Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

If you’re reading this on Friday, then congratulations for making it through another week.  Only a few more and then it will be time to start a whole new year (ack!).

My Friday will include lots of Day Job stuff, but at least no Day Job Commute.  I’ll be comfortably working from home – probably in my new flannel jammies – with the Christmas tree twinkling over in the corner and a delightful warm beverage close at hand.  I should be spending the afternoon at a Christmas party, but it’s being held quite a distance away and would entail a 3 hour commute back home afterwards, mostl likely in the rain.  It would take a pretty great party to make that worthwhile.

I have lots of other things on my Friday ToDo list, including a visit to the dental hygienist, but I’m going to do my best to make sure “writing” is one of the things that I check off as successfully done.  I’ll have plenty of time while I’m at the dentist, so I think I’ll use it to warm up my creativity with a little brainstorming about today’s story prompt.

Care to join me? (For the writing, not the dentist). Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

I was at the store yesterday and they had a display of Halloween costumes out already. That’s just crazy. There’s still more than a month of summer left. I guess it’s lucky they didn’t have Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees out already too, though I’ll admit I wouldn’t have minded if they had decided it was time to bring out the pecan pies.


This weekend I’ll be heading off to a festival where there will be delightful things like apple fritters, fresh pressed apples, and vendors selling all kinds of things that I absolutely don’t need, but may very likely still buy.

Before that, however, it’s time to make sure I still qualify as being a “writer” by actually sitting down and writing something (other than blog posts). I’ve been working on my contemporary mystery manuscript all week – I’m hoping to get a few more scenes finished on that before Monday. As a precursor to that, I think I’ll wake up my creativity with a session of writing sprints.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Friday (or close to it)!  As you’ve probably noticed from this week’s posts, the annual RWA conference is over and done with and things are getting back to normal.  I’m busy trying to go through all of the notes I took in the workshops and make some sense of them.  I’m sure they made sense when I wrote them, but now I’m wondering about a few of them.

Writing-wise, the conference was productive for me, since I took advantage of some of the Writing Sprint sessions that were offered.  Getting up for a 7:00am session was not my idea of fun but getting words on the page was.  I’m hoping to keep up that momentum now that I’m back home, thought it undoubtedly won’t be quite the same sprinting in my pajamas from the comfort of my couch.  It was very motivating being in a roomful of other writers who were busily typing away.

I’ll be busy at the Day Job all day today, but when I get home, I’ll be doing some sprinting on my Regency manuscript – trying to make some changes, based on ideas I picked up at the conference.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

After 5 flights, 3 days of meetings, and more “talking to strangers” than I care to think about, this week is finally coming to a close.  Only one more black-tie event remaining and then I can call the weekend officially started.  It can’t be too soon for me; I have lots of “nothing” planned for the coming days.

This week’s travel did have its positive side.  I was in Minnesota, where I have some distant family members who I haven’t seen for years or rather decades, so it was nice to get a chance to visit.  The weather was beautiful and lilacs were blooming all over.  Their fragrance, like the accents of many I spoke with, brought happy memories of time spent in the area when I was a child to mind.  It was an unexpected bright spot for a trip that I hadn’t been looking forward to in the least.

Now that I’m back home, where overcast skies have replaced the clear blue ones that I left behind, it’s time for me to catch up on all the things that were put on hold while I was jet-setting around and talking to strangers.  First up on the list will be getting some words on the page.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

The end of another week already?  This one has sped by without my completing nearly as many tasks from my ToDo list as I was hoping.  On the plus side, I didn’t wind up adding too many new tasks to the list, so that’s a win . . . of sorts.

The focus this week has been on taxes (why yes, I did put them off for quite a while).  While the taxes themselves were fairly straightforward, the process of making sure I hadn’t overlooked anything meant I spent a fair amount of time sorting through all the papers on my desk and getting my files organized.  Sadly, it seems the last time I engaged in that particular exercise was just about a year ago.    Ah well, better late than never.

With the paperwork and taxes taken care of I can enjoy my day off work with a clear conscience.  Judging by the height of the lawn in the backyard, my day better include a little lawn-mowing.  After that, I’m planning on some dedicated writing time, starting out with either a run at the 200-word writing contest Kay mentioned yesterday, or an attempt at the random words below.  Whichever I choose, words on the page is my end goal.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Jilly: Sunday Short Story–Dr. Livingstone’s Redemption

Spring is here, at last! The snow has gone (sorry if, like 8Lady Michille, you’re still knee deep in the cold, white stuff), and every day gets a little brighter, a little longer. This is usually my most productive time of year, so I have high hopes that my right brain will emerge from hibernation some time soon.

To help things along, here’s a short story using Elizabeth’s most recent Friday writing cues. This week, she gave us the theme stuck in an airport, and these prompt words:

loudspeaker                seat                                smile                            chemical

contagious                   apparatus                     skyline                         robotic

pest                               cage                               memory                       limousine

cellular                          homicide                      plague                          fashionable


Dr. Livingstone’s Redemption

Dr. Jean-Xavier Livingstone, erstwhile homicide detective and current jack-of-all-trades, powered down his scanning apparatus. In the time it would once have taken him to wait for the elevator, he exchanged his lightweight suit for a pair of denim cutoffs, secured the old sugar mill that served as the terminal building, and headed for his boat.

There were worse places to be than stuck in an airport, if it happened to be on a private island owned by a reclusive photographer.

Minor downsides: the robotic announcements that issued from the single loudspeaker when a flight was expected; a faint chemical tang, courtesy of the recent pest control visit.

Minor upside: the fashionable women that emerged from the private jets, all designer-casual with their long legs, long hair and dark glasses as they undulated from ergonomically designed seat to dark-windowed limousine. Many of them offered him a smile as they passed, and their good humor was somehow contagious.

Better still: no cellular coverage, moody skies over mirror-smooth water that stretched unbroken to the skyline, and an old wooden cottage over the far side of the mountain, right on the shore. A shelf of books, half a bottle of old Clynelish, and some of the best fishing he’d ever enjoyed.

No rulebook to cage him.

No memory of past failures to plague him.

Best of all: nobody had died yet. And this time, he’d make sure nobody did.

Elizabeth: Friday Story Time and Sprints

Happy Friday; hope your week has been a good one.  It’s been cold and periodically damp here in my part of the state, but down south the areas that were battered by flames a short time ago are now dealing with flooding and deadly mudslides – a definite reminder not to underestimate the power of Mother Nature.

Hopefully you are safe, comfortable, and dry, wherever you may be.

As we said in last week’s post, we are inviting those working away on a story (whether a first draft or a polished version on its way to publication) to share a bit with us on Fridays – whether it’s a scene, a paragraph, or even a phrase that you are especially pleased with.

For those without a story in progress, or those who just want to work on something new, we’ve also got our weekly writing prompt, loosely based this week on an old exercise I found when reading through my writing folder looking for inspiration.

Ready? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – Live from the Diner

bettes_jukeboxVacation season is in full swing, which includes visiting friends and family; seeing new places; and, most likely, doing a fair amount of eating out.  For me, it has meant eating some things I was hard pressed to recognize and indulging in my current favorite dessert – lemon drizzle cake.

To wipe some of those hard to recognize meals out of my mind, I think a little Random Word Improv is in order.

Care to join me?
Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now with Random Words!

stopwatch graphicAnother week is coming to a close. Time to wrap things up with some Writing Sprints.

Everyone knows you need to warm up before sprinting, so let’s stretch our creativity with a few minutes of Random Word Improv.

Every Friday, my local country music station has a segment called “Fake Song Friday” during which visiting musicians are given several random words and a few minutes to come up with an impromptu song. The results are often amusing and always entertaining.

So, now it’s your turn. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now with Titles!

stopwatch graphicFriday again, and not a moment too soon. I think we should celebrate. I recommend Writing Sprints. Or cake. Both good choices.

Everyone knows you need to warm up before sprinting, so let’s wake up our creativity with a few minutes of Title Improv.

As any number of the Eight Ladies would agree, Continue reading