Tag Archives: Prompt

Acted upon or acting out?

With this idea of making changes flowered from the idea that I know too many people who wallow. Staying in the same spot, doing the same things, and expecting things to magically change on their own is just crazy.

Complaining and whining also doesn’t help; In fact, that ‘feeds’ that negative thinking that keeps you there.

Grandfather Tells” which is also known as “The Wolves Within”

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

This makes a very strong point in how Life begets what you put into it. What do you focus your thoughts and actions on in your Life? Consider your characters in your story- do they take action, or are they acted upon?

Just some thoughts for your weekend writing.

Picture prompt:

The cauldron is brewing something…what could it be? What if potions were possible? What sort of mayhem or balance could they bring?

Write about the magic in cooking. Does love or anger while cooking feed the family? What potion would you hope to make that could bring you what you dream?

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Changes to provoke changes

insanity

It seems so gloriously simple; the idea that trying something different, to get different results, that you’d think anyone would adapt accordingly. Not so. I continue to fall into old habits, imagining them as comfortable, when they serve only to drive me insane (see Einstein’s quote).

So I’ve been making serious changes around here in the hopes of seeing different results. So far, so good.

My secret?

I got my hair cut. Every time I look in the mirror, I tell myself I’m different; I look different, and therefore must do things differently to move ahead in life.

– I do weekly goals instead of monthly goals now. This impacts my productivity so I see results almost immediately now.

I shifted around daily routines so it forces me to be aware of old habits and if they try to creep back into my life. No more wasting mornings on the Internet- the StayFocused addon to my Google Chrome stops me from looking at Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites. More importantly, it reminds me to get back to work.

I open documents I need to work on first, which prompts me to do something about them. This often includes editing, adding, and adjusting the story/article as needed.

– I treat myself as if I were my own mother. Not my real mother- she ignored me most of my life- but the mother I am to my son. I nag about getting things done, remind myself through the day about things, and give myself a ‘good job’ pep talk as needed.

Being sick for this past week, and still enduring through sniffles and coughing, I find I have to get back to usual and get things done. I thank my readers for being patient with my absence. Winking smile

A writer’s prompt:

Consider this picture and think of a short story based upon the scene. Is this a stalker? Someone lost? Are they following, or are they leading?

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Friday Fun- Some thoughts on publishing and rule changes

Writer’s rules, generally, help the ease of reading for the reader, or deter cliché and predictability. I’m not so certain that readers care as much as publishers/editors think they do. Why else would you find so many clichés in the market?

I’ve discussed writer rules before, where you should learn them to understand when and how to break them, but those rules need to be weighed against common sense when you self publish.

For instance, ‘you should never start with the weather’ such as ‘it was a dark and stormy night’, but as a reader, I personally don’t care if a story starts with weather or not. It often leads to atmosphere and drama, especially if the storm is the cause to bring someone into a new situation. I’m not particularly aware of adverbs, unless they’re used excessively…with lots of ‘ly’. (see what I did there…using adverbs that end in ly?). Did you notice?

I bet you can pick up any number of books on your shelf and find plenty of examples where the author broke the rules. Stephanie Myer’s, Twilight, is rife with adverbs ending in ly, and she uses them to excess. She starts the first chapter describing the weather of Phoenix and the town of Forks. She sold millions, won awards, despite breaking the rules.

Break too many rules, and you may alienate your reader. Trying a new method of telling a story weighs against a reader willing to muck through a story, where the style, or Voice, or other element takes away from the plot and characters. Don’t ask for too much forgiveness from your readers.

What are your thoughts? With self published book, does this lower the quality of writing, provide new and interesting writers into the mix that may otherwise not jump into the public eye, or do you have other opinions? Post below.

Prompt:

Consider one of the ‘sins’ below and use a 10 minute ‘freewriting’ exercise to write idea for storyplots, characters, your own thoughts on the topic, or just a freeform pouring out of your brain monologue on the idea of sin.

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Chased by zombies

I homeschool and I write, which doesn’t give me much of an active life. I own a cattle dog, so you’d think that alone would offer me something of activity to burn calories and be fit. Alas, no. I’m also lazy.

I have plans on getting this Iphone app entitled Zombies! Run! The concept intrigues me;

zombiesrunThe goal of the game is to rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse. To do this, you actually have to go out and run around in the real world where you can collect ammo, medicine, batteries, and spare parts that will let you build up and expand your base. You’ll get clues, orders, and stories through your headphones. You can even pretend you’re running around at night avoiding zombies when you’re actually running on the safety of your gym’s treadmill. You’ll get to hear the frightening moans and gurgles of the zombies that are right on your heels, making sure you keep running for your life. by Jennifer Bergan at geek.com

Talk about motivation! The downside is that it’s a $7 app! I’m also not keen about running away from zombies every time I go for a jog. I can see me panicking at some point, and bolting for home. My neighbors would think I’m a nut.

The idea is cool, though; games you play in the physical world. I started wondering about the possible stories bubbling in my head if I had to run, imagining the undead at my heels, with only the sound of strangers in my ears to connect me to the living. (shudders)

This touches upon the whole idea of play and creativity. I remember feeling terrified when playing ‘hunt monster’ with my dad. The tension was so bad at one point, with dimmed lights and only flashlights to defend myself, so when my father lunged at me from the darkness of a closet, I clobbered the ‘monster’ with all my might!

My dad said later I nearly knocked him out. I think I was 7 at the time. He knew I could defend myself after that.

Storytelling touches upon the fears, passions, and even insecurities we have to mesh into a storyline that speaks to the reader. They may also have those same fears. I often wonder if I’m alone in clobbering closet monsters.

I’m sure there’s a story there somewhere. Winking smile

Prompt: Take a fear you had (or have) as a child, and write, from the POV of the child, a situation where you face that fear. Add all the imagined terror you think a child of that age would have, but put the story in first person.

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