Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – What Unites Us

To counteract the negativity that seems to have become a permanent part of the daily news cycle, I’ve been reading journalist Dan Rather’s new book What Unites Us recently.  I’ve been enjoying both the emphasis on constructive patriotism, principles, and values as well as the idea that our nation has faced difficult times and risen to the occasion in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

I think the quote below from early in the book gives a good sense of the tone of the piece.   It feels quite hopeful, which is very appealing.

 “It is true that that news headlines often paint a dark and dispiriting picture.  But in every community, on every day, there are so many who choose to do the right thing.” ~ Dan Rather

Now that I’ve stepped away from the news and had my positive thinking adjustment, it’s time for me to do a little writing; preferably something light-hearted or maybe holiday themed.  Since I’m not exactly sure what I want to write at the moment I think a little Random Word Improv will be a good way generate some new ideas.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Binge Watching Edition

With a November that was crammed full of activity, my video streaming service and I didn’t spend much quality time together.  Fortunately, over Thanksgiving weekend I was introduced to the show The Good Place, a fantasy comedy television series that is currently in the midst of its second season.

The perfect calorie-free post-NaNo treat.

The show follows the heroine, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), as she wakes up in the afterlife.  She’s in “The Good Place”, but she’s pretty sure there has been a mistake.   In the first season, we see her trying to hide her real behaviour and attempt to become a better person, and then later deal with the fall-out from her actions.  The episodes (without commercials) are about 22 minutes long, so binge-watching the show is a lot like munching on a bowl of popcorn – you keep reaching for just a little more.

If you haven’t seen the series and have access to it via Netflix or some other on-demand service (apologies in advance if it’s not available in your area), I’d definitely recommend it.  Not only is the show a fun watch, but the writers did a fantastic job with the first season ending that resolved the initial story and then immediately threw it into a brand new direction.

Now that I’ve watched my way through the entire first season, it’s time for me to get back to writing.  Since I’m not exactly sure what my next story will be, I think a little Random Word Improv will be just the thing to jump-start my creativity.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Postprandial Edition

Here in the states, we’ve just finished Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to put away the fall decorations and bring out the red and green.  For some, the day after Thanksgiving is a chance to go out and counteract all that eating with a walk or hike in one of our many state parks that are offering free admission.  For others, it’s time for the traditional “Black Friday” rush where they head to the stores in hopes of scoring holiday gift bargains.  I’m giving to charities this season, in lieu of exchanging gifts, so until Monday, my days are free and clear.

That means it’s the perfect time for a little stay-home-writing-retreat.  With about 6 more days left before the end of NaNo (depending on when you read this post), my writing retreat will be focused on hitting my daily word count . . . right after I get those holiday lights up and possibly enjoy some leftovers.

When I do get ready to write, I think a little Random Word Improv will be just the thing to get me in the writing frame of mind.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Soggy NaNo Style

Today has been a very damp dreary day.  I’m sure the lawns, trees, and reservoirs all appreciate the influx of water, but I did not enjoy it at all during my very long, very early commute this morning, especially since my windshield wipers are apparently overdue for replacement.

Fortunately I’m back home now, curled up on the couch under my favorite quilt with the cat purring away.  I managed to add about 1,800 words to my manuscript between dinner and Wheel of Fortune™, and I’m hoping to make some more good progress before calling it a night. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – NaNo Style

Another Friday; how did that happen?

Alert readers of the blog may have noticed that there was no Writing Sprint post last Friday.  I’d love to say that was all part of a plan, but the reality is that I was so busy with my daily NaNo words last week that I completely lost track of the days.   I just barely caught on when I went to publish the Friday post and saw that it was actually Saturday.  <facepalm>

On the plus side, I wrote a lot of new words last week and now I have a spare post for some time in the future.  Always a bright side.

For this month, since many folks are head’s down on their NaNo stories and might not need the extra motivation of a group of random words to spark their creativity, we’re going to change things up a little.

You can either: Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Bouncy Edition

When I was growing up, carnivals would magically appear in parking lots or vacant parcels of land from time to time.  There were games to play, foods to eat, and whirling rides to enjoy.  There was invariably a Ferris Wheel, made more exciting by the knowledge that it had just been erected hours before (safely, one would hope), spinning rides that left riders stumblingly dizzy, and roller-coasters of a sort.

From the house I’m in now, I used to be able to look across my backyard and see the illuminated midway lights of the local carnival in past years where a Home Depot sits today.  Over time, the carnivals have come to town less and less often and it’s been years since I remember seeing one.  In their place, a sea of inflatable castles and slides and bouncy-houses has appeared.

Down the road, where there used to be a weekly farmer’s market, the “inflatable carnival” came to town a few weeks ago.  One day the lot was empty and the next day there were dozens of brightly colored inflatable structures, filled with happy shrieking little jumpers.  There are no carnival games or foods to eat, but there are bales of hay with pumpkins to purchase which, several weeks from now will give way to Christmas trees to buy.  Late at night the lot is a little creepy, with everything deflated, looking much like a multi-colored sea of popped balloons. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Expect the Unexpected

It hasn’t been the best of weeks here in beautiful California, which is currently experiencing the deadliest fires in state history.  The set in the northern part of the state started on Sunday and are continuing to blaze away.  Though they are miles away, but the air here has been smoky all week and there is a dusting of ash on the back deck.  Thousands of people have lost their homes and businesses – including two wineries – and dozens of people are confirmed dead so far.

Continue reading