Monday, July 6, 2015

And Then There Was June

June's not my best month. This year was the 7th anniversary of my dad's death, closely followed by a family reunion for his family, then father's day. Not the best schedule for my mental well-being. Usually, I keep myself busy so I don't sit around and dwell on it, but this year I got a little overzealous. I started teaching summer classes, tried taking a class online, worked on writing a textbook, and, on top of all of that, decided it would be a good time to move! Needless to say, June got away from me, so I missed four weeks of writing prompts. To make up for it, here are 4 prompts for June, plus the first one in July, which brings us up to Week 27!

During the first couple weeks of June, I thought of the first writing prompt, but I wasn't able to find time (or articulate it well enough) to get it posted. This is the best I could come up with:

Seven years ago, my sister and I had to make the decision to remove Dad from life support. It wasn't what we necessarily wanted to do, but it is absolutely the decision he would have wanted us to make. The prompt for Week 23, then, is to force your main character into a situation where doing the right thing is the opposite of what s/he wants. Whatever the thing is, it goes against his/her very nature to do this thing. Does s/he do it? What fallout is there?

For Week 24, deal with the fallout. Is it physical, emotional, mental? All of the above? Maybe there are legal (or societal) ramifications for the particular act. If the character chose not to do it, deal with those consequences. There are always repercussions when we don't do the right thing (or there should be in a story, anyway)- they just aren't always immediate.

For Week 25, lighten the mood and see what happens. Try rewriting the same story/scene with a different emotion. If it was depressing, bring it up to somber, if it was somber bring it up from there. You might even try doing an about face - reverse the polarity, so-to-speak. What happens to the character now? Which one feels more true to the character?

And now, a lighter note: For Week 26, write a story that revolves around cooking, or a recipe. I am thinking specifically of something like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, or Como Agua para Chocolate, but any story or scene that revolves around cooking will work.

Last, for Week 27, it's Independence Day. Don't do the traditional fireworks and apple pie, though. Let's make it something unexpected. Whether your character is celebrating independence, or becoming independent, or lamenting his/her lack of independence, make it something new.

As always, feel free to comment below with status updates, questions, or comments in general. Happy writing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 22 Writing Prompt

The delay in this week's writing prompt is brought to you by the great State of Texas! We drove to the Dallas/Fort Worth area this weekend to visit some family, so I'm a wee bit late in getting this prompt out. Other than visiting family we don't often see, one of the highlights of the trip (for me anyway!) was visiting a new-to-me used bookshop.

By brewbooks (Flickr: Bookstore Cat at Ophelia's Books)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]
Theres something magical about a used bookstore. Maybe it's the smell of paper, maybe it's the idea that every shelf holds worlds waiting to be explored. Whatever magic is there, let's use it as this week's inspiration.

The challenge this week is to write a story based on the magic of a bookstore. That might literally be a magical event taking place in a bookstore, or it might be figurative. Let the wonder take you where the story lives.

As always, comments, questions, and progress reports are welcome below!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 21 Writing Prompt

Students are graduating all over the country, and Memorial Day is coming up. This the time of year for moving on.

For this week's story or chapter we're forcing the main character to move on. S/he may not want to, but the time has come. What happens? Who or what forced the decision? Was it a physical move, an emotional move, or maybe something else entirely?

We've made it through five months of weekly prompts, y'all! That is fantastic! Please leave any comments, questions, or progress updates below.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 20 Writing Prompt

Do you ever have a time when you feel like you'll never get your head above water? The end of the semester is often like that for teachers. This week we're going to take that feeling and turn it on its head.
By Richard Ling (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html),
CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or
CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Write a story (or chapter, etc.) in which everything happens under water. Do you have mermaids? Are your main characters fish? Maybe you have a character who's trying not to drown or scuba diving or… You get the picture. 
(If you can't see the video, watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC_mV1IpjWA)

Once again, please comment below with questions and/or status updates.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 19 Writing Prompt

Yesterday was Mother's Day in the US, so let's make this week's prompt a tribute of sorts to mothers. 

Our challenge for this week is to write a story about a character dealing with a mother who defies all stereotypes. If you're writing for young people, the mother is probably not going to be your main character, but I suppose she could be if you're writing for adults. Try to color outside the lines here and make this mother unique - no stereotypes or cliches.

Comments, questions, and updates on your progress are welcome below!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 18 Writing Prompt

By The Cookiemonster
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
 via Wikimedia Commons

Another thing I love about all of the rain in April is watching seedlings pop up all over the place.

This week it's time to plant. Write a story about seeds and planing them. The seeds can be literal or figurative.

As always, please leave comments, questions, and progress updates below. Have fun planting!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 17 Writing Prompt

Sometimes it feels like if you didn't have bad luck you wouldn't have any luck at all. One April I was in a car accident every Friday for three weeks. I wasn't feeling terribly lucky by the end of the month - I felt more like Calamity Jane.

This week your character is feeling like I did - one bad thing after another happens, and s/he just has to cope. What happened, and how does s/he get through it?

As always, feel free to leave comments, questions, and progress updates below.