100 Days of Summer - Day 6

It's Day 6 of the 100 Days of Summer writing challenge. Here's the prompt.Prompt 6: Do you remember the choose your own adventure series?  You read to a certain point and then you’re prompted to pick what happens next.  This writing prompt is sort of like that.  Below is a list of three categories, each with 3 choices.  Choose one phrase from each category to create the first sentence in your story.  Now here’s the fun part.  See where that odd line takes you and let your quirky self run wild on the page.

Category 1

On an ordinary day

On a dark and stormy night

On steamy afternoon in Grand Central Station

Category 2

two wild-eye parakeets

a slimmy slug and a caterpillar

curious twins

Category 3

jumped into a fireplace.

found a pickle jar of quarters.

uncovered a box of treasure.

 

Time: 6:53 (8 minutes)

Mood: Blah (this seems to be a common mood for me.)

Outcome: 301 words

On a steamy afternoon in Grand Central Station, two wild-eyed parakeets found a pickle jar of quarters. The larger of the two parakeets wanted to take the money. She was convinced they needed it. They could remodel their nest, buy the latest fashions, and get some new sunglasses to protect their wild eyes.

The smaller parakeet was substantially less materialistic and more sensible. She did not want the money or the hassle that went with it. They’d have to figure out how to transport the quarters, invest the quarters, protect the quarters from crows (because everyone knows how shifty crows are and that they love shiny things). “Besides, what’s the point of remodeling our nest? It’ll still be poky and scratchy. There’s not much you can do with a pile of sticks to make it more homey. You can’t hang curtains.”

“We could hang curtains with the money.”

“Why? You’d forget they were there and poop on them anyway.”

At that point the larger parakeet was tired of the smaller parakeet and even more tired of trying to compromise with her lifelong friend and roommate. “Whatever,” she squawked. “Let’s go flying.”

The smaller parakeet grinned and twittered as she followed the larger bird, convinced she’d won. She was so busy gloating about getting her way, she didn’t even notice the large train that she flew into.

“See how nice curtains would be?” the bigger parakeet laughed. “Then you would have seen that window.” She fluttered about for a few seconds to see if her friend was going to move. When there wasn’t any sign of life, she chuckled. “Stupid bitch,” she tweeted and went back to get her jar of quarters.

Moral of the story: It’s better to compromise over curtains then to fly headlong into a train and kill yourself. ;)

All right. After writing that, I guess I'd have to say my mood seems to be "irritable". Thanks for the prompt. I'm sure that's not what anyone expected to read on my blog, but it was fun to write.

My thoughts after completing this prompt: I need to quit worrying so much about what I'm writing and just write for the fun of it. Perhaps my lack of interest in writing is due to worrying so much about whether I'm doing everything "right" and if my audience will like what I write. Onward ho!

 

If you'd like to participate, stop over at Shannon's blog and sign up to have the prompts sent to your email. Be sure to enter to win the prizes for participating as well! :)

Be sure to check out some of the other participants who've posted their work.

I'm sure they'd appreciate it if you helped cheer them on throughout the challenge!

100 Days of Summer - Day 3

It's Day 3 of the 100 Days of Summer Writing Challenge. And also day 3 of my personal "100 days of blogging challenge". I seldom post to my blog, because I don't think I have anything terribly interesting to share. But, oh well. If you don't like what I post for the next 97 days, don't read it. :) Prompt #3: Write about a moment in your past that lives in infamy for you.

  1. Time: 3 pm – wrote for 6 minutes
  2. Mood: relieved – both kids are napping. J
  3. Outcome: 206 words

 

Either I’ve had a very boring life, or it has been so traumatic I’ve blocked everything from my memory. I’m okay with that.

My dad likes to tell the story about the first time he watched me by himself. My mom had to go into town for something and left me, a newborn, home with my dad.

He swears mom was barely out of the driveway when I pooped. If he’s to be believed, I filled my bassinet with green poop. And he had to figure out how to give me a bath. At this point in the story, Mom always said he did a good job but there was still poo in my ears when she got home.

Dad also likes to point out that I’m probably lucky I was born in February in northern Minnesota. Otherwise, he would have just laid me on the lawn and hosed me off with a garden hose.

Supposedly, I’m the reason my dad doesn’t particularly like kids. I guess bathing a newborn covered in green poop, after working all night, would be a fairly good reason.

See? Really not that exciting. I kinda feel like I’m letting you all down by having such a dull experience to share. I could have made something up that was more entertaining, but I'm not feeling all that creative today. :)

If you'd like to participate, stop over at Shannon's blog and sign up to have the prompts sent to your email. Be sure to enter to win the prizes for participating as well! :)

Be sure to check out some of the other participants who've posted their work.

I'm sure they'd appreciate it if you helped cheer them on throughout the challenge!

100 Days of Summer - Day 2

Today was day 2 of the 100 Days of Summer writing challenge. Even though yesterday proved quite productive after I completed the prompt (I finished a couple scenes and was eager to keep writing), today I didn't want to write. I didn't like the prompt. How dare Shannon make me write something when I wasn't in the mood to write. Hah! I guess that's the point of a challenge, huh? So after several hours of procrastinating, I said, "Come on. You don't have to use it anywhere. You don't have to like it. And you don't have to share it. Just sit your butt down and write for five minutes, otherwise you're going to fail this challenge on DAY 2! How pathetic is that?"

Apparently, my little "pep talk" worked. While the kids finished eating their corn dogs and cauliflower for supper, I sat down to write for five minutes. The five minutes turned into 23 minutes before I was at a loss as to what to write next. So here ya go.

Prompt #2:     Think about a character (not the protagonist) central to the plot of your story.  Write a scene from his/her perspective.  How does the scene change?  How does the tone change?  Does this perspective shift allow you to explore the conflict from a surprising or more powerful perspective.

 

Here is the beginning of the scene I worked on. Of course, I want to state it's a very rough draft and may not even appear. However, it is from the novel I've been working on for several months. I don't even have a working title for it.

Tom walked up to the rock where Kylie was sitting. Other than being ten years older, it was likethe first day he’d spotted her there. It was awkward being around her. Part of him wished for what they’d once had, part of him wanted her to be miserable due to the pain she’d caused him, and part of him just wanted to ignore her. Yet, she was engaged to his older brother.

His opinion on that varied from “lucky bastard” to “stupid son of a bitch”.

The scene doesn't really change, since I hadn't written it yet, but if I wrote it from Kylie's perspective it'd be hard to show exactly what Tom was feeling. I think this way I can show Tom's personality which tends to be non-confrontational and "live and let live." He's upset about what he learns, but he really doesn't see much point in tearing into Kylie because it's in the past. Bitching her out (to be blunt) won't change anything.

I think when I revise and expand the scene, I can show how infuriating Kylie finds his attitude. She's thankful that he doesn't scream and yell, but also upset that he's clearly hiding how he really feels. I may even be able to show that Kylie tends to be a "hot head" instead of calm and collected when she's upset.

 

I spent 23 minutes writing and added 894 words to my rough draft.

If you'd like to participate, stop over at Shannon's blog and sign up to have the prompts sent to your email. Be sure to enter to win the prizes for participating as well! :)

Be sure to check out some of the other participants who've posted their work.

I'm sure they'd appreciate it if you helped cheer them on throughout the challenge!

100 Days of Summer - Day 1

As some of you know, I've been struggling to write. I know I should. I have the time. I just don't write. So when I saw Shannon Abercrombie's post about 100 Days of Summer, I jumped right in. 100 Days of Summer is a writing challenge where the participants write every day, starting with the prompt that Shannon posts on her blog. Today, Memorial Day, is Day 1.

I'm not sure if I'm going to share what I write, because I've decided to apply as many of the prompts as I can to my WIPs. And I'd hate for you to know what exactly I'm writing because then you'd be bored if you read the books when they're done.

However, I am willing to share the prompt and a bit of what I wrote. Also, I'll include how much I wrote from the prompt. Hopefully, this will help keep me on track.

Prompt 1: Start a scene where your protagonist celebrates a moment of glory or suffers through a public embarrassment.  Try showing this moment rather than telling what happened.  A strong example of a protagonist caught in a public moment is Hester Prynne, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  She is shamefully led from the town prison with a scarlet “A” on her chest.   As a reader, we learn about Hester’s character and commitment by her resolve to protect the father of her baby.  This scene builds an impeccable sense of the character as well as creating tension and exposes a central conflict in the storyline.

 

What I wrote (part of it anyway):

Kirima looked around at the crew of The Norseman. She loved what she did and didn’t want to stop, but she knew it was time. For her safety, the baby’s safety, and the safety of the crew. This was the right thing to do, even if it was the hardest thing she could imagine doing.

“I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m not going to captain anymore. I’ve leased the boat to Jared Stunkle. He’s willing to keep you all on at your current wage, but understands if you’re not interested in working for him.” She smirked, and continued. “Of course, he can’t imagine why people who would work for a woman wouldn’t be thrilled at the chance to work for a real captain.” Jared Stunkle was well-known for his chauvinistic ways and Kirima was glad she didn’t have to deal with him any further than signing the lease agreement and collecting her money.

 

I spent 25 minutes writing and added 634 words to my rough draft of Alaskan Hope.

If you'd like to participate, stop over at Shannon's blog and sign up to have the prompts sent to your email. Be sure to enter to win the prizes for participating as well! :)

Gimme my Bronco and Moose Drool

liebsteraward I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award by Darcia Helle.

Here are the rules:

1. The person receiving the award posts 11 random facts about him-/herself and answers the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated him/her. 2. Pass the award on to 11 other blogs (while making sure to notify the bloggers nominated!) 3. Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees. 4. One is not allowed to nominate the blog that nominated one’s own blog! 5. Paste the award picture into your blog.

 

11 random facts about me.

1. I'm a computer programmer. Nothing "exciting," just processing text files and creating reports.

2. I own a 1963 Dodge Dart GT.

3. I share my bed with 200+ pounds of animals. (Two dogs and two cats.) My husband sleeps there too. And often the eldest human kid sneaks in and steals half the bed.

4. I have "adopted" siblings, mostly brothers. A couple in Minnesota, and a couple in Georgia. I miss them all and would give almost anything for a chance to hug them. Hey, J, M, E, & J, I love you.

5. My nickname as a kid was "Frog," given to me by my twin uncles. They are twins, not my twins.

6. I know how to ride a motorcycle. I miss my dirt bike.

7. I love snowmobiling.

8. I hated high school. And still hate 99.9% of the people who attended my high school.

9. I have an addiction to kayaking.

10. I want a first-generation Ford Bronco.

11. I'm drinking Moose Drool tonight to celebrate finishing another project. Or am I celebrating the beginning of another project?

 

 

 

1. When you’re angry, are you more likely to vent by yelling or quietly plot revenge? If I happen to be married to you, I'll scream my head off. If you're not fortunate enough to be my husband, I just suck it up and vent bitch to other people about you. 2. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My husband. I told him our son was asleep and I refused to wake him up for Mexican food. Yes, I turned down a margarita for my son to sleep. I know, I'm shocked too. 3. Sit Coms or Crime Dramas? Sit coms. Although, I'm currently hooked on The Secret Life of an American Teenager. 4. Are you an introvert or extravert? Introvert. When I was in school, people would ask me "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer was, "A hermit that lives at the dead end of a dirt road." I'd still like that, as long as I can get decent internet access. 5. If money was of no concern, where would you live? Wallace, Idaho 6. You were just given $1,000 and an hour to spend it. Where do you go and what do you buy? Amazon.com, books, an ipad, and some stuff for the kids 7. What was your favorite toy as a child? Books and stuffed animals. Shocking, huh? 8. Do you play video games? No. They confuse me. I played Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo. Now, there's too many things to confuse me. I play Wii bowling when I get a chance to drink with friends. 9. Bell bottoms or straight-legs? Boot cut. You knew I wouldn't choose either option. I'm just not that agreeable. 10. What is your greatest strength? My superpower is sarcasm. 11. Have you ever stolen anything? Just your soul. ;-) Honestly, yes. I can't remember how many times I helped myself to a candy bar at the grocery store as a kid. Shame on me!

Now, for the rest of the requirements, I admit defeat. I don't know 11 people with blogs. :) But if anyone who reads this wants to answer the following questions, let me know. I'll post a link to your blog.

Questions

1. Where did you lose your mind? Hah! You thought I was going to say where did you lose your virginity!

2. Favorite drink?

3. Who do you miss the most?

4. What was your first pet's name?

5. Have you ever met a dogue de bordeaux?

6. Do you like sushi?

7 & 8. Who is your least favorite relative and why?

9. Do you think I'm crazy?

10. What kind of car do you drive?

11. What do you want me to know about you?

Mobile website

Just in case you don't want to view the regular site on your mobile device, I've added a mobile website. Please, check it out and let me know how it works on your device (and what kind of device you're using). (This would be change number 2.)

Are you in facebook or twitter? Just click on the facebook or twitter logos at the bottom of the page and you'll be taken to my page so you can "like" or "follow". Pretty slick, huh?

Those logos don't appear on the mobile site, so browse over to my Contact page and you'll find some links that will accomplish the same thing.