Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Sleepy Edition

Fridays are normally a day off work for me (or at least that has been the case for the past few months), but this week Friday means a pre-dawn wake-up call and a high-profile morning meeting with local corporate executives.  It’s all part of a really great project I’m working on, but dragging myself out of a warm, comfy bed will be a real challenge.  If everyone has a super-power, then sleeping is definitely mine.

The promise of a Starbucks “Unicorn Frappuccino®” after the meeting might be just the extra motivation I need to get up and out the door on time.  When I was getting coffee this afternoon, the woman next to me had one of the Unicorn Frappuccinos®.  I asked her what it tasted like and her (whimsical) answer was:  “hopes and dreams with a sprinkling of sunlight.”  Seriously, who could pass up a beverage with that kind of promise?

Early morning wake-up and delightful beverage notwithstanding, what better way is there to close out another week than with a round of Random Word Improv?

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Easter Edition

Though you wouldn’t know it from the current rainy / cloudy weather in my part of the world, Easter is fast approaching.  The grocery stores are filled with eggs waiting to be colored, baskets ready to be filled, and candy ready to be eaten.

There will be no Easter egg hunting here at the writing castle, though the lawn in the front yard, which has flourished thanks to recent rains, would be perfect for it.  I have at least stocked the refrigerator with eggs, ham, and asparagus – Easter celebration requirements – though the decorations remain tucked away in a box in the garage.

What better way to celebrate Easter (or at least the arrival of another weekend) than with a Random Word Improv.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Murder in the Library

As I mentioned previously, I’m currently working on a murder mystery story.  For inspiration, I’ve also been working my way through the mystery novels in my TBR pile.  All of which has me thinking of both books and murders as this week comes to a close.

What better way to end the week (and kick off the weekend) than with a little murder mystery inspired Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re a fan of mysteries, looking for a distraction, or just feel like playing with words, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I’ve got a long day of meetings in my future, but as soon as they’re done I’ll be breaking out the notepad and pen and taking a stab at today’s words (oh, who am I kidding, I’ll probably be surreptitiously doing that *during* the meetings).

Ready to write? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Random Word Edition

The end of another week has arrived, as has the end of another month.  What better way to close things out than with a little creative writing.  Conveniently, I have the whole day off work to do just that (well, that and to take care of the taxes).

I was watching the news before drafting this post and frankly our current reality, with its Russian intrigue, conspiracies, political wrangling, and controversies is so mind-boggling that mere fiction would be hard-pressed to even come close.

Nevertheless, I think I’ll give it a try, starting with a little Random Word Improv.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re fascinated by your own reality, figuring out just what happens next in your story, or taking a well-deserved break to relax and recharge, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.  I have “sleep in” at the top of my agenda for the day, but writing is #2 on the list . . . .well, maybe #3, right after “procure caffeinated beverage.”  Your list may vary.

Ready to write? Continue reading

Nancy: Murder Clues Part 2

Last week, I shared a snippet of a scene from the world of Nicky O, that Nordic Noir that I swear I’m going to write in 2018 (she says while safely ensconced in the first quarter of 2017). If you missed it, you can check it out here.

As promised, I spent some time this past week finishing the scene not only so I could share it with you, but so I could continue the discovery process with this character. One thing that emerged was that Nick might not completely trust his married lover. Quelle suprise, right? So, without further ado, I give you the conclusion of the Murder Clues vignette.

***

Pernilla reached into her pocket and pulled out a packet, which she tossed to me. I pulled out a Tyvek cap and booties.

“I don’t need the techs finding your DNA when they come out here.”

I finished adjusting the cap over my hair, then touched her arm. “If you’re going to treat this like a crime scene, what are you waiting for? Why bring me here first?”

I tried to keep my tone light, but something didn’t compute. Maybe Pernilla wanted to see my reaction to the place, to assess whether I’d been here before. Maybe she was still suspicious of me. Maybe the only person in all of Denmark who seemed to have any faith left in me didn’t believe me after all.

“I’m sure this will break your heart, but I want you for your mind. Your weird, hyper-logical, beautiful mind.” She shot me one of those half-grins that made her look like the fifteen-year-old girl who had, in fact, broken my heart into a million thirteen-year-old pieces. “You see things differently. I’m hoping you’ll pick up on something my techs won’t. But don’t touch anything. Not one thing, understand?”

I held my hands up in front of me. “Touch nothing. Got it.”

“And put on your gloves, just in case.”

“Not that you don’t trust me, right?” Continue reading

Jilly: A Snippet and a Question

How likeable do you like your main characters? Will you take strong, interesting and flawed, especially if they grow and change during the story, or do you prefer them sympathetic from the start?

And do you think readers set the bar higher for heroines than heroes?

In the recent Duke University romance forum, Ilona Andrews said that in her experience, romance readers are more forgiving of male characters than female ones. A male character can do appalling things but with the careful application of a little tragic backstory, he can still become a hero. A heroine, not so much.

That set me to wondering about one of my favorite contemporary characters, a super-rich bitch called Sasha Montgomery. She’s on ice for now, but not forgotten. She’s not a nice woman, but I love her a lot and I’d always planned to turn her into a heroine one day. Now I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

Below is a snippet from the life of Unredeemed Sasha. She definitely has a challenging backstory. I’d be very curious to know whether you think she could be turned around.

Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Cuddly Puppy Edition

Echo ©Scott Eldridge photography

Today is National Puppy Day.  For those who prefer kittens, your day is October 29th, while human babies get May 2nd.  I love the fact that someone (or many someone(s)) have found something to celebrate for every day.    In addition to being National Puppy Day, today is also apparently National Chip & Dip Day, National Melba Toast Day, and World Meteorological Day.  That’s a lot to fit in a single day 🙂

I think I’ll stick with the puppies.

For those who are curious:

“Puppy Day was established [in 2006] to bring awareness to the world about puppy mills and how to go about adopting.

Sadly, my house is currently devoid of puppies (something the cat totally approves of), so I’ll have to find something else to occupy my time.  Sounds like a little Random Word Improv is in order.

Who’s with me? Continue reading