Friday, February 8th, 2013

Writing Prompt: Take Away Their Tools

I had surgery earlier this week. I can’t drive (or walk, for that matter) until at least February 27.

Great! (I thought.) With all the commute time I’ll be saving to work, I can get more writing done.

And then my laptop broke.

I’m stuck using a crappy little mini (I actually used to be fond of) to do my writing. The keyboard is super-tiny, and it’s considered QWERTY, but the apostrophe/double-quote key is in the wrong place. I keep hitting returns when I punctuate my dialogue. (Bad, very bad for a writer.)

It’s slow going.

Like a character in one of my books, I’ve been stymied. (Although I have to admit, I do much worse things to my characters.)

The point is, this is creating some drama in my life (and the lives of the people very close to me) because it starts to spill over.

And life doesn’t stop. I’ve got commitments I need to take care of, so I have to work around the impaired walking and non-driving and crappy tech.

Just like a character.

Here’s Your Prompt

  • In your next scene, make your character work for what he wants or wants to accomplish. Take away something important. Be devious about it: if you don’t want your character driving, don’t just take his license away, make them have foot surgery. 🙂 Make the stakes higher; take away something that not only your character needs, but what others depend on him for.
  • If you journal, write about a time you were stopped in the pursuit of your goals by the loss of something (you missed a deadline, you failed a test, or lost something tangible) and how you worked around it to accomplished your desires. [This should not be a story of “oh, well, it was meant to be” or “I was better off not doing it!”]

Good luck!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Writing Prompt – What Rhymes with Orange or Purple?

If you haven’t figured it out, I had surgery earlier this week.

Day 2 was great…but day 3 was worse. I spiked a fever and felt pretty nauseated most of the day. Since I’m a “glass half full” person (most of the time), I got excited about two cool things after leaving the doctor’s office.

First, even though the doc is now worried about infection, he gave me some neato orange pills:

Orange Pills from the Doctor

I’ve never had day-glo orange medication before. These are antibiotics, so if I have an infection, they should do the job in neon splendor.

Second cool thing, new purple bandages:

Purple Bandages on Foot

I could have been slapped with plain ol’ white and that horrible sticky tape that picks up lint and sticks to your skin. This stuff is bright and cheerful, and only sticks to itself. And since I’ve got to live with it for the next 12 days, that’s win-win.


So That Brings us to The Prompt

  • It’s hard to rhyme orange and purple without trying to hard. And believe me, if you manage it easily, it will still look like you’re trying too hard. So, write a non-rhyming poem using the words orange or purple, or both.
  • What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word orange (or purple)? Write about it.
  • If you journal (or even if you don’t) – write about a surgery you or someone close to you has had. Avoid the clinical (without avoiding the details) and write about how it made you feel.
  • Write about a character that needs to make a medical decision.
  • Write about a character who made the decision to have elective surgery – which went terribly wrong.
  • Write about someone who “overdosed” on drugs: but benefited from the choice.
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Successful Surgery (So Far)

Pre-Surgery Foot

Well, I made it through the surgery okay.

I haven’t taken any of the “heavy duty” pain killers today, so I’m feeling fairly lucid. I’m really tired, though. I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m reluctant to say it was 100% successful, because it’s early days. The bandages aren’t even off yet! And stuff hurts. But I’m still feeling hopeful.

Here’s what my foot looks like right about now:

Post-Surgery Foot

I’ve got this nifty boot which pumps ice-cold water around my foot and compresses at the same time. It’s supposed to keep the swelling down. I think it’s working, but there’s a severe dearth of ice in the house.

Post-Surgery Foot

I see the doctor tomorrow and we unwrap the bandages. With luck: no infection. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Shooing Out the Walking Sticks

Brown Walking Stick (insect)We found a walking stick in the garage yesterday.

Quite exciting! They’re so rare a find.

It had walked all the way across the cement floor and up to the step to enter the house. (You’d think he’d have touched the cement and thought, Hey, this isn’t natural. I should turn back. I haven’t found an insect yet who thinks this way.)

We put it in a jar to show some of the tiny people in the area (who just happen to be studying insects in school these days) and then released it into the wild today.

I couldn’t help thinking what a coincidence it was to find it. Or, how metaphorically correct it was to be sending it back off to the place from whence it came.



Tomorrow, I’m having foot surgery.

And with a little luck (and no complications) I’ll be getting rid of this – the walking stick I’ve been using for the past few months.

I can’t help thinking that this is bug visitation, and subsequent send off, is some kind of omen — or sign from the universe that all will be well.

Someone out there is saying, “Soon, you won’t need that cane anymore.”

(I can’t help it: I’m wired that way. I write fiction, remember?)

So, wish me luck.

I’ll catch up with y’all in a few days.