Friday, September 29, 2006

Provacative Phrase Friday

Provocative Phrase Friday:
  • I must be going crazy...
  • Who cares where you went?
  • You ran from...
  • She looked for him everywhere...
  • The dog ran off...
  • I'll create a distraction and you...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Topic Tuesday

A brash, offshore Bohemian receives an undersized postcard of an old barn. Welcome to Topic Tuesday!

  • Undersized
  • Old barn
  • Bohemian
  • Brash
  • Offshore
  • Postcard

Friday, September 22, 2006

Provacative Phrase Friday

Provacative Phrase Friday:

  • I told a cop...
  • Why stare at...
  • I can't wait to see...
  • ... doesn't cost much...
  • When we first met...
  • Oh yes...

Can you write a story using all of these phrases?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Topic Tuesday

Your latest Topic Tuesday prompts:

  • Liquid metallic
  • Floored
  • Bible-thumping
  • Illiterate
  • Revved up
  • Tweezer

Challenge: Try using all of these words in a story or poem. YIKES!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Reading Enough

I was shocked to discover today that I've only managed to finish reading 3 books so far this year: Marley and Me, Faith of a Writer, and The Traveller's Gift.

I have been tracking the books I read July 2002 on a spreadsheet. I list the title, author, publisher, publication date, number of pages, category, the date I started reading the book, the day that I finished reading it, and some general notes about it.

I have 11 books that I've started reading and have yet to finish. One of them, Atlas Shrugged, has been on the list since April 1, 2003. I am about two-thirds of the way through it, and can't bear to take it off my list, but yet I am not in a big hurry to finish it either. It has been sitting on my desk at work, and every once in a while I'll read a few pages during lunch if I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE available to read. It has been one of those efforts to read one of those books that are considered to be classics, but I still can't quite figure out why.

I am up to 74 books on my list for this year. I count audio books (20) and graphic novels (36) on this list so this is where the bulk of my reading has been this year. The audio books, strictly for long drives and my commute to work, and the graphic novels... I use them as light meal-time or just-before-falling-asleep reading. I just love comic book superhero sagas. I always have, and probably always will, and they are the perfect way to end a long day or take a mental break from a work day.

I've always been bad about finishing the books that I start, but this is bad even for me. How can I call myself a writer if I haven't even been reading too many books this year? This is going to have to change...

Provocative Phrase Friday

Here is the first of the Provocative Phrase Friday series were every Friday Grist for the Muse will post six provocative phrases that you can use in your writing (courtesy of JumpStart Jar). Use these as a first line, a jump start for a scene that is giving you trouble, or use them all in one crazy writing session. Enjoy!
  • Keep walking.
  • Do you believe?
  • Wouldn't it be a...
  • I stood there at the door...
  • She'll never know you can't...
  • I am no longer afraid...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Writing Topic Tuesday

Each and every Tuesday, Grist for the Muse is bringing you (courtesy of JumpStart Jar) Writing Topic Tuesday: a list of six provocative words or short phrases to use as writing exercises or jump start a stalled writing session. Here are this week's topics:
  • The blahs
  • Nosedive
  • Too dangerous
  • Squint
  • Loophole
  • Turning around
Not sure what to do with them or how to use them? Check out my article on with some suggested guidelines on "flash writing" a first draft.

Tune in this Friday for the first Provocative Phrase Friday, where you will get six unique phrases to start a new writing session or bring a new twist to an existing one.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dreadful Day Jobs and the celebration of Labor Day

When I ask people at my presentations and workshops what do they do for their day jobs, most of them sigh and say... I'm a... customer call center manager... an attorney (I have a LOT of unhappy attorneys in my classes)... a software engineer... in Retail... work in the insurance industry... all with that same beaten-down, Eeyore-like enthusiasm. These are the true writers in the bunch, they have come to grips with the fact that the day-job is a necessary evil (and probably always will be), and they don't like it.

Their creative spirit snarls and growls at the walls of their cubicles, their offices, their lockers or work areas. It whimpers at the time that melts away the days when they'd rather be reading a trashy sci-fi novel, hiking up that mountain, playing marbles with their kids, or painting a masterpiece on the back of the garage.

Day jobs suck and here's a neat little song parody that I stumbled across reading the Cincom eXpert Access newsletter which always seems to have some good articles on marketing trends, blogging, or some other online content issue. But this one made me laugh out loud and is very appropriate for this day to commemorate those of us who still toil in our day jobs. Enjoy My Comfy Cubicle. Happy Labor Day everyone!