Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Some weeks can’t come to an end quickly enough and this has been one of them.  Once again we have families here in the U.S. trying to understand the latest act of senseless violence.  Even here on the other side of the country, there is talk of little else.

Needless to say, creative writing isn’t currently high on the list and even trying to read the current ARC that I’m reviewing has been challenging.

However writing can be a good way to work through issues and even figure out what you think about things.  Better yet it can sometimes provide a needed distraction, so after work tomorrow I’ll be giving this week’s writing prompt the old college try.

Care to join me?  (I completely understand if you’d rather not.) Continue reading

Elizabeth: Words of Love

I was randomly perusing the internet earlier today when I came across a site full of images of old-time Valentine cards.  They brought back memories of grammar school where we decorated brown paper lunch bags with hearts and glitter and taped them onto the front of our desks, awaiting the annual delivery of Valentine cards.  The cards came from the dime-store, in a cardboard box, and the night before Valentine’s Day was spent addressing an envelope/card for each classmate (whether we liked them or not).

The cards were often corny, like the image in this post, and the sentiments expressed were not always meant, but it was always fun to open up the little stash of cards, especially those that included a sucker or candy heart in the envelope.

Based on my latest foray to the Hallmark store, Valentine’s cards have evolved a bit over the years, but are still just as popular.  I spent a happy hour perusing the cards which ran the gamut from amusing to treacle-sweet, with a few oddities in between.  I was actually at the store to get some birthday cards, but it was fun trying to decide which of the Valentine cards my fictional characters might give one another.

It was more difficult than I thought. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

As this week comes to a close, I’m just getting back home after a week of a Day Job conference in sunny Arizona.  Among other topics, I found it interesting that the conference, which was focused on green businesses, included a couple of sessions around storytelling.

Apparently even the business community understands the power of a well-told story.

As usual, I took my latest draft manuscript along with me to work on in the evenings after the conference and, as usual, I brought it home untouched.  Long days packed full of information, networking, and sensory overload are just not conducive to creative writing – at least not for me.

Now that I’m back, the suitcase is unpacked, and I’ve gone through the stack of accumulated mail, it’s time to pull out the writing journal and get some new words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Beat Refresher

As I mentioned last week, I’ve recently been working my way though an iPod full of writing podcasts that I have accumulated over the past several years.  The most recent one was a 2014 StoryWonk Sunday podcast called Dodge ex Machina.  The podcast, which featured Lani Diane Rich, is now defunct, but the insights on story and craft and a whole lot more are still valuable.

This particular podcast provided a great example, via an improv session, on how to structure the beats in a scene.  I found the reminder very helpful, so I thought I’d share the information here, just in case anyone else out there would like a refresher.  It’s also a fun exercise that you may want to do on your own, or may want to try with an actual scene you are working on (or may be stuck on).

So, let’s get started. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Another week, another Friday.  It feels like the week passed more quickly than usual, possibly because my work week didn’t actually start until Tuesday.  I had a very productive day-off on Monday, so I’m thinking I should do that more often.  Not a lot of writing done, but you should see my wonderfully organized new crafting area and substantially cleaner garage.   I may not have finished a story, but I at least finished something from my To Do list.

I’m considering that a win.

Now that there’s a place for (almost) everything and (almost) everything’s in its place, it’s time to pull out the writing journal and get some new words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Story Truth vs. Reality

My iPod is full of podcasts that I have saved over the years, intending to listen to, but never quite finding the time for.  I’ve deleted quite a few of them, but the remainder is rivaled only my tottering to-be-read pile.

I’m doing my best to change that, which is why I’ve spent the last few weeks at the gym sweating away on the elliptical while listening to some circa-2012  podcasts by a now-defunct writing couple.  The podcasts often include a segment answering listener-submitted questions and today’s dealt with how much research to do for a story and how important it is to get all of the facts right.

Answering the second part of that first, the response was that you should never let facts get in the way of your story truth.  “You’re writing fiction, not a documentary.”   That really resonated with me (and made me laugh, which garnered me a funny look from the person working out next to me). Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Friday already – how did that happen?  This week seems to have just raced by, but the number of things on my to-do list doesn’t seem to have decreased at all.  I’m pretty sure that two more things were added for every one that I crossed off.

Fortunately I have a little down time now, so I’m going to make some hot cocoa, cuddle up with my favorite quilt, and see if I can make some progress on the mess-in-the-middle of my current manuscript.

Sound like a plan? Continue reading