This blog is a wide variety of things. Most titles are prompts I have followed.
This journal is a wide collection of things. Some of it is just a free flow of thoughts. Some of it is from Earl's 31-Day Challenge a long time ago. The rest is from given writing prompts that I have found around the Net from various groups to which I belong. It's not often that I rant about life in general, but you will find some of that here as well. Things here are mostly prompts I have followed. Maybe you will find a prompt that inspires you.
Welcome to my blog!
|September starts my favorite time of the year. I call it NaNo Pre Prep. October, of course, is prep, and November is NaNo! I like to call September my "What the heck am I going to write about" month. This year, I moved and bought a house. Across the street from this house is a large church. It instantly became an inspiration when my beagle, Daisy, would randomly bark at the church for what seemed like no apparent reason.
"Oooh," my writerly-brain said, "What's going on over there that's got her freaking out?" Upon further research, she was not randomly barking at the church at all, but at a squirrel that was running through the yard over there.
Okay, so not exciting. BUT, the point is, the seed was planted in my mind. The church is still the inspiration - and something nefarious that could be going on within its walls.
My first thought was that the nuns were, in fact, witches. In some ways, the idea seems trite and perhaps overdone. But I could put a different spin on it, I am sure. I don't know what that spin would be. I haven't thought it out that far yet.
Another idea: the nuns are aliens. That sounded fun. It would allow me to "make my own rules," in some respects, giving the aliens certain powers and finding certain other things that are their equivalent of kryptonite. Hmmm. Interesting, and maybe more fun than the witch angle.
This afternoon, while somewhat watching football, I plan to do a rough outline of each idea. From there, I will see which one sparks. Maybe it will be neither. Maybe another idea will come of it. That remains to be seen.
But the church. That is steadfast in my 2022 NaNo. Good luck to all that are taking on the challenge this year!
|It's National Earth's Rotation Day. Oddly, I just today ran across one of my favorite quotes - that seems to go right along with this day: Your life consists of two dates with a dash in between them. Make the most of that dash. Another of my favorite quotes is on a refrigerator magnet that come from this very website, WdC.
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing," which is attributed to Ben Franklin.
Both of these speak to me on National Earth's Rotation Day. For the most part, the Earth just keeps rotating and we take little notice, other than to mark the passing of day into night and night into the next day. We often let days slip by, not writing anything worth reading or doing anything worth writing. We just add to that dash between dates rather than making the dash a heart beat, spiking with any sort of excitement.
Of course, it is impossible to make every day an adventure, right? Or are we able to find small adventures every day but we either choose not to or we are too busy making a living to make a life? I suppose each of us needs to answer that question for themselves.
We take vacations. We attend birthday parties and weddings. Those are special and memorable days. But what will be memorable about next Tuesday, or February 6, or any other given date?
Besides this blogging challenge, I have also undertaken a photography challenge for the month of January, and I am including it here because I believe photographs are great at spurring creativity. The challenge is to choose one photograph you have taken every day - it does not have to be anything stellar, but just a photograph. First, I feel like this makes me stop and take notice of at least one thing per day. One day it was my dog. Another day it was my keyboard. There have been a few really cool photos so far, but there have been some that seemed mundane as well. Even those seemingly mundane photographs, however, could spark some creativity at some point.
The basis for the challenge is to improve my photography, or course, and to try new techniques. But at the same time, it does make me stop and take notice of at least one thing per day. Sometimes I get out my camera and find special shots. Other times I simply use my phone camera. I have even used props such as my Lensball. But no matter how I accomplish it, as the Earth rotates every day, I can stop it just for a second, and take a photograph. Whether it is only one photograph or several that eventually turn into stories, it is a win to me. In any event I have at least one photograph by which to remember each of January's rotations of the Earth, and that seems kind of cool.
|How can National Whipping Cream Day spur creativity? I thought about that for a moment and it came to me - anyone who has actually made their own whipping cream knows: you take a liquid and whip it into an airy, fluffy mass of deliciousness. National Whipping Cream Day is about making something out of something else. And that is kind of a big deal.
We start a story with a character (the liquid heavy whipping cream) and the character goes through changes in our story, eventually coming out on the other side changed somehow (as actual whipped cream). In every story the main character wants something. There is something or someone blocking what the character wants, or thinks they want. In order to get that thing, then, they must overcome or defeat whatever is in the way. Doing so will change them somehow. It has to change them. That is what the story is about. It is about how our characters change as they go through whatever it is they must go through to get, or not get, what they want.
That said, I cannot be responsible for unfinished baking if someone happens to get a some sort of creative inspiration while watching the mixer whip some whipping cream
|Now here is a prompt-worthy National Something Day. Hypnotism. It gives way to a bunch of different stories. Hypnotism for good or for evil? Who is the hypnotist? The antagonist or the protagonist? Does that power change them in the course of the story? Or is it the person who is hypnotized that undergoes a change? That change could be one they wished for, such as to stop smoking, or to deal with something in their past. But the change, too, could be something they never saw coming. In fiction, we can make this contrivance anything we would like it to be. We could give the power to a nine year old who turns all of the kids in her class who used to pick on her into gerbils. We can turn common people into soldiers to ward off evil - or to promote evil.
I am not sure how much the first days of this month inspired me, at least as far as the prompts I am pulling from National Something Day, but this one definitely has merit! Who has a great story about hypnotism? I would love to read them all!
|I used one of the National Something Months today because National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day and National Drinking Straw Day really did not speak to me. But National Creativity Month? That fits pretty well with my vision of the beginning of the new year, 2022. I rededicated myself to writing - fiction writing. I write for a living. I am an outdoor reporter for several newspapers, and I truly enjoy it. I cannot think of a better job (other than being a published author of a novel, of course!).
But there is something about not just reporting what has happened, but about creating characters and being in control of how they interact and the outcome of the story. Well, I suppose that is a bit of an exaggeration, as we all know our characters can take off with a story without warning. But for the most part, writing fiction allows us to create. Which is why we love it and why we are here on this website.
I have been a member of WdC for so long I can't remember writing not as a member of this site. Honestly, I do not remember how I came by it. It might have been a simple search for writing websites, I suppose. But once I learned about the community here, although I have been less active several times over the years, I always come back. I come back to find things have changed, often, but I also come back to find new and exciting things every time.
Because I live in Wisconsin, and January is usually the start of the bitter cold days from time to time, I have kind of always seen it as creativity month. National Novel Writing Month is creative too, of course, and hectic and crazy! But January is the time where I feel like I reset. I often spend the days inside reading and writing. It is fun to just - create. And I hope many others find the same fun in the cold month of January. I like to get outside when I can, but when temperatures dip below zero, you will find me either at my computer or curled up with a good book - or maybe my Kindle.
|"We're living in the future. Ask me how I know. I read it in the paper, 25 years ago." - John Prine (Living in the Future)
There is something about science fiction. That "what if" of something futuristic. Growing up with Dr. Spock and Captain Kirk (and yes, I know how corny they seem now - but they were super cool back then) allowed my imagination to run wild, wondering when we would have flying cars or transporter beams.
Darth Vader, Hans Solo, even Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor - they all had grand adventures. While I love Sci-Fi, both on the screen and in writing, it is one that I have only dabbled in a bit here and there. Creating and entire world seems daunting for some reason. I sometimes feel as though I am not creative enough to build a whole world. I am sure there are others out there that feel the same way.
But maybe we are looking at it from a "big picture" perspective when we would be better off to take it piece by piece. Writing a present day story or even the first draft of a present day novel does not seem like that daunting of a task. But building a whole new world and putting people into it - or worse yet, species other than homo sapiens, well heck That is just crazy.
What about this - what if we just take one small thing and change it. Change just the atmosphere of the planet, for instance. It is no longer oxygen-based, so what does that mean to the species that live there? If humans live there, what do they use for a breathing apparatus. Okay, now that we have that set, we can take characters from one of our old stories based in the "here and now," and set them in that environment, with just the one different thing. Then another story could come along where maybe there is another species who comes to the former "here and now" with the different atmosphere we created. The antagonist still thinks and feels like the species of the protagonist, but is different somehow. Of course, they are the bad guy, but they are still motivated by the same things - money, love, greed, power, etc.
This being January, and today being not only National Science Fiction Day, but also my birthday, I feel extra motivated today. I have 11 months to make small changes in stories so that I can put together a science fiction novel for National Novel Writing Month this year! It scares me, but I suppose if you keep doing the same things and never get outside of your comfort zone, you will never grow, right?
"We're all driving rocket ships and talking with our minds - wearing turquoise jewelry and standing in soup lines. We're standing in soup lines." - John Prine (Living in the Future)
|Well, I would suppose this is an obvious one for those who may have celebrated a wee bit too much last night! Bloody Mary's, I think, are great drinks. There are so many different ways to make them and so many recipes out there. There are really good ones and there are really bad ones. There are those that involve basically an entire meal and those that are a bit more traditional.
So, grab a Bloody Mary (or a Virgin Mary, if you prefer) and ponder the year ahead. It is a good drink over which to ponder, to plan, and to dream. Of course plans change in life, and new dreams might come out of nowhere or a place one would least expect it. But to take a few minutes on the first day of a year and map out a plan for the next 365 days is never a bad idea.
Most of my plans for the year revolve around writing - to enter more contests, to pitch a certain number of magazines accepting short fiction, and t finally get through the revisions of my favorite novel for which I have written the first draft. Sitting with a bloody Mary on National Bloody Mary Day and thinking about the year to come and all of the exciting things that will follow is a great way to start the year!
|It's interesting how many National Something Days there are. Of course, I'm sure most of them are created by advertising companies and others looking to make a buck. But they are fun, too. So, for the month of January, my plan is to look to the Days of the Year calendar and create a blog post that has something to do with each National Something Day for the month of January.
I hope others will follow along and maybe even try it out, too. For those interested, all of the National Something Days can be found at daysoftheyear.com, and I will use one of the days listed there to write about in each day of January. Feel free to use what inspires you each day!
|When this song came out, it hit me hard. It hits me harder as the months go by and as I lose more people. Hopefully I am over that for a good long while, but it was difficult for a bit. I lost my husband in 2018, my dad in 2016 about six months after my husband was diagnosed as being terminal. I had lost my mother and her younger brother, who was like a second Dad to me, not long before all of this. But what hit me most when it came to this song?
It was losing my first love. He and I were totally wrong for each other, and we grew up and older knowing that to be the case, but we remained the best of friends. If ever one of us truly needed someone, the universe would somehow bring us back together again, heal the pain, and we would drift apart again.
What is interesting, is the song Memories reminds me the most of him. The biggest impact on my life was losing my husband (and also not having my dad, my best friend, around when it all happened). But the memories that do not fade from my brain, those fun and goofy and even painful memories of Paul are the ones that stick with me. Paul. My first love and a good friend for life.
I will never forget the day he text me, “When did Rod just say F it?” Rod was my husband. He had pancreatic cancer and decided, after 2.5 years and sliding pretty far downhill, that it was time to come home, one last time, with hospice.
Paul’s cancer had come back despite his treatment. I went to see him in the hospital when he decided it was time for hospice. He said he wished he knew how long he had – a year, six month, a month. I knew he did not have a year, and I told him so. I doubted he had six months, and I told him that also. I could tell. I had been there just a year before.
The next time I saw Paul he was at a place called the Hospice House. I knew it would be the last time I would see him on this Earth. But we kept the conversation light, when his mind would allow, and I did my best to comfort him when he was scared or confused.
When the time came, I did not want to leave. But I knew it was not my place to stay. He designed his life to be lived along, and it was designed to end alone, although he knew he would never be.
“Here’s to the wish you were here, but you’re not. But the drinks bring back all the memories, and the memories bring back, memories bring back you.” Memories bring back lives lost and good times that will never be forgotten.
|No prompt for today. I just came back to WdC after being away for quite a while. I suppose it's been a year or so. Maybe, probably longer. I think the last time I was here was well before my husband died, so it's likely been closer to two years. So much has changed, and WdC has changed a bit, too, but it still feels like home. I renewed my paid membership and instantly felt better, even with the world in flux as it is now. I won't comment on the "pandemic" or the state of the economy or where the world is going. I just want to say that I am super happy to be back and I can't wait to get involved in the community again.
I am about to embark on a new professional adventure, but, for now, until all of that falls into place, I am happy writing for a local paper and getting back into WdC. I am looking forward to reviewing, entering contests, and maybe even working on some of the older stuff that's in my port. Here's to a brighter tomorrow!