Saturday, October 2, 2010

For now refer to...

Hello lovely people!

For the time being, I really cannot upkeep these awesome writes, along with my normal writing.  I have been "successfully" working on my book In the Blood these last few months, along with prepping for this years NaNoWriMo adventures.  So,sadly, for now this blog has to be put onto the back burner.

But I still need you!  Just click the link below and go my normal writing blog.  That is where I update weekly, if not daily, about my progress.  Especially when November hits and NaNo begins, I will need all the support I can get.  So please...go go go!  I promise I will get back to doing this blog too...once life calms down a bit :)  See you on the blog!

Jenni's writing blog - CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Literal Revamp

"The hardest thing for a writer to do is write"

That quote is amazingly accurate. For some reason, those of us filled with the passion to write are the ones who have the hardest time putting words to paper. The excuses seem easier to share than the creation. For example, here is my current list of excuses:

-I just had baby number 2
-I am EXHAUSTED. Chasing after a two year old, taking care of a new born, keeping my home clean...can I just sleep now?
-On that "me time" is sleep time
-I feel like no one really does like my writing, so...why write?
-Lack of motivation. Lack of...anything
-Have I mentioned that I am tired?

Ok, now that I have gotten those out of my system...none of them are truly any good reason as to why I haven't taken anytime to write for over a month now. Yes, I am tired. And busy. And "blocked." But how will I get past any of that if I just use it as an excuse? Will I ever write again?

True, if it felt like I had readers biting at the bit to read my scribbled words, I just may be spilling them more. But that is in an ideal world. In all reality, most writers remain barely known, mostly supported only by family and close friends. It is rare to become a JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Its like saying every single lady out there has a glass slipper waiting in hand of a prince with an amazing hair cut and glittering blue eyes. Sadly...not true. Though I do still say *ahem* that a bit more support from those who know me would be nice...what kind of writer would I be if I based all my creations off of the reader count? Well, actually, I would be what I am right now: Not writing.

I started this blog with the statement that I need to find me. That I love writing and need to find that space in my day to do one thing for me-me, not for mommy-and-wife-me.

Though my eyes now burn and my head swims with the lack of sleep... (Baby number 2, don't get me wrong. I love you. But please...night time is for sleeping.)

And though my two year old would rather me be at his side at all hours, playing and wrestling and giving him cookies...

My kitchen sink may not always be shiny. And the laundry may not always be sorted, washed, folded, AND put away...

I am not failing at that job. I have a happy home. An *almost* always clean home.
The job I am starting to stray from is the one that makes me feel more like me once again. It is SO easy to be lost when you become a stay at home mom. Too easy in fact.

So, I need to slightly revamp my writing goal. Writing a prompt every single day, at this time in my life, is just too impossible to do. I will keep it posted as my challenge, in the hopes that someday (maybe soon?) I will actually be able to achieve that. Until then, here will be my new, personal goal:

-Write one prompt a week.
-Blog at least one entry a week of my writing, tricks, complaints: anything.
-Finally sit down and start plucking words for one of my book ideas. No set goal per week for that one yet...let's see how I do so far with what I already listed.

Alright! There we go!
Now then, I know I have a small handful of followers out there in cyber world. I am hoping you are reading this, and will read my more scattered ramblings as they come. Maybe even give me feedback? Maybe? It feels good to do this again. To feel the buttons clicking under finger as I quickly type out word after word...Let us hope I can at least somewhat stick to this newly revamped goal.

Until my next entry...both boys are sleeping and I think it is time my head hit a pillow too.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Writing Hiatus

Oh my, two weeks go by, and not a word scratched onto paper.

Tsk tsk.

Oh, believe me, I do try. Ok, by try I mean I think about it. I very seriously think about it. These pregnancy induced hormones, along with worn out two year old frenzies are really taking a toll on my creative juices though. As soon as I do think about trying to sit down and scrawl out the waiting words, my poor brain turns to baby mush and all I can do is zone out into the nearest corner. And now, two weeks after my last writing, I am finding it hard to get back into whatever swing is out there.

My bandwagon has kicked me off and driven on and I just can't catch up!

People, if any out there is reading this ramble, help me here. Have you ever noticed that the goals you most want to accomplish are the ones that are easiest to neglect? I know that I shouldn't depends so much on the inexistent peer support, but in all reality, that is a driving factor in dreams. You need those shoulders to cry on and the loving hands to smack you when you have become lazy. Maybe setting a goal to do a prompt every single day is a bit excessive, but at least I have some goal out there to at least aim for, right?

My mind is rattling with story ideas, but none of them can get out. I need to find that lost key...

Here is a good thing though: I have been reading. Right now I am devouring Orson Scott Card's book "Characters and Viewpoint" Not only is he one of my favorite scifi writers, he also can create a killer help book (I also have read and love his book "How to Writ Science Fiction and Fantasy" Its an amazing read!) I will post more about this current digestion once I finish it. Reading time is only caught during naps if I am not napping, and after bedtime, if I am not passed out.

I have ordered a few more writing books. Problem is, I mistakenly set them to ship to our old address (Pregnant moment? Oh, I do think so.) Luckily, it looks as if I have been able to get two of the three corrected and hope to get them...soon. I am pretty excited. You know, if any of you out there ever feel like aiding me in my writing endeavers, but aren't writers or readers yourself, just getting me another writing book works wonders. There are reasons I love Amazon...and I have an extensive wishlist. (Oh, laughing to self...and shaking head.)

But yes, so even though I may have been lacking lately in the writing field, I have been making sure to fill my mind with tips from other accomplished peoples. I will get back into the swing of things. I will...I am now 8 weeks and counting from my due date for this baby number 2. We will see how things go, but in life, there is one thing we DO need to remember: If you don't hold onto at least one of your dreams, what are you holding?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Recommend for a Great, New Read

Branded: Fall of Angels

"Night after night, Jessica stands trial before a council of vindictive angels for deeds she didn't commit. Condemnation brings a branding as they dementedly laugh and point but exaltation starts a war over her soul. These are Jessica's nightmares. Alex is everything Jessica could ever want and she'll do anything to be with him. Even tell him the truth about angels, why she never sleeps, and the scar on the back of her neck. This is what she will fight for. But the nightmares rule Jessica's life and she must find a way to stop the events that are pulling her toward her own judgment or become the object of her greatest fear. And lose Alex forever."

My followers, or those who are just now stumbling upon this blog of mine:
Read this book.

It is a gripping story about a young girl who, when she finally allows herself to sleep, must stand for the judgment of passed souls. For years she is tormented with this, tortured in her sleep with standing trial before angels, and in her waking hours with the scars that burn on her back and the never ending pull back to slumber. Then she meets Alex. And finds a reason, finally, for happiness. Only to have it all start to crash in as evil tries to claim her for its own.

Yes. Mind = Blown.

I do have to admit, I am friends with the author. Keary Taylor, still only 22 years old, is already proving to be a great upcoming author in the writing world. After finishing her work, she chose to self-publish through Amazon. I have had the chance to "see" her as she worked hard on this piece of art, perfecting and creating. Even now, as I type this, she already is working hard on the next book in this series (Forsaken).

I do not recommend her solely because she is a friend of mine. I truly do see something in her. I have made a hobby in my life of collecting and reading books. Though I do not claim to be a literary expert in all things written, I can at least push forward the books that do stand out to me in my ventures. I was hesitant to read this at first, worried that a work written by a friend might not be as enjoyed as by some anonymous author. But I am very happy that I did dive in.

I ask you, when you find yourself wondering what to read next, to give this book a shot. It not only supports a friend of mine, but it supports an author who is striving to achieve her dreams. As you know, I too hope to someday enter into the publishing world, releasing my own works to the public. Seeing someone I know achieve this is inspiring to me, and reminds me that it is possible. I hope someday to be able to have the support and back-up that Keary has. And to proudly hold my own published work in hand.

Read. This. Book.

Support new creations. And enjoy the escape into another reality.

- - -

Here is the link for the paperback on Amazon. It is also available via Kindle.

Go to Amazon. Click here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friends, Mommyhood, Farmville and American Idol - Pitfalls to Writing Goals

I have set myself a personal goal: To write. Not only to write, but to do it daily. And I told my self "no excuses." I told myself to write at least 500 words a day, to post my prompts daily, in all essence: to get lost back into the world of writing. That was a week ago. And, oh my, I was doing well. Every day I was posting my prompt of the day, along with other insightful little tidbits I discovered along the way. And I was feeling great! Words were already coming easier, though some of the prompts had proven to be difficult. Yet still, they came. And I found that even within that short time, I couldn't finish a day without writing.

So what is the issue you ask?

Well, if you scroll back through my posts, you will notice something very sad. The last two days...there has been nothing. Not one post. While my mind was constantly laying in wait in writing land, I never took the time this last weekend to plop the words down into existence. And I must say, I am disappointed in myself. Oh, I do have explanations. For one, we had out of town friends visiting. Two, I am a mommy of a two year old and am now 29 weeks pregnant with little boy number two. I am stretched as it is (no tummy-pun intended). Three, I am addicted to Facebook. Ok, maybe not addicted. But as soon as I sit at my lovely computer, the first thing I tend to do is check that wretched site. Most times it is in the sad hopes that a friend will be on and will talk with me (I get lonely...). Then I find myself - *gasp* - farming. Yes, Farmville farming. I hang my head in shame. Ok, and fourth...the tv just pulls me in. As soon as the kiddo is in bed, I am shot from the busy day of keeping him content. Even now, I find myself glancing at the clock, knowing that in a few short minutes American Idol will be starting.

Distractions are too easy to come by.

So what do I do? Do I proclaim I have already ruined my goal and that this is a lost cause? NO. I apologize for the missed days, but must also realize that in my life, there WILL be missed days. That's a given. My husband is very supportive of this goal of mine. He loves to read my newest creations (and, sadly, by the looks of it...may be the only one out there reading them.) But I cannot always disappear and write nonstop while he is home with the kiddo. I need him-time too.

(Oh, and on the anyone out there reading this? I know I know. I am truly doing this for me. But I am a creature of support. When I find others are enjoying my writing. Wanting it. Or at least encouraging me by casually glancing over the words...I feel a stronger urge to keep going. Call me human. So really, an occasional comment here and there really wouldn't hurt...I am just saying.)

A great discovery though.
I feel the "pain" from not writing. When, in the last few years, I would go for months without once sitting down to write a word, the last few days I knew I was missing the writing every second. Though I had no time to sit and do it, I was constantly thinking of it. Creating stories. Pondering plots. So, this goal of mine is working. Maybe it won't be daily here on the blog. But I feel something growing. Something that has lain dormant for far too long: My passion.

Writer friends out there, do not be discouraged. If you find a "block." If you find you have gone for a while with no writing. If you feel like you have no support... Don't give up. Try harder. Its all there. But you have to find it, it won't just knock on your mental door and announce "Here I am!"

Say it with me:
"I am not a failure. I am a writer."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Writing Prompt #7

Writing Prompt #7
"I just had the weirdest dream about you."

Tara's eyes blinked open. The sunlight streamed in through the slated blinds, casting long bars of warm light across the bed. She stretched an arm above her head, groaning as she felt sleep stretch from her waking limbs. Rolling to her side, she smiled. He was still asleep. He lay on his side facing her, his face peaceful and handsome. Tara knew every line, every inch of that face. The way his eyebrows furrowed even in his sleep at something perplexing. How his soft lips parted to lightly draw in a sweet breath of air. The straight line of his perfect nose. As she watched him sleep, the dream she had just woken from slowly crept back into her mind. Her stomach tightened.

He moaned softly, then slowly blinked his blue eyes open.

"Good morning." He smiled at her. She tried to share the smile back with him, but the dream had caught her fully now in her waking moments. "Tara, honey, what's wrong?" He nudged himself up on the pillow, his brows furrowed in concern.

Tara sighed. "I just had the weirdest dream about you."

"Is that so? Weird huh...was I rich? Now that would be weird."

Tara lightly smacked him on the arm. "No Brent, not that." She flopped flat onto her back, her eyes tracing the faint lines on the ceiling. "I dreamed...I dreamed that you were gone."


"That was it really. I woke up in the morning, and you were gone. No traces of you. No pictures on the walls, no note on the table. Everything about you was just...gone. Then I were never there. I had imagined you. Or something. And - and I was all of a sudden just so...alone."

Brent scooted closer to Tara. He brushed a stray strand of hair off of her face, then leaned in and kissed her cheek lightly. "Well, I'm here."

"I know. I know. But what if...what if you were gone? If you left? If something happened and it ended up being just me?" Tara turned her face to him. Her eyes burned with tears that fought to flow down her cheeks. "Brent, its not that I can't be alone. I can. But...I can't be without you."

Brent drew in a breath of air and held it a moment. Then he exhaled slowly, his eyes searching hers. Reaching forward, he grabbed her by the waist and drew her in, holding her tight to him. she could feel the warm heat of his body, the strength of his arms as he lovingly held her close. "Tara, I am not going anywhere. Ever. Even if my life ended, I would be right here, holding you, always. You have to know that. You are stuck with me, and I could never hold anyone other than you."

Tara wiped an escaped tear from her cheek. She felt silly. She didn't know why she let these dreams get to her so bad. Every night for the last three nights she had been having them. And every night they became more intense, more real. They stayed with her through her day, reminding her that at night she would return to their grasp. A sob suddenly escaped from her throat.

"Tara. Tara, honey. Nothing will take this from us. I promise. If I had to fight away death itself. If I was...was held captive against my will. I would fight to return to you. No woman is you. And my life is you. Do you believe me?"

Tara looked into his eyes. His perfect blue eyes. They were full of love, full of concern.

"Tara, I need to know, do you believe me?"

"Of course Brent. Of course I believe you." She leaned in and softly kissed him. "I love you."

"I love you too." His brow furrowed again. Suddenly, his voice came out more urgent, more intense. "I love you, always. Remember, I will never let go.

"Brent, what's wrong? What's - "

Everything faded. A bright light suddenly blinded her, causing her to drag her hand across her burning eyes. Something tugged on her arm. Squinting past her hand, she saw an IV line taped tight against her flesh.

"She's awake."

The voice was distant. A voice she didn't know.

"Tara, can you hear me?"


"Tara, there was an accident. You are fine. You have been unconscious now for three days. Luckily all you suffered was the minor concussion and some bruises."

"Brent. Where's Brent?"

The room went silent. All she could hear was the beep of a nearby machine and the uncomfortable rustle of someone's coat.

"I'm sorry Tara. He didn't make it."

Tara's whole body shook. "No. Please, no..." Sobs tore from her as she gasped for air. Rolling to her side, she buried her face into the flat pillow. She could hear the footsteps of the doctor and nurses leaving the room. But she didn't care. All she could so was cry nonstop into the now soaked pillow.

Slowly, ever so slowly, she felt it. Her sobs quieted as she clenched her eyes shut. The warm, familiar draw of his arms wrapped around her, holding her tight.

Please, she thought, please please don't leave me.

As if on the flutter of a breeze, she heard, whispered softly in her ear: Never.

(Word count: 886)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quotes to Think About - Writer's Block

How many of us writers out there have found ourselves blaming the ever elusive Writer's Block for our lack of word count? I know I have. It is quite frustrating when you know you want to write, yet as soon as you finally sit down to do so, no words come. Or worse, when you have all together lost that urge to even try. Again, I raise my hand, admitting I have been there. In fact, I try to claim I still call that residence. But the truth is: What IS writer's block? Is it an actual mental issue...or just a term, a blame we have created to make an excuse for our no longer trying?

In the intro to The Writer's Book of Matches, the author includes some very interesting quotes about this very topic to think on.

"...a noisy inner critic (or an even noisier next door neighbor), a story that you won't allow to come out and play, troubling circumstances, insomnia, or myriad other things thrown in your path. ..." (Jenna Glatzer, Outwitting Writer's Block)

"...fear of failure, fear of success, literary fogginess, and wrong direction..." (Nancy Kress, Beginnings, Middles, and Ends)

"I think you have overindulged yourself on a steady diet of baloney for far too long. Why do writers think they have the privilege of a special dispensation for not working? What is this mysterious white lie known as writer's block? Face it - if you're not writing, it can only be because you're too lazy or you don't know what you're doing." (James V. Smith, Fiction Writer's Brainstormer)

Pretty powerful quotes, yet at the same time...anything ringing true in your mind? Writer's Block isn't a disease, its a mindset. "Try defining it as the absence of inspiration." (Writer's Book of Matches) And the cure? Move on! Try a new story, a new idea. If you find yourself joining me in this rut I reside in, try a prompt or twenty. The thing is, if you DO love writing, then write. Finding an excuse to not do it only leads you to the question: Why am I even trying? Looks like its time to re-examine that plot. Rethink that antagonist. Step away completely and work on something new. But, my friends, if you truly love this art, it is never time to give up.

So let's say goodbye to Writer's Block. And start letting our mind run away again with new ideas. It IS possible.

Goodbye rut, hello creation.

Writing Prompt #6

Writing Prompt #6 A priest is attacked for being a pedophile. He is innocent of the crime but guilty of something far worse.

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been two weeks since my last confession."

The voice through the small grating softly answered, "Go on."

Sitting in the dark of the small confession booth, the priest took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Father, I have been accused of pedophilia. Of - of taking photographs of innocent my own chapel..." His voice cracked. The words just couldn't come out the way he had rehearsed them the entire night before. This was his chapel. He had been a priest here for five years now. Every day he walked the aisles of the building, arms tucked behind his straight back, happy eyes scanning the heads of those who had come for prayer. It was the very booth he was currently sitting in that he typically took the confessions of. And now, he sat within it, confessing to another.

The priest in the adjacent booth shifted in his seat. No doubt he now knew who confessed to him. It was all over the news. The scandalous photographs found, taken in this very chapel. Photographs of children. Photographs that made only Satan smile. And the point of blame was solely on one man's shoulders. He was the one who never left. Who all the children happily ran to. He heard the priest clear his throat tensely, then whisper, "My Son, it is - "

"Forgive me Father, but I am no son of yours. I need only to confess."

The chair creaked again. "Yes, go on."

"I must tell someone the truth, before the lies become the only truth." The priest clenched his eyes shut tightly, a hot tear squeezing out onto his cheek. "I did not commit those accused crimes. I say this in front of the Lord our God. I did not. I would never dream of...But Father, I have committed a crime far more punishable, if not here, then in the here-after."

The shadow on the other side didn't utter a word. Waiting a moment, the priest leaned in close to the grating. "I found the man who did. Three nights ago, I walked into the chapel to do some personal prayers. And he was there. Some how he had broken in. And with him he had a little girl. My - my brain just froze. He was talking so sweet to her, holding the evil camera behind his dirty back. And Father, something in me snapped. I can't remember much." He ran a shaking hand over his face. Leaning his head back against the wood wall, he whispered, "But I do remember the girl running for safety. And the horrid look on the man's face as he ran for me. Then my mind cleared, and I knew it was in my hands to pass his judgment. He had been delivered...delivered to me."

The priest burst into tears, a sob erupting from his very soul. Looking down, he saw his hands resting on his knees, shaking uncontrollably. The adjacent booth was silent. For a moment, he wondered if the man had left. The world had stopped and he was the only one left on its wretched face. Then he heard the uncomfortable squeak of the wooden bench. The voice came through the grating, cautious. "What have you done?"

"I have helped rid the world of another of Satan's vile followers. Now - now my job here is complete." He stood up, slowly brushing the wrinkles from his robes. "Third pew back, left side, straight across from the Holy will find him." As he opened the door, he paused, his hands suddenly still. "Father, it is only in the Lord's power to truly pass judgment on man. But we, in our mortality, still think it our right to assist in his powers." He took in a slow, shaking breath. "Amen."

(Word count: 644)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Writing Prompt #5

Writing Prompt #5
During his third night out of town, a traveling business man discovers a voodoo doll in his bedroom.

Richard was exhausted. For the last three days he had been sitting through tiresome meeting after meeting, listening to the exact same words rephrased a hundred different ways. During the last sit-in today, he felt as if his head were about to explode. It throbbed with every heartbeat, causing his eyes to feel as if they were about to bulge from his head. As soon as the meeting had ended, he ducked out, disappearing down the halls before any other representative could snag him and trap him into dull conversation.

He hated these business trips. There was absolutely no reason for him to be there. The company he worked for just liked to look like it cared to the observing world. So once a year, they selected some poor sap and sent him away for the week, to sit through droning lectures and to come away with nothing but a dead brain and nervous twitch. This was Richard's third year in a row of being the lucky selected attendee.

Sliding the hotel card through the blinking lock, the door to his hotel room popped open. Richard stumbled in, careening forward as if pulled in by a secret lover. He collapsed on the newly made bed, barely noticing the mint rolling off of the flat pillow and onto the floor. Closing his eyes, he took in the silence. No monotonous hubbub. No fake laughter. Nothing but the buzz of the old air conditioner and rumble of distant traffic. This is what Richard loved: being alone in a dark room, silence surrounding him in an embrace of solitude.

Richard wasn't an unattractive man. In fact, in most women's eyes, he was quite a catch. Six feet tall, broad shoulders, flat stomach, his business attire always looked like it was made just for his perfect frame. His head was full of dark brown hair, slicked back and thick. Deep brown eyes peered beneath perfectly trimmed eyebrows, with long lashes that always gathered many adoring comments. In the last few years, he had had quite a few desiring women chasing after him. And in his own declared rights, he entertained their fantasies until he became bored. Then he would casually find a way to disappear. Richard preferred to be alone. He was now twenty-eight, and very happily content in his quiet, single life. Maybe it could be blamed on his ever-arguing parents, who through all the fighting and bitterness still insisted on staying together. Or maybe the blame rested in his greed, never wanting to share anything more of his than a random night. Wherever the blame resided, he didn't care. He was content.

Sitting up, Richard stretched his arms above his head, groaning as the aches of sitting all day popped and stretched. He made his way to the bathroom, splashed water on his face, then taking a moment to check his eyebrows in the small mirror. His stomach rumbled. Wandering out of the bathroom, he let his mind sift through the list of local restaurants that delivered, trying to decide which sounded most appetizing to him.

Before he realized it, he was idly opening and closing the empty drawers of the solid dresser. The top drawer contained the usual: a notepad and pen labeled with the hotel's name, a torn phone book, and an old bible. The next two drawers were empty, sliding open and shut with ease. As he knelt down to open the last, it stuck. Pulling harder, he managed to creep it open a few more inches, just big enough to reach his hand in. Some previous occupant probably left a random shirt or pair of socks wedged in the back. Richard reached his hand in, cursiousity taking him over. His fingers brushed against something soft. With a grunt, he shoved his hand forward, wrapping his stretched fingers around the object then yanking it out of the drawer.

Sitting back on the floor, Richard looked at the small object in his hand. It was a doll. Or at least, what was supposed to be a doll. It was more like a rag, sloppily stitched together, with stubs for arms and legs. A face was drawn on in what looked like charcoal, its mouth a straight line, its eyes wide open. Small tufts of hair were sewn on the head, varying in every color. Richard looked at it in stunned silence. It was a voodoo doll.

Richard remembered when he was younger, him and a few of his school friends had been running around in the woods, hitting everything they could find with long sticks. As he passed a tree, he wacked it with his stick, and heard something clatter down from the branches overhead. His friends and him stopped, looking for the source of the sound. Freshly laying ontop of a small pile of dead leaves, they found the doll. It was practically identical to the one in his hands now. They taunted eachother with it, daring someone to attach some hair to its bald head and see if the magic really was real. Of course no one acctepted the dares. Finally Richard had stepped forward, tired of the game, and ripped the doll from the nearby boy's hand. With a smirk, he tugged on the boy's hair, pulling out a few strands, then stuck them into a seam on the head of the small doll. Everyone laughed at the boy as his eyes opened wide in fear. Quickly, before anyone could snatch the doll away, Richard bent one of its small legs back.

The boy screamed out in pain, buckling over and falling to the ground. At first Richard thought he was joking. Then he saw the unusual bend in the leg. The blood starting to saturate the dirty jeans. He had thrown the doll into the bushes, his hands feeling as if he had grabbed a hot, deadly coal. They rushed the boy home, telling his parents he had fallen from a tree, all being too afraid to tell the truth. And over time, they blocked it from their memories. Richard never talked to any of them anymore. Most had families now, settled down and happy. He had no interest in feigning happiness for them.

Now he looked at the small doll sitting in his hands. Hidden along the seams was a long needle. Pulling it out, he ran it along the doll's side. The memory was still fresh in his head. He could still feel the pump of his then panicking heart. The knot of dread in his young side. It was years ago. He wondered how much of the story was just a made-up memory, taking place to confuse him of the real past. For all he knew, the boy had just fallen. They were young. A story passed over a blazing campfire could seem so real. Maybe that was all it was.

The doll's face stared up at him. Its eyes, wide as if in fright, bore into his own. He stared back, lost in thought. Idly the needle scraped along the dolls body as he let his thoughts wander. His stomach growled again.

Sighing, he looked up at the old electric clock. He better order some food now, before it was too late. Besides, getting lost in fake memories of magic was just wasting his only alone time he would have for another four days. He stood and moved to the phone. Placing the doll down on the table top, he mindlessly stabbed the needle into its soft stomach.

A scream, full of pain and utter agony, suddenly cut through the hotel walls.

(Word count: 1270)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Writing Self Help Post #2 - Benefits of Writing

While reading Writer Mama, I came across the section talking about the 6 benefits of being a Write-at-home Mom (WAHM)

I loved this section. Its small. But it really does remind you of some of the reasons you do want to keep writing. Those reasons are hard (very hard) to remember when you are exhausted all the time. Or stressed. Or just totally mind dead. And, to all those who arent WAHMs...they are still some great points to remember! Here is my personal summary of what I read:

1. Explore your interests. How often do you truly find the chance to research, dive into, and get carried away with your own personal interests? When writing, you are researching. Creating. sharing your knowledge. These aren't chances you get when changing a diaper of a screaming baby, or while you are stuck in beloved rush hour traffic. When writing, you find what fascinates you, and get lost in its wonders.

2. Be helpful, or give back. When you know something, share it. When you feel something, let others know. This is a thought that can go so much further than writing, but it is still a good place to start. Maybe you aren't one to start a blog. Or send off article after article to magazines. But even that one small short story may help the unknown reader in need.

3. Gain self-confidence. This is my hardest area. I lack it to the extremes. but if you truly try, and dive into your work, you will come to find you are an amazing writer...and that will boost you in so many other areas of life. So write...and write...and write.

4. Channel ambition. Ever feel like you are just every where, and never accomplishing anything? If you take the time to sit down and write, even if it is just one prompt a day. Just 30 minutes of finger waggling action, you will see something finally take shape worth being proud of. Quote from Writer Mama "...learning to focus on and hit a clearly defined target is a great way to keep both sides of your brain in balance. So practice a little 'Ready, Aim, Fire!' once in a while. It will do wonders to rebuild a sense of accomplishment..."

5. Enjoy increased flexibility. Make your own hours, and by that I mean: MAKE WRITING HOURS. There is time, believe me. If I can find it, so can you. Once you do that, you will realize how much more time there truly is in the day. Everyone needs time for themselves. My time is the zen of creating.

6. Create a handcrafted career. Not everyone is cut out to work the same 9-5 job. And not everyone is content with being a stay at home mom with nothing but life revolving around the children and cleaning schedule. I know I am neither...not totally at least. Making sure you are writing, can, if you truly try, form your own career with your own hours and you personally handcrafted happiness.

Just think of it. Thinking yet? Ok so...write

Writing Prompt #4

Writing Prompt #4
“He’s the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?”

The doctor looked through the glass. In the playroom on the other side, he watched as the little boy happily stacked blocks into a tall, haphazard tower. His parents sat across the room, rarely taking their eyes off of him. Their faces feigned smiles, occasionally adding in a small word of happy encouragement to the boy whenever he glanced to make sure they were still there. But when the boy looked away, the doctor saw the dark cloud coast over each set of watery eyes.

“He’s the cutest little boy. Makes it that much sadder, doesn’t it?”

The doctor just softly grunted to the assistant standing beside him. This boy truly was cute. More than cute. He was down right adorable. Barely five, his cheeks were still chubby with infant youth. They tightened into red little plums whenever he flashed his white, full-toothed smile at his watching parents. His eyes were a sparkling blue, catching every prism of light in the room and bouncing it back in handfuls of diamonds. Soft, light blonde hair danced back and forth across his smooth forehead as he moved from toy to toy, tossing his head in laughter. The doctor found his mind wandering, wondering what the parents might have looked like if…

“Doctor, its about time.”

“Yes, yes I can see that.” He peeled his eyes away from little boy, who was now happily coloring in one of the many books scattered across the room. From the corner of his eye he could see the door in the room open and the parents duck quietly out.

He made his way into the hallway. Behind him he could still hear the happy giggle of the little boy, oblivious to what was coming. With a sigh, the doctor swept his hand over his balding head, then made his way into the room across the hall. Inside there was only a small desk, with two hard chairs sitting on one side, and a soft rolling chair on the other. The parents were already perched on the wooden chairs. The doctor took them in. The mother’s hands were wrung together, nails ragged from nervous biting. Her dull brown eyes sad close together, still watery. Thin lips clenched together, the signs of acne still evident on her blotchy face. Next to her, her husband echoed her looks almost exactly. His hair was thin, shaggy and hanging down slightly over his dull, watery eyes. Though instead of ringing his hands, they hung limply at his side, dead of any movement.

The doctor sat down in the soft seat, swiveling himself to look at the parents face on. It seemed to often he had to see this face. The pudgy, dull, acne scarred face of the 4th class. It used to make him uneasy. Now, twenty years after starting his work in the field of Surgical Equality, he barely felt a twinge of neither disgust nor pity. Yet for some reason, that little boy’s face kept flashing through his mind, as if burned in there for keeps. Clearing his throat, the image disappeared.

“Hello Mister and Missus Cale. I see that you are two weeks past due from the scheduled appointment.”

The husband nervously glanced to his wife, then licked his thin lips. “We – we lost track of time. Work has been…demanding. We – uh -”

“Mister Cale, there is no need to pass excuses to me. Those in charge of your case will be assessing the reasoning for your delay. All I need you to do now is to sign the paperwork, and the surgery will commence.”

The wife suddenly looked directly into the doctor’s eyes. “No.”

For a moment, the word hung in the room. Then silence took over. The doctor stared back at her, letting the silence sink in.

“Missus Cale, may I remind you that with your consent or not, by law, this surgery will commence.”

“Then, doctor, I will still say no.” The husband shut his eyes tightly. He moved a limp hand to his wife’s shoulder, but she shrugged it off roughly. Her dull brown eyes seemed to light on fire, still ugly, but strikingly so.

Sighing, the doctor leaned back in the seat. It creaked under his weight, slowly echoing through the small room. The memorized words spilled from his lips, as though a play button had been pressed in some other hidden room. “Sixty years ago, head scientists found that with determined, undisputed classes set amongst the population, conflicts decreased. There was less fighting. Less homeless, less sex-related crimes. Eventually, less war. Merely ten years after Surgical Equality was voted into practiced law, the world saw an utter elimination of hostilities. With the pre-determined five-class system, everyone has learned his or her place. And with the surgical interventions, there is no mistaking each class as you pass them down the now safe streets. You, Mister and Missus Cale, are fourth class. I do not have to allow you further arguments or pity. It is law, and if you choose not to follow it, you will find yourself in a very unpleasant place.”

“It is law to make my son ugly,” the wife spat out. “It is that, because of MY birth, he will have to have non-stop surgery his entire life to make him sore to the eyes of anyone in any class above him. How, doctor, is this fair law?”

He looked a moment at her. “Fair law does not exist, Missus Cale. The only law that exists is the law that has been voted in, and proven to work.”

“I did not choose to be born to poor, lazy parents! Nor did my son choose to be born to parents who have been forced to be eternally ugly!”

“You cannot change genetic placement, Missus Cale. You can only deal with it.”

With that, she burst into bitter, angry tears. They ran down her scarred cheeks, leaving dark streaks that only enhanced the surgical imperfections given her. The husband finally reached over again, this time his hand welcome as he held her shaking shoulders. “Doctor.” His eyes looked up, full of pain. “Please…is there any way…”


“Then - ” He glanced to his wife. Closing his eyes a moment, his voice finally came out strong, clear. “Then we can only do the one last thing possible to stand up for our little boy. We cannot sign.”

The doctor looked at the parents a moment, then stood. He gathered the papers in his hands, and opened the metal door. “Have a nice day, Mister and Missus Cale.”

Outside the door, four armed police officers waited. The doctor passed them, blind to their smug smiles as they forced their way into the room. He could hear the sobbing of the wife, and the gentle voice of the husband trying to calm her one last time. Then he turned the corner, and the sounds disappeared behind him.

“Doctor.” His assistant waited next to the operating room door. “Patient is prepped and ready.”

“Thank you. I will be there in a moment.”

With that the assistant disappeared into the room. The doctor suddenly slouched against the cold white wall, his breath catching in his throat. The face of the little boy, smiling and laughing, passed in front of his clenched eyes. Then, slowly, he saw the image of his wife’s swollen belly, almost due with their first-born son. A knot, tight and threatening to never leave again, formed in his turning stomach.

What was he doing?

(Word count: 1236)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Writing Prompt #3

Writing Prompt #3

A woman buys a gun for home defense, but two days later she can’t find it.

The slamming of the old door jarred her from her sleep. Opening her eyes, she groggily looked over at the glowing clock propped on her bedside table. It was three in the morning. She had only been asleep for an hour. With a groan, she reached her hand behind her to swat at her husband. His side of the bed was empty. Confused, she rolled over to see the untouched pillow and neatly folded blankets. Then she remembered. He was away on a trip for the weekend with some buddies, off fishing and camping along some random lake’s shores.

Wiping a hand across her drowsy face, she threw the blankets off and placed her feet on the cold wood floor. Stumbling a moment, she finally got her bearings and headed to the bedroom door. The air was crisp and cold, causing her to shiver as she stepped into the hallway. Eyes barely open, she made her way to the front door. The sight waiting there finally brought her completely out of her half-awake stupor.

The door stood open an inch. Wood was cracked and chipped around the lock, which had been kicked in with such force that it was now just a hole in the old door. The wood chips had sprayed all over the entryway. Before she realized it, she had stepped on one, its sharp edge digging into her soft, bare foot. Yelping in pain, she hopped to the living room and sat down on their worn couch. A rosy drop of blood oozed from the small stab, falling to the ground and splattering onto the thin area rug.

Her mind reeled as she pressed a finger to the wound on her foot. The door was completely broken in, but no one was in sight. Heart pounding so hard she could feel her head throb with every beat, she stood and made her way to the kitchen. She flicked on the light. Everything looked normal. Still, calling the cops seemed the logical thing to do. She made her way to where the phone charger sat next to the humming fridge, only to see the base empty. The receiver was nowhere to be seen. Cursing under her breath, she turned to head back to her room. It might be there still, leaning against the clock as she waited for husband’s missing phone call.

Something creaked down the hall. It was the unmistakable sound of a footstep.

Icy disbelief shot down her body. This couldn’t be happening to her.

Then she remembered. Two days ago, just before her husband had left for the trip, he had brought home the gun. Though she had argued against it, he ignored every word, declaring it was something he wanted. Quickly she turned and made her way into the pantry. Tearing food off of the shelves, she found the lock box in its place, hidden behind the cans of tuna and soups. With a sigh, she pulled it down and sat on the hard floor. Her hands fumbled with the lock, spinning the numbers too fast and having to try four times before it finally clicked and the lid popped open.

There was nothing inside.

All she could do was stare in disbelief at the empty foam. The shape of the gun was still imprinted on its surface. She knew it had been put in there. She knew it. So where was it now? Down the hall she could hear her bedroom door creak open. Her breath caught in her throat, threatening to never make its way back into her burning lungs. Suddenly, something sounded behind her.

The click of the safety being let off echoed in the silent kitchen.

(Word count: 616)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Writing Prompt #2

Writing Prompt #2:

A flight attendant learns that one of the passengers has brought a weapon on board.

His eyes never looked up as he walked past her, his hand clutching the hand of the tall woman walking beside him. Amber watched him walk by, then he was lost in the line of people squeezing down the small aisle to find their assigned seats. Shrugging off the strange behavior, she turned back to the boarding passengers, happily greeting them. The last passenger stumbled on, struggling under a bag that would obviously need to be checked. She would leave it to one of the other attendants to deal with. After making sure no one else was scurrying down the tube, Amber pulled the door shut and latched it.


The seatbelt light flashed on. Amber strolled down the aisle, shutting the now filled overheads. In the back of the plane she would see one of her fellow attendants was arguing with the passenger who had the over-sized carry on. Amber just chuckled. The plane rumbled, then Amber could feel the ground beneath her feet start to move as they taxied down the runway.

“Ladies and Gentleman, welcome aboard Southwest Airlines, flight number 32.”

Amber took her place in the aisle as the attendant on the speaker started the usual welcome aboard greeting. She smiled at the people in the seats next to her, only two of which were actually watching her memorized movements. “Please make sure that all carry-on items are stowed either in an overhead compartment or completely beneath the seat in front of you. If you have problems with the proper stowage of your items, please let a flight attendant know and we will be happy to help you...” In the back of the plane Amber could see the passenger who had had to stow their bag sitting glumly in their seat, arms crossed as if they had been thrown into a time out. The greeting continued, then clicked off.

Amber took her seat next to the other attendant, still disgruntled from having to deal with the now angry passenger. Amber knew she would hear about it later, so didn’t bother asking. The ground rumbled underneath, the engines spinning up to a loud roar as the plane jetted down the runway, then suddenly, it was smooth. They lifted into the air, soaring up into the puffy white clouds.

The flight was quiet. Most people just stared out the windows at the tiny buildings far below them. Or passed out, leaning to one side, their mouths hanging slightly agape. Amber repeatedly found herself stifling yawns. Finally she had had a enough and walked down the aisle, in the sore attempt to keep herself from joining the gaping mouthed sleepers.

Near the back she saw him again. The one who stared so intently at the ground as he boarded the plane just over an hour ago. Now he sat in the seat, lips tight and a scowl on his smooth face. Amber felt a funny feeling stir in her stomach, but she just shoved it to the side with disregard. The woman next to him was dozing off, her bun slowly coming undone, causing small strand of hair to flutter around her thin face.

“Could I get you anything? A pillow maybe?”

The woman looked up, blinking her eyes as if in surprise that someone was talking to her. “No, no thank you. I’m fine.”

Amber smiled then looked at him. “How about you sir?”

All he did was scowl. The woman looked at him tensely, then snapped “Don’t be rude.” He looked at her a moment, then sighed and looked back at Amber. His eyes bore into her a moment. Amber wondered what was making his day so bad, but knew it would be very inappropriate to ask.

“No ma’am.” He muttered. Amber smiled and straightened herself, turning to head back down the aisle. As her eyes swept over him one last time, she saw his hand slide down into the pocket of his baggy coat, gripping something tightly. Curious, Amber pretended to fix the storage compartment above his head. His hand fumbled a moment, then pulled the object slightly out as if checking to make sure it was still real. Amber saw the handle of the gun briefly, then it was shoved back into the large pocket.

She froze a moment. Her mind spun, thoughts pummeling through it in a frenzy to find a solution for what she just saw. Slowly she made her way back down the aisle, barely noticing the feet that now jutted out into the walkway, causing her to stumble occasionally. The scowl now made sense. How he was avoiding eye contact. The snap in the woman’s voice. Everything came together. Amber made her way back to her seat in the front and sat down, hands smoothing her pencil skirt as the moment replayed through her mind.


She looked up and saw the other attendant standing over her. “Oh, hey Jane. What’s up?”

“Uh, nothing with me. But what’s on with you? Looks like your mind is in another terminal.”

Amber chuckled. “Feels like it to me too.” He eyes scanned to the back of the plane. He still sat, hand in pocket, the glare never leaving his still young face. “Naw, I’m fine. I just - ” He squirmed in his seat. Amber stopped mid-sentence, her eyes glued to his pocket. He leaned in and said something to the woman next to him. She looked down at him, then snapped something back quickly. Huffing, he slammed his head back against the seat, shutting his eyes a moment in frustration. Amber could see his hand squirming in the pocket.

“Amber. Earth to Amber…”

“Huh?” Amber looked up. Jane was looking down at her with worry etched on her tan face.

“Whatcha looking at, huh?”

Amber licked her lips. “Jane, in the back. Next to the tall woman. Have you noticed him?”

Jane glanced back a moment. “Oh, him? Yeah sure, why?”

“What do you think?”

“I think he is having a bad day and lady next to him only is making it worse, that’s what I think. What’s going on Amber?”

“Nothing. Nothing. I was just wondering. Its ok…I’m fine.”

“Fine, whatever. Landing in ten.” Jane scanned her eyes over Amber one more time, then wandered back down the aisle, trash bag in hand to collect the plastic cups and peanut bags that were now littering the aisles and trays.

Amber knew what to do. Her mind calmed, the decision almost bringing a smile to her now calm face. Walking over to her small locker, she opened it and pulled out the small package inside. It had been a present from her sister. She had just thought it useless, but still stowed it away wherever she went. Her sister had claimed you never knew when it would come in handy. Amber had just laughed at the time. Now she quietly thanked her sister for the foresight.

Disappearing into the tiny bathroom a moment, Amber unwrapped it and held it in her hands. This would have to do.

Clicking the door shut again behind her, Amber made her way down the aisle. He was now staring across it at the passenger who was still pouting over having to check their bag. Amber could see his hand turn to a fist in his pocket, wrapping around the handle. His eyes didn’t leave the passenger, who was oblivious to his angry glare that bore into them like blades. As Amber finally reached his row, he started pulling his hand out of his pocket, still clutching the small handle.

“I wouldn’t do it if I were you.”

His head snapped up to Amber. She stood over him, staring now at his bewildered face.

“Do – do what?”

“I think you know what I mean.”

He looked over to the woman next to him. She had dozed off, her head leaning again the small window. Then he looked back up to Amber’s calm face. “You cant stop me.”

“You sure about that?” Amber slowly pulled her hand out from behind her back, pointing the small gun in her own hand at him. His eyes opened wide.

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would. Trust me, I would. That person there, across from you…they are obviously having a bad day. Don’t make it worse.”

He looked one more time to the passenger, then chuckled to himself and started to lift his hand. “Maybe this will make it better.”

“I’m warning you.” Amber’s voice stayed calm, speaking slowly and carefully.

“Whatever.” His smart reply cut through the air as he smirked at her, then he aimed his gun at the passenger across the aisle. Amber didn’t hesitate. She pulled the trigger.

A thin stream of water shot out of her gun, drenching the boy’s face. He busted out laughing, wiping the cold water out of his eyes.

“Hey, you shot me!”

Amber chuckled. “Can’t say I didn’t warn you.” Smiling, the boy swung his gun to her and pulled the trigger. Warm water shot out, hitting Amber on the shoulder. Amber laughed again, causing the woman next to him to jar awake. She looked up and saw Amber standing there, water dripping over her shoulder. Then in shock looked down at her son.

“What did you do!?” Her face tightened in anger as she reached out to grab his water gun away from him.

“Ma’am,” Amber interjected. “Its alright. We were just…we were saving the day.” She winked at the little boy. The woman looked in shock at her one more time, then her face softened as she saw Amber twirling her own small water fun on her finger. “We will be landing in five minutes. Make sure to fasten your buckles.” She looked at the boy, who was still smiling up at her, water hanging off of his small nose. She winked at him, then added with a smile on her own tired face, “And have a good day.”

(Word count: 1656)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing Prompt #1

Writing Prompt #1:

“Well, if you could accuse anybody of being downright evil, it would be him”

Tara paced in the cold dirt, her bare feet shuffling up small clouds that left brown stains on her ankles. “Well, if you could accuse anybody of being downright evil, it would be him,” she angrily spat out.

Karen looked up and sighed. She sat huddled by the dying flames of the campfire, trying in vain to relish what little warmth there still was. The sun had risen just an hour ago, and the outlook for the day looked gloomy. Dark clouds overhead seemed to deny the attempted entrance of day. It looked like rain.

Karen looked over to the dry patch of dirt where their tent had been. Everything was gone. The tent. Their sleeping bags and over night packs. The cooler full of food. Even Tara’s shoes, which she had left outside to dry from their hike the day before. This morning Karen had woken up, shivering and curled into a tight ball. Confusion filled her mind, clogging her senses with a film of dizziness. After she had sat up and regained her balance, she had seen the devastation. Then Tara woke up and the cursing began. Karen hadn’t seen Tara stop pacing since the moment she opened her eyes. All Karen could do though was sit there, frozen by the once warm fire, and wish this wasn’t reality.

He was gone.

He had taken everything and left the two of them in the dead of night. They had trusted him, and now he was gone. Karen bit back a sharp choke that tried to escape from her dry throat. Matt had seemed so kind. So genuine. Over the last few months, she might even say she had come to love him. Though his eyes always tended to wander to Tara more than her, she didn’t mind. Tara was gorgeous. Bright blue eyes, luscious auburn hair. A figure any woman would die for. Nearly their entire life Karen had huddled in Tara’s shadows. But she had hoped this time things might turn out different. That was until Tara decided to open her fat mouth and tell Matt the one way to ruin their lives for good.

Finally standing, Karen stretched the knots out of her cold legs and walked a few steps from the fire. She could still see the tire tread marks in the dry dirt, along with the muddy footprints leftover from the walk to the stream nearby. Looking back, she saw Tara was still lost in her own world, and decided to not try to break in and try to say anything. Instead, Karen followed the tire marks until they disappeared into the overgrown grassy trail. She could hear the small stream cascading over the shiny pebbles and fallen branches. Soon she heard a splash and saw she had stepped into the crystal clear water. It ran across the grassy path, cutting a small rivulet into the otherwise overgrown terrain. Tall trees rose all around her, casting cold shadows that made her shiver hard.

Walking away from the path, Karen bent down and scooped some of the ice-cold water into her grimy hand. She splashed it onto her pale face, then smoothed some through her dull brown hair. Yesterday, during their hike, the three had seemed so careless. They had splashed in this very stream, getting Tara so soaking wet she looked like a drowned rat. A beautiful drowned rat. Now the ice-cold water seemed to suck the life from Karen’s flesh.

How had this happened? That was a silly question, and Karen knew it the moment it had entered into her mind. It had happened because Tara happened. As always. Tara always felt the need to be more important than others. So when Matt had casually mentioned that his father was a manager for some random who-knows-what production company, Tara felt the need to inform him about who she was. Who they were. Daughters of someone too important. So important that they had agreed to never tell anyone. Then Tara opened her mouth.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they had any idea where they were.

“Karen! Karen, where are you?”

Grunting, Karen pushed herself back to her feet and found her way back to the empty campsite. Tara stood next to the dead fire, panic blasted across her perfect face.

“Don’t do that!” She shrieked as she saw Karen emerge from the dense foliage. “I thought…I thought you had left too!”

“Tara, why would I do that?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I bet you have some insane beliefs that lover boy is just playing a prank. Or will come back with a change of heart. Or…or…” Tara burst into tears. Her shoulders shook violently as heavy teardrops cascaded down her porcelain cheeks.

Karen watched a moment, then went back to the fire pit. She tried to stoke what was left of the embers, but failed. Behind her she could hear the sobs of her sister. Time passed. Gradually the sobs turned to sniffles, then to muted hiccups. Finally she heard the padding of bare feet as Tara walked up to the fire, then sat gingerly down on the cold ground.

“What are we going to do Karen?”

“I don’t know Tara. I don’t know.” She turned to her sister. “Please, tell me it wasn’t in your bag.”

Tara’s eyes clouded over, getting ready to burst once again into broken sobs.

“Tara! We went on a CAMPING trip! Why on Earth would you bring it? For that matter, why did you have to open your fat yap and ruin everything?” Karen’s voice boomed out, full of unbridled anger and despair. Of all the things her sister had ever done that were stupid, this was by far the worst. And the most dangerous.

“I thought it would be safe. I thought – “

“No, like always, your pretty little head didn’t think,” Karen snapped. She let out a heavy sigh. There was no use in yelling. Yelling wouldn’t bring them out of this jungle of a forest back in the safe city that sat beyond. Yelling wouldn’t stop the horror that was unfolding before their eyes. “He must have drugged us. Last night. That’s the only way we could have slept through this.”

Thunder rolled in the distance. Karen looked up to see that the clouds had turned nearly black, threatening a storm that was almost here. Someone up there was mad. And Karen feared the wrath that was about to fall upon the world. Grabbing a hand of dirt, she threw it onto the coals, dousing what little life was left in them. Then she stood, brushed the dirt from her pants, and turned to her sister.

“Well, let’s go.”

“Go? Go WHERE?” Tara looked up at Karen with a look of pure loss on her unblemished face. Karen held out her hand and pulled Tara to her feet. Looking down, she saw Tara curl her perfectly pedicured toes into the cold dirt. Then, still holding onto her sister’s dainty hand, started walking back along the disappearing tire marks.

“Its time to find our way out of here. And to get it back before Matt does what I think he is about to do. We need to get back Pandora’s box.”

(Word count: 1206)

Writing Prompts

I have been searching the web, in vain, to find good prompts. All that I ever seem to come across are things like "Write about the smell of cookies" or "what is your earliest memory?" Those seem to do no "prompting" of any sort, and I always quit in frustration.

I have recently found, bought, and fallen in love with a new book. It looks little, but its full of gold.

The Writer's Book of Matches:
1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction

by the staff of fresh boiled peanuts

This book is full of writing prompts to help pull out your inner stories. And for the first time in a long time, I feel inspired. Even just reading the introduction and the "How to Use this Book" is entertaining, enlightening, and makes you want to wiggle your fingers and create. I would fully quote every page, but that would take too long. My advice? If you want prompts and encouragement, GO GET THIS BOOK.

It is so true what they say in it: " of the most difficult things for a writer to do is actually sit down and write." Their suggestion? Write every single day. No exceptions. No excuses. Try to write at least 500 words a day, and before you know it you will fall into that writing habit and your day will not be complete until you have created. So, I have come to a conclusion. I must do that. Taking a break between long cramming sessions of working on my book, to use a prompt and spit out something totally unrelated sounds like a good idea. Hopefully I will stick to this. Hopefully I won't fall back into my always recurring habit of forgetting to do it for weeks at an end, then apologizing and writing for a day or two...then falling away again.

Here is my question. Anyone out there care to join me? Read what I do write? Tell me what you think? Yell at me when you notice I have fallen back off my personal bandwagon? More so...write from the prompts yourself and share them? Just post them as a comment to my own, and we can all dive into our own literary world. Its just a thought.

Ok, so here are the rules and guidelines:

1. Write every single day
2. Try to write at least 500 words
3. Actually write. Don't just spit out words to count the day.
4. Work my way through the 1,001 prompts in this book sitting in front of me
5. No excuses. No "writer's block." Nothing but writing

Here are the three different types of prompts in the book. I will post the prompts icon next to the new prompt for the day, then post what I wrote.

Situation Prompt
This prompt lays out the protagonist who finds him/herself in some sort of situation.

Dialogue Prompt
This, obviously, will be a quote of some sort. You have to create the story from just the quote.

Assignment Prompt
This prompt will typically lay out three characters who share a certain context. You have to create a situation or conflict for each character. Try for at least a page a character, but don't punish yourself if you can't get that much

The prompts are just there to ignite a thought. If the prompt somehow gives you an idea for something totally unrelated, write it. All this is here for is to get us out of our locked up heads and back onto paper where we all long to be. Don't look for perfection. Don't stress. Just let the stories flow. I hope this helps to lead to something great.

Writing Self-Help Post #1 - Finding Some Muse

Today my husband took me to Powells Books and directed me to get some writing books. I think he is tired of hearing me say how much I want to write but feel stuck. We can't afford for me to take the local classes I have found, so to make up for it, I have this new and growing stack of books glued to my side. My golden prizes for today:

Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz

The Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction by The Staff of fresh boiled peanuts

Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card

Writing Dialogue by Tom Chiarella

The first one I decided to dive into is Writer Mama. This is a pretty decent book. It seems to mostly be geared towards the writers of the magazine/article type writing, yet still contains some awesome insights that help to inspire. This book is one reason I have decided to start this blog up. Katz says that writing freelance is a "mental relief" for even those who specialize mostly in a fiction world. (Such as I, who am madly in love with scifi/fantasy escape) We get so caught up in the jumble of our latest creation that soon our mind turns to mush and no real writing can come of it. Taking a break and RE-entering reality can help. So I am trying that.

A good quote, summarized, from Katz is:
"Writing is turning your private thoughts into a public discussion"

I am only a few chapters in at the moment, but am enjoying this latest find. Though I do not fully plan on entering into the journalist world, I do feel more surrounded now by other SAHMs (stay at home moms) who also dream of the writing realm. Here are some awesome tips I have read so far to help encourage the muse

1. Keep a notepad of some sort with you at all times. Jot down any and every thought/idea that comes to your mind during the day, whether you are sitting at home or in the middle of the grocery aisle. Compile the notes later. Now you have the beginnings of some great brainstorming sessions for current or future works!

2. Free write. Remember in good old grade school when our teachers would make us write for a minute straight? Turns out they were on to something. Turning off your over analyzing brain and just writing until the timer says stop is actually a great way to clear your mind and potentially come up with new, amazing ideas. We write what we know. But sometimes the things we know get stuck behind logic. Set a timer, or a certain page count, and do not stop writing until you hit it. You just might be amazed.

3. Read and clip the local newspaper. Make it a point to get that paper and read through it. You never know if a recent headline will inspire a thought you didnt have before. Clip the articles and/or headlines, even comics, that stick out to you and keep them filed away as a reality muse.

4. Get a bulletin board. Invest in a good old fashioned cork board, some post-its, and a nice supply of pens. Getting back into the tactile world is a great thing. Plus, even if we are great about typing out ideas and saving them, actually SEEING them posted on the wall will be a more constant reminder. Pin up ideas, inspirational quotes, projects, motivating photos. But remember, this board is for YOU, not for the next shopping list.

5. Take a break and write some non-fiction. Working so hard on creating can take its toll. Dive back into the real world and write a good piece of essay, an article, a thought. It relaxes the mind.

I plan on trying out some of these new ideas. Maybe they will help. Just maybe...
But now reality calls and my child is asking for mommy attention. Time to re-enter the mommyhood world.