Now Available

Hey, writers and readers! I’m happy to announce two new completed projects. Here are my latest…both releasing in December!



Life, Liberty, and the Rest of It

Life Liberty and the Rest of It 2

I returned to my writing roots with this poetry chapbook! Covering everything from failed romances to the modern take on our American home. This book of poetry will  make you think outside your comfort zone. Now Available!



The Rose Book of Romance

The Rose Book of Romance

Just in time for Christmas! Writing as Brianna Flannigan, I have come up with another book of romantic short stories! Pull up a chair, get your tea ready, it’s time to dive into the heart of romance.



I can’t wait to share these works of art with you! Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to DarWrites!



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Alchemical Process and Writer Monkeys

The Alchemical Process and Writer Monkeys

Writing at the Grand Canyon Reilley Darlene

Hey, writers! It’s been a while. I’ve been busy snapping pictures, doing yoga moves, hiking around the southwest, and healing. The above shot is a picture of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I’ve lived here for a year now – can you believe that – and each day it’s another amazing sight. I love the play of shadows here.

But mostly, I’ve been a writer monkey. That’s the right write – pen to paper and fingers to keyboard. And when those are gone, I write on napkins and slivers of paper.

I’m working on what I call my Master Plan of Writing. Between the plan and the lack of internet connection, I am focused.

I’ve completed one draft of my WIP, my part of the Resilient Patriot’s Workbook (which is with my co-writer now!), and a draft of my workbook for writers. It’s July. By now I thought I’d be further ahead in the plan, but I’m learning to live with life’s limitations – like the bum leg that I bruised so badly I couldn’t walk.

That’s what I’d like to talk to you about. Life has things – sometimes good and sometimes bad – that the universe chucks in your path. You have to learn how to deal with them…and keep writing.

There are things that make you go – things that keep you moving forward despite all the stuff life throws in your path.

I fell a few weeks ago and bruised my knee so badly, I couldn’t walk. I graduated to crutches and finally, today, I am off them for the first time.

Stuff happens. Sometimes the leg is bruised, the heart is shattered, and the world around you hones in on your writing time. You might lose your way.

You might lose your faith.

It’s in these times of darkness it is most important to return to your center – to your writing. Believe in the alchemical process of writing. Believe in your skill. Believe in persistence.

This life isn’t for normal people – a writer’s life is an act of faith. The world has never seen the likes of you, or your work. And it needs it. Someone out there needs your words.

So when the world is dark, the leg is wounded and you’re in pain, remember to write.

Because it’s in those dark hours that your work will deepen. It will be there for you like nothing or no one else.

Hold the vision, writer. Trust your process.

Write on,


Darlene Reilley

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We the Explorers

We the Explorers

© Darlene Reilley 2019


Asteroids tumble through space and time

and may hold answers we seek to find:

who are we? where do we come from? where are we going?


From Earth we look up

into the vastness of space

and wonder can we step away

from this solitary home?


Dreamers strive to reach stars

Explorers seek to touch Bennu

which may hold answers

to the origin of life.


Practically we may be able to

explore natural near-Earth resources

and to learn what can

to help the people of tomorrow

mitigate hazardous impacts


We seek to know

facts about the fundamentals of life

it is our honor to seek soul-stirring questions.

It is our duty to do what we can

to help the people of tomorrow

so that humanity may live longer than two more centuries.


A poem I wrote for the NASA OSIRIS-Rex Challenge
When the retrieval mission returns, my poem will be included in the time capsule.


We the Explorers

A poem I wrote for the NASA OSIRIS-Rex Challenge © Darlene Reilley 2016

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Coming Soon

Coming Soon


Hey, writers and readers! I wanted to thank you all for the inspiration and encouragement I’ve received over the last nine months. I appreciate the support! I’m coming out of my writing cave and wanted to let you know about a few things coming this year. I’m excited and I hope you are too!


The Resilient Patriot

The Resilient Patriot

This project is created for the retired and active soldiers and other people who have PTSD. It is a choose-your-own-adventure journal meant to help them reengage and reconnect with their lives upon returning home. It also is a jump-start to step closer to the things they love that give them purpose. Many studies say that expressive writing helps people who have experience traumatic situations. This is one way we can help people in their dark times – and bring a little light in their worlds.

Release Date: 5/1/2021


The Anthropology & Archaeology Workbook for Writers

Anthropological Science Fiction Romance

The Anthropology and Archaeology Workbook for Writers. This manual for writers is based on my popular anthropology and archaeology workshop and will help you apply anthropology and archaeology to fiction.

Release Date: 7/1/2021


Also, DarWrites is getting a facelift…and a new mission. Stay tuned for details!

Write on,


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Release: DarWrites Writing Prompts Book 1

DarWrites Logo 2017

Hello, fabulous readers and writers! I hope you’re doing well! It’s been kind of crazy here! The most important thing is: I have big news! I spent the last few months curating a series of writing prompts I’ve created and collected since 2013. I’m so excited to let you know about my latest project: DarWrites: Writing Prompts, which is now available!

I’ve spent the last few months working on two projects, one which is still in edits, and this project which is dear to my heart. I’ve been told one of the best things I do is inspire writers – and I hope you find this inspiring!


Now Available 

DarWrites Writers Cover

Have you ever sat down to write, but hours later found yourself still staring at the blank page? Have you ever thought, “if only I could get started, I could write my novel?” Well, my friend, this prompt book is for you!

I’m Darlene Reilley, an author, teacher, and writing coach. At the DarWrites blog, I create content to empower, entertain, and inspire writers just like you. DarWrites: Writing Prompts helps you get past the blank page jitters! Inside you will find 1,001 unique writing prompts I’ve created over the past five years. Join in the writing fun and see where your energy can take you!

You can get DarWrites: Writing Prompts Book 1 in the Kindle Version.




What I’m Working on Now


The Divantinum Project is the first science fiction romance in a trilogy featuring an amnesiac half-goddess/half-Altarian who holds the key to saving the human race from the invaders known as the Skitádi. Can Erica harness the power of the light and defeat Earth’s enemies?



Anthropological Science Fiction Romance

This is my target – where I write.

The Anthropology and Archaeology Workbook for Writers. This manual for writers is based on my popular anthropology and archaeology workshop and will help you apply anthropology and archaeology to fiction. The book is based on the workshop I gave at FF&P in May 2017.


The Resilient PatriotThis project is created for the retired and active soldiers and other people who have PTSD. It is a choose-your-own-adventure journal meant to help them reengage and reconnect with their lives upon returning home. It also is a jump-start to step closer to the things they love that give them purpose. Many studies say that expressive writing helps people who have experience traumatic situations. This is one way we can help people in their dark times – and bring a little light in their worlds.


Other Releases

Pink Book of Romance Cover 1

The Pink Book of Romance

Writing as Brianna Flannigan, The Pink Book of Romance. Fall in love with the romantic stories in this collection including: The Christmas Wish, Cuppa, High School Reunion, Blue Eyes, Hands On, Mountain Dreams, The Commander and I, This Dream, and Three Doors Down. This book is intended for adult audiences only.






1,001 plots to get you started

1,001 Plots to Get You Started

1,001 Plot Ideas to Get You Started is your key to unlocking unimagined stories! Perfect for the new writer or for advanced writers looking to branch out. Grab your writer’s notebook and favorite pen and get writing with inspiration!







Darlene Reilley

Poetry From the Heart

A book of poetry for the modern woman. Poetry From the Heart: God, Guys, and the Rest of It is insightful and heartfelt. Pick up this book if you lost a love or are in the mood for a laugh.







Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me! I enjoy talking with you and writing along with you!

DarWrites will be back to a normal schedule beginning in June. After I figure out where I’m living. That’s right- there was a huge move from Washington state back to Utah! I lived here when I was just out of school – and then again a few years later. Now I’m back and looking to connect! If you are in the beehive state, or if you know of a few cool writers in the area, please let me know!


Write on,


DarWrites Logo #2 2017

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Posted in Anthropology, Comic, Creative Writing, Dogs, Fantasy, Freelance Writing, gifts for writers, Inspiration, Lifestyle, poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Travel Writing, Writers, writing craft, writing life, Writing Prompts, Writing Secrets | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ISWG, Science Fiction, and Birthday Greetings

ISWG, Science Fiction, and Birthday Greetings

ISWG, Science Fiction, and Birthday!

Hey, writers. Hope you’re doing well. Today’s post is in response to the Insecure Writer’s Group question: “What do you love about the genre you write most often in?” #ISWG

My answer: what’s not to love? In science fiction, I have aliens, robots, and spaceships. These are shiny objects that I love dearly, but they aren’t the reason I write science fiction. In my journey to becoming a writer, I tried everything from advertising to zombies. I loved the journey and each piece I wrote along the way. But there’s a feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you hit the thing that makes you happiest – and for me, that’s science fiction with a bit of romance.

I love writing what could be the future of humanity. I love inspiring my readers through my characters. I love throwing everything evil and bad at a character and seeing how they wiggle their way out of trouble. I know when I adopt a character they will be dipped in the deep end of the ocean without a safety ring.

I love the books I’ve read in the genre and the writers who make me stretch my imagination. I know you’ve probably had the same experience – reading Robert Heinlein’s Friday, or Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Complete Orisina. When I read The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, I was swept away to another world where H.G. Wells took over and showed me other possibilities. I remember getting goosebumps the first time I read Logan’s Run. And no science fiction book post would be complete without The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s the book that made me look at towels in a whole new way!

In my novels and work, I want to share what I love most with others – and I hope you’ve experienced that in this post.

Today’s my birthday, and I wanted to say thanks for sharing it and the other days of the year with me. I really appreciate my reader and writer buddies. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep living your best life.

Write on,


DarWrites Logo #2 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

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It’s Time for Writing Alchemy

It’s Time for Writing Alchemy


Hey, Writers! Welcome to 2018! I hope you had a fantastic winter break if you took one – I did! Happy to say that my foot is recovered. Thank goodness for that!

This year, I’m starting out with a bang – I’m participating in a Blog Challenge [and as soon as I’m approved, I’ll add links!], so prepare for a little bit of energy – and I hope it helps you with your writing!

To kick us off, I’m going to set the tone for the year – 2018 is about persistence and finishing things.

I don’t know about you, but I have a huge backlog of projects just waiting for attention – and 2018 is the year we’re going to get it done!

It’s so exciting – I want to encourage all of you to take a look at what you wanted to do this year and add one thing that you’ve tucked away.

I’ve written about game plans before, about setting goals, and more, but I thought something interesting could happen with 2018 – what if we pursued our passion and persistence like a game?

What if we gamify the writing business – turn it into a writer role playing game and level up with each month?

I don’t know about you, but there have been times lately where I’ve doubted myself I’ve been in darkness where I doubted my writing abilities and purpose. Who am I to share what I have?

Even thinking that thought is hard to admit. It’s harder to write and I hesitated when letting it out, but we’re about big changes here and facing our truths.

And the truth is, with each writing struggle, with each new challenge, comes a new opportunity for growth and a chance to reignite the writing passion that burns like embers inside me. I bet you have embers inside you, too. I bet they’re ready to reignite.

So this year, I’m dedicating writing to you. We’re going to be persistent. We’re going to finish things. We’re going to realize that even in the darkest night, stars twinkle. And when Darth Vader had a Death Star, Yoda and his buddies rallied.

So let’s take this challenge and level up our writing and our life – let’s finish things by creating a plan. Let’s encourage each other through actionable steps, and get it done. Because, my writer buddies, we are the only ones who can.

I’m the only person in this whole world who can write The Divantinum Project. And you’re the only person in the world who can write yours.

So buckle up. It’s time to face our challenges with writing alchemy.

Write on,


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DarWrites Top 10 Posts of 2017

You know you love top 10 lists – and here it is – the top 10 posts about writing by writers! You’re a busy writer – and if you missed one, check it out!


 1. Imagery and theme in “Young Goodman Brown and The Minister’s Black Veil”

YGB vs MBV Hawthorne 

2. Pathos, Ethos, and Logos in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart


3. 1,001 Plots to Get You Started

1,001 plots to get you started


4. A Peek Inside a Writer’s Journal

A Peek Inside a Writer's Journal

5. Top 10 Things to Ignite Writing Creativity

 Top 10 Things to Ignite Writing Creativity

6. How to Start Freelance Writing, Part 1


7. Writing Prompts from 1,001 Plot Ideas to Get You Started

 Writing Prompts from 1,001 Plot Ideas to Get You Started

8. Rayden Valkyrie: Behind the Scenes by Stephen Zimmer

 Behind the Scenes

9. On the Darkest Hour: When You Think of Giving Up Writing

 On the Darkest Hours

10. Breaking the Rules by Stacey Oberle

 Breaking the Rules by Stacey Oberle


I’d like to thank all my readers and guest writers for their fantastic feedback and contributions! This writer is getting busy on 2018 – and what comes next is going to blow your socks off.

Happy writing!


DarWrites Logo #2 2017

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Gift for Writers: Science Fiction Romance Writing Prompts



DarWrites Touchstones

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Posted in Adventure, Creative Writing, gifts for writers, Inspiration, paranormal romance, Romance, Science Fiction, Writing Prompts, Writing Secrets | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Writer’s Wish List 2017

A Writer_s Wish List 2017

A Writer’s Wish List 2017

Hey, writers and friends and family of writers.

I hope you’re having a fantastic week! As we come into the holiday season, I’ve noticed the emails from parents and significant others of writers have started coming in…so I thought I’d help out and create A Writer’s Wish List. But I didn’t want to make it a normal “get a pen and notebook” post. Instead, I’ve challenged myself to come up with gifts for writers at several levels – from DIY to $$$. Hope this helps.

Happy Holidays!

Write on,



DIY Writer Gifts

Writing Plot Bunnies

Plot Bunnies

Knit your writer a Plot Bunny. Instructions are for knitting, but if you crochet, just make a similar square and you’re good to go. Yes, I’ve had these around since 2009, but a few people asked me what it was and I’ve made new writing buddies since then, so check it out.

A writer’s Christmas ornament. This is cool because you can specify it to your writer and their genre – not to mention they will have something totally unique! Need ideas? Check out Pinterest for some cool DIY ideas.

A Traveling Writer Kit – this is DIY as I have never found one that I loved, so it depends on your writer – ask them what they want in their ideal kit. The cool thing is this can be customized to your writer and to their styles and needs. My writing kit was about $40 if we’re excluding my computer and accessories which I already had. What goes in it? Think journal, pens or markers, bookmarks, sticky notes, index cards…I have index cards everywhere.


Create a jar of writing prompts for your writer. Include writing prompts and mantras. Ideas for inspiration: adventure, fantasy, romance, science fiction. Think about your writer’s favorite books and base writing prompts off of that. For example, I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A perfect prompt would be what would Mr. Darcy be like in today’s society? Would a modern Elizabeth Bennett be interested in Mr. Darcy? [I think I just found my next romance novel]

Writing Reminder Stickers – grab a stack of sticky notes and write “writing reminder” at the top – leave enough space for dates, times, and other notes!

Cork board writing board for inspiration – I love this thing and have two so I can tell you they work.


Writer Gifts Less than $20

The Writer’s Block candle is $19.95 plus s&h.

A Tea Christmas Wreath. Never heard of it? I made two Christmases ago and they were adored. We refill the one we keep every year. Learn how to make a Tea Wreath from With Our Powers Combined [Seriously, the only thing I had to buy for this was the wire ring and tea…so we’re talking about $15 unless you get fancy].

A writer-specific coffee mug like Tears of My Readers. I also saw a cool Snoopy mug at Barnes and Noble this morning. Water bottles work just as well.

Is your writer constantly on the go? Find them something aromatic like Doterra essential oils. I like past-tense, balance, and zen.

If your writer is a tea lover, check out this hand-stamped tea spoon.

There is a really cool, simple keychain that reads Word Warrior.


Moleskine. Moleskine. Moleskine. Did I say it right? Moleskine. I don’t care what anyone else says, a writer needs a notebook and my notebook of choice is Moleskine. I may be obsessed, but it’s an awesome notebook with a hard top that will keep going as long as your writer does. I’ve used them for years. Oh, and if you find another type of awesome notebook, share the love – let me know and let your writer know because the only thing we love more than finding books we love that we’ve never heard of is finding awesome new journals.

Coffee or Tea – depending on your writer – or just get them a gift card to the nearest, friendliest café and they will love you for forever. Want bonus points? Add a bottle of their favorite creamer or a bag of sugar…we all need our caffeine.
A yummy candle. I recently got Tuscany Candle’s Sea and Sand candle. It’s inspiring me!

A Buff Headband. Because sometimes we writer need to channel characters be they pirates, people wearing head scarfs in space, or just need to get our hair out of our faces while typing.



$20 – $50 Writer Gifts

A pair of fabulous fingerless gloves from Storiarts. [] The Pride and Prejudice ones are my cup of tea, but your writer may prefer others. The lower part of the arm is tight, but that can be adapted.

If your writer is a reader, check out this cool scratch-off top 100 essential novels chart.

One of my BWFs [best writer friends], Stacey says she’d love a writing totem – a small portable thing to hold onto while she writes. I don’t really have one totem, but if I think about it, I always have lots of toys around – like Snoopy, Woodstock, and my writing trio: Yoda, Darth Vader, and Chewbacca. Although now that I think about it, they aren’t portable, but they are adorable!


Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Yoda come to inspire during the holidays!


Jewelry. There are tons of cool writing inspiration jewelry out there.

A Book Seat. I love this thing for homework and for reading. There’s a handy little pocket in the back for highlighters, sticky notes, or your charger. It can hold the page for you with a plastic marker that keeps the pages open. And I love the color. It’s purple, how can you not love it? They have many different colors, and when I looked it up again, they have a comic book one. Oh, and if you’re curious about the book on it, it’s Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell’s Pirate.

A gift card to a bookstore or to Amazon. Seriously. I used to think that gift cards were thoughtless gifts, mostly because there is lack of thought in them, but in this case it’s the opposite – you love your writer so much you don’t want them to have just one book under a tree – you love them enough to give them the pleasure of shopping for said book, pawing through pages and pages of them online or in real life, and then buying them. That’s love.

Inspirational toys or books. Laugh if you want to, but I think one of the ways to get in touch with my inner writer is to play. Not into toys? Try a cool game like Bananagrams.


$50 + Writer Gifts

Accessories to the computer are always nice. For me, it’s the Microsoft Surface Pen, Mouse, and Power Cord replacement.

Ooh – a waterproof, shockproof external portable hard drive would be nice.

Glassbaby Votives are pretty and useful in case the power goes out and your writer needs to write by candlelight. Hey, I live in the Pacific Northwest – it’s rainy and windy here.

Kindle. It’s kind of a no brainer – an electronic reader that stores hundreds of novels? You bet. I can even access my library’s book on it via their website.

An Electric Kettle. Because writers need tea. Or a coffee pot…your choice.

A writer’s retreat or conference – either diy or an existing one. I’ve done both and they each have their pros and cons. Hint: writers like starting with local writing retreats because it’s less intimidating than the large crowds. I’ve been to tiny ones and huge ones and it’s easy to get lost in the big ones – so for the first few, go with local ones. It’s kind of like sticking your toe in the water before you jump into a lake. Need inspiration? Check out writing magazines or websites for inspiration.


Happy Holidays!

I hope you choose something awesome for your writer – and remember it’s not the price tag that counts, it’s the love behind the gift! One of my favorite gifts was a portable writer’s kit that a friend made me. Share the love.


Need more ideas? Check out this post: How to Support Your Writer.

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