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

Jilly: The Pirate’s Parrot–A Shapeshifting Short Story

It’s been a difficult start to the New Year, and I haven’t written or edited anything for the last few weeks, so I thought I’d try to get myself back in the swing by tackling Elizabeth’s writing prompts from last Friday.

I’m not sure what to make of this. It took me a while to get going, and the final result came out quite dark, but at least it got the wheels turning.

The prompts were:

Something floating in the swimming pool

Ripple                          flicker                          shade                           depth

Breeze                          killjoy                          parrot                         shadow

Moonbeam                 symbolic                     acrobat                       daredevil

Headphones               contestant                  cougar                        bludgeon

The Pirate’s Parrot

A persistent breeze shepherded fluffy clouds across the balmy North African night sky. Intermittently—too often—a moonbeam shone through, illuminating the battered body floating face down in Hizir Barbarossa’s white marble swimming pool.

I’d perched, frozen, on Hizir’s beefy shoulder as he’d lounged on his white marble throne while Oruc, his First Mate, fought a contestant for the coveted place at the pirate lord’s right hand. I’d witnessed Oruc humiliate the challenger, bludgeon him to a pulp, and then make him walk the plank along the antique wooden diving board as the assembled thugs cheered and jeered.

Apparently it was symbolic, like Hizir’s decision to adopt the name of a long-dead pirate and decorate his person with brocade coats, antique pistols and dangly ear-rings. There was nothing archaic, however, about his fast-growing empire of people smugglers, slavers, drug-dealers, money-launderers, and online scammers.

Unfortunately for Barbarossa, his sartorial preferences had made him the perfect target for the Powers-that-Be’s super-secret new shifter division. The Boss had figured that an ultra-rare Spix’s Macaw would make the perfect shoulder ornament for the discerning pirate-psychopath, so I’d exchanged my jeans, boots and smart remarks for brilliant blue feathers and a vocabulary of limited depth.

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: 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: 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

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

2018 has gotten off to a busy start at the day job with priority projects, a packed travel schedule, and lots and lots of deadlines.  Fortunately this week is ending on a slightly quiet note, so I’ll finally have a little time for myself and, more importantly, for some writing.

Yay!

Hopefully you have had a little time for yourself and your writing this week too, whether it’s a few stolen moments or a luxurious block of time.

For those of you working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication), we’d love to hear a bit – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with.

For those without a story in progress, or those who just want to work on something new, feel free to give our weekly writing prompt a try.   This week we’ve got a starting sentence and some random words to work with.

Ready? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Friday; hope your week has been a good one.  It’s been cold and periodically damp here in my part of the state, but down south the areas that were battered by flames a short time ago are now dealing with flooding and deadly mudslides – a definite reminder not to underestimate the power of Mother Nature.

Hopefully you are safe, comfortable, and dry, wherever you may be.

As we said in last week’s post, we are inviting those working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication) to share a bit with us on Fridays – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with.

For those without a story in progress, or those who just want to work on something new, we’ve also got our weekly writing prompt, loosely based this week on an old exercise I found when reading through my writing folder looking for inspiration.

Ready? Continue reading