Challenges

Today I am combining two blogging challenges into one post. Not only is the A to Z Blogging Challenge just getting started, but I also have the Insecure Writers Support Group that I do on the first Wednesday of the month. Today is A to Z’s letter ‘C’ and ISWG’s monthly post.

As writers we are hit with challenges every time we sit down to write. For me, the challenge comes with writing a multi-scene short story. I tend to get stuck at nearly every new scene which means my writing will slow to a crawl.

When writing a novel it can take me several months to get from one scene to the next. When I write a short story, the problem is the same if I want more than one thing to happen. Unfortunately, my story could take months to write which leads to losing the momentum to writing it.

Did you read yesterday’s story, Beatrix Button’s Clock? I was quite pleased that it only took a couple of hours to write. There is essentially only one scene so I could get it out quickly. I did attempt to add a couple of scenes and every time I did I was bogged down.

If I could use a wish to get through more scenes I would wish for my mind to open up. I would love to have words pour out of my imagination and land on the page and the scenes to grow effortlessly. (For those of you who are writers, there’s no need to comment about how NO scene flows effortlessly. I get it. I know it. But I can dream, right?)

Challenges to write plague all writers whether it is a short story, a novel, poetry, or a letter to Beatrix Button. To rephrase a popular quote by Joshua J. Marine, “Challenges are what makes writing interesting and overcoming them are what makes the story meaningful”.


This post inspired by:

