Poetry

National Poetry Month Collaborative Twitter Poem

Poetry
Poetry (Photo credit: V. H. Hammer)

Well, here we are. It’s April 1st, and once again time to celebrate National Poetry Month. I haven’t really been writing much poetry lately, so I thought it might be fun to do a collaborative Twitter poem challenge.

For this challenge, I am going to give you a one-word prompt/Twitter handle. Next, you come up with a poem – either one short poem that will fit into one 140-character Tweet, or a longer poem that you can split up, posting one verse per Tweet – and share it on Twitter using the provided hashtag. I am starting the challenge here today, and then I would love it if some of you would volunteer to host one or a few additional prompts on your blogs throughout the month of April. Continue reading “National Poetry Month Collaborative Twitter Poem”

Description, Writing Prompts

Describe something in ten different ways

Child Art Aged 2.5 Smiley Face with Writing Un...
Sometimes, I think my descriptive writing looks a little like this. | Child Art Aged 2.5 Smiley Face with Writing Underneath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chuck Wendig/TerribleMinds writing exercise for today is to describe one thing in ten different ways. I decided I needed to attempt this one since description is NOT my strong suit. I chose to describe description:

Writing description, for me, 1) is like pulling teeth. Yes, cliché is often my go-to strategy. Don’t most of our brains take the path of least resistance most of the time? It’s 2) like a traffic jam when I’m already late (HA!)

Okay, now that I’m done dating myself, let’s proceed, shall we?

Writing description 3) is hard for me. Once in a great while, 4) it pours out of me as though someone has turned on the rusty description faucet in my head, full-blast, if only for a few minutes. Continue reading “Describe something in ten different ways”

Random Writing Rants, Writers on Writing

You gotta be you, I gotta be me

Thinking
Getting to your best writing requires very little conscious thought. | Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Picture it: Sicily, 1965. Wait. No. That’s the Golden Girls. Remember them? But I digress.

Picture it: You wake before your alarm and lie in bed waiting for your alarm to catch up. You get an idea. A brilliant idea. You should get up and start writing immediately, but your bed is so warm and snug. So, you don’t. Instead, you lay there for an hour, waiting for your alarm to make you get up, turning the idea in your head. It’ll be okay. You can write it down after you get up. It will still be brilliant then.

Only, it’s not. Somehow, the words that slipped through the sieve of your morning mind refuse to maintain their original early morning brilliance. On the page, they are wooden and just not quite right. What happened? Where did you go wrong? Was the idea just not as brilliant as you thought it was? Continue reading “You gotta be you, I gotta be me”

Blogging

Tell me about your new book

Le Festival des Pot Holes....
Some days, an outside job filling pot holes sounds more appealing than an inside job filling plot holes. | Le Festival des Pot Holes…. (Photo credit: caribb)

I don’t know about you, but I sure haven’t been blogging much since the start of the new year. What I have been doing is plugging away at two novels in progress, both of which seem to grow farther from completion with each new plot hole I fill. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?

You know, sometimes revising a novel is kinda like when you think you’re just going to quickly replace a bathtub in your 100-year-old house only to realize that by removing the old bathtub, you have now exposed a whole host of other problems you didn’t know existed, including rotten floor boards and termite ravished support beams. Yeah, revision can be a lot like remodeling a bathroom in a house that maybe should have been condemned a long time ago…

Needless to say, blogging hasn’t been as much on my mind lately as it once was. Continue reading “Tell me about your new book”

Memoir, NaNoWriMo, Write Your Novel This Season

Did you write a novel this season?

Cover Image - NaNoWriMo Gone Wild - The Quest for 50000 Words
This is a current draft of the cover for my NaNoWriMo project.

Earlier this year, I started my Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge, which then morphed into Write Your Novel this Season. While I did manage to complete a full draft over the summer, I am still working on my fall novel. Considering I am only three chapters in, I am kind of doubting I will finish it by the first day of Winter (December 21st.) However, I have managed to get into a regular writing routine, so there are no worries here. Looking back, I see that I have made great progress over this past year.

I spent the early part of 2013 writing a 90+ page creative thesis that would net me an A for the final semester of my Master’s level professional writing program. I graduated in May, found and lost a job (that, looking back, I am happy didn’t work out). I was unemployed for the summer but spent a lot of that season traveling and spending time with family members I hardly ever get to see.

As I mentioned above, I wrote a full first draft novel that I am currently revising. I also wrote a full memoir/writing manifesto-type manuscript for NaNoWriMo, just to prove to myself that I could write 50,000 words in one month. I am even considering publishing it and offering it up for free downloads. Continue reading “Did you write a novel this season?”

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!)”

Education, Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

How long does it take to become a writing master?

Painting The Writing Master by Thomas Eakins
How many words do you think you need to write to become a writing master? | Painting The Writing Master by Thomas Eakins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Facebook friend recently shared a link to an article titled, Here’s A Shocking Truth If You Think You’ve Wasted Your Life. According to this article, it takes a person about seven years to master a particular task. This prompted me to consider how long I have been writing and how close I should expect myself to be to mastering it.

After giving it some thought, it occurred to me that I am probably exactly where I should be in regards to my writing career. Although I have been writing in some capacity for most of my life, it is only in the past five years that I have put my full effort into it. Prior to that, I had taken a ten-year break while I was married because my ex didn’t want me to write at all. Continue reading “How long does it take to become a writing master?”

Blogging, Flash Fiction

200 Words: Part 2 of Making Merry

My cat making merry in the christmas tree
My son’s kitten has been making her own bit of merriment in my tree. Stop, ornament thief!

The past two weeks, I have been participating in Chuck Wendig’s 200 Words flash fiction challenge. This week, author Michael Woods picked up my story start, Making Merry, and added the next 200 words. You may read it over on his blog.

So far, my favorite part about this activity is seeing how another author can completely change the setting you had in your head just by adding a couple of words. For example, I had originally pictured a lower-middle class suburban neighborhood with small ranch houses, but the addition of the Saab and BMW parked on the street suddenly morphed the setting I had in mind to more of an upper-middle class neighborhood. This totally changes the dynamic of the story moving forward. Continue reading “200 Words: Part 2 of Making Merry”

Blogging, Flash Fiction, Short Story

The second 200 words: A Real Live Corpse

I took this photograph.
Today’s protagonist was staring down the barrel of a lit cigarette when she discovered the corpse. | Photo credit: Wikipedia

Last week, I posted the first 200 words of a short story as part of author Chuck Wendig’s latest flash fiction challenge. So far, I don’t think anyone has picked up my story where I left off, but there is still time to jump in. Even if you did not write a 200-word story start last week, you can still participate beginning in phase two. I would love to have someone pick up my story so I can see where it ends!

The first 200 words of this week’s story were written by Ken Crump from the Brickhouse Piggy blog. You can find his original post here. Ken did not title his first 200 words, but I really like his “real live corpse” concept. I think it would make an excellent title, so I am running with it. Of course, the next person to work with this story might think otherwise and decide to change it. But that’s half the fun!

I am going to attempt to write the second 200 words in a similar voice, so it (hopefully) will read is if written all by one person: Continue reading “The second 200 words: A Real Live Corpse”

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!”