Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve had a good week and, if you were in one of the areas with earthquakes, high winds, lashing rain, blizzard conditions, or just politics-as-usual, that you have survived unscathed.

It has been a hectic week at the Day Job, so I’m looking forward to some downtime and dinner with friends this weekend.  If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, then you’re in luck.  Saturday marks the 3rd Annual Women’s March.  The main march will be in Washington, D.C., but there are satellite events scheduled across the globe, including one just blocks from my office.  If you’re interested in attending, check here to see if there will be a march near you.

Not in the mood for marching this weekend?  Well, Saturday is National Popcorn Day, so maybe you can celebrate by heading off to the movies with a big bucket of buttery deliciousness.

I’ll be here curled up on the couch with a cozy blanket, a mug of coffee, and a lazy cat, alternating between reading the latest Louise Penny book I’m in the midst of, and doing some writing of my own.  I’ve got a story with a sagging-middle that needs some work, but before I tackle that I think I’ll try and jump-start my creativity by giving today’s “what-if” 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?

What if: Your character got passed over for a promotion?”

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

whisper           cadaver            freak                 blend

announcer      landscape        adhesive            flash

curse               lemon              anonymous       future

drunk              arrival              wholesome        gloves

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: Friday Writing Sprints

How has your week been going so far?  More bright days than dark, or are you living under the cloud of our country’s current game of chicken?  Hopefully it’s the former, not the later.

Things have been going pretty well here at the Writing Castle.  The vestiges of Christmas are still hanging on, but the tree’s days are definitely numbered, no matter how much I enjoy coming home to the sparkly lights.

The other thing I’ve been enjoying is, unexpectedly, getting a fair number of words on the page.  Obviously my Girls in the Basement are fickle – as soon as I told them, don’t worry, take a break, we’re going to focus on fun for a while – they started throwing up thoughts and plans for my Cassie & Nicolas manuscript that has been sitting on the desk, neglected and gathering virtual dust.

Not that I’m complaining.

Though “fun” is still front and center on my radar, I’m going to give the Girls their heads and let them play around with today’s “what-if” after work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to the our first Writing Sprints of the year.  Hope you are all well rested, refreshed, and ready to put your creativity to good use.

I’ve been reading lots of mysteries lately.  For the investigators in the stories, it’s a case of asking, “and then what happened,” over and over again to reach the truth.  From the writing perspective, the start of a new story is more often a case of, “what would happen if?”

  • What would happen if someone down on their luck suddenly won the lottery?  (I happened to someone in real-life just recently).
  • What would happen if a close-knit community suffered a devastating fire? (This is a real-life what-if, culled from the headlines.)
  • What would happen if “the detective investigating a crime fell in love with the suspect?” (This happens in my current contemporary mystery).

This year, our story prompts are going to focus on “what-if” scenarios, and we’re going to see what happens from there.  I’ve got lots of story ideas floating around in my head – either left there by Santa or fueled by all of the holiday treats I may or may not have consumed.  Regardless of where they came from, I’m going to try to put them to good use by giving today’s story prompt a try as soon as I get home from work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Can you believe we’ve made it to the last Friday of the year?  That means we’ve made it through 51 weeks worth of writing sprints and creative short stories based on random themes and even more random words.

That’s a lot!

A big thanks goes out to everyone who has played along this year.   There have been some very fun stories posted with a lot of interesting characters and creative situations.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

What better way to say goodbye to the current year that with a last burst of random creativity.  I’m going to give today’s words a try as soon as I get home from work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: 5th Annual Christmas Week Short Story Challenge!

© Eldridge Photography

Long-time readers of the blog may recall that around this time of year we tend to take a break from talking about writers and writing and do a little storytelling instead.  It’s like a multi-week version of our regular Friday Writing Sprints.

We’re kicking off this year’s Christmas Week Short Story Challenge today and several of the Eight Ladies will be posting their stories during the next week or so.  All of you blog-readers are welcome to participate as well.  You can post your own story (or a link to your story) in the comments below on this post or on any of the upcoming Short Story posts.

The rules of the Challenge are simple – write a short story based on the specified prompt and include at least three of the random words on the list; extra points for including more than three words and extra points with sparkles for Holiday references.

Prompt:  A December 31st Wedding

The wedding for your short story can be any kind of wedding, anywhere.  Whether it’s been planned for months or spur-of-the-moment; it’s between childhood sweethearts or mortal enemies; or it goes off without a hitch or crashes and burns – the details are completely up to you.

Oh, and here is a set of random words to give you some food for thought:

angel                 ambivalent         blaze              baffling

zipper                estate                 fiasco              honeymoon

blurt                   eruption            collision          diamond

mysterious        grizzly                naked              drunk 

Whatever length story you want to write – that’s exactly the length we’re looking for.

While you wait for this year’s stories, feel free to get in the mood by checking out some of last year’s entries:

Even better, try your hand at today’s words and post your results in the comments for all to enjoy.

Let the challenge begin!

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

If you’re reading this on Friday, then congratulations for making it through another week.  Only a few more and then it will be time to start a whole new year (ack!).

My Friday will include lots of Day Job stuff, but at least no Day Job Commute.  I’ll be comfortably working from home – probably in my new flannel jammies – with the Christmas tree twinkling over in the corner and a delightful warm beverage close at hand.  I should be spending the afternoon at a Christmas party, but it’s being held quite a distance away and would entail a 3 hour commute back home afterwards, mostl likely in the rain.  It would take a pretty great party to make that worthwhile.

I have lots of other things on my Friday ToDo list, including a visit to the dental hygienist, but I’m going to do my best to make sure “writing” is one of the things that I check off as successfully done.  I’ll have plenty of time while I’m at the dentist, so I think I’ll use it to warm up my creativity with a little brainstorming about today’s story prompt.

Care to join me? (For the writing, not the dentist). Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Are you in the holiday mood yet?  I can hardly help it myself, having been watching the Hallmark Channel holiday movie marathon for weeks now.  I figure it’s better for my piece of mind than watching the nightly news.

My house is definitely getting in the holiday spirit, though not very quickly. There is a holiday tree in the corner, but it’s still awaiting lights and ornaments.  Guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

Maybe.

Right now I’m just focusing on making it through one final day of work before calling this week done.  I was off at a conference for a few days, so that made the week fly by.  As a bonus, the conference was near a favorite New Orleans style restaurant, so my week included Jambalaya and Beignets – a definite win.

Now that the leftovers are gone, it’s time to turn my mind back to writing, which has been on the back burner lately.  I have some revisions to do, but first I think I’ll flex my creativity a little by giving today’s story prompt a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading