Friday, October 25th, 2013

Writing Prompt – ‘Zero’ Procrastination

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?

Good luck!


Cover of Selk Skin Deep by Kelly A. Harmon depicts a Navy Aircraft Carrier on a moonlit night.

Have you read Selk Skin Deep?

JFK never envisioned a Navy SEAL like him: a selkie, ignorant of the ways of man, learns what it’s like to be human.

$2.99 at Amazon$2.99 at Barnes and Noble

Paperback: $4.99 at

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A Glut of Procrastinated Paper

Hi, my name is Kelly, and I have a filing problem.

Loaded Boxes Full of Papers

Actually, that’s not true. I don’t have filing issues. I can file if I absolutely have to.

Unfortunately, I always have more paper to file than I have time to do it in. And, I have other priorities…so when I get squeezed for time, filing is the last thing I want to do. After a while, the piles get so numerous I shove them into boxes.

See the crazy notes I leave for myself? The note on the left-most box says, “Writing To-Do: Immediately.” The note on the box beside it says, “To Do by December 31, 2009.” Um…yeah.

I took these photos in December, but the boxes had been sitting there months before that.

I have whittled it down to two boxes. But that’s only because I’ve had to paw through the boxes several times in the last few weeks and I made some executive decisions to throw a bunch of stuff in the trash (which is much easier than filing). But the fact is:

I just don’t want to do it.

Every once in a while, that attitude spills into my writing.

In Chapter 10 of my WIP, there’s a particularly badly-written scene with some unbelievable dialogue that needs to be reconstructed from scratch. It’s full of archaic language and I’d bet a few “as you know, Bobs.”

It’s going to take some time. And I don’t want to waste it…even knowing that the scene can be a hundred times better.

I’ve procrastinated so long that I’ve already edited through Chapter 21. Imagine how anti-climatic it’ll be to get to “The End” and have to go back and edit something halfway through the book. I’m not looking forward to it. When I type “The End,” I want it to be the end.

So…I’m going to take care of it. Within the week.

Maybe after I tackle that scene, I’ll get up the gumption to finally get those boxes out of my office.

Won’t you join me? What have you been procrastinating about? If there’s nothing in your way…take care of it!