Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writing Prompt Wednesday - Random Aspect Generator

Writing Prompts

Due 3/1/13: This week I decided to take the Chuck Wendig writing challenge with a random number generator and a list. My results: erotic fairy tale in a mall with a puzzle-box. 

For the record, I don't usually read or write erotica, so this is waaaaay outside my comfort zone. So I made good use of metaphors.  

For a list of the writing prompts I share, please see my Writing Prompt page :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Sometimes the mountains talk to me. Yes, I know this sounds weird, but I am going to admit it anyway. (I think the wind talks even more than the mountains, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

Today the brilliant color of everything caught my attention while I was driving, so as soon as I got home and stacked the Girl Scout cookie boxes in the front room, my son and I went for a walk with camera and tri-pod in tow to capture the blues and whites that fill the background of my window. Today it was more about the mountains and clouds than just the mountains.

It's difficult to put into words the images and ideas that spring to mind when the clouds lay on top of the mountains like this. There's something magical about it. Anything could be under there. I used to imagine that maybe the clouds were the tips of the mountains, and the snow was piled on top like big scoops of ice cream. Especially when the sky is such a beautiful blue, it looks like a warm summer's day, the white on the mountain simply melted vanilla goodness running down into the valley.

Nowadays I tend to think that maybe there are grand cities and meetings of old warrior-gods hidden under the opaque canopy so far up there.

Do you ever see images and faces in mountains?

If you'll pardon the power lines in these next shots, let me share with you some other images that haunt my dreams. I don't know if you'll see what I see, but I am convinced there is more than just dirt, glacial poop, or piles of rocks here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A critique!

Sometimes I wish I had a live-in editor to help me see the forest for the trees when I write. And with all of the tips, tricks, tools, and guidelines I've been given, sometimes it's hard to know where to start.

Well, now I have a starting point. The fabulous Julie Coulter Bellon used my first 500 words as a post in her First Page Friday series. I LOVE her feedback. Not only does she point out how to fix some things, but she gives me some great advice on how to implement the tools I've been given.

Don't get me wrong, I love my writing group. Their feedback is awesome, too. But it's fun to get feedback from a pair of fresh eyes who can say specifically what works and what doesn't.

Pardon me while I SQUEEEEEEEE!!!  :) Yes, I have a lot of work to do to make this fun and readable and engaging, but I am excited about it!

So if you want your first page critiqued, head on over to her site. And if you want to see the first-draft of my first page before I revise and polish, polish, polish, go take a look :)

Maybe soon I'll have guts enough to apply to J.R. Johansson's Forging Fridays for a query critique! (That's much more scary).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LTUE report

Life The Universe & Everything 31 is a writing conference in Provo, Utah. Very affordable for a three-day conference. No, seriously. $30 for a three-day conference is a FARGAIN BARGAIN, people!! Writers such as David Farland/Wolverton, L.E. Modesitt, Howard Taylor, Larry Correia, Megan Whalen Turner, and Rachel Ann Nunes were there on the writing panels.

From 9 a.m. to 7pm for three days I filled my brain to capacity listening to panels and taking notes. My notes look something like this:

My sketchbook filled up on Thursday, so Friday I resorted to an actual notebook.  With lines. (blech.) Then I visited Carter Reid's booth. Not only does he do the funnest zombie web-comic ever, but he sells sketchbooks! Total lifesaver. He autographed and sketched in my brand-spanking-new zombie sketchbook as well as drawing me a little zombie-bust when he autographed "Space Eldritch." Can I geek out about this too much? I think not. (Yup, total fan-girl...)
So after I got a new sketchbook, my notes looked like THIS: (no lines!)

I stayed at the hotel which was very nice on the gas budget, and I was sharing the room with a good friend as well! How awesome is that? My biggest commute consisted of walking a block to find dinner one night :) Yummy little pizza spot in one direction, a Chinese restaurant in the other direction - who fed us so much we had two meals of leftovers - and a little hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop called Sammy's that is to-die-for. Sooooo good.

So I geeked-out first at Carter Reid. And then I geeked out at Howard Tayler - can't be helped, he's awesome - over the calendar. He sketched a mini-Schlock-in-a-mug for me. And oh my goodness, the squeals of joy when my 12 yr old saw it. :) And a surprise gift from a friend? A Tagon's Tough's t-shirt. Can you say comfy? I can. Yep. Good stuff right there. If you don't listen to Writing Excuses and you want to be a writer, get over there and download those podcasts. Right now.

I met a lot of great people, picked an editor's brain, and probably played fan-girl too much to some of the people I twitter-stalk and admire.

I went to Sandra Tayler's panel on Thursday, which I loved. She has typed up her notes from her presentation. Go read them! This presentation really hit home for me, because I struggle with finding the time - or feeling guilty for taking the time - to be creative. Actually, just read her blog, period. She is inspiring and full of all kinds of wisdom. It was an absolute honor to meet her in person. Her book "Cobble Stones" from her blog is wonderful.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Reality of Dreaming

"Photo by Chalmers Butterfield"

A few years ago I had a dream that has stuck with me over the years, more like a memory than a dream. It felt so real that when I woke up, I wrote it down. Not to make sure I remembered, but to have a record to compare against when the day came that it did happen.

It was a dream about the future. Not anything surreal like flying cars or anything like that. No. It was me living a day in the life of being old. 

I couldn’t tell you my exact age in the dream, all I know is that I was old. My eyesight had faded to mere pinpricks because most of my peripheral vision was gone or completely blurry. I had to concentrate to focus on any one thing. My hips hurt like nothing else I have experienced when I tried to walk, not even the pain I had when pregnant. This was old cartilage grinding on old bone, and it hurt.