Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to the our first Writing Sprints of the year.  Hope you are all well rested, refreshed, and ready to put your creativity to good use.

I’ve been reading lots of mysteries lately.  For the investigators in the stories, it’s a case of asking, “and then what happened,” over and over again to reach the truth.  From the writing perspective, the start of a new story is more often a case of, “what would happen if?”

  • What would happen if someone down on their luck suddenly won the lottery?  (I happened to someone in real-life just recently).
  • What would happen if a close-knit community suffered a devastating fire? (This is a real-life what-if, culled from the headlines.)
  • What would happen if “the detective investigating a crime fell in love with the suspect?” (This happens in my current contemporary mystery).

This year, our story prompts are going to focus on “what-if” scenarios, and we’re going to see what happens from there.  I’ve got lots of story ideas floating around in my head – either left there by Santa or fueled by all of the holiday treats I may or may not have consumed.  Regardless of where they came from, I’m going to try to put them to good use by giving today’s story prompt a try as soon as I get home from work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: A Change of Plans – A Christmas Short Story

This year’s Christmas Short Story Challenge is well underway.  If you’ve been busy with holiday preparations and haven’t had a chance to check out Michaeline, Jilly, or Jeanne’s entries, you can find them here, here, and here.

I’ll have to confess that, although I’ve had the words and writing prompt sitting on my desk for a while now, I dawdled a bit and didn’t sit down and turn them into a story until the Christmas festivities were completed, the prime rib and Yorkshire pudding eaten, and the guests sent on their merry way.  The story was initially going to be a pair of spies working undercover who had been trapped into getting married, so as  not to blow their cover.  Unfortunately, the bride just could not seem to keep the look of loathing off of her face during the ceremony, which made me think it was going to take more than a short story for me to get them to any semblance of a happy ending.

Fortunately, another idea came to mind.  I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

It’s another Friday and the end of another business trip.  Ah, I remember the good old days when traveling was only something I did for fun.  Now my schedule seems to be jam packed with conferences, working sessions, and (shudder) speaking engagements.  Obviously my cloak of invisibility has malfunctioned big time.  On the plus side, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback, so there’s that.

This week’s trip wrapped up a bit early, which is a good thing since I forgot this Sunday is Easter.  I better add a trip to the grocery store to the schedule or we’ll wind up celebrating with left-over pizza and Kit-Kat candy bars.  Not that that’s bad, but I was kind of hoping for something a little more traditional.

Once I get back from the store I should have plenty of time to do some writing and get a good number of words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

By the time you read this I’ll have successfully (hopefully) made it through a business trip that included my having to speak in front of a roomful of business professionals.  I’m all about data, analytics, and storytelling.  People . . . not so much.

On the plus side, I’ll have spent the week at a hotel that claims to have a state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as a pool and spa, so my fitness routine won’t have suffered and I’ll have had a chance to do some relaxing after the torment presentation.

Now that I’m back, it’s time to unpack the suitcase, toss in a load of laundry, fill up my coffee mug and get some words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

The clock may have sprung-forward this past Sunday, but the weather has definitely been wintery this week.  Luckily I took advantage of a break in the rain Sunday to get some much-needed yard work done.  Now I’m back to cuddling up in a cozy blanket and trying to make a dent in my TBR pile.

Yesterday I finished Death at Wentwater Court, a Daisy Dalrymple Mystery by Carola Dunn.  The story is set in 1923 England and is a fun, entertaining period-piece.  It was just the antidote I needed after exposure to too much current political news.  I liked the story so much that I went online and ordered the next in the series as soon as I finished reading reach “The End.”

While I’m waiting for my next Daisy Dalrymple fix I think I’ll take the opportunity to do a little writing of my own.  I have a scene in my Regency story that has been giving me fits, so I’m planning to do a little brainstorming and/or free-writing with today’s story prompt to get my creativity engaged.

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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

Michaeline: What Would You Do If You Won the Viral Lottery

A brussels griffon dog that looks like a Wookiee from Star Wars

GWAAROH-HA-HA-HA! Chewbacca dog. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

This week, I stumbled upon the Happy Chewbacca Mom, and got all the levels of happy from it. I originally saw it on Schmoyoho’s channel. And can I digress to tell you how happy that made me? They are political satirists who “autotune the news”, and I loved them during the last election cycle. But they slowed down on posting the videos, and I lost contact with them until they suddenly showed up on my YouTube recommendations again. They are back in business! So, if you like the idea of Hamilton, the Musical, you may enjoy some Schmoyoho, too.

But, back to Chewbacca Mom: here’s Schmoyoho’s video clip, “HAPPY CHEWBACCA MASK — Songify This” . Hilarious! But if you haven’t the time, patience or the broadband for the video, here’s what happens: Candace Payne, a mom from Dallas, picks up a Wookiee mask from Kohl’s and tries it on in the car while waiting for her kids. And it’s the funniest darn thing she’s ever seen! You know how people talk about joy being infectious? Well, the vector is sight and sound; it comes over loud and clear on the internet.

If you want to see the original, here’s a link to National Public Radio. Continue reading