Two and Counting…

happy birthday, paddle creek writers graphic


Two years ago, as I pressed the “publish” button and sent my first Paddlecreek article into cyberspace, my hands were shaking. It’s scary to put your thoughts out in public. Well, some things never change, as my heart will beat a little faster when I push the “publish” button for this column these many months later. It’s an overwhelming and heady feeling to think we can communicate with like minded people that we haven’t met…yet. Happy Anniversary to us!!!! Continue reading


Introducing Michelle

My name is Michelle and I have been freelance writing part time for nearly twenty years. I work around homeschooling, my family, and normal daily life. I love to write and can’t wait to get to my computer most days.

I am now working on novels, which I never would have attempted if not for the other members of Paddle Creek. Originally, I thought I would write children’s stories and articles. But one year my friends encouraged me (harassed gently :)) to try writing a novel. At the time, my youngest was ten-months old and I thought my friends were crazy. But in the evenings, while my son played on his blanket, I wrote a novel, word by word. I finished the National Novel Writing Month challenge by writing 50,000 words that month. I couldn’t believe it could be done. And since then, I’ve been writing novels, editing them, and now am blogging one at It has been such fun and made me realize I could write more than I thought possible.

I also know that I can sit down on the first of November with no idea of who my characters are, where my setting is, or anything about a plot, and write a story. If you have nothing written, you have nothing to edit. Writers write and that’s what I’m doing.

My writing journey began when I was young, according to my dad. He said I wanted a hypiter (typewriter) when I was two. I recently asked him why I had wanted one and he thought in my mind a typewriter would write words. He added that I was reading billboards around town when I was three and four. I have loved words ever since—I love to read and now am working on books of my own. If I can do it, around my homeschooling lifestyle and craziness, you can too.

You have to decide to be a writer and then write.

Welcome to Paddle Creek Writers!  We hope you enjoy our blog and feel free to introduce yourself as well.




Once a week, our merry little band of writers in Southern Illinois meets, writes, struggles, encourages and rejoices in each other’s success. We are known to lug our computers to a local restaurant, or to a home, or travel to writing conferences or go on retreats. And all the while, we write. Some days things go well and some days we are …well… up a creek without a paddle. And thus was born Paddle Creek Writers.

We knew that we were constantly learning and thought it would be fun to share with others who had the same passion. It was out of the joy that we have gotten from writing that we decided to share our experiences with others by writing this blog.

The Paddle Creek Writers, Michelle, Susan, Bev, and Pat support each others’ writing as well as the various issues of life. You know what we mean: marriage, children, surprise pregnancies, teen-aged children issues, grown children issues, grandchildren, illnesses, surgeries, deaths. We have continued to write together through every season and have grown as writers and women.

We have four completely different writing styles and purposes, and that makes a great group. We have all been published. Pat and Susan have books on Kindle. Michelle and Bev have published non-fiction and will be published on Kindle soon. We recognize and celebrate each others’ strengths and thoroughly enjoy our differences. Mostly we support and encourage each other.

Our first group publication, Prompted to Write, is Paddle Creek Writers’ answer to over twelve years of searching for writing prompts. We’ve taken them from printed books, online sources, and magazine articles looking for perfect literary inspiration. It is full of writing prompts, yes; but it also has encouragement from us on how we feel about prompts and how they have benefited (or annoyed) us. We offer hints on how to use prompts to encourage you or your group.

We love being part of a writing group, we recommend it highly!

Michelle, Susan, Bev, Susan