“Emotion Devotion” – 8/31/13 Daily Writing Prompt Result

Emotion Devotion – Daily Writing Prompt Result for 8/31/13

I boil inside, my blood hot as the asphalt in deep summer. The color red is running towards me, a flash of darkness from within. I’ll kill her, I think, wanting to squeeze the life from her pale throat. I want her head to pop off, to explode like a balloon – a stupid, worthless balloon.

How dare she?! Who does she think she is?! To cut me off? To gesture at me uselessly from the comfort of her own car?! I dodge around her, then hit the brakes in front of her, enjoying the panic in her face as she must now react to my own stubbornness. And stupidity.

I cackle at her and continue on home. Mess with me?! Bitch, you lose.

road-rage-road-rage-demotivational-posters-1292553052

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Daily Writing Prompt #6.13 – Emotion Devotion (8/31/13)

Daily Writing Prompt #6.13 – Emotion Devotion (8/31/13)

Pick an emotion and describe it without actually naming said emotion. Use color, mood, situation, setting, even place and other people involved.

For bonus points, write a flash fiction story building on this emotion – in 1000 words or less.

Image of emoticons

Emoticons

Daily Writing Prompt #5.13 – Opening Line(s) (8/30/13)

Daily Writing Prompt #5.13 – Opening Line(s) (8/30/13)

You can sell a reader on your story with just the first or opening line. Some may stick around for the entire opening paragraph, but in a marketplace flooded with ideas, thoughts, books, and other resources, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to grab new readers asap.

Write an opening line or two of a story you’d personally want to read. This doesn’t have to be associated with any work you’re currently writing. This line or two can be brand new, a random thought, or just a bunch of things you like. Then write a piece of flash fiction (under 1000 words) using that line.

I’ve listed some of my personal fave opening lines from novels to get you started.

“They’re out there.” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

“Amergo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.” The Godfather by Mario Puzo

“‘What’s it going to be then, eh?'” A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

“All this happened, more or less.” Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 by George Orwell

See other favorite first/opening lines of classic works of literature here: The Stylist (UK).

Happy Writing!

stack-of-books

 

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“Object of Affection Projection” – 8/29/13 Daily Writing Prompt Result

Object of Affection Projection Result from 8/29/13

I was in high school when my father told me that my beloved grandfather (and his own father) was dying.

Grandpa Fitzpatrick’s life and death profoundly affected me as a person. His death came a time when I was unsure about my place in the world, and questioning everything about my own existence. I still think about him often, his laugh – this man laughed easily and often – the navy suits with gold buttons that he wore to dinners out, his favorite kind of cake, and most of all, the love of Slim Pickens and the Three Stooges that he passed to his son (my dad), and his first granddaughter.

I wrote a poem about his death called Truth and Marbled Cakes. It won several awards and helped me heal in ways I don’t really understand.

But whenever I see a pack of playing cards or play Hearts on the computer, I think of him. I remember watching him shuffle the deck easily and quickly, usually while joking and laughing with friends and family. I remember sitting alone with a pack of cards trying to figure out the cool way Grandpa shuffled the deck, pinching the sides and bending in the middle to make a beautiful bridge, the sound of shuffled cards a comforting whisper in my ears. When I watch The Three Stooges, I think of him. Any time I hear a reference to Slim Pickens (usually re: Dr. Strangelove or Blazing Saddles, one of my fave movies), I think of Grandpa.

His wife, my grandmother Grann also holds a special place in my heart. The Fitzpatrick side of my family always encouraged me to write. Grann had a true love affair with words, a passion she passed to my talented aunt Cathy and to me. (I idolized my aunt growing up, because of her way with words. I don’t think I ever told her that.) Grann often told me I would be writer, and warned me it would be lonely and hard but that it was my destiny.

She was right.

It’s because of my Grandpa that I love playing cards, especially Hearts, and learned how to count them. I carry a pack of playing cards in my purse, an old habit from playing cards quite often in high school. The pack is for Coco-Cola, one of the smartest marketing campaigns ever with that adorable polar bear, and is quite worn around the edges. It replaced the 7-Up cards I had for years, which played many million rounds of Hearts, Spades, Kings in the Corner, and so many other card games.

I haven’t actually used the purse cards in a long time, but I like to be prepared. And every time I see the red pack peek out next to a lip gloss or pack of gum, I remember my grandfather and smile.

He’s my Guardian Angel and I wish he knew what his life, and his death, meant to me. Because it meant everything.

Grandpa and Hallie at 101st bday

My Grandpa stands with his aunt Hallie on her 101st bday years ago.

Author’s Note: All work is copyrighted by the author.

Be Careful Out There!

There really are all kinds of people and companies out there waiting to take advantage of writers – newbies fresh to the playing field and established pros. I’ve been writing for professional publication since I was a teenager so I consider myself more of a pro than a newbie. I’ve done some investigative work on several writing sites that claim to pay you for your creative content and the outlook is grim.

The best rule of thumb is always “if something’s too good to be true, it usually is.” And this is the case when it comes to these writing sites. I was looking to make a little bit of extra part-time money writing. As a federal employee, I can’t make over a certain amount at an outside employer without obtaining permission. So I never agreed to write any articles, but still managed to find the deep, dark secrets of these so-called writers’ sites. (Actually I would have had to obtain permission to write the articles anyway.)

The first site I investigated is called iWriter. It’s a self-proclaimed “article writing website.” Basically clients post job articles on a discussion board and writers pitch their posts and articles to them. The clients determine the pricing per post and list that in the job ad. Most of them were pretty cheap, IMO, but I’m not surprised. Plenty of people think creative content should be cheap. The clients on this site can literally nickel and dime you down on your creative content, but since you, the writer, decide which articles to write, I’m not as annoyed by that as I could be.

iWriter claims it’s free to sign up. All you need is a paypal address for the money for your writing to be deposited either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. I went through with a fake profile and entered all the info, then started searching for jobs. Here’s where it gets interesting. Job ads are posted in three categories based on the “writer type” you are – standard, premium, or elite. You start as standard, which makes sense – no one there really knows who I am and my experience.

But wouldn’t you think experience would count for something – either real world experience or actual experience on the site? It doesn’t matter. In order to become a premium writer you literally have to pay for it – to the tune of $147! They call it an “application fee” and try to assure you that you’ll make the money back. But job ads are about $10 each for 500-600 words, and I’m being generous by rounding up to the nearest $10. Most ads are in the $6-$8 range. Even if they were $10 a pop, you’d have to write 15 or so to start out even!

Many of the ads are written in poor taste, too, with terrible spelling errors and grammar mistakes. This drives me “nutz” as a writer. I realize that the so-called “clients” are seeking writers perhaps to help themselves with writing. But try to be respectful or just display common courtesy! One ad said “chick writers need not apply. No welcome.” The topic wasn’t for men’s health or car parts – it was for relationship help. Unreal! Another used ALL CAPS – beyond annoying.

I deleted my account after I found out about the $147 fee – which is basically the way the site makes money off the writers too. Writers then get screwed twice: their stupid fee, and the clients gyp them out of good pay for good content. Yes, of course, the content may not be all that great, but I’m thinking best case scenario. Clients can also reject content – so you may count on 15 stories to pay off the $147 fee and be rejected for all but one of them. Then you have to write more.

Bottom line? This is a scam, designed to prey on writers, and is solely created to benefit their “clients” instead of support the real people who create the content – writers. Avoid!

Do you know of any scams like this one? Or perhaps you know of a legit writers’ site? Email me or post in the comments so we can support each other as writers!

Happy Writing!

“School Memories” – 8/26/13 Writing Prompt Result

“School Memories” Daily Writing Prompt Result from 8/26/13

I picked a day in Kindergarten, back when I lived in San Diego, when I first realized I was in love with letters, words and writing.

I went to a school that had little buildings for classrooms instead of one big building, and even the cafeteria was outdoor. (Wow, did Maryland suck when I moved, coming from a place like paradise?!) One little building was basically one room or two – split in half. On this day, the kids in my class were rambunctious – I guess kids always are! – and I remember my best friend at the time, Stacy, was coloring. I saw a poster on the wall that pulled several letters from the alphabet – which we had just learned in class, but my parents and grandparents had already taught me. I remember staring at the letters trying to figure out what they had in common with the other letters in the little group, and what made them different from the other letters in the alphabet. I stared for a few minutes – who knows what my teacher thought?! I studied the curves and lines, the color (red, I remember that clearly) and the images next to the letters: A for Apple, E for Elephant and so on. I only remember A’s and E’s images for some reason.

I sat down at my desk and attempted to write the letters on a piece of paper, “borrowed” from Stacy’s stack for coloring. I selected a red crayon, and I remember thinking I picked the color because it matched the poster. “If I’m going to solve this puzzle, I need the facts.” I said something similar to myself. I copied all the letters over and continued to stare. My teacher came over to check on us and I asked her about the letters. I told her I didn’t see why they were different and she just looked at me. “Honey, they’re vowels. We’ll learn about them soon.”

But when I got home from school I bugged my parents about these “vowels.” My mom just thought I was crazy, but my dad patiently attempted to explain them to me. He was attempting to explain this concept to a future writer, who a few years ago he had caught tracing letters out of books to form words. He was keeping the fire and love of writing going strong.

Whenever I write, I feel a passion pouring from my fingertips into my work. I can’t explain it without sounding slightly insane. My dad’s sister is a fellow writer and think she would understand. My grandmothers were both teachers, so I think they would understand too. But everyone else looks at me like I require a jaunt at an asylum.

Actually, that would be perfect for me. Can you imagine the story fodder there?!
Apples

Author’s Note: All work is copyrighted by the author. Want to use any part of it? Just ask!

Daily Writing Prompt #2.13 – The To-Do List with a Twist (8/27/13)

What’s on your To-Do List today or for the week? What are five things you absolutely must accomplish? This can be anything from running errands to completing a chapter or poem, to even getting the car’s oil changed. Write down your five items and pick one or two as a story idea but add a twist – you’re running errands and you meet a celebrity, or you’re getting the car’s oil changed and suddenly are transported back in time.

Happy Writing!

 
To do list