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.
It’s time for another Thursday Writing Prompt. These prompts are as much about getting me moving on the keyboard as they are idea-starters for generating stories. It’s been raining heavily for the past few days and all I really want to do right now is curl up on the sofa and read a good novel. Problem is, though, that I’ve read through the ones I just bought and I have a full work day ahead. And I’m trying to convince myself that I really do need to go out at lunch for half and half. Coffee is one thing I will not do without!
We had new windows installed in a few rooms, which meant moving some furniture, which inevitably meant cleaning up dust bunnies and tossing a few odds and ends, mostly boxes and papers that were extinct months ago. So now I have it in mind to rearrange my office, but I need to do that without reinjuring my shoulder. Still, I’ve started culling books and magazines I won’t revisit, and trying to convince myself to give away some craft supplies for things I’ve tried and really don’t like to do — mostly, that’s anything related to sewing. I’m just not a seamstress. Sigh.
In the spirit of cleaning house, your writing prompt is to imagine that you have fallen in love with a tiny house. You know, one of those little homes, around 400 or 500 square feet. They’re often quirky, sometimes based on a theme, and generally have some ingenious storage solutions. Never mind whether you could really afford one of these little gems, or that you, your family, your dog, and your pony would fit into it — your task is to imagine an incredible tiny house and take your readers on a tour of the little home. Have fun!
And don’t blame me if you end up spending waaaaay too much time trawling the web looking at tiny home photos.
“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?
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F is for Febrrrr..uary
It’s been some time since I’ve written a Thursday Writing Prompt, and since it’s Valentine’s Day next week, a romantic theme might be just right for this week’s exercise. So without further ado, let’s get down to business at the keyboard (or pen and paper).
Your task for this week is to come up with your characters for romance story. Give them both names, and then write a brief resume of that person’s life: their background (siblings, where they grew up); their current job (or lack of one — maybe they’re in school yet); their likes and dislikes (food, drinks, sports, hobbies, pets); and most important, how they view their life. This doesn’t have to be a long paragraph or pages of writing. In fact, writing a bullet-point list might be a better option.
With the list format you can make up a batch of characters for use in whatever stories you want. While I was drafting Seacombe I came across some websites that offered enneagram tests. In case you haven’t heard of an enneagram, it’s a type of personality test. In any case, I found it useful for figuring out some of my characters’ personality profiles. You might find that using an enneagram test or some other personality test will help you sort out what it is that drives your characters. Once you know who they are and what they want, stories are much easier to write. Good luck with your character lists!