Michaeline: Go Ahead and Bang Some Rocks

A monkey sculpting a bust of a woman

Banging rocks can be a fabulous hobby. Who knows what can come out of it? (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Efficiency, productivity, streamlined, maintenance . . . buzzy buzzwords that can keep our butts in the chairs and us writing our hearts out. However, sometimes, The Girls in the Basement (our inner muses) send up something that seems just . . . useless. For almost two years, my mind has been pre-occupied with David Bowie and the ukulele. I’ve written two short stories and worked on a longer piece thanks to the David Bowie obsession, but the uke? It hasn’t paid off – except I love doing it, and it’s brought me a lot of joy and feelings of achievement. As hobbies and obsessions go, you can’t ask for much more than that, really.

However, my upper mind – the Censor in the Attic, perhaps – is terribly concerned that I should be Writing, and not just any old writing, but Great and Wonderful Stories that Will Enchant the Masses (or at least a few Niches). It’s almost a daily battle between the Censor, who wants to direct things, and the Girls, who just want to have fun. Sadly, as is often the case in war, neither side wins on many days.

But this week, I stumbled upon a 2016 Atlantic piece that soothed my censor a little bit. Ed Yong’s “Rock-Smashing Monkeys Unintentionally Make Sharp Tools” really resonated all over for me.

Here’s the basic premise: Continue reading

Michaeline: December is Story Time!

Christmas postcard with Santa Claus and bag of toys in a basket suspended by greenery from an airship, with "Greetings to one and all - Merry Christmas." Color postcard, ca. 1916. Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections. N39376.

Christmas goes so well with an airship or two! (Image via Missouri History)

Well, another NaNo here and gone for some of us on Eight Ladies. Three thousand words is better than nothing, and I take heart in the fact that December has often been a great month for story for all of us.

Want proof? We have our Christmas week stories! The tradition started Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Oops – I was so busy trying to finish the latest murder mystery I was reading that I almost forgot it was Friday.  On the plus side, I figured out who the murderer was before I reached the end of the book, so it was time well spent.

Now that I’ve finished my book and have no immediate plans to start another, it’s time for me to spend equal time doing some writing.  I have a full day at work to get through first, but then it will be all about getting words on the page.

I think I’ll start off with today’s writing prompt and see what happens from there.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Friday already?  How did that happen?  I seem to have lost a few days somewhere along the line; I could have sworn today was only Thursday.  I blame it on the warmer weather and all of the turmoil in the news recently.

I’m afraid I’ve wound up spending more time watching and talking about the news recently than working on my writing.  Fortunately, we’ve got a holiday coming up in the middle of next week, which means a few extra days off work and at home, which should be the perfect opportunity to get some words on the page.

I think I’ll get things started right now by giving today’s writing prompt the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Summer Solstice (depending on when you read this).  What did you do with all of that daylight?  I’d like to say I made good use of it, but the truth is I spent an extra-long day at work and barely got out while there was sunlight left.

Definitely poor planning on my part.

At least I was able to enjoy a pretty sunset and I’ll have all day tomorrow to make up for today’s lapse.  While I’m happy to see the arrival of summer, I’m less thrilled to realize how much of the year has already passed by.  I have a long list of To-Dos for the year from back in January and the arrival of summer means I better get cracking if I’m going to complete them all.

One of the To-Dos that has been languishing is finishing my current manuscript-in-progress.  While the other Eight Ladies all sound to be making excellent progress, I cannot say the same.  I’ll be doing my best to get my manuscript back on track tomorrow with a morning of coffee, croissants, and creativity (writing, that is).

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

This week has had its share of excitement but I’m not sorry to see it heading for an end nonetheless.

Last week the Warriors, our local pro-basketball team, wrapped up their season with a championship win, which meant that this Tuesday, there was a victory parade with crowds of people and periodic confetti cannons.  More importantly for me, it meant that the streets around my office building were all closed off, requiring me to work from home, since teleporting into my office was not an option.

I was not too disappointed.

It was a beautiful day and I got to see the parade from the comfort of my own living room, while taking conference calls in my pajamas and avoiding a few hours of commuting.   Really, I should do that more often.

Now that the confetti has been swept up, the streets reopened, and the portable bathrooms taken back to wherever they roost, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  For me that means a trip to the dentist for a check-up, but then it’s off for something a little more enjoyable like lunch at my favorite outdoor café.  I’ll be taking my smoothest pen and my new writing journal and giving today’s story prompt the old college try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Friday again – how did that happen?

This has been a busy week at Ye Olde Day job, with the arrival of this year’s batch of summer interns.  That, coupled with my meeting with a group of GenX staff members, has left me feeling positively archaic.  And tired.  They’re all so bright and eager and energetic.

My Friday looks to be filled with meetings (oh, what fun!).  When I get home there is a slow leak in the outdoor sprinkler system that needs to be located, which means digging up a bit of the front lawn, and a rapidly disintegrating back fence that needs propping up.

Before I get started on my delightful home-repair projects, I’m going to open up my writing journal, take the story prompt below, and get some words on the page, since I’ve been doing far more reading than writing this week.

Care to join me? Continue reading