Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

This week has had its share of excitement but I’m not sorry to see it heading for an end nonetheless.

Last week the Warriors, our local pro-basketball team, wrapped up their season with a championship win, which meant that this Tuesday, there was a victory parade with crowds of people and periodic confetti cannons.  More importantly for me, it meant that the streets around my office building were all closed off, requiring me to work from home, since teleporting into my office was not an option.

I was not too disappointed.

It was a beautiful day and I got to see the parade from the comfort of my own living room, while taking conference calls in my pajamas and avoiding a few hours of commuting.   Really, I should do that more often.

Now that the confetti has been swept up, the streets reopened, and the portable bathrooms taken back to wherever they roost, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  For me that means a trip to the dentist for a check-up, but then it’s off for something a little more enjoyable like lunch at my favorite outdoor café.  I’ll be taking my smoothest pen and my new writing journal and giving today’s story prompt the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Women’s Fiction?

For someone who doesn’t even have a Twitter account, I’ve encountered a lot of interesting tweets lately.  Last week it was the By Age 35 thread and this week it was the tweet to the left from Comedy Central writer Jake Weisman about Jane Austen’s writing.

The tweet, as he may or may not have expected, stirred up a bit of a storm.  Not by people who disagreed with the fact that Austen combined satire with spot-on social commentary, but that Weisman had felt the need to disparage the fact that her stories also included . . .gasp! . . . love and romance.  The consensus seemed to be that he had read her work, enjoyed it, and was appalled that he might be thought to be a fan of romance.

Heaven forbid! Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Friday again – how did that happen?

This has been a busy week at Ye Olde Day job, with the arrival of this year’s batch of summer interns.  That, coupled with my meeting with a group of GenX staff members, has left me feeling positively archaic.  And tired.  They’re all so bright and eager and energetic.

My Friday looks to be filled with meetings (oh, what fun!).  When I get home there is a slow leak in the outdoor sprinkler system that needs to be located, which means digging up a bit of the front lawn, and a rapidly disintegrating back fence that needs propping up.

Before I get started on my delightful home-repair projects, I’m going to open up my writing journal, take the story prompt below, and get some words on the page, since I’ve been doing far more reading than writing this week.

Care to join me?

For those of you working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication), we’d love to hear a bit – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with and would like to share.

If you don’t have a story in progress, or just want to work on something new, maybe today’s writing prompt will catch your creative fancy.   This week we’ve got a character to go along with our random words.

Ready?

Here is today’s writing prompt:

Write a story featuring:  a misanthropic bartender

And includes any (or all) of the following random words:

bully                 mysterious         insanity              horror

cadaver            royal                   chameleon          horn

void                  gin                      award                  ambidextrous

vixen                buffet                 collision               assassin              

Whether you’re sharing a bit of your current work or writing something fresh based on the writing prompt, we hope you’ll join us for today’s Story Time.

Happy writing to all!

Elizabeth: By Age 35 . . .

After all of the accountability and progress reporting earlier this week, I thought I’d lighten things up a little today.  A few weeks ago, MarketWatch posted this relatively innocuous tweet:

What was intended as simple financial advice exploded into a Twitter-storm and eventually turned into a meme, as readers weighed in with their increasingly amusing opinions.    If you haven’t seen them, there was an entertaining summary of the whole thing in the Washington Post entitled:  By age 35, you should have saved up enough despair to understand this meme.

The replies referenced everything from “Avocado Toast” to collecting “Chaos Emeralds”.  My favorite (probably because it struck close to home) was:

I first saw a literary twist on this meme on a post by a librarian friend of mine, which included such entries as:

By age 35 you should have thrown away your copy of War and Peace.  You know you’re never going to read it.

By age 35, if you don’t know who Elizabeth Bennet, Miss Havisham, George Knightley, or Colonel Brandon are, you never will.

So, what would your “By age 35″ entry be?

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Basketball playoffs are in full swing (go home team!), the hockey playoffs are nearing and end (sadly, no home team there), and baseball season, which seems to last forever, is well underway.  I, of course, have been ignoring all of these and have been reading books like it’s some kind of Olympic event.

Some of my reading has been for research purposes, a handful were contest entries, and one was an advanced copy of a (now) newly released novel.  I managed to read a few items from my TBR pile, but mostly I worked my way through some favorite, comfortable, familiar re-reads.  I started with a few Georgette Heyer Georgian/Regency re-reads, then off for a couple of Amanda Quick Regency suspense, and then on to Loretta Chase’s Carrington brothers series.

Needless to say, with all of that reading, there wasn’t a lot of time left for writing.  Okay, no actual time went to writing, but I’m okay with that.  Sometimes the best thing I can do for the writing part of my brain is to indulge the reading side.   Enjoyable as my reading interlude has been however, it’s time to pick up the pen and put a few of my own words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Creating Diverse Characters

These past few Wednesdays we’ve been talking about diversity in romance writing/publishing.  In the Diversity Spotlight post I talked about the recent decrease in the number of books published by diverse writers (aka PoC).  In the Diversity Reading List post I suggested some diverse authors and books to consider when looking for that next book to read, and in the Diverse Reader’s Perspective I posted an interview showing what the current state of diversity in romance writing/publishing looks like from the perspective of a diverse reader.

To wrap things up, I wanted to talk about some things you might want to keep in mind when including diverse characters in your own writing. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

It’s starting to look a little like summer.  Well, not the weather – that is currently cloudy and cool where I’m sitting – but the local stores have rolled out their inventory of beach chairs, swimsuits, pool toys, and sunscreen and the local swimming pool has been open for business for a few weeks now, so summer can’t be too far away.

Folks here in the U.S. will be celebrating Memorial Day on Monday.   Although it’s supposed to be a time to remember the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces, some think of it as the unofficial kick-off of summer, while others are just glad for a three-day weekend.

I’ve done a lot of traveling (for work, not fun) this month, and attended a lot of meetings, so I’m certainly looking forward to the three-day weekend aspect.  I have several things on my to-do list, though it’s quite possible that I won’t do any of them and will curl up with a good book instead.  One thing that I definitely will be doing is setting aside some time to get some words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading