November’s Prompt

November is here! Or as I am calling it because it is consuming my time right now, NANOWRIMO is here!

Even though I am trying to write 50,000 words for my novel this month, I am still doing the short story of the month. I might even try to incorporate it into my novel somehow.

Without further ado, here is November’s prompt:

Until that day, fear had been an idea, a concept. Now it was real: a feeling I would carry inside me for the rest of my life. The day began innocently enough, with….

Happy reading and writing this month! And if you are participating in NANOWRIMO, best of luck to you!!! YOU GOT THIS!

muse

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Zak: The Unicorn Hunter

What happened to our world?

A few years ago, the veil failed. All the mythical beings that we were so sure were fictional turned out to be real. They have lived alongside us all along. In the past, they would show themselves to someone on rare occasions and another story would be born.

What the stories also got wrong was that most of the mythical creatures only crossed the veil that hid them from us so that they could go hunting. Most of them live on flesh, not necessarily humans, but they found it easier to gather food when they were fully in our realm. Now all that has changed.

Now they live in our realm, and they hunt us all the time. Most people have moved into walled cities. It’s really the only way we can survive. Our society has been plunged backwards in time; there is magic in our world now, but we have suffered for it.

***********

Zak: The Unicorn Hunter

The darkness was thick and suffocating, like a heavy blanket had been thrown on the world. He had to get over the wall, had to get across the border before night fell completely and the guards started their rounds. After dark things came alive across the wall. All the magical beings came out to hunt in the dark.

Zak wanted to go hunting too. He wanted the fame that went with it. He wanted people to know his name. He wanted to be one of the rockstars of this age – a unicorn hunter. He needed to start small though.

He was thinking maybe a fairy or leprechaun first. They were notoriously hard to catch, but nabbing one would earn him the respect of the hunter’s guild.

They sanctioned hunting the bigger creatures like dragons. And you didn’t go after a unicorn without their permission.

Zak looked very quickly up and down the street to check for the guards one last time. He made his way to a section of the wall that looked stable but was actually loose. If the town council knew, they would flip their lids.

Joining the hunter’s guild was worth the risk.

The one’s who actually bagged dragons or unicorns lived liked gods. They had the best of everything, but what’s more, people listened to them. Their opinion mattered.

unicorn

 

Prepping for NANOWRIMO

How is October going for everyone else? I feel like it has FLOWN by. I have been using some of my free time this month to prep for Nanowrimo. Most of you who are reading this probably know what that is, but for the few who don’t, I will explain briefly.

NANOWRIMO = National Novel Writing Month.

During November, people from all over the world dedicate themselves to writing 50,000 words in one month. Most people try to write a fiction novel of some sort, though there are certainly others who write non-fiction, short story collections, and other things.

The idea behind this is simply that the hardest part about writing something is getting the first draft done. For me, this is definitely true… I get easily distracted.

For my novel, I am continuing one that I started as a short story on this very blog from earlier this year – UNICORNS ARE REALLY VAMPIRES. So, you may be wondering, what have I been doing to prepare for writing an entire novel in a month?

ready-set-novel-small

Some things that have helped me prepare:

  1. Resources
  • In particular, the book Ready Set Novel
  • Worksheets from other writers that I found on Pinterest. Here is my pinterest board with some of the writing links I’ve found helpful: https://pin.it/d6dn4e73z666vm.
  1. Write-Ins
  • I attended two of the prep season get togethers, which are called write-ins. I didn’t do much writing at either, but I met some of the people who run things in my region.  Plus, I was able to ask questions about the process from real life people. (Some of them have been participating in NANOWRIMO for more than a decade!)
  1. Revising
  • I have already started this project, but I haven’t worked on it since July, so I dusted it off and reread what I’ve already written. It’s surprising after time has passed that I didn’t remember writing some of the scenes. I am actually funny on occasion.
  • I looked through for small errors and large plot holes so I have a pretty good idea of where I want to start in November.

Now after all that prep, I feel ready. I can’t wait for November 1st.

Happy writing and reading this month!

October’s Writing Prompt

It’s a new month and time for a new writing prompt:

The darkness was thick and suffocating, like a heavy blanket had been thrown on the world. He had to get over the wall, had to get across the border before…

In addition to my short story of the month, I am also working on Nanowrimo prep during October. I might even attend some of the write in events with my sister.

Happy writing and reading this month!

snoopy_writing

Quiet

Present Day — St. Louis 

It flashed through the sky and then was gone. Lucy was sure she had seen a UFO and was equally sure aliens were here to secretly make contact with a human being. Maybe they would choose her. Maybe she would get to visit their ship. Maybe she would finally get away from this place. She was tired of being lonely and isolated. She was tired of talking to herself.

Even an alien encounter would be more exciting than her life. No matter what the outcome.

***********

20 years ago

Lucy woke up late — again. Her boss would be furious. She quickly dressed and headed out the door. Her new job was exhausting. It was all the interacting with people that was wearing her out.

This was her third job this year — and it was only April. So far this one was lasting longer but she could feel the toll is was taking.

“Have a nice day.”

“Thanks for visiting the zoo.”

“Here’s a map.”

She said those three things so many times every day. Why couldn’t a recording do it?

The one redeeming factor for her new job was break time. On her breaks she would sit and watch the hippos. She wanted to watch them all day.

It was odd because before starting at the zoo, she’d never even seen a hippo. Her parents never took her places. They’d both worked so much on their rare days off, they just wanted to be home.

Perhaps that’s why all her jobs were places that families tended to visit together.

If she had a therapist, she might have asked her that.

**********

Present

Lucy walked through the grocery store selecting what foods she might eat this week.

After she’d collected enough, she went back to her house.

Two years ago she’d finally gotten up the nerve to move from her old apartment into an abandoned house.

She’d picked one in a nice neighborhood within walking distance of a grocery store, a home depot, and several clothing stores.

**********

20 years ago

It was already turning into another typical day.

“Thanks for visiting the zoo.”

She’d gotten lucky though. Her boss was out sick so she didn’t get yelled at for being late.

She tried to focus on that to get her through the day.

On her break, she put a hoodie over her zoo uniform. She’d learned to cover up as much khaki as possible or people would ask her a thousand questions. Her first two days she’d spent her breaks answering inane questions.

As she sat by the hippo habitat, she longed for quiet.

She tried to ignore the sounds of children and families. She tuned out the city noise in the background.

She longed for silence.

As she sat there, she watched the hippos. One female hippo waddled towards the water and dove in.

Lucy caught her breath.

hippo swim

This was her favorite part. Hippos were amazingly graceful in the water.

If she’d ever seen Fantasia, she might have imagined them wearing tutus.

Her alarm beeped reminding her it was time to return to work. As she stood up and stretched, she noticed how quiet it was.

She looked around. She was utterly alone. Not a single person was in sight.

All she could hear was the animals in the zoo. No cars. No airplanes. No people. Nothing.

**********

Present

20 years of quiet. 20 years of being alone. As far as Lucy knew, no one was left but her.

Was that even possible? Who knew? It’s not like she could ask anyone.

It was better to focus on what she did know.

She’d seen something in the sky. She should get to higher ground and watch for it.

Maybe she could signal it.

As she sat in her house, she heard something outside in the yard.

She looked out the window and couldn’t help herself. Her laughter startled it away.

It was a flamingo — in St. Louis.

After the first few days of being alone, Lucy had gone to the zoo and set the animals free and then never returned. She didn’t want to know which had survived and which sat in their cages without the will to seek freedom.

Freedom.

She had that in spades. She wanted someone, anyone, to talk to.

Make a signal. Right. She could do that.

Wild and Carefree Writing!

 

creativity

My writing this month has been more of an uphill climb than a graceful ice dance. I feel like I am forcing myself to be creative. And most of my problem is stemming from a voice in my head that keeps telling me I can’t write something. As in, “you can’t have a character do that!” or “you can’t write that because someone else already did.”

And then I remember, yes, I can. I can literally write whatever I want. That’s the beauty of writing.

So I want to use this post  to talk about how I wish I could get back to that time in my life when I wasn’t stifled by my own “grown up-ness.”

We all need to try to turn off those voices. Instead, let’s embrace the mindset of a child.

Write whatever. 

If you want to write about a fireman who flies on a purple hippo that puts out fires with cheese, write it.

If you want to write your story about villains or aliens or naked cats, write it.

I plan to fully embrace the child like lack of caring that lets creativity just run wild.

Here’s to a wild and carefree month reading and writing!

My short story will be posted in a couple of days, and I can’t promise there won’t be any hippos at this point.

September Writing Prompt

Short story of the month club continues, and without further ado, here is this month’s prompt:

It flashed through the sky and then was gone. Lucy was sure she had seen a UFO and was equally sure aliens were here to secretly make contact with a human being. Maybe they would choose her. Maybe she would get to visit their ship. Maybe…

I think this is a great prompt. As you know if you have read any of my stories, I do tend to have sci-fi bent in many of my stories.

Happy reading and writing this month!

ufo