’s hand

for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Is it because my daddy

is a good cook?

Or do the potatoes

gain flavor

being trucked

all that distance?

I’m not dissing

on Idaho.

Perhaps, I’m just missing

the Flavors   of   Texas


HERE’s A LINK to KING RANCH CHICKEN so you can have your own taste of Texas.


Let’s Camp at NaNoWriMo!


Usually November is National Novel Writing Month, wherein the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel. However, the goals for the Camp for July are more loose goals and you can set your own word count towards any genre of writing, fiction, nonfiction memoir, poetry, even blogging. Another thing that is awesome about this kind of camp is that you have cabin mates which gives me incentive to meet my goal and adds an element of accountability. Won’t it be fun to watch the word count rise?

We start on Tuesday, July 1st!

Who’s game? Who wants to write, write, write?
Pick me!
Let me know if you’d like to join our cabin. We still have room for about six or seven more cabin mates.
Happy writing!