Writing Kindling #3

Writer’s block may seem like a terminal illness, but sometimes the smallest of sparks can “kindle” your craft. Today I bring you a list of ten 1-2 sentence writing prompts that will help build up your white blood cells and give writer’s block a good kick in the pants. Copy them, tweak them, consider them, leave them. It’s up to you!

  1. These memories aren’t mine.

  2. Thick, curling plumes of smoke. That is all I remember.

  3. This time, she was telling the truth.

  4. “Try it; you’ll love it!”

  5. It was silent until it wasn’t.

  6. Obviously, he was going to have to die.

  7. My death was a strange event.

  8. “Because,” she said, as if that lonely word could answer all of my questions.

  9. His face was a mirror of her own horror.

  10. Her fist slammed the desk like a thunderclap.


I’d love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to share your writing in the comments!

Happy writing! 🙂

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If Writing Is Selfish, Then I Am Scrooge

please work god.png

I’m sure by now most writers have heard the worn-thin saying that anyone who puts pen to paper is a selfish creature. It was George Orwell who said:

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.

I suppose that when I first read Orwell’s “Why I Write,” I was reluctant to attach myself to any of those harsh adjectives. I wasn’t vain. I certainly wasn’t selfish. Heck, I was the neurotic opposite of lazy. Writing wasn’t a struggle; it was a pleasure. I was, as far as I knew, devoid of demons.

When I think back on it, when I first absorbed Orwell’s long-echoed advice (or rather, observations), I wasn’t doing much writing myself. I said I was a writer, and I loved writing — but I hadn’t yet attached myself to a project I was passionate about or truly committed my free time to improving my craft. When I started to write more and actually develop characters and worlds and plot lines that I cared about, that quote meant something completely different to me.

Writing was a selfish act, I realized. I was selfish. I was the Scrooge of my own, blocked-off world, a world that I thought worth investing precious time into.

When we write, we pour our hearts into something that, at first, only exists to us. By simply believing that what we write matters, we indulge in egotism. When we write for ourselves, we are self-indulgent. When we write for others, we are vain. When we are vain, we run the risk of creating self-inserts — and after all, aren’t self-inserts selfish?

At first, it was an unsettling notion.

But then I thought about what the word “selfish” actually meant, and it didn’t seem so callous and narrow-minded. Merriam-Webster defines it as

concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.

Isn’t it a good thing to care about yourself? Isn’t seeking to improve your mind and pursue your passions what you should always be doing? Writing “without regard for others” might seem harsh, but really, all it means is to do what you want without worrying about what others think. Write the story that you want to write, not the one that you think will sell or be critically acclaimed.

I, for one, am proud to be a Scrooge if it means doing what I love unapologetically. 

 © 2016 Stellular Scribe
If you’re interested in my illustrations; get this design on a t-shirt or other product at Redbubble! Thanks. 🙂

 

In A Black Birch Tree

A soldier sits in a black birch tree,
but she can’t touch the ground, you see,
‘fore around her ears buzz honeybees —
and so she sits in slick unease.

But this soldier sits with her heart in her lap,
’cause beneath her feet’s a steel mousetrap —
and what cruel oversight, what unkind mishap
would it be that her heart slips from her kneecap.

A soldier clings tight to the trunk;
the forest floor’s layered in chunks
of cold, dead hearts that soldiers’ sunk
from their hopeless, tree-bound bunks.

A soldier sits in a black birch tree,
and she can’t touch the ground, you see,
‘fore with her friends it’s been bloodied;
the bees rumble: you can’t be freed.

© 2016 Stellular Scribe

 

Music Mondays: Part XI

Today’s theme: high adventure and forbidden romance!

What’s a legend without a long lost love? A hero without a passionate love affair? A romance without a little danger? Today I’ve compiled for you two of my favorite dragon-slaying, paramour-rescuing music mixes. Both start with a piece from the extensive Final Fantasy soundtrack, and both go together like time and tide, sand and surf, dawn and dusk…macaroni and cheese? Eh, you get the idea.



If anyone is interested in these playlists and wants to know the full track list, leave a comment and I’ll let you know.

Happy writing! 🙂

Writing Kindling #2

Three times a week I will post a picture, video, song, or sentence to “kindle” your creative writing! Today, we have the photo “High Tide” by Kiara Rose.
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Ask yourself: Who is she? What is she? How did she get there? What is she feeling? Write about who she is, what situation she is in, and what she will do next. It can be a poem, short story, long fiction, anything — let the kindling commence!

I’d love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to share your writing in the comments!

Writing Kindling #1

Three times a week I will post a picture, video, song, or sentence to “kindle” your creative writing! To kick off, we have an illustration by the late American painter, Coby Whitmore.

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Coby Whitmore

Ask yourself: What is she looking at? Why is she hiding behind the curtain? What’s going on in her head? What sort of expression is she wearing? Write about who she is, what situation she is in, and what she will do next. It can be a poem, short story, long fiction, anything — let the kindling commence!

I’d love to hear what you come up with. Feel free to share your writing in the comments!

look at me.

look at me.
oh god, why won’t you look at me?
i dreamt last night
that my words had wings that
carried you
was it to me?
it must have been further away.
still, i stay
and pray that you will
look at me.
oh god, why won’t you look at me?
if words have wings then
mine are three pigeons
flying in a a grey flock of
three thousand.
you can’t hear them squawk —
i lost them and now you won’t
look at me.
how can you hear something
that you can’t see?
oh god.
why
won’t
you
look
at
me?

© 2016 Stellular Scribe