Writing Prompts 2022 #1

I thought doing a writing prompt would be a nice change of pace since I haven’t done on in a while.

Choose one of the following items:

  1. Horse
  2. Apothecary
  3. Rhino
  4. Corvette Car
  5. Bowling Alley

Now, pair it with one of the following

  1. Sadness
  2. Freezing
  3. Staring
  4. Blushing
  5. Unconscious

Write 500-1000 words using the words you chose. Choose fiction, non-fiction, anything you like. Once you’re done, please either share in the comments below or post a link to where you are sharing it. Once I get mine written, I’ll be sharing it here. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Update for Golden Knave – Jan. 5, 2022

Wow, I’m still getting used to have to put 2022 instead of 2021 on my dates. 🙂

GK is coming along well, but I’m not ready to start sending out chapters to be reviewed. I’m still busy trying to get it all back on the computer from my handwritten second draft. Due to work, I don’t have as much time to sit and write as I’d like, but I am working on it, I promise. My personal deadline is my birthday, or as close to it as I can get.

I am working on getting a cover done as well. I like doing my own cover, and one of my love Beta Readers, Donna, has suggested a great site for the font for the title. I am going to be working on that more in the coming months, and I might have a contest to choose a cover.

I am also working on the bit that goes on the back as well as a small bit of copy to help sell the book. These take more time and effort than writing the entire book it seems like! I’ll be taking suggestions from my Beta Readers as to what to write.

Other than that, GK is coming along well.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Wednesday: My Inspirations

I started writing when I was quite young – poetry mostly. I was good in English class and Reading, but I didn’t know enough to be able to write anything more than poetry in the beginning. In the 7th grade, one of my poems was published in the school year book which was a big deal to me back then.

I am a voracious reader when I have the time and the means. When I was much younger, I read a wide variety of genres and styles including Romance. I don’t care for Romance any longer, and the Supernatural/Paranormal Romance is just as bad. If I want to read porn, I’ll read porn and not porn pretending to be something else. There’s nothing wrong with sex in a story as long as it helps move the story along and as long as it leaves something to the reader’s imagination. I don’t need/want an explicit sex scene. Where’s the romance in that??

I am, and always have been, a big fan of Fantasy and Horror in their purer forms. Gothic Horror is now classed as Supernatural/Paranormal, but I still enjoy it as long as it’s well written. Violence is okay as long as it moves the story along, as long as it’s necessary for the story to develop. Even then, less is more since I can imagine far worse with fewer details. I love Psychological Horror where the writer lets you scare yourself with a few choice words and with fantastic anticipation building.

My favorite Fantasy author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I discovered him when I was about 10. I read Lord of the Rings and didn’t read the Hobbit until after I’d read the entire series. I was hooked on his style of writing. His use of words to create fantastic imagery was stirring. I cried during the thrilling scene where the Elves arrive in Helmsdeep just in time to aid the Humans they’d pledged to help so many years before. The final movie rendition of that scene was just as stirring, and I cried for the first time – the previous movie attempts had never moved me. Still, I wasn’t moved enough to begin writing. I just devoured every Fantasy novel I could get my hands on. Weis/Hickman’s DragonLance series as well as McCaffrey’s Pern series stuck with me the most of all of them.

When I was 13, almost 14, I discovered Stephen King. I’d already seen movies by some of the great film makers including Hitchcock, but none of them scared me like reading It for the very first time! Only Jaws came close to scaring me that much. Despite this fear, I kept reading King. I loved he didn’t tell me what I was supposed to be scared of, he just described the monster or built up the scene enough for me to scare myself. His use of imagery, smells, sounds, feelings, is still so vivid and evocative I thrill every time I pick up a new book of his. This said, not all of his books have scared me. Cujo made me sad for the dog. Desperation and Regulators disturbed me because they both had kids as the main focus of the stories. Rose Madder was close to being like a bad acid trip. He was, in the end, the catalyst that moved me to try my hand at writing.

I wanted to blend the two writing styles to create my own. I wanted to describe things with a minimal of words, letting the reader fill in the blanks as they would. I wanted to create vivid action scenes, develop well liked/hated characters who were believable, and I wanted to craft a story people would want to read.

My first three stories were lost over the years – my first was a post Vietnam war story, and the other two were Fantasy stories involving characters in Crimson Knight, the first novel I ever published. Those two stories were the beginning of my world of Padua. I have also written Supernatural Thrillers though my first one was considered a Gothic Horror two decades ago.

Others have had added some flavoring to my writing as well, but none have had the impact those two aforementioned had, and still have, on me and my writing.

What inspires you to do the things you love to do? It doesn’t have to be writing. It can be painting, music, poetry, crafting, whatever brings a smile to your lips and happiness to your heart. I’d love to hear about it!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Wednesday: Words are more than just a collection of letters

Words truly are more than just a collection of letters. Ancient humans used them to help them identify things especially when talking to another human – words for animals and plants for instance. They created words to express their feelings as well.

As communication became more advanced, such as the invention of writing, words evolved and became much more than simply names for things. They began to mean things and do things. They helped record history, record important things for business, to teach a great many important things, and to entertain.

With the advent of story telling, words developed more deeper meaning, and they took on yet another dimension especially when combinations began to form. Phrases, idioms, even descriptive passages began to shape people’s thoughts and feelings, drew them in or shut them out. Words began to paint pictures and create ephemeral experiences.

Words still do this even today in our sophisticated world. We know the difference between truth and fiction, most of us do at any rate, and the majority of us are willing to suspend this knowledge in order to fully enjoy the experiences words give us.

Words are still developing as people learn to use them, manipulate them, in order to create even more vivid ideas and thoughts. Words have become “delicious”, “sexy”, “scary” even “disgusting” depending on how they are used. Words have always been evocative, very little in the beginning, but more and more as humans reacted to them and learned from this reaction.

Phrases from Martha Grimes’ Rainbow’s End:

“…coruscating flash of lightning..”

“…varnished with light…”

“…fire…throwing shadowy beckoning fingers up…”

and from Tami Hoag’s Night Sins:

“A sense of anger and disapproval tainted the moment like a layer of soot on her skin.”

“…thick shroud of gray…dimmer than twilight…”

“…world turned into a hazy place of smoke and mirrors…”

“Their innocence marred like a clean white page streaked by dirty fingers.”

These call up imagery not spelled out in their words, they don’t need to be. They are invoked, created by their collaboration with the reader’s mind and life experiences.

It this interplay and interdependence that drew me into the world of reading when I was not even in school. My late grandfather used to tell the story of how, when I came home from my very first day of school, I was upset and a bit angry. When he asked me what was wrong, I told him I hadn’t been taught how to read. My grandmother, bless her, gave me a chapter book for my 5th birthday. This was a book with no pictures in it, hardly fit for a 5 year old only she knew, like my grandfather did, I was no ordinary 5 year old. Once I learned to read, my reading level shot up and by the time I was 7, I was reading that book by myself from cover to cover. It was Bomba the Jungle Boy, and it was written by Stratemeyer Syndicate under the name Roy Rockwood around 1926. This is the same group who wrote and published Nancy Drew, which I later read as well. It was 1975 when I got my copy of Bomba the Jungle Boy, and I wish I still had the book. It disappeared somewhere along my life’s road, but I plan to replace it now that I know where I can get a copy.

What do you think of the words you read? What words and phrases catch your attention and linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading?

Do you agree words are more than just a collection of letters?

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompt #?

I’ve honestly forgotten what prompt number this is since I haven’t done one in a while. I do apologize. In the new year, I’ll start over on the numbers and keep up with it better then.

On with the prompt:

Tuesday

Yellow

Mime

Your word count goal is 500 words total. Once I get my own written, I’ll post it here. I can’t wait to see what you write so please, share it with me either via a link or through the comments below.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Words, Words, Words

It’s Writing Wednesday, and I thought I’d talk a bit about language. Language is made up of words that help us to communicate both verbally and by writing. It’s been around almost a long as Man has been. Early man is thought to have communicated with body movements and the occasional guttural sounds such as grunting.

Eventually, Man achieved oral language though it is unsure exactly when this happened. The overall agreement is that it was a long process of adaptation and evolution with early Man having very small vocabularies and limited ability to vocalize words.

Once oral language was achieved, Man began to spread out. Languages changed as regions and areas began to differ. people needing different words to relate to their surroundings. Philology is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, ..”the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages”

A Polyglot, according to Oxford dictionary, “a person who knows and is able to use several languages.” This means being fluent in at least 4 different languages.

Oral language soon developed into written languages as societies grew and became more complex. It is postulated Writing came about at the same time as Trade and Accounting did because a way was needed to record transactions. The royal family especially appeared to have a need to know exactly what they owned and how much.

The written language developed and changed as the need for it changed. It has become so interwoven in all societies and cultures that one has to be fluent in it as well as the oral language for one to be considered an “expert” in that language. Polyglots not only speak a language fluently, they are also able to read and write fluently in that language.

Words, and their uses, have a big impact on people. You can see it on the faces of people who get good news and those who get bad. You can brighten someone’s day with a kind word, or you can destroy a person with a harsh one. It doesn’t matter is those words are spoken or written, they all have an impact on both of the people in the conversation.

My first, and main inspiration, is J.R.R. Tolkien, and he was both a Philologist and a Polyglot. He also had the job of Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. He specialized in Old and Middle English, but he was also fluent in German and several other languages. Philology was his hobby as was writing, and he used one to enrich the other, creating no less than three languages for his books.

Words, words, words, – they are historical with some having roots in ancient times, and others are more modern, created to keep up with the changes in the world around us. Case in point, France’s Commission d’enrichissement de la langue francais(French Language Enrichment Commission) started by de Gaulle in 1966, has the sole task of coming up with new French words for things including words created in other languages – especially American English ones.

I, as a writer, strive to use words to the best of my abilities to achieve a desired effect/goal. My main goal for writing this blog is to establish a rapport with my fellow humans. I have achieved this, to a small degree, and I continue to work towards creating more while enriching and strengthening those I have already created. I am appreciative of all the feedback I get from everyone.

The next time you use a word, like “macho” consider how and when the word became a part of your language. Is it one that is indigenous to your language, or is it one brought in from another language? American English is full of Loanwords, words brought in from other languages, and most have been adopted into the language through constant and generalized usage. Macho originated in the Spanish language, but it’s been adopted into American English with the exact same meaning in both languages.

Just thought I’d give you something to think about. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

OpEd: Cursing and Swearing – Are they really signs of intelligence?

Curse: utter offensive words in anger or annoyance.

Swear: the use of offensive language.

Both of these definitions fall under the umbrella of Profanity: blasphemous or obscene language.

I have been told that use of Profanity is a sign of intelligence, but my own research has shown this to be false. According to a study conducted by Yale University and the paper later published called The Relationship Between Profanity and Intelligence:

“ABSTRACT. Profanity and censorship are prevalent in our culture. Many negative opinions about
cursing exist, but there is little actually known about how harmful it can be. The purpose of this
experiment was to see if cursing is correlated with intelligence. The hypothesis is that there will
be no relationship between cursing and intelligence. A 28 question survey that assessed cursing
frequency was given to 46 college enrolled participants. After the survey, the participants were
asked to complete the Wonderlic Personnel Test in order to assess their Intelligence Quotient.
After running a linear regression analysis between the factors in the survey and the IQ scores, no
statistically significant relationship was found between cursing and intelligence. There was a statistically significant correlation found between IQ score and whether or not the participant reported that he or she attempts to expand his or her vocabulary. These findings show that although
cursing may not be socially desirable, it is not a predictor of intelligence or the lack thereof. It
was shown that vocabulary and the desire to expand it may play a large role in intelligence. This
should be emphasized in scholastic environments, especially for children before the age of three.
Developing an extensive vocabulary as soon as possible seems to lead to higher intelligence….”

I have always believed profanity is a lazy person’s way of speaking. It was originally used to shock people into silence thus allowing the person speaking to “win” the argument or whatever. Most people use certain profane phrases out of habit and as a knee jerk response when someone makes them mad or whatever.

In the olden days, like the Middle Ages, being profane was actually a sign of intelligence because you had to have a decent vocabulary, and some wit, to properly “curse” someone.

