We're now half way through November. Many of you have probably participated in NaNo, kudos to all of you! We have not this year. We have both been very busy. Ashley just moved into a new house and is busy unpacking. We haven't had much time to sit together and write. I do, however, have a suggestion for those of you who, like us, may not be able to hammer through and write an entire novel this month.
Last September fellow MMW, Amber Lynae, and I did a week of writing prompts. Each day we were given a short writing prompt and we wrote a response that was between 500 and 1,000 words. It was a lot of fun. When we first started the week I was a little intimidated and wasn't sure I would be able to finish, but I did it and learned so much about myself as a writer and what I could push myself to accomplish. So, if you can't tackle a whole novel this month don't worry about it, but don't let that stop you from writing. Take at least one day and write something wonderful!
I'm going to share with you one of the writing prompts we did. When I first read the prompt I was worried I wouldn't come up with anything, but as I let the words start coming a fun picture came together in my mind.
Writing prompt: "The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes." Agatha Christie
At the end of every meal another undertaking begins. The task in front of me is towering, rising up and intimidating, but it is my task. I don't complain, I know that it is an illusion. What seems like work is really a moment of freedom, so I embrace it as I roll up my sleeves and suds up my rag.
My ideas are fluid and flowing like the water running over my hands.
The clanging noises of pots and silverware awakens my sleeping muse. I feel her stretch and ready herself. The hot water rouses her magic...
Each idea comes and goes, one dissolving into the other. I see battles and warriors, Queens and crowns. Perhaps there is a sleeping dragon guarding his copious treasures. And if there's a dragon there must be a hero to challenge him. Where did my hero come from? What is his life story? He must have had good parents with strong morals and valor. How else would he become such a valiant champion? I wonder at who his parents are and I think now about proud men and strong women. How can a stubborn man absorbed in his own arrogance be brought to love and appreciate the woman who is an outcast of society? The woman must be strong and stalwart in spite of adversity. She doesn't back down from a challenge. She's probably a bit of a curiosity at first, but the man would soon see her true valor and come to adore those very things that set her apart. They would then have their happily ever after and settle down in a beautiful cottage. A cottage surrounded by a rainbow of wildflowers. What other stories wait to be found in a sunny meadow? Every sunny meadow must have a dark forest looming in the distance. I see a stone cottage buried in the depths of the forest, its wall covered in moss. The dweller of the this cottage is an ancient witch. She sits at her table staring at her caldron as she strokes the ebony feathers of her companion. Ghosts and fair folk hover gracefully in the corners of my mind silently making their presence known. I see the little pixies dance in the moon light as they taunt the spirits that linger behind the branches of the trees. They whisper their stories to waiting ears until a dark demon forms and chases them into the deep recesses of my mind. The shadowy demon is oppressive and terrifying but just as I feel it start to devour my thoughts I hear an angelic melody playing through the darkness. It chases away the sinister demon. Soon the sweet music melts into visions and can now see a small town carnival. I hear laughter and excited shouting. There's a little girl pulling on the arm of her mother begging for cotton candy. The whirring and dinging of the carnival games pulls at my mind's eye and I see a young couple holding hands. She points to the oversized stuffed animal and he wins it for her. Summer love. But what comes after the summer ends? My mind begins to play the story of struggling newlyweds fighting for their love desperate to regain their lost passion. And then I see a couple who's love is as old and strong as a mountain. They have weathered the storms of life. They sit together and look at one another, always seeing the other as the one they could never live without.
I look over at my husband and my heart swells with love and appreciation. He smiles back as he dries another dish. I think of our own love story and the places it has taken us.
Bustling cities, quaint countries, far off islands. We've seen many horizons and each journey has brought us closer together. I tell him I love him as I remember the sunset from our last cruise. It reminded me of the blazing sunsets of the old west. Cowboys ride through on their trusted horses, but as they disappear on the horizon a new story rises and I see an English gentleman on his thoroughbred galloping through the fog. The fog swirls and dances as it envelopes the nobleman. I can no longer see him but I hear the beats of horse hooves fading into the swirling white wisps.
My sink is empty, but my mind is full. All that is left is to write the many thoughts and breathe life into their waiting stories.