#NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 5 – The Refusal

lamp ring

Continuing yesterday’s exploration of things that make me say, “What is that and what is it for?” I’m going to go with part of a lampshade? There’s gotta be a story as to why it’s in the lake, right? I hadn’t thought much about stagnant water on my abandoned property, but in this area, I can picture this image somewhere on the property in a low-lying area.

Day 5 (2017) is The Refusal

My protagonist definitely wants to refuse his call to adventure. How will he try to wriggle his way out of a request from the police?

#vss365: haze

He squinted, trying to cut through the haze. Movement caught his attention. A dark figure, growing larger, coming right at him, burst through the fog.

Today’s Simple Task

Think of your favorite scene from any movie or TV show. What makes it so great? Try to incorporate its strengths into a scene you write today.

This is a tough one for me. I’m not one of those people that has a favorite scene and memorizes it or anything. Hopefully something will come to me as I do my morning pages.

I took a look at Hot Fuzz and realized that the scenes I like the most are because of interesting edits and sound choices. I’ll be thinking about how I can use quick cuts, or stylized breaks to make my scenes more exciting.

Warm-up Exercise

Have your MC write his or her will or manifesto.

I think my antagonist would have some sort of manifesto, but my MC? Maybe when his mom died, he decided to write a will. I’ll play around with that.

Word Of The Day

eldritch: adj. eerie, other worldly, weird, spooky

Kirk hadn’t remembered a well on the property.  He pulled back the heavy, fir wood lid. Warm air rushed his face with an eldritch wail.

8 Action Verbs:

How they acquired the deed was never explained.

He could see now why they never built here. They only put things on top of this uninviting land.

She continued to stare directly into his eyes without blinking until he felt like he owed her something.

They earned it. They all did for taking away her boys.

He grouped the wrappers by color and only burned like colors at the same time. He imagined it made for less pollution from the smoke.  When he saw a rainbow, he thought that was because of his attention to detail.

It was never litigated in the courts because no one ever responded to the notices. No one bothered to even find out if the owners were still alive.

The art he had produced would have disgusted his parents, though as they aged they had probably discovered legal pharmaceuticals to add to their concoctions.

He had noticed the dung heaps upon his first visit, but had dismissed them as part of an abandoned property overtaken by nature. This, however, smelled fresh and was shaped like a cross. Kirk meant church, and because his Mom was always yelling random scripture about damnation, when he was younger mean kids called him church boy. Could this be a coincidence, his imagination?

Awesome Sentence Challenge

noun (or noun phrase) + verb (or verb phrase)

Write a page full of two word sentences. Try to convey as much information as possible with only two words by using specific nouns and strong, active verbs.

I really like this challenge. One of my goals for this draft is to use very specific nouns and verbs. I wrote a short story last year that was about an ornithologist and used specific names of birds, including the Latin names, to describe his world.

Since this novel takes place in Pierce County, WA, I want to use specific plant, flower and tree nouns that are in the area.  I also want to use specific anatomy nouns, specific tool and machinery nouns. A cat can be a Siamese or a Persian, a hat can be a beret to a fedora. So let’s see how I can use this to create interesting two word sentences that I can put in today’s scenes.

Shawna balked.
Oren spun.
Kirk paced.
Shawna bit.
Oren scratched.
Kirk lied.
Shawna stewed.
Oren left.
Kirk acquiesced.

Nature overcomes.
Ivy survives.
Nettles encroach.
Dandelions multiply.

Plums squished.
Pits stuck.
Robins feasted.
Crickets chirped.
Grasshoppers flit.

This is a great exercise. I could do this for hours. Short, precise sentences can help with pacing and emotion. The ones with my character’s names are the easiest to come up with, but I’m also enjoying the others. I think I’ll have some fun with my dictionary and other reference books.

Mapping the Hero’s Journey:

The refusal card: Wheel of Fortune
MC’s biggest fear about the Call to Adventure: Seven of coins
The responsibilities that can’t be abandoned. It is why he can’t refuse: Temperance

My interpretation: My MC’s refusal is rooted in his idea that his past was bad and by escaping it, he could change his fortunes. He fears that going back to where he grew up will turn all the good things he’s been able to build back to bad, that people may discover he’s a fraud and though he may be able to claw himself out again, just facing his past would be a big set-back. The reason he can’t refuse in the long run is because he knows he can’t avoid the truth anymore if he wants to find balance in his life he needs to recognize that what he sees as the opposing forces do not need to be at war with him. He will need to tread carefully.

Word Crawl

I found the Welcome to Nightvale crawl on the wrimo wiki. I remember enjoying it in the past. I thin I’ll do it today.

Preparing for editing along the way:

Inspired by Pat Verducci’s post Break Your Story- Index Card Style, I decided on how to color-code my scene cards. They are now color-coded by Story arc.

Blue: Main story line of my main character and his family present and past.

Red: My detective as she is working on the case.

Purple: Oren’s story

Yellow: My detective’s distractions in her personal life

Green: Other (& red herrings)- so far I used this for the opening scene because it establishes the setting, and the inciting incident, but the MC isn’t in the story yet.

Now that I’ve got my color-coding, I started my Story Grid using the same colors for the rows. I was very excited when I started doing this today. It feels good to be organized this year.

Master Class NaNoWriMo Group

Yesterday, after I finished my words, I thought I would head over to Master Class and watch some thriller writer videos while I worked on December’s planner pages. When I got there I was happily surprised to see that Danny Elfman has a Master Class. I was so excited that I started wandering around looking for the promo link to share it with everyone. While I was unsuccessfully doing that, I found that Master Class has created a NaNoWriMo Group. If you’re already enjoying classes on Master Class, you can cheer on other NaNo writers while you’re there. If you haven’t joined Master Class yet, I highly recommend it. It’s worth it for the Neil Gaiman class alone, but there are so many great classes to enjoy.

Happy Writing!

I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises. See you tomorrow.

#NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 4: Exploring the antagonist

What is that shiny liquid

This morning, because my story is about an abandoned property, I had some fun taking pictures of settings and things that make me say: What is that and what is that for? Like above: What is that pan for and what is that shiny liquid and what is that random hose for? If these objects were described in my story, how could they be used by my characters later on?

Changing things up

Yesterday, I enjoyed doing all the sentence exercises. I put them straight into my draft and figured I would write around them. That did not go exactly as I thought it would. It actually took extra time to reorganize things, extra time that took away from writing, so I’m going to approach this a little differently.

First, I’m reorganizing the prompts. I know me, I get started and then get side-tracked, so I’m going to start with the main prompts: Today’s simple task and the Warm-up Exercise.

I try to do Morning Pages (inspired by The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron)  in my journal every day, and I tend to come up with new ideas more readily when I’m writing by hand, so I’ll combine these prompts and my morning pages to use my time efficiently. Then, with my scenes for the day already started, I can move on to the sentence exercises and hopefully focus them toward today’s efforts instead of all over the story like I did yesterday.

Mapping the Hero’s Journey isn’t as interesting to me this year because I already have a pretty good outline, so I’ll move it down to the bottom of the list. I may still find unexpected ideas in the cards.

So here’s day 4, starting with another exploratory image:

What is that chicken soup can for

What is that can? Chicken soup? What is it doing there hanging out with a short piece of PVC and some great gnarly branches?

Day 4 2017 is the antagonist’s call to adventure. Set-up, catalyst, debate.

My antagonist’s call to adventure is the discovery, but also that his brother has come back to town.

I like the idea that my antagonist would keep a detailed journal and that his brother finds it.

#vss365: crop

He was startled by voices and gravel-kicking footsteps. He hid behind the shed. A new crop of the morbidly curious had arrived, phones out, talking, but not to each other.

