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Do you wish you could write? Or you'd like to get back into writing? You've landed in the right place! I'm Kim Duke, your writing coach based in Canada. I help women start writing for the sheer joy of it!

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Write About The Secret Story

Dial 0 to talk to the Universe!

When you’re stuck about what to write and you feel completely devoid of creativity? Here’s a simple suggestion that doesn’t cost a penny. Find something you have on display, or that you use daily. And, then write about the secret story it holds.

If you were invited to my house for coffee, you’d probably notice this in the corner of my living room. It’s a beat-up vintage rotary phone that’s not plugged into a wall, but it’s plugged into my heart. When my beloved aunt passed away several years ago, this was something I wanted from her office. I liked that she had used it at one time. I enjoyed its solid weight. And I felt it contained a secret. More on that in a minute.

It’s a strange thing to incorporate your dead loved one’s items into your home. Strange and yet beautiful too. One day I was missing my aunt so badly, I could barely think straight. In desperation, I walked over to her phone and picked up the receiver. I held it to my ear. Silence. And then I dialed 0 and heard the long clackety-clack of the rotary dial.

I started talking to her. I said how much I missed hearing her voice. I told her I missed her eyes, hugs, laughs, and smiles. I told her it felt inconceivable, that someone who meant so much to me had died, and somehow, I had to live the rest of my life without her. She was my aunt and best friend rolled into one person. I told her she’d changed my life. I told her that I think of her daily and sometimes I still pretend she’s alive and that she’s just away on a holiday. I told her how I miss her cooking; her advice; her famous Caeser cocktail; the thrifting adventures with cups of coffee in our hands; and our long talks well into the night.

You’re probably wondering if she answered back.

I know you’re not going to believe it. And you may think I’m ridiculous. But when I finished my one-sided conversation? Somehow, I knew she’d heard me. I felt lighter. I felt heard.

What’s In Your Kitchen, Living Room, or Bookcase?

Our homes are reflections of our lives. And many items hold a secret story. The wooden rolling pin from your Italian grandmother. A beat-up pot you found at a garage sale and have been making your famous mashed potatoes in ever since. The vintage children’s book you discovered in an ancient second-hand bookstore. The stones you pick up and haul home from every country you visit. The concert ticket you use as a bookmark.

Stuff like that.

Your story doesn’t have to be profound or fancy. But it does have to contain the emotion that pulses from the item you’ve chosen. The odds are you don’t have something close by that makes you sad every time you look at it. (Those items tend to be hidden away.) But you’ve probably surrounded yourself with goofy or sentimental things that make you smile when you see or use them.

Start there.

My God-phone, or Universe phone, or I-need-to-talk-to-my-aunt phone, does wonders for me. Often I make myself a coffee and dial either 0, G-O-D, or my aunt’s name (because remember the rotary phones have both the alphabet and numbers on them). There’s something about the rotary dial making its clackety-clack sound that warms my heart. It slows me down because you can’t rush a rotary phone. It has a mind and speed of its own.

The best part? Whatever number I choose – I know she’s always waiting for me on the other end of the line.

*Did you love this? Then check out Scribbly – my quirky and gentle writing program that we snail-mail right to your home. Each issue has a theme, so all you have to do is follow the path! We make it easy and fun for you. We’re nice like that.

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