10 Signs Your Book Is Ready To Come Out Of You #MondayBlogs #ASMSG #Writing — BlondeWriteMore


I have experienced many challenging writer situations in my time; getting so emotional whilst writing the death of a character that I could no longer see the laptop screen, failing to control my obsession with clichés, struggling to keep a lid on a fictional character crush and fighting a powerful urge to dance in the […]

via 10 Signs Your Book Is Ready To Come Out Of You #MondayBlogs #ASMSG #Writing — BlondeWriteMore

Re-blogging this entertaining post from a great blogger.

A List of Things That Don’t Make You A Writer


Gabino Iglesias nails it…
Follow the blue click road, and read.

CLASH

When I moved to Austin, I was surprised to learn that every guy and gal hanging out at a coffee shop was a novelist, every barista was sitting on a few truly outstanding, and unpublished, literary masterpieces, and everyone with a beard, a bike or a flowery skirt was either a great poet, the next Flannery O’Connor or the creator of the most amazing movie script in the history of scripts. It took me a week to figure out it was all bullshit. Then I learned that it’s even worse online. To help you figure it out faster, and to clarify things for all the “writers” out there, here’s a list of things that don’t make you a writer:

  1. Owning a laptop.
  2. Going to a coffee shop.
  3. Owning a cat.
  4. Putting the word author in your Twitter bio.
  5. Drinking/talking about/enjoying coffee.
  6. Living next to a university.
  7. Hanging out with writers.

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25 Corny “Compelling” Plots


These randomly generated plots – not to be taken seriously – are from
banner_Writers Plot

Seriously, would you consider any to be worth considering?

  1. An agent quarrels with an intellectual missionary.
  2. A manipulative pilot has limited time to hijack a truck full of sick monkeys. The circumstances are commenced by a robbery.
  3. An aging warrior questions a handsome football player.
  4. A priest falls for an untrustworthy model. Events are concluded by an arrest.
  5. A warrior has a day to transport – across enemy territory – a possessed toy.
  6. When a mistake is made, a disparate group of experts – brought together by an eccentric millionaire – go on a jungle trek. The plot is begun by money going missing.
  7. An artist saves the life of a happy-go-lucky gold digger. The story is commenced by money going missing.
  8. A failed Sunday school teacher quarrels with a doddery robot. The circumstances are made more complex by a ticking bomb.
  9. A school girl buys an invisible car. The story is resolved by a new witness.
  10. When they have to turn down their ideal job, a family of oddballs go on the rampage. The situation is reduced to chaos by a surprising revelation.
  11. When a conman takes their money, a group of mercenaries find a buyer for a bankrupt holiday resort. Events are reduced to chaos by the arrival of the police.
  12. When they discover that someone is trying to kill them, a coachload of drag queens use the information given by their dying guide to find: an out of the way railway station. The situation is encumbered by a fire.
  13. An imaginary friend fights with an untrustworthy doctor. Events are resolved by a storm.
  14. When a storm washes out the bridge, a class of snotty prep school kids find money to buy an overgrown garden. The situation is split wide open by an invasion.
  15. A sexy crook seduces a straight talking housewife.
  16. A disinterested truck driver is blackmailed to carry out a mysterious disappearance. The situation is encumbered by the imminent destruction of the base.
  17. A government clerk has 24 hours to finance a deal that will save thousands of jobs. The situation is reduced to chaos by the real perpetrator.
  18. An aging little old lady is arrested for blackmail.
  19. A nanny and a religious trawlerman combine forces to go on a riverboat trip. The circumstances are encumbered by a wedding.
  20. An immoral manager has 24 hours to find a replacement. The plot is commenced by a new job.
  21. A dog lover borrows a magic ring. The situation is encumbered by the discovery of the missing papers.
  22. An undertaker has a day to expose the conspiracy.
  23. A rich secret agent is arrested for corruption. The plot is made more complex by a meeting.
  24. An assassin has limited time to find the professor who knows how to stop the disaster.
  25. An unkempt daughter has limited time to use the information given by their dying guide to find: a network of secret underground tunnels.

Visit their site (click on the image) and try finding one worth your while

Break In


They stood on the front porch, stymied and stupified. Dylon had no key to the front door, and Linda hadn’t brought her key. She’d assumed Dylan would have his with his car key. No.

The spare key lock-box was empty. That meant Adele had taken it, either into her room or – as her car was nowhere to be seen – out with her.

“Let’s call Adele,” said Linda.

Dylan wouldn’t hear of it. No way was his daughter going to learn he’d forgotten to take his key with him.

“We’ll go to the back.”

Linda stretched on tiptoe to reach over the gate to unlatch it.

“I can get a spare key from the garage,” Dylan said. He went through his pockets as he approached the garage door. “Shit. I haven’t got the garage key either.”

Linda checked the doors, just in case they’d left one unlocked. No such luck.

Dylan steamed, Linda fumed…who each was blaming, neither would ever say.

Dylan examined each door…the sliding doors to the lounge and the bedroom were tamper ptoof, as was the wooden door to the laundry.

But…the laundry window?

Dylan turned the screen locks and removed the screen, leaning it against the wall. He didn’t for a minute believe it would, but he tried lifting the sliding window…and it slipped up and out easily.

So, who was to go in through it? Dylan knew he was too large and, at 71 a little too limited.

“I can do it,” Linda said. “I just need something to step up on.”

Thank heavens for absent-minded handyman husbands – he’d left two saw horses outside. Dylan placed one under the window – sort of. One foot was higher than the other three, and as the wall planter for their herbs was right below the window there was quite a space between the saw horse and the sill. Which was at Linda’s bust height.

Now, Linda had her own structural problems, neither age-related, even though she was 65 years old. One hip joint had been replaced, botched, and replaced again, leaving her with the leg an inch shorter than its mate, and limited movement. She had had surgery on the other leg to excise melanoma from the groin, so big a mass and so entwined around the tendons and arteries the surgeon had needed to scrape the cancer from the tendon – leaving even less movement possible.

But, of the two, Linda was the only one who could fit through the window.

She needed a boost from Dylan, but made it to stand on the saw horse. Now, how to pass through the window, now looking much smaller.

“Go through on hands and knees,” Dylan suggested.

Linda couldn’t get a knee up to the sill. “No, I’ll do it this way.”

“Perhaps I’d better try.”

“No, I can do it'” She shuffled herself around on the saw horse, until she had her back to the wall. With her hands behind her on the sill, and one foot on the garden tap, she boosted herself up into the window frame. Not comfortable when it’s an aluminium frame, with a slot-and-groove track for a sliding window pane!

She lifted a cheek so the grooved track fitted more comfortably. Only, now she was facing sideways, but still with both legs hanging off the sill. The leg closest to the window was the least useful leg. Try as she did, the bloody leg would not bend close enough to let her foot pass the frame – even after Dylan pulled her sneaker off.

“Leave it,” Dylan said. “I’ll think of something else.”

“No way – this is fun.”

“Try going through backwards.”

That was going to be awkward – an acrobat Linda was not. She shifted around again. First one cheek, then the other, passed that darned track. Where next…this needed some thinking. If I put my left hand down on the hot tap, and my right hand on the front edge of the tub,  I can start to let myself down onto the washing machine.

She set the plan in motion – and ended up flat on her back on top of the machine, her legs still up on the window frame.

She walked her feet along and down the wall as she turned herself to face the room, all the while laughing like a crazy woman at what she must look like (were anyone watching).

Once on her feet, she unlocked the laundry door for Dylan. He passed her and went to the door into the bathroom.

Shit, oh dear, he had locked the bathroom door from the inside before they’d gone out! Still no entry to their own house!

Dylan remembered he had tools in the boot of the car. Using a screwdriver he popped the bolts from the door hinges, then levered the door out of its frame, hoping the bolt bracket wouldn’t break the door. But no … success. They were in.

Tempting though it was to leave the door between bathroom and laundry, to let Adele see the open plan layout created by her key forgetfulness, Dylan set about replacing the bathroom doors’ locks with ones that could be opened from the “wrong” side, and setting another lock box out beside the lounge door.

The only real disappointment? No one had filmed her hilarious cat burglar impersonation!

Let’s Play ‘Pretend’


d “Let’s play ‘pretend’,” she’d say. And on a dairy farm, miles from the nearest town, and a long way to walk to play at your friends’ farm…what else could you do when you’re bored with dolls, toys, colouring in, and all the other indoor activities. On a sunny day, playing ‘pretend’ was the best way to fill our day.

“Let’s pretend we’re Robin Hood?”

“No, there’s only two of us here, and I’m fed up of being the Sherriff of Nottingham!”

“Let’s pretend we’re Sir Edmund Hillary!”

“No. That only means we walk up the hills to the ridge at the top. That’s not real climbing.”

“Well, let’s pretend we’re Biggles and Ginger.”

“Yes, let’s. Can I be Biggles this time?”

“No, you’re too small to fit in the cockpit. I’ll be Biggles.”

So that means I’m Ginger. Like I was the last times we’ve pretended.

“You don’t mind, do you.” It’s not a question. She’s already heading off down towards the cream stand near the gate.

I don’t mind, not really. At least Ginger gets to do more than Biggles, who just tells me what to do. I follow, as always, as we move across to the windbreak of old macrocarpa trees. No breeze today, so no riding the lower branches.

Beside – actually through some of the trees’ trunks – is the old almost-still-a fence, with its posts slanting every which way, probably supported more by the macrocarpa trunks than the posts. Lying across the sagging top wires is the old tree trunk, blown down years ago, stripped by the weather and the seasons of its bark and side branches.

We scramble over the fence into the old orchard, with its rows of neglected apple trees whose windfall fruit feeds the pigs when they’re allowed out from their sties. I’ve never seen the pigs myself. She has. She’s told me why Dad doesn’t want us to come into the orchard – the pigs are wild, she told me, and dangerous. That’s why we mustn’t tell Dad and Mum this is where we sometimes play.

Biggles checks the plane, making sure it’s not damp, it’s got no bugs in it. As she climbs into the cockpit, she gives Ginger orders.

“There’s parts missing, Ginger. See what you can get from the hangar.” So I get some likely-looking twigs, and pass them up to her. I start to climb up into the seat behind Biggles.

“Ginger, I’ll do the safety checks. But we’re short on fuel. Sort it out old chap.” I leave her to stick twigs into borer holes, for switches, climb through the fence again and get the old bucket from under the cream stand. It’s always there. I’ve told Dad about it. I asked him if he wanted me to bring it home, but he said to leave it there.

I carry it up to the house, going in through the front hedge and around to the water tank beside the back of the house. I refuel it, and carry it back to the plane. It’s heavy, and some sloshes out.

“That’s not much fuel,’ says Biggles.

“That’s all the chaps could spare. Besides, you said there was some fuel left from the last flight.”

“Okay, Ginger. Fuel her up.” I pour the ‘fuel’ into an opening in the old trunk. We both know the hole goes right through, and I’ve worked out how to stand and refuel without getting fuel on my feet. I put the bucket down by the fence, and climb aboard.

“Wait till I get the engine running, Ginger. I need you to pull away the chocks.” Biggles starts the engine. “Took, took, tchook, tchook… Took, took, tchook, tchook… Took, tchook, tchooka… Rrrrrrr, Rrrrrr… Chocks away, Ginger!”

I kick away two rocks, and clamber aboard. Biggles has the motor running smoothly, and it starts into a full roar, rising in pitch, as he revs her up and we take off. I run the motor when Biggles runs out of breath, so the engine doesn’t stutter and die.

“I say, Ginger,” calls Biggles. “We’re right over the enemy air field now. Snap those photos now, old boy!” Biggles takes over the engine, while I hold out the camera and take snaps.

Click. Kachick. Click. Kachik. Click. Kachik. Click. Kachik.

“I got four good snaps, Biggles. Will that do the major?”

“Keep snapping Ginger!”

Click. Kachick. Click. Kachik. Click. Kachik. Click. Kachik.

“Right-oh, that’ll have to do. One of their planes is out taxiing – they’re after us. Let’s head for home. Well done, Ginge!”

We fly back to base, land, and taxi to our spot beside the runway. Biggles does the safety checks while I replace the chocks.

“Great flight, Biggles. Are we going to see the major straight away?”

“Oh no, Ginger. Let’s stop off at the canteen for a cuppa on the way.”

We clamber through the fence, I replace the fuel bucket, and we walk up the gentle slope to the house – going through the back gate to the kitchen.

“Welcome back chaps. Good flight?” Mum asks. The teapot’s full, and there’s scones on the counter. Help yourselves, won’t you.” She smiles, and leave us to it, going out to the clothes line to lower the prop and unpeg the washing.

“Runs a good canteen, does Mum, eh.”

“Yes, she does.”


Dairy farm, c. 1955-56, in Whangarata, Waikato, New Zealand
This memory brought to you by
dailyprompt_wordpress

Year 2316 NA


The two of them were bending over a case, browsing through three-dimensional projected images inside the glass case. The young lad kept flicking through the menu, rejecting choices faster than the old man could keep up. He was frowning at the boy’s rushing, and hit the [Project] button on one image, of an old tower building. He seemed to recognise it.

majestichotel_hughferriss
Majestic Hotel, 1930.

“Here… my great-great- great…who knows how many greats, Grandah helped build that!”

 

“Built over 300 year ago, now Grandah.” The boy was reading the projected data

“Do you tell me that?”

“I do, that. Majestic Hotel, it were. What’s ‘hotel’?”

“Do you not know that? A hotel was a place people stayed when they came to visit a town.”

“Like our Home-blocks, then?”

“Not at all, not at all. Guests they were called, and only stayed a short time before moving on, and paid for their staying.”

“They paid for a place to live, then?”

“No, for a place to stay…listen boyo. Back then, people paid for everything.”

“Everything, Grandah? Like, food, and clothes, and school, and—“

“Not school. That were Gummint provided, no cost. ‘Cept for rich people; they paid if their chil-derns were at a private school. Least, dat’s what I’ve read.”

“So, Grandah, this hotel… built ‘way back in th’ olden days then. But it looks same as our home-blocks, dunnit.”

“So it does, so it does. Back then, it were called ‘futuristic’. Wonder what them people’d think if they saw our buildings today.”

Ding! …and the Simulated Automatic Mouth recited…
“Doors close in fifteen minutes. Those on floors thirty-five to fifty, use the express elevators one, two, three, four and five. From floors fifteen to thirty-four, use elevators six, seven, eight and nine. Those on floors fourteen and below, use elevators ten, eleven and twelve to the third floor. Those on the third floor use the rapid escalator in the central foyers. Do not use elevators thirteen and fourteen. At the sound of the next bell, you will have thirteen minutes to clear the building.”

“It’s closing time, Grandah; we’ll have to use a rapid elevator.”

“Do you tell me that, boyo?”

“I do that, I. Can we come again?” He grabbed his mePad and stuffed it into the meBag which began to buzz, ready to follow him.

“Can you not use the Explorer on your edication pad?”

“Yea, I can…but here, it’s more like real. Can we come back, then?” He grabbed Grandah’s hand and began walking to elevator three, along the footway between exhibits. His meBag followed.

“Next time your edication pad posts a day off, we will, for sure.”

Ding!
“Thirteen minutes to clear the building.”

“That’s a promise, is it?”

“It’s a promise, boyo.”


This post created for the Google+ ‘Writers Discussion Group
(Hoping the link take you straight to the starter post there”

Here is Me, in eN Zee, from A to Zee


Action movies – especially those featuring Vin Diesel and/or Jason Statham,

Bodhrán (pronounced as bow[i]-rahn) – the goatskin drum – learning how to play it;

Camping – wish I could do it as I did as a child – ground cover, blanket, fly sheet, Thermette, and tough it out

Dogs – I love them. Share-milker Dad had one – Pat; I had a black Labrador, Morfyn[ii]; a golden-haired Spaniel, Mischief; and a Basenji[iii], Hundido[iv] Mambaso[v], “Toffee”; the minded another, Pharaoh. I’d have another Basenji at a shot!

Elegant dress – I don’t, though I’d like to; but it’s not always practical, and I don’t go to many places where it’d be worth getting dolled up

Family – one hubby, and three off-spring (plus one unofficial)

Gardening – if it don’t thrive, pull it out

Heights – used to be able to get up on a roof, no worries; now, no more than two steps up a ladder and I’m anxious

Irish – ancestry, St Paddy’s day, genealogy, The Pogues, Chris Rea, U2, The Dubliners et al

Junk shops – “you never know what you’re gonna get”

Kids – love teaching them old-school skills and how to learn, and study

Library – mine – cartons and cartons of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, reference book, et al

Mum and Dad (R.I.P) – they made me who I am today – grateful

Numeracy – a word I hate; it’s a more politically correct version of Arithmetic, so why not call it that? Arithmetic is Not mathematics – it’s a branch or base-line For mathematics

Orchids – love them, and love hubby for creating an all-weather shelter for the collection.

Prawn Pizzas – Love them

Quiz shows on tele – The Chase, Who Wants to be a Millionaire – great fun trying to beat the contestants

Rock – when I want to write lots of words, good rock gets me pumping – AC/DC, Rolling Stones, Metallica, The Pogues, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Queen…

Steeples – always want to climb to the top – with a camera (refer H)

Tin whistle – played recorder in primary school, and learning to play this now.

Umbrellas – I love watching people in Wellington struggle with umbrellas which have blown inside out in a gale

Violin – started to learn but quit (couldn’t read music); wish I’d persevered

Work history – fifty-five full and part-time jobs, paid and gratis

X-Rays – for foot (fracture of the styloid process of the left fifth metatarsal), spine (metastatic melanoma in the T6 vertebra, hip – (total hip replacement, botched and redone)

Youth – I feel I’m only twenty-nine on a good day

Zatch – greatest dictionary find when I was eleven – no, I’m not defining it here; and I shouldn’t have in the classroom either – apparently


Post concept borrowed, with permission, from KiwiChickxx


[i]  As in a ship’s bow
[ii]  Means ‘black hair’, via Tolkien’s elvish dictionary
[iii]  Bred from hunting dogs from Zaire
[iv]  His Kennel name – Esperanto, means little dog, I believe
[v]  Swahili for fighting axe