Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Hi there.  Happy Friday.

This week has swung from oh-my-goodness-I’m-melting to I-need-a-sweater.  Right now things seem to have settled on a perfect balance between the two.  Hopefully that will last long enough for me to enjoy it.

The weather has been the least of my concerns this week – standing upright and moving has been my main focus.  I did a lot of yard-work and furniture moving over the weekend, forgetting that I am not, in fact, Super Woman, and I have been paying the price all week.  It is a mistake I make more frequently than I’d care to admit.

Ah well, this too shall pass.  In the meantime, while trapped flat on my back I’ve have plenty of time to spend brainstorming and dreaming up stories.  I think the perfect way to celebrate returning to the upright and locked position will be to give this week’s story prompt and random words a try.

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), if you’re not feeling random, 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, I hope today’s story prompt and/or random words will catch your creative fancy.

Ready?

This week’s random words and story prompt again come to us courtesy of The Ripped Bodice’s Summer Reading Bingo card, which we talked about previously.  You may not have a chance to read your way to a “bingo” but perhaps you can write your way there.

What if: “Your character elopes?”

Feel free to include any (or all) of the following random words:

wine              mature          history             beach

assassin        elope              country           heart

spirit             kilt                  hat                  tarot

female          royal               smell               costume

I look forward to seeing your stories in the comments.  If you’re not feeling in the writing mood today, or don’t have time, feel free to post suggestions you might have for future “what-if” prompts.  Ideas are always welcome.

Happy writing to all!

Elizabeth: The Jar of Life

Justine talked about procrastination in one of her recent posts.  That’s a topic that always resonates with me since procrastination is a skill that I have honed over the years.  Really, if procrastination was an Olympic sport, I’d totally be a multi-gold meadalist.  I’ve posted before about my efforts to combat my natural procrastination tendencies, but I think I’ve learned to work within my existing style more than I’ve actually changed.

 “I’m not procrastinating; I’m prioritizing the most appealing tasks first.” ~ Me

Periodically, however, I take a step back, look at my To Do list, which is only exceeded in length and breadth by my To Be Read list, and think, “I should make some changes.”

Coincidentaly, when that thought reared its ugly head the other day, I was right in the middle of a leadership training program at work where we were working on a “priorities” module.  While priorities and procrastination are two different things, it made sense to me that prioritizing certain tasks could lead to procrastinating about others. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Congratulations for making it through yet another week.  Hope yours has been a good one or at least one with more positives than negatives.

Among other things this week, I listened to a complete audio book for the first time.

Surprising, right?  While I love reading and enjoyed being read to as a kid, it turns out I’m just not that big a fan of audio books.  Since the book I was “reading” had a smattering of foreign words in it, it was helpful to hear them pronounced (since I was clueless), but it was challenging to figure out who was speaking sometimes, despite the skill of the narrator (who had a lovely voice).

I’m thinking audio recordings won’t be replacing my physical books any time soon.

Now that the audio book is finished and I have not yet picked up the next book off the TBR pile, it’s a perfect time to take a break and work on getting some of my own words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Summer Reading Bingo

When I was a kid, summer meant the end of school and the beginning of warm afternoons spent at the local branch library.  While I kind of missed school (yeah, I was *that* kid), I loved the time I got to spend in the library, a converted house just a few blocks away.

I thought the librarian, Ms. Cook, had the best job ever and was thrilled when I was finally allowed to read books from the grown-up section.  While some kids had to be forced to read, I wasn’t one of them.  Rather than trying to get me to read, my parents were more likely to be telling me to “put down that book and go outside and play.”  When I did go outside, I could often be found nestled up in the tree in the front yard – reading a book, of course.

One of my favorite parts of summer-at-the-library was the annual reading challenge.  It was intended to be a way to encourage non-readers to read but I – being just the slightest bit competitive – loved seeing my reading log filled with gold stars as I read my way through book after book.

Those summer days spent in the library may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean an end to summer reading challenges. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

If this is Friday, it must be Belgium.

Wait, that’s not right.  It does make me think I want to go watch a light-hearted rom-com/caper-movie though.  Luckily I have many options to choose from.

First, however, I have work to finish, some pre-publication ARCs to read/review, and two library books that are due to go back on Saturday.  Really, the days are just packed.

This has been a busy week catching up on all kinds of odds and ends, including *finally* remembering to book my flight for this summer’s RWA conference.  I booked my hotel in November, the conference in February, but completely forgot about the flights until Tuesday.  Fortunately, all worked out well and now all that’s left is reading through the conference workshops and picking out all of the “can’t miss” offerings.

Before I get further distracted with conference planning however, I need to spend a little quality time getting some words on the page.  My creativity seems to still be in winter hibernation mode, so I think I’ll try to wake it up with this week’s writing prompt and random words.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Book Squee – Factfulness

The book I’m talking about today, Factfulness by Hans Rosling, may be a bit of a departure from the norm around here – it’s non-fiction for one thing – but it very much relates to the concepts of narrative and storytelling.

If you’re a fan of TED talks, you may already be familiar with Hans Rosling and his storytelling with numbers.  Last I checked, his talks have been viewed more than 35 million times after all.

The tagline for the book is:

Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think.

Who doesn’t want to be wrong about the world and read some proof about how it is better than we think? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

What a difference a few days makes.  Last week at this time it was cold and windy and rainy. Today, there was sunshine with blue skies.  Well, okay, it’s still windy, but it’s a definite improvement.

Sadly, I’ve spent most of the week inside in front of my computer or on conference calls – which gave me much little chance to enjoy the spring-time weather.

I’m hoping to change that this long holiday weekend.  If nothing else, all the rain has caused my yard to sprout like crazy, so my new lawnmower and I need to spend a little quality time outdoors before things get completely out of control

After that . . . who knows what I’ll find to keep myself occupied.

Oh, who am I kidding.  I have a stack of books just waiting for me to power down the computer and open them up.  Before diving headlong into the new library book I picked up just today however, I plan to give this week’s writing prompt and random words the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading