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Tag: writing

NaNoWordSprints Prompts from July 2021 – Part 4

Here’s the last part of the July Camp NaNoWriMo’s prompts from @NaNoWordSprints:

July 22, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 2

10 minthe noble smuggler
20 mindragons vs. unicorns
30 minthe heights
10 minthe third sister
20 minlike nothing amazing ever happened
30 minsplinter
10 minpretty things
20 minwhiskers in the dark
30 minall or nothing
5 mindeep fried revenge

July 23, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 3

10 minthe pact
20 minbe curious
30 minnot that kind of guy
10 minthe socialite
20 minsecrets in the dark
30 minone little bag
10 minwherever I go
20 minforbidden realm
30 mininto the valley
5 minmaster class

July 24, 2021, 10:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)

Lo-fi Beats

10 mindeep within the forest
20 minI must get out of here
30 minsomething else
10 minsnuggle
20 minshifting past

July 24, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

K-pop List

10 minbe there for you
20 minspin off
30 minsee you again
10 minparallel universe
20 minback to you
30 minbittersweet
10 mineasy
20 minmake up your mind
30 minup all night
10 minright through me

July 25, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 4

10 minwhat could that be?
20 minif only
30 minend game
10 mindeadly by design
20 minrival magic
30 minfollow that car
10 minfox & rabbit
20 minthe big finish
30 mincrown of smoke
5 minafter she wrote him

July 26, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 5

10 minthe silent treatment
20 mina time of courage
30 minthe deceivers
10 mincrash
20 minthe lost orphan
30 minfantastic hope
10 mina shadow intelligence
20 minlessons of the heart
30 minlooking glass
5 minthey went left

July 27, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

ABBA

10 minthe name of the game
20 minknowing me, knowing you
30 mintake a chance on me
10 minmoney, money, money
20 mingimme, gimme, gimme
30 minwhen all is said and done
10 minthe visitors
20 minunder attack
30 minthe winner takes it all
5 minso long

July 28, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 6

10 minrough justice
20 mindirt cheap
30 minyou deserve each other
10 minexpectation
20 minbloodlines
30 mina stroke of malice
10 minveil of shadows
20 mina warrior’s spirit
30 minnowhere to hide
5 minno going back

July 29, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 7

10 minthe invisible web
20 mina little bit brave
30 mina moment of tenderness
10 minthe fact of the matter
20 minthe lucky ones
30 minan outcast and an ally
10 minthe best laid plans
20 minthe conspiracy
30 minhomecoming
5 minwhat I like most

July 30, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 8

10 minthe loop
20 minthe perfect escape
30 minrevenge
10 minmeet me at midnight
20 minone fatal flaw
30 minbrave
10 minmagic required
20 minthe wedding dress
30 minpenny for your thoughts
5 mintime of our lives

July 31, 2021, 10:30am-12:30pm (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 9

20 mincactus and flower
5 minbroken
15 mina beautiful arrangement
30 mintemptation at his door
20 minqueen

July 31, 2021, 5:00pm-7:00pm (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 10

10 mina mother’s lie
20 minsilver spoon
10 mindefining moments
30 minthe secret kept from the king
20 minincendiary

July 31, 2021, 7:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)

Jerry Goldsmith Film Music

10 minthe dream
10 minit’s a long road
25 minpromise me
30 minprepare for battle
20 mininner workings
20 minreunited
30 minthe final game

NaNoWordSprints Prompts from July 2021 – Part 3

Oops. I am super late with this. Here’s part 3 of from the July Camp NaNo prompts from @NaNoWordSprints:

July 15, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 17

10 minfollow the recipe
20 mintaking the reins
30 minthe everlasting
10 minwhen you know what I know
20 minthe big freeze
30 mina wish in the dark
10 minthe numbers game
20 minthe last tourist
30 minone big party
5 minthe sticky situation

July 16, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 18

10 minthe sky is the limit
20 minin the red
30 mindocile
10 minthe survivor
20 minall your twisted secrets
30 minbad best friend
10 minmad with joy
20 minreclaiming his legacy
30 minthe sinner
5 minfor love and country

July 17, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

Daft Punk

10 minone more time
20 minaround the world
30 minharder better faster stronger
10 minprime time of your life
20 mindoin’ it right
30 minget lucky
10 minI feel it coming
20 mininstant crush
30 minthe game of love
5 minfragments of time

July 18, 2021, 11:00am-1:00pm (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 19

10 minmost likely
20 minthe darkness we hide
30 minmoment of truth
10 minhit list
20 mina bond undone

July 18, 2021, 3:30m-5:30pm (UTC-8)

Beatles Songs

10 minask me why
20 minfree as a bird
30 mintwist and shout
10 minall together now
20 minI should have known better

July 18, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 20

10 minseparation anxiety
20 minsiren
30 minin my garden
10 minthe essence of perfection
20 minwink

July 19, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 21

10 minleft to die
20 minlearning to trust
30 mincovert complication
10 minpivot
20 minwe are totally normal
30 minhome with you
10 minthe great upending
20 minhex
30 minfashion frenzy
5 minacross the way

July 20, 2021, 9:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)

March 2020 Book Titles – Part 22

10 minthe curse
20 minsandblast
30 minhostile pursuit
10 minmeet the cats
20 minthe big break

July 21, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)

April 2020 Book Titles – Part 1

10 minmad, bad & dangerous to know
20 minwe didn’t ask for this
30 minwhen we first met
10 minsomething she’s not telling us
20 minan unexpected scandal

NaNoWordSprints Prompts from July 2021 – Part 2

Here’s part 2 of last month’s prompts from @NaNoWordSprints:

July 8, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 10

10 minsparrow
20 minsafe house
30 minfor the win
10 minsabotage
20 minwinter magic
30 minthe last human
10 minwhen you need wings
20 minthe deep
30 minthe lost lands
5 minwhere the stars meet the sea

July 9, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 11

10 minblossoms and bones
20 minpark here
30 minunder the rainbow
10 minthe visitor
20 minstop at nothing
30 minthe little farm
10 minshow me a sign
20 minworse than weird
30 minthe shadow arts
5 minbeyond the sea

July 10, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 12

10 minthe mirror and the light
20 minlost autumn
30 minthe copycat
10 minthe mountains sing
20 minthe glass hotel

July 11, 2021, 11:00am-3:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 13

10 minmost wanted
20 minif these wings could fly
30 minfalsely accused
10 minmurder your darlings
20 minthe blue cloak
30 mineveryone’s awake
10 minfearless
20 minthe keeper
30 minbeheld
5 minthe hook

July 12, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 14

10 mincursed
20 minbloom
30 minhike
10 minyou will be found
20 minthe land beyond the sea
30 mincity spies
10 minforced perspectives
20 minthe twin
30 minover the moon
5 minthe midnight hour

July 13, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 15

10 minheartbreaker
20 minthe last odyssey
30 minlittle wonders
10 minthe vanishing girl
20 minblame the dead
30 minthe midnight lie
10 minwhat would you wish for?
20 minhold back the tide
30 minalmond
5 minwho rescued who

July 14, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 16

10 minthe vanishing deep
20 mincan you see me?
30 minin five years
10 minstolen secrets
20 minthe night of your life

NaNoWordSprints Prompts from July 2021 – Part 1

Wow, where has the time gone. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet my writing goals last month, but it’s been crazy busy. However, I did make some time for @NaNoWordSprints so I’ve included below the first week of the prompt tweets during the month of July.

July 1, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 1

10 minroyal heir
20 minundercover bromance
30 minway past mad
10 minprivilege
20 minthe pioneers

July 2, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 2

10 minthings that go away
20 minlost boy found
30 mina shadowed fate
10 minall the pretty things
20 minan ordinary day
30 minthe operator
10 minthe body double
20 minthings you can’t say
30 minlong range
5 minlost at sea

July 3, 2021, 10:30am-12:30pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 3

10 minblue skies
20 minI believe I can
30 minthe safety net
10 minextinct
20 minfetch

July 3, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 4

10 minunspoken words
20 minchain of gold
30 minspindle and dagger
10 minnesting
20 minone little lie
30 mindo no harm
10 minall the invisible things
20 minsalty, bitter, sweet
30 minheartbreaker
5 minfierce competition

July 4, 2021, 12:00pm-2:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 5

10 minare snakes necessary
20 mina forgotten murder
30 mingirl at the edge
10 minwhat matters most
20 mincount our blessings

July 4, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 6

10 minthe welcome wagon
20 minswish
30 minthreshold
10 minthe dating dare
20 minactress

July 5, 2021, 10:00am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 7

10 minthe night watchman
20 minlethal game
30 minhow to be a pirate
10 mindefy the sun
20 mincastaway resolution
30 minthe companions
10 minmy best friend
20 mina good neighborhood
30 mingone by midnight
5 minrunning out of road

July 5, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
James Bond Film Titles

10 minyou only live twice
20 mindiamonds are forever
30 minlive and let die
10 minfor your eyes only
20 minthe world is not enough

July 6, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 8

10 minevery reason we shouldn’t
20 minflight for freedom
30 minwhen we were magic
10 minrevenge is sweet
20 minshakedown
30 minonly mostly devastated
10 minthe final deception
20 minshine
30 minI can build it
5 mincenter of gravity

July 7, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
March 2020 Book Titles – Part 9

10 minthe wrong list
20 minthe return
30 minless than a moment
10 minman on edge
20 minyou are not alone
30 minthe breach
10 mindon’t forget to remember
20 minafter sundown
30 minwhat’s that noise?
5 minwhat the other three don’t know

NaNoWordSprints Prompts from April 2021

So yeah, I’ve been absent from the blog for the past month or so, but it’s been pretty busy with most of my writing time devoted to Camp NaNoWriMo. Below are the prompts I tweeted out on @NaNoWordSprints during the month of April. So consider these a belated record of what was going on last month.

April 1, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 1

10 minkith and kin
20 minthe heap
30 minblue moon
10 minfollowers
20 minbutterfly

April 2, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 2

10 minto the edge of sorrow
20 mina private affair
30 minlove her or lose her
10 minkittens in the kitchen
20 minthat’s what friends do

April 3, 2021, 2:00pm-6:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 3

10 mindream a little dream
20 mintrained to defend
30 minthe endgame
10 minthe secret guests
20 minonly forever
30 mina beautiful crime
10 minthe secret space station
20 minone snowy night
30 minfrom the grave
5 mincelebrations

April 4, 2021, 12:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 4

10 mina flicker of courage
20 minthe boundary fence
30 minhand in hand
10 minbring on the bad guys
20 minabsolute carnage
30 minget out and play
10 minbig lies in a small town
20 mina beginning at the end
30 minresurgence
5 minvoices in the snow

April 4, 2021, 6:00pm-8:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 5

10 minthe secret chapter
20 minhollow dolls
30 mindark truths
10 minthree things 
20 minsanctuary

April 5, 2021, 10:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 6

10 minoasis
20 minfurious thing
30 minthe blaze
10 minthe twin switch
20 minstars beyond

April 5, 2021, 8:30pm-10:30pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 7

10 minthe tenant
20 min into the game
30 minhouse on fire
10 minhow quickly she disappears
20 minunder the stars

April 6, 2021, 10:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 8

10 mingone by nightfall
20 minagency
30 minnot so pure and simple
10 mina dash of color
20 minheart of black ice

April 6, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 9

10 mindouble exposure
20 minthe case for temptation
30 mina love hate thing
10 mintoo close to home
20 minthe protective one

April 8, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 10

10 mindare to dream big
20 minwinter of despair
30 minresistance
10 minsweet temptation
20 minlet’s build

April 9, 2021, 9:30pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
“A” Stone Meanings

10 mindiscovery and truth
20 minmemories and healing
30 minovercoming feelings of loneliness or sadness
10 minclarity and confidence
15 minprotection and strength
30 minsharpening the mind

April 10, 2021, 12:00pm-2:00pm (UTC-8)
2021 Stamps

10 minDouble trouble
20 minNurturing instinct
30 minInvasion
10 minUnusual scent
20 minContemplation

April 10, 2021, 7:00pm-11:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 11

10 minenchanted castle
20 minburn the dark
30 minthe broken heavens
10 mininto the fire
20 minthe vanished birds
30 minhindsight
10 minevery other weekend
20 minthe hand on the wall
30 minthe better liar
5 minmagic quest

April 11, 2021, 11:00am-3:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 12

10 minthe strange ones
20 minwho will it be?
30 mina good man
10 minthe knock
20 minhidden pictures
30 minthe whispers of war
10 mina heart so fierce and broken
20 mina mysterious mix up
30 mindevil, darling, spy
5 mindanger in the deep

April 12, 2021, 11:00am-3:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 13

10 minruby red shoes
20 minnotorious
30 mina queen in hiding
10 minthe vanishing
20 minthe map from here to there
30 minthe end of the ocean
10 minthe best baker
20 minin a jar
30 mina rush of blood
5 minthe poison garden

April 12, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 14

10 minember
20 minthe gimmicks
30 minthe last witness
10 minjust breathe
20 mincome tumbling down

April 13, 2021, 11:00am-3:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 15

10 minone of us is next
20 minfirst cut
30 minlucky caller
10 minthe hollows
20 minrogue princess
30 minlone survivor
10 minjust like me
20 minall the feels
30 minyou were there too
5 minlost

April 14, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 16

10 minstrange exit
20 minthe wild one
30 mintopics of conversation
10 minthe seep
20 minspring

April 15, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 17

10 minthe old truck
20 mingoing the distance
30 minsecond sight
10 minmeeting my monsters
20 minalmost time

April 16, 2021, 9:00am-1:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 18

10 minsilent move
20 minlean on me
30 minsmart
10 minwe used to be friends
20 minmoral compass
30 minclean getaway
10 minthe monster in the lake
20 minthis vicious cure
30 minall the days past, all the days to come
5 minthe last journey

April 17, 2021, 11:00am-3:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 19

10 minlight changes everything
20 mincreatures
30 minworry
10 minall the ways we said goodbye
20 minchosen
30 mintrouble in mind
10 minpaper avalanche
20 minremembrance
30 mintreason
5 minwe wish you luck

April 18, 2021, 1:30pm-3:30pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 20

10 minthe deadly omens
20 minthe love we keep
30 minshow them a good time
10 minthe family next door
20 minconflicting evidence

April 19, 2021, 8:00am-12:00pm (UTC-8)
January 2020 Book Titles – Part 21

10 minhostile territory
20 minthe catch
30 minvexed
10 mindisruptive force
20 minthe circus
30 mincaught in a lie
10 minhome truths
20 mina mother’s secret
30 mincast in wisdom
5 minthen, now, always

April 20, 2021, 10:30am-2:30pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 1

10 minfalse value
20 minamnesty
30 minpostscript
10 minthe tempest
20 minyes no maybe so
30 minsolstice
10 minthe family business
20 minunder the sea and more
30 minif you take my meaning
10 minthe double cross

April 21, 2021, 10:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 2

10 mina perfect explanation
20 minalone in the wild
30 minescape velocity
10 minbeginners welcome
20 minspring is here

April 22, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00pm (UTC-8)
Oracle Cards

10 minambition
20 minresonance
30 mindignity
10 minarticulation
20 minreason

April 23, 2021, 9:00am-1:00pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 3

10 minfollow me
20 minin for keeps
30 minrunaway witness
10 minthe regrets
20 mindreams of fear
30 minthe unwilling
10 minstraight on till morning
20 minright on time
30 minignite on contact
5 minindelicacy

April 23, 2021, 9:30pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 4

10 minhonor lost
20 minthe initiate
30 mintwist
10 minthe chill
20 minin the shadow of the sun
30 minno bad deed

April 24, 2021, 12:00pm-4:00pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 5

10 minthe tea chest
20 minwithin plain sight
30 minbetween magic and dreams
10 minteach me
20 mintoffee
30 minunforgiven
10 minritual
20 minwhat am I?
30 minpush and pull
5 minloyal brave true
15 minbecause I’m smarter than you, that’s why
20 minthe haunting
30 minthe measure for malice
10 minpassion for fashion
20 minlittle but fierce

April 24, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 6

10 mina window breaks
20 minitch
30 minthere is confusion
10 minwe could be heroes
20 minfinally home
30 minunstoppable
10 minpromised
20 minentangled
30 minsilent redemption
5 minthe big lie

April 25, 2021, 8:30am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 7

10 minperfect little children
20 minchocolate chaos
30 minguess who just moved in
10 minstorm from the east
20 minthe convert
30 minthe between
10 minbreak the fall
20 minthe resisters
10 minthe burn
30 minsplit
10 minthings in jars
20 minthe great unknown
30 minthe unspoken name
5 minbreaking silence

April 25, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 8

10 minthe shadows between us
20 minwhat I want you to see
30 minpretty as a picture
10 minwatching from the dark
20 minsurrender
30 minno true believers
10 minwhat makes a family
20 mindeep cover
30 minthe last best hope
5 minbehind every lie

April 26, 2021, 8:30am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 9

10 mintwice the trouble
20 minthe trigger mechanism
30 minframed
10 minnoisemakers
20 mina mixture of mischief
30 minaccidental trouble magnet
10 minthe life below
20 minher quiet revolution
30 minthe holdout
10 minit started with a kiss
20 mintrouble is what I do
30 minthe last day
20 mincast away

April 26, 2021, 8:00pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 10

10 minweather
20 minblindside
30 mina stranger watches
10 minif you only knew
20 minpitfall
30 minour dark secret
10 minthe lucky one
20 minthe fiercest enemy
30 minundone
5 minrule breaker

April 27, 2021, 10:00am-2:00pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 11

10 mintwisted fates
20 minpromises of the heart
30 minall the best lies
10 minhundred feet tall
20 minlovestruck
30 minthe absolution
10 minscammed
20 mincloak of night
30 minthe blunders
5 mingetting dirty

April 27, 2021, 7:30pm-12:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 12

10 mintime warp
20 minred letter days
30 mina divided loyalty
10 minan everyday hero
20 minducks
30 minkiller insight
10 minthe lucky star
20 minwinning at life
30 minif for any reason
10 minall the pieces fit
20 minone little indiscretion

April 28, 2021, 6:30pm-10:30pm (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 13

10 minin search of truth
20 minverge
30 minsensational
10 minthe traitor
20 minevery bit a rogue
30 minthe right moment
10 minmysterious abduction
20 minbad apple
30 minthe backstabbers
5 mina promise to keep

April 29, 2021, 8:00pm-10:00am (UTC-8)
February 2020 Book Titles – Part 14

10 minthe best intentions
20 minthree’s a crowd
30 mincriminal alliance
10 mindead ringer
20 minbefore he vanished

A Tentative Idea for Camp NaNo

With the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, this is basically the prime time for planning out some ideas for a new writing project. Unlike the November version, the April and July challenges are more relaxed and half the time, I don’t finish the challenge (I’m old school and keep my goals at 50,000 words–so even if I reach 25,000 and “fail”, I may have still written more than others who win with smaller goals.) I primarily use this time to test out ideas.

My thought was to play around with a written form that is usually not thought of as a straightforward storytelling device. Specifically, I want to tell interconnected short stories through entries in a fictional museum catalog. The museum and the artifacts within will be fictional. Through a curator’s voice, I want to hint that there’s something odd going on aside from the boring work of researchers and archivists through the stories and myths behind the objects on display.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been doing some pre-writing, trying to figure out what kind of narrative voice to take. I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I’m veering towards “apparently neutral yet deeply unsettling”. I have also been trying to get a firm visual in my head of the museum–I haven’t decided yet on whether to set it in some kind of historical palace or a modern building, but I definitely want to convey a sense of vastness, sort of like Borges’ The Library of Babel

And as for the artifacts populating the museum? I think they will come from all sorts of fictional times and eras and places and cultures. But mostly they will be MacGuffins, only serving as entryways into something else altogether.

Another Writing Challenge

February is the Month of Letters, a challenge where you mail something out every day during the month. The only exceptions are Sundays and holidays when the postal service is not open. I vaguely remember trying this out last year but I only averaged a piece of mail per day. I didn’t actually drop something in the mailbox every day, let alone write one piece of mail on each day. My habit leans towards doing everything on the weekend.

However, due to the ongoing pandemic, I’m not sure going to the post office every day is feasible. Instead, I will probably modify the challenge and drop mail off around twice a week. I will, however, make myself write a piece of mail every day which will be a change in my usual habit to leave this to the weekend. To keep myself accountable, I may be documenting  what I send on this blog.

If you would like for me to send you a postcard for the Month of Letters, feel free to fill out this form.

Rinse and Repeat: Slapfights in Fiction

If any of you have taken a recent look into the literary part of social media, you would have noticed that yet again, people are up in arms about some literary fiction writer trash talking fanfiction and everyone else who has ever written fanfiction trying to defend its literary merits. For me, it’s sort of a facepalm thing–I’ve seen all these arguments before and I’m betting that the person who set all this off was just another young literary writer trying to establish that they are better than everyone else so they decided to punch down at something that is more popular.

I’m honestly annoyed and tired with hot shot writers trying to take pot shots at other genres of fiction that they deem inferior. It happens over and over and over again and bluntly, I’m calling bullshit on all of it. Genre does not dictate quality. Writing ability determines quality. I think some people just need to realize that their arguments for literary quality actually boil down to two things: elitism and money.

The core of elitism and snobbery in literature assumes that certain stories are worth more than others. They assume that tragedies are better than comedies, stories with moral lessons are better for your soul than stories for entertainment, literary fiction is more serious than genre. I find these assumptions absolutely odious because it implies that not everyone’s  voice is equal. Telling people not to write is the literary equivalent of telling people to shut up. Maybe you might not connect with someone’s story, but you don’t have to read it. However, this also doesn’t give you the right to tell people not to write their stories.

I also think it’s a matter of money. Many people write stories, but only a few of them will sell enough books to make “being a writer” a full time job. When some struggling writers see writers of other genres being successful, there’s the urge to try to tear them down in order to make themselves seem better. Unfortunately, there’s still this notion (especially in the west) that you should do work for the love of it. If you’re doing it for the money, you’ve sold out. (I see this in many fields, including my own. There is still this stigma that if you’re a scientist and go into industry instead of staying in academia, you’ve “gone to the dark side.”) But the reality is, everyone needs to make money somehow. That’s how our society works. The food on the table and the roof over your head aren’t going to magically appear just because you want them. And if a writer is able to commercialize their talent so they don’t have to live in a box, then congratulations to them. 

Related to money is competition. Obviously, there are only a finite number of publishing houses in existence and they only have a finite number of slots to publish books per year. On the other hand, I would argue that different genres are not competing for the same slots. If you’re aiming to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tor or Harlequin will not publish you no matter how well you write. And even if you think your genre is too overcrowded with traditional publishing, you can always go the self publishing route. With today’s technology, there’s no excuse for not getting your story out there if you think it should be read by people. Of course, the readers only have a finite budget to buy books–but that’s something that no writer can control.

Anyways, my main point is that writers complaining about other genres should stop wasting their time complaining and go back to writing their own books and trying to make them as best as they can be. It’s silly wasting time arguing about how good you are and how bad others are instead of actually doing the work to show how good your books are without burning your bridges with other writers.

Keeping Track of Journals

I suppose the obvious question would be, “Why don’t you just organize everything online?” Well, for one thing, I don’t want everything about my life online. I am fine keeping all my to do lists and trackers offline. This is not minutiae that should be available for Google.

That is where journals come in. I probably have too many journals. At the moment, I have two and a half boxes full of blank journals and notebooks, and I’m making myself not buy any more until I’ve finished a significant number of them. Of the journals that are in progress, I have different ones going, each for a different activity. And then I have one “master” journal which keeps track of which ones I’ve worked on each day. This helps me to not forget to work on each of them. This master journal is just a big to do list with dates.

The next logical question to ask, of course, is why I’m not putting everything into one journal and just finishing one journal at a time rather than a gigantic stack that I have to go through every day. Why can’t I just have a bullet journal to keep track of everything? Well, for one thing, bullet journals seem like a total pain in the butt. I want organization but I don’t want to spend time doing that organization. (Just watch any YouTube video on how to create a bullet journal–it’s too much work.) And second, I am not going to mix my work-related stuff with my fiction writing or my trackers for my other hobbies. They need to stay separate.

Is any of this organization working? Well, I suppose so. I finished one notebook over the holiday break and then another one this past weekend. I will get through them slowly but surely and then maybe I might be able to buy more notebooks when we’re all able to wander outside without restrictions.

A Mini Thought on Megafauna

In a recent article on Tor.com, James Davis Nicoll muses on the existence of megafauna in the Star Wars universe. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but it did get me thinking about the implications of megafauna in a science fiction story that was built on a better scientific basis than that franchise. Because if megafauna exists in the universe, what does that say about the environment that they were formed in? And what does it say about the civilization(s) that either allow them to exist or have to put up with their continued existence?

If there is an expansionist society in the fictional universe, I would suspect that any megafauna present had evolved to take advantage of the new niches that the civilization had created in their bid to take over galaxies. Sort of like how invasive species have become dangerous nuisances on our world due to humanity’s behavior. And similar to our world, maybe this fictional universe would also have scientists and hunters going around trying to eradicate these pesky megafauna.

Or perhaps someone deliberately set out to create the megafauna and then things went horribly, horribly wrong. Things going horribly wrong often make for interesting stories.