Prompts, Prompts, and More Prompts!

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?

 

Thursday Writing Prompt no. 149

Hello there, fellow writers! It’s time for a Thursday Writing Prompt to help stir up those creative juices. For this week’s prompt, imagine yourself investigating an old, abandoned house. Rumors have it that the house is haunted, but you don’t believe it. You’re a collector of figurines and memorabilia, so you enter the house wondering if there might be something interesting there for your collection.

As you approach the house you notice that the windows were once boarded up, but a few of the wooden slats have been pulled loose. That isn’t a good sign, because it means other people have been here since the owners left the property. You stop for a moment, concerned that there might be someone in the house who could do you harm, but then you take a deep breath and continue walking.

You ease into the house, avoiding splintered wood and rusty nails, and enter the foyer. It’s empty. You tour the ground floor and find nothing in any of the rooms, so you go upstairs and check the bedrooms. Still nothing. Then you head to the attic. It’s pretty bare, but there is one small box shoved against the wall at the back of the house. You knock a silverfish off the box as you drag it out into the light coming in from the attic window.

Inside the box are five items: a small scrap of knit fabric printed with a kitten pattern, a plastic gold-colored button, one dried-out fountain pen, a white coffee mug with a blue interior, and an envelope containing old movie theater tickets.

Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to write a short story that uses the house as a setting and the contents of the box to inspire your plot. Happy writing!

Writing Prompts and All That

I’m working on a book of writing prompts that will combine a writing journal, prompts, and illustrations to color. My idea is to have a workbook that has a reasonable amount of prompts and enough ruled pages so that there is space to write out the exercises. It won’t be a giant book of a zillion prompts, and partly that’s because I want the journal to be saddle-stitched so it’s easier to use, and that limits the size the book can be. Sometimes perfect-bound books (think of a regular paperback novel with a spine) won’t open flat and they’re difficult to write in.

The art will be line illustrations for coloring. Sometimes the writing process isn’t always linear, and having something on the page that you can play with could be enough to jump-start your creativity, or it could just be fun. I’m aiming to get the first book out this summer, with the theme of “beach edition,” and I hope to make the project into a series, which I’m calling Writer’s Catalyst.

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 147

Ah, it’s past midnight, so technically this is a Friday writing prompt, but I’m not going to break with tradition and change the name of the post. It’s been a long week at work and my eyes are bleary, but I just can’t sleep, and so here I am working on the blog.

I lay awake in bed for an hour and I kept seeing airplane lights out the window until I realized that it was fireflies that I was seeing. Here it is mid-June already, and usually I’m peeking out the window in the evening waiting for the fireflies to appear, but this year I haven’t even thought about them. I suppose that has a lot to do with my troglodyte existence these days, although I did pry myself outside today and went for a walk in a local park and got some sunshine.

My zombie short story is coming along very, very slowly. Actually I should say that it is shambling along, which is par for the course as far as zombies are concerned. We are still hoping to have the anthology out by Halloween (in case you missed my earlier post about it, this book will be Corrugated Sky’s third anthology and will contain four short stories). In other news, I signed up for the Zombies, Run! pro app and I’m restarting season one.

I was going to do a prompt about alliteration, but since I’ve spent so much time writing about zombies, I guess that gives us a natural topic for this week, doesn’t it? Okay, maybe zombies are not exactly “natural,” but let’s go with it. Your task is to create a zombie character and write a description about it. Put some effort into making the zombie a real character so it’s not just another moaning shambler out on a brain-search. How did it become a zombie? What was it before it turned? And can a zombie have a goal other than eating brains? Maybe … that’s your department. Now go forth and write, and don’t let the zombies bite!