Hiring a Writing Coach—The Intuitive Thinker, The Intuitive Writer by Cher’ley

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

Not sure where I got the link, but I found an advertisement for Jane Bernard as a writing coach.



This is a great interview with Jane Bernard. I really enjoyed it and I think you will find it interesting.

She has branched out a lot since I first knew her, but back then she taught a lot about intuitive thinking and intuitive writing. I was leery about hiring someone. Would I get my money’s worth? The Creative Writing Course was very reasonably priced so I took the chance.

No matter what I was writing she would have me to stop and look to see what else I Image result for fee to us image of red dishwater handscould see. What did the young waitress really look like? Not that she was a tall, slim, and blonde, but were her hands red from dishwater? Did she have burns on her arms? Did her hair fall a certain way?

Sometimes I couldn’t catch what she was wanting me to see or write, but she always found a positive and even when she wanted me to see something differently she was kind and patient.

This is what she was teaching and it’s from one of her blogs

  • C – charm feels irresistible because it’s selfless. People who are charming make us feel good. When you compliment someone, you are being charming.
  • H – health is wealth. Without it, we have no energy or opportunity. Health is part of mojo and what drives us to succeed.
  • A – awareness is sexy. We’re aware from the inside out. Notice a fragrance, a sigh or body language. Share awareness and keep the energy flowing.
  • R– reason is the point of tipping balance or securing it. Reason is common sense and intelligence working together.
  • A – action is what change is. It feels good to be in sync with momentum.
  • C – caution is using foresight or prudence to screen the outcome of social and personal choices. It’s security and back-up.
  • T – timing is everything. Talking less and sensing more keep us in rhythm with the dance of life.
  • E– easy to do what feels right. It’s also being responsible. It’s fun to do the right thing and get good results.
  • R – rest is rejuvenating. It’s part of self-respect. Our rest has to balance with action, just like day balances with night. Cycles are part of nature and so are we. Respecting our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs to rest, brings clarity and strength to our waking moments.

She and I worked a lot on emotions–seeing deeper than the ordinary glance.

Dennis, my writing coach from the last blog, and I worked on the outward things, but Jane and I worked on the inner things. Both coaches had a lot to teach, and I learned much from both of them, but she wanted me to be an intuitive thinker, an intuitive writer.  And over the years, I have a tried hard to do this.

The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time  is a devotional book with inspiring stories, poetry Mine and ones by famous poets, and ways to take action to improve your life and your inner feelings. Every chapter ends with an activity that’s called: Joy for the Day –see location 358 in the Kindle Reader. And in location 356 is this original poem by me.

Steps to Caring by Cher’ley Grogg

A Calm Spirit
Surrounds, engulfs
It blesses

A Gentle Breath
Reassures, calms
It relaxes

Meditation Lifts
To a new level
It enlightens

Sharing Self
Reminisces, blesses
It cares


***What have you learned from a coach or a writing workshop?***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Image may contain: 2 people    Please join me on my Facebook Fanpage  that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE 


My Mentor, My Writing Coach, My Friend by Cher’ley

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

I was not always a writer. I really had no desire to write beyond a diary, a few love letters to my husband, and poems. I always liked poetry. My husband went back to Image result for Free to us Poetry imagescollege at an older age and in one of his courses he had to write short stories, so I helped him. His teachers would share his stories with other teachers, and tell him, “You should be a writer.” He’d come home and say to me, “You should be a writer.” I’d laugh it off.

A few years later, a book came out—Harry Potter, there was much controversy over this book, and I thought hmm—wizard, I could write a Christian Alternative Book for tweens. So I did. I poured over this manuscript day and night, I finished it at around 100,000 words. My husband read it and my daughter read it. Their conclusion, I should take a course in writing. I did. I spent eight years learning to write but still didn’t feel like a writer. I needed something else. I NEEDED A WRITING COACH.

I was starting a new novel and was having trouble getting it moving in the right No automatic alt text available.direction. I was in a writing group and one man stood out. He was constantly giving advice and helping others. I approached him with a job opportunity to be my writing coach. He accepted. He later became my friend and my mentor.

Dennis Newman was his name, the last I heard from him was an email telling me he had Alzheimer’s.

We started working on this novel and he’d stop me at almost every paragraph and ask me questions, and give me little assignments. He opened my eyes in ways the schooling had not done. I continually paid him extra money for little bits of advice, and we’d work on projects. He was very much a stickler for details, and he was a perfectionist.

Related imageFor example: Describe a flower in a way that a blind person could visualize it. Then describe how the flower makes you feel. Describe it in a field filled with weeds. This exercise would go on and on.

We worked on writing tight and finding the exact word to describe a situation.

The novel never got written past the first chapter and we worked on it for three years. I would gladly do this all over again. He enriched my writing. He truly was my friend first, then my coach, and then my mentor.

There was a negative, my writing had beautiful descriptions, but it lacked my personal flair. I had become too much like him, and that didn’t work for me. It took a long time to shake off this veil I had surrounded myself with. So don’t stay with the same coach for too long, even though I’m glad I did.

Do get a coach if you can afford one. if you can’t join a writing group. More about writing groups in another blog. A mentor is better and a friend is the best.



 In Stamp Out Murder James learns many things, he comes from Washington DC to the backwoods of West Virginia and experiences a culture shock.  He learns what it means to have real friends, he also has mentors who help him along.


Where to look for a writing coach:


***Do you have any suggestions on where to find a writing coach? Do you think you would benefit from a Writing Coach? What would you expect from one? If you have ever had one, share a little about that experience.***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Image may contain: 2 people    Please join me on my Facebook Fanpage  that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE 




A Valentine Song and Poem by Abbie Johnson Taylor

I know it’s a day early, but here’s a poem I wrote for my late husband to commemorate Valentine’s Day. You can click on the title to hear me read it and sing a related song. I hope that tomorrow, you do something special with the one you love.





Dearest of hearts, most gentle of souls,

you are my only one,

always remembered, never forgotten.


With you, I soared to unimaginable heights.

Now you’re gone—I still fly

for you’ve given me my own wings.


Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of a novel, two poetry collections and a memoir. Her work has appeared in Magnets and Ladders and Serendipity Poets Journal. She has a visual impairment and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit her blog and website.




Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.




Poetry I Love



This Post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I had a Black Friday post all ready to go but my internet has been acting up so I am going to share a favorite poem with you instead.  I love poetry and have written many songs and poetry, but it seems that in the last few years I have neglected to read much poetry.  As I worked on an art journal last week I pulled out an old book that I use for quotes and the like and there it was.  One of my favorite all-time poems.  Annabel Lee by Edgar Alan Poe.

It was if an old friend I hadn’t seen for many years showed up at my doorstep and I was very glad to see her.  That’s how I felt when i opened the book and it landed on this poem.  As I read it I was filled with the same wonder and love for Poe as I had the first time I read it.  You may not share my love of Poe’s works, but I enjoy his works very much, as well as the works of many other poets.

I share this with you in hopes it will bring a rememberance of a time when you first heard a poet and style you liked.

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago

In a kingdom by the sea,

That a maiden there lived whom you may know

By the name of Annabel Lee.

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.


I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea

But we loved with a love that was more than love –

I and my Annabel Lee;

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.


And this was the reason that, long ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her highborn kinsman came

And bore her away from me

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.


The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me –

Yes! – that was the reason (as all men know,

In this kingdom by the sea).

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.


But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we –

Of many far wiser than we –

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.


For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by my side

Of my darling – my darling –  my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.


It is with regret that I write this last post on Writing Wranglers and Warriors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Cherley and all of you, but I don’t have enough time to go around and my own work is suffering.  I’m glad someone is taking over and the blog will go on.  I’ll check in as often as I can.  Best of luck to all of you in the coming year!


Check out my books on Amazon.com

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

Inzared, The Fortune Teller



The Power of Poetry

Post (c) Doris McCraw


What is it about poetry that touches the soul? What makes certain combinations of words haunting, happy or beautiful? This poem by Helen (Hunt) Jackson may help us understand the power of words.


As when on some great mountain-peak we stand,

In breathless awe beneath its dome of sky,

Whose multiplied horizons seem to lie

Beyond the bounds of earthly sea and land,

We find the circles space to vast, too grand,

And soothe our thoughts with restful memory

Of sudden sunlit glimpses we passed by

Too quickly, in our feverish demand

To reach the height,–

So darling, when the brink

Of highest heaven we reach at last, I think

Even that great gladness will grow yet more glad,

As we, with eyes that are no longer sad,

Look back, while Life’s horizons slowly sink,

To some swift moments which on earth we had.

From the book “Poems” by Helen Jackson

Little Brown and Company 1908

First appearance in publication September 19, 1872, New York Independent

One thing I love about the poetry of Helen Hunt Jackson is the musicality it has when read aloud. Not read as one usually reads poetry, with the breaks and breaths at the end of the line, but read as prose. If you read this poem aloud, reading through the complete thought, its true beauty comes through. Try reading it through more than once. Try different combinations of breathes and thought combining. The beauty of this poem; each time you read it something different blossoms into being. I believe that true poetry never has the same story, same meaning twice. Each it will touch a different chord.

As you read this or any poem, keep an open mind and heart. Helen was favorably compared to many of the poets of her time. For some she was actually considered the best; male or female. It is interesting that Helen was so popular during her lifetime. With her poetry, essays, and novels she able to make a living as a writer. Emily Dickinson, a childhood friend who lived down the street from Helen in Amherst, did not become popular until her death. Now the tables have turned, Emily is now the more well know of the two. Each had their own style, and each wrote beautiful pieces of work.

The next time you are looking for something do to, search online for some of Helen’s poetry, or better yet, find a book of her poems, and start reading. To me the gift of the poet, and for me that is Helen, is the joy of finding something new every time I read their work. Give poetry, especially Helen’s, a try.  For me, poetry, especially Helen’s will never grow old.


Doris Gardner-McCraw –

also writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Once in Love with Amy

This post is by Abbie Johnson Taylor.


As most of you know, I have a visual impairment. On my PC and tablet, I use software that reads everything to me and repeats what I type. With such software, there is a variety of text to speech voices you can either purchase or download for free. Some sound like robots, while others have a lot of human qualities.

I occasionally like to buy new voices. Recently, I sampled one with a British accent. She said, “Hello, I’m Amy. Shall we read something fun together?” I immediately purchased her, and we’ve been having fun reading and writing ever since.

This reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago and posted here. It appears in How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. Julie was the voice I used when I wrote it. Here’s the poem, and you can click below to hear Amy read it. I think Amy’s a keeper, don’t you?


Dear Julie


I wonder what you think, as you read me my e-mail,

the Web pages I browse, other documents.

Is there something you’d rather not read to me,

something I don’t want read that interests you?

When you repeat what I type,

how do the words strike you?

When I shut down, are you relieved or disappointed?

When I boot up, do you sigh with resignation

or jump at the chance of helping me again?

Now, I’ll ask you to read this back to me.

Knowing it’s about you, will you blush?


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.


Poetry is fun! Try it, you’ll like it!


I know, last month was poetry month, but so what?  Poetry flows right through you, if you stop to listen.  Hear it?  It’s in your eyes, heart and soul when you look at nature or something else just as beautiful.  Walk down the road and you will see and hear all sorts of sounds and sights.


In my world, I see nature.  All sorts of four legged-furry friends scamper, run and jump through my five-acre wooded lot.  Birds sing and drop their seeds from our bird feeder and the squirrels scoop them up and a hurry.  The deer like the leftovers, too.

If you have a mind to do it, put all of this into words and watch it flow onto the page.  When finished, you’ll think—that came from me?  I don’t believe it!  So then go back and re-read it from the beginning to the end.  Did you add more to it?  That’s how you write.  Keep adding until you’re finished.

Here’s some fun poetry from my new poetry book.

Whispers From the Wind


Bees Buzz

Striped and yellow jackets swarm around gathering summer honey

buzzing in our quiet ears forcing us whispering weary and abundantly scared

Little children chase off far from the attacking buzz

Screaming and shouting for their mother’s who scream and shout

for the dad’s


We’re being invaded by buzzing bees!” the mother shouts. “They sting and hurt.”

“They give us deliciously, warm autumn honey,” the dad says, “which we will ooze onto a freshly baked slice of bread,

lick our lips and fingers, delight our tummy

with the first bite.”

~~~~~~~~~Barbara Schlichting 

Enjoy the day!  Enjoy the poetry from your surroundings high in the sky and under your feet!  Today is the day to begin to write what’s in your heart, mind, and soul.

Whispers From the Wind

Barb’s Books                                                                                First Lady Blog

Painting with Words

Post (c) Doris McCraw


This post is about painting with words, letting the words do the work that pictures usually do. We all use them, it is how we communicate. Still many can’t or don’t read. There are those who can’t write, let alone write cursive. If we don’t use words correctly, misunderstanding occur.

April as most of you know is National Poetry Month. It is a month to celebrate words. While I enjoy most poetry, I prefer the challenge of the haiku form. I haven’t been posting as many this year, and that is by choice. I’ve decided to let the well fill up again. Still I can’t let this month get by without some form of poetry.  Here then is a poem a CENTO if you will, of life, love and…. It is composed from lines of some of my favorite paintings with words.

Only I can change my life

Let go of the life you planned – To feel freedom

Don’t wait for something outside yourself – Darkness cannot drive out darkness

Reality is better than your dreams – Being deeply loved gives you strength

Loving deeply give you courage – Love those who can smile in trouble

Dreams are more powerful than facts – Culture is the intersection of people and life

Cowards die many times before their death – Death is not to be feared if one has lived wisely

You cannot feel comfortable – Without your own approval.

Immortal Twain said:

” Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone

You may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

So I leave you with a painting taken from the words of many. May the picture be one that speaks to you in its own way. Have a wonderful Spring and remember to paint pictures in your mind from the words you read, speak and hear.

Doris McCraw also writes as Angela Raines and is an  Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women’s History.

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
Oglala Lakota Holy man.


Edgar Lee Masters-Poet?

Post by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines


I grew up not far from Galesburg, Illinois, the setting for Edgar Lee Masters classic. Why is that important? The small rural community I spent time in was much like the town that Edgar Lee Masters wrote about in his classic “Spoon River Anthology”. Masters told stories, without varnish or sweetening. Reading this work you know the heartache, secrets, joys and pains of these people. Much like my other favorites, I have more than one copy. I’ve shared some of these works before, but I feel revisiting, as the daylight fades into winter, is the thing to do. These works and other authors such as Tennyson, Bristow, Hunt, and others should not be allowed to molder away. So here for your enjoyment, some stories of the people who lived in Spoon River.

Six miles northwest of Farmington, Illinois. Uneroded upland, nearly flat. Illinoian drift area.

Knox County Illinois, where Galesburg is located U.S. Geological Survey (Data Owner), Alden, William Clinton (Photographer)

Hod Putt

Here I lie close to the grave
Of Old Bill Piersol,
Who grew rich trading with the Indians, and who
Afterwards took the Bankrupt Law
And emerged from it richer than ever
Myself grown tired of toil and poverty
And beholding how Old Bill and other grew in wealth
Robbed a traveler one Night near Proctor’s Grove,
Killing him unwittingly while doing so,
For which I was tried and hanged.
That was my way of going into bankruptcy.
Now we who took the bankrupt law in our respective ways
Sleep peacefully side by side

Amanda Barker

Henry got me with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust.
Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived
That Henry loved me with a husband’s love
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred

Dorcas Gustine

I was not beloved of the villagers,
But all because I spoke my mind,
And met those who transgressed against me
With plain remonstrance, hiding nor nurturing
Nor secret griefs nor grudges.
That act of the Spartan boy is greatly praised,
Who hid the wolf under his cloak,
Letting it devour him, uncomplainingly.
It is braver, I think, to snatch the wolf forth
And fight him openly, even in the street,
Amid dust and howls of pain.
The tongue may be an unruly member—
But silence poisons the soul.
Berate me who will—I am content


And lastly,

Mrs. George Reece

To this generation I would say:
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.
It may serve a turn in your life.
My husband had nothing to do
With the fall of the bank—he was only cashier.
The wreck was due to the president, Thomas Rhodes,
And his vain, unscrupulous son.
Yet my husband was sent to prison,
And I was left with the children,
To feed and clothe and school them.
And I did it, and sent them forth
Into the world all clean and strong,
And all through the wisdom of Pope, the poet:
“Act well your part, there all the honor lies.”

I would recommend, it you have not done so, pick up a copy of “Spoon River Anthology” and give it a try. To me this book, along with so many others, has influenced not only my reading, but my writing and the way I look at and live my life. As Lucinda Matlock says in the book :

What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you  –  It takes life to love Life.

You can find the book online at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1280

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL




Post (c) Doris McCraw


Made a trip to Santa Fe this past weekend. A busy time, lots of information gathered, and many miles on the road by myself. I share with you photos and verse.


Quiet of echoes, rising out from land

Rolling of wagons, images lost in mist

Mountains grow – sink, hourglass sand

Ghosts in the mind, voices persist



History beckons, out on the plains

Stories are calling, help they insist

Aged city, feels growth pains

What is mystery, ceased to exist



Time grows short, trip soon done

Will memories fade, post haste dismissed

Voices cry out, before long none

Echoes call, do not desist



Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Lost Knight cover

never cover option


Angel Of Salvation Valley ARaines Web (2)