B. Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers, available on Amazon. Her stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You’re Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career; We Care; Thickjam.com, Friction Literary Journal, and The Sun.

A former teacher, she conducts workshops and writes reviews for Story Circle Network and InspireMeToday. She’s working on a YA novel and brainstorming a memoir.

She’s the owner and editor of Writer Advice. Writer Advice recently celebrated its 16th year and runs contests for aspiring and published writers as well as sharing useful tips from experienced writers.

For more information, please visit writeradvice.com

Recent Releases

How I Found My Person

By Mikko McPuppers (Guest columnist and best bud for B. Lynn Goodwin). One day six years ago, I saw a woman sitting alone on the steps of the porch. She watched the other dogs lunge and play. We were all there to be adopted, and the others ignored her, but I saw potential. When she wasn’t looking, I moved to the doormat behind her. It was a great place to watch… until she turned around. Of course I looked away. That’s what you do when you’re a senior shih tzu and a person makes eye contact. Before I turned, though,…

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A Gratitude List

I'm in a unique and special free-writing group. Our rules are quite simple. We follow Natalie Goldberg’s practice of doing timed writings. I bring in prompts, which are sentence starts like the ones in my book. One woman reads one, while another woman sets a timer. When it goes off, we go around the circle, reading what we wrote. We don’t comment. Sometimes we respond to each other’s writings during the next round of writing, offering sympathy, understanding, and occasionally offering advice, if it is requested. After eight years, I think of these women as my writing sisters. We’ve seen…

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Blackout

By B. Lynn Goodwin. "Hello. I'm calling from the Starbuck's on Camino Ramon in Danville," the young manager in the green apron said into her cell. "We're currently experiencing a blackout." I’d never been in a Starbuck’s without inside light. A clerk who sounded like a high school student told me the coffee was cold. She suggested I try another Starbuck’s but I decided to wait. I liked the natural light coming through the windows, and besides, I wanted to be a part of the adventure. It’s not every day a business grinds to a halt because the power is…

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Summer of 2012

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Memorial Day has come and gone. Families had picnics, went swimming, went boating, played ball, and ate too much potato salad and ice cream. Right? If that picture doesn’t match your day, you’re probably not alone. Some people had a front-row seat as the President lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Have you lost a family member in one of the wars? Do you honor him on Memorial Day or every day? Some people spent the day in a tollbooth or a ticket booth. Others stood behind the counter at 7-Eleven, or…

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Feedback Inspires Me

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Your feedback inspires me. I love it when readers write to one of my prompts. Some of you have done exactly that, and sent it to me privately. I invite you to do that today, if you like. My e-mail address is in the last paragraph. You can always write about whatever you like, but if nothing comes to you, try one of these sentence-starts and see where it takes you: Next time… I have to protect… When I first started… If only… I love… Why do I love your writing? You give me a private…

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Releasing Caregiver Stress

By B. Lynn Goodwin. It seems as if everybody is a caregiver for someone - a spouse, a parent, a special needs child, an in-law, a sibling, or possibly an old friend. Caregiving covers a vast range of responsibilities. You could be raising a special needs child or you could be checking in on a neighbor who recently lost a spouse. You could be the best buddy of a soldier who's just back from the war or you could be the spouse of a police officer. You could be a social worker or a teacher, caring from a distance. For…

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The Power of Listening

By B. Lynn Goodwin. "There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." -- Edith Wharton Do you write or blog? Do you get tired of receiving little feedback, no feedback, or negative feedback? Do you need something to pull you back up? You’re in need of inspiration. Aren’t we all sometimes? Whenever I offer a journaling or writing workshop, I always explain that everyone in the room is a writer and everyone has a unique voice and stories worth telling. Recently, I gave a journaling workshop at the Sherwood Forest…

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Replenishing Your Reserves By Journaling

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Do other people's needs come first? Do your resentments sometimes expand like a swollen spring river? It's a familiar predicament. The first thing you should know is that you are not alone. When I was my mother’s caregiver, I often put my personal needs on hold. I drowned my resentments in comfort foods. Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies were a favorite. I’d pull one after another out of the box and stuff them in my mouth mindlessly as I drove to the pharmacy or the post office or even the grocery store. This was not a healthy…

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Journaling Helps

By B. Lynn Goodwin. How can journaling help you through the stresses of your life? If you are like many people, you offer help to your spouse, boss, kids, and maybe your parents and siblings. You spend time carpooling kids to school and dental appointments, making sandwiches, answering questions, paying bills, cooking dinner, entertaining, and if you are caring for parents as well as your immediate family your work load increases exponentially. At work, you do what the boss asks. As you help others, stress can build. Why write about it? Journaling allows you to vent, process, explore, discover, and…

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If trying harder doesn’t work…

By B. Lynn Goodwin. "You don't lose until you quit trying," my boyfriend, Richard, keeps telling me. It sounds too easy. It seems too simple. The more I see him put it into action, though, the more his words make sense. The first time I heard his claim, I said, "You’d better check with Hillary Clinton. Remember how badly she’d wanted the Democratic nomination in 2008?" "She didn’t quit trying," he said. "Instead, she became Secretary of State." I hadn’t thought of it that way, but he gave me a new perspective. I figured that Hillary Clinton’s defeat was a…

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Scars, Love, and a Bit of Pride

By B. Lynn Goodwin. I have three scars on the inside edge of my left forearm. Two look like fading purple blotches, like sun-faded paint or the ancient scrawls of a fierce toddler armed with crayons. The fierce toddler who put the pair of scars on my forearm was my sweet little Mikko McPuppers. He’s an eighteen-pound senior shih tzu. Usually he’s mellow. On the night he bit me though, he was disoriented. He didn’t know where we were going or how to get back, and I think an old fear of losing his home and family may have resurfaced.…

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Meeting the Challenge

Why has it taken me three months to respond to Kristan's lovely invitation, overcome my fear, and become a blogger here? Fear of technology. Fear of glitches. Fear of the unknown. I love technology, but it scares me. Change scares me. The unknown scares me. Glitches with no solution scare me. And beneath all that, the fear of looking like a fool scares me. I'm working on overcoming all of this. Machines always seem to have a mind of their own. I don’t control them. I can’t even ask them what’s wrong, what they need, or why they won’t cooperate.…

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