Twisted Tree Message – Are You a Writer?

Twisted Tree Message – Are You a Writer?

We will creatively write on the topics below. I hope to see you at our Zoom meetings on January 9 (6-8 PM) and January 10 (2-4 PM) Central Time.  ~David Martin

Download the Registration form here.

  • When did you know you were a writer?
  • Why do you still write?
  • What topics call you to the page?
  • If you could write about anything, what would it be?
  • In one sentence, what is your message to your readers?
  • Does Fine Lines help you write and how?
  • How do you wish to improve, as an artist?
  • In the next twelve months, what writing goal do you wish to achieve?
  • Kathie Haskins says, “Our twisted trees look like her family tree.”
  • Do you see yourself in our twisted trees? What does that tell you?
  • Metaphors are a good teaching tool.
  • I turned to the only sanctuary I had left – within. Many people walk through life without saying what they really mean. Bury your sword and your vengeance. Keep calm, and write on.
  • I don’t want to die without knowing who I really am.
  • We are unlike others. It is enough to become our own twisted tree and celebrate our uniqueness. Hallelujah.
  • We never see the twist coming.
  • Kung-Fu: refers to the Chinese martial arts and so much more. “In China, it is any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete.” It can be a form of exercise with a spiritual dimension, supreme skill from hard work: fighters, painters, musicians, artists, and writers. Practice. Preparation. Endless repetition until weary and too tired to breathe. Cook. Janitor. Servant. That is the way, the only way, to acquire Kung Fu. Peace is found in the heart of the faithful.
  • Who are you?
  • Cardinal Rule for Writers – write every day. Keep writing. You don’t know the true story is important, until it’s gone.
  • The oldest things on Earth might be found in the Bristle Cone Pine Groves of the White Mountains in California. Some are up to 5,000 years old. The Methusala pine is 4,800 yo. All of them are twisted. The tree rings are similar to human fingerprints.
  • Raleigh, when I think of you, now, I feel you illustrated in your life what the Greeks believed: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an art but a habit” (Aristotle). In your quiet and humble way, you gave me inspiration to continue building my home and my work as though I, too, were an artist. H. D. Thoreau would be most proud of you and how you made living each day a work of art.
  • Writing is like any other emotion: fear, cold, hunger, but feeling doesn’t mean we can’t control it. Laughter helps. Self-deprecation helps. Turn. Turn. Turn. Twist. Twist. Twist. Live in a lighthouse of your own making.
  • My fingers are thin and small. My body is weak and old. Still, I write. Words give me hope and strength. I am not a professional writer, merely a proud amateur who loves being a disciple. Writing is like a furnace. It either melts you or forges you.

2015 Camp for Creative Writers Presentation Schedule

2015 camp logo


AlcaJazzDavid Martin – Emma Vinchur (8:30-8:45) – “Let’s Get Organized: How to Take Notes”

Escape from AlcaJazz (8:45-9:45) – “Jazz and Composition”

Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00)

Snacks (10:00-10:15)

Small Groups (10:15-11:30)

Auditorium (11:30-12:00)



julian adiar rsMetaphor” Martin – Emma (8:30-8:45) – “Our Lives Depend on Metaphors”

Julian Adair (8:45-9:45) – dance, music, rhythm, photography

Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00)

Snacks (10:00-10:15)

Small Groups (10:15-11:30)

Auditorium (11:30-12:00)



maria rs“Metaphor” Martin – Emma (8:30-8:45) – “Inspiration and Discipline”

Maria Harding (8:45-9:30) – “Living the Mozart Effect”

Writing Reflections (9:30-10:00)

Snacks (10:00-10:15)

Small Groups (10:15-11:30)

Auditorium Readings (11:30-12:00)



Campbell, Michael-2012  RSMetaphor” Martin – Emma (8:30-8:45) “Writing Goals”

Michael Campbell (8:45-9:45) – “Song Writing: Lyrics and Life”

Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00)

Snacks (10:00-10:15)

Small Groups (10:15-11:30)

Auditorium Readings (11:30-12:00)



LtaBMetaphor” Martin – Emma (8:30-8:45) “Mean what you say. Say what you mean.”

Louder than a Bomb (8:45-9:45) – “Slam Poetry Wonders”

Writing Reflections (9:45-10:00)

Snacks (10:00-10:15)

Small Groups (10:15-11:30)

Auditorium Readings (11:15-12:00)


Register For Camp Today!

Register online, click here.

2015 Camp for Creative Writers in Omaha

We are excited to talk about this year’s Camp for Creative Writers!

2015 Camp - TreeWe have a variety of artists from varied disciplines to Inspire, Teach, and Entertain our campers.

Over the next few months we will share the bios of the line-up, the press releases, and the details for what we are sure will be another great experience for all of our campers.

Camp - focusWho: Students entering the 4th grade on up. Classes are taught by certified teachers for grades 4-12, College, and Adult classes.

Where: Beveridge Magnet Middle School, 1616 South 120 St., Omaha

When: June 15-19th, 8:30 am to noon

How much: $150 per student. This includes a daily snack at camp and access to the Fine Lines Journal electronic copies for one year. Bring a notebook and writing utensil, your imagination, your readiness to be inspired, and maybe a water bottle.

How to Register: Fill out this form and pay online.


Check out this great camp video.


Want to know How it all Began?

This two minute video gives you the story of what Fine Lines is all ABOUT.

Our Thanks for Another Successful Writers Camp

Volunteers teach, move, inspire and work – work – work to make the Fine Lines Camp a success!

Participants engage, inquire, listen and write – write – write, and this makes Fine Lines Camp a success!

Thank you for being a part of camp this year. Share with us your experience. Submit your work!

Stay in touch, we’ll see you next year, and Write On!


3×5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Fine Lines Camp for Creative Writers

Camp is coming up!

June 9 – 13th

Have you signed up?

This is our 15th year of creating Fine Lines writing summer camps for students of all ages. Join writers who add clarity and passion to their lives with the written word. Register now with the PayPal buttons at the bottom of our Camp Page, only $160. Ages 10 and up welcome!

Speakers CollageWhat does this year’s camp have to offer?

Inspirational, talented, and diverse speakers!

Check out the presentation schedule here.

Where Magic Happens!

magic hapens pic


Writing camp lets young people express themselves

Josie Loza: Writing camp lets young people express themselves

Josie Loza Omaha World-Herald


When you think of camps, there’s just about something for everyone: basketball, soccer, baseball, horseback riding, drama, music, math, science, art.

Yet for all those choices, one is often overlooked: writing. The written word is one of the best ways for children to use their imaginations, express themselves and deal with their emotions, yet this fundamental form of creativity is often ignored by camp directors.

That’s why David Martin created Fine Lines Writing Camp, now heading into its 15th consecutive summer.

Martin, Fine Lines’ self-described “managing editor, president of the board and chief cook and bottle washer,” has 35 years of writing experience. A retired Omaha Public Schools high school English teacher, he has also taught at Metropolitan Community College and is an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

His inspiration came from teaching a creative writing class to struggling high school students.

“I had them write stories about their lives,” he said. “They had significant stories to tell. I saw how writing touched the students.”

In 1991, he founded the literary journal Fine Lines to expand what he had achieved in the classroom and provide a place where creative writers could share their written ideas. The journal reaches all 50 states and has been read in at least 30 foreign countries.

Fine Lines Camp was a natural extension of the journal.

“I always wanted to have an academic creative writing camp,” Martin said. “For every academic camp, there are 100 athletic ones.”

Fine Lines is open to students in grades 4 through 12 as well as to college students and adults. The half-day camp, which has a camper-to-instructor ratio of 10-to-1, takes place at Beveridge Magnet Middle School, and every day guest speakers come in for 45 minutes to serve as points of inspirational departure. Speakers have included ballet dancers, flautists, cello players, comedians and historical re-enactors.

Wendy Lundeen, one of Fine Lines’ instructors, said, “We give kids so much time to work on their own writing. We try to teach them to think critically and analytically and to communicate their thoughts and feelings to express themselves.”

She said the instructors don’t tell campers what — or how — to write.

“I’m there to help with editing and revisions,” she said. “They think through their ideas and bounce ideas off one another. We try and spark their creativity, not give them rigid guidelines.”

By the end of the week, students usually have at least one story or some poetry. Much of that writing is often published in Fine Lines, which validates their writing abilities and gives them the confidence to continue.

Indeed, the changes in campers are often profound — a testament to why many come back year after year.

“We are really serious about writing. We are really serious about being creative. And we are really serious about having fun,” Martin said.

“It’s amazing,” Lundeen said. “Some of the kids didn’t even know they had writing capabilities. When they share their ideas and read what they’ve written out loud and hear the applause, their faces just light up. It’s such a joyful thing.”

Martin agreed.

“So many campers are encouraged. They say they always felt they had something to say, that they had a story to tell, that they were writers, but they never had an opportunity before,” he said. “Every year, we see people’s lives changed through the written word.”


Kim Carpenter, a World-Herald correspondent, wrote this story that was originally published in the Omaha World-Herald’s Kids Camp special section on Feb. 9, 2013.

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Fine Lines Writing Camp

When: June 9 to 13, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Where: Beveridge Magnet Middle School, 1616 S. 120th St.
Who: Fourth- through 12th-graders.
Cost: $160.