Prompt #2

This week’s prompt words were: Juggle, fabulous, miniature, wind, tree, hole.

To be honest with you, I’ve been a little busy. I have a new computer and all the joys that come with it, including remembering how to sign into things. There was also the clearing off the desk thing that needed a whole lot more of my attention than I think it deserved. An embarrassing amount, if you must know.

So, I didn’t do any fun writing. I didn’t do much of any writing, which makes me cranky.

That means, I’m going to wing this week’s prompt and see what I can come up with in short order. This was to create a scene with no characters and dialog in it (which means juggle is gonna be a bit of a trick, isn’t it?)

At the edge of the forest, just before you reach the meadow, the trees begin to thin and sunlight reaches the path. Overhead, the wind juggles the leaves, creating a fabulous show of light and shadow. One last tree to pass before you step into the tall grass of the meadow. A small hole at the base forms a miniature door for some tiny creature that stands sentry at the edge of the woods, the termination line of grass and forest.

Ok, that’s it for me. Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you again on Sunday with another prompt. Remember to leave your writing in the comments, or a link to your blog there and we can all come visit.

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Sometimes They Come

Sometimes ideas just kind of come to you. They’re not necessarily ideas for writing, but they are ideas to be pondered, mulled over, tasted and tested.

The other day, I was thinking about my business. It’s a small shop in a tourist town, and due to the pandemic, we, like most of the establishments in our town, are closed. It’s hitting all of us really hard and what makes it even worse for us right now is we JUST moved to a new location and signed a one-year lease. If we hadn’t moved, we could have just had a big sale, closed our doors and walked away.

But the lease means we’re kind of forced to make decisions. I’m not really good at that. I tend to make snap decisions, push forward on them until they pop into place, then discover they probably weren’t the best things I could have chosen. Although, to be fair to myself, we had to move. The ceiling in the old place was leaking and the landlord was refusing to repair it permanently. Mold was a problem (no surprise there) and there was no heat, so winters were ugly at the shop. Summers weren’t much better, with no ventilation to move stale air.

So we moved. We pushed forward and moved. Kind of the way we pushed forward and purchased the shop in the first place. If we’d known that my parents would become unable to care for themselves and need 24 hour care, I would have not purchased the shop, but sold my home and moved in with them.

There were other incidents that sparked this theme of missed opportunities, missed chances, missed turns, whatever. And as my thoughts kept spinning around the drain of my brain well, a character came into play. The Goddess of Near Misses, Missed Opportunities, etc. She stood there, looking calm but tired. Her clothes were plain, spots of dirt here and there, some ripped places and a smudge of something on the back of one hand. Her shoes were worn down and there was an air of, “oh well” about her.

It made me kind of sad. No one is going to honor the Goddess of Missed Chances, in fact, she’s a deity that most would prefer to avoid.

“What do they call you?” I asked.

“I have many nicknames,” she said, “but the most frequent one used is Karma.”

“Oh. What name do you prefer?”

“How about, Teacher.”

I looked at her again. Her clothes were worn, but comfortable and serviceable. They were stained with the things she had been doing to keep going, despite missing a chance. Her shoes carried her to places she hadn’t intended on going, but she was making the best of wherever she went.

“When you move too fast and don’t think things through, you start to think you’ve missed your chance. But maybe you haven’t. Maybe your life wasn’t supposed to be the way you always envisioned. Maybe you are where you need to be, if not for you, then for someone else. I can teach you to accept and work with where you are. It’s not where you planned to be, but you’re not alone, you have tools available to make this place better.

“Or, you can fuss, fume, and regret, deeply regret your choices. That’s when the tools rust, the chances fade, and the cage door closes.

“But remember, there is no lock on that door. Once you learn some lessons, you can be free to make better decisions, and if you learned from your past errors, then your decisions will be more beneficial.”

