47 Word Writing Prompt Challenge

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Back again for my new weekly writing challenge. This week we’re doing 47 words. I might be a day behind or I might be right on time, maybe it’s Friday, maybe it’s Saturday or Sunday! But I am late in getting it out even for Sunday delivery so here we go. The theme is breaking habits.

Sometimes I put so much thought and emotion – okay all the time – into my writing that I wind up avoiding it all together, even if not intentionally. Writing this makes me think twice about my theme, maybe it should be focus? See? Too much thinking. Sure focus is another thing I need to work on but let’s do one theme at a time. Since my writing can take so much mental energy I become easily distracted. And I give in a lot, especially to over-thinking which is the killer of doing!

Part of the reason I give in a lot is because I have bad habits, things I can turn to instead of ___________ I like to run the TV in the background for distraction. Isn’t that very idea counter-intuitive? I’ve discovered that a lot of us do this. There’s just this need for some kind of noise in the background. Even then it’s not just the noise but the activity. I’m plenty happy if there’s at least something moving, running around on the TV, while I keep it mute or very near so. Still I make sure to put something on that is at least a tiny bit interesting. Ugh…no…that means there’s always something to fall back on.

There are times where I’ll write in spurts. I’ll write some 1,500 to 3,000 words then just kind of sputter to a stop. This is normal I know, I’ve heard about the method of writing for 20 or 25 minutes at a time then take a break. My bad habit here is that my break winds up taking WAY more time than it should. A break at work is like 5, 10, 15 minutes if you’re lucky. The other night I chose to play logic puzzles on my phone. I picked hard (doh, you know that’s going to take longer whereas medium will take under 5 minutes, oh but my reasoning was let’s see if I can’t be awesome and do a hard one super fast) and 45 minutes later I gave up on the puzzle mad that I’d abandoned my writing which is something I actually care about. Guess what? Then I was tired as it was well passed bed time.

I have bad habits. I love to eat, plenty of bad habits right there. I like to watch TV and movies. More there. I like to play games. Oh gosh… These are not wholly bad things. They themselves are not bad habits but in the context of my life they become bad habits. Just like reading is not bad, no no, but reading when you should be working or cleaning or maybe you read for fun when you’re supposed to be reading for school? You see my point.

So along with this prompt let’s break a few bad habits, at least on my end.

  1. If I’m not gonna watch it, no TV. (Not only will this help my writing practice but it’ll save energy and money! And yes there are gobs of other points we can make and habits we can break with regard to the TV but we’re keeping it simple, for now.)
  2. Breaks are to be no more than 10 minutes between writing sessions.
  3. Don’t eat just because you can and/or are bored.

I’ll check in next week with how this went. For now, here’s my 47-word flash fiction piece centered on breaking habits. By the way, you can translate this how you wish for your piece. If you decide not to write fiction please don’t forget to mention that. And now here’s my piece:

That Day

I don’t know what I was thinking, that day. When I look back, I don’t think I was. I was fed up. Tired of not doing anything and doing everything the same.

First thing, I started doing, not doubting. When the magic came, I went to work.

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There we have it for this week’s flash-fiction prompt, 47-words no more no less. If you have a website/blog please link back to this here original post and post your story and/or link in the comments below. I may eventually use photo prompts as well seeing as I like to dabble in photography. I’ve got some cool images we could have fun with. 😉 You can expect another flash fiction prompt next weekend.

Thanks so much for visiting and/or participating!

38-Word Writing Prompt

Hey hey there folks & happy Wednesday! How is your week thus far?

One thing, or rather a couple things I’m adding to my goals is writing more short stories and attempting more writing prompts, my own and those provided by others. It’s not news that writing is an art, a skill, an exercise that requires practice. I think an issue I run into is being too strict in my thinking andd approaches to writing. Not across the board, no, I’ll write anywhere anyhow I can. I will find something to write about if I feel like it. However, while I can do all of that it doesn’t mean I do.

Much of the time when I set up (mentally physically and both) to write I’m thinking WIP WIP WIP, which right now means work on your novel Elpy! And that’s good because that’s what I should be doing; there is a lot of work to be done on that front. But a couple weekends ago my partner inadvertently reminded me that I can work on other projects. Which in turn reminded me that I should.

Some days I’m inspired to write about something that is not related to my current story, or work in progress (WIP). I usually shelve it as for the future project or I forget to make note of it swearing eventually I will. The other week I was reading Popshot (Quarterly), a great illustrated literary magazine (UK based I believe) that still publishes in print. The current issue’s theme is fantasy. I read some pieces and it just hit me. Damn I would like to write a short story, yes I would. So yes I did, okay I started it. 😉 And it’s good to flex these little muscles. In a recent yoga class (video) the instructor took us through an unalignment class. She talked about how we reach plateaus after doing things for a while, and that sometimes we even regress. It’s good to do things differently to train the body differently, testing yourself in new ways, reawakening the parts that don’t always get used. Really great stuff.

The point is probably obvious, this applies to all facets of life not just exercise. At least I know it applies to me and my writing. I’ve been in a kind of slump with my novel. It’s not that I can’t write, I do, but I’m just not finding that natural flow with my story that I’ve had so many times before. I’m feeling a bit stagnant and not allowing myself to open up and let the story come.

