Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Write Anything Wednesday

Write Anything Wednesday – November 30, 2016

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

There are no prompts this month as I will be very busy participating in Nanowrimo. I normally make them up on Tuesday nights but right now my muse is fully engaged in my project.

I hope everyone gets some writing time in today.

Happy writing!

Nanowrimo 2016 Update #5

My word count for the month is 36,328 with one more day to go. Today I wrote 6311 of those words. It may sound impressive but it doesn’t get me to 50k.

I don’t think I’ll be able to write thirteen thousand words tonight and tomorrow so I won’t win. However, I don’t see this as a fail. I wrote when I could. There were some days I wrote over 3000 words. There were also plenty of days where I only wrote a few hundred words, or none at all. But I still wrote.

Pain and feeling down plagued me this month. My motivation fled and my muse went into hiding at times. I complained bitched and moaned often but I kept going.

Frustration abounded. Anger hovered. Negativity intruded. I wrote through it all.

Today I wrote an unexpectedly large amount of words (after several days of not writing) and right now my back is paying for it. But hey, the words are on paper!

No, I probably won’t win Nanowrimo but I was able to write in spite of all the bad stuff, so I sure as hell didn’t lose.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-150

 

Flash Fiction – Turkey Dinner

Gobble, gobble.

“Look at them, all fattened up and ready to be throttled,” he said to his wife.

“Please honey. I know we eat them but I don’t want to talk about that in front of them,” she replied.

Gobble, gobble.

“Why? It’s not like they understand.”

“I know, but look at them. They are so cute when they’re this fluffy.”

“Cute? Are you crazy? They are the ugliest creatures on the face of the planet.” He shook his head.

Gobble, gobble.

“I know, but we raised them since they were babies. They’ve grown on me. Besides they look better with meat on their bones than when they were scrawny and underfed.”

“Ha! You’re so sentimental. At least all of these will live another year, with Thanksgiving being over.”

Gobble, gobble.

“True. Do you think we should have given one to the new neighbors?” she asked, feeling suddenly guilty.

“Make up your mind woman. I thought you wanted them all to live?”

“That’s not exactly what I said. Being neighborly is more important than my guilt over killing pets. You know they are my favorite food. I just don’t want to think of the live ones as food. Why do you think I always make you choose one and cook it?”

He laughed again and pointed to the large male sitting under a tree reading. The one with the overalls. “Even that one? Can you honestly tell me you enjoy Tom prattling at you day after day?”

Gobble, gobble.

She scowled. “No, that one I don’t mind considering butchering.” Her face brightened. “Want human for Christmas too? Gobble, Gobble.”

The two turkeys turned hungry eyes to next month’s dinner.

***

Farmer Tom jerked awake from his unintended nap on the porch. He sat forward in his rocking chair as he tried to shake off the dream. He glanced around the yard. The turkeys seemed to be doing fine. He looked to the tree where two of the birds stared at him with dark, glittering eyes.

Gobble, gobble.

He rushed into the house and found his wife. “I’m willing to do a vegetarian Christmas if you still want to.”

 


I wrote this one sitting in my car. I don’t know what the inspiration was. I just started writing and this disturbing story came out lol. I can tell you I despise turkey. On a club sandwich with ham it’s tolerable but I never eat it by itself.


WR

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Flash Fiction – Last Supper

“Are you going to eat that?” he asked. It was fairly boring as far as ‘last straws’ went, but it did me in. It wasn’t the first time he voiced the question, nor was it the fortieth. I stopped counting long ago and started plotting.

If he ever waited until it looked like I was finished it wouldn’t have annoyed me so much. But he wanted my food before I was halfway done. I read all kinds of things into it, of course. He was greedy or selfish. He thought I was fat and was trying to keep me from eating too much. He was inconsiderate or just plain hungry. He thought I was a great cook and couldn’t get enough.

All these thoughts ran through my head as I dug the hole. I realized it didn’t matter why he did it. What really mattered was it bugged me and he knew it. Why this bothered me more than his lying and cheating I’ll never know.

After I put the shovel away and washed up, I made his last supper. I included all his favorites. Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed corn, and fried biscuits. Since I knew what would happen later, I ate as I cooked. I have to say, that was the best meal I’ve made in a long time. I put every bit of skill I had into it to make it perfect.

