Posts Tagged ‘writing challenge’

The first time I died, I was nineteen years old, and resigned to my fate; the second time was a different story.  The first time I was leaving a horrible situation.  I didn’t care to stay any longer, even though it meant my demise.  That was okay.

But then, I found myself in paradise and I never wanted to leave it.  I could see the deep blue water from the high point on the island.  The palm trees shaded me from the hot sun and let me hear their fronds tickling each other as the winds made them sway coquettishly.  A gentle breeze.  Just enough to move the air around.  There was so much fruit every where.  I would never feel the rumblings of my empty stomach on this island.

Every so often I would have a flashback to the life I had left the first time.  I fought those flashbacks.  I didn’t want to go back there, not even in my memory.  That place had been a pure hell filled with evil.  No wonder I left it so willingly.  But this place.  No way did I want to leave it.

The day came for me to die.  I tried to find a way to fight it; a way to escape it; a way to cheat death.  But because I didn’t know how my death would come, I couldn’t figure out a way to save myself.  I was careful in everything I did but I was scared.  How would it happen?  Would it hurt?  Who would do it?  What would do it?  And exactly when?  If I could figure any of those out, If only I could figure out just one of those, I might have a chance.

The first time I died, I welcomed it.  I didn’t fight it.  Why prolong the agony of the so called life I had?  I didn’t deserve to die that time.  I didn’t deserve to die the painful death that time.  But then, after I died, I was born again, here in this heavenly spot and I led a wonderful life.  A happy life.  A full life.  And now it’s time for me to die again.  I don’t know how.  I haven’t figured it out yet.  I just know it will be soon.

Will I go on to another place?  A better place?  I think that’s what I deserve.  I haven’t hurt anyone here. I’ve been productive.  I should be going to a better life, or at least an equally good one.  Is that the way it works?

Filled with questions, she was lost in her own world of thoughts.  She didn’t realize it was happening until it was too late.  She kicked.  She reached for something to hang on to.  But it was no use.  The wave took her away.  Even a strong swimmer would have been lost, let alone a weak one like her.

The next time she died, she hoped it would be quick and painless.  She hoped she wouldn’t know.  Not even for a few seconds.

This post is in response to Mel’s Midweek Menagerie.

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The key to success during NaNoWriMo is to turn off all distractions.  This means TV, telephone, internet, gabby friends, etc.  By turn off, I mean to limit them as much as possible if not totally during the time you have allotted for writing.  I know a lot of people need some kind of noise in the background when they write.  That’s fine.  How about you turn on some music while you write?  I would suggest that you turn on something instrumental, otherwise you might be tempted to sing along.  I know I am.   Then that defeats the whole purpose.  One thing I have done in the past is to create a playlist that I can burn on to a CD or play on iTunes or on the Amazon Cloud Player.  My play list consists of some instrumentals from movie soundtracks like the Harry Potter movies, Indiana Jones, Rocky (yes that’s old but so am I), Chocolat, Jurassic Park, etc.  I’ve also included some instrumentals by Frank Zappa, such as Watermelon In Easter Hay, Black Napkins, and Peaches En Regalia.   It works for me.  Find what works for you.

I’ve also found a neat little program that lets you set a writing goal per writing session then as you write, it keeps track of your goal and if you stop typing, the screen will begin to flash to remind you to start typing again.  There is a series of reminders you can set.  You can even set it for kamikaze mode which will wipe out all of your writing for that session if you don’t heed the warnings and start writing again.  Nothing like the threat of losing your writing to keep you writing!   The program is free to use online or you can pay a $10 fee to get the program downloaded to your computer so you can use it even if you are not online.  It’s called Dr. Wicked’s Write Or Die.  I use it every year.

There is also another free program which I just discovered this week but haven’t tried.  It looks promising, though.  It’s called FocusWriter.  This one lives on your computer so you don’t have to be online to use it.

So, as you prepare for NaNoWriMo, remember not to schedule optional stuff during the month.  Which means, don’t plan on throwing a party that is going to take you hours and days to plan during November.  Don’t plan on long two or three hour doctor appointments if you can help it.  Don’t volunteer to do anything that takes you away from writing this month.  Be selfish with your time in November.  You can give your time away all you want come December 1.

Don’t forget to be nice to yourself during November.  Set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.  Maybe set a goal to reach five thousand words by day 3 and treat yourself to a meal out.  Or how about turning off your internet while you write and treating yourself to an hour online when you reach the goal you set?  Or treat yourself to a day off from writing  IF you reach ten thousand words by day 5.  When you reach 25,000 words (the half way point)  maybe you can go out to a movie?  Plan out your writing schedule.  Think of rewards.  Do it.  And don’t be upset if you fall behind.  You can get caught up.  I’ll try to come back and give some “catch up” tips in a few days.

Good luck and happy writing!

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I know most of us have heard of, read, and even tried writing 100 word stories. They’re challenging and they help to hone the writing skills.

I’m wondering about Twitter Fiction. Tweets are limited to 140 characters. I wonder how difficult it would be to write complete stories in the space of a single tweet?! Not sure if challenging is the word.

TwitFic #1

If that gun had not been there when Jason looked for it, everything would be different; he’d still be innocent and she’d still be alive. (136 characters)

TwitFic #2

Marti waited for someone to visit her.She was lonely. No one ever came to see her at the home. She waited, hoping today would be the day. (138 characters)

Okay, now it’s your turn to try!

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