Short Story

Now available on Kindle: Rain at Three (with a bonus free download!)

Rain at three, short story
“Rain at Three” is now available on Kindle for 99 cents.

My short story, Rain at Three, is now available on Kindle for 99 cents! Here’s a brief description:

Can you ever really know the man you’re marrying until you’ve really gotten to know him? Vicki is beginning to learn just what kind of man she has married. Is the honeymoon over so quickly? It may be 73 degrees and sunny in Hawaii, but it always rains at 3 p.m.

Download your copy of Rain at Three today! If you like my story, please do me a favor and review it on Amazon.

As an added bonus, for today only, you can also get a free download of my son’s book, Avery Moves. Avery was eight years old when he wrote and illustrated this book for a school project. He had so much fun with it, we decided to take the fun one step further and publish the book on Kindle! He would love to see that people are downloading his story. If you have any words of encouragement for him to keep writing, please post them to the review section on Amazon.  Continue reading “Now available on Kindle: Rain at Three (with a bonus free download!)”

Advertisements
Flash Fiction

And now, 600 Words (Only 400 more to go!)

Journal of Human Evolution
What does human evolution have to do with it? You decide! Write the next 200 words of this story and post it to your blog. | Journal of Human Evolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s time for Part 3 of Chuck Wendig’s 200 Words Flash Fiction Challenge. The explanations are getting a bit unwieldy at this point, so I’m just going to jump right into my latest story:

First 200+ Words (from David Kearney)

The lecture theatre door slammed shut with a bang so loud half the room jumped in their seat. Alice descended the stairs, not oblivious to the 200 pairs of indignant eyes boring through her, and took the only available seat at the front of the class.

Professor Gordon Kane stood at the lectern and looked over the top his glasses at her. “Welcome Miss Turner, what a remarkable entrance. I was just about to introduce my colleague to your classmates, may I continue?”

Alice’s face burned so hard she thought her hair might catch fire.

Kane gestured toward a tall man wearing a green turtleneck and a tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbows. “I expect that many of you will recognize our guest,” he said.

She recognized him immediately; in fact, he was the very reason she was late for class. Continue reading “And now, 600 Words (Only 400 more to go!)”

NaNoWriMo

Every day you write, you are a writing winner!

nanowrimo completion certificate
Here’s my official NaNoWriMo completion certificate. If you “won,” be sure to get yours too!

Now concludes NaNoWriMo. If you wrote 50,000 words this month, you officially win. If you didn’t, that doesn’t mean you lost. Did you write more than you normally would have? If so, you win!

Now, for some last minute housekeeping: Have you completed your NaNoWriMo profile page?  If not, you should. I would especially like to see you share an excerpt from your project so I can read it. Also, be sure to “buddy” me while you’re there! Continue reading “Every day you write, you are a writing winner!”

Memoir, NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo: A final push for the finish line

Mandy Webster nanowrimo stats
This is my first NaNoWriMo attempt in which I have managed to get my word count above the daily goal and keep it there.

I was just sitting here looking at my NaNoWriMo stats, trying to figure out how many words I want to write over the next two days so I can finish by Thursday and have nothing to do for the rest of the week (unless I want something to do) aside from grading papers.

I only need about 6,000 more words. One thing I’ve learned this month is that 6,000 words in one day is totally doable, especially on a day when I have something to say. And when do I not have something to say? Continue reading “NaNoWriMo: A final push for the finish line”

Composition I, Essays

Tuesday writing prompt: An illustrative essay

family christmas present opening
My childhood was full of family. That’s me in the middle with the candy cane hanging out of my mouth.

Today, my English Composition I class is learning about the Illustration pattern of essay development. According to aa-essays.com, “An illustrative essay (or exemplification essay) uses examples to show, explain, or prove a point or argument (the essay thesis). The key to a good illustrative essay is to use enough detailed and specific examples to get the point across.”

Writing Prompt

What was your childhood like? Write one explicit thesis statement that sums up your childhood. Then write an illustrative essay that includes either one long illustrative example or three to five shorter illustrative examples to support your claim. Continue reading “Tuesday writing prompt: An illustrative essay”

Novel Writing

Revising one chapter at a time

English: Manuscript fragment from Chapter 14 o...
Do you ever wonder if fragments of your notebooks will someday end up on display in some museum? | English: Manuscript fragment from Chapter 14 of Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admit it. Revising my rough manuscript is intimidating. For a few weeks now, I have been researching my general topic and thinking about starting my revisions. However, I have not actually done much writing. I have come up with a ton of new ideas, but I have not written many of them down. For the past few weeks, I have been more of a thinker than a doer.

Several times, I have opened my master file on my computer, or picked up the hard copy I printed out and thought about revising. But, where do you even begin? My first draft is full of plot holes and logistical errors. My recent research dictates that I completely change a few major elements of my story. Any way you look at it, it is a hot mess. There is so much work left to do, it is overwhelming. Continue reading “Revising one chapter at a time”

Composition I, Writing Prompts

Tuesday Writing Prompt: A personal narrative

Shooting an Elephant
Today’s writing prompt was inspired by George Orwell’s personal narrative, “Shooting an Elephant.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I will be teaching my English Composition I students about the Narrative Essay. For this one, I decided to use a prompt from our textbook, The Longman Writer (8th ed.)

Writing Prompt

“In “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell tells about an incident that forced him to act in a manner contrary to his better instincts. Write a narrative about a time you faced a disturbing conflict and ended up doing something you later regretted” (p. 172).

Care to join us? Freewrite on the above topic for a minimum of 10 minutes, then share your freewrite in the comments below. Or, you may decide to use the material you generate to write a narrative essay. If so, you may post your essay on your own blog or website and share a link to your essay in the comments below.

–OR– Why not publish your personal essay? Continue reading “Tuesday Writing Prompt: A personal narrative”

Facebook, Mount Mary College, Novel Writing

Are you ready to write a novel this season?

a stack of library books
Today’s library haul… who says fiction writing doesn’t require research?

I had a great time with the summer writing challenge and got to know several of you quite well in the process. I want to thank everyone one more time for participating. If you managed to write even just a few more pages than you would have otherwise, then I consider the challenge a success!

Since I am not ready to stop challenging myself, this morning, I changed the name of my Write Your Novel this Summer Facebook page to “Write Your Novel this Season.” I think it’s a good idea to keep cranking out new material even while you are working on revisions for your previous stories. What do you think?

What’s next? Well, I did a complete read-through of my “Bees to Honey” novel (this is not a title, just a descriptive phrase to keep track of which novel is which) and wrote a few new scenes. I have reached the point where I need to do a ton of research on a certain element of my story before I do too much more writing. So, I went to the library this morning and picked up a huge stack of source material. I have a LOT of reading ahead of me! Continue reading “Are you ready to write a novel this season?”

Composition I, Education, Essays, Writing Prompts

Tuesday Writing Prompt: School Lunches

Cover of "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions...
Today’s writing prompt was inspired by Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. | Cover via Amazon

Today my English Composition I class is learning about description in preparation for the descriptive essay they will write for next week. Descriptive writing incorporates all five senses:

  1. Sight
  2. Sound
  3. Smell
  4. Taste
  5. Touch/feelings

I like to include “feelings” with number five, as it is often important to describe how something makes you “feel” in addition to how certain elements might “feel” to the touch. Just remember, it is equally essential to “show” how something makes you feel rather than “telling” your reader about it. So, try to avoid using the word, “feel” in your writing.

For today’s activities, I am borrowing a writing prompt from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Continue reading “Tuesday Writing Prompt: School Lunches”

Setting, Writers on Writing

Writing the second draft

The Story Thus Far
My story thus far is full of dialog but lacking in the description department. How about yours? | The Story Thus Far (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy first day of autumn!

I am currently working my way through draft #2 of the novel I wrote for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. What goes into a second draft probably varies from one writer to the next. Dialog and action come easy for me. Description? Not so much. I can do description, but it simply does not pour out of me as dialog does. For me, description takes a lot of work.

When writing my first draft, I literally listen to the voices in my head and write down what they say. I am nothing more than a glorified court reporter. The result is what I think is an exciting story that is set in the empty expanse of Vagueland. While the dialog thrills me, the average reader would be lost in an attempt to determine where and when, exactly, this story takes place. I can picture it, but I haven’t yet built it on the page. Continue reading “Writing the second draft”