Thursday Writing Prompt No. 114

Tools of industry.

Tools of industry.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about industry. Industry can be a lot of things, from mining and farming to the manufacture of car parts to sales and research. It doesn’t have to be about making a tangible good, because industry can also mean the services sector of the economy, which includes things like Internet service providers and other things that you can’t eat, see, taste, smell, or wear.

But of course, for many people the word “industry” conjures up the Industrial Revolution and images of gigantic factories belching smoke and ash into the air from towering chimneys. Steam locomotives, fueled by coal, haul the factory goods to market where they are whisked away into stores for consumers to buy.

You might also think of long rows of conveyor belts moving hundreds of widgets along as the product is created from start to finish and packaged in shiny wrappers and boxed for delivery.

Your Thursday Writing Prompt this week is this: using the three images that I’ve provided here, think about what these instruments might be connected to and how they are used in the manufacture of some product. The third photo is a wheel on a wooden pallet that was used to move raw materials and finished products around the factory floor. (But it could also have been used by employees for racing! Maybe when the boss was out?)

Write a short description of the product that is made by this machinery, and if you really want to get creative, explain how the equipment is used to manufacture the product. It doesn’t have to be realistic, and the more you turn this into a Rube Goldberg device, the more fun you’ll have with this week’s prompt.

Running from zombies … again

I started the Zombies, Run! 5K training program again this January and I’ve been struggling to get to a point where I’m truly consistent with the workouts. I know I should do the exercises first thing in the morning to avoid having things during the day mess up my schedule, but it just doesn’t happen.

It also doesn’t help that some days I work downtown and some days I telecommute, and on those days I work at home I sure don’t get up at 5:20 a.m.! Worse, I’m having trouble with insomnia and I go to bed and toss and turn and thrash for about three hours before I fall asleep. I don’t want to take sleeping pills, but I’ve got to get a handle on my schedule.

I think the running is helping with that, so the more consistent I can get the better off I’ll be all around. I’m still running slowly — 2.7 mph is the speed I use for my runs, but it lets me complete all of the runs without dropping to a walk. Today I just finished the Week 5, Workout 2 of the training program.

I’d hoped to finish the 8-week program by the end of March but now it looks like I’ll need the first week in April to complete it, but that’s okay. I’m satisfied with my progress right now because I am running and the slow speed is keeping shin splints at bay. I’ve scheduled my next run for Tuesday and on Thursday I’ll begin the week 6 workouts.

Meet the Authors!

A poster for the book launch party for Trapped Tales.

Tonight is the official book launch party for Trapped Tales. We’re hosting the event at the Diamondback Tavern in historic Ellicott City, Maryland, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres, drink specials, and the opportunity to purchase autographed copies of Trapped Tales.

My story in the anthology is “Have Camera, Will Travel.” It features a mysterious pink digital camera that has a very special function. The ten stories in the anthology run the gamut from serious to humorous, and there’s something for every reader.


author bios

We authors will be doing short readings of our works in progress. I will read an excerpt from my novel Seacombe Island, which started life as a 2011 National Novel Writing Month book. Since then I’ve done a lot of rewriting and editing on the piece and I’m currently shopping around for a literary agent. The readings are about three minutes each and will be enough to whet your appetite for more of our work.

The book launch party is open to the public, so drop on by and say hello. There will be Columbia Writers wine glasses, autographed copies of Trapped Tales, and artwork for sale. And the weather looks good, so come on out!

And if you can’t make it tonight,  Trapped Tales is available on Amazon.

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 113

Cityscape: highrise apartment building.

Cityscape: highrise apartment building.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is simple in scope, but it will likely be very difficult for you to it pull off without having to stop and think about it for some time: your writing task today is to create one very long sentence that will be used as the introduction for a new popular edition of a famous literary novel (you have your choice of which novel to use, and it can come from any genre or time period — but make sure to consult the actual book or go to online sources such as Internet Archive and find the text of the novel); read the novel or a synopsis and gather enough information about the plot so that you can write a sensible introduction; with enough practice you might be able to beat this sentence, which boasts a length of 150 words.