Today’s Simple Task

Show antagonist’s goals, needs and desires.

I started listing my antagonist’s goals, needs and desires and ended up writing a very important scene that defines my antagonist’s behavior. This was a great exercise.

Warm-up Exercise

Set your timer to 20 minutes. Write a scene where your protagonist and antagonist share a meal. – from Anna C. (NaNoWriMo poster)

I’ve written this scene in all of my novels which makes sense because my protagonists and antagonists tend to be in the same family unit. Today’s meal is going to be different, however. I’m thinking fast food in a car.

Word of the day: After the accident, his temperament completely changed. He became bellicose, angry at the smallest perceived slights.

Action verbs:

What had he truly achieved by running away? He could have made commercials here. He might have even found real director’s work across the border. No he had achieved stability, sanity, the bit of normalcy he had always longed for.

Kirk hadn’t budgeted for an over-priced plane ticket and an extended stay, but he would have the pay for the last commercial when he got back, so a little debt wouldn’t hurt.

The last time Oren had contacted him, he had begged him to come home. He had said something about finally defeating the shadow man, so now he could come back. Kirk had blocked the number even though it was probably not Oren’s phone.

Oren had documented everything. Kirk could see that now, but it was some sort of visual, personal language he couldn’t decipher. He would need Oren for that.

He governed his temper, but Kirk could see anger boiling behind his eyes.

He listened. This time, he listened. But he didn’t hear anything new.

She processed his story like an inspector on a factory floor, diving in to pull out the flaws before they passed by on the conveyor belt.

He could see now that he had served a purpose in the family and when he left, he broke it. It couldn’t work anymore. Not even for one day.

Awesome sentence challenge: Sentences do four things

  1. Make a statement:declarative sentences
  2. Ask a question: interrogative sentences
  3. Make a command:imperative sentences
  4. Make an exclamation: exclamatory sentences!

Let’s explore this a bit. I’m going to start simply then try to expand on the idea. A basic statement: The water was shut off while they still lived there. His parents didn’t seem to care. They sent him to the lake to fill the tubs twice a day. First, simple.

  1. The water company shut off the water.
  2. Did the water company shut off the water?
  3. Pay your bill or we’ll shut off the water.
  4. Shut it off!

Now, instead of using the same sentence concept, let’s try them in a series to get the whole idea across.

  1. Oren was used to not having running water.
  2. How did he get water to drink and bathe?
  3. Stop prying into our business.
  4. Answer the question!

I’m finding the difference between the command and the exclamation a bit thin. So I went over to Grammar Revolution and did a refresher. So I think my exclamations were actually commands. The noun is the understood you. In the first set I could exclaim, “I want hot water!” and in the second example I could exclaim, “How rude!”

Let’s try one more in a series:

  1. His parents didn’t care that the water was shut off.
  2. Were they insane?
  3. Go fill up the tubs in the lake.
  4. I hate cold water in the morning!

Though I would need more declarative sentences to turn those into paragraphs, it is a good exercise in varying ways of getting an idea across. Using commands and exclamations is also a good way to show emotion instead of telling it.

Word Crawls

Today I thought I would do a Word Crawl. Sadly, when I clicked on my link to Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Crawl, it went to an error page. The new NaNoWriMo site did not preserve the old forum topics, and that particular one does not appear to have made it to the wiki either. That got me thinking about creating personal word crawls. I need crawls that get me moving during breaks and crawls that get me practicing and working on my sewing projects, so I may try my hand at creating a couple word crawls this month.

Until then, I chose a new one to try: The Hunt for your Muse

Mapping the Hero’s Journey:

Call to Adventure: Judgement

What is happening when the call comes or your MC’s goal before the Call to Adventure:  Nine of cups

Why your MC would consider the Call to Adventure: The Hierophant

My interpretation: This reading works for my antagonist’s call to adventure. He thought he had conquered his demons and moved on, but then the family secret is found and he believes he will face final judgement. He considers his call to adventure as a sacred quest to defeat an evil presence that has resurfaced. He may have a confused history with religious symbolism that could come up in his journals.

Preparing for editing along the way:

I mentioned filling out the scene cards as we go. Today, I thought about filling in the Story Grid (by Shawn Coyne) as we go as well. I already have a Story Grid spreadsheet. I can take a minute to fill in each scene I finish. How great will it be to have a finished spreadsheet to glance over at the end? I can make sure I hit the mandatory scenes for my genre as well.

Happy Writing!

I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises. See you tomorrow.

 

#NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 3: Playing with my prompts

mermaids

Day 3 2017 is the call to adventure. Set-up, catalyst, debate.

My main character has to decide if he’s going to run and hide, or head back to his childhood home.

#vss365: grate

Kirk saw something sparkle under the grate. He got down on his knees and pulled aside the rusted metal. He recognized the pendant. It had belonged to his high school girlfriend. He hadn’t heard from her since the night before he left. He had always believed she had moved on.

Mapping the Hero’s Journey:

Call to Adventure: Five of wands – a miscommunication or misunderstanding will pose obstacles.

What is happening when the call comes or your MC’s goal before the Call to Adventure:  Three of wands – moving forward, growth and expansion

Why your MC would consider the Call to Adventure: Two of coins – there will be challenges, but the best outcome is one that can be reached through careful planning.

Word of the day: The susurrus of the tall grass was like whispers from his past.

Action verbs:

She thought of the 558 other missing in this county alone. She hadn’t accounted for bodies hiding in plain sight in quiet neighborhoods just like this one. This changed everything.

He brought the picture. The only one he had of the four of them together.

She consulted her timeline. Something wasn’t adding up.

The sale was documented and legal, but the overgrowth and decay made it look like it had been abandoned long ago. Why had the original owners waited so long to sell?

She also couldn’t understand how the money-grubbers who governed this area would let the property taxes on such a large lot pass them by for so many years. How had they not looked into this place?

The dog wasn’t licensed. He wondered who it belonged to.

He printed his name carefully. It didn’t look right today.

He selected an overly-ripe banana, covered in dark spots. He didn’t know why. He didn’t like them mushy. It was like he was punishing himself.

Awesome sentence challenge: nominative absolutes

  1. He approached, his stride stilted, down the long hallway.
  2. She typed, her fingers pounding loudly on the keys, her notes into the form.
  3. The broken pane, jagged pieces held in the wood frames, glinted in the light.
  4. Pencil held hovering over the page, she said, “Your name?”
  5. The man, his fingers gnarled like winter branches, beckoned him to come closer.

Today’s Simple task.

I need to come up with “save the cat” moments for both my protagonist and antagonist, I think I’ll do this as a timed exercise in my journal before I tackle the 10 minute Warm-up about my MC’s last lie.

This was a good warm-up for today’s writing. I like the sentence challenges because I can write around each of these sentences and have a lot to write about today. Already almost 300 words for today!

I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises. Happy writing. See you tomorrow.

 

Planning for #NaNoWriMo? Here’s a FREE Daily Planner for November!

NaNoWriMo 2019

November is almost here and for a lot of the writing community that means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month. Since I’ve been trying to focus on revisions and actually finishing a novel, I told myself I wasn’t going to do it this year unless an exciting story that I couldn’t refuse fell in my lap. Well, the universe threw me a story idea and I’ve already come up with my characters, my setting and a story beat outline, so I guess I’m doing NaNoWriMo 2019. I’ll be working on another thriller, yet again inspired by real events.

The Planner Pages

I started the Planner Experiment at the beginning of this year to create the daily planner that will inspire writers to write, submit and get published. For me, this experiment has been about getting to know all the opportunities available to get my stories out into the world. After ten months of designing and making changes, the planner is really coming together and I think the pages I created for November can be of use for NaNo writers as well as people submitting short fiction.

The month-long daily planner includes:

  • A page for your weekly goals and an action plan
  • Daily writing prompts
  • Daily image prompts
  • An hourly plan for finding every minute of writing time
  • A literary journal of the day – many literary journals accept stand-alone novel excerpts. You can start a list of journals to look at when your novel is done.

Success with NaNoWriMo is all about finding time and staying inspired. The Writer’s Daily Planner isn’t just a calendar; it can help you with every aspect of daily time management and is full of original writing prompts in case you get stuck.

You can use it to:

  • create checklists for daily writing goals
  • keep track of your word count
  • remind yourself to do some journaling
  • keep track of your best story ideas for later
  • make sure to read each day
  • plan healthy, easy meals
  • make sure you exercise
  • evaluate what’s working and what isn’t
  • and more

So without further ado . . . Here it is!

Fourth Quarter 2019 Planner Pages November

I designed these pages in open office, a free use word processor, so everyone can use them for free. They are designed to be printed as a booklet, or typed in using open office, so you can manipulate the file to fit your personal needs.

All I ask is that you Follow Experience Writing (this site) and either let me know what you think in the comments, or send your thoughts and ideas about the planner to mariaberg@experiencewriting.com.

Thank you so much and enjoy.

Have a great NaNoWriMo! Let your story into the world.

#Writober Day 22: Broken Pieces

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is Broken pieces. The suggested form is Loop Poetry.

Some pieces were too small to find

Destroyed in an instant
instant change from whole  to schism
schism grew to a frightening ruin
ruin came with a clack, clatter, crash!

Shattered into tiny shards
shards hiding from the light
light glistens from sharp secrets
secrets stab surprise slivers

Fractured into tiny fragments
fragments scattered by force
force, so unexpected and unfair
unfair doesn’t matter once it’s done

Find a replacement in time
time for an intermission of sort
sort through the rubble for the salvage
salvage a frail fragment of hope

 

#Writober4

The image for Day 22 on the Pinterest board shows a series of evil thought.

My take: This image makes me think of reincarnation or the idea that evil passes from one person to another through the ages. It could be showing that power is in ideas that are passed from one person to another.

Micro-fiction: Madame Yazima could feel the power surging. After all of these years, she had mastered her connection to her muse and would finally see her destiny clearly. However, the pure knowledge came with a horrible understanding: power corrupts. She could see the many powerful her muse had corrupted before her. They had all met terrible ends. She knew there was no going back; her fate awaited.

Writing Process and Tools

Emotion: defeat

Creepy verbs: terrify, terrorize, haunt, follow, lurk

Story Cubes Symbols: fish, hand, tree, clock (10:30), alien, flash light, question mark, sheep, book

Woodland creature: mole – a company of moles, a labor of moles, a movement of moles

Collective noun: An ohm of electricians

Horror trope: mutants

Oblique Strategies: Once the search is in progress, something will be found

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 21: Screaming into the wind

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is Screaming into the wind.

A Voice in the Leaves

air
pushed
blown with
force and speed
I felt them even saw
them in the movement
of the trees’ branches and leaves
listen to them whisper and rustle
they scream their truths in the wind
holding my weight against the storm
debris tossed and twirling
susurrous echo fades
without the
w
i
n
d

 

#Writober4

The image for Day 21 on the Pinterest board shows a small boy with a stick. The boy appears to have abused a large stone monster with horns and command a group of others.

My take: Last year’s Halloween party theme was “strange brood.” There’s something about evil children in films and stories that is so creepy, and this guy looks like the leader of the pack. Did he turn the tables on the monster in his closet and under his bed? Or is he really a monster that has taken human form?

Micro-fiction: Gerald was darkly frustrated. What good was having the command of an army of monsters when they only wanted to scare for fun? He was going to have to trick them into doing his bidding. They would scare his sister to death, one of these days.

