Terrytown's Library

Terrytown's Library
Raised in Terrytown, Louisiana

Friday, March 30, 2012

What Do You Want To Explore In A Short Story?

I love short stories because I can explore anything I want in a short story. What subject do I want to explore? A girl who likes to look at the stars, a daughter who's trying to remember her father in a special way, a man who wants a race car. Some of these already are situations. For others I have to imagine or come up with the situations. What situation/problem can I come up with for the girl who likes to watch stars. Perhaps it will come to me while I'm writing her story. It could be that it's not the starts that she's looking at.

I've always wanted to see something spectacular in the sky, something more that what I can see just by staring at the stars and whatever else is up there. I looked at Clark, who had his eye against the lens of his expensive telescope.

You can attach any situation to the girl who watches the stars. What is she looking for. This exercise goes with the last exercise we had. What did you see or have happen to you that would make a story? Is it something you'd want to explore? Journaling gives you an idea of what to write about because I wasn't thinking about a girl who likes to look at the stars or a street preacher, but writing this blog has given me new characters to write about.

Ask yourself, when you're staring at a blank piece of paper, what do you want to explore? Do some journaling if you really don't know.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stories Are Everywhere

Everyday I see something that I can turn into a story. Sometimes I participate in an event I'd like to turn into a story somehow. My niece's second birthday or going to work and having the computers suddenly go off. We all had to manually ring up customers purchases, have someone check on the prices, and that was all that we could do; no returns, no taking things off customers' baby registries. The main thing that really captured my attention is coming off the interstate and seeing teddy bears and other gifts attatched to a sign along with other gifts on the ground around the sign. I've seen memorabilia placed at an accident scene, but never so many. I'm not sure how I'll ever find out what happened, but I am curious. I know this is morbid, but it's an image I can't forget, can't ignore. What could have happened to warrant so many gifts placed at the accident scene? Was it an accident.

Everyday there is always something that captures my attention, something that I want to put in a story or turn into a story. I was at the train station waiting for a local train when I heard a woman talking loud. I couldn't see her and I assumed she was fussing at a man who, in her opinion, wasn't doing anything with his life. Her argument was you have to know where you are going. I didn't hear anyone answer back, but still I assumed she was having an argument with a man. She walked down the platform wearing a blue pair of paints with tiny black polka dots and a matching short sleeve blouse with a thick black-color band. She was talking to everyone with in earshot of her on the platforms. She reminded me of a street preacher who just starts preaching to whoever was near, only she wasn't preaching the lord's word. Every now and then she'd pause, scroll through something on her touch phone and start right back up. She didn't get on any of the local trains. I'm not sure how I'll put that in a story, but it was very interesting.

There are so many things that happen in our lives--to us, near us--that can make great stories or pieces of stories. We just have to figure out how to turn these naturally occurring events into stories. And, all of that happened in the last week. Imagine if we noticed everything that happened to us.

Today's assignment is to write a story based on something that you witnessed or participated in. And remember, you're not always the main character. In fact, you may not even be a character in the story.

Happy writing everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Places to Write

I think finding a place to write is just as important as the writing itself. You need to be comfortable and also far enough away from the day's hassles and responsibilities in order to write and not feel guilty about not doing something else. I've found a few places that I love to write, places that provide characters and situations and sometimes even settings.
  • Barnes and Nobles or any bookstore with a cafe and/or seating area
  • Libraries are great places to write and research material is already there, just like at a Barnes and Nobles
  • Cafes: I like simple cafes without table cloths that make the cafe look like a restaurant;
  • Panera Bread is a great place to order something inexpensive to eat and then to sit for hours with or without your laptop and work on stories
  • Caribou Cafe: The one I frequent has surge protectors for extra outlets for their customers, don't know if all the Caribou cafes do this
  • Chick-Fil-A is a great place to sit and write or type away. The outlets are few, but the food is inexpensive and the employees are very nice
Once you're there, try to get everything you need at the start to eliminate the interruptions. I suggest trying to go to these places with a fully charged laptop, even when outlets are readily available.

Another good writing place is the break room on your job. You may not want to bring or pull out your laptop, but it's still good thirty minutes to an hour of writing by hand.

I love going to different places to write. If you have errands to run that involve waiting such as taking your car in for repairs or for its annual check up, bring along your laptop and/or pen and paper and write until your vehicle is ready for you to drive to your next writing location.

Happy Writing

Writing Prompt: Go some place where you haven't been and write. It could be a different cafe, a different area in the cafe. The bus is a pretty good place to pull out your notebook and pen and write away.