Another (Slight) Reimagining

Chances are, you’ve seen on other pages of this website the kinds of content I used to post on this blog. I thought, what can I blog about that I’m not going to share somewhere else? The answer: groups. Info about the groups I’ve been active in lately.

  1. A women’s book club that meets at my neighborhood library. For July, August, and September, the club selected read the following books:

Photo by  Aliis Sinisalu  on  Unsplash

a.       The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: I’d call this book a wonderful example of commercial-literary crossover. It offers romance, mystery, and expertly developed characters. It’s a novel-length tribute to booksellers, books, and short stories.

b.       Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark: This novel is an endearing look at the relationship between George and Martha Washington. This book was Clark’s first, and it does a beautiful job of honoring the humanity of these historical figures. I recommend this one if you’re looking for a relaxing summer read.

c.       The Wife between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen: This book features a man with money and his fiancée. Oh, and an ex-wife desperate to stop the impending wedding. I haven’t finished this one, but it’s keeping me on edge – in a good way. I recently arrived at a major plot twist.

2. Scribophile: This is an online critique and discussion community for writers of novels, short fiction, flash fiction, and nonfiction. You can even post your query letters for critique. Writers may understandably be nervous about posting their work online. I like that this site dates every post , so if there’s ever a question about who posted something first, the data is right there. The site is also carefully moderated and requires participants to critique several works posted by others before they can post their own work. For me, these components make me feel more comfortable about participating in an online critique group than I did before I became a member of the community. So far, I've posted a poem there for critique. Since then, I've revised the poem, and I'm working on collecting enough points from critiquing to post my revision.

As for the next two websites, I think I’ve discussed them before on this blog, but I didn’t feel right leaving them out. The last few weeks, I’ve been active on forums these sites offer.

3. StoryADay.org: On this site, I post my monthly writing goals. On the SWAGR (Serious Writers Accountability Group) Forum. This site offers a number of other writing-related resources. I find the ones on writing short fiction to be particularly helpful. This site is also the home of the StoryADay challenges. Twice a year, for thirty days, the challenge is to write a story a day. I participated in the challenge once, and it was liberating to know that the constraints of the event didn’t allow for self-critique and editing. If you’re completing a story every day, you just have to produce, no matter how silly or sloppy the result is.

4. DIYMFA: This site offers articles about all kinds of writing-related topics, online courses, forums, webinars, and other features.

At all three websites I listed above, some features are free; others come with a fee. However, in all cases, I would say that when you pay, you get your money’s worth. I hope to find time in the midst of my writing projects and teaching to keep participating in all the communities these sites offer.

I'm thinking about making the reading selections a regular feature of this blog. What you think?

For now, I'm signing off. A boy and a girl who live on opposite sides of a fence are waiting for me in my imagination.

Until the next post — happy reading, writing, wayfaring, and “wheelfaring. “

Changes — In My Posting Schedule and in Technology

Today was the day I planned to make my first travel post, describing my accessibility experiences in Madrid Spain.

But I still need to go back through the books I bought during my trip. I wouldn't want to identify people and places incorrectly. I do want to research accessibility laws in Spain. Teaser: I was impressed, and I want to look into whether the standards are as consistent as they seemed.

Why haven't I done the above in the two weeks since my last post? Because I have a job outside of writing. Okay, okay, also, there were times in the last two weeks when I could have researched instead of watching TV. I chose TV.

Regardless of the reasons, my travel post wasn’t ready today. Yet, as you can see, I posted. This is a cheat post. It comes with a treat though. I'm way into this 60 Minutes segment. It's about technological research and development going on at MIT. Several of the projects highlighted could benefit people with disabilities.

Scott Pelley goes to MIT's Media Lab where crazy ideas become reality Subscribe to the "60 Minutes" Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/1S7CLRu Watch Full Episodes of "60 Minutes" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Qkjo1F Get more "60 Minutes" from "60 Minutes: Overtime" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1KG3sdr Relive past episodies and interviews with "60 Rewind" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1PlZiGI Follow "60 Minutes" on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/23Xv8Ry Like "60 Minutes" on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1Xb1Dao Follow "60 Minutes" on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1KxUsqX Follow "60 Minutes" on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/1KxUvmG Get unlimited ad-free viewing of the latest stories plus access to classic 60 Minutes archives, 60 Overtime, and exclusive extras.

Have thoughts about this segment? I'd love to hear them. Why not comment below?

In my other two posts, this is where I wrote, “See you in two weeks." This time will be different. From now on, I plan to post here monthly, so that when I have a travel post in the works. I have more time to give it depth. I also need to spend more time revising my novel manuscript. Since I started this blog, the time I would have spent on my novel, I've spent on drafting, designing, and posting on this page.

I'm going to keep this blog going. If you're reading this, I'm assuming you want to read what I write. This blog lets me give you content regularly. It also gives me another opportunity to connect with you. The downside is, while I'm hanging out here, you can't read a novel I haven't released, or a short story. I haven't written. So expect another post from me on May 26th. I'm excited to tell you more and to unveil a new banner design. In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, subscribe to my blog using the form in the right-hand sidebar.

 

What Fuels My Creativity

History

In my last post, I wrote that history sparks my imagination. When I was in elementary school, I used my imagination to engage with the stars of history -- think the Lincolns.

BookClub-Badge-Teal.png

These days, I’m inspired by history’s extras. The spark for my novel-in-progress came from a rumor in a biography. Census records and math don’t allow for the rumor to have been true, so I took the story and gave it to fictional people.

I’ve also gotten prompts from the following places:

StoryADay

On this site, Julie Duffy offers a podcast and blog posts about navigating the writing life. Among her posts are also weekly writing prompts. But what helps me most about this site is the event it’s named for.  It challenges participants to write a story a day in May and September. There are no word count requirements for the stories. They can be six words long or 6,000. The idea is to get to the end of the story, even if, to get there, you make a note to “flesh this out later” and move on to the ending. I challenged myself to follow the traditional goal last May. Taking on the challenge taught me that I could write a story a day. Why? Because a rough draft doesn’t need to be good. It just needs to be written.  Revision can wait for the next month.

2018StoryADaySidebar500.png

I was invested enough in two of my products from StoryADay that I came back to them over the summer and fall. After weeks of polishing them, I sent them to online magazines, where they were published. Now they're here, too.

In September, I did something else Julie Duffy encourages. I created my own challenge. I was in the middle of drafting my novel, so I aimed to write a scene a day. While I didn’t meet this goal, I wrote every day, and writing every day made writing easier.

SWAGR

The heading above this sentence isn't a massive misspelling. The StoryADay site also hosts the Serious Writers Accountability Group (SWAGR). On the first of each month, Julie Duffy invites StoryADay subscribers to post their monthly writing goals. It’s free to subscribe, and posting here has done so much to keep me tuned in to writing.

Promptuarium

This blog features character, dialogue, and picture prompts. These are tagged for horror and fantasy writers, but I've used a few of them to develop non-speculative stories.

Writing Challenge

This is an app available for Android and Apple devices. It suggests an object, a character, or a situation. The challenge is to start a story with whatever the app has given. You have  a short time to begin the story. When time runs out, the generates another object, character, or situation you may want to include.

Writing Challenge got me started on “Neighbors.” It told me to write a story involving a bicycle. From there, I wanted to write a story about perceptions.  The bicycle and this motivation brought the story to life.

I could list so many resources here, but I have to stop somewhere. So I decided to focus on what I’ve gotten results from. Where do you turn for creative fuel? I hope you’ll share in the comment space below.

See you in two weeks.