Twice now I’ve done the 99-word Flash Fiction Challenge at Carrot Ranch Literary Community. (Thank you Charli. 🙂 ) I’m so happy to have found Charli Mills & the Carrot Ranch (thank you Ritu at But I Smile Anyway for sharing your posts based on Charli’s challenges). Charli Mills has some awesome posts (some because I haven’t read that many, yet) in which she talks her life and/or writing as well as providing these prompts. My 99-word prompt about a mail carrier comes from her fabulous post about writing characters. She truly provides a dynamic literary community as her title says and I look forward to using this resource to improve my writing.

Inspired by writing challenges in the past (by the way, Charli’s is not the first I’ve seen of challenges I just tend to fall away from them), I’ve written a few blogs saying I might start writing my own prompts and/or writing exercises but then I don’t keep up with these ideas. What I’d like to do for real for real is once a week – probably Fridays – I’m going to create a prompt, a writing challenge of my own. I do this not to replace my use of Charli’s, nope I’ll continue with hers, but rather to increase my writing practices. I want to challenge myself with different parameters, push myself and my creativity. Committing myself to blog challenges can help this as well I get to share some of my writing with you all. Seeing as you can’t read my novel until it’s out this is another way to share. Plus I see that other writers like to get in on the challenge and it seems there can never be too many. So I figure, why not join the community of challenges and prompts by inviting others to follow along? Right? Lovely.

So every Friday I’ll have a new prompt for you. PAUSE [I wrote this post and intended to publish it on the 7th of February. But it needed to be edited, links added and I was too tired to finish. Then I didn’t have time. Then another day passed and another. But I like what I did hear so I’m going to go ahead and post this on a Wednesday. Feel free to write your own 38-word story for the challenge. This Friday, the 14th, I will post a new one.) RESUME from the 7th: Today’s is 38-words. Yes I said ONLY 38 words for your story. I will tell you the story behind my number. It will often be the same as today, meaning it will increase. I do believe we’re in the 38th day of the year right? There you have it. In addition to only using 38 words (no more, no less) I want you to follow the concept of doing things different. Interpret that as you may, new ideas, different habits, etc. Please do title your piece.

And in case you don’t already know, a 38-word story would be considered flash fiction. 😉

Post your piece in the comments and link back to my post on your site should you have one you’re posting on. Or you can just post your link back to your story. Let’s get started!

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Believe me, I will

Two more feathers today. I flex them, I think I do. It took a lot for me to believe. Then they grew.

If I keep believing I’ll have a full set. I will believe, I will do new.

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Sweet! There you have it, my 38-word story on doing things different. Whatcha think and whatcha got for me?

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99 Word Flash Fiction Prompt – 30 January Prompt

This prompt is from January 30th and while I missed the February 4th deadline to post at The Carrot Ranch Literary Community for Charli I’m doing this regardless.

She wrote a great post about writing characters and paying special attention to their core traits. I have added the books she recommended to my TBR. Dynamic characters are crucial to a good story. It will not hurt me to learn how to improve my character development. If you’re a writer or just interested in the process of writing definitely visit the above link and read her piece.

By Any Means

A woman hustles children from the car to the house. She doesn’t look at me. I am a fixture in the background. I am just their worker bee.

The black clouds above me don’t fit at 2:38 in the afternoon. The rain is pelting my face like it has something against me. Lightning scolds a nearby tree. None of these people care about this mail right now. They will pay me no mind but they will watch and wonder about my safety in secret. They’ve been taught to fear what they see.

This too shall pass. My family waits.

There you have it. My flash fiction piece of 99 words no more no less about a postal carrier in an extreme situation. What extremes do you see?

Flash Fiction Challenge from Carrot Ranch Literary Community

One thing I think I will try to do more of (probably I’ve said/thought this before, so forgive me) this year is writing challenges. Sometimes in my skepticism I think these are awesome practice for the writer but does someone else want to read this? Well of course silly! People probably want to see, read, experience what you can do with a smattering of words. We like stories right!? So here’s a 99-word flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch Literary Community. I however discovered this challenge (and blog) thanks to Ritu at But I Smile Anyway. So thank you both. Here we go.

Instructions are, watch this gif about a day in the life of a park bench. Pick a time frame to write 99 words (no more, no less) about. The title is the time i picked.

17:00

Pidgey, Pinky, Plump, Pokey, plus many extras today, the gang was all there. Will she forget their names one day soon? Will she fade like the light and become one of the birds no one tries to remember?

Pokey, the old one wandered off like they do, drawing her attention to the bouquet in the trash bin at the end of the bench. Were they old news, pitched because they’d served their purpose?

No, it is an old woman especially who knows heartache. Her brain might be collapsing in on itself but she still knows well what life is.

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There you have it, 99 words no more no less. I’ll be putting this up per the instructions over on Charli’s blog. Go check it out and see what others have come up with. And don’t forget to visit Ritu’s blog as well, both links are near the top of this post.

Thoughts?