Star Spangled Life

Stars and Stripes 2020


Star Spangled Life

Darlene Reilley


Flags fly high across this boundless sky.

I’m just a writer with a simple dream

To stand with fellow patriots and live

a star spangled life.


Times are hard, belts are tight.

People bicker, people fight.

Separate, together.


Our people strived to make this nation

this home as great as it could be

for us.


Cease squabbling.

Stop destroying.

Use your energy for creation!

Build the next American Dream!


Better times will come when we pull together

And create a stronger vision of what this

Amazing place will be.

Let’s create something that lasts

two thousand years.







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2020 Writer Helpers

Hey, Writers.

It’s been a tough year so far, but I have a few things that can help you write in 2020. Check out the ones that speak to you.

New content coming soon!

The Writer’s Pocket Book of Inspiration Pandemic Edition


How I Made My First $1,000 as a Writer


How to Start Freelance Writing, Part 1

How to Start Freelance Writing Part 2: The Plan

How to Start Freelance Writing Part 3: The Website


3 Side-jobs for Freelance Writers I’ve Actually Made Money With

10 Things to Ignite Writing Creativity



The Writer’s Cave


Write on!


DarWrites Logo 2017

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A Retail Poem 2020

A Retail Poem

Darlene Reilley


Fold paper

Stock stock

Chat chat chat

Fold shirts

Smile like you mean it

Red bull wings!

Clean everything. Again.

Bonjour. Hallo. Herzlich Willkommen.

Hold. Fold shirts.

Yes. No, but nicely. Yes.

Oui. Ja. Si.

Fold paper.

Death in G. C.






Oh my never ending folding story of life

Lotion. Chapstick. More caffeine.

Pockets, always

Hike hike hike


A Retail Poem


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COVID Poem 2020

COVID Poem #2 2020

Darlene Reilley


People drip like faucet water

coming and going

without a care.

I don’t dare

step in their zone.

No masks


nothing but fragile smiles and

“I had to get away”

“My apartment is tiny”

“I’m on vacay”.




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Review of “Stranded with the Cyborg”

Cara Bristol Cyborg Protector Stranded with the Cyborg


I read “Stranded with the Cyborg” by Cara Bristol. This is Cy-Ops Series #1. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Positives: the meet cute is authentic, there are several exciting plot notes, space, drama, and a steamy sex scene. The main characters have a history with bumps which is realistic and adds depth to the story. She thinks she is “just a job” while he says “You’re not just a job.” Who doesn’t want to hear that? The spark we’re looking for in a romance is present from the beginning. Some of the details of the book were exciting! For example: “In her palm was a bomb.” Wow! Succinct and scary. Space – we’re in space!

Negatives: Word choice, awkward lines, and a pet peeve that got pushed…there were a few thing that could have been better. Some of the lines were awkward like “How like a woman to pack everything but the sanitation basin” and others were cliché like “resistance is futile.” He had a secret name for her – PIA – and told her that it was her initials when really it stood for pain in the ass. This is a nudge that leads me to a larger problem – I wish we saw more of the transition from brat to worth heroine because she is a bit naïve.

Overall: It was a fun, quirky romance novel set in space.




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The Writer’s Pocketbook: Pandemic Edition

Dear Writers,

It’s a tough time right now for all of us. My heart goes out to the people who are hurting right now and the many brave caregivers and front-line workers who are doing their best to help those who need assistance.

I know it’s kind of crazy out there right now. Who saw this coming? Probably Michael Crichton, but since he’s not here to give advice, I thought I’d help out in my own weird way.

One of my favorite characters, Julia, likens our current situation to the first few stages of a zombie apocalypse and has had ample fun telling me exactly how to survive the months ahead.

We may struggle as writers and artists right now, but there is a brighter, lighter side.

The good news is we are inspiring people and helping them through a dark time in  humanity’s history. Since the first storytellers gathered around campfires, writers have inspired others. Our legacy is long. Let’s keep it going.

You are an essential part of this puzzle of life.

Your words are important.

Your visions are essential for getting us through this crisis and the ones ahead.

Keep that idea in your heart as you create and as you share your visions with the world.

You are supposed to be right here, right now, working on your work. So says the universe.

This is a free book I created to inspire you and help you in times of trouble.

The Writer’s Pocket Book of Inspiration: Pandemic Edition.

Writer's Pocket Book of Inspiration Pandemic Edition

I hope it helps.

Write on,


And if you are lonely and want to email me pictures of puppies or a plot twist, go for it – I’m here for you!

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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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Posted in Adventure, Anthropology, Creative Writing, Romance, Science Fiction, Writers, writing craft, writing life, Writing Prompts, Writing Secrets | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment