Monthly Archives: September 2015

Wednesday Words #40 (9/30/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a fallen leaf
“Halt!  Who goes there?”
a gravestone

 

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Too Much To Do…

… and too little time.

But I have a plan.

I’m behind on my 1K-a-Day Challenge (as in, way far behind, as in I need to write 6000 words a day for three days in a row to make goal) but I’m also committed to some Pocket Letter trades, and since I can only work on pocket letters on my days off…

You see where this is going, right?

Yeah, I thought so.  But it’s all right.  I have a plan.

I’m going to get up early.

(Right.  I’m writing this about 1:30 in the morning and won’t be in bed much before 2:30 if then, but I’m planning to get up early.  Okay?  Is that better?)

Okay, let’s try this again.

I’m planning to get up early(ish – around 8:00 or 8:30) and get my usual morning online stuff taken care of.  And then I’m going to write at least one thousand words.

Then, if my roommate is up, I get to spend about half an hour setting up and organizing stuff to do pocket letters.  (If she’s not up, I am allowed to spend fifteen minutes sorting card stock scraps by color.)  (I don’t have a dedicated area to do pocket letters yet, so I’ll set up stuff in her room where it’s less of a distraction while I’m writing.)

Then I write another thousand words.

And alternate pocket letters and writing throughout the rest of the day.

Actually, throughout the rest of the month.

I can still do this!

Breaking bigger tasks (15k behind with three days left to go, so needing 18k by the end of the month) into smaller bits (5k per day to get caught up plus 1k per day to stay on track) makes the bigger tasks seem more manageable.  And 6k a day, while doable, is also intimidating, so I’ll break it down into 1k increments with a break in between. (My eyes will thank me.)

In a way, that’s how I write my outlines:

This is what needs to happen in the novel.
This is what needs to happen to get there.
This is what needs to happen for that to happen.
This is what needs to happen for that to happen so that can happen.

I just keep narrowing it down into manageable bits of storytelling.

Speaking of which, I need to get back to work on my outline for NaNoWriMo, too.  November is getting closer day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second…

 

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Sunday Snippet September 27, 2015

 

More from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel about a girl, a spaceship, and an alien or two. But first, more of her conversation with her father.

 

“Why?” she burst out suddenly.  “Why couldn’t I have stayed with you instead of her?” 

“You know why,” he said softly.  “The estate–”

“I would rather have been with you.”

“I know that, and so did your mother.  That’s why she…”

“Why she what?”  She stared at him, half-remembered overheard conversations flitting through her mind.  “She refused to let you see me.”

He nodded.

“That… I called her a bitch yesterday; I need something stronger.”

“She did it for your own good.”

“Maureena does nothing for anyone’s good but her own.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pocket Letters

Don’t know what they are?  That’s okay, neither did I a few days ago.

You start with a nine pocket page protector, like they use for trading cards.  You select a theme (or work one out with your trading partner) and decorate cards for each pocket, tuck little goodies (stickers. fancy paper clips, beads, etc) into each one, and a note or letter, and send the sheet off to your partner.  It looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to do an actual page – I’ve been making some cards and having a blast.

Anyhow, it occurred to me last night that there is a correlation between Pocket Letters and writing.

(Bear with me.  I swear this made sense at three o’clock this morning.)

Each pocket contains something different (pocket = scene) but each is related to an overall theme (theme = plot).

So now I’m going to challenge myself to write a short story with nine scenes and make a Pocket Letter for it.

Because, you know – I don’t have enough things to do in my free time.

 

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Wednesday Words #39 (9/23/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

What is sold here?

(Click for larger image.)

WW 9-9

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Routines and Rituals

I’ve seen a fair amount of recommendations about having a routine for your writing.  Write at the same time every day, for instance.

And for rituals (which are often merged with routines) such as, make a cup of tea or coffee, check that your printer has paper, etc, then settle down to write.

And it occurred to me that I have neither a routine nor a ritual.

Writing at the same time every day is hard for me.  I work evening shift so I go to bed whenever I’m too tired to stay up and get up whenever I’m too awake to stay in bed.  Some days I’m in bed by 1:30 in the morning and other days I’m still up at 3:00 or later.

I normally sleep for about six hours, except, of course, on work days, when I have to drag myself out from under the covers after eight or nine hours.  (I just can’t stand the thought of wasting a day off by lying around in bed.)

Oddly, however, I seem to be more productive on work days.  It’s amazing how “I have to leave for work in an hour” brings on a rush of creativity and turn me into the world’s most prolific writer.

So, I was thinking that maybe I needed some sort of routine for writing, and some sort of ritual.

I’m just not sure what they should be.

So, what sort of routines and rituals do you all have?  Is there something you do prior to writing?  Something you wear while writing?  Something you eat or drink only while writing?

I need suggestions and ideas.

 

 

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Sunday Snippet September 20, 2015

 

More from Onyx Sun as Taliya gets reacquainted with her father.

 

Her father’s house was a complete contrast to the sterility of her mother’s.  Far more modest, it was obvious that he had no staff of servants:  in addition to the unkempt lawn and gardens outside, inside a pile of clean laundry waited to be taken upstairs, a well-used coat was hung haphazardly on the newel post, and a pair of muddy boots posed a tripping hazard.

But none of that mattered; there was a sense of warmth and life here, and the scent of food cooking made her mouth water as she followed him into the kitchen.

“Have a seat,” he said, nodding toward the kitchen table. 

The table held two place settings, salt, pepper, and a butter dish, along with odds and ends of life that had been pushed haphazardly and unapologetically out of the way to make room:  books, a half-dead plant, a deck of cards, and a small yellow bowl made of awkwardly wound coils of clay.  She smiled as she recognized it.

“I can’t believe you still have that,” she said as he brought over two bowls of stew.

He followed her gaze and smiled.  “A very special person gave that to me,” he said softly as he sat down.  “Of course I still have it.”

She shook her head, remembering the day she had brought it home from kindergarten.  She had been so proud of it but Maureena had been utterly disdainful.  She had taken it from Taulyn and dropped it into her waste basket, but not before pointing out its flaws.

“Mother threw it away.  She said…”

“I know,” he replied, reaching over and giving her hand a squeeze as her voice choked off.  “I rescued it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more snippets from some really great authors?
Check out Sunday Snippets on Face Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One And A Half Months

It’s only a month and a half until NaNoWriMo.

I know, I know. For most of you, you’re not even really thinking about it yet.

But I am. I’ve actually been thinking about since last month when a plot bunny hopped into my head and said, “Hi! I’m your 2015 NaNoWriMo novel!”

In addition to working on the outline for that (and fending off two other plot bunnies and a non-fiction idea) it’s time to get started on Municipal Liaison stuff.

Toward that end I have so far scheduled two talks about NaNoWriMo for next month and dropped off fliers at both local libraries, scheduled three write ins for November, dusted off the Google calendar and sent out a regional email.

Not too bad for one day’s work.

Still to do: a lot.

I need to find all of my ML stuff and get it sorted out.  (Some of it is in a wheeled craft tote bag that I finally brought in from my car, but I also have a box somewhere with stuff in it, and some stuff is on my computer – although I’m pretty sure that everything that’s on my computer is also in either the box or the rolling tote.)

I need to post fliers in other places, too.

I need to order this year’s ML kit.

I need to make goody bags for the kick off party and write ins.

I need to figure out what I’m going to talk about at the “What is NaNoWriMo?” sessions at the libraries.

And I had the brilliant idea to post documents on Google Drive for participants to print off and use to help with plotting and so on.

And a few bazillion other things that are going to start piling up faster than I can write them down on a list.

But it’ll all get done.

After all, I still have a month and a half…

 

 

 

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Wednesday Words #38 (9/16/15)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

Who lives here?  And why?

(Click for larger image.)

WW 9-30

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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I’m Not Undecided…

I’m just decided on too many things.

I had no idea what I was going to write about, so I fell back on one of my good old trustworthy methods of getting brilliant ideas.

No, not housework – I wasn’t that desperate!  I settled into the tub for a nice long soak and let my mind wander.

But instead of a topic for a blog post, it wandered into The Academy of the Accord.  Which is all well and good if it had wandered to the book I’m currently working on, but instead it wandered to Book 9 for some reason.

Book 9 has a few issues that I need to deal with when I get to it.  One of which is I never actually wrote the ending because I got sort of confused a few scenes before there and decided to wait until first round revisions to sort it out.  (The main characters are rescuing some people, and I sort of lost track of who was where and I think I have people in two places at once.  It will be easier to sort out in the printed version – trying to do it on screen was giving me a headache.)

Anyhow, its other main issue is the beginning.  I have two possible starts for it and I really can’t decide which one I like better.  Come to think of it, I have the same problem for Book 8 – I can’t decide which beginning scenario I like better.

How to decide?  Both beginnings (for both books) are written, so it’s not a matter of writing them both and then deciding which I like better.  (I still have to do that for a part of Book 1 of an unnamed trilogy, too, but I’m trying not to get that sidetracked right now – I’ll add it to my list of writing goals for next year.)

I’m thinking that maybe, once I get ready to start the first round of revisions on each of those two books, I’ll do a quick edit of both starts and post them here on the blog to see which works better for the readers.

That’s a ways off yet – I won’t be starting revisions on either one of them until next year – I’m hoping February or March.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem.  (And please tell me how (other than a coin toss) you solve the problem..)

And in the meantime, I’ll try not to come up with any more options.

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