The Elemental Press

Write from the Inside

is an e-zine for writers with heart


Yes, that means YOU!

We  are all writers, we all have heart and there are many forms to practice ...

letter writing, journal writing, story writing, your own "story tale" 

and much, much more.


The intention of this e-zine is to provide inspiration, information and stories to aid in: 




Published by Lissa Ann Forbes

You can look forward to the next issue of Write from the Inside on September 19,  2004


ISSUE #11: August 29, 2004

 Do It Anywhere! Just Do It!

  • Do you have trouble finding a place to write? A place where you find  inspiration?

  • Does your imagination freeze as you sit at your computer in your studio or office?

  • Have you found yourself saying, "I'll write it down when I get home," and when you get there you wonder what the idea was that you had in the grocery store?

Just this week I was shopping at King Sooper's, a local grocery store. Suddenly I noticed they were playing Tijuana Brass through the PA system. In an instant I was 13 years old again, living in Rochester, NY, creating a floor routine with a friend for PE class. I could imagine choreographing the routine with my partner, hearing the music, performing in the one-piece royal blue PE suite we had been assigned for class, and not winning the competition after believing we had come up with a prize performance. I wanted to find a corner, sit down and write the story right then while the music was playing. At least I made a note on my grocery list to trigger my mind for later.

  • I invite you to stop where you are, take out a pencil and paper and at the very least make a note of the idea that just came to you.

  •  Take a field trip to a place you felt inspire some time ago and forgot about. Sit and capture the details. Breath in what you see, what you smell, the voices and sounds that abound. Make squiggly lines that flow across the paper.

  • Pay attention when new acquaintances mention a favorite spot. Check it out. Observe. Drink it in and write it down. Include any memories that float through your mind.


"WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE CELLAR? What’s happening?  There is a whole room full of people and animals in this cellar. There’s a cowboy, a preacher, and a politician in one corner. There’s a woman crying, some people kissing and someone yelling in the other corner. There are 100 Dalmations running around, and the seven Dwarfs are holding lanterns. In the next room you see Robert Frost and John Steinback having a discussion.  It’s mind boggling!  It’s crazy!  You close your eyes and shake your head like one of the Dalmations. With eyes wide open you see that you’re in a cellar full of …… full of….. books. Books on every topic you can imagine:  Westerns, Religion, Politics, Novels, Movies, Poems and more."


Barbara Clark, Toastmaster, Lafayette, Colorado

This excerpt from Barbara's recent speech inspired me 
to visit The Book Cellar the day after her speech 
which lead to the creation of the Writing Selection for this issue.




Come Imagine with Me


by Lissa Ann Forbes


The corner coffee shop. One of my favorite places to write. I can get a cup of brew and sit on a cozy couch. I find getting away from the “have to’s” and “should do’s” of my very humble home is just the medicine my creative spirit yearns for.

Recently, I learned of a new place. Please come with me and imagine … finding all in one place … mystery and intrigue, famous people, childhood fairy tale characters, life lessons, new recipes, laughter and jokes, scandal, babies and parents and grandparents, Shakespeare, wisdom and dreams, history and horror, presidents and murderers, games and stamps and music, science and math and English. Oh yes, English—words by the bushel basket full.

I enter through the back door, out of the evening rain. The door hinge squeaks, the ‘OPEN’ sign askew. No one greets me but I feel at home. Down nine golden carpeted steps, I find myself in a close space bright with ultraviolet light and scattered lamps adding a softer light. At the foot of the stairs dotted with The Road Less Traveled, Swiss Family Robinson, Pooh, and two ceramic cats sleeping under the wilting fern sits a straight-backed upholstered chair. Pooh’s and Peck’s classmates stand at attention obediently lining the walls. I can touch the melon-colored popcorn sprayed ceiling and I’m only 5’7” tall.

I pass through a doorway into the main room where the owner, Barbara Butterworth, sits working diligently at her computer in the quiet of the evening. I am the only customer, looking for inspiration. I must write a story to present to 473 fans in 24 hours. I wander through the place and find myself chuckling that Lynne Truss’s  Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2004) sits next to Joe Tucker’s  Steelers Victory After Forty (1973). A bronze foot-tall Shakespeare oversees his tomes.

In a back room not much bigger than my arm span, Pooh and Peter Pan, the Velveteen Rabbit and Raggedy Ann sit in observance of my wandering. If only I were small enough to sit a spell in the miniature floral print over-stuffed rocker I could enjoy a chat with my childhood friends.

Vaguely, in the distance, I hear the murmur of voices, the occasional footsteps overhead. Books perched on hangers on the wall remind me of birds ready for flight. Stacks are piled on the floor and misplaced characters sit discarded horizontally atop their friends.

The bell tolled early, 20 minutes ‘til closing. Barbara was ready to call it an evening. When you run your own business you can do that. She kindly asked if it was okay with me … I said I’d be finished in just a couple minutes if she didn’t mind. I had a bit more observing to do. I captured a few more details and thanked her for the adventure and quickly shared a bit of how I saw her shop.

Under the cloud-covered night, I climbed into my Toyota and turned the ignition. As I imagined Barbara turning out the lights, I said a silent goodnight to my friends. Yes, books are my friends. They don't talk back. They don't try to fix me. They accept me as I am. They tell me what I’m ready to hear when I’m ready to hear it. And sometimes they entertain me with a laugh, a chortle or a tear. But always they are there when I need them.

The Book Cellar in Louisville, Colorado. It was a place to capture details. To let my creativity emerge. It’s a place I will frequent. It spells home. It’s one place I can do it. Write.



Reading Resource: Writing Down the Bones  by Natalie Goldgerg


Natalie Goldberg says, "It wasn't the physical accommodations that were perfect, but when we are in the heart of writing it doesn't matter where we are: it is perfect. There is a great sense of autonomy and security to know we can write anyplace. If you want to write, finally you'll find a way no matter what."


This is fast read, very informative, and creatively demonstrates the who, what, where, when and how of writing. Natalie is a genius. Her format of short stories gives pointed examples that are extremely helpful about the craft of writing. A terrific resource to be kept on your bookshelf for easy reference.


Natalie Goldberg will introduce and sign her new book, The Great Failure: A Bartender, A Monk, and My Unlikely Path to Truth at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St, Boulder, Colorado, Tuesday, September 14th, 7:30pm. She says, "I wrote this book in the hope of meeting what's real. It is my humble effort to illuminate the path of honesty." 


For other locations and schedules, please visit her website at



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Copyright © 2004 Lissa Ann Forbes. All rights reserved.

laf (Lissa Ann Forbes)
Publishing History, One Life at a Time
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