Writing Process and Tools

Emotion: Rage

Creepy verbs: offend, befoul, sicken, repulse, foment

Story Cubes Symbols: fish, hand, tree, clock (10:30), alien, flash light, question mark, sheep, book

Woodland creature:hawk – a cast of hawks, a kettle of hawks, a leash of hawks, a molting of hawks, a schizophrenia of hawks, a screw of hawks, a stream of hawks
Again, from all of the collective nouns, one would think hawks hung out in bunches at all times, but every time I see a hawk, he’s hanging out by himself, usually in a dead branch overlooking the freeway.

Collective noun: an ooze of amoebas (I just said, “Nice” out loud to no one).

Horror trope: mutants

Oblique Strategies: What are the sections sections of? Imagine a caterpillar moving

 

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 20: Mountains or Oceans

mountain panorama

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is Mountains or Oceans. This was the second prompt I wrote for OctPoWriMo and I chose Haibun for the form.

The call of the seagull

The gull, a dark speck on the white mountain backdrop, reminds me how close I am to the ocean by wing. If I could rise above, I could see it from here, the crashing waves filling the tide pools, rocking the sea stars and hermit crabs, mussels, and barnacles. But I am not a gull and it seams so far away and so long ago.

gasping with wonder
inside a rising falling
turning of the tides

 

sea star attack

#Writober4

The image for Day 20 on the Pinterest board shows a man with small octopi all over his face. He looks scared.

My take: To go with today’s theme, this guy could have just gotten out of the ocean, but I think it’s much more creepy if these little guys fell from the sky, or jumped him, or grew out of pustules on his skin, ew.

Micro-fiction: Perry had an annoying itch. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he had been itchy since the last time he went to the beach about a month ago. He couldn’t help but scratch at the bumps and now he had scabs all over his face, neck, and shoulders. He couldn’t go out. People thought he was on drugs or unclean. Then the first tentacle poked out of a scab on his face. He couldn’t believe it. He watched it wriggle further as if testing the air, or scouting for danger. Then all the scabs burst to life.

Writing Process and Tools

Emotion:  Happiness – this is an interesting contrast to the image. I wonder how this story could be about happiness

Creepy verbs: repulse, gross out, sicken, fill with loathing, turn one’s stomach

Story Cubes Symbols: world, light bulb, shooting star, die, cane, rook, arrow all directions, magnet, magic wand

Woodland creature: raccoon – a gaze of raccoons, a mask of raccoons, a nursery of raccoons

Collective nouns: a handful of palm readers

Horror trope: evil wizards

Oblique Strategies: Humanize something free of error

 

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 19: Purple

puple luxury

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is purple. The suggested form is Villanelle.

I spent the morning pulling out some purple and it turns out purple in my life is related to Mardi Gras and costuming. Purple is feathers and trims and fancy fabrics, costumes and parties, but purple is also mystery and the sky before a coming storm.

A Purple Party

A perceived glow in the dark nightpurple sparkle and feather hue corrected
purple mystery of effervescent veil
a mask of concern or sheer delight

Lights to flavor celebration’s site
traditions perverted through history prevail
posing as royalty at its height

Twirling skirts under bodice tight
satin bows crowd the long string tail
spirit a barely tethered kite

Luxurious shine of velvet rite
a horizon line about to fail
shiny sparkles confusing sight

Tickles of feathers not for flight
winds of change that burden sails
the evening turns inducing fright

The veil lifts with the coming light
A broken heel, torn stocking, faces pale
The night could have been good, it might
The memories dropped along homeward trail

Note: This is not a Villanelle. I think this poem will work nicely as a Villanell, as I think the first and third lines of the first stanza will work nicely to end the other stanzas, and I think I’ll play around with that version later.

purple sparkly but ominous

#Writober4

The image for Day 19 on the Pinterest board is a picture I took of a great Halloween display in New Orleans with digitally choreographed video and music.

My take: This is an obvious haunted house. The house is watching you, like the movie Monster House. But it could also be a take on the “keeping up with the Joneses” kind of story where halloween decoration one-up-manship gets totally out of hand.

Micro-fiction: Jerry had used his life savings to build on his Halloween display each year. Neighbors and tourists alike crowded the sidewalks to see it. He heard that some local leaders were concerned about public safety and traffic issues, so he made sure to donate to re-election bids and attend private dinners. When he heard a local church had made it their cause to protest his display, it hurt his feelings. At first, it bothered him when the people came carrying giant crosses and the preacher opened his over-sized bible and started ranting on in front of his front gate, but then he had an idea. He projected scenes from the Exorcist onto his windows and choreographed his skeletons on his porch to mouth the lines. Everyone thought the preacher was a great addition to the display. Very spooky indeed.

Writing Process and Tools

Celtic Cross Plots: Would yesterday’s plot work for today’s story? Let’s see.
1. Three of coins: Our character is admiring his great creation – perfect! Our character has created an amazing Halloween display.
2. The Hierophant: This gave me the idea that our character comes into conflict with a religious leader.
3. The Knight of coins: He used all his money for the display
4. The Emperor: I could bring in that his father had been his muse. His father had always loved decorating for Halloween. Perhaps he died setting up their family display and that’s what got our character so focused on creating the best Halloween display.
5. The fool: He never keeps building his display bigger and better for the sheer joy of it even though there may be danger.
6. Knight of swords: He has to ride into battle with the religious leader.
7. Four of swords: I’m coming at the story in a moment of rest after being off in battle (the Writer’s Games are over and it’s not yet time for NaNoWriMo, time to just have some fun 😉 ).
8. Ten of swords: People see our character as defeated. He changes his display.
9. King of coins: The religious leader may think he’s fighting for something spiritual, but our character reclaims his earthly realm.
10. The Empress: He wins out by creating a new display that makes the protesters look like they are part of the act.

Looking at yesterday’s read in terms of today’s story provided some useful ideas. I like the conflict with religious protesters. For my longer story, I can add the backstory with the father and the moment when he thinks all is lost before he has the Exorcist idea.

Emotion: love

Creepy verbs: sink, plunge, submerge, dive, wreck, drown

Story Cubes Symbols: building, hand print, clock, alligator, key, padlock, alien, postcard, fish

Woodland creature: elk – a herd of elk, a gang of elk (that puts a funny image in my head – West Side Story with elk, Hell’s Angels of elk)

Collective nouns: a kindle of leverets (baby hares in their first year of life), a babble of linguists

Horror trope: reincarnation

Oblique Strategies: Intentions -nobility of -humility of -credibility of

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 18: The first time you were disappointed

Eyes for Lies

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is The first time you were disappointed.

Life’s disappointments come early

I got too big
too big for the carrier on a hike
too big for the seat on the back of her bike
too big to be carried asleep from the car
too big to play airplane or horsey
or hold hands and swing really far
too big to play tent under sheets on the bed
too big for stories and a kiss on the head
too big to crawl in with them in the night
too big to believe that they were always right
too big to sit in the cart at the store
too big to even hold hands anymore
I got too big

#Writober4

The image for Day 18 on the Pinterest board shows a tall, slim humanoid form leading a small boy into the forest. The boy appears to have a small shovel in his hand, leaving a trail of dirt and leaves behind him.

My take: I zoomed in on the picture this morning and though I like my first impression that the child held a trowel, I now think it’s supposed to be a knife. What I thought was a trail of dirt, I now think was supposed to be blood. This image is much darker than I originally thought. It works for a creepy story either way.

Micro-fiction: The tall man always came when Tommy’s mommy was “sleeping.” Now he could play with the tall man in the special place and never get in trouble again.

