Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: If money were no object

For this week’s Wednesday writing prompt, I came up with one of my own. Here’s your writing prompt for the week:

If money were no object…

And my shot at it:

If money were no object, I would buy a big old Victorian house with a wraparound porch and a wooden deck off the back overlooking the woods. Maybe there would be a lazy stream ambling through the woods, with all manner of wildlife to watch from the deck.

I would only need a bedroom, a sitting room, and a bathroom for myself (for some reason, I am imagining this happening after my kids have grown up and moved on) and my cat. We would live at the top of the house, and I would turn the downstairs into a sleepy little bookshop/café. Money would be no object, so I would be happy for it to not be a busy business. In fact, if it were too busy, that would defeat the purpose of my master plan.

In the morning, I would get up and cook whatever baked concoction I was in the mood for at that day. (As I write this, I have a blackberry lemon loaf in the oven. I hate to cook but love to bake!) I wouldn’t need to make much since my shop isn’t that busy. Who wants to spend that much time in the kitchen anyway?

Blackberry Lemon Loaf
I can’t make just one loaf when I own two loaf pans. Where’s the sense in that?

I’d get the espresso bar cranked up and ready to go for my morning rush and then chat with my neighbors as they stop in to get their morning cups on their way to work. On the weekends, my good friends and neighbors would get their cups and stay, lounging around in the giant stuffed couches and arm chairs that are scattered about the place. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: If money were no object”

Essays, Writing Prompts

Call for submissions: As Good as a Feast

I am currently seeking submissions for an essay/poetry anthology that I am compiling titled, “As Good as a Feast.” I will be paying for up to ten of the essays that will appear in this collection. Any additional accepted submissions will still be eligible for publication in the anthology. However, there will be no monetary compensation for these.

typewriter

I am currently accepting submissions via eLance through July 25, 2015. If you miss this deadline, you may still submit via the Elderfly Press website through August 30, 2015. However, monetary compensation is available only for those essays submitted via eLance.

Submission Requirements

Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie book series will no doubt be familiar with the expression, “Enough is as good as a feast.” Ma Ingalls often uttered this phrase as a reminder to her children that as long as they had “enough,” they had all they needed. Continue reading “Call for submissions: As Good as a Feast”

Memoir

I dreamed I rode my horse

English: Eye of horse.
English: Eye of horse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night, I dreamed I was riding my old horse, Ruby, who’s been gone now for at least a decade. She’s a flighty old nag even in my dreams. Ruby had this annoying habit of flopping her head backward constantly, which always left me with the fear of being head-butted as I rode her. Once her son, Stormy, was old enough, I usually chose to ride him instead when I had the option.

In my dream, I was riding Ruby along a country road, and she kept throwing her head back at me as she always did. Up ahead, several other horses milled about on either side of the road. They perked their ears up as we drew closer, and Ruby grew increasingly agitated. Unfamiliar horses always made her nervous. I too grew anxious, clamping my fists around the reins in an effort to maneuver her past the other horses without incident. Continue reading “I dreamed I rode my horse”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox

writing prompt meme
I got mugged this morning. He snatched my lunchbox right out of my hand.

Write on this prompt, then share your work on your blog or website. Post a link to the comments below. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: A Day in the Life of a Shadow Consultant

For some reason, this article gave me a ton of story ideas while I was reading it. For today’s Wednesday writing prompt, choose a title below, or read the article and come up with a new one of your own.

A day in the life of a shadow consultant

  • Life in the Shadowlands
  • A Day in the Life of a Shadow Consultant
  • The Geometry of Sunshine
  • Where Shadows Would Fall

Write a story, post it to your blog, share a link here in the comments.

Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: A Day in the Life of a Shadow Consultant”

Essays, Writers on Writing

What if writing full-time isn’t right for you?

How often have you thought about quitting your day job and writing full-time? That’s what we are all supposed to be aiming for, right? Someday, we think, we will make enough money writing that we can tell our employers to take our crappy day jobs and shove ‘em where the sun don’t shine. Anyway, that’s what we’re supposed to want. But what happens if it turns out that dream isn’t right for you?

