B. Lynn Goodwin

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

Entries by B. Lynn Goodwin

How Can I Find My Path?

“I have listened to every episode of Inspire Me Today because I just can’t resist the daily dose of optimism and inspiration. I am inspired by all that these luminaries (and you!) have accomplished. I would love to follow in their footsteps but the thing is, I don’t know how.  I’m going to be graduating college soon and I still only have an inkling of what I want to do with my life. I love writing, and I would love to inspire people through my writing, but I don’t know how. I love helping people and animals, but I don’t… Read more.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness

Life has shown me, over and over, that everything happens for a reason. We are all on unique journeys, and I am grateful that your path and mine are intersecting here. No two human beings, not even identical twins, are exactly the same. So celebrate the fact that you are unique. Do not obsess about flaws and shortcomings. You are the person you are intended to be. Instead of obsessing, make gratitude lists. Science has shown it strengthens the neural pathways that house positive thoughts. You can do this several ways. List alphabetically. List by categories. Or take photos of… Read more.

The Transformative Benefits of Journaling

It’s easy to tell others to take risks. It’s harder to live by that rule, especially if you’re wise enough to consider the consequences. Have faith. Take a leap and trust that someone will catch you. Weigh your choices. Don’t hesitate to give to a stranger but don’t give everything away. Be who you are. Everybody else is taken. Life is short. Have the courage to leave a miserable job, if you’ve tried everything you can. The same is true of a miserable relationship, as long as you’re not hurting your children. If you’re afraid you might be, weigh the… Read more.

Finding Inspiration in Shingles

By B. Lynn Goodwin. For a week, I had aches and pains in my left thigh, glute, and rib cage. When my body started itching and burning, I scratched until I had red marks across my skin. I ached, and my thigh and midriff burned. When the pain flared, I screamed, a blurt of a sound that I produced without warning. Eventually I called Kaiser’s advice nurse. I told her I was taking my fibromyalgia meds as prescribed, and she referred me to a doctor who suggested increasing those meds. I did so, and in less than 24 hours, a… Read more.

Craziness Is in the Eye of the Beholder

By B. Lynn Goodwin. “I love my crazy husband,” says my battle-gray shirt, which is splotched like an artist’s canvas “I love my crazy wife,” says a similar one that he wears. We got them on a visit to Padre Island, not far from Corpus Christi, TX, where my husband grew up. The night we purchased them, we also wore them to dinner. Maybe I was grinning self-consciously. More likely I was beaming. A woman in the bar with dark eyes and curly gray hair nodded as she read them. Her eyes were filled with understanding and approval as she… Read more.

Look at the Helpers

Years ago I decided that no two brains are wired the same way. I know DNA influences and that nurture is often more powerful than nature. I also know that we’re each responsible for our own choices. I’m not sure where mental illness leaves off and evil takes over, but I got new clues last Friday as I watched the coverage of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Like everyone, I’m deeply saddened. The inspiration I found in this horribly grim tragedy came from a line spoken by the late Mr. Rogers, who told children, “When… Read more.

Flying on Veteran’s Day

My husband’s eighty-nine-year-old father passed away at the end of October. His memorial service was held in Corpus Christi on November 10, 2012. We flew there for the service. My husband is a pastor, and he conducted a memorable celebration that honored his father’s life. I’m new to his family, and it was a privilege to watch his siblings and his offspring interacting. It had also been a privilege to know his dad very briefly. We flew home the following Monday, and the head of our flight crew was an exceptional woman named Mary Hannold. A former teacher, she is… Read more.


By B. Lynn Goodwin. I know I’ve shared a gratitude list here before, but I always think of November as gratitude month. Maybe that’s because it’s the month of Thanksgiving. Or maybe it’s because so much in nature goes dormant, but I get to keep going on. This used to be the month when my high school actors performed the fall play, sometimes a drama and sometimes a comedy, but never a musical. Later my college students were putting together the student directed one acts in November, working frantically to have them ready to perform during the first two weeks… Read more.


By B. Lynn Goodwin. “Jay’s run away,” his mom told me over the phone. It was 2 a.m. and I didn’t know what to say. I know that running away is something many 12-year-olds do, but Jay is not an average 12-year-old. He and his younger brother both have autism.  At 12 he’s energetic and determined. He’s also as vulnerable and stubborn as a five-year old, and I imagined the same questions were running through his mom’s head and mine: What if he can’t articulate his name or his phone number? What if he walks up to a homeless encampment… Read more.

Deepening Love

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Why can’t I get organized, I ask myself. Why do I keep spinning my wheels as I journal? I remembered the words of Temescal Writers leader Joan Marie Wood, who said, “If you keep writing about the same thing over and over, it means you have more to say.” Could I be having issues again about whether or not my stories are mine to share? As a general rule, if it’s my story I have a right to share it, knowing it’s my emotional memory and no one else’s. Besides, that’s a concern to address down… Read more.

An Open Letter to Mikko McPuppers

By B. Lynn Goodwin. On our first walk you rounded the corner with pride, and looked up to say, “See how well I do this? I don’t tug on the leash. I don’t even stop and sniff. Please take me home.” At that moment I decided we needed each other. I took this photo of you on the grass by the pool before the lifeguards came out and before I realized dogs weren’t allowed at the pool. I had no idea it would become your author photo five years later when you became a columnist for Silver Rescue. When I… Read more.

Who Rescued Who?

By B. Lynn Goodwin. “See the decal? It’s a dog’s paw print that says, ‘Who rescued who?’ Good question, don’t you think?” Even though I was picking up his prescription, Mikko stayed home, as he usually does now. He had a small stroke about six months ago, and even the walk between my condo and garage is too much for him some days. He’s become an old man, a little crotchety and semi-immobile, and sometimes incontinent. He looks at me with sweet, loving eyes and he tells me he loves me and he wants to still be here. So he… Read more.

Unexpected Answer

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Yesterday I opened iTunes and clicked on my Garth Brooks file, so I could hear an old favorite, “Unanswered Prayers.” “Just a little diversion,” I told myself as I uploaded a book review to Story Circle Network while Garth strummed the opening chords. Just the other night a hometown football game My wife and I ran into my old high school flame And as I introduced them the past came back to me And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be… That started me thinking about the way things used to… Read more.

Write Your Bucket List

By B. Lynn Goodwin. I never saw Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List, but I know the movie inspired people around the world to make their own lists. In case you’ve never heard of such a thing, a bucket list is a list of goals, dreams, ambitions, and the experiences you’d like to have before you die. It can include countries and people you want to visit, events you want to see, and sports, hobbies, and activities you’d like to try sometime. Whether you want to run a marathon, learn a foreign language, see the Aurora Borealis,… Read more.

The Importance of Place

By B. Lynn Goodwin. If I am grouchy, please forgive me. My allergy gremlins are at fault. I’m allergic to my eyes and my hair and possibly my skin. My nose demands one tissue after another. I can feel the redness, like raw skin in search of fingernails to scratch it. Everything’s a little blurry, but I have to write anyway, because I found a picture book summer again this morning as I turned down my street on my way home from a trip to Lucky, CVS, and the Danville Library. First I saw three mothers, in skirts and shifts… Read more.

Valuing The Worth of What You Do

By B. Lynn Goodwin. More than one book in the Bible tells us, “A workman is worthy of his hire.” I heartily agree, though I know the process is not always linear. In addition to a workman, a woman, a teenager, a multi-tasker, a mom, a dad, a writer and many more workers are all worthy of their hire, yet people have been known to donate our skills for appreciation or recognition instead of cash. Anyone who contributes constructively to the world is worthy of pay. In this day and age that pay often comes in the form of validation. I’ve done… Read more.

Finding Love Over 60

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Recently I texted my husband, “From WIFE 22: List 5 positive things about spouse…” I should explain that WIFE 22 is a book about a couple, who grew distant after 20 years. The book shows a middle-aged wife discovering who she is and what she wants out of  life as a participant in an anonymous survey about relationships. The book and its survey fascinated me, even though my husband and I only been married 5 months, so I texted him one of the questions that I could easily lift out of context. My silver-tongued husband wrote… Read more.

Journaling Empowers

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Journaling empowers the world’s number one nurturers: mothers. As a mom and family caregiver, you are a multi-tasking advisor. You give to others and juggle your time. Are you a woman who does not have time to take care of herself? Journaling is an excellent way to get past the problem. If you’re a man who found this site, you likely have many traits in common with women who nurture. Writing gives perspective. According to university studies, writing saves lives as it restores sanity and balance. Do not underestimate its power. Journaling helps you explore and… Read more.

Skies, Silhouettes, and Special People

By B. Lynn Goodwin. Sometimes words inspire us; sometimes photos of skies, silhouettes, and special people are worth a thousand words. Inspiration comes in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes it’s anticipated and sometimes it’s unexpected. What inspires you? Do you have your own set of inspiring photos? The mist rising from Victoria Falls shows me the power of nature. It’s so beyond my power. Surely something grander than humans designed this. And what am I, a middle-aged California woman, doing in Africa? I’m seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Life can be amazingly inspiring when you say… Read more.

A Classic Couple

I was not born on the Fourth of July, but my marriage was. A year ago, after the Fourth of July fireworks were over and the neighborhood had quieted down, something drew me to the personals on Craigslist. Every time I go in, I remind myself of the good things I’ve found there. I found a webmaster, who’s worked with me for 10 years, the world’s best shih tzu, and a good friend named Warren, who took me to lunch for two years while cancers, neuroma, and other medical issues ate away at him. We remained platonic, and when he… Read more.