Thursday, December 29, 2005

Past, Present and Future

We live in a day of time saving devices. I remember doing laundry with an old ringer washer and hanging the clothes out to dry. Today, we set the washer to the appropriate setting and when the laundry is done I toss it into a dryer and hang it on hangers an hour later wrinkle free.

Things change. Life goes on and progress carries us into a new day with more time to do other things. But, what do we do with it?

Choose a time saving product and write a scene in the past or present reflecting change and innovations. Have fun. Let your imagination carry you to a different place and time and let it reflect in the technology surrounding your characters.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Gum On Your Shoe

Events that pull us from the ordinary enough to instill memories of a moment in time that stay with us for a lifetime.

I remember when President Kennedy was shot. I sat with my seventh grade class our teacher broke the news. It helps me see the classroom, my teacher--things I'd otherwise have forgotten.

On the other hand a small event can also mark a place in time. When my grandson was almost four years old, we stopped at the store. While crossing the parking lot, I stepped in gum. He surveyed my shoe and said, "That happened to me one time at the park." It stunned me that a child that young had a memory of "back when." Stepping in gum marked that moment in time for him. Now, stepping in gum marks that day in the parking lot for me.

Using events big or small to mark time or generate memories in the life of our fictional characters give your readers a "back when" exerpience to which they can relate.

Write of an event marking a moment in time in your life. If you can't think of one, write about the last time you stepped in gum.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Links in Logic

Today, pay attention to the things that trigger your thoughts of the past. It may seem like you think of bygone days more around the holidays, but actually we think of the past everyday.

For the past two years my daughter, her husband and two children lived with us. Now, they've moved to another state and I'm experiencing a second round of empty nest.

As I soaked in the tub last night, I noticed the worn polish on my toes now half grown out. It triggered thoughts of my six year old granddaughter and the fun she had painting my nails.

Keep an index card handy today, jot down triggers to the past, and write a scene using one of them. Links in logic connecting to the past make your writing emotionally realistic.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Snatching Ideas and Putting Them to Work

The writer's mindset sees possibilities for stories in the oddest places. The trick is to snatch these ideas and put them to work. For instance as I cleaned out some old files today, I found a pamphlet on "Prayer." I thought about how the discipline to write is much like the discipline of prayer. Walla, an idea is born.

The trick is to put the ideas you collect throughout the day to work. We don't have time to develop an entire article or story for every idea on the same day they are born, but it's imperative that you write them down in an idea file with enough information to jog your memory to return to the inspiration that called it into being.

Take one of the ideas you came across today and write a rough draft of a story or article.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Planning Ahead - Holiday Stories

Holiday pieces must be completed months before publication. At the end of the special day, write down the events of the day. Nestled within each holiday are stories that touch the heart, inspire or make us laugh. Catch them while they're fresh, and file it within your "ideas" folder to make writing that holiday story easier later in the year. This small step captures realistic details easily forgotten but which give your holiday piece a fresh realism drawing your readers into the scene.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Cards and Future Ideas

Holidays tend to zap our energy, creative and otherwise. During this hectic time of year, when you don't have much free or quiet time to nurse your muse into creative mode keep an eye out for a holiday card with an interesting cover. Challenge yourself to jot down story or article ideas inside the card. After the holidays are over and the decorations come down, put the cards in a file and use them to jump start your creative writing in the new year.