KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

“I’m Writing a Book”

I had the same experience twice this week. I’m chatting with a friend or an acquaintance at a social gathering, community event, or business function when the person leans close, assumes a sheepish grin, and in a voice pitched too low for anyone else to hear, confesses, “I’m writing a book.”

Such confessions make my heart sing. Don’t whisper, I think. Give yourself a pat on the back. Treat yourself to champagne. I wish you every success. And don’t give up.

Lately, with the future of “book” (as we understand the word) in question, the attempt to write one strikes me as heroic. Will the very concept of “book” become outmoded?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “book” comes from the Proto-Germanic bokiz or “beech,” a reference either to the beechwood tablets on which runes were inscribed or to the tree itself. As the publishing industry pushes us toward the virtual, will the roots of the word in the physical world seem inappropriate? Does an e-version deserve to carry a name based on the organic materials from which a book is made?

The picture that accompanies this post features a shelf in my home library. It just happens to be the shelf where my own as yet unpublished book will live (in alphabetical order by author’s last name, should it be destined to take print form), living out eternity somewhere between the books of John Irving and Kazuo Ishiguro. Given the current state of publishing, I sometimes despair of ever seeing my book assume this place.

So to all of you closet writers out there, keep telling me your secret whenever you can.  And keep writing your books.

And let’s agree that when we envision “book,” we’ll see our words pressed into paper that has tint and heft. We’ll imagine our pages as leaves that ruffle in a breeze. When we say the word “book,” we’ll think about where it will sit on a shelf or how it will rest on a table.

We’ll remember that “book” refers to something three-dimensional. In that form, books occupy physical space and cannot fail to demand our attention.

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A Writing Prompt

Old photographs can make powerful writing prompts. They’ll work differently depending on whether they are pictures of people you know, or know something about, or don’t know at all. These are some photographs I found at an estate sale.

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I brought them to our writing group meeting a couple of weeks ago to use as a writing prompt. Different people, poses, types of photos appealed to each of us in different ways. Not knowing anything about them freed us to imagine anything based on this brief moment preserved in the image.

Who are they?

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What happened to them?

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What did they do later that day?

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How did their story become lost, so that no one would want to keep their picture?

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What was happening in the larger world when the photo was taken?

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How did it feel to wear these clothes?

What kind of chores did they have to do?

What was most important to them?

If there had been stories to go with them, these photos probably wouldn’t have been tossed into a box to sell. But the photos themselves are compelling, asking for a story to go with them. If one of these speaks to you, the story is yours to write.