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.

 

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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.

 

Avoid the Cliché


Avoid the Cliché

Rory C. Keel

Teachers of the writing craft are unanimous about avoiding the cliché. Have you heard that one before?

A cliché is the use of phrases or expressions that are overused to the point of losing the desired effect of the intended meaning.

One example might be “Are you a man or a mouse?”

While you may want to express the level of strength or fear in your character to that of a small animal, to use this phrase would show lack of originality in your writing. Try to find other words that will demonstrate the meaning and will bring originality to your writing.

Avoid the Cliché


Avoid the Cliché

by Rory C. keel

Teachers of the writing craft are unanimous about avoiding the cliché. Have you heard that one before?

A cliché is the use of phrases or expressions that are overused to the point of losing the desired effect of the intended meaning.

One example might be “Are you a man or a mouse?”

While you may want to express the level of strength or fear in your character to that of a small animal, to use this phrase would show lack of originality in your writing. Try to find other words that will demonstrate the meaning and will bring originality to your writing.

#AMWRITING


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

#AMWRITING

By Nandy Ekle

 

I will admit, I’ve been in a very dry spell. Even when I had a mood and an idea at the same time, my words sounded like something a toddler wrote. I was frustrated and afraid that after 50 some odd years, words had completely forsaken me.

And there was nothing I could do. I still had a line of characters waiting for me to tell their stories. Some of them have been in my head since I was a child in elementary school. There were also plenty new comers. They picketed through my head demanding to be brought to life on the paper.

So I would sit down and start listening to them, building their lives and the events they were so desperate to have put down on paper, only to watch the whole thing splat into a brick wall.

And I was back where I started.

So today, I decided to let it go. I started a story that is a huge cliché in a genre that’s been so saturated lately that I know my readers will roll their eyes and walk away from the pages saying, “Not another one of those!” And I completely understand. After all, that’s one of the reasons I kept putting this tale in the back corner. “Some day the genre will need to be restarted, and I will write it then,” I said over and over. But it refused to stay in the corner.

Something amazing happened when I finally turned my attention to my little cliché. Even though it’s the same old story – predictable, nothing new whatsoever – I realized the point of this average adventure is not the originality or the spectacular concept. The point of the whole entire exercise was I AM WRITING. And it felt good.

Don’t be afraid to write your worst writing ever. Whatever words you have, good, bad or, ugly—

JUST WRITE!

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

 

Parents


Outtakes 201

Parents

By Cait Collins

This past Sunday, Fathers’ Day, I watched Dads interact with their children. Some were very attentive to the kids. Other ignored them. A few were stern disciplinarians, while others allowed the kids to run wild. I wondered how their attitudes might affect their kids in the coming years.

I was a lucky kid as my folks managed to strike a balance between too strict and completely permissive. I had my share of spankings and my Dad’s I’m so disappointed in you looks, but the discipline was offset with lots of love. Their influence on my life helped me become the woman I am today.

So how much of a role do our parents play in our lives? Let’s look at the way we write our characters. A boy grows up without parents. Lacking the family relationship, he looks to the gangs to supply the close associations he thinks he’s missing. On the other hand, another young man who has no family aligns himself with a church group looking for brothers and sisters. He accepts that true love may not be part of his life, but he continues to hope for happiness.

Then there are the characters that have been abused and abandoned. Without proper guidance, they have no self esteem and seek acceptance wherever they find it. Or worse, become abusers themselves. Some take a higher road believing they have worth and work to better themselves and find fulfillment.

What about those who do have good parents? Let’s face it; a proper upbringing is no guarantee of happily ever after. But great influences can help. What if the child rebels? Perhaps he takes up drinking or gambling. There are endless possibilities for writing about the family unit and how the influences play on the lives of children. The manner in which the characters develop in the story makes the difference in an exciting attention grabber or a cliché/

Cliché


Cliché

Natalie Bright

 

Tired, worn out cliché’s that we see over and over can be made new again. An overused expression or idea can become unique by reviving it with your own personal style.

Pretty as a picture.

You say: Pretty as a _______________.

Dig deeper: Pretty as a flower. What kind of flower? What color? Size? Shape?

The red roan filly was as pretty as a bed of wildflowers and about as hard to tame.

Writing Exercise

Peaches and cream complexion.

In a wink of an eye.

Green-eyed monster.

Like the pot calling the kettle black.

Fell flat on his face.

Eyes in the back of her head.

Chip off the old block.

Time will tell.

As bright as a new penny.

Knee high to a grasshopper.