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.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 16 Writing Prompt

Last week I complained about all the rain we get in April, but one thing I love about the rain is how green everything looks afterwards.

This week we're playing with that rain-soaked color. Give a character an affinity with something green and see what happens. It could be realistic, but greenness and nature always makes me think of fairies. Where do you go with it?

Please leave comments, questions, or status updates below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 15 Writing Prompt

April in Indiana sometimes feels like living inside a thundercloud. We have lots of rain, so there are often flood warnings. Usually when we think of flooding, something that looks like this comes to mind:
By State Library of South Australia (Flickr: River Murray flood Mannum 1956)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
but this week, we're going to twist it around again. The challenge for the week is to write a story in which your character(s) have to deal with a flood, but it wasn't water. What is it, and what happened?

Comments, questions, and updates on how you're doing are welcome!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 14 Writing Prompt

Diamonds are a girl's best friend - or are they? I always love to read a story with an unexpected twist, so let's try writing one this week.


(If you can't see the video, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M59l9Qcc480)

This week we're going to write a story in which diamonds play an important part, but not the one that's expected. They might be cards, a baseball field, or actual jewels, but the part they play must be essential to the story and unexpected.

As always, comments, questions, and status updates are welcome below.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 13 Writing Prompt

Woo! This week marks three full months of writing to these weekly prompts. That's a quarter of the year gone. How is it going for you? Are you still going strong?

This week is a bonus because there are 5 Mondays in March this year - it's kind of like getting that extra donut in a baker's dozen. So this week's prompt is donuts. There is something almost sublime about biting down through the crisp glaze into that soft pillow of sugar and fat. (I never said it was healthy, I said sublime. :P) Maybe your character is making or eating donuts. Maybe she is getting something extra - like that 13th donut - a little lagniappe. Maybe he's trying hard not to give in to temptation. Whatever it is, let the donuts guide you. As Homer would say, "Mmm, donuts."

By elaine ross baylon from Quezon City, Philippines (krispy kreme donuts  Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Once again, please leave comments and questions below. I'd also love to hear how the challenge is going for you. Are you keeping up with the goals you've set yourself, or do you need the baker's dozen week to get caught up (or started)?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 12 Writing Prompt

If March came in like a lamb, now is the time for it to go out like a lion. This week, we're using lions as inspiration for the stories we write. It can be any lion - from this:
By William Wallace Denslow (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
to this:
By Ltshears - Trisha M Shears (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
or anything in-between. Have fun with it! 

As always, please leave questions, comments, and status updates below.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 11 Writing Prompt

This week college students all over the country are heading out for Spring Break. Some of the best (and worst) times a student can have will happen this week.

Your challenge is to write a story about a vacation gone wrong. Whether it's a road trip, a big vacation, or a staycation, something - maybe everything - has gone terribly wrong. Give your character lots to deal with and see what s/he is made of!

Comments, questions, and status updates are always welcome. Good luck!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 10 Writing Prompt

I think it's no secret that I am not the biggest sports fan. Living in Indiana makes it hard to avoid basketball discussions, especially during March Madness. Usually this time of the year makes me a little insane.

Our challenge this week is to write a story with an insane person as the main character. It's not enough to just include the insane person - stretch it a little more and make him/her the main character of your story.

Keep leaving your comments, questions, and status updates below, it's great to see how everyone is doing!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 9 Writing Prompt

Welcome to March! Around here we say that if March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion. For this week, we're writing about a lamb or someone who acts like one.

By Keven Law [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Congratulations on two full months of writing each week! Leave your comments, questions, and status updates below.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 8 Writing Prompt

This is the end of our second month of writing each week, and it seems to be going pretty well. Feels good to get back into the habit, no? Way to take charge!

This week your challenge is to let your main character take charge of something s/he is totally unprepared for. What happens, and how does s/he deal with it?

Questions, comments, and status updates are always welcome.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 7 Writing Prompt


Today is Lundi Gras, y'all. Today and tomorrow are the last days of the carnival season, and everything is over-the-top.

This week your main character is over-the-top, too. Take your drama queen and put him/her in a situation that requires a cool head and/or a calm demeanor. Once again, this can be part of a new short story, a chapter in a work-in-progress, or the start of a longer work.

By Mandy (Flickr: Zulu Krewe members Lundi Gras Festival)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Please post below with your updates, questions, and comments. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 6 Writing Prompt

Video warning - this has a catchy tune and you'll be singing it for days! 
(Also, it's the radio edit, so it's safe to watch.)


(If you can't see the video, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKxodgpyGec)

Ah, love. This week is Valentine's week, and all is not well for your main character. S/he is in love with something or someone wholly inappropriate and has to cope with the consequences.

Questions, comments, and status updates are welcome below. Happy V-Day, everyone!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 5 Writing Prompt

This is about the time I get completely fed up with winter. There's something about the cold, dreary weather that just does me in. (Maybe it's all the football talk leading up to the stupor-bowl.)

This week your main character is feeling the same way. Write a story in which the main character is completely over everything. S/he's fed up and doesn't want to deal with anything any more. How does s/he fix it?

As always, comment below with status updates, questions, or comments.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 4 Writing Prompt

We've almost made it through the first month of this crazy challenge. Well done, everyone!

January, at least here in the midwest, is cold! This week's challenge is to write a story in which everything takes place below freezing. This can be a new short story, the beginning of a long piece, or a chapter in a work-in-progress.

By Incnis Mrsi (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
As always, please comment below with questions, comments, and status updates. Stay warm!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 3 Writing Prompt

It's the third week of the new year, and most of us have broken a resolution already. Or is that just me? I usually make it a couple weeks in and lose interest (or willpower). I'm holding strong with the writing so far, though. *fingers crossed*

Have you broken a resolution already? So did your character. A resolution, a promise, a vow, in some way, your character broke his/her word. What happens? Can s/he recover?

As usual, please comment below with questions, comments, an updates on your progress. Happy writing!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Setting the Tone

One of the things I love about this time of the year is setting the tone for the rest of the year. (It's definitely not the weather!) I have a group of friends who get together as close to the first of January as we can. We spend a day chatting about the types of things that have been going on in our lives and how we want them to work out. It's a girls' day out - with a purpose.

2012 - the year of many doors
Rather than setting new year's resolutions that we'd break before the week was out, one of our favorite things to do is sit down with blank poster boards - my favorite are tri-fold - and make vision boards for the year. We scour through magazines on all sorts of topics, cut out any pictures or phrases that jump out at us, then glue them all down to the board. Little bits of logos and strange advertisements become positive visual reminders of the things we want to accomplish. 


2013 - happiness, imagination, and inspiration
It's also fun at the end of the year and see how well it stacked up to what we planned. The year my vision board focused on doors was the year I went to England. When I looked at my vacation photos I was surprised to see that I had taken more photos of doors there than almost anything else. Was it my subconscious speaking to me? Probably. Now I'm using those photos and that vision board as inspiration for the novel I'm working on.

I love starting my day by looking at the board for inspiration. Starting the day off with a positive image and a smile make everything seem just a little easier to get through. I also like seeing which little bit will pop out at me that I may not have noticed for a while.

What about you? What do you use to set the tone for your year?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 2 Writing Prompt

We all survived week one - congratulations! How did the prompt work for you? Writing small is hard, no?

This week we're easing into things. Your prompt for this week is to write a story about someone whose easy life has just gotten hard. How does s/he cope with the change? Grace under pressure? A Complete meltdown? Something in between? You choose. This can be a short story, the beginning of something longer, or even a new chapter in a work-in-progress. Use it however it works best for you.

As before, please comment below with questions or comments, and let us all know your progress.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 1 Writing Prompt

I was a total flake last year. Seriously. Well, seriously as far as writing goes. Luckily for me, new years are great for new leaves. To help with my write one sub one challenge this year (and to keep myself accountable!), I'll be posting a writing prompt here each Monday in 2015. Please feel free to comment below with questions or comments, and let us know how the prompt works out for you.

For this week, we're starting off small. Write a story of 750 or fewer words in which the main character is smaller than one inch (2.5 cm) long (or tall or wide), you decide!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015!

This year is the future that Marty McFly went to in Back to the Future, how crazy is that? I hope everyone has a great year, full of all the fantastic things you could ever hope for. For myself, I am looking forward to a year of writing and submitting new work. I didn't do much of either last year, and I am sure that contributed to the - let's just call it weird - year I had last year. This year I'll do better.

To that end, I have a writing prompt all set for each week of the coming year. I will post one a week, first thing on Monday mornings. I'm also working on the Write 1 Sub 1 challenge again (see the icon and link to the right). If you need accountability to stick with your goals, I recommend it. I'll be writing weekly, but I chose the monthly challenge to be sure I meet my submission goals. That will also give me a large body of work to pull from to revise and send out next year, right?

What about you? What are your goals for this year?