Writing Process and Tools

Emotion: Jealousy

Creepy verbs: bind, ensnare, capture, hide, obscure

Story Cubes Symbols: padlock, monster shadow, fountain, parachuting, building, crescent moon, light bulb, balance scales, eye

Woodland creature: bear – a maul of bears, a pack of bears, a sleuth of bears, a sloth of bears. From all of those different collective nouns for bears, you would think there were roaming packs of bears. The only bears I’ve seen in the wild have been alone, or a mother and cubs. One of my neighbors got a picture of a lone black bear in their yard last night.

Collective nouns: a colony of herons, a flight of herons, a hedge of herons, a rookery of herons, a sedge of herons, a siege of herons, a station of herons – like with the bears, A Compendium of Collective Nouns: From an Armory of Aardvarks to a Zeal of Zebras would give the impression that herons hang out in groups, but I see a heron all the time and it doesn’t appear to have any friends. 😉

Horror trope: a dark and stormy night

Oblique Strategies: Don’t break the silence

Celtic Cross Plots:

  1. Three of coins 2. The Hierophant 3. Knight of coins 4. The Emperor 5. The fool 6. Knight of swords 7. Four of swords 8. Ten of swords 9. King of coins 10. The Empress

This plot worked for my story. It helped me flesh out some of my ideas about the image. I could see how the boy’s father and mother fit into the story and how the shadowy, tall figure influenced the boy.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 17: Family

bokeh photography experiment with a wide angle attachment on a zoom lens

Galactic Unions photo by Maria L. Berg

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is Family and the suggested form is Kyrielle.

Unbreakable Bond

Whether of birth or of choosing
Family supports and they care
Bonds there is no risk of losing
When nothing is left, they are there

There may be strain and confusion
Misunderstandings and anger
Patience will bring a reunion
When nothing is left, they are there

When times are hard, their arms are strong
When dreams achieved, they celebrate
They hold a light when nights are long
When nothing is left, they are there

 

I did some exploring online yesterday and came across this great post: Invented Poetry Forms-The ‘Lewis Carroll’ Square Poem. If you’re looking to try a new form and you like a challenge. I recommend giving it a look.

I also found some great beautiful poems to read by Paul Vincent Cannon over at parrallax.

And don’t forget the great prompts and community of poets at dVerse Poets Pub.

#Writober4

The image for Day 17 on the Pinterest board shows a comic page for Vampira. I looked on Amazon and didn’t find any Vampira comics, but I did find Vampira and Me which looks like a fabulous documentary. Vampira and Me

My take: My favorite type of horror is the horror/comedy. This image makes me think of the schlock side of horror. What kind of character could we write that might be in love with Vampira? S/he may see her as the ideal woman, even want to be her. This electric chair also makes me think of the Addams Family Values movie (to tie this to the theme of family).

Micro-fiction: How could the electricity be on? Fiona and her brother had played in this abandoned building for years. Today, she finally coaxed her bother into the chair with the creepy arm clamps and rusting helmet. There couldn’t be any electricity to that chair, but somehow, there was.

Writing Process and Tools

Over at Go Dog Go Café I found some daily writing prompts for the Halloween season inspired by Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Andersen. When you need another prompt to get those brain juices sloshing, head over to Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt.

It’s also a great way to find another book for Readers Imbibing Peril!
st.-lucys-home-for-girlsOne of the prompts is St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves  by Karen Russell. I love this cover. I’ve heard it’s good. I have Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories. Maybe I’ll reread some of those stories, at my peril.

If you’re looking for a quick warm up, there are prompts for 5 lines or less poems and stories at Patricia’s Place.

emotion: disbelief

Creepy verbs: attach, bind, affix, link, adhere

Story Cubes Symbols: hand, building, key, keyhole, light bulb, bee, balance scales, eye, magnet

Woodland creature: slug – a cornucopia of slugs

Collective noun: a pandemonium of parrots

Horror trope: genetic experiments

Oblique Strategies: Towards the insignificant

 

Happy Reading and Writing!