Carla Paton

Carla lives with her family on a 70-acre horse and alpaca ranch on the Eastern Colorado Plains. Ms. Paton's publications reflect environmental, eco-psychology concerns and frequently feature the land and creatures. She has an MA and a Ph.D., ABD in Depth Psychology with an Emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. She also has a Masters of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems and is an Oracle and SQL Server database administrator with over 25 years of corporate experience.

Dear Journal, Are You a Huge Waste of Time? –

In my memoir class, one of my classmates lamented that she had lived through JFK’s assassination, the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan debut, and other monumental historical events, but when she found her 6th grade diary, she could only find scurrilous details of cute boys and slights from mean girls who didn’t invite her to their sleepovers. It is fascinating what we think our childhood selves would or should have been writing versus what they actually did. But this makes sense. As a child (and even for

The Third Trimester at the Watergate –

My 86 year-old mother made a whiny balloon-deflating cry and her face convulsed in the pained expression of one who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. “But, this isn’t the right kind,” she cried, half-crumpled over the kitchen sink. “What!? You said, “grass-fed beef” like three times! Look, it’s 85% just like you asked for!” “No, I meant that I didn’t want you to get grass-fed; the texture is too grainy.” “But grass-fed is so much healthier, and you said it THREE times! You didn’t sa

5 Powerful Writer Archetypes that Will Improve your Writing

From the title of this article, you might be thinking that I will be discussing common archetypes that writers can use for creating fictional characters. That is one useful way that writers can enlist archetypes. But that is not my intent here. Instead, I will be turning this around. I am asking, what archetype do you as a writer (and perhaps as a person) most align with? Of course, we do not all fall into one archetypal role as people or as writers. For example, I am a daughter and a mother. I

Barbie’s {STEM} Inferiority Complex: Obstacles to Living an Authentic Life

In 1992, the Mattel toy company released a Teen Talk Barbie that said, “Math class is tough!” This phrase (later removed from Barbie’s repertoire) from a popular culture icon reflected the math anxiety that many students have. As a teenager, I experienced math anxiety after my initial exposure to algebra. While I was able to overcome this in my college years, it had a lasting impact because it determined what I would major in. I was very interested in the earth sciences as my father was a meteor

5 Time Tested Traits for Your Ultimate Romance Protagonist

The best romantic heroes and heroines sweep us off our feet and make us believe in love again. Mediocre protagonists barely register. As a romance writer, your priority is crafting characters that we remember long after putting the book down. Hard to pull off? You bet. But heroes from long-dead civilizations, like Homer’s Odysseus and Helen of Troy, still resound today. There’s a good reason for it. Powerful characters live on by embodying mythic traits that we also associative with ourselves.

7 Top Themes of 50 Top Medium Writers in “Writing” –

Imagine that you are a writer new to Medium. Question abound. What do I write about? What will people read? What has been written before? What will break through the noise? In thinking about these questions and because I normally write about writing, I was curious to see what the “Top Writers in Writing” were writing about and how they got that designation. I don’t know Medium’s algorithm of how you become a Top 50 writer within any tag, but I do know that it is not based on the number of foll

Fire up your Fiction! 9 Powerful Online Fiction Writing Courses

There are now many great creative writing and online fiction writing courses. You could probably write a short story or outline a novel in the time it will take you to research and compare what’s out there. So, without any more time wasting, we’ve put together a few top courses that will get you back to writing… Scrivener Full Course on How to Write a Book in Scrivener This course taught by Karen Prince will help you to master all the major features of your Scrivener writing software to write

How to Rescue Your Heroine’s Unique Character Arc –

When Joseph Campbell wrote his comparative mythology opus, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he set in motion the embracing of a mono-myth that would launch hundreds of Hollywood and novel writer’s careers. Campbell’s dense academic writing is not for the fainthearted however and it was Christopher Vogler who brought Campbell’s work to the popular masses with his, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, now in its third edition. As you may have noticed, both of these works are based u

What spending WWI & WWII with Ken Follett taught me about writing

“They” say you should write the same kind of fiction (or books) that you like to read. Oh, dear. I’m screwed. I mean there is historical fiction and then there is Ken Follett. For the last few weeks, I have been listening to his, The Century Trilogy (see below). A few years ago, I had read his book, The Pillars of the Earth: A Novel and had been astounded by the level of historical detail, the richness of the characters, and the intricate plots and subplots. Follett makes no secret of his pai

Marketing for Writers - How to Love Marketing Even if You Don't

Marketing for writers or how to make sweet marketing love for writers that don’t (love marketing) Yes, it is sweet to imagine that you can just write and write non-stop. Sit under that tree and wax poetic. Ahhh, life is good. No Twittering, Facebooking, Instagramming, Snap Chatting social media to update with your latest lunch epiphanies. No email list to build and build. No themes or new plug-ins to figure out and update. No writing of auto-response emails that suck the life-force out of ever

Farewell my father: walking the trail of beauty in old age

He could enjoy Axum prancing and neighing to the mares and then watch the four mares come running down the opposite hill in response. Occasionally dad would alert us that a certain dog had escaped or that a storm was coming in. He was looking out. He was keeping track. In his last few years, he sat the entire day in his chair by the big picture window. From this vantage point, dad could survey most of the comings and goings of the ranch. He could watch the majestic Arabian stallion, Axum gallop

Writing Myths, Rhythms, Realities, and Mornings –

We all have our ideal morning, right? We wake up refreshed, get right to our keyboard, or morning pages journal and favorite pen, with a steaming mug of our favorite caffeinated beverage. The house is quiet. We have been good and not peeked at messages or emails. We commence writing something worthy, something all our own. It used to be that my favorite time of day was the hour or so before I go to sleep, work and chores done, curled in bed with a book. Now, however, or for the last two weeks

Letter to a young creative writer —How do I start? –

Don’t worry too much about finding your writing “voice” at this point. You will discover that over the course of your writing. It might take many years and lots of writing before you know what you enjoy writing the most. You don’t have to pick one kind or genre…many people write fiction, articles, and poetry, or some combination, but you might discover that your writing “voice” is best suited to one genre or type. This is to discover what kind of creative writing you would like to do. Most peo

How to write like Kafka: “Follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly”

How to write like Kafka: “Follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly” Perhaps I should not wish this on you. How to write like Kafka, that is. After all no one would accuse Kafka of being a happy person. He asked his friend Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts upon his death. Fortunately for us, Brod ignored this and had them published. But perhaps you would like your writing to be more Kafkaesque. You enjoy mixing fun themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. So,

What is a memoir? How to be a memoir Rockstar — the ultimate memoir writer’s toolkit

How to be a memoir Rockstar — the ultimate memoir writer’s toolkit “Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, “We *told* you not to tell.” But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and rel