So, that’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve made a place for myself, wallowed in a cage built of self-pity and regret, until the Goddess of Miss Chances came along and handed me the key. I have some time now to focus more on my writing, to become serious about it and stop thinking, “As soon as this is over, I’ll REALLY get serious about finishing my series.”

It is time to get serious and use this opportunity to examine the possibilities at hand, those tools the Teacher carries, so I can use them to make something better.

 

I haven’t forgotten about the word prompts, so here we go. Let’s create a setting, a scene not yet populated with characters, but let’s set one up because they’re about to enter.

Here are six words. Let’s use at least four of them in the scene: Juggle, fabulous, miniature, wind, tree, hole.

See you Wednesday with your scene. Feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don’t have one, just leave your scene there instead. I look forward to reading them.
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Not a Writing Kind of Day

I had grand plans for today. There was going to be writing on a large scale. Wait, no, let me rephrase that. There was going to be a lot of writing done today.

That didn’t happen. At least not quite the way I’d hoped or planned. Instead I mowed the lawn, a tedious task that I loathe due to the electric lawnmower cord dance, and the severely sloped side of the yard. The angle is steep and the drop is about six feet. Mowing that takes sheer determination. Stubbornness, is more like it. I refused to be beaten by gravity.

But, like most tasks of that nature, I spent the time pondering my plot problems. Book three of the series is not starting out nearly as well as I’d hoped, mainly because things changed in the second book and now I’ve got people wandering around looking for stuff to do, a scene involving a ballroom dance, and an antagonist that needs to be rescued (and brought to justice).

When aren’t writers writing? If we’re not actively sitting down with pen and paper, or fingers on keyboards, we’re probably mulling over some plot device or character development. We just don’t not write, and that sounded a lot better in my head.

Writers always have something going on in their brains. There’s this section, sometimes large, sometimes small, that is always active, always planning, plotting, planting ideas. They’re not always good ideas, but they happen and if we can’t use the whole idea, then we’ll use that one snippet that amused the hell out of us for a few minutes and build a scene around that.

It’s what we do. That’s why if you visit a writer, you’ll find pens everywhere; bits of paper with cryptic scribblings on them; notebooks that may or may not have anything written in them (but if you touch it, you will burn); and an occasional blank stare on the writer’s face (that’s when you KNOW we’re writing, even when our hands are still).

And sometimes, perhaps rarely on occasion, our minds will be still and that can worry us. We get worked up that we’re “blocked” or our muse has left the building and didn’t leave a forwarding address or contact information. Don’t panic. Let it rest. Give that part of your brain a chance to nap, observe, collect data, because eventually you’ll be able to open that box and find all kinds of bits and bobs that will tie a scene together and you’ll be back at the keyboard, that look in your eye and the rapid tapping of keys filling the air.

Let’s do this!

Remember, there will be a new prompt on Sunday.

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Writing Prompt #1

The words for this week’s writing prompt are: Conscientious, eccentric, and dependable. Create a character with these traits, but don’t use the words in the scene (it’s a show-don’t-tell kind of thing).

Maeve stood at the door, peering through the tiny window, measuring the weather against the weight of her coats. The sun was nearly to the top of Grandmother tree and the birds were waiting for their morning treat. They knew, without fail, she would be there with bits of bread, crushed corn, and plenty of seeds.

“Looks like we’re in for some nice weather,” she told Mrs. Whiskers, who meowed her reply. Maeve nodded agreement to the old cat’s comment as she tucked the sleeves of her lightest weight coat into the pockets before swinging it across her shoulders. She never used the sleeves, preferring to wear it like a cape, as royalty would do. “All the royals wear a cape, Mrs. Whiskers,” she would say each morning. With a flourish only slightly appreciated by Mrs. Whiskers, she donned her hat and secured it with a perfect knot.

Gathering her herb basket, and the jar of bird seed, she flung open the door and greeted the day. “Good morning, my darlings!” she called to the birds. “I’m ready to hear all the juicy gossip of the neighbors!”

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