Writing Wednesday: IWSG Apr 2020

32571395._sy475_

Today’s question for Insecure Writer’s Support Group was crafted for the circumstances we find ourselves in right now: …in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world? What follows is my response, mostly unfiltered (and eventually related to writing). Hopefully it makes sense.

Up until a few days ago, my life hadn’t been affected much by social distancing standards. I have been primarily working from home since October, I already home school my daughter, and my husband and son both work at a restaurant that hasn’t shut down yet. The uncertainty was there, and I spent a lot more time paying attention to current affairs and planning for the future than normal. Watching the dominoes fall so quickly as large events were cancelled or postponed (my husband and I had tickets for 2 different concerts this spring, and when the first one was postponed a few weeks back, that’s when this started to get a lot more real to me), then schools closed down, then smaller events were cancelled was all very distracting. But my daily routine, at least, was largely unaffected. (Though my son’s 18th birthday was yesterday, so it was sad knowing we couldn’t do that much for him right now. We have future plans, but not knowing when those future plans can actually happen doesn’t help a lot.)

Just two days ago, the person I work for told me to shut down the work I was doing for now. I’d been expecting it to happen eventually, but that didn’t make it any less jarring when it did happen. It was a nice job–fun and paid very well. And I was a sub-contractor, not an employee, so I’m not even sure if I can get unemployment. But that’s not the point. Not only do I now no longer have that income, I also have more time on my hands.

What this should mean is that I have more time for my writing. Fundamentally, I know that’s true. But I have already found it more difficult to spend time on it during the last few weeks, when I wasn’t even as directly affected, because of everything that’s been happening. And now? I haven’t touched it since Sunday. I just want to spend my evenings (the time I normally am able to devote to writing) reading and playing video games. Shutting down the creative part of my mind.

Today is a good day for this, though. The first session of Camp NaNoWriMo for the year starts today (the 2nd session is in July). It’s just what I need to get back on track. Unlike NaNoWriMo proper, where I stick to the traditional 50k words of writing a new piece, I allow myself to rebel during Camp (and usually do). I’ll just continue on with the revision I’m doing for the 2nd book in my new series, with a daily goal of 45 minutes per day spent working on it. Compared to the amount of time I’ve been working on it lately, it’s a very lofty goal, but if I can do it, it will bring me miles toward being ready to publish this 2nd book. And if anything can put me back into place, it’s NaNoWriMo.

Before I sign off for this post, I just want to add that if anything I said in this post sounds like I’m complaining, it’s not intended that way. I have nothing to complain about. My family still has some income right now, we have plenty of food (we tend to stock ahead anyway, so already had a lot) and even some toilet paper, and no one close to me has gotten sick from this virus. I have many books on my shelves that I haven’t read and access to digital books (and games) with the click of a button or two. And if the worst happens, I know where my home is. I won’t pretend that this isn’t a scary situation, but I have a lot more peace than what makes sense, because I know that whatever happens, God is in control.

For my fellow writers, and anyone else reading this blog–how are things in your world?

IWSG Blog Hop, Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view other blogs in the IWSG…

Writing Wednesday: #StayHomeWriMo

WW Prompt

This is kind of a different spin on my normal Writing Wednesday Prompt. Rather than find or create my own prompt, I’m going to share what NaNoWriMo is doing through the end of March.

Each (week)day, they are putting up a checklist to spark creativity and even address other areas of our lives that might need some attention. Here is day 1 from Monday, which includes a writing prompt:

StayHomeWriMo-checklist-Day1-1

For more, follow this link. Be sure to check back there tomorrow and Friday, and then Monday and Tuesday of next week, for more!

How are you staying sane and healthy during this time? Is your creativity suffering or thriving (or staying the same)?

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Set a timer for 5 minutes and write without stopping about the following topic:
The next great adventure (for you, your character, your pet, or anyone!)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: IWSG Mar 2020

32571395._sy475_

The first Wednesday of the month really snuck up on me this month. Time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post! Here is this month’s question:
Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

Holiday traditions are actually less likely to make it into my writing, since most of my writing is speculative fiction, and our holidays either don’t exist in that world, or are vastly different. Though I did do some writing practice once that adopted a Christmas Eve tradition I’m often part of, but it’s not likely to make it into any of my books.

The biggest thing that comes to mind is the main character’s dad in my first published novel Pithea, and his instruction book. My dad is a blacksmith, and the main character’s dad is a bladesmith, which is a pretty close comparison for my purposes. For many years, my dad has had a binder in which he keeps track of material needed and steps taken to produce every item he makes and sells. And so, the bladesmith in Pithea does the same thing. And in fact, that instruction book is going to be pivotal in a future book in the series, so having the real-life example makes it all the more special.

I know this next part doesn’t really count as customs or traditions, but this question also made me think of a character in a short story I wrote years ago who tells anecdotes from his childhood, usually involving a rivalry with his brother. One of the stories he tells is from my own childhood, and even more fun for me, one is a story that my dad once told me about my grandpa and his brothers.

For my fellow writers, what customs, traditions, or pieces of your own life have you put into your writing?

IWSG Blog Hop, Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view other blogs in the IWSG…

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

It was a poetical retribution for the crime.

(Today’s prompt is a paraphrase of a line from the book Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
silence
stop
argument
antidote
watch

bonus: pineapple

If you write something from this prompt, let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: IWSG Feb 2020

32571395._sy475_

Every month I think this is the month I’ll come up with my own topic for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. And then I look at the optional question, and I really want to answer it! This is the case again this month. So, here’s the posed question:
Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

flowers prompt

My high school creative writing class has stuck with me for fifteen years. We went through a process of coming up with multiple story seeds, before then choosing the one we wanted to develop into a story. For example, we were instructed to come up with a setting and character that didn’t really go together. I chose a British soldier at a Minnesota lake.

We also each got a random pictures or post card that the teacher had brought in. The picture above is what I ended up with, and from it came the seed that I used to write the short story that I turned in for a grade. It opened with a husband & wife searching through a field of wild flowers for a briefcase as part of a ransom demand. I really enjoyed writing it, and it reminded me of how much I had loved writing fiction when I was younger (by high school, I’d temporarily abandoned fiction to write poetry).

What I find really funny is that in my end-of-class reflection paper, I apparently wrote that I didn’t think I’d have much reason to write fiction again in the future. Fortunately, that wasn’t true, and within 4-5 years, I was writing fanfiction, the gateway to my current writing.

Nowadays, I enjoy and really recommend using pictures as writing prompts for writing practice, and I know it all goes back to that creative writing class.

For my fellow writers, has an image ever inspired you to write?

IWSG Blog Hop, Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view other blogs in the IWSG…

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Combine the following 3 elements into a scene, short story, story synopsis, etc:
prisoner of war
flat tire
bid for immortality

(These elements were 3 randomly drawn cards from my Storymatic deck.)

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Create a character who is the polar opposite of yourself–strengths that are opposite of your weaknesses and vice versa, shy if you’re outgoing, etc. Put them in a situation that you’ve been in before and see how they would behave differently than you did.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

setting (1)

Examples of ways to use this picture seed:

1. Write a scene that takes place in this setting.

2. Write a setting description based on the above picture. Try to include all five senses. Whatever your instincts or preferences for setting and detail, try to over-exaggerate the scene.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**