This spring has dragged on and on and on and on. I know we’re all tired of the virus crapola, but I’m also kind of fed up with the halo-wearing TV ads that tell me about how they care rather than telling me about their products and how I should wash my hands. Really, it’s like one never-ending lecture that I know I didn’t sign up for. Ahem.
On the writing front I’ve been nonproductive for the past few months. Most of that I blame on just being busy with editing projects, both at work and outside of work, and my energy for thinking and decisionmaking has just run low. But the borderline depression from being cooped up all spring isn’t helping, either. I’m spending some time organizing projects and setting tasks and deadlines, so that at least gives me a structure to work from. This week I’ll be putting finishing touches on the Writer’s Catalyst Beach Edition and another forthcoming book from Corrugated Sky, which will be our debut historical fiction novel.
And from one Runner Five to other Runner Fives, stay safe out there!
I’m working on getting the first volume of Writer’s Catalyst ready for publication in May. It’s a combination writer’s journal and book of writing prompts, and the theme for the first edition is being at the beach. The book contains all new prompts, not recycled material from past blog posts.
The artwork has proven to be more time-consuming than I had planned, and I’ve scaled down the scope of the project because of that. I had initially thought to make this a coloring book as well, but I bit off more than I could chew on that idea, so it’s been jettisoned in favor of doing what I know I can get done.
I won’t dwell on the events of this spring; we all know things suck right now, and I’m trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole of frustration. I’ve been sick with strep throat and sinus issues that just do not want to clear up. I may have to move to Tahiti after all.
In honor of the upcoming new book, here’s a fresh beach-themed prompt to get you thinking about summer. Imagine you’re at the beach and you see an upturned boat on the sand. You go to investigate, worrying that someone has been hurt, but the boat is abandoned except for one cardboard box. You open the box. What’s inside it? Can you write a backstory about how the boat came to be beached? And where are the people?
One hundred and fifty prompts! That should be enough for a book … wait for it. Yes, I’m going to be publishing books of writing prompts. The first one is in the works and I’m aiming for an early June release, just in time for the summer. They’ll be all new prompts, though, not recycled prompts from past blog posts, so you’ll get new content when you buy the book. I’ll keep the status posted, but for now, let’s turn to this week’s writing prompt.
You haven’t been to the grocery store lately, and it’s raining outside so you don’t feel like leaving the house. You open the pantry and stare at the few can of remaining edibles on the shelves. But way in the back corner of the cabinet is something that isn’t a can of soup. You pull the small package out. It’s a cardboard mailing box but you can’t read the address label. Inside the box are five items: a thermometer, a spark plug, one faded credit card receipt, a small paring knife, and a napkin with a mysterious red stain. Now, write a few paragraphs plotting out a murder mystery based on these items.
I promised myself to get back on the writing bandwagon this year, and part of that includes coming up with Thursday Writing Prompts for this blog. I sometimes include photographs, small poems, lists of five items (or so), and other ideas that I hope will inspire you to come up with your own story.
The first edition of the Writer’s Catalyst series, Beach Scenes, is in the last stages of production (I’m working on the blurb for the back cover and adjusting the cover art). I don’t have a firm release date yet, although I’m aiming to have it available before the end of the month.
What inspires your writing? Do you find that a photograph or illustration gives you ideas for a story setting? Does a list of items give you an idea for a plot? Or is it something else? Or any/all of these, depending on your mood?