The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, May 30, 2017:


Part of what restricts us seeing things is that we have an expectation about what we will see, and we are actually perceptually restricted by that expectation.  In a sense, expectation is the lost cousin of attention: both serve to reduce what we need to process of the world ‘out there.’  Attention is the more charismatic member, packaged and sold more effectively, but expectation is also a crucial part of what we see.  Together they allow us to be functional, reducing the sensory chaos of the world into unbothersome and understandable units.


(This is from a fascinating article by Maria Popova at Brain Pickings.  Horowitz set herself the task of walking around the New York City block in which she and her family, including dogs, live, accompanied by eleven different pairs of eyes: those of such experts as an entomologist, a blind neighbor, someone from the Humane Society, an audiologist, her young son, even her dogs, and more.  The whole exercise is framed by her observations of her solitary walks before and after the experiment.

I’ve posted the article on my business page on Facebook, at Magic Lamp Editing Services. If you want to read more – and I recommend you do! – you can look for it there.  Or you can go to  Or click here.)

The Prompter Room

For Friday, May 26, 2017:


Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about.  Be willing to be split open.


[Note: This book is one of my favorites for writing inspiration.  At the very least it is thought-provoking while always thoughtful.  Some of her prompts are fun and silly, inviting the writer out to play, and some are humorous.  You may also find Goldberg’s words to be life-changing.  I highly recommend this book!]

The Prompter Room

For Friday, May 19, 2017:


… #5.  The richness of life reveals itself through a richness of gestures.  One must learn to feel everything – the length and retarding of sentences, interpunctuations, the choice of words, the pausing, the sequence of arguments – like gestures.

Friedrich Nietzsche, 10 Rules for Writers

Collected in ‘Toward the Teaching of Style’ by Lou Andreas-Salome

The Prompter Room

For Friday, May 12, 2017:


A poem or story consciously written to address a problem or bring about a specific result, no matter how powerful or beneficent, has abdicated its first duty and privilege, its responsibility to itself.  Its primary job is simply to find the words that give it its right, true shape.  That shape is its beauty and its truth …

Art reveals something beyond the message.  A story or poem may reveal truths to me as I write it.  I don’t put them there.  I find them in the story as I work.

Ursula Le Guin



We interrupt your regularly-scheduled blog reading for …


On behalf of my dear friend Brian Baker, I am excited to announce that his book Mitigating Circumstances: A Detective’s Stories of Forgiveness & the Fruit of God’s Love is now available for early sales!  (If you order before copies reach bookstores in June, you can save up to 33%.)

Click here to order from  You can visit Brian at his Website at, and on Facebook at his Detective Brian Baker, Author page.  He’s also on Twitter.

I was privileged to serve as the primary editor for this manuscript as it was in process, so I am beyond delighted to see and share the finished and finely-polished product!  Mitigating Circumstances: A Detective’s Story is a remarkable, memorable, and moving account of how Brian grew from a gritty PI into a more loving, compassionate, and God-centered advocate for criminal offenders and their families, and for victims and their families.  Whatever the circumstances, lives were, and still are, changed for the better.

Brian has a Master’s degree in criminology from Vermont College.  In addition to his work as a private investigator and security consultant, Brian is an adjunct professor at Penn State in criminology and intro to criminal justice.

Please do yourself a favor and read this book!  The people and their stories – and Brian’s story – will stay with you for a long, long time.



~~ Genie