Insecure Writer's Support Group logo

The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG areJ.H. Moncrieff,Natalie Aguirre,Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

~~~~ AND ~~~~

Beatrix Button’s Clock

Over the open window the lace drapes fluttered in the breeze like lazy waves caressing a sandy shore. Shadows waltzed across the oak floor boards finding their way up the side of a bed cradling a skeletal figure. Beatrix Button slept for days rarely stirred from her slumber while she kept company with her dreams.

On the wall, across from her bed, is a clock given to her as a wedding gift. Bea, as Beatrix was called by her friends, knew from the first moment she unwrapped the clock that it was special. Although her marriage lasted less than a few hours, the clock stayed with her all of her days.

The rich tick-tocks were healing after Frank died. He did everything he could to please Bea and when she needed her wrap from the car he was only too happy to fetch it for her. He made the mistake of only looking right and not left when he jaywalked across the road in front of the church. Their ten day cruise turned into ten hours praying for a miracle that never came.

Frank’s funeral came and went, and the days turned to months and months to years during which Beatrix spent listening to the gentle tick-tock, tick-tock. Although people found pendulum clocks a bother to wind and keep tuned, she found this one soothing. She guessed it might have been made sometime in the 19th century, but never bothered to find out just as she never discovered who gave her the clock.

Life for Bea was a series of joys wrapped in tragedy. She weathered each storm with the clock as her constant companion. It never wavered in keeping her on schedule to arrive at every celebration of life precisely on time. She said goodbye to her family one at a time as they each moved on to the next plan of existence. Until it was just her left to putter in her garden or dust the empty rooms that surrounded her.

Beatrix Button did not stir when her visitor came gliding across the floor as if riding on the shadows themselves. Impossibly tall with less substance than Beatrix herself, the figure leaned over her and whispered something only Beatrix could hear. Her eyes opened a tiny slit recognizing the stranger from her dreams. Like a ghost she raised her hand and touched the edge of the stranger’s cloak.

The visitor paused for a long heartbeat then stood and drifted toward the door. The clock seemed to wait by the door and it was lifted from its place on the wall the clock fell silent. Beatrix Button’s smile slipped from her lips as she sighed her last breath.


This post inspired by:

Want to learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Here are the links: Twitter, Facebook, and A to Z website.

About Short Stories

If you browse around the internet today you will find a plethora of information about short stories. As a matter of fact, if you do a simple Google search, “About Short Stories”, you will end up with about 2,050,000,000 results. Yikes! Reading all that will keep you busy for several lifetimes.

To help you with your research on the subject of short stories, I have listed a number of resources to help you learn whatever you want to learn about short stories. Of course, this is a VERY short list compared to the above search results, but these are some that have a nice bit of information.

So there you have it. Remember, there are about 2,049,999,992 more results you can browse through.


This post inspired by:

A to Z Blogging Challenge 2019

And the Letter – A –

A to Z Blogging Challenge
A to Z Blogging Challenge 2019

Short Stories

A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

During the month of April I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I joined in on the fun last year and wrote all about the Isle of Man and The Manx. Today, I am revealing my theme for the month. But first, a little about what this is.

The premise is to start blogging beginning April First with a blog topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until the finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z. We skip every Sunday so we can all take a quick break and get ready for the next week.

My theme for this year will be little different from last year. I will take you A to Z with short stories. Recently, I became interested in writing short stories and have done a lot of research into the methods of writing them along with entering contests and making submissions. There is more to a short story than a quick read. My posts will cover everything from A, “All about a Short Story”, to Z, “Zebras Tell No Lies”, a short, short story.

During April you can expect to find a mix of stories along with posts on the research I have done. Readers will find the stories themselves to be the best part, so I will focus on those more than anything else.

Hang on to your virtual seats! It’s going to be a busy month.

———-

If you are a blogger, and are interested in joining us, just click on the link below for more information.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

My Favorite POV

I was asked whose point of view do I like to write from; the hero or the villain? I’ve never really considered writing from the villain’s point of view. I am just naturally drawn to the hero more.

WHY?

It is all very selfish. I want to be the hero of my stories so I can live vicariously through the protagonist. What can I say? I’m not 25 years old anymore and the only way I can do all those “kid things” is to do them through words on a page.

I can explore all those “hero things” too by asking questions like, “What goes on in the mind of someone trying to save the world and themselves at the same time?” or, “What happens when a person (the hero) reaches their breaking point?”

Now that I’ve been asked this question I have to attempt something from the villain’s point of view. What would you explore if you could be in the villain’s mind?


This post was inspired by:

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue,Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

It’s a blog hop!!

Click here to join the blog hop

A to Z Blog Challenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Coming in April!! 

During the month of April I will be joining A to Z April Blog Challenge by publishing daily blog posts (except Sunday) through the month of April. Each post will cover everything A to Z about writing short stories, and some posts will be actual short stories. Keep an eye out for those! 

What is A to Z?

Are you a blogger and want to join in on the fun? Here’s how it works. Using the A to Z premise, you would start, beginning April first, with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

Click on the A to Z logo above and join me! I’m excited to be participating again this year.

Loving Photography

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do I have?

When I was in high school I was going to be the next Van Gogh (without the crazy factor). I dreamed of having a huge studio with massive canvases piled along every wall. In college it was the dream of photography. For twelve years I photographed everything from sunrises to newborns. Those were the days.

Today, so many years later, I am a writer, but I still love to photograph the world around me. Mother nature is the most wondrous place to be and my camera and I enjoy working together.

For today’s post, I am sharing just a few of my photos taken around Colorado.

Loveland Ski Area, Colorado
Loveland Ski Area, Colorado
Kayaks, Selida, Colorado
Kayaks, Selida, Colorado
Ferns, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Fall Leaves, Buena Vista, Colorado
Fall Leaves, Buena Vista, Colorado


Insecure Writer's Support Group logo

Today’s post is inspired by Insecure Writers Support Group.
Every month, they announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant,Natalie Aguirre,CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

Powered by Linky Tools

It’s a blog hop! Click around and see who else is playing today.

Plot Generator

This morning, I sat staring at my computer looking for inspiration. I noticed a bookmark that I saved ages ago. I left it in the nav bar so I could go back and check it out later. Instead, I proceeded to forget about it. Until now.

The book mark is to a plot generating website. It is similar to the game, Mad Libs.  With Plot Generator, you put in a bunch of words and it will write a full short story for you. With my need to have some inspiration I plugged in a bunch of words, moods, places, and descriptions then I indicated I wanted a short story. It took a matter of about 5 seconds and VIOLA I had a short story.

Now, mind you, I had no idea what to expect. The words I gave were pretty arbitrary and some did not match up to what they asked for. It was a hodge-podge of gobbely-gook. As a result…this short story is too, but it’s also really funny. It is worth noting that I did not edit, change, reword, or touch this in any way. This is raw and right off the press. So, without further delay, here is an amazing short story.

Two Steady Uncles Swimming to the Beat

A Short Story
by KJ Scrim (written by Plot generator)

Kaitlin Manning looked at the heavy cup in her hands and felt depressed.

She walked over to the window and reflected on her homey surroundings. She had always loved small Parker with its quirky, quarrelsome quaint. It was a place that encouraged her tendency to feel depressed.

Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Sam Goodman. Sam was a smart giant with rugged eyes and robust feet.

Kaitlin gulped. She glanced at her own reflection. She was a nasty, moody, cocoa drinker with skinny eyes and large feet. Her friends saw her as a barbecued, bitter bread. Once, she had even helped a shiny puppy cross the road.

But not even a nasty person who had once helped a shiny puppy cross the road, was prepared for what Sam had in store today.

The snow teased like playing dog, making Kaitlin happy.

As Kaitlin stepped outside and Sam came closer, she could see the bitter smile on his face.

Sam gazed with the affection of 9,468 funny flaky fish. He said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want equality.”

Kaitlin looked back, even more happy and still fingering the heavy cup. “Sam, Is that real leather,” she replied.

They looked at each other with satisfied feelings, like two clumsy, calm cats drinking at a very loyal party, which had rock music playing in the background and two steady uncles swimming to the beat.

Kaitlin regarded Sam’s rugged eyes and robust feet. “I feel the same way!” revealed Kaitlin with a delighted grin.

Sam looked curious, his emotions blushing like a fluffy, fluttering fork.

Then Sam came inside for a nice mug of cocoa.

THE END

Praise for Two Steady Uncles Swimming to the Beat

“I feel like I know Kaitlin Manning. In a way, it feels as though I’ve always known her.”- The Daily Tale

“About as enjoyable as being hailed on whilst taking in washing that has been targeted by seagulls with the squits.”
– Enid Kibbler

“Saying the snaw teased like playing dog is just the kind of literary device that makes this brilliant.”
– Hit the Spoof

“I could do better.”
– Zob Gloop

Questions About Writing

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Are your ready?

Now there’s a question I always have to scratch my head over, and return that question with another. How exactly does one get ready?  Do you make lists? Throw things away? Clean the house? Wash the roof? I just don’t get it.

As a writer, I get some questions that also make me pull on my beard – well, I would pull on my beard if I had one. Here are a few of the top questions I sometimes don’t have a clear answer for.

“How’s the writing coming?”

Most people, who are not writers, may not understand why this is an odd question for a writer. You will, most likely, get the same answer from everyone. “It’s good.” Then the writer will stare blankly at you figuring out how to use you in their book. You could become a wizard or a side-kick, or (more likely) you’ll be killed in some horrific way.

“What are you working on? Can I read it?”

Well, sure. You can read it in about a year. After I have ripped my beard out. (In reality I don’t have a beard so you’ll be waiting a long time to be able to read a work in progress.)

Who is in your book?

This is another quirky question that I have gotten a few times that could be taken in a couple of ways. They could be asking whether they are in my book and will I kill them off for asking such a quirky question? Or, they are just curious about the characters I’m creating. I usually answer for the latter, but the former does cross my imagination.

Where can I buy your books?

This is one of the hardest questions for me. I, as of this writing, do not have anything in print right now. I wish I could say, “Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Bub, or anywhere books are sold.” Unfortunately, I can’t say that yet.

What I can say is that I am excited about what I have in the works. You have all already heard me talk about The Manx, and I promise to have it done this year. It is near completion and then it needs editing and revising. I also have a fun new project that has me giggling all the way through it. I won’t be saying more at this point, but I hope you will laugh as well.

Seriously

With all joking aside, I actually love to talk about writing and the joy I get from it. I really do want to be asked “How’s the writing?” “What are you working on?” These questions, and more, keep me honest to my craft and to my audience. They remind me that I am a writer.

Thanks for stopping by today…

Keep those questions coming!! Add you own to the comments below.


Today’s post was inspired by:

The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is a blog hop!!!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What’s on Your Desk?

Every month I join with a group of writers to answer a question. These monthly writing questions are a fun way for me to let you into my writing life taking a look at the frustrations, successes, and, sometimes, the everyday.

Today’s question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is: What are five objects we’d find on your writing desk?

My desk

Sitting at my desk there is a general clutter of a lot of stuff, most of which is paper. Paper is the bane of my life. Worse yet, it’s self-inflicted. I am old school from the days when everything was done on paper. Computers and smart phones were straight out of black and white sci-fi movies, and calculators were owned by the rich. Today, in our paperless society, I still think it’s important to get a paper receipt, solve simple math problems with pencil and paper, and scratch notes on a pad. The process of writing things out helps my creative process and keeps my brain from turning to mush.

What else do I have on my desk? There are usually one or two coffee cups, sometimes three. One cup I am actively drinking from, the second is the cold cup of coffee forgotten from the day before and the third is if I throw in a cup of tea during a late-night writing session.

Reference books are within reach. Which include Roget’s Thesaurus (4th Edition), a very old dictionary, 20,000 Words (yes, that’s a real book that is a simple listing of 20,000 words in alphabetical order), The Phrase Finder, and The Emotional Thesaurus. I have been asked why I don’t just use the reference materials found on the internet? It is, again, that creative process. I find that by using my hands to turn pages, the feel of the paper, and the search in a book is more stimulating than staring at the computer screen. It creates an ebb and flow in my mind that sometimes picks up an idea that would otherwise never find its way to the surface.

Of course, I have a computer on my desk (go figure!). This is my central station for writing. With all of my tools in the physical world, the final steps in creative writing happen on the computer. Inside this electronic notebook sized piece of technology is the entire world. Not only do I keep all my writing here (I do keep backups too), but my business, bills, and grocery lists exist here. I have had computers crash and for a horrifying moment I think I’ve lost everything, but guess what? Yep, you guessed it- I have a paper copy of everything I’m writing.

Hand colored print of my daughter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fifth thing? Well, it’s a group of things. Portraits of my family to be precise. There is a hand-colored photograph of my daughter that I created back when I was a photographer, along with two oil paintings of my son and husband created by my talented sister-in-law, Mary Scrimgeour. My family is my inspiration for life and these pieces of art remind me why I do what I do every day.

What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?

 


This post was inspired by:

Who’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 5 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker, Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey!

~~~CHECK OUT ALL THESE GREAT WRITERS ON IWSG~~~

It’s a blog hop Powered by Linky Tools… Click here to enter

%d bloggers like this: