Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Here on the blog we are ending the week with some virtual champagne and high-fives to celebrate our own Jilly Wood’s final in the RWA Golden Heart contest.

*cue applause here*

The list of finalists for the Golden Heart (un-published) and RITA (published) contests were posted on-line Thursday morning and it was great to see a familiar name on the list.

Several of us will be in New York later this year at the annual conference, cheering her on (and living vicariously) as the award winners are announced.

In the meantime, all this excitement, as well as the publication progress several other Eight Ladies have made, is providing a healthy dose of motivation to stop procrastinating and start consistently getting some words on the page.  If only there weren’t so many other entertaining distractions!

To wake up my creativity and get it back in working order, I’ll be giving today’s writing prompt a try after I get home from work.

Care to join me? Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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