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. 145

We’ve had some record rainfalls in the Maryland area and some nasty flooding. While there have been jokes about building an arc or buying a boat, the floods have had devastating effects on some areas, such as Ellicott City, Maryland.

I don’t want to make light of a serious situation, but the constant rain and overcast skies are taking their toll in more ways than one. And so for today’s Thursday Writing Prompt your topic will be rain. (Surprise!) And to mix things up even more, I’m asking you to write a short poem about rain. Even if you never write poetry, do the exercise and see what you come up with. It doesn’t have to be an award-winning verse, just write whatever comes into your head.

One way to approach poetry is to pick up a pen and paper rather than use a computer or tablet or phone. I find that doing things old-school tends to slow me down, but for writing poetry that’s just the mindset you want to cultivate. Typing fast is great when I’m on a roll with a story or novel, but sometimes it’s just better to take the extra time for musing.

 

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 143

“Sienna City,” one of my digital paintings.

It’s been some time since I’ve had the energy to sit down and write a blog post. Work has been tremendously busy and at the end of the day I find myself just staring at the TV or playing Guild Wars 2 or Random Mahjong and telling myself that tomorrow I’ll do some writing. Since I work full time as a copy editor I pretty much read all day and that type of work is intense; editing requires that I make a lot of decisions (you might not believe the angst that hyphens can cause for editors) and by the time five o’clock rolls around I’m mentally spent. At that point I chuck any unused hyphens in the recycle bin and shut down my office connection.

So, last week I was avoiding writing my zombie short story for Corrugated Sky’s upcoming third anthology by looking at the digital tools over at Creative Market. I picked up a set of Photoshop brushes called Cityscape. I spent some time “doodling” until I came up with a nice composition, and then combined my newly minted city with effects from Topaz Studio to create “Sienna City.” Art and photography are cross training for writing, since they are all creative endeavors, right? I mean, at some point you have to do something other than write, or else what can you write about?

So, what’s a city without people? For this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt, you get to describe Sienna City and its population. In 350 words, write a travel guide entry for tourists that will compel them to pack their bags and head to town. Think about the kinds of things you want to know about a place before you visit, but mostly, think about what is so compelling about Sienna City that people want to go there. Are the restaurants world-famous? Is there a special landmark or museum? Is it a shopping destination? Or does the city hold some special festival each year that pulls in tourists by the busloads?