200 Words


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

200 Words

By Nandy Ekle

 

 

I’m starting this goal of writing at least two hundred words a day. Sickness, health, richer, poorer, hell or high water, I’m going to write two hundred words a day, and more if I can wring them out.

I will not worry about cohesion, plot, punctuation, spelling, long sentences, short sentences, or run-ons. There will be at least two hundred words a day.

I may be tired, sick, sick and tired, giddy, depressed, busy with grandkids, busy with grown kids, busy with no kids. I may be so down I can barely drag my self out of bed. On the road, on the high seas, hidden high up on a mountain top. In a crowd, or all alone, I will put down two hundred words.

The purpose of this two hundred words a day journal is to get the words flowing again. Words are like blood cells. They tend to stick together and close up portals where they might flow out and land on the pages. Like beautiful flower-shaped blotches of blood stains, words on the pages are soothing and sweet smelling, even when they’re dark and scary.

So this is my goal. For the next six weeks, I will get at least two hundred words a day added to this journal.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Whatcha Readin’?


Whatcha Readin’?

by Adam Huddleston

 

I’m currently enjoying working my way through the graphic novel, “Watchmen”. If I recall correctly, this is the first of its kind that I’ve read. It takes a little getting used to (looking at the drawings in each panel as well as the writing), but it is well worth it.

Without giving too much away, “Watchmen” deals with the search for an individual that is murdering costumed heroes from the early-to-mid nineteen hundreds (basically, who watches over those that watch over us?). The story begins with a bang, but then meanders about for a few chapters. I’m about halfway through the story now and it is really starting to pick up its pace.

If you’re a fan of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, comic books, and/or graphic novels, I highly recommend giving “Watchmen” a try.

Killing Trees


Outtakes 304

Killing Trees

By Cait Collins

 

I started thinking about all the junk in closets and cabinets in my apartment. I’ve got a lot of storage in the place, but instead of tossing out stuff, I keep finding a place to store it. One of my big “I can’t toss this out” is the hard copies of my writing. In this day of computers, the Cloud, flash drives, and external electronic storage, why do I need hard copies? Of course I don’t want to trash four or five completed novels and other various and sundry ideas. But I can scan the information to my computer and save the file to my external hard drive or a flash drive.

And what about all those critiques? Once I’ve reviewed the notes and made the updates, do I really need to keep the notes? Of course not. So why am I having such a hard time just filling the dumpster? I think I know the answer. I’m saving my art for posterity. One of these days, some kid will come along and grab a file box and reap valuable wisdom from my work.

You want the truth? Killing trees and packing file boxes is easier than making a decision on what is necessary to keep and what can go to the dumpster or the shredder. I guess that makes me lazy. I wonder if the pharmacy has a pill for that.

Monday writing Quote


Monday writing Quote

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners.
The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a
house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of
roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of
plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and
blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig
a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they
know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant
comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to
have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an
architect.”
― George R.R. Martin

The Post Card


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

The Post Card
By Nandy Ekle

 

I’ve been sitting here for a week staring out my window, trying to think of something to write. Anything. At. All. I see a squirrel run up a tree and think, Okay, must be something there. But nothing interesting happens. I watch as a beetle trudges across the sidewalk to the other side and wonder if I can make a play on the old “chicken crossing the road” story. But then I decide that’s too cliche.

I’m about to give up and spend another day not writing when the mailman puts a stack of letters in my mailbox. Looking through the day’s deliveries I find a couple of bills (must remember to make those payments), sales’ ads, sales’ gimmicks, and a few announcements to “Resident.” Then I come across a picture of a beautiful sandy beach. The sun is setting and the palm trees are almost black against the bright purple, pink and orange sky. The white foamy water has seeped across the beach nearly up to the legs of the two Adirondack chairs positioned under the fronds of the trees.

I turn the post card over and see these words: “No Drama Here.” And the story of who sat in those chairs under those starry palms with their feet swishing in the tide, and how they got there. The events leading up to such utterly delightful peace exploded in my mind and I couldn’t get to the computer keyboard fast enough.

Dear Muse. I get frustrated with you, nearly on a daily basis. But when you’re right, you’re very right indeed. Thank you.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Red Herring


Red Herring

by Adam Huddleston

 

This week’s literary device is one that many if not most writers have at least heard of: red herring. It is defined as the use of a topic to deliberately mislead the reader or character in a story. Red herrings are often utilized in mystery or suspense to deter the audience from solving the plot.

It is often believed that a red herring must be false. This is not the case. A true fact may also be used to mislead the intended target. For example: Let’s say a police officer catches a thief. Said thief begins a long, sob story concerning how he needed the money to pay for food for his starving children. The thief’s story may or may not be true, but he is using it to distract the officer from the real point that he is guilty. The use of red herrings in your work can make it more engaging for your readers.

Happy writing!

Blank Mind


Outtakes 303

 

Blank Mind

By Cait Collins

 

 

Ever had one of those weeks when no matter how hard you try your project just won’t jell. The characters are stuffy, the dialogue stilted, and the setting, forget it. That’s where I am this week. Nothing is working. Even at work, I’m having issues in reviews and creating new letters.

So, I’m taking a break. I make another attempt to write tomorrow. Getting frustrated doesn’t spark creativity. It will be better tomorrow.

A little taste


A Little Taste

Rory C. Keel

How would a man living in the 1800’s feel about going across the Oregon Trail? Here’s a taste of a novel I’m working on.

 

Milton needed a stout cup of coffee to make it through the day, so he added a few extra beans into the coffee grinder, turned the handle to the count of ten, and emptied the grounds into the pot of water. The fire grew brighter as he watched the flames lick the bottom of the pot waiting for the brew to boil.

They’re the same color of the sun setting in the west, He thought. I bet the sunsets are much brighter in Oregon.

The Saturday Morning Blogger – Handwritten letters


The Saturday Morning Blogger – Handwritten letters

James Barrington

When my mother died eleven years ago, one of the treasures we found among her belongings was a box of hand-written diaries in the form of lined notebooks. She had spent undoubtedly countless hours recording commonplace events of life and personal musings on what some of them meant.

For the past several years I have been sending monthly notes to my grandsons who live 2,000 miles away. I don’t have the opportunity to interact with them on a regular basis. I don’t know if they appreciate (or can even decipher) my handwritten notes, but I am trying to leave them a legacy of their grandfather that they may find useful at some point in the future. Maybe that use will be as kindling for a campfire, but maybe they can find more productive uses.

My brother found some handwritten notes from our fraternal grandmother among his share of the papers we salvaged from our mother’s belongings. Perhaps she was the source of my sometimes opinionated ways – although I found that her opinions and mine don’t often agree. That’s OK. We loved each other, anyway. It just goes to show that people don’t have to agree on everything to be able to get along.

My older grandson in the Northeast sent a list of interview questions for an English assignment in his high school freshman class. The questions seemed simple enough until I thought about the liberal philosophy of the Northeast. Here are the questions as he sent them:

  1. Do you have a self law that you go by?
  2. What is it?
  3. Why do you go by it?
  4. Has law ever made you do something you didn’t want to do or/and Has law ever prevented you from doing something you have wanted to?
  5. What have you had to do?
  6. Is there any law that you disagree with? What is it, why do you disagree with it?

4.Do you think it is good or bad that different places have different laws? Why?

5.Do you feel the law is too strict? Why?

When I replied to him, I mentioned that I want to talk to him about this when I see him this summer. There are layers of possibilities involved in those questions – particularly in 21st Century American society.

The written word has a permanency to it that transcends generations.