What to write about?

April 30, 2007

I was looking at some writing prompts today, trying to get inspired.

I saw a suggestion about creating one’s own list of writing prompts by randomly, swiftly naming 10 things one may write about one day (don’t hold your breath!).  Here’s mine:

Makeup application techniques, spa days, toddler behaviors, celebrity gossip, depression, publishing without publishing contacts, sustainable passion, neighbor block parties, get-rich inventions, and the role of hospice.

So that’s my random, top-of-the-head list.  What’s yours?


April 26, 2007

A story I wrote (nope, not autobiographical, though I certainly relate to the character) has been published at Wheelhouse Magazine.

Parenthood is tough, isn’t it?  In case you don’t know, let me tell you: it is.  Big time.

So this is a little story about a woman who has just had her first baby and is struggling with something like postpartum, something like fear.

Take a look: http://www.wheelhousemagazine.com/fiction/one_year.html

For whatever reason, pirates are hot right now.  I guess there may be some tie-in to the popularity of those films…what are they…the ones with Johnny Depp.

Anyway, I know that some of you have written pirates stories for publication to various journals, as there have been many pirates-themed publications this year.  If you have one of these stories, and it hasn’t been published, go here: http://emg-zine.com/

emg-zine is calling for submissions, and they are looking for pirates-themed stories.  Deadline is September.

Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum!  (Ok, I know…really dorky, but I couldn’t resist.)

Boston Literary Magazine prints “dribble” in their issues. Dribble is a story with 50 words exactly…no more and no less.

Like drabble (100 words), the idea is to tell a story with beginning, middle and end in a short space.  Dribble is even more difficult than drabble in my opinion, and as BLM notes–it’s half the words and twice the work (of drabble).

Dribble typically employs irony or shock, something that punches the reader in a short space.  Practicing dribble tightens your writing–you get rid of everything that doesn’t add to the story.  All writers should take a stab at it; it’s fun and rewarding.

Here’s my dribble, published this issue in Boston Literary Magazine:


A poem of mine, titled Guidelines for Success, has been published by The Verse Marauder. The poem speaks to the absurdity of writing within workshop limits and about the advice we as writers get about “good” writing rules.
Here it is:


Why are they called the Terrible Twos?

My eldest is three and a half–an age where he is establishing his independence and where whining has become a hard habit to break.

The tantrums have subsided…thank you thank you…but the whining! I think this particular tone of voice is unbearable. The exchanges are equally frustrating. Here’s an example:

Mommy! I neeeeed my milk cup!

Son, it’s right there (I point to the table where son is sitting)

Mommmmmmmmyy! YOU GET IT FOR ME!

Are you kidding? Pick it up. It’s RIGHT THERE!


Then the time-outs begin. Ah…the Terrific Threes.


April 7, 2007

This last week was less than productive. Somehow, I lost my momentum for my novel. It’s strange–I’m simultaneously excited by it and able to keep my distance from it at the same time.

I’ve been concentrating on short stories for a while, and there’s a real sense of do-ability in shorts–the end is quickly in sight, and I can finish them within a matter of days. For a novel however, the end isn’t just far away, somewhere out there in the foggy distance–the weight of it also looms over me. Makes my shoulders ache.
So yeah, it’s a struggle with this book.

But I intend to win.

Your inner critic.

April 2, 2007

Here’s a piece I recently wrote, published at Tiny Lights Online. Those of you who write and feel the disdain of your inner critic will relate:


What’s average?

April 2, 2007

So I’m trying to write at least 700 words a day in my novel, but even that feels like a lot on some days.

I’ve heard various writers talk about their output: 1,000 or 2,000 words a day (sometimes more) or sometimes it’s in incriments of time, e.g., one or two or six hours a day.

The discipline appeals to me, but a word count goal hangs over my head every morning…gotta reach 700 words, gotta reach 700 words, and so on.

And now to it.  I’ve got 655 words to go to meet today’s goal.