Latin words were translated and used by those with an education while common folks with limited educations would use profanity of a more religious nature. ‘By God’s Body!” was a popular one and was later changed to “By Jove” to make it more acceptable.

Monty Python did some tongue and cheek “swearing” by saying: “Your mom is a hamster, and your father smells of elderberries!” I first heard this as a preteen and didn’t know what people thought it was so funny until an older friend translated : “Your mother is a whore, and your father is a drunk.” Very witty and got past the censors of the time.

I enjoy reading passages where a person spends a few minutes insulting a person:

You bloody pox ridden, pustule covered, flea bitten, mangy, foul smelling, ignorant son of a three-legged ram!” or some such. That kind of insult takes a bit to pull off so a big vocabulary is a must.

Nowadays, big vocabularies mean insulting someone using technical terms for bodily functions as well as scientific names for things and doing things usually ends up with the receiver of such an insult having no idea how burned they are.

While there are many benefits to swearing and using the F word, using it as part of a normal conversation is not a sign of intelligence imho. Using it every other word is plain stupid and shows a serious lack of creativity at the very least. When someone uses profanity in regular conversation, I stop listening to what they have to say because it’s not going to be anything interesting or important – not to me.

When angry, swearing is very cathartic and thus, is useful. Swearing just to do so isn’t.

End of my op ed. Tell me what you think – I promise I won’t use any profanity. I am just trying to get a feel of what others think.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Word Association #2

I had such fun with the first one, I’ve decided to do it again. The game is simple, read each word and write down the first word that comes to mind. The FIRST one, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Your mind makes associations in many different ways and no two minds work the same way! Also, you can’t use the same words I choose:

  1. Victory
  2. Honesty
  3. Blue
  4. Sorrow
  5. Truck
  6. Dog
  7. Child
  8. Serendipity
  9. Scrumptious
  10. Benign

Here are my answers. Please, post yours in the comments and don’t worry about explaining why you used a word. It’s all in good fun!

  1. Winning
  2. Truth
  3. Red
  4. Happiness
  5. Bronco
  6. Malamute
  7. Mother
  8. Surprise
  9. Pie
  10. Safe

I look forward to seeing what kind of answers you give me for this little game! 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Golden Knave Update August 2021

I have a Beta reader! She lives in the UK, but she’s willing to work with me about the time between us 🙂 I am waiting on a friend here in the US to let me know if she’s interested in being a reader still – she just finished some intensive chemotherapy and may no longer feel up to doing something like this.

With L, she’s going to be holding me accountable. I am sending her a chapter a day Monday through Friday which means I have to work on getting it from long hand to the computer before I can email her anything. I’ll be doing to formatting and the rest once everything is on the computer, it’s easier that way actually – for me anyway.

I sent her the backstory including an overview of Crimson Knight so she’ll know where things stand when she begins work on Golden Knave. I also sent her the first chapter of Kitya’s story. I actually thought I had all of Kitya’s story on the computer, but I was way wrong so I’ll be doing that before anything else.

Golden Knave still doesn’t have an ending, but I’m sure once I get to that point, I’ll have it worked out. It would be impossible not to.

I think, I know, Golden Knave will be done before Yule this year as that’s my final goal for this project.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

OH YES!! If you’d like to be a Beta reader, feel free to let me know in the comments below! This is an adult fantasy novel so be forewarned!!

Word Association Game

Wednesday is about writing – all aspects of it. This week, I thought I’d present to you a word association game.

How to Play

1. I’ll give you a list of words, and you write down the first word that comes to mind for each word.

2. Have fun, there is no right or wrong to this game

Word List

  1. Rainbow
  2. Brick
  3. Flower
  4. Washing
  5. Sea
  6. House
  7. Extreme
  8. Effortless
  9. Flow
  10. Heat
  11. Elephant
  12. Hat
  13. Puddle
  14. Eccentric
  15. Boots

My Answers – Can’t use mine!

  1. Rain
  2. Red
  3. Daisy
  4. Folding
  5. Breeze
  6. Den
  7. Weather
  8. Easy
  9. Ebb
  10. Cold
  11. Large
  12. Sombrero
  13. Mud
  14. Crazy
  15. Shoes

Please, put your answers in the comments below!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!