Terrytown's Library

Terrytown's Library
Raised in Terrytown, Louisiana

Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Write and Make Yourself Known

Tomorrow is a new year, a new beginning. My question for us all is what are we going to do with this new year. How will we start over or continue to make progress? I'm going to create a business plan for myself as a fiction writer. I'm going to seek out opportunities to publish my fiction and to let people know that my stories are worth buying and reading. My business plan will tell me how.

I'm learning there's truth in the sentences, writing generates more writing and each sentences you write generates a prompt for the next sentence. Sometimes the writing is a word.
New York
I was waiting for someone to mug me. I'd seen it on movies, girls stepped off the bus at the Port Authority and into conman's schemes. I felt I had one thing over them. In a way I could claim New York as mine. I had relatives here that I visi
ted often. Still, I was a girl just off a Port Authority bus looking for a new life.

Other times it's a simple sentence. I think dialogue is a great story prompt. It might even work with personal essays, which is something I'm interested in writing along with the fiction stories I love to write. The writing magazines I read are always talking about expanding your writing genres.
"I'm just goi
ng to the store" "I'm just going to the store." She didn't look at her father, instead out of the window at the dark street. Another girl disappeared from the store every kid went to after getting off the bus. She moved her head to see her dad out of the corner of her eye. She wanted him to stop her, to tell her something, some word of caution, but he said nothing. Out of work for almost two years didn't give him any motivation to be her dad. Her mom was working like crazy to support them. Her dad having a job could remind her mom that she needed to spend time with them or it could also keep her dad out of the house. She went outside in jeans she cut into shorts and laid on the grass. It was still damp from this evenings slight rain shower. Her dad used to tell her to be careful while her mom told her that she was a smart girl, too smart to get into any trouble. No one was saying anything to her now.

She closed her eyes so she didn't see her dad standing by the window, peeking at her through the plaid, threadbare curtains.

This scene came from the sentences I wrote on my page Writing Community; "I'm just going to the store." It shows that even the simplest sentences can produce a scene filled with conflict.

The writing community is one of my facebook pages. I wanted to create a place where we can write pieces of stories, respond to writing prompts and talk about writing. Check out my facebook pages.

It's a new year and it's time to stop talking and
take my writing beyond just writing and put my story here, in the hands of many readers and to inspire writers who are wondering what they can do to be writers and to market and promote themselves and their writing.

And always be thinking of the next story. That was yesterday, what will you write today is a quote from My So Called Life. And I think is an excellent piece of advice.

"I'm just going to the store."
"The play was really good."

What can you do with these sentences or with the word New York?

Happy writing.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Dinner

We had duck instead of turkey. My sister wanted a different kind of bird and this was her first year to celebrate in her new house with her husband and her eight month child. She made a whiskey sauce for the duck that could have that everyone raved about. She also cooked baked macaroni, dressing or stuffing, fried chicken, yams with a marshmallow topping, and a German chocolate cake. Everything was delicious. There were three kinds of gravy. Nothing was compromised. The only thing missing was eggnog. Since we only eat it once a year, I forgot that my sister didn't drink eggnog.

We had those leftovers for a week. Delicious leftovers. We're at the end of 2010. I'm feeling good about myself as a fiction writer. I've recently heard about Indie Author and have been reading a little about it. It's the same as Indie film Makers and Indie Musicians. You are responsible for everything, for publication, promotion, finance, etc. I simply want to write fiction stories. I have two more days to plan my writing career. What do I want to happen in 2011 and what do I want to continue to happen beyond 2011. I've previously said, this is my year, but I didn't know what that meant, not until now. It means looking at writing fiction as a business and not just art. All businesses must earn money in order to stay alive. I need to figure out how I'm going to do this. And I can't ever give up on myself ever again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What happened to you yesterday?

I actually was called in to work, the manager asked me on Sunday to come in in the place of a co-worker on Tuesday. Work wasn't bad. It's another place to find characters and stories while you're earning or a living or trying to. You meet different types of people and gaining experiences you probably wouldn't have. It's like viewing a diary entry they probably wouldn't write. They are completely themselves when they come in my store with or without their children. I still remember the vendor who came in and told me about getting fired from her last job. I'd love to write a story based on what she told me.

She kept checking the parking lot, looking for her replacement. Her watch said she had a few minutes to be on the clock. Finally, she thought when a white car pulled in the parking lot with the price snow painted on the windshield. She would have laughed out loud if she wasn't so frustrated.

This probably isn't the opening, but it might go somewhere in a story I could write. You find stories everywhere. I try to find them in my own life.

Most of the doors of the hotel rooms were closed. The two people we were working for that day, two overweight white men, gave us each card keys just in case the doors were locked. We had to clean out the rooms so that the three units could be torn down.

What happened to you yesterday? Two days were added to my schedule. I can write that story and call it Yesterday.

Happy writing.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not too much has been happening. I'm getting over a cold with a little dayquill and nightquill. And I'm writing another story, a coming of age stories. I have a lot of those to write. Flannery O'Connor did say, if you survived childhood you have enough material to last for a lifetime. I'd also like to include if you're surviving your adult years you have even more material to write about. If you're living, then you're surviving.

Along with my childhood I want to write stories based on the here and now. Where I live now, what I do for fun, for work, for security, etc. I came up with an exercise and I hope you enjoy it.

set a story in Chicago as a visitor

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Story Premises and First Sentences

I grew up in Terrytown, Louisiana and would love to write stories set in my childhood. A collection that also has to do with country music. I want to write stories about things I'm passionate about. I'm learning simply because you love to do something doesn't mean it's going to be easy to get it done. This means that I have to make a commitment and stick to it.

I'm going to try something. Instead of starting with a sentence, or a word, I'm going to start with a story premise and a character and go from there. I still think first sentences are a great way to come up with story ideas. And so are images.

Terrytown looked different after Hurricane Katrina, not like mine anymore. Unrecognizable. "I'm packed," I said as I looked around our duplex, not a decoration in sight. It was almost true that no one would be here to enjoy it. He found me, not that God had to look far. No one was going to tease me here.

If you can't think of a story premise, write openings and use those sentences to come up with a story premise. Actually, the story premise is there in the sentences.

Story premises:
  • learning to live in a different place after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Christmas was going to be different this year
  • Feeling like living better is impossible, better to hide
  • Spending her time away from school trying to forget about being teased
You might come up with different premises for these sentences. As for the picture.

I read the college applications, unsure of what I wanted and wondering if that even mattered.

"Country's taking over the fair this weekend," my friend said.

"Boys," I said, "do not like me."

What's your story premise or first sentence?

Happy Writing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Connecting Both Blogs

You'll see a blog address. That's the complete stories, the other side of this blog, which is about writing for story ideas.

I love writing prompts and writing exercises, but only those that lead you to possible stories. I don't like those that tell you to write a story with only short words or only this or don't do this. I prefer:
  • Write a story that takes place in a restaurant
  • Write a story about the kid that's always teased
  • They told us about the bomb...
  • Gravity...
Any one of these can lead to a possible short story or a longer piece. John Dufresne has a writing exercise that I've always wanted to try. He calls it Badlands. You take a song you're passionate about and write a story based on the lyrics. You make it yours. I want to write a story based on The Fray's song, 'You Found Me' and 3 Doors Down's song, 'Ticket to Heaven'

Get ready for lots of writing prompts, some I've made up and others I've found and will credit to the author.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Visiting Priests: Writing prompt

Last week's bulletin said we were getting another visiting priest. Before Father Jerry left, he spoke about people emailing him their desire to leave the church if he left. He reminded them that we worshiped God and not the priest or the pastor.

"Why would they take away our priest without giving us another priests," I whispered. Mom said they weren't thinking. It didn't make any sense. I read the brief bio of this Sunday's visiting priest, a Father Mitchel from a church in Downtown Atlanta.

The choir sang in the procession of the Eucharistic Ministers, the deacon, and this week's visiting priest.

I closed my eyes and Father Paul was nodding his head to the choir. It was 'This Little Light Of Mine,' and they sang like they were on stage. A few people stood and I could imagine lighters in their hands as they got happy, though Father Paul was always telling us that we should be moved by the readings and by God and nothing else.

I wiped a tear as Father Mitchel listened to Pearl read the second reading. (I was certain I missed the first reading.) The website told me that my former church had a different priest. I guessed he retired to look after his father. It was too easy to develop attachments.