Week #109

Connie knew this was not the sort of thing a lady did, but decided she was going to do it anyway.


The ever busy and fabulous Erika Dreifus of the Practicing Writer blog has put together a wonderful list of resources for the writer looking to get published. Click here to begin your journey to fame and fortune.


"Be daring, be different, be impractical; be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary."

~ Cecil Beaton

Setting the Scene Exercise #1

In this exercise I'll set the scene and you decide what is happening, and to who, and why, and how it all ends. How exciting!


A near deserted beach. Fog is rolling in. In front of you is a pier and at the end of the pier, through the thickening fog, you glimpse the faint outline of two figures, their heads close together.

(Who are they? Why are they here? What happens next?)

Week #108

I stole my first car when I was eleven years old: it was my Dad's metallic blue Buick.

Very, Very Short Story

I thought my haiku story idea (a story told in three sentences) was short, but I just read about a journal in the UK that is seeking stories only one or two sentences long. Just one or two sentences?! For a whole story?! Wow. That's taking concise to a whole new level. They're looking for stories so if you want to give it a try click here.

Theme Exercise #3

How this works: I give you a theme and you are wildly inspired and immediately write an award winning story, and you thank me in your heartfelt but still funny speech at the ceremony where you are given a trophy and big fat cheque, and I am in the audience teary-eyed and so proud.

Theme: Hope

Week #107

The advertisement read, "Ghosts Lovingly Removed" and was followed by a phone number.

Confessions from the Desk

Sometimes I forget why I write. I get lost sitting here at my desk and wonder why I am pushing words around on a page. I worry that I am wasting my time. I think there must be more meaningful and worthwhile ways to spend my days than by creating stories.

This weekend I plucked Natalie Goldberg's "Thunder and Lightning" off my bookshelf and started rereading it. I came across this and was reminded of not only why I write, but why I read:

"If we read someone who is awake, it helps to wake us up. And think of it: while you read you're not spending money, getting into a fight, creating karma. What better gift can you give yourself than to arrive in the present moment?"

What better gift, indeed? As always, thanks Natalie.

Random Exercise #39

Use these three words in a short story: pony, harmonica, dazzle.

Have fun!

Week #106

Harvey Chase's only ambition since high school had been to become mayor of Barnsville and today was election day with his name, finally, on the ballot.

Random Exercise #38

We all have topics we do not want to write about. For whatever reason, these are the subjects we avoid. Maybe they scare us, annoy us, or make us feel guilty. For this exercise I invite you to make a list of these topics. You need not write about them, just make a list of what they are. But keep the list and maybe one day when you are feeling brave and strong and invincible and adventuresome, you can look at that list, choose a topic, and meet it on the page.

Theme Exercise #2

Use this theme as a starting point for a short story, postcard story, or haiku story (a story told in three sentences).

Theme: departure.

Week #105

Trudie walked nervously along the street clutching the slip of paper in her hand until she found the right address.

Random Exercise #37

E-mail is great and all, but there's nothing quite like a letter, is there? I love writing letters and I love receiving them! So, I thought for this exercise it would be fun to write a letter.

We are going to write to a stranger and tell them a secret about ourselves. Fun, huh? It's up to you who you want to write to: it could be the cute janitor at work that speaks only broken English, or the weird old lady at the end of the street you always catch peeking through her lace curtains. As for the secret you reveal, that's up to you. It can be real, or fiction, or a bit of both.

Dear Reader,

This is your chance to bust out your fancy stationary and fountain pen. Have fun!

Sincerely yours,