Take this job and shove it. writing meme
Take this job and shove it.

I spent a few years freelancing, and let me tell you: It was not what it was cracked up to be. I had to really hustle to make a living, and then the self-employment headaches ended up being more trouble than they were worth. The line between my personal life and my professional life blurred to the point where I felt like I was working 24/7. Continue reading “What if writing full-time isn’t right for you?”

Novel Writing, Writing Prompts

Freewriting practice: Name your protagonist’s internal villain

In a recent blog post on writing villains, The Write Practice’s Joe Bunting says that in every story, “there is always only one internal villain… whether it is fear, lust for power, or control.” This, of course, got me to thinking about my own protagonist in one of my current works in progress. I decided to do a freewrite on this topic and share it with you.

My freewrite: Who is M’s internal villain?

She just wants to go somewhere and lead an adventure. She doesn’t seem to care where she goes, which allows her to be led by evil people to places that she doesn’t want to be. She is so afraid of being ordinary and being stuck where she is that she jumps at any opportunity to be someplace and someone different.

My protagonist could use a little Katy Perry in her.

One of the problems that I seem to be having with my protagonists in this and with Valley of the Bees is the fact that neither of them seem to have any agency. They both allow themselves to be victims of plot. I can’t decide if this is good or bad. I feel like it’s something that my protagonists need to overcome. But at the same time, I’ve been taught that characters who just allow themselves to be carried along by the plot are the weak superheroes of weak stories. Am I writing weak stories? Continue reading “Freewriting practice: Name your protagonist’s internal villain”

Digital Marketing, Essays, Memoir

My Final Paper | Teaching Life Writing as a Life Skill: Normalizing the Deviant Self via Personal Narrative

I finally finished the class I was taking this semester and turned in my 22-page final paper on Thursday. Yay! While I shared several of my earlier papers here on my blog throughout the semester, this paper is just way too long for that. So, I decided to see this as an opportunity to explore a new (to me) publishing platform that I had previously only used for reading: Scribd.

It turns out, Scribd is super easy to use. You can embed your documents right into your blog as I have done above so your readers don’t even have to leave your website! You can also charge people to read your documents on the Scribd website. I’m not going to do that with this paper, though. You may feel free to read it here in tiny text, or click through to the Scribd website or app to read it for free at your leisure! Continue reading “My Final Paper | Teaching Life Writing as a Life Skill: Normalizing the Deviant Self via Personal Narrative”

Essays, Flowers, Illinois, Memoir, Nature

I’m suffering a little spring nostalgia

I’m feeling a little sad today. The redbud trees are slowly beginning to exchange their flowers for leaves. It may have been cool this week, but summer will soon overpower my favorite season, and we’ll be wilting in the sultry steam of a central Illinois summer.

This time of year always reminds me of my Grandma Webster who passed away just over nine years ago now. I was pregnant with my younger son when Grandma left us, so I will always be able to recall just how long she has been gone.

When I was a kid, I used to sneak down the hill by Grandma’s house with a pair of scissors and cut a few twigs of blooming rosebuds to surprise her with. Every time, she showed her appreciation for the gesture as if it was the first time. She had a way of making every single one of her grandchildren – so many of us now, I’ve lost count – believe ourselves to be her favorite. To this day, I am still fairly confident that I was Grandma’s favorite. But then again, so is everyone else!

redbud tree
The redbud trees are in bloom all over central Illinois right now, but they won’t last long.

Another treasured spring memory is a composite of all of the times I went mushroom hunting with my grandma in the woods by her house. Morels are plentiful in the woods of my homeland this time of year. When I was a kid, it seemed as though everyone I knew made a mass exodus into the local woodlands to search for this delectable treat. For a few short weeks, we’d have fried mushrooms for breakfast, and then again as a side dish at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, I’ve never been any good at finding them myself. Continue reading “I’m suffering a little spring nostalgia”