He sat at the table as usual, a cloth napkin tucked into his shirt. Oh how I hated when he did that! He held a knife in one hand and a fork in the other. I wanted to punch him right in the stereotype, but I kept a sweet smile on my face as I fixed his plate.

“Let’s go outside. It’s a beautiful night and we should enjoy it.”

He agreed and took himself and his cutlery out to the picnic table in the back yard. I followed with the plate.  Once he was seated I went straight to the hole, dumped the meal in it, and marched straight back to the house, locking the door behind me.

His already packed suitcase went out the window, along with everything else he owned. The entire time he stood over the hole staring down. He wept, not for me, but for his favorite foods lying wasted, six feet below him.

I guess he did think I’m a great cook. I’m glad I decided to throw the food in the hole instead of him.

 


This is one of the stories I wrote yesterday while sitting in the dentist’s office waiting on my kid to get a temporary crown. It’s not very nice but it’s nicer than the other one. I’ll edit it and probably post it tomorrow.

The prompt was the first line: “Are you going to eat that?”

 


WR

Write Anything Wednesday

Write Anything Wednesday – November 23, 2016

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

There are no prompts this month as I will be very busy participating in Nanowrimo. I normally make them up on Tuesday nights but right now my muse is fully engaged in my project.

I hope everyone gets some writing time in today.

Happy writing!

Flash Fiction – Saving Up

Marisa saved for months. Every dime went towards her goal. It was hard, she was a spender, but she kept her target in sight. When she could, she went to the store to look at it. Her eyes would widen and her heart would swell each time as she admired its perfection. The shopkeeper kept a spotlight on it, clearly it was the most important item in the store. She worried sometimes about them running out of stock. She wasn’t the only one who regularly admired the prize after all. But all she could do was keep saving and keep her fingers crossed it would be there when she was ready.

At times, she regretted not having access to more money but as her mother always told her, she would appreciate it more because she worked hard to get it. She’d done everything she possibly could to earn enough so she knew she had the right to be proud of herself.

Today was the day. She woke up early and got ready carefully. In the car on the way to the store she had to force herself not to freak out or cry from excitement.

Finally they arrived, but a few minutes early. She took her mom’s hand and dragged her to the window for the last time.

There it was, the world’s most perfect doll. At forty dollars, it had been completely out of her price range. She had to do all her brother’s chores for a month to get him to give her his allowance. With a lot of begging, she managed to talk her mom into showing her how to load the dishwasher and to mop so she could do both to come up with most of the rest.

She even helped her dad rake leaves and take out the trash to get the last couple of dollars. Staring up at the doll’s long dark hair and skin exactly the same color her own, Marisa knew it was all worth it.

She would have to get creative to come up with ways to earn enough money for clothing for the doll. She was too small to use the washing machine and not strong enough to push the mower like her brother did sometimes, but she would find a way.

After an eternity the store opened. Marisa ran straight to the window display and picked up her future doll. It was the very last one that looked the way she wanted and she almost wept with joy. Her mom told her this close to Christmas there wouldn’t be any more coming in.

As she started to make her way to the front, a girl from her class named Lily ran past her. Curious, she turned to see if the other child was going to get one of the special dolls.

“Mom, they only have blond ones left,” Lily cried.

Her mom tried to calm the girl by telling her they might be able to order one or get one after Christmas. Marissa’s heart broke for her friend. She knew there would be no more, at least not for a long time.

“But I’ve been saving for six months.” The girl sat on the floor, put her head on her knees and cried.

Six months? Marissa didn’t even know the doll existed until three months ago.  She looked at her friend and then her doll. They had the same color skin too, with the same long black hair. She wasn’t surprised they both wanted the same doll.

As she thought about what she wanted to do, she walked back to the display window and glanced at the dolls still on the table. It took her a few minutes but she found one on the bottom of the stack with the same dark skin but much shorter and much lighter brown hair. It’s hair wasn’t black but it still had the same beautiful face. She picked it up and went to the crying girl.

“Lily, how about you buy this one,” she said and handed her friend the doll she’d worked so hard to get.

“Are you sure?”

“I found one I like better,” she lied.

Lily dried her tears and they went to the register together. She hugged her friend tight and they made a pact to share clothes as they got them. Their mothers had those weird expressions parents sometimes wear that neither of them understood.

Back in the car Marissa looked over every detail of her purchase. “Mom, her hair is nice right?”

“It’s perfect.”

“She still looks like me doesn’t she?”

“Yes she does.”

“Good. Can I get a haircut?”

“Let’s go make an appointment now.”

 


This story  came to me from a writing prompt I found this morning.

Write a story involving a large purchase.

I was sitting at the dentist’s office while my daughter got a temporary crown after having a root canal. I knew it would take a while so I brought my laptop. They didn’t have Wi-Fi so I didn’t work on my Nanowrimo project.

Instead, I pulled out my phone, went to WordPress and looked up writing prompts. I found a couple I liked and wrote two pieces of flash fiction. Since I was on a roll I looked up more and found the one I used for this story. As soon as I read it I knew I wouldn’t be writing about buying a car or a refrigerator. I also knew I would be writing something involving someone who didn’t have much money.

I wrote a couple of tentative starters out but neither really spoke to me. Then I thought about what a large purchase would be to a young child. I didn’t know I was going to write about a doll at first, only that the kid had been saving for months.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any further because my daughter came out and I had to pack up my stuff and go. We stopped for lunch and by the time we got home my back hurt and I wasn’t able to write.

At some point I got a message from some people in my writing group. Actually, this message came in at the same time as I was silently pissing and moaning about being tired of laying down. I was having one of those angry at pain moments and I’m sick. So when one of them suggested we do a 25 minute writing prompt I was hesitant.

I wanted to, but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to. So I said maybe. Then I got stubborn. I got up, opened my laptop and pulled up the story I started this morning. By the time I got all set up the timer had started so I did too.

I wrote 535 words in that sprint and kept going until the above story was almost 800 words. I’m so thankful writing can pull me out of the kind of funk I was in. I’m even more thankful for my writing group. They more unknowingly knocked me out of my BS mode than pulled though, which is exactly what I needed.

There is a chance I’ll feel sorry for myself again tonight. I feel myself going downhill but at least I got a few things accomplished. Hell, I even threw something in the slow cooker earlier! So I’ll take an Advil, a Sudophed (spelling?), make some hot tea, and hope for the best.

Also, pardon the terrible title. I couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t give it away.


WR

Saturday Six Minute Challenge

It’s another busy weekend but I hope you can find at least six minutes to write. Squeeze it in where you can. Write while you’re eating breakfast. If you take a daily walk or run, use your phone to dictate. Cooking dinner tonight? Write while you’re waiting for water to boil or something to finish up in the oven. Write-stir-repeat. Pretend you don’t have ten shows on your DVR to catch up on and work on a story/poem/outline/blog post/etc instead.

Sneak into the bathroom, assuming you’re left alone at a time like that, and write on your phone. Got little ones? Write during nap time. Better yet, schedule a ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone in the house does no noise activities for thirty minutes (or however long you can manage), such as coloring, reading, etc.

I’ve been known to sit in the parking lot at the grocery store and hand write for a few minutes before or after I do my shopping. You can also dictate using your smart phone while driving.

If you have nothing you are already working on, then free-write for six minutes. If you’re lucky, maybe it will turn into an hour. If you already have an hour – set a timer for ten minutes and write as much as you can in that time. Keep doing this until your hour is up.

The point of these tips are you have more opportunities to write than you realize. Take advantage of these times and the words will add up.

Good luck and happy writing!

 

Everything Update

Everything Update

Writing/Nanowrimo: I’m still behind on Nanowrimo. I’ve been in a lot of pain and my writing motivation was nil. My muse is in hiding and my I don’t know how to coax her out. I’m going to try though.

It is unlikely I will win Nanowrimo this year but I’m almost positive I don’t care. What I do care about is not giving up. If I say I’m not going to win and just stop then it’s a problem. If I say I’m so behind I can’t see the end in sight but still try then I win. So I’m going to put as much effort into it as I can.

I realized I’m an idiot last night. Forgetful is probably a better description but whatever. I spend a lot of time lying down. I hate it, every second. If I’m in bed I can’t write. Except I can. I have Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a dictation program. After reformatting my laptop I never got around to reinstalling it. Which is dumb on my part. I can’t physically write when I’m forced to lay down but I can talk. Hell, I can always talk, unless I’m sleeping and sometimes even then!

I feel silly for not thinking of this earlier. It’s not as easy to ‘write’ this way for me but it’s possible. I’m sure once I get in the habit again things will go well.

I’m not at home at them moment but when I get there I’m going to install the software and start using it. I will have to close my door because I can’t do it in front of anyone else, not even my kids. I’m the type who wouldn’t even order a pizza in front of my husband. (Ordering online is the best thing ever!).

Hopefully it will work out the way I think it will. If it doesn’t, that’s okay. At least I’ll get more story out of my head during a time I haven’t been able to. Even the lessening of the irritation I feel when having to get into bed should help. Maybe my muse will come out and play again.

As for my new Nano project, I’m happy with it so far. Since picking it up I’ve already made major changes but none of them changed the flow of the story in a bad way. It’s still going to end the same way but getting there is much stronger now. I’ll have to replot a bit but I did a sticky note outline so it won’t be hard.

The main change is with a young boy introduced in the beginning of the story. He’s an important character but not the main one. Originally my main character (MC) rescues him and takes him to a nearby garrison. He was going to show back up later and his identity was going to surprise my MC. Now she’s going to keep the boy with her. She still won’t know who he is until late in the story. He’s going to be a handful and this kid is full of it but with good reason.

Protecting him adds a sense of urgency, on top of her hiding from the bad guys. Dealing with him adds some small conflict and the byplay between the boy and a man who joins them later will add more depth.

None of this changes the last act except when the boy does his part, it will mean more to the reader. I’m still developing this character but I decided to do it as I go because I’ve already stalled out too much this month.

I’ll update more about this story as it goes along.

Medical: My pain management doctor is awesome. His PA is not. A while back I went to an appointment and saw the PA. She told me I should get an injection to help with my back pain. If it didn’t give me enough relief then she thought we should burn off the nerve. This would require a nerve block, which is basically a test to make sure they get the right nerves. Then the actually burning if the test worked out.

After first losing my paperwork and lots of confusion and many calls I finally got an appointment for the first injection. Except it didn’t happen. Oh, I did get an injection, but it was the nerve block. The PA basically forgot a step. I’m irritated with her but to be honest it works out for the best. I thought doing the first injection was a waste of time because it was clear I’d eventually have to do the burn procedure.

Because of her mistake I’ll probably be able to get the burning procedures done before the end of the year. They do one side, wait two weeks and do the other. This is good because if it’s done before December 31st, I won’t have a pay a dime. I’ve had so many medical things happen this year that I met my maximum payout. Money things aside, I want the relief now so I’m not complaining about the PA’s dumb move.

However, this could have easily worked against me. So I’ll have to be careful with her and make sure I write everything down and keep on top of everything I’m told and make sure stuff not only gets done, but gets done in the order it should.

Unfortunately the nerve block procedure only lasts a day so I’m still in tons of pain but at least I have hope. The next procedure will actually cause me extra pain for a while, probably a few weeks but I’ve done it before and it’s worth it.

I’ll let everyone know how it goes.

Reading: I am rereading David Eddings. I started with The Belgariad, then read The Mallorian. I moved on to The Elenium and now I’m on the second book of the Tamuli. The first two I mentioned consist of five books each and follow the same characters throughout. The other two are both trilogies set in a different world. I reread this books at least once a year. I shouldn’t be reading so much during Nanowrimo but it’s what I do when I can’t write. I didn’t want to start any new books because I would get too distracted from my own work.

I’ll finish the last trilogy before November is gone so I might pick up one of the companion books to The Belgariad. One of them is very long so hopefully it will get me through the month. There is a new book tempting me but I’ll resist for as long as I can.

Gym: I haven’t gone every day but I do go most days. I’m still trying to find what works for me. There are certain exercises I can’t do and others that I have to be careful with the amount of weight I use. I’m not progressing, as in not increasing the intensity, but I’m staying steady. Maybe after my procedure I’ll be able to work harder.

That’s all for now. I’ll post a Nanowrimo update soon.