Contests Held

April Writing Prompt: “The Artist’s Secret”

Good afternoon, Arcians. Pencils ready? Check your doubt at the door and let’s dive in. Even if you don’t feel quite ready to publish your writing online, participate the old fashioned way with pen and paper. It’s fun and one of the only ways you’ll become a better writer. Feel better? Then let’s begin.

You’re at a restaurant, a rather posh and open air setting within an art museum. There’s lots of greenery and plants with ivory colored marble floors and tall Grecian pillars. You are attending a museum gala and are donating funds to help the museum complete some renovation projects. There are about seventy tables scattered around you, with more in the adjoining ballroom.

A waiter brings you your soup and carries away your finished salad plate. There’s nothing quite like a five course dinner before a night of dancing and art perusing to put a bounce in your step. You feel at peace and satisfied. You’re seated in the very far corner of the room and can people watch to your heart’s delight

From your table, you begin to hear a man start to argue with one of the museum staff. They’re trying to help their voices down but fortunately for you, you can hear every word because of the odd acoustics in your area.

“I placed it there–I know it! The emblem, it’s gone!”

“Keep your voice down!” the other man cuts in. He’s dressed in a very sharp suit with a red tie and has his hair combed back. He darts his eyes around the room and you pretend to dab at an invisible soup stain on your sleeve. 

“It’s got to be here somewhere. But we need to find it before midnight tonight. That’s when the gala and ball ends. Otherwise we’re all goners…”

Take it from here. The rules are below.

Continue reading “April Writing Prompt: “The Artist’s Secret””

Contests Held

April Writing Prompt: “The Last Piano Note” (Closed)

You’re at a burial, dressed in shoes you didn’t have time to polish or lace up correctly. It’s a grey sort of day, overcast with rain coming soon. They’re lowering the casket into the ground and all you can do is stare at the stubborn knot in your shoelaces.

Someone lights up a cigarette after the service is over and you move away to avoid the smoke. Your heels slip into the soft ground and you get mud on the hemline of your clothes. You stop to catch your breath after a long day and close your eyes. You smell rain in the air.

There’s a piano you can hear in the nearby chapel playing a soft tune. You think they’re playing “Amazing Grace” and then it changes. A sudden thought strikes you: “I must get back into the car before the last note. Once the last note plays, it’ll start raining.”

You’re heading back to the car when you see a man standing at the fence. He’s dressed in overhauls and a flannel shirt, looking directly at you. You glance away but are drawn back by the man’s intense stare. He’s holding something in his hand. A letter? A book? You can’t tell. You feel you must find out, before the last piano note…

Take it from here. You don’t need to be Hemingway or Dickinson to participate. Just write. The few rules are below.

Continue reading “April Writing Prompt: “The Last Piano Note” (Closed)”

Writing: I've Got Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty...

Finding Time to Write: Oz

Finding time to write is finding time to return to Oz*–or whatever wonderland of your choice. Oz, among the other fantasy lands (Narnia, Middle Earth, Wonderland, etc.) is especially dear to me. I think I would feel comfortable there, among the land of emeralds, Cowardly Lions and Scarecrows. Life is simpler when visiting Oz; problems arise but with teamwork, good morals and a trusty Tik Tok, villains are dealt with handily. Granted the Tin Man does cut off beasts’ heads in the first book with his hatchet, but I digress…

Continue reading “Finding Time to Write: Oz”

Ponderings

Running through Silent Hill: On Writing

I have this obsession lately with the movie Silent Hill.* I wrote about my fondness for the film in a previous entry (“Refilling the Tank”) and how I’ve returned to it for creative storytelling and refueling. The mother, Rose, runs throughout the film, either chasing down her daughter, running after clues or fleeing from the town’s varied inhabitants. Women make up the leading characters and they drive the action and decision making. The themes of motherhood, protection and justice are particularly strong and prevalent. The movie isn’t perfect, and contains some explicit gore scenes, but it’s become a dear thing to me. An odd dear.

Today, I started a running program. Small flakes of snow began to fall during my run, much like the ash in Silent Hill that Rose notices upon her entrance to the town. I ran in the drifting snow, listening to an audio book of Jane Eyre when Rose ran past me, her boots skidding on the blacktop beneath her grey skirt. “Sharon!”  she yelled, her voice ricocheting around me. “Sharon!” Rose disappeared into the school building, the door slamming behind against the frame. I skirted Midwich Elementary, ran past the hospital and ended my run at the cliff.

How much is writing like running, I thought, catching my breath. Always chasing, always enduring. Unsure of what comes next at times, but believing we know all the same…

Cue siren. Continue reading “Running through Silent Hill: On Writing”