Novel Writing

I’m dreaming up my next novel project

I... Dreaming
Does anyone really want to hear stories from my dreams? | I… Dreaming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night, I dreamed I was reading a novel synopsis on the cover of a book. I woke at 2 a.m. with the words of that synopsis echoing in my head. I lay in a half-sleep thinking, “That sounds like a good book, I should really read that one.” Then it occurred to me the synopsis had come from my head, not from any now-published novel, and it hit me: I’d better write that down!

I tapped my tappable bedside lamp for some light, reached for my bedside pen and notebook, and started scribbling the words from that dreamed synopsis before they could dissipate into the night. I filled one notebook page then, thinking I was done, put it aside and shut off my lamp. I thought I would drift back to sleep. Continue reading “I’m dreaming up my next novel project”

Poetry, Poetry by Mandy Webster

Another poem for National Poetry Month: Love Long Distance

I want magnetic words like this so I can carry poems on my car with me wherever I go. | Poetry (Photo credit: Kimli)

It’s funny how I write a lot of poetry when I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. I don’t really read much of it at all, unless I have to for school. But this month, several of the blogs I follow have been posting poems as part of the Poem-a-Day Challenge. So, here I am, popping out poems when I should be working on my novel. But I guess I could use the distraction. Who knows, maybe my prose will be the better for it.

Here’s my latest:

Love Long Distance

Have you
ever noticed Continue reading “Another poem for National Poetry Month: Love Long Distance”

Novel Writing, Thesis

After all, it is the weekend.

A 6-year-old and a cat
Life seems so simple when you’re a 6-year-old and a cat.

My six-year-old paid me a visit this morning as I lay in bed considering which part of my creative thesis I should focus my efforts on today.

Do I work on the POV shifts I don’t completely understand and try to muddle my way through filtering my entire story strictly through my protagonist’s POV?


Is it more important to focus on the much-needed world-building? My fantasy novel so far takes place in a jumbled mix of worlds that I don’t completely understand myself. It’s no small wonder my first reading left my thesis advisor feeling confused. Continue reading “After all, it is the weekend.”

Random Rants

Do you spell-check your Facebook posts?

I know I’ve brought this up before, but I really wish people would spell-check their Facebook posts. I don’t know about you, but rotten spelling on Facebook has caused me to hide more than a few ignorant Facebook friends from my News Feed. Okay, so maybe you know that red squiggly line under half your words means you’ve misspelled them, and you’re just in too big a hurry to fix it at the moment. But do you realize what your momentary laziness says about you to your 437 “friends?”

Sample Facebook status update with misspelled words
Really, friend? Is that really how you think you spell “despise?”
Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

How to get your story line back on track

Master’s Thesis
Should I put my story line aside for now and concentrate on what I need to accomplish for thesis? | Master’s Thesis (Photo credit: hsivonen)

I’ve been zipping through the story line of my novel for the past couple of months in an effort to get the entire story on the page without worrying about revisions. I’ve hit 46,472 words, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about the whole thing. That is, until a few days ago when I got the idea that my story line had somehow veered away from where I wanted it to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to changing direction when it’s appropriate. However, it seems like this time I have turned down a dead-end. The story train has derailed, and I’m left wondering how to pick up the pieces of the train wreck and put it back on the right track. Continue reading “How to get your story line back on track”

Poetry, Poetry by Mandy Webster

When we were kids, we bounced

We weren't afraid to fall when we were kids
We weren’t afraid to fall.

We Bounced

When we were kids,
we were made of rubber.
We just bounced when we hit the floor.
The harder we hit,
the higher we bounced.

We fall down now,
and we just break.

By Mandy Webster Continue reading “When we were kids, we bounced”

NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing

Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...
Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? | (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November is nigh. It’s time to decide. Are you jumping into National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year?

Last year was my first shot at National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t get very far at 11,654 words, but I still found NaNo a valuable experience. As I mentioned in a previous post, last year’s NaNoWriMo really pushed me to look at my writing process and figure out this whole outlining of the novel business. Continue reading “Who’s doing NaNoWriMo this year?”

Random Writing Rants

I Need Chaos to Write

Reminiscing Summer
Summer might have been sensational if I’d managed to write something. (Photo credit: Lin Pernille Photography)

It’s hard to believe summer is over already. So much for all of that writing I meant to do this summer. I only taught one course over the summer semester, and that was online so I never actually had to BE anywhere. I did a bit of freelance writing, but the work was hard to get this summer for some reason. I had a lot of time to write, yet somehow couldn’t ever seem to get anything done. Now that I’m back to school with a full-time teaching schedule, I suddenly have all sorts of material begging to be written. It seems I need chaos in my life in order to write. Continue reading “I Need Chaos to Write”

Crafting and Hobbies

Framing Great Grandma’s quilt blocks

Grandma Wilma's Quilt block
This is one of my great grandma‘s quilt blocks, framed by my aunt.

When I was a kid, my great grandma, Wilma, always had a quilt in the making, stretched out in her big quilt rack. She probably made hundreds of quilts in her lifetime, but I unfortunately never got my hands on one for myself.

Last summer, at my family’s annual Christmas in July celebration (there’s too many of us to try to get everyone together around the holidays… July just seems to work better for us!) one of my aunts came armed with a box load of Grandma Wilma’s quilt blocks, all framed, as gifts for the family.

My aunt had come across a box of unfinished quilt blocks and had thought long and hard about what to do with them. She wanted to share them with as many of us as possible, so putting them together into quilts was out of the question. Like I said, there are a lot of us (my dad has 11 brothers and sisters living… I think… I always lose count!) Continue reading “Framing Great Grandma’s quilt blocks”

Blogging, Writing Prompts

Writing prompt: Pick an object

The side tables have convenient drawers and ma...
You never know when the inspiration for your next great story might lurk somewhere in the depths of a random drawer. | (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re a teacher or student (or both, like me,) your head is probably about to explode from all of the recent end-of-year academic activities. So, for today’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, I thought it might be appropriate to pick something fun and light to write about. Of course, if you’re in the mood for deep and dark, you could probably take it that way too. Here goes:

Without looking, reach into a drawer, any drawer, in the room in which you are right this moment. (If you’re in a public place or someone else’s home, you may want to ask for permission first.) Pull out the first item you can get your hands on. Remember, don’t look in the drawer or look for a particular item. Instead, I want you to grab one random item Continue reading “Writing prompt: Pick an object”