Saturday, August 31, 2019

Writing Prompt: Ready or Not

Disaster Is Coming

Today's writing exercise is a little different and occurs in several parts.  First, imagine that the disaster most likely to affect the place where you live is about to occur.  It could be a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, a blizzard, a riot, a blackout, a wildfire, or something different.  What kind of disaster might happen where you live?

NASA image of Hurricane Katrina

Next, write a piece of short fiction where a character (much like you) has everything they need to face the disaster you just imagined.  What would they have?  How would they use it?  Who would they communicate with?  Where would they stay? 

Now, look around your house and compare what your character is prepared with to the items you actually have on hand.  Make a list of what you would need.  Make a list of who you would communicate with.  Make a list of where you would stay.

Do you have your lists?  Great.  Now, put your pens down.  You've completed your writing assignment.  Now your real life assignment is to -
  1. go get some or all of the stuff that's on your list.
  2. get the numbers of the people you would communicate with programmed into your phone.
  3. bookmark the websites for the places you would stay.

September is preparedness month.  Visit  Get ready.  Stay ready!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Four Word and Snapshot Prompt: Sunset at the Beach

A few key words can set a scene, for today's daily prompt, create a short piece of flash fiction that includes the picture below and each of the following words:

Tennis shoes

North Beach at Fort DeSoto Park - Photo by Christopher Hollis for Wdwic Pictures [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Writing Prompt: The wheels of the bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round!  Round and round!  For parents who like to write, this might be your chance to get the kids out of the house and steal a little writing time for yourself.  For today's writing prompt, let's write a story that incorporates a -

School Bus

Photo by Alex Wiedlich [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

Friday, August 23, 2019

Writing Prompt: Guitarist Waiting

Every once in awhile, you'll spot someone who epitomizes the vibe of a community.  I recently snapped a picture of this guitarist at a bus stop in front of a cemetery in a Florida beach community.  For today's writing prompt, write a story involving --

 a guitarist on the road.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Writing Prompt: Dragons

For today's writing exercise, let's imagine dragons.  Dragons are a mythical creature that is typically depicted as a huge flying lizard that can breath fire.

I don't know the full story of this painting, but it appears that a lady is just out walking her dragon and some guy comes along and stabs it in the head.  For the record, in my state, an assault on your animal when it is attached to your person via a leash or lead is considered an assault on you.  At any rate, I'd be bummed if I was out walking my dragon and some "hero" came along and killed it.

Paolo Uccello 047b
Paolo Uccello
For today's writing prompt, write us a short story that features -

a dragon!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Writing Prompt: A Day in Paris

The great thing about books and short stories is that they can take us anywhere in the world.  Books take us to every corner of the global and every part of the Universe.  We get to experience cultures and characters that we wouldn't ordinarily see.  We don't even have to worry about passports or carbon footprints.  When I was a child, I was fortunate enough to visit Europe and it was an experience that has stayed with me for my entire life.  There are many exotic locations for literature, but for today's writing prompt, let's start with Paris.  Write a short story that takes us to the -

Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower photo by User:Mathias-S (no:User:Mathias-S) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Friday, August 16, 2019

Four Word Writing Prompt: Wine and Tacos

Do you like random word or semi-random word writing prompts?  Here's a four word writing prompt to challenge your writing ability.  For today's writing prompt, writing a short piece of fiction that links these four words:


If you need a little more challenge, use a countdown timer to do this exercise in 5 minutes or less!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Writing Tips: The Power of a Writing Prompt

A writing prompt can be a powerful tool.  It can help you get over writers block and start getting words out of your brain and onto your paper or your screen.  Writing prompts also give you something to think about that you might not have thought about on your own.  As writers, most of us work alone and don't have co-workers to bounce ideas off of.  A writing prompt can help provide that creative bounce.

When writers do collaborate on a magazine, blog, or anthology, a writing prompt can help align their efforts and keep them "on topic."  The writing group that I'm part of the WolfPack Authors (#WolfPackAuthors on Twitter) recently used a one word writing prompt to develop a charity anthology, Once Upon A WolfPack, to benefit the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC).  Every author who participated was asked develop a story with a "Wolf" theme.  Our mission was to write a story that incorporate a wolf in some way.  The wolf could be incorporated in the short story as the name of a character, a literal wild wolf, a fairy tale wolf, or in any other way we saw fit.

