Monthly Archives: June 2012

Hey You

Writing Assignment for July 18, 2012 Story Circle  Safety Harbor Library
By Sheila McNaughton – Guest Blogger
Everyone has a name.  Some of us are called by the name we were giving at birth, or our middle name or a combination or abbreviation of it.  Others by a nickname someone along the line created. 
We decide on the names of our children:
A name from the family:  my father was Denver Homer.  He made us all promise never to name any of our children after him.
A dear friend, someone you knew and loved
In honor of someone who has died:  After a friend lost his son to cancer other friends  found out they were pregnant.  They asked if they could name their child Jordan.
A celebrity:  a friend named her son Keanu after Keanu Reeves. He goes by KC
The city or place where they were conceived.
An object:  Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter is Apple
So many names and so many reasons why that name was picked by you or for you or someone you know.  Your assignment in 600 words or less is to tell the story about how someone got their name;  your own, your child, a friend, a family member.
Any questions contact Sheila at or Jan at
Categories: creatiity, dreaming, Dreams, energy, essay, finding yourself, growth, memoir, names, personal stories, reflections, story circle, Story Circles, travel, women, writing, writing. dreaming | 1 Comment

The Hero’s Journey

It has been my favorite kind of day. I’m at home, reading, listening, watching and learning more about the craft of writing. It started at my bookshelf when I spotted a book loaned to me by a writer friend, Warren. The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure For Storytellers & Screenwriters by Christopher Vogler.

In his book Vogler guides us by a simple idea: All stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales. dream, and movies. They are known collectively as The Hero’s Journey.

It was 1988 when I awestruck by mythologist Joseph Campbell thanks to Bill Moyers who did a six part interview with Campbell which later became a book. I began to understand my current life adventure in a new way.

My agonizing  decision to quit my job in 1986, sell my home and move to an island began to make sense in a new way. It would be a long time before I realized fully that I was on a Hero’s (Heroine’s) Journey. But that’s another story. Today, I recalled that I had packed away, somewhere,  the Moyers/Campbell interviews on video. I dug them out to watch.

Later at my computer I ran across a lecture given by Ray Bradbury

If you are a writer or a wanna be, take time to listen. I liked his insistence that to become good at your craft – each night for 1,000 nights – read one short story, one poem and one essay. I’m going to do it! 

Thanks Warren for the loan of the book. It was just the ticket for today. Jan

Please leave comments. I appreciate your views and your feedback. 

Categories: Story Circles | 1 Comment

Dear Photograph

Assignment for Story Circle Writers Group, Safety Harbor Library, June 20, 6-7:45 pm.

Find a photo of yourself at an active age/time from age 6 to 18. Write 600 words or less as a “Dear Photograph” piece. Here is a start off example – Dear Jan, I notice in this photograph of you at about 6 years old that you are standing erect, arms straight down, and you seem ready to burst with exuberance. I never noticed until many years later that your fists are clenched. I’ve seen this in several photos of you at that age. Looking back over many years I see a little girl being a little held down, held back, hostage to the times when little girls had to be seen and not heard, always wear a dress and “act like a lady.” Sit straight in your chair, keep your knees together, and above all never climb a tree. 
This is the start to my piece, which I’ll bring to read on June 20th.
Thanks for coming back to the blog. Please sign in as a follower and you will automatically receive each update. Let me know if you have a problem getting it.
I have been on a sabbatical since my last post in January, since then I’ve moved twice and didn’t always have access to the Internet from home. Now you will see me post on a more regular basis. Thanks for your continued interest. 
I’d like to post a couple of your Dear Photograph Stories on the blog. Interested? Please say so in the comments section.

Sign up now to attend a free Dream Workshop, sponsored by Friends of the Library, you will learn to recall, record and work with your dreams. The workshops are part of the Pinellas County Libraries “Under The Covers” programs this summer. Call for reservations: July 17th 6:30-8:30PM Dunedin Library 727 298-3080 or August 8th, 6-8PM at the St Pete Beach Library 727 363-9238.  Jan

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