#NaPoWriMo Day 7: I read the news today, Oh Boy.

Collage illustration of poem

The Moon is Mine (2020) collage by Maria L. Berg

Blogging A to Z

I am not doing a great job of bringing my musical terms into my poetry, but they are still fun words to explore. Maybe I’ll use them to write little micro-fictions instead. That could be fun.

I recently read that April is also International Guitar Month, started in 1987 to promote retail guitar sales. Though I am not in the market for a guitar, I did find this fun playlist from NPR Celebrate International Guitar Month With These Guitar Greats.

This got me thinking about MoPop (It used to be the Experience Music Project) in Seattle. I headed to there website, but they don’t have virtual tours, so then I looked around for who did have virtual tours and found some fun ones:

Joe Bonamassa’s Vintage Guitar Studio Tour (this one made me say Whoa)

The National Music Museum

The National Blues Museum (this is the kind of virtual tour I had hoped to find at MoPop)

The David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) Guitar Collection

Musical Instrument Museum (this one is a little tricky to navigate, but worth the effort)

And there are more. I found an intriguing international collection at musicandenglish-interactivelearning.

I may end up spending quarantine in the Liszt Academy. Yep. This is now my mind palace. It’s amazing.

I cannot figure out how a single person can be bored. There is so much to explore. My time is flying by. I could spend an entire day in only one of these museums. Except now I’m never leaving Liszt Academy, so that could be a problem. 😉

Today’s musical terms:

fermata – a musical symbol that indicates to hold/pause on a note, played as long as the performer/director wishes

forte – loud

Fine – end of the song, stop here


Prompt: a poem based on a news article

I cannot believe that during this unprecedented time of pandemic, when people are suffering and dying, losing loved ones and family members; medical professionals are desperate for supplies and people are bartering with toilet paper; the president of the United States thought it would be appropriate to sign an Executive Order on Space Resources. That’s right, he wants to profit from space mining. That is what he’s thinking about.

Quote from the “fact sheet” :

“Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view space as a global commons.”

So he makes a Space Force then creates a reason for there to be wars for it to fight? What a horror show. Does he think The Emperor from Star Wars was the good guy? Or does he just like his looks?

I also happened upon an article showing that we can’t even manage the National Laboratory at the International Space Center: Report criticizes management of ISS National Laboratory. I’m sure we’ll get it all sorted out before the death star is fully functional.

PAD Challenge

Prompt: pick a piece of clothing, use it as your title

The poem

The Business Casual Space Suit

The man is on a mission
Talk about an ill-fitting suit
He has a moon to conquer
and another planet to loot

The man needs a taller tower
and his snake oils are now lunar
His wreckage is universal
powders promise to get you there sooner

The man without compassion
inspires every greedy crook
but they don’t break any laws
because in space he re-wrote the book

The man is on a mission
His suit feels bulky, flattens his hair
He can’t wait to bounce on the surface
and remove his helmet when he gets there.


Power through Act 2: Tricks and Tips for finishing your story.

Today we have a special treat, a guest post from award winning script writer and founder of WeFixYourScript.com, Geoffrey Calhoun. His advice applies to all writers milling about in the middle of their stories.


Finishing Your Script by Defeating Act Two

We’ve all been there. Stuck. Not sure where to go. Our lead characters milling about as they are lost in act two. Suffering in their own purgatory, begging us to usher them to act three. Do we cheat and jump a few sharks or dig some plot holes to get them there? NO! We will not allow that. We know better (cue rousing war speech soundtrack). We shall not stoop to that level. We shall not let our script be damned by desperation and deadlines. We shall not save the cat…because WE ARE SPARTA! (sorry, got a little excited) WE ARE SCREENWRITERS!!!

Then what do we do? Give up? Hell no! We get creative, and use a few tricks. Let’s get started. Everyone gets stuck. It’s normal. If you are a writer and don’t get stuck during your work then I’m going to pray for you. Because one, you’re not human (possibly a robot overlord) and two, your work is probably overly outlined which can result in a work that lacks a special spark.

Getting stuck is the worst, most annoying, terrible, frustrating, anxiety inducing, best, amazing, and euphoric thing that can happen to a writer. Many writers do extensive outlines to avoid getting stuck. This does work, but can end up giving you a story that is stale and lacks a certain creativity to it. We are not those people. We write from the heart. We pour ourselves onto the page. I’m a firm believer in writing a mini-outline, which is no more than 15 lines and minimally filled out. Then I begin my script and practically throw the outline away (I ignore it). I have a general idea of where I want to go and I let myself get there by allowing my inner creative spark to flourish. Inevitably it creates something amazing and beautiful. But eventually you can get stuck. Which happens around act two. That’s where everyone gets stuck btw. Writing through act two and not giving up is what separates a Youngling from a Jedi (I went there).

Mind Map

So, we’re stuck in act two. No biggie. Time for some free-form thought. I mind map. It’s fun. You put an idea (plot) into a bubble then branch out from those ideas which in turn have branches from those ideas and soon you’ve filled a page in twenty minutes with some pretty killer stuff. See the great thing about this is that my mini-outline gives me a general idea of where I need to go. Having that thought in my head while I mind map gives me direction. This approach forces you to creatively go to different places than you expected it. Which brings out that inner spark and makes your script more original and less predictable. So basically better.


Now that we’ve learned a nice trick on how to get out of a creative slump, let’s discuss a mysterious and ancient technique that we are already using. Many writers don’t realize what this technique is really used for. Are you ready…wait for it…SUBPLOTS. Yep. The big mystery is solved. You’re already using these. I’m not just talking about your B-plot which has tragically been downgraded to love stories (it’s actually the heartbeat of your script) but actual subplots. These are the added meat that get you through act two. Which is why they come in late act one and are resolved in early act three. Use your subplots with your supporting character. It does double duty this way. The supporting character gets developed more and we beef up our act two. You can even use a subplot that focuses on your antagonist as well. Oh man! Now we’ve got our main plot/the B-plot/a subplot with our supporting character/ and another subplot with our antagonist. 4 plots! Holy crap! We are going to be chewing through the pages of act two!

Now do your mini-outline, bust out some mind maps, throw in some killer subplots, and get out there.

Act two is the death star (oh no he’s going full star wars mode) you are Luke as he barrels down that narrow trench, your nav computer is your outline that you have to let go of, your mind map is the force…fire away. BOOM!

Great shot kid, now don’t get cocky

-Geoffrey D. Calhoun

Geoffrey is listed as a top 100 indie-writer Geoffrey Calhounin the world. He is a multi award winning and produced writer that is the founder or wefixyourscript.com.

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