The resulting stories were an eclectic mix of genres and style.  The huge tome makes for an interesting read.  It seems like you can find something new everytime you pick the big book up.  But, more importantly, they have helped raise money which is destined to help LARC rescue wolves and provide rehabilitation opportunities for combat veterans who have been struggling with memories of war.  Veterans can work to rehabilitate wolves in a natural environment that provides them with an opportunity to decompress, work to heal and nurture animals, and reintegrate into the world.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Writing Prompt: The Black Rhino

Reading can take you to faraway lands and involve you in all sorts of adventures.  As writers, we get to guide the tour and set the scene.  For today's writing exercise, let's take our readers to Africa.  Let's take them to Tanzania and involve them in a story with a Black Rhino.

Black Rhino in Tanzania - photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth, US Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain]
What will your story involve?  Will your story be one of romance?  Perhaps it will involve poachers?  Today's writing prompt is simply to write a short piece of fiction involving a -
black rhino in Tanzania.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Wrting Prompt: Crank it up!

Hey man! 
Is that freedom rock?  
Well crank it up!

When you think back to classic rock songs, you'll find many that tell a story.  Think about songs like "Smoke on the Water," or "Fortunate Son."
In an Apartment, I could only crank these to "1" but it was a wonderful "1"!

You'll also find many songs that served as a sound track to classic movies and television shows.  The Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black" comes to mind when I think of an old TV show called "Tour of Duty."

For today's writing prompt, think of a classic rock song and expand upon it as a short story or weave it into a story as a backdrop.  Today, let's crank it up and . . .

Rock Out!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Writing Prompt: Car Chase

A staple of action-oriented fiction and movies is the car chase.  In the movies, they are easy to envision, but on paper they can be a challenge.  You have to write about the cars, the drivers, road conditions, and the surrounding landscape.  More importantly, you have to write in a way that conveys power, danger, and speed.

For today's writing prompt, pick your hunter, your hunted, your cars, and your course, write us a story that includes a --

car chase

One more thing, there is absolutely no using CGI.  When it comes to car chases, computer graphics are for weenies.

Friday, August 9, 2019

A Four Word Writing Prompt: Parachutes and Frying Pans

For today's writing prompt, write a short piece of fiction that includes the following words:

Frying Pan

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Writing Prompt: College Life

The college years are a time of life that most of experience only once and only for a short time.  You generally have four or five years in which to experience college and earn a degree.   If you succumb to temptations of drugs and alcohol, your time in college could be even shorter. 

Alachua Statue, University of Florida, forever known as the "French Fries."  Photo by: User:DouglasGreen Permission: [
When you are a student, college seems to last forever.  It's an important time when it is easiest to make friends.  But, as you get older, you realize that your time in college went by in a blink of an eye.  Today, you are invited to remember college life, or--if you are in college--you are invited to take a moment to reflect on your college experience so far.  Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath and think of college.

University of Florida - Albert A Murphee statue in front of Criser Hall - Gainesville, Florida. Source: Photo by: User:DouglasGreen Permission: [

For today's writing prompt, construct a story of --

college life.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Writing Prompt: Abandoned Church

Exploring abandoned buildings has been recent trend in the photography community.  Old buildings have a history.  Who lived there?  Who met there?   Who died there?  Is the place haunted?  There are so many stories that can be told about an abandoned place.  As writers, we get to use places like this as inspiration.

Abandoned Church in Rodney, MS - Photo by Michael Gaylard [CC BY 2.0 (]

For today's writing prompt, spin us a tale of -

something that happened in this church.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Writing Prompt: Summer Heat

It's the middle of summer and the heat is stifling.  Stepping outside is like walking into a pizza oven.  A cold air conditioner is beautiful thing.  For today's writing prompt, write a piece of flash fiction or a short story where -

hot weather or cold A/C plays a role!

Window Air Conditioner Unit

Setting Writing Prompt: The Old Shack

America's countryside is littered with old houses, barns, and shacks.  Many of these are documented and explored in Abandoned Places pho...