Writing Prompt #14: Reluctantly he handed over the key.

Written By: Jess - Jun• 27•14

Better late than never, right? Things have been a little crazy this week, but I finally was able to write this week’s writing prompt! Looks like I’ll be doing double duty with feedback come Wednesday or this weekend. Oh, well. :) Hope you enjoy this one.

Reluctantly he handed over the key.Today’s Writing Prompt:

Reluctantly he handed over the key.

My 100 Words:

The words echoed in the Great Hall like a death sentence.

Brayson’s hand shook as he approached the throne and reached into his robe, his fingers searching for the rough edges he’d grown accustomed to.

“Who’s next?” he heard the new monarch ask the advisor.

Scrapping parchment filled the silence.

“My King,” Brayson whispered, drawing the attention back to him as he reluctantly handed over the key.

“Thank you,” the king said, surprised. None, so far, had put up so little a fight.

“May you find youth from the fountain.” Brayson said before fleeing the room, leaving a speechless king.

 

Photo Credit: Keattikorn

Photo Credit: Keattikorn

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Writing Prompt #13: “My heart pounded wildly …”

Written By: Jess - Jun• 18•14

Ugh. So I’m really, really behind this week on *everything*, including reading everyone’s prompts from last week. I swear I’ll be commenting today though! :)  Anyways, here’s today’s and then I’ll go back to stressing.

My heart pounded wildlyToday’s Writing Prompt:

My heart pounded wildly …

My 100 Words:

“What’s going on?” I said, jabbing Hunter in the shoulder.

He didn’t turn around, but his intent was clear from the low growl he let vibrate in the air and the surge of power that cracked outward like a whip.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

My heart pounded wildly as I stomped back toward the bar. As I grabbed a wet rag I looked at my boss’ back and wondered what was so important about the angry brunette that had walked in.

I did know one thing about Hunter, though. I knew better than to tick off LA’s number one Incubus.

Photo Credit: Gualberto107

Photo Credit: Gualberto107

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Editing, Grammar, and Bribes

Written By: Jess - Jun• 16•14

Editing and Bribes

It’s been rough getting started, but the edits on my book-baby are officially underway!  Yay!

I’ve discovered (rather quickly, actually) how difficult getting into editing mode is. Turns out it’s a different monster than writing the dang thing was. When I wrote the first draft I worked towards a word count goal, and when I reached it I could stop. With edits I need to figure out a new way of getting it done. I’ve ordered a timer to help keep me on track (I know there are online ones, but I do better with physical gadgets).

So, about the actual edits. How are they going so far? About as expected.

 

I knew I’d be changing a lot , but the more I read the more I realize my book needs some serious condensing and overhauls. Some things I’m going to be cutting out entirely. I haven’t started to make notes on the middle yet, but I get the feeling it’s not going to be as bad.

The first third needs to be almost entirely rewritten, the second third will probably need to be partially rewritten, and the home stretch is probably going to be the least changed. Ugh. I hope people are right when they’ve told me it’s easier to edit a book than it is to write one.

I have decided to try and incorporate one tool that a lot of writers have recommended. Self bribes. I plan on buying a ticket to a movie for next week (either the new How to Train Your Dragon movie or Maleficent) and if I get my read through and edit notes done then I can go and see it. If not, then it’s a wasted ticket ($10 or whatever it costs).  If I get Alison’s done as well, then I’ll let myself buy some popcorn. (Loving it, btw. ;)  )

 Something Weird …

In case you didn’t read it, I wrote a post on how I was going to be reading a lot of grammar books in hopes of getting better at it. I hated grammar. It is not my strong suite by a long shot. But I wanted to mention something strange that started to happen around the second one I finished. I started to like grammar.

What’s stranger is I’m reading my 4th one right now and I now have a list of others I want to order.  Stranger things have happened in my life, though this is probably one of the most surprising (to me at least). Now, my enjoying it doesn’t mean I’m actually getting better at grammar, but I’m holding out a little hope. If anything I can now defend myself when I start sentences with ‘but’ or ‘and’.

 

So that’s what’s going on with me lately. Oh, and here’s ‘the binder.’

 

I wrote that! All 252 pages!

I wrote that! All 252 pages!

And with that said …

Writing Prompt #12: “He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching …”

Written By: Jess - Jun• 11•14

teachingToday’s Writing Prompt:

“He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching …”

My 100 Words:

He hadn’t seen anything like it in twenty years of teaching. It brought tears to his eyes.

The children stood in a row, each one with their hands behind their backs as they stood tall and obedient.

Of course, they were ogres. Tall and obedient was in their nature. Intelligence? Not so much. But the ability to follow directions? They were pros before they could bash in their first tree stump.

“Really,” Mr. Orsecks said as a snot bubble flared out of one nostril. “Really spectacular.”

Mr. Orsecks clawed finger poked the dangling human while it swayed in its tree.

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Photo Credit: Victor Habbick

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Jenna Eatough http://blog.mistglenmoon.net/

Writing Prompt #11: “In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home.”

Written By: Jess - Jun• 04•14

In all the years I've lived here, I never once called this place my homeToday’s Writing Prompt:

In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home. 

My 100 Words:

It was dark and, at times, seemed never ending. The smell of rotten vegetation and freshly turned earth pushed its way out into the open air and caught the breeze.

Five looked down at the hole where he had dwelled for the past two hundred and fifty years.

“In all the years I’ve lived here, I never once called this place my home,” he said, his voice flat and hard.

Smidge glanced up at the weathered face. “Then where is home?”

“Home,” Five said, making the word hum. “Home is where the traitors live and dine and soon will die.”

 

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Photo Credit: twobee

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Writing Prompt #10: “No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you want to, do NOT open your eyes.”

Written By: Jess - May• 28•14

 

Do NotToday’s Writing Prompt:

“No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you want to, do NOT open your eyes.”

My 100 Words:

The carousel had always been my favorite. I even loved this one — gothic vibe and all.

“A Halloween carnival. Who knew?” I said as my boyfriend led me to a saddled giant crow.

“I’ve been searching for this one for ages,” Kev said, his green eyes sparkling like sea glass.

He slid onto it behind me.

“What are you doing?”

Kev smiled down at me. “Shhh. No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you want to, do NOT open your eyes until I tell you to.”

The moment I closed them I felt the crow shift beneath me.

Photo Credit: Victor Habbick

Photo Credit: Victor Habbick

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

Fun and Games

Written By: Jess - May• 27•14

Dice games are some of my favorites, and dice games that encourage creativity take the cake. I found something on Amazon called ‘Story Cubes’ and ordered it for days where I just want to play around with my writing without it having to be anything serious.

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For the past month or two I didn’t know what to write about most weeks (other than big announcements and Wonhundred Word Wednesdays). I played with the idea of character interviews, which I still might do, and weekly updates on my writing (that might bore you to tears).

This morning I’ve been sitting at my computer staring at a blank blog post and wondering what on earth I was going to write about. That is, I was staring blankly until I remembered this little game sitting in my bag and a light bulb went on. So, on days when I’m not sure what to say, I’m going to take a picture of the dice after I roll them and then write a short little story and post it here. It should be fun and hopefully entertaining.

Let the Game Begin

I picked the first suggested way to play: Roll all 9 cubes and look at the face up images. Pick an image that will be the starting point for your story. Beginning with “Once upon a time …”, make up a story that somehow links together all 9 face up images.

My Roll:

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So I got:

  1. Foot print
  2. Question mark
  3. Counting thing
  4. Castle/tower
  5. Airplane
  6. Magnifying glass
  7. Fish
  8. House
  9. Alien/mask thing

The Story:

Once Upon a Time” streamed from the built in T.V. in the seat in front of Norman Holiday. He regretted picking the channel after the first five minutes. It wasn’t that the show didn’t have its moments. Nope, it was the ankle biter next to him wearing the green alien mask his parents had bought him in Roswell.

The tip of a finger jabbed into Norman’s arm. Again.

“Why’d they’d do that?” Dale said, the air whistling out from the gap in his teeth.

Norman yanked the ear bud out and held back an angry puff of air. “Because the writers couldn’t think of anything better,” he said and then muttered under his breath, “a pity really.”

Dale’s mouth puckered and his eyebrows furrowed above sky blue eyes that hid between thick rimmed glasses.

When Dale didn’t say anything else, Norman plugged the ear bud back in and watched the actors storm some CGI castle.

Jab, jab, jab.

Norman ripped the ear bud out and shifted in his chair to face what he was starting to consider his personal tormentor.

“What? What is it?”

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Photo Credit: Dan

The little boy glared up at Norman, swiveled his head toward the teddy bear strapped in the seat next to him and said, “he’s rude, isn’t he Rufus?”

Norman imagined taking Rufus and jettisoning it out the airlock. Who buys a plane ticket for a stuffed animal?

Blue eyes tuned back in on Norman. “Where do you work?”

“I’m a private detective.” Now shut up and leave me alone.

“Do you have a magnifying glass?”

“Sometimes.”

“Does it have a question mark on it?” Dales voice had gone up several octaves.

“No! What gave you that idea?” Norman said with sneer.

“On cartoons. Do you sneak in people’s houses?”

Norman jerked. “God. No. Why would I do that?”

“Detectives on T.V. do all the time,” Dale said, lisping through his teeth. “Do you look at footprints?”

Norman smacked a palm to his forehead and squeezed his eyes shut as he counted backwards in rapid succession. His therapist told him to do it slowly, but he didn’t have time for that.

“Let me ask you a question, Dale.”

Eagerness peered out of blue eyes as Dale squirmed closer. He bobbed his head up and down, which only caused the flop of blond hair to beat against his brow and ears.

“Don’t you have anything you like to do for fun?” Norman said, hoping that naps were at the top of the small lad’s list.

“Yes!” Dale said, bouncing in place as he gripped the arm rest.

Norman waited but Dale didn’t say anything.

“Well what is it?” Norman bit out.

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Photo Credit: Nuchylee

Dale beamed with pride as he said, “My abacus.”

Norman stared at him. It had to have been the lisp. “A what?”

“My abacus. I count lots on it. It has beads. Do you want me to tell you about the beads?”

“No.”

Dale stuck out his lower lip and folded his arms. Norman thought he saw a tear.

A bing from overhead followed by a feminine voice gave Norman a spark of hope. “Hello flight 783! The captain wanted me to inform everyone that we have hit the half way mark and are two and a half hours away from our destination. We will coming by with beverages soon …”

Norman stiffened in his seat when he heard Dale start to sniffle. Norman could relate. He wanted to cry too.

“Tell me about the beads,” Norman said, his voice clipped fast, yet defeated.

Don’t cry, don’t cry …

Watery blue eyes gazed up at him. “Do you like fish?”

Norman blinked. “What?”

“My beads have fish. Do you like fish?”

A throat cleared next to their aisle and both the boy and man looked up. A smiling brunette woman looked back and forth at them.

“Can I get you boys anything?” she said.

“Vodka,” Norman said before the stewardess could get the last word out. “If you’ve got it.”

Dale gasped. “Don’t do drugs! That’s what the doggie says.”

Norman looked down at the kid and then back up at the stewardess who winked at him.

“What about you, cutie? What can I get you?” she said, bending close to Dale.

“I want apple juice and Rufus wants a Diet Coke.”

The woman cocked her head to the side and frowned. “Rufus?”

Dale pointed at the teddy bear and said, “Rufus.”

The stewardess tried not to laugh as she nodded at Dale. To Norman she said, “I’ll get that Vodka for you,” before moving onto the next aisle with sporadic snorts.

Photo Credit: Boaz Yiftach

Photo Credit: Boaz Yiftach

Writing Prompt #9: “The truth about love is …”

Written By: Jess - May• 21•14

 Truth about loveToday’s Writing Prompt:

“The truth about love is …”

My 100 Words:

Jordy arched his back to alleviate the slow burning that built there before he said, “the truth about love is you can never get it back once it’s gone.”

Phil nodded and mimicked Jordy’s crouch.

The older man squinted through the rifle’s scope and watched as the laser danced on the wall.

The red dot bounced around like an angry firefly, one that the little house cat noticed.

“Come on,” Jordy growled.

Right as the cat’s hind quarters started wiggling, a woman walked into view, the laser trained on the back of her head.

Jordy smiled and pulled the trigger.

Photo Credit: Gualberto107,

Photo Credit: Gualberto107

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com 

 

And the Wheel Keeps Spinning, and spinning and spinning …

Written By: Jess - May• 19•14

I’m starting to realize this is going to be an intense summer and I’m a little worried about that. I have a spread sheet that tracks all the conferences/workshops, and saying that it’s a little full would be an understatement to say the least.  I’m mildly concerned about burnout.  Any suggestions on how to keep that from happening?

In other news, the critique groups I’m in are going great! I get to work with some pretty talented writers. One group meets every week and the other gets together every other, which works out nicely. Granted, I feel like my brain is turning to mush from critiquing so much, but that’s mostly due to my lack of planning it all out (I’ve looked at what each group is doing and it’s going to calm down in a month or two – so it’s not long term intensity).

As for my own writing? That’s going well for the most part. Turns out I’m not going to be able to start edits on This Damn Jar until June, but that’s okay. That just means I’ll have two months of sitting on it rather than a month and a half.

As for the new shiny, that’s actually right on track. I finished all the major character bios last week (yea!) and it’s almost ready to start being written. However, there’s been one new major development with it this week that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve been struggling with what pov to write it in and finally decided to go with first person, but as I wrote the bios for some of the major players in the story, one of them in particular demanded to have a voice too.

What’s funny is that I’m starting to agree with that voice. This character has as much to lose as my original main character, which really made them stand out when I was compiling their dossier. I’ve already pitched the idea to my Saturday critique group which helped me solidify my opinion of it.

This week I’m hoping to get some more scene ideas from my Thursday people and then some more again on Saturday.

So that’s pretty much it, except for the awesome quote below. If you’re struggling as a writer, just remember this (I know it made me feel better):

 

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Writing Prompt #8: You find a box in the attic that isn’t yours.

Written By: Jess - May• 13•14

Box in AtticFor this one I decided to have some fun and play around with tense. I picked present tense because it’s my least favorite to read and usually write. However, since these prompts are pretty much exercises, I thought a little challenge would do me some good. Present tense it was. There’s more ‘telling’ here than I’d like but that’s what happens sometimes when you only get 100 words. All in all, I’d say I like how it turned out – even if I still hate present tense.

Today’s Writing Prompt:

 You find a box in the attic that isn’t yours.

My 100 Words:

She tiptoes down the hall and peers down the stairs, looking for the glow of the T.V. coming from the living room. Angie holds her breath until she hears the loud and overwhelming snores coming from her Papa. Her lips quirk and she bolts toward the thin rope hanging from the ceiling.

Angie launches herself through the air and with her momentum pulls the hatch and ladder down.

“Yes,” she whispers.

Tiny feet hammer up the rickety wood before raven hair burst into the muggy space. Angie scans the floorboards until she sees it.

Grandma calls it ‘The Portal Box.’

Photo Credit: rakratchada torsap

Photo Credit: rakratchada torsap

See What the Others Did!

Wendy Knight, Author: www.wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com

Kelly Martin, Author: www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Alison Woods (Peering Into. . .): http://alisonmillerwoods.wordpress.com/

R.K. Grow: http://www.rkgtheauthor.com/

Stephanie Worlton’s Kreating Krazy blog: http://stephanieworlton.blogspot.com/

Leah Sanders, inklings: http://inklings-leahsanders.blogspot.com/

Laura D. Bastian: http://www.lauradbastian.com/

Jaclyn Weist: http://jaclynweist.blogspot.com

Amryn Scott: www.wildscottkids.wordpress.com

K.R. Wilburn:  http://www.krwilburn.com/my-blog.html

Lindzee Armstrong/Lydia Winters: http://lindzeearmstrong.blogspot.com

Kat!e Larson: http://katesnovelidea.blogspot.com

Miranda Nelson: http://www.mirandadnelson.blogspot.com/

Angela Schroeder http://angelaschroederauthor.blogspot.com/

Ginny Romney http://romneyrants.blogspot.com/

Canda Mortensen:  http://candamortensen.blogspot.com