Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

I just saw a local weather map – apparently our country was replaced by a giant oven set on broil when we weren’t looking.

To make matters worse, my local Starbucks store was closed today for no apparent reason.

Definitely a sign of the impending apocalypse.

The poor cat keeps moving from surface to surface in the house, trying to find one that is cool.  The dog always choose to hang out in his wading pool on days like this, but somehow the cat isn’t interested in that option.  His loss.

Ah well, this too shall pass.

In the meantime, I think I’ll distract myself by doing some writing – perhaps  a story with an arctic setting?  I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try and see where they lead me.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

I can’t believe some kids have already started back to school this week.  Didn’t summer just start?

Next thing you know there will be winter clothes in the stores and holiday decorations on the shelves at Costco.

*checks ad for local store*

Oh . . . never mind.

Regardless of what season it may be, I’m sipping iced coffee and trying to decide which book will make it off the TBR pile and into the active-reading stage this weekend.

Sure there is yard-work to do, groceries to buy, and writing to do, but both the TBR pile and I could use a little slimming down.  For my part, I blame the donuts and root-beer float that were necessary to make it through this week at work.  The TRB pile, on the other hand, owes its growth to the recent RWA conference.

Before I get lost in a book (and forget about the yard-work and groceries), I’m going to make sure to get in some focused writing time.  I think I’ll start things off with today’s story prompt and random words.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

I am definitely ready for this week to be over.  Returning to work after vacation is always an adjustment but this week, which started off with “armed shooter” training on Monday, has been especially challenging.

I’m thinking some puppy therapy is in order.

I still have an work-inbox full of messages, requests, meetings, and assorted odds’n’ends to work though before the week is done.  It’s amazing how much can build up in a single week.

Fortunately, none of it is earth-shattering.  My new evaluation criteria is “will anyone die if I don’t do this?” – it’s a wonderful way to weed out the trivial from the important.  Though my co-workers may see things a little differently.

My home-inbox is full as well, but that is a completely different kettle of fish.  It’s full of new books I brought back from New York, additional books that arrived from the library, and a list of movies and shows that I “just have to see!”.

At least I won’t be at a loss for something to do this weekend.

One of the first things on my ToDo list will be giving today’s story prompt and random words a try once I get home from the office.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Is it hot out there or is it just me?

I was watching the news earlier and the weather map made it look like much of the world was on fire (or close too it).  Even at home where the coastal breezes usually keep things temperate, it has been shorts, bare-feet, and lemonade weather, since “naked” is generally not considered socially acceptable.

Go figure.

According to Ye Olde WeatherCaster, “fronts” are moving in, temperatures are heading down, and we should all be feeling less sticky soon.  I hope so, since some of the other stories on the news were of folks who were in the midst of power-outages, just to make the high heat more enjoyable.

I’m not a big fan of hot weather, since my internal thermostat runs hot all on it’s own.  As a kid, hot days like this would mean lots of time spent in the community pool, wearing sunscreen *and* a t-shirt of my dad’s, in order to reduce the chances of burning to a crisp.  Now hot days mean running the air conditioner in the car on the way to work and slipping off my shoes in the office when no one can see.  I’m pretty sure the pool was more fun.  Plus, there were generally ice-cream sandwiches or Popsicles involved.

Today’s iced-coffee is refreshing, but it’s no ice-cream sandwich.

To take my mind off the heat and my lack of ice-cream I think I’ll give today’s story prompt and random words a try once I get home.

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Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Do you bring back souvenirs when you travel?

When I used to travel with co-workers who had very small children, they always brought something back – often bags of airline peanuts or those little soaps and shampoos from the hotels.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

I try to keep the souveniering to a minimum (well, except for books), but after attending the RWA conference in Florida a while back and making a quick trip to the TIffany museum there, I started bringing back art prints by local artists from places that I visit.  Eventually that is going to result in a wall-space shortage unless I start rotating prints, but for now it has been fun and exposed me to artists that I might never have encountered, as well as a wide-range of styles.

I’m looking forward to searching out just the right print to add to my collection while I’m in New York – after the conference workshops are over, of course.

For now, I think I’ll admire the assorted art currently scattered about the living room and then buckle down and get some words on the page.   Perhaps I’ll be inspired as I give today’s story prompt and random words a try.

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Elizabeth: And Now for Something Completely Different

Cooper thinks puns are hilarious.
Photo credit: Scott Eldridge

I’ve been reading a lot of “different for me” books lately, most randomly picked from the “Lucky Draw” shelf at the local library, which houses an ever-changing assortment of popular books, generally best sellers or book-club picks – things I normally would avoid like the plague.  The one I just finished was Less (winner of the Pulitzer Prize) by Andrew Sean Greer.  It’s the story of a novelist, about to turn fifty, who accepts a raft of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world in order to avoid his boyfriend’s wedding.

There was one specific little bit that really stuck with me after I had finished reading.  At one point in the story, the novelist – Arthur Less – is teaching a writing seminar in Germany.  His rather unconventional methods include “he cuts up a paragraph of Lolita and has the young doctoral students reassemble the text as they desire”, “he gives them a page of Joyce and a bottle of White-Out”, and he has them “write a persuasive opening sentence for a book they have never read”.  The result is not that they learn anything about literature but, they get something better:

“They learn to love language again, something that has faded like sex in a long marriage.”

As I read that I thought, I’d have loved that class. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Everyone has their quirks – right?   One of mine is a horror of having to check luggage while traveling.  I’ve made several 3-week sojourns to Oxford with nothing more than a carry-on bag and a backpack, and the backpack was only needed for all of the books I had to take with me.

That particular quirk means I look at choosing what clothing to pack when I travel as a puzzle and packing as a showcase for the Tetris skills I developed in my video-game playing youth (it’s one of my super-powers).

Thus, I’ve spent the past week “trying out” outfits; deciding which ones will make it through the day, easily adapt from warm to chilly and back again, and which can be mixed-and-matched to get the most variation out of the fewest pieces while still looking distinct.

Sure, sure, I could have spent that time writing no doubt, but I had to get dressed for work every day anyway – might as well make a game out of it.

Anyway, now that the outfits have been narrowed down to a precious few and the shoes are lined up awaiting the “take” or “leave behind” final decision, it is time to at least make an *attempt* at getting some words on the page.  I think today’s story prompt and random words will be the perfect place to start.

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