Thursday, October 31st, 2013
A few folks mentioned that they would love to see my finished Zero sculpture. Here he is! He looked a little better pre-rain, but I don’t think he turned out all that bad (considering I’m in no way an artist).
He was certainly a big hit with just about everyone who saw him tonight.
The head was the hardest part, and I did that in about two hours. It’s molded from newspaper, tinfoil, styrofoam and masking tape. His body is an old pillowcase that I cut open. I hemmed all the rough edges and then ran some pliable wire through the hem. This enabled me to ‘bend’ his body into waves so that it wouldn’t hang straight down…and look like an old pillow case. It really looked cool when the wind blew.
I wish the flash hadn’t washed the photo out so much: his nose really glows in the dark. This photo doesn’t do it justice.
I hope everyone had as much fun as I did tonight! And I’ve got chocolate left over: it doesn’t get any better than that!
Monday, October 28th, 2013
If you’ve ever wondered where selkies come from, I’ve got answers for you!
Melissa over at My World…In Words and Pages asked me to talk a bit about them for her “Mythical Monday,” post today.
A selkie features prominently in my story, Selk Skin Deep, so it was a natural fit.
Go on over and take a look.
Even if you’re not interested in my tale, I highly recommend Melissa’s Web site. She’s an ardent book blogger and discusses all things fantasy. Her reviews are spot on, and she almost always has a book giveaway running.
So, I say again, go take a look!
Friday, October 25th, 2013
Halloween is coming! It’s my favorite holiday of the entire year.
My candy’s bought, my house is decorated, and I’m chomping at the bit looking for activities to extend it a little. Tonight, the Husband of Awesome™ and I will be handing out candy at the local elementary school and watching their costume parade. I can’t wait.
I’m working on a prop for tonight: Zero, Jack Skellington’s faithful ghost hound. I sculpted his head from newspaper, tinfoil, masking tape and styrofoam. Today, I’m spray-painting him white.
I should have covered him in paper mache before painting, but I ran out of time. I’ve been procrastinating.
I’ve also been procrastinating on my writing. I haven’t even turned on my laptop for THREE days!
My word count is not looking too hot this week, unless you count all the non-fiction… (And who counts that?) The ‘Zero’ project–and other Halloween stuff–has kept me pretty busy.
Here’s Your Prompt:
- The main character of your WIP has a secret vice that makes him procrastinate. What is it? How might this procrastination up the tension in your story? Write it.
- Essayists: Thomas de Quincey said, “If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.” Is procrastination worse than murder?
- Procrastination eats away at our time, slowly eroding this valuable commodity. Poets: write about time. (Artists! This one works for you, too: show us time.)
- For journalers and essayists: What have you been putting off? Why?
Friday, October 18th, 2013
We experience tens of thousands of seconds–small moments–each day. Even our worst, or our most boring, day surely contains a meaningful moment or span of moments.
Omitting the most special and the most horrible of days, I am hard-pressed to define a single most meaningful moment in my day.
(Is that my ingrained sense of adventure surfacing? I can always find something interesting, even at the most mundane of times…)
I like when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. in the morning and I peek out the window into the back yard. I do this without fail: rain or shine, winter and summer.
There’s always something going on out there–even in the darkest of winter mornings–or maybe especially then: many times I’ve flipped on the light and caught some nocturnal beast in action.
Good morning kisses with my Husband of Awesome™ are also meaningful…
…as is hitting my daily word quota in the early morning. (Yay! Hooky day!) 🙂
Can you define a most meaningful moment of your day?
Some time ago, Real Simple Magazine featured an article where they asked writers to pontificate on their most meaningful time of the day.
The article features a meaningful moment as written by each author, and spans the entire day. Interesting reading.
Here’s Your Prompt
- Choose the most meaningful moment of your day today, and write about it. You could write an essay, a diary entry or a poem.
- Tomorrow, record your small moment for each of the hours of the day you’re awake. Write a few sentences about each small moment. Take special care to record the setting, the occasion, and how you felt at that moment. Be brief and concise.
- Make a date of it! Spend the day with your partner and prep him or her about “the most meaningful moment.” At the end of your date, each of you should write down the most meaningful moment on a post card or index card. When you’re done, exchange cards.
PHoto Copyright © Winterberg | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Friday, October 11th, 2013
I’m reading Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables currently as part of my Project 100–and I’m quite enjoying it. Anne is an imaginative, talkative , young girl of ten who is forever getting into scrapes brought on by her flights of fancy. As the book begins, she’s adopted by a quite sensible spinster woman whom Anne refers to as Aunt Marilla.
Aunt Marilla is a dried up, middle-aged woman who lacks imagination and sucks the life out of people with her discreet and circumspect habits. Sensibility is her motto, and fun takes a back seat to decorum every time. She’s unfashionable, and dresses Anne like a mini version of herself.
But little by little, Anne wins her over. As the book progresses we see Aunt Marilla untwisting her panties and enjoying life a lot more–even though she’d thought adopting Anne had been a mistake from the beginning: she’d asked the orphanage for a boy.
I was just starting to like Aunt Marilla. But near the middle of the book, Anne–now thirteen years old–starts a “literary club” with some other young women. They are required to write one story “out their own heads” each week, and then meet to read them aloud to each other and critique them.
(My kind of party!)
When Anne tells Aunt Marilla, the aunt replies: “Reading stories is bad enough but writing them is worse.”
Oh, boo, Aunt Marilla! I don’t like you again.
Nonetheless, Marilla (sort of) brings up a good point: we can’t always write fiction. So, in honor of that, today our prompts are non-fiction related!
Here’s Your Prompt:
In honor of family–natural, adopted and chosen–lets write family stories in a variety of styles:
- Choose a memorable event that you were involved in that your family was not: being away at camp, attending a concert, something on your bucket list, etc. and write a letter home telling all about it. Be certain to include all the parts of a letter: salutation, body, closing and signature.
- Write a newspaper story about a BIG family event: a milestone anniversary or birthday, a wedding, a graduation, etc. Here’s information on how to write a news story.
- Write a journal entry of your earliest memory. Ask family members for their input on what they remember of the same event and incorporate that into the narrative.
- Flip through some old family photographs and choose one or two of the same day that evoke strong memories for you. These strong memories could be good or bad, it doesn’t matter. Just find something you’re passionate about one way or the other. Use the photos as the basis of a scrapbook entry. Lay them out on the page and decorate with magazine clippings, fancy paper, bits of ribbon, etc. Finally, journal about the events of the day. Include your not only the facts of what happened, but your feelings on the topic.
Friday, October 4th, 2013
I just got a new treadmill, ostensibly to shed a few pounds gained during my two foot surgeries in the last year. I prefer running outdoors, but with winter coming, the treadmill is the best bet to get back on track during the darker winter months here.
A few of my writer friends have turned their treadmills into writing desks, citing all the health benefits of obliterating a sedentary lifestyle. Not wanting to be left out, I’m giving it a try.
The Husband of Awesome™ and I made a trip to one of those lumber superstores and purchased a plank, some eye bolts and bungee cords. In less than an hour, I had a fairly decent makeshift desk on the arms of a treadmill. A ‘breakfast in bed’ lap desk (never used, alas!) and a cardboard riser on top the plank have lifted the keyboard, monitor and mouse to the appropriate level.
It’s fairly comfortable, and I spent an hour on the treadmill Wednesday, after my workout, to read email and work on my WIP (walking uphill at 1.7 miles an hour).
I got a lot of work done!
And it prompted me to do some research on the correlation between exercise and creativity. There’s plenty of research to be found, such as this paper on exercise and creativity by doctors David M. Blanchette, Stephen P. Ramocki, John N. O’del and Michael S. Casey.
They found that, “aerobic exercise may positively impact creative potential, and that these effects may extend for some period of time,” and “results suggest that orthodox aerobic workouts have potential benefits in aiding creativity processes, [and that exercise] potentially provides tangible improvements to creative productivity.”
So, exercise may not only help the creative process in individuals, but it may improve it!
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Go do some aerobic exercise! Take a run, walk briskly, jump rope, etc. for a half an hour. (Standard disclaimer here: please check with your doctor to make certain you’re fit before starting any exercise program!)
- Pull out a creative project that’s been giving you some trouble: a poem where you can’t find the right words, a story you’re blocked on, an art project you just can’t envision, etc. …and give it another try. Or…
- Start a project you’ve been meaning to get to, but has seemed daunting in the past. (Perhaps the exercise will help you think more clearly about how to proceed…) Or…
- Spend some time on your WIP. Do you have a better idea of how to proceed? A more clear idea of where to incorporate plot points or messages or meter? Perhaps you’ve thought of a new idea to add to the work.
Image, “Runner’s Feet,” Copyright: Warren Goldswain. Used by permission.