Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Welcome to the end of another week.  For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year, it’s day #12 and–if you are on target–you now have about 20,000 words on the page.

Great!

This can be the part of NaNoWriMo when things get a bit more challenging.  That initial burst of excitement has passed, the ideas you may have started with are now on the page, and your story may have taken a turn you weren’t expecting.  Hopefully the momentum and consistent writing practice you’ve built these first weeks will carry you through to the end.  Good luck to all, regardless of how many words you wind up with.

For those not participating in NaNoWriMo, or for those who are wondering “what’s for dinner?”, today (November 12th) is also “National  Pizza with the Works (except anchovies) Day” and “National French Dip Day”–take your choice.  I do have to wonder what anchovies did to get themselves specifically excluded from the pizza–perhaps they have their own day.

I don’t know if pizza and French dip are on the agenda for me today, but I do know getting words on the page is.  Today’s writing prompt and random words will be a great way to kick things off.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy first Friday in November!  For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year, it’s day #5 and–if all is going well–you probably have a bit over 8,000 new words to show for it.  Awesome!  Regardless of how many words you may or may not have, if these past 5 days have motivated you to put any words on the page, that sounds like success.

For those not participating in NaNoWriMo, or for those who are and need a treat, today (November 5th) is also “National  Donut Day”–an observance after my own heart (though not my waistline).

National Donut Day (also known as National Doughnut Day) on November 5th is one of two observed by donut lovers across the nation. The first Friday in June is the other day donuts steal the bakery case spotlight ready to tease their way into white bakery box and go home!  A commonly cited first written recording of the word donut is Washington Irving’s reference to donuts in 1809 in his History of New York. He described balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat. The author called them donuts. Today, these nuts of fried dough are called donut holes.

Whether you call them donuts or doughnuts, they are equally delicious.

I don’t know if I’ll break down and stop by my local bakery for a treat or try to avoid the temptation, but I definitely plan to get some more words on the page.  Today’s writing prompt and random words are a great way to kick things off.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Michille: NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again. National Novel Writing Month. What is that, you ask? I give you this from their website:

National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.

Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

I’ve done this before with varying degrees of success. I only actually hit the 50,000 word goal once, but the years that I focused on it, I was able to focus on my writing for an entire month. I’m not planning to try for the 50,000 words this year, but I do want to focus on my writing every day this month. This post is a start.

Is anyone trying NaNo this year? What are you doing to focus on your writing for the month of November?

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “National Frankenstein Day” (if you’re reading this on October 29th)–though that really seems like a more appropriate day for October 31st, but maybe it was already full.

I’ve always liked Frankenstein, the story that is.  Not just for the story itself but because it was written by eighteen-year old Mary Shelley as part of a competition with Percy Shelley and Lord Byron to see who could write the best horror story.  She certainly showed them.  Her story, a combination allegory, fable, epistolary novel, and autobiography, continues to be more successful than she likely ever dreamed.

The novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) tells the story of a young scientist, Victor Frankenstein. While she published the first edition of Frankenstein in 1818 anonymously, the first 500 copies sold out. However, the public believed her husband, Percy Shelley, to be the author. Then in 1823, Mary Shelley published a new edition under her name. Another edition in 1831 included Shelley’s explanation about how the story came to be. This version is the one modern readers are the most familiar with today.

Perhaps I’ll pull out my copy and give Frankenstein a a re-read.  It will be a nice distraction from the painters who will be busily working (I hope) outside.  I can’t wait until they are done, everything is put back where it belongs, and I can get on to the next project. 

NaNoWriMo starts in just a few days, so as a warm up I’ll definitely be giving today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy “National Make a Dog’s Day” (if you’re reading this on October 22nd).

National Make A Dog’s Day on October 22nd provides an opportunity to give all dogs the best day of their lives. The day not only encourages visits to shelters, but it is also a reminder to animal lovers everywhere to adopt instead of shop for a new pet.

For those who already have a dog, almost anything can make their day a “best day ever.”  A walk in the park.  A new toy.  Some quality time together.  It doesn’t take much–and you’ll likely get a big slobbery face lick in return.

If dogs aren’t your cup of tea, it’s also “National Color Day”–a chance to focus on the impact color has on our lives and to engage in a little creativity.  As a life-long fan of crayons and coloring books, I can totally get behind this celebration.

For now though, I’ll be celebrating “Thank goodness it’s raining day”, although that does mean that my house painters will be delayed until next week.  Things have been so dry in my area, that rain is a very welcome change.  Thank goodness I cleaned out those rain gutters this past weekend.

Whatever else I do today, plan to grab a warm beverage and my notebook and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

It’s been very quiet here on the blog in recent weeks and and it’s blessedly quiet here at the Writing Castle right now.  I had some construction going on for the past couple of weeks, which means the daylight hours have been filled with the sounds of sawing, hammering, and workers talking back and forth.  The results have been worth it, but I’m definitely enjoying the sounds of silence for now.

The other Eight Ladies have been busily writing away during the blog’s quiet period and you can see the results of those efforts on their author pages out on Amazon.   I just picked up Kay’s latest book–Ms. Trust (A Venus and Mars Affair)–the other day and am looking forward to reading it this weekend.  If the cover is any indication, it will be a fun story.

If you are reading this on October 15th, it’s “National Mammography Day”.  Consider this a friendly reminder to make sure to get your regularly scheduled mammograms.  Early detection can truly be a life saver.

Every year on the third Friday in October, National Mammography Day joins in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This day serves as a reminder to all women that the best defense is early detection. A mammogram can often detect a problem before there is any outward physical sign. Visit your doctor and set up a mammogram.

Encourage loved ones in your life to also schedule a mammogram. Know your family history and share it with your physician. Some with high risk will need to have their first mammography sooner. Use #NationalMammographyDay to post on social media.

For the next few days I’ll be celebrating a few days off of work.  With no on-going construction distractions and some lovely weather in the forecast, I’ll be heading outside for a little mental and physical recharging.  And then there are those new books just clamoring for my attention.  Decisions, decisions.

Whatever I wind up doing with my time off, I plan to pour myself a glass of homemade lemonade and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try after work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

If you are reading this on October 8th, can you believe there are only 84 days left in the year?

That has to be a mistake, because I’ve got a 2021 ToDo list that has far too many unfinished items remaining for it to be anything other than June . . . or maybe March.

I think I’ll distract myself with “National Fluffernutter Day”.  Although I can’t say I’ve ever tried a marshmallow and peanut butter sandwich, I guess there is always a first time.  Right?

In 1917, Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts invented a sweet marshmallow-like spread called Marshmallow Creme. Before that, in 1913 during World War I, Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts invented Snowflake Marshmallow Creme. And then they published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich, the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter.  Where did the term “Fluffernutter” come from? Well, the advertising agency for Durkee-Mower created it in 1960 in an attempt to effectively market the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.

Now that I think about it, perhaps I’ll just celebrate regular old peanut butter and jelly sandwich day.  I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough for the addition of Marshmallow Creme.

Whatever I wind up celebrating today, I plan to make myself a warm beverage (it’s gotten quite chilly here) and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try after work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Happy Friday and “National Homemade Cookies Day” (if you’re reading this on October 1st).

Can you smell them now?  Will it be peanut butter, chocolate chip, or snickerdoodle? Whatever the recipe you mix up, enjoying them fresh from the oven with a cold glass of milk and family will make National Homemade Cookies Day even better.  Experiment by trying a new recipe or maybe an old one to share fond memories with the next generation.  If you are looking for an excuse to bake some homemade cookies, look no further. Package them up and share them with neighbors, co-workers, and friends!  

I’ve always been a fan of cookies though I generally only bake them around the holidays.  If I baked more often then that there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for me to work them off on the elliptical machine.  Peanut butter cookies are my favorites.  Or maybe thumbprints with jam.  Shortbread is right up there too.

Perhaps it would be better for me to celebrate “World Smile Day.”  I’m pretty sure that is calorie-free.

Currently I’m celebrating “The Sound of Silence” — I’m having some house repair work done and it seems to involve a lot of loud pounding as well as a plethora of power tools.  The end result will no doubt be delightful, but the path to get there is quite distracting.

Perhaps after my work day is over and the crew has gone home, I’ll pour myself a refreshing G&T and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Kay: Celebrate Banned Books Week!

This word cloud shows the issues most usually targeted in the challenged books of 2021

Well, friends, here in the good ol’ USA it’s Banned Books Week this week! Here’s to…not reading something challenging!

Founded in 1982 by the American Library Association (ALA), the Banned Books project was started to raise awareness of attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Events this year include a virtual Banned Books Trivia Night and Banned Books Virtual Quiz, as well as more serious lectures and panel discussions.

According to the ALA, the most common book challenges in the decade leading up to 2016 deemed texts to be “sexually explicit,” containing “offensive language,” or as being “unsuited for a certain age group.” Books today are increasingly challenged for allegedly promoting religious or political viewpoints, particularly in relation to racial inequity and injustice and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity. The graphic for this post shows the issues most commonly raised. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprint

Can you believe summer is over already?  At least that’s what the calendar says.  The weather report begs to differ.  It definitely still feels like weather for shorts, bare feet, and a refreshing beverage.

Anyway, Happy Friday and Happy “National Punctuation Day” (if you’re reading this on September 24th).  Punctuation seems like a good thing for writers to celebrate.  You can completely change the meaning of a sentence by just playing with the punctuation.

National Punctuation Day commemorates all punctuation on September 24th. A period, a comma, a semicolon, a question mark and an exclamation point are examples of some of the punctuation used in writing. They separate sentences and their elements to clarify meaning.  Without them, meaning would be lost or up for interpretation.

I found a website that had a variety of suggestions for how to celebrate the day.  My favorite is:

“Determine which of your contracts for insurance, warranties, or service have a misplaced comma that might be to your benefit.”

If punctuation is not your area of interest, it’s also “National Cherries Jubilee Day”.  If you decide to give that a try, just be careful not to set the house on fire when setting the brandy aflame.

That would totally ruin dessert.

I’ll be spending the day at work and, if all goes well, seeing if I can get the paint sprayer that has been stored in the garage for decades to work.  I’m hoping for success, since house-painting with a roller is a very slow process.

Or maybe I’ll just read the new book that just popped up in my library queue.  Whatever I wind up doing, I’ll make sure to take a break and give today’s writing prompt and random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading