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”

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Memoir, Short Story

Born in ’76: A call for submissions

Born in 1976
Go check out my “Born in ’76 Collection” on Medium.com and share your own stories from that era.

I come from a family of storytellers. Whenever a few members of my dad’s family get together, you can pretty much count on it turning into a storytelling session. One story sparks a memory of another until everyone at the table is clamoring to tell their own. Sometimes I wish I had been carrying a tape recorder with me all my life so I could capture those stories of everyday life and put them together in a book.

No matter what year you were born, you probably have your own “growing up” stories that are unique to your age group. My dad’s stories are different from mine. Even though I grew up about a mile from where my father grew up, we grew up in different times. While we share some experiences, each of our stories are compelling in their own way. Continue reading “Born in ’76: A call for submissions”

Novel Writing, Writing Prompts

Free novel idea: Three-Quarter Classified

A Novel Idea
Let me lend you a novel idea. | A Novel Idea (Photo credit: Jennifer Pickens)

I don’t know about you, but I get far more novel ideas than I could ever hope to write in one lifetime. I get so many story ideas, sometimes I just let them fly by and disappear into the never-written without ever bothering to stop and write them down. This morning, while reading a blog post on generating story ideas, I couldn’t help wondering if someone out there might one day be interested in taking one of my extra ideas and running with it.

Right now, I have four different novels in progress that I am determined to complete before starting any new projects. My notebook of new ideas is filling up as fast as my novel notebooks are. I couldn’t possibly write all of these novels, even if I lived three extra-long lifetimes. So, why not share some of my extra story ideas? Continue reading “Free novel idea: Three-Quarter Classified”

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!)”

Blogging

Keeping tabs on my online activity

Coloreando en Amistad
This picture has nothing to do with tabs. Zemanta suggested it. I thought it was pretty. There you go. | Coloreando en Amistad (Photo credit: PatWH)

Author Charlotte Rains Dixon recently ran a blog post in which she listed all of the tabs she had open on her internet browser. I thought it was interesting to see what all she has open for research and such, so I thought I would do a “my tabs” post of my own. So, these are the tabs I have open in my browser at this time:

Blogging, Flash Fiction

Who’s up for a 200 word piggy back ride?

Mandy Webster NaNoWriMo stats
Here are my latest NaNoWriMo stats. It lies about how many words I’ve written today. I just haven’t added any more words to my NaNo project.

I finished NaNoWriMo Tuesday, and guess what? I haven’t stopped writing since! Today, I am joining a writing challenge hosted by Chuck Wendig over at the TerribleMinds blog. It’s a five part challenge in which participants will collaborate to write several flash fiction pieces 200 words at a time.

To participate, this week you should write the first 200 words of a story and post it to your blog. Then head over to TerribleMinds (where you can also find full details of the challenge) and share a link to your post. The next week, you will choose another author’s first 200 words (maybe even mine!) and write the second 200 words of that author’s story. The following week, you will choose yet another story and add an additional 200 words of your own, and so forth, until you have written a total of 1000 words on 5 different stories.

Sounds like fun, right? Okay, so here’s the first 200 words of my story: Continue reading “Who’s up for a 200 word piggy back ride?”

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”

Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!

black walnut tree
Have you looked outside lately? Mother Nature keeps reminding me that summer is almost over. These black walnuts will be on the ground soon.

September 21st is the last day of summer, as well as the official last day of our Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. I don’t know about you, but I feel good knowing I have written an entire story from start to finish. Now, on to revisions!

After letting my first draft simmer for a couple of weeks, I finally sat down this week and started working on my second draft. Many famous authors (Stephen King comes to mind) say your second draft should always be shorter than your first. They advise cutting out unnecessary words, which is great advice. But I don’t think that is going to work for me. Continue reading “Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!”

Education, Essays, Novel Writing

Make teaching and learning part of your writing process.

The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook (8th Edition)
This semester, I am teaching out of The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Research Guide, and Handbook (8th Edition.) You can buy a copy here.

This semester, I am teaching one section of English Composition I at my local technical college. This is not a course I particularly care to teach. The first semester I taught it was a disaster. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I definitely didn’t know the material well enough to teach it. It was a horrible experience for everyone involved. This semester, I finally feel like I kinda know what I am doing. And it’s having a positive impact on my writing.

Tuesday was our first day of class, and I killed it. I was well prepared, I knew what I was talking about and best of all, the students were engaged. I left class that afternoon thinking, “Where the hell did that come from?” Continue reading “Make teaching and learning part of your writing process.”

Short Story

Love photography? Want to collaborate on a story? Join The 52.

Do you take a lot of pictures? If so, author Richard Wright is doing something over at his blog that I think you should check out and possibly help out with. He’s calling it The 52.

Here’s the deal. Richard is planning to write one short story per week in 2014. Each short story will be based on one of many pictures that he is asking his readers to submit. To join, all you have to do is send him a picture. He writes a story based on your image, then posts it to his blog sometime next year. You maintain the rights to your image, and he gives you full credit on his blog.

Sound like fun? I thought so. Here’s my entry:

The 52 - Image by Amanda L Webster - WriteOnTheWorld dot WordPress dot com
This is the image I submitted to Richard Wright for The 52.

Want to join in? Visit Richard Wright’s website for details.

Challenge: Write your own short story about Continue reading “Love photography? Want to collaborate on a story? Join The 52.”