May 29 2012
May 14 2012
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2012 http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
What is the greatest use for water (other than as a
beverage, on its own)?
(The following is written
from the point of view of Xavier, a fictional character from the Existence
glanced at the writing prompt on the screen and laughed. How many unique uses
for water could he name that no other had ever thought of? Ah, but that was not
what prompt instructed! This wished to know the greatest use. He thought
carefully about the question. History had taught him that water was excellent
leverage, a fine bargaining chip, and a way to alter the value of a property,
but none of these were the greatest uses. After much deliberation he finally
arrived at an answer. “The greatest use for water is to sustain
life,” he wrote.
May 13 2012
From writing prompt: http://susanwrites.livejournal.com/96650.html
(The following is about a character in the Existence series
who was not introduced in book one.)
radiance illuminated from her body as she waited on the grassy patch atop her
favorite hill nearest to her warm little cottage home. She took a deep
cleansing breath to suck in wondrous flavor of the breeze. It carried the first
blossoms of bluebells today along with the taste of the salty ocean. A flock of
birds flew overhead. They called out to warn her of the change from which they
fled. She threw her head back, stretched out her arms, and cried loudly,
“Thank you my winged friends, but I will not flee to shelter this day. What
comes is a gift!”
around and around in circles as she gleefully waited. The blue sky was painted
over with ominous clouds of dark gray. Her hair whipped wickedly in the wind as
the loose braid she had attempted came undone. She laughed like a woman gone
raindrops were soon milked from the bosom of their clouds. She danced happily
in the spray, intent to be covered by as many of them as possible. Her thin
white gown was quickly saturated to the point of being completely useless, for
it kept her neither dry nor modest. She laughed and pulled it off. Her stark
naked body pranced about as the storm made love to her.
wind flicked at her nipples until they protruded fully from her engorged
breasts. Raindrops slid over her silky skin and traced the newest marks which
showed off how much her pregnant stomach had expanded recently. The village
doctor had ordered her to stay in bed, but what did he know of the true nature
of her condition? This storm was as precious as first words!
cracked loudly overhead. She moaned deeply. “Again!” she pleaded.
Bolts of lightning whizzed from the sky and burnt a circle in the ground around
her. She grinned as she took a whiff of the smoldering grass. Her hands swept
over her naked body. The tease was acknowledged by the storm, for the thunder
rumbled like never before! The ground shook, and the air trembled. She let out
a passionate cry to her lover as she dropped to her knees.
sank as the muddy ground swallowed her legs. A smooth stone exposed itself. It
rose up as she submerged deeper until it was pressed at the throbbing pink knob
between her legs. Passionate words of a dead language rolled from her tongue.
Her heartbeat quickened. The strongest baby in her crowded womb prodded her. She
burst into a fit of laughter which mingled with her surge of total ecstasy. She
tasted her salty tears as they mixed with the fresh raindrops.
clean scent of ozone wafted into her nose. She sucked it in until every fleck
of air inside her had been replaced. The smooth stone, now coated with her
body’s own special butterscotch, retreated back into the ground. The powerful
storm slowed to a soft drizzle which rinsed the mud from her legs as she slowly
made her way upright again. She grabbed her gown, wrung it out twice, and then
held it up. A warm ray of sun poked through the clouds to shine on it as a
quick breeze blew against the fabric. A few moments later, she tugged the
nearly dry gown back on. Her hand moved protectively to her stomach as she
headed back to her cottage home.
shall let the doctor know that we will be meeting all of you in the
May 12 2012
I don’t know if depending on coffee is right or wrong. Every
writer seems to have their vice though, and I suppose that this one is mine.
Actually, I’m not dependent upon it; I just get a deep enjoyment from a great
cup. As such, I was surprised to discover an iced coffee in a cardboard carton
that I really enjoyed. I got the original flavor, added half a tablespoon of
Irish Cream syrup to my cup, along with two ice-cubes, and viola! Great iced coffee. I’m spreading the word
because there is a coupon on this site right now.
Give your blog readers the chance to save on the
perfect blend of iced coffee. Tell them about New International
Delight™ Iced Coffee
and the fun e-cards too!*
Twitter Hashtag: #PerfectIcedCoffee
May 11 2012
From writing prompt: http://susanwrites.livejournal.com/255144.html
met Heath’s bare feet as he rolled out of the massive oversized plush bed. He
walked over to the fireplace. His toes curled on the soft throw rug as he threw
another log into the low flames of the tiring fire. He glanced to his bedroom
window, which was a massive construct of nearly eighty panes of glass, a third
of which were stained in lovely colors, and saw that dawn had not yet broken
over the surrounding mountains. Heath pulled the large mink blanket from his
bed and wrapped it around his naked body as he wandered out into the hall.
The last of
the evening stars twinkled in the skylights. Below the far stretching daring
windows to the heavens, crystal chandeliers slowly illuminated as the sensors
picked up Heath’s movement along the red velvet carpet. He headed down the pine
staircase, which smelled of lemon polish, and entered the spacious main living
area. He grabbed a few chocolates from a bowl on the coffee table and munched
as he wandered about in the dim light. He considered that he ought to light a
fire in this room as well, but it took much more effort for the flames to be
effective at defeating the cold in a room of this size. He decided against it
for now and instead pulled the heavy blanket a bit tighter around his body as
he commanded himself to shrug the cool air off. His attention moved from the
unlit firebox in the hearth up to the mantel.
to look away but couldn’t. He was plagued by that spot. Damn its emptiness! No
matter what he placed there, it mocked him. It desired something. It longed to
be filled with a very particular something, but Heath had no idea what that
something was. He growled to himself. Determined not to let the blasted mantel
ruin his day, he called upon all of his will and finally was able to turn and
outside. The mountain air was barely above freezing. Heath dropped the warm
soft blanket. The cold attacked his body at once. He responded with a snarl.
His eyes faced the east just in time for the first beam of daylight to finally
caress the mountain summit. His left hand sprung out to grab something, but
whatever it was reaching for was simply not there. His eyes flicked from the
morning sun’s rays to his left hand. He spit at it, leaving a bit of chocolate
residue that had mixed with his saliva, which looked quite hideous on his skin.
He grumbled to himself for a moment before he leapt into his pool.
As the cool
water hit his face, Heath woke up. He wasn’t in a house made of stone. There
was no vast mountain range outside of his bedroom window. But that feeling,
that damned feeling he got from staring at the mantel and again when his hand
reached out unexplainably, that feeling remained. He knew it would plague him
throughout the day, just as it did every other time he awoke from this dream.
May 10 2012
TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 2012 http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
Write about one change that would improve your country’s
health care system.
The change I would make would not be an easy one. My change
would be to make a system. People talk about the system being broken, but what
system is that? Life is a guaranteed right in the constitution, but the
founding fathers failed to define it. Life is not merely the opposite of death.
The failure from a lack of system starts before a baby is even made! It is
possible to make life better for all, but it requires ego to be checked at the
door and logic to preside over matters. “That’s how it has been,” is
not a reason. Health quality should not be determined by bank accounts.
May 09 2012
FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2012 http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
Friday Fiction: Belt
Write a brief bit of fiction using the prompt
His fingers moved to his belt buckle. He caressed the cool
metal three times, enjoying watching her eyes as they locked on to his fingers.
He gave the leather a small tug, releasing it from the clasp. He listened
carefully as her breath changed with her quickening heartbeat. He tugged the
belt slowly from each loophole, taking his time, his eyes never leaving her
perfect porcelain skinned body.
May 08 2012
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012 http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
Writing Prompt: Secret
Tell us a secret.
Here’s a secret. A few years back there was an email
forward, or Myspace mail forward, whatever it was- that had a list of secrets.
I copied it and kept it. Every now and then I use one of the secrets for my
characters. The most common secret among the hundreds was that they liked
someone but hadn’t told them. The second most common were confessions of abuse.
What does it say about us that our biggest secrets are about love- either that
we fear to share it or that we are ashamed to speak up when we know it has gone
May 07 2012
FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012 http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
Write a brief bit of fiction using the prompt
He sat at
the bar watching as she twirled on the dance floor. That sparkling red dress of
hers had the most daring slits he had ever seen. Mark had told him that the
wouldn’t be like the ones back home, but never in his wildest dreams had he
expected to find one like her.
was no longer going unnoticed. The song ended, and she strode straight over to
him like a fish on his line. Her hips swayed with each step, her forward leg
exposing itself as the shimmering fabric parted with her stride, her walk
hypnotizing him until at last she was a breath away.
man wants to buy my next drink,” she said to the bartender without
dropping her gaze from the man’s eyes.
makes you so sure of that?” he asked her as his fingertips grazed over the
ends of her volcanic red hair.
closer to him. His view of her cleavage had him half way to a coronary.
“Tell me I’m wrong and I’ll walk away. You aren’t the only one here
staring, you know.” She pulled his oversized
never known a lady so brazen as to just take a man’s hat or to presume that
he’d buy her a drink.”
I’ve never known a cowboy so bent on questioning my motives. Maybe you need to
be branded.” Her fingertips stroked the back of his neck. His eyes widened,
and he gasped as he suddenly felt a surge of heat ripple down his spine. He was
about to run, but then her lips were suddenly on his.
There was a
sweetness that he had never tasted before. It put honey, sugar, and maple all
to shame. Then there was the warmth. He could taste the memories of hot summer
days riding across the back forty on Maggie, his very first horse. Damn he had
loved that mare! How was that thought in his head now? And how had it become a
could his mind form a question then it was decimated by yet another level of
her kiss. Her body was pressed against his now. He could feel her fingers on
his bare chest as she forced his shirt open right there in this public place
with the eyes of the crowd on them. She was certainly like no woman he had ever
suddenly snapped to attention. Every last strand on his body was rigid and
upright. It took a moment to determine the cause. Her fingertips were circling
his nipples and giving off little bolts of static shocks. He wanted to pull
away. He wanted to make the pain stop. He wanted to button up his shirt and not
be turned into a peep show for the oversexed city folk.
that’s what he kept trying to tell himself that he wanted. His body seemed to
have abandoned the sense and reason of his mind. His hands had landed firmly on
her rear and were prepared to defend this claimed territory for all it was
worth, which was surely a lot because it was the most amazing set of cheeks he
had ever known.
groping fueled her enthusiasm. Her kiss heated up even more. There was just
passion, energy, and power. This was not at all what it was like to kiss a mere
woman. No, this was what it must be like to kiss a bolt of lightning.
May 07 2012
1- The widget needs to reappear next year!
right or wrong, I generally spent less than 10 seconds on a blog where the latest
post was a letter from several days ago. I know that not everyone can keep up.
That life can get in the way. But there were so many people that it felt unjust
to devote time to those who were failing the challenge instead of giving
attention to those who were keeping up and earning it. So it would be great if
the widget also booted those out who had dropped out, or at least moved them to
the end of the click list.
I’m not sure that such a thing is possible. Probably not. I’m not the matrix.
2- I loved playing along and getting to know other people. I
have a new folder in my browser bookmarks filled with the interesting blogs
that I found and plan to visit again.
3- LIKE BUTTON. I wish more blogs had them. I might not sign
in to every page to comment, but if there was a button/ icon that could be
clicked, I think that would be nice. I know I personally enjoy if someone stops
by my page and clicks the “Liked” option.
Is there a universal way to get that on blogs? Or something
similar to it? I feel that it’s polite to click something so the writer knows
that I was there, that I acknowledge the work, and that I found it pleasing-
but in a way that only requires one quick click. Perhaps I spend too much time
on Facebook and Twitter with the Like and Favorite options.
4- I don’t want it to end! I love having inspiration that is
shared with others. Small easy goals and deadlines give me motivation.
5- I was impressed by the number of participants that used
the word xenophobe for the letter x in the challenge. I figured that there
would be a lot of people talking about their x-rays or xylophones from
childhood, or turning into chemists to educate about xenon, or perhaps even
posting Xerox’s of butt cheeks.
May 06 2012
I found this great site: http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/
I decided to try a few of the prompts.
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012
Friday Fiction: Vine
Write a brief bit of fiction using
the prompt “Vine.”
pulled up in front of the biker bar. The rider was shorter than the other men
who were standing outside with their beers and cigarettes.
out the jacket on this one. Some jungle freak.”
dismounted and glared through the helmet at the heckler before flipping him
you wanna have go?”
nodded and took a step forward. The heckler broke his beer bottle and pointed
it toward his target. The bar’s owner, a former well known wrestler who was
twice the size of everyone else, stepped outside. He moved behind the patron
with the broken bottle.
even try to hit that one and the cops will find your remains in my dog’s
feces,” the owner said as he cracked his oversized knuckles beside the
heckling patron’s head.
shoulders slumped. “You’re no fun,” Granny Vine said as she pulled
her helmet off at last. “I could have taken him, you know.” The
setting sun glistened off of her short white curly hair. The crowd of bikers
May 06 2012
April 20/27, 2012 Issue #1203/1204 of Entertainment Weekly has, on page 90, an
interview with Nicholas Sparks where they asked him about his five favorite romance movies.
I thought it might be fun to compare his thoughts on these films with how my
own characters and storylines from the Existence series will hopefully be
Titanic– NS talks about how the love story was not mere background
to the epic event. In the Existence series, a love story of sorts can be
contributed to the cause of the epic events. NS goes on to say that the best
thing about love is the desire to save the one you care about. Xavier’s final
big scene in book one is all about his choice to do what he thinks will best
save the one he loves, doing what he thinks will give her the best chance at
Ghost– The description NS gives is very much how I hope someone
will describe the Existence series one day, though the love story might not be
first and foremost. The exact reasoning for that will show in a later book.
Dirty Dancing– This is a favorite film of my main character, Xavier,
though few know that about him. The description that NS gives about this film
hardly functions to thoughts one might have about my series, in my opinion. I
could be wrong though.
Pretty Woman– A movie that my character Heath generally assumes could
become a biography about his own future. (He’s wrong about that. His fate will
be far more unexpected.) As for NS’s comment that it’s a modern-day Cinderella
story, well, I’m sure someone will feel that the romance between Xavier and
Wend has that same scenario going on. And as far as book one is concerned, it
does appear to be true. They are also both certainly in need of rescuing, or
perhaps in need of a good smack upside the head! Enter the character that
hasn’t been introduced yet…
film, the remarks NS makes about this film, and the first Existence book. It
isn’t possible, however, to do this very well without giving away too much!
May 04 2012
So I saw
this article about the Forbes Fictional 15 richest characters. Naturally I
thought about my own characters and where they would fall onto this list. In
the first book (Fractions of Existence) it becomes clear that Xavier is “”rolling in
it.”” In later books it will
become clear just how wealthy these characters really are.
I think the
most interesting things about their wealth are that they will remain at the top
even if the world shifted in a way that what is considered valuable would
change. For example, I can get a variety of spices for one-third of an hourly
minimum wage, but a few hundred years ago spices were so valuable that kingdoms
joined together to pool funds in the hopes of sending out parties that might
return with them. Honestly, with the way the world is headed right now, I
believe that Xavier’s character will easily become the most economically valuable
person on Earth. (The character who will be introduced later though is the one
who I believe has always and will always be the most valuable to all societies,
though she is without wealth.)
interesting thing about their wealth is how little they regard it. This is a
result of having always been wealthy. It will be interesting to watch Wend as
she transitions from her current place in the world to the social and economic
status that awaits her.
There is a qualifying
rule which may prohibit my characters from ever appearing on this list. It’s a
bit of a borderline though, a sort of a grey area. Perhaps in a year or two
from now we’ll find out which side of that they land on.
May 01 2012
I recently read this and found it to be absolutely worthwhile.
I am going to take a moment here to jot down my thoughts.
clear about what it is you want in return, and write it (all) down.
1- I want to connect with new readers/ fans.
2- I want to give those new readers/ fans a way to get to
know me better.
3- I want to reward the readers of my blog by giving them
knowledge they won’t find in the books.
4- I want to give the blog readers a reason to comment.
5- I want my blog readers to click to the WHAT-ARE-THEY.COM
6- I want to generate buzz for my fiction series before it
7- I want to increase my Facebook and Twitter followers.
8- I want a way to communicate with my audience.
9- I want to “brand” my name.
you haven’t checked to see where your rankings are in the world of SEO, take a
minute to open Google, type in your name and see which of your accounts comes
Things that I learned after I Googled myself:
1- It looks like I was nominated for a shorty award in the
2- Only 59 books on Goodreads… I really have to get back
to updating that site!
3- My character quiz appears! I have no idea what the magic
trick or glass of water science stunt is about, but clicking that link does
indeed lead to my quiz!
4- The last thing list will direct one to my blog. Yay! I
think that was the goal of this exercise, wasn’t it?
5- Google+ is listed. I really feel that I am not utilizing
that tool for all that it is worth. I would love to find someone who is so that
I could get a better feel for it.
(6- April 24 was the 132nd birth anniversary of Gideon
Sundback, who developed the zipper.)
your core values as a blogger.
I searched a bit for how to best do this step. What is truly
important to me as a blogger?
1- That my readers be entertained.
2- That my readers desire to return.
3- That my readers feel they have gained something by
4- That my readers become fans who want more.
I am not sure that those things count as values, but they
are important to me as a blogger.
I want my blog to be
creative, unique, well organized, and easy to navigate. I would like my blog to
touch the lives of others, even if only in small simple ways. I would like my
blog to add to my motivation to complete my novels. I would also like my blog
to build anticipation from fans for those novels.
I want my blog guests
to become loyal readers and fans. I want my blog readers to feel that my blog
is a trustworthy source of information. I want my blog readers to be
entertained and especially to enjoy the bits which are funny. I would like my
blog to unite my fans. I would like my blog readers to feel they have gained
knowledge that non-readers will have missed out on, knowledge which will
hopefully distinguish them from casual readers. I want to be practical about my
blog post lengths. They should not be so short that a Twitter post could have
said the same thing, nor so long that one needs to spend more than a few
minutes on my page. It’s a blog, not a novella.
I would like my blog
posts to earn “like” votes, just as I would click to vote on the
blogs that I visit which offer such a thing. I would hope that each blog post
counts, that it is worth reading to at least one person out there.
Is a mission statement the same as core values? Perhaps I
need to find a few other words that suit my core values as a blogger.
Creativity / Inspiration
Education/ Knowledge/ Wisdom
There, that list looks about right.
your personal terms.
I stated in my first post by saying that this is not meant
for children. The books are likely to be racier than the blog though.
your professional destination.
My professional destination is in writing. It always has
been. But without readers and fans, writers become an endangered species.
“In the end, writers are just flinging their words into
the void, hoping and praying that somebody picks them up and saves them from
obscurity. In the end, writers need an enormous amount of courage simply to
Apr 30 2012
driven quite a variety of vehicles in my life, from cars to forklifts, but one
thing that I have not had the pleasure of driving yet is a Zamboni. There are a
great many gears to get to know, because the function of this vehicle is not to
get from here to there but rather to smooth the ice over.
fascinates me is the grace and ease by which these massive machines are able to
maneuver on the ice. I have driven my car in winter weather, and if you have
never had that experience, let me take a moment to assure you that hitting an
ice patch is not pleasant. There is no gliding with grace, there is just
holding on and working to keep from crashing.
Is there a
secret to these machines? Is there a magic that keeps them going the correct
directions on the ice? Or is it that they are going 4 miles an hour instead of
Apr 30 2012
died down. Navel officers and their spouses bid Renzo adieu. The Senator and
his cheery blonde date polished off their drinks before heading out. Renzo
lingered in the ballroom, picking up bits of litter. It wasn’t his job to clean
this place, but then again, it wasn’t his job to do anything anymore. He had
completed his last mission. There would be no more flights. He would not be
slung off of a carrier ship again. He would not pilot a proto type of the most
advanced helicopter that the world had ever known ever again. He was grounded.
No more ocean. No more sky.
A young man
stepped out of the shadows. Though he didn’t look old enough for it to be legal
for him to drink, he was holding a glass of Scotch.
party is over, son. Do you need a ride home?”
The young man let out a chuckle. “The party hasn’t even started yet.”
you drunk, son? I don’t know who served you. I thought this place had better
staff than that. I am sorry if you became inebriated at my event. I can assure
you though that this party has ended. All of the guests have gone home. The
band stopped playing a while ago. There is nothing left but the clean up.”
man stepped closer. His blue eyes flashed. Renzo was certain that he could smell
the ocean and feel the soft rocking of the waves.
Xavier Doyen. I have been following your career. I know it seems like the party
has just ended, but that does not have to be the case. You were born to make a
difference, and thus far in your life you have. I invite you now to embark on
another adventure, one far more classified than even your highest commander is
aware of, for the safety and protection of the world at large.”
Apr 28 2012
When I was
a child, I had an uncle with a sizable yo-yo collection. He enjoyed doing yo-yo
tricks and taught me a few of them. What I would not find out for several years
was the reason that his tricks worked on his yo-yos but not on the very cheap
ones that I purchased was because he was using yo-yos that could do sleep
tricks, meaning that the string was looped onto the yo-yo bearing, not glued or
stapled into it. Dollar stores are great for many things, but a decent yo-yo is
rarely among them. The rock-the-baby trick is fine, but doing it with a yo-yo
which lights up and sparkles makes it grand!
If you are interested in learning some tricks, I suggest
watching That Yo-yo Guy on YouTube.
Apr 28 2012
Fantastic. I left a beautiful five
star hotel with a delicious masseur to stay in a box. Xavier is seriously going
to owe me for this. So is she, once she gets her memory back.
She looks so sad. It’s hard to
not be able to reveal the answers to her. It’s hard to listen to her cry, to
hear how empty and alone she feels, and not be able to tell her that I know
that everything will be alright. None of the things she is crying about today
will make a drop of difference once she and Xavier share that first kiss. These
feelings that she has of being inadequate are only a result of her being stuck.
The sense of not fitting in that she tries so hard to ignore, I know the real
reason behind it.
What I don’t know is how she got
here. She doesn’t belong with this family. Perhaps this is what exile looks
like. Maybe this is as close as our kind will ever come to Hell.
Apr 28 2012
with me if you will what it was like to board a ship to cross the ocean with
the intention to relocate to a land that no one you knew or had heard of had
ever explored before. Now imagine that you get to this new land and discover
that it is already inhabited. You are an intruder! For whatever reasons, you
opt to stay anyway. Eventually you have to interact with these other people.
They are foreigners (an odd use of the word, given that this has been their
homeland for more generations than you can count), and they are strangers. They
are vastly different from you. Over time they become present in your society,
but they are never accepted as part of it.
unsure of what to make of you, so they hang around quietly observing. They
watch as you make a fool of yourself. The days grow shorter, and the air gets
colder. This new land has winter! You are not prepared. Then the strange
natives show you a bit of kindness. They teach you just enough of their ways to
keep you from starving.
the winter. They offer to teach you more. What would taking such an offer mean?
Would you have to give up your ways? Would you become an outcast to society as
well? They’re trying to change you! This isn’t why you came here. You did not
plan to arrive in this land to mingle with a bunch of people who lacked the
good sense to let you freeze to death. This is your land! You have a right to
it! You crossed an ocean to get to it, after all! So they have ancestors buried
here- you had to bury some folks at sea! That alone gives you the right to this
place. This land must learn to adapt to you, not you to it. How dare these
natives exist! They are to be feared. Only hostile and violent reactions will
lead to your survival! Germ warfare must be employed.
four hundred years to brew. Then sit back and watch the argument that no one
else should be allowed to move on to this land.
If you plan
to survive, never forget rule one: Do not accept a blanket.