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Sometimes, we look for wisdom in all the right places, but waste our time going here or there to find it.

I like to find it wherever I am. My favorite place is our local Gulfport Writer’s Workshop. It’s a veritable melting pot for precious precepts and interesting insights.

My writing friends there often say more in a single breath, when we meet on Fridays, than I find in an entire book in a week.

For instance, my mentor, Barbara reminded me that “The permanency of a pen makes one more cautious when writing. Computers cause us to peck at our words.”

Doris, the African-American Slam Poet of our group, reminded me that for some: “Freedom rings like a bell out of Hell.” Freedom never comes freely. It is the most costly commodity on the face of the earth.

Alla, who escaped communism’s guns before the Iron Curtain wet up, quoting Stalin’s words, reminded me that “One spy causes a thousand times more trouble than a thousand enemies in the field.”

Another writer once asked us all, “What’s the difference between the American Dream and the Human Dream? Alla quickly answered! “The American Dream is attainable! All else is just a dream!”

Her next reading contained this gem: “No setback can end the adventure of idealism.”

One of Elmas' stories summed up many a faithless trial with this: “Sometimes, when you cast your bread upon the water, it just comes back soggie!”

Another writer and friend gave me an interesting perspective when she said, “Just think! All the thoughts in the world can be captured by just 26 letters!”

You know, sometimes I know these things: I just don’t think of it in those terms until some wise person says it.

Bill, our WW2 naval man, taught me, among a zillion other things, that “ Three (3) is the universal signal for help: 3 fires, 3 horn honks, 3 gun shots, 3 whistle toots, three words."

Ford shared the best and easiest diet secret I’ve ever heard when he said his doctor put him on a simple diet: “If it tastes good, spit it out!” That has turned into my mantra.

I think the shortest and possibly the best commentary I ever heard was offered after an intense discussion of a complicated piece that had been read. Marcia said, “I got the intent of the content.” After all, that’s the point we writers want to get across!

Every writer who reads or offers a commentary in our local group contributes a wealth of wisdom from the reservoir of their experience and education to me for free, and when I hear them, I write them down, lest I forget either the gift or the giver, ever. After all, I would be far less wise and far more famished of spirit without the input of my “comrades in arms”… or at least in inspiration and pens!

And I find that here at, too. Writing is a wonderful community activity, which is probably why I love writing.


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The following comments are for "No writer creates in a vacuum"
by MaxiiJ

re: writer/vacuum
MaxiiJ, I'm saving this opinion piece to my reading list. It's humble and sincere and filled with small jewels of wisdom.

Thanks for sharing,

( Posted by: Safiyah [Member] On: May 19, 2004 )

great piece
I think this is a great piece and it captures the essence of why we all write. I think the essential reason why writers write, especially for places like, is that they want to express their vision and interpretation of some reality using nothing but 26 letters, a pen, an aspiration, a dream, and complete selflessness. Writing is an art. Art is a subtle expression of reality. Writers are artists who express freely, selflessly, and proudly.

Great work.

( Posted by: nimashirali [Member] On: July 7, 2004 )

Thank you, Safiah and Nimashirali
Your words of kindness are most apprediated. Two of my favorite movies are about writers: "The Shadowlands," and "Finding Forester." A line of wisdom from The Shadowlands says "We read to know we are not alone." This is a major premise for writers; to tell others that what they are experiencing, perhaps even surviving through, is not something they alone face. Most every problems and joy out there is really a universal event. I thank God that someone went before me to tell me now to act and react in situations and let me know that what I am facing is conquerable: be that facing cancer, bankruptsy, singleness, a housefull of kids or just a sink full of dirty dishes! It's nice to know we are not alone in anything.

( Posted by: MaxiiJ [Member] On: July 8, 2004 )

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