Today I’m sharing a short story written by fellow writer Jon Brierley that sprung from a writing prompt I posted last week — writing prompt #9. Jon, who lives in the North of England, is voracious reader who mainly writes comic fantasy and parodies. He describes himself as mostly unpublished and very much unpaid, leading him to have a day job. Offers of drink are always acceptable. Dreadful puns are at no extra charge.
Jon’s current WIP is a series of interlinked fantasy stories featuring his character, Aiella, and her companion, Dartea, who also features in this short story.
Jon’s blog can be found at sloopjon1960.wordpress.com. Be sure to check it out since bits of his writing may appear there. Book reviews, Jon’s love of history, his writing experiences also make appearances.
So without further ado, here is “Mule.”
Some really great nuggets of advice here; in particular, I’m trying to realize tip 18 at the moment.
Hey everybody, polling has begun for this week’s prompted challenge on TipsyLit. Vote for me or any of the other writers, just take time to read the entries and support a fellow writer!
This is a very good writing prompt. Often times when I write, I find myself wondering how some of the characters, themes, or topics will be received, particularly by some of my family members. But with a prompt like this, you just go for it; you tackle those topics that will have some complaints because you have the free reign to do so. I highly recommend taking that leap and just going for it — I’m sure you will find it liberating. It might even give you the courage to take risks and tackle your stories the way you envision them without the fear of any backlash. Let’s face it as writers we will always face backlash, because we can’t win them all.
One of my all-time favorites
Across the U.S., libraries have been gearing up for Banned Books Week, which was started by the American Library Association. The week promotes intellectual freedom and the right for individuals to express thoughts that might be unorthodox or unpopular — and for readers to be able to read those thoughts. This year’s Banned Book Week starts today and runs until Sept. 28,
Books get challenged or banned for different reasons; from religious reasons to being considered sexually provocative or violent, there truly is a wide gamut of reasons individuals try to remove books from libraries, particularly citing the access children have to these books. According to the ALA website, 5,099 books were challenged from 2000-2009. Of those challenge books, the break down is visible below:
- 1,577 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
- 1,291 challenges due to “offensive language”;
- 989 challenges due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”;
- 619 challenged due to “violence”‘ and
- 361 challenges due to “homosexuality.”
Some of my all-time favorite books are challenged or have been so in the past, and include “The Harry Potter” series, “Of Mice and Men,” “Grapes of Wrath,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and many more. So it makes me exceedingly happy to be able to access these books: as it should make you as well. So this week stop by your local library and check out a banned or challenged book and revel in being able to do so. Or perhaps, relive one of your favorite banned books, particularly if it is one that you remember from your adolescence. Show challengers that they cannot ban or censor what you choose to read.
So what is your favorite(s) banned book? Share them below in the comment section!
Where did all my clean tea cups go? Oh wait, I’ve used them all…
Wow, it is hard to believe after this post, I only have 10 more days to go until February concludes and then I can enjoy a brief period of crashing and focus more on my writing/read-through.
When I started my own blog-no-wrimo, I severely underestimated how time consuming it would be, especially since with each post I try to make them as informative as possible.
Even so, this experience has been a learning experience, and I’ve still been able to make progress with my read-through, though still not quite as much as I had envisioned — but once again, I severely miscalculated. However, there is still NaNoEdMo to catch up and then begin the querying process. I am also looking forward to possibly changing gears and switching back over to my Sci-Fi novel in April.
First, must get through February! So here’s to 10 more days of blog posting and hopefully some helpful writing articles, tips and prompts.
Hi, I’m page filler!
I had never really wanted to get into journalism — no, I had grandiose dreams of entering the publishing industry, where I would work my way up. However, once graduation came, reality hit. The industry was changing and there was a recession, which was changing everything. Jobs were scare and openings required experience — something I, fresh out of college, did not have. To get by, I turned to retail. It was a dead-end job that I hated.
One day a former elementary school teacher of mine suggested I put in an application at the local paper, which I did. I was through the roof when I got the email several months down the road asking if I was still looking for a job. The interview went favorable and here I am a year and a half later and still employed by the local newspaper. Here are some of things that I never expected when I went to work:
- I knew the company owned several publications from the two weekly local papers to month and bi-monthly magazines, but I never suspected that I would work on almost all them, which makes from some crazy deadlines. However, the level of experience provided has just been astronomical and well-rounded. The variety of subjects is also very refreshing from local news and meetings to animals, home decor and gardening.
- I never expected to do the amount of traveling I do, from weekly trips to Goshen to going as far as South Bend and Rochester. It is always nice to get out of the office, minus when you have to do so during a bad snowstorm.
- That I would work on a monthly magazine that reaches municipal departments and elected officials in fourteen states and handles topics geared toward municipalities. I never expected I would be regularly calling places in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc., and talking to officials there. This is truly one of my favorite experiences.
- That I would walk out to the middle of a frozen lake with only three to four inches of ice just to get ice fishing photos. I have seldom been as unnerved as I was then, especially since at the time I had no idea how thick the ice was… it was also my first time out on a frozen lake.
- I never imagined I would find myself swarmed and surrounded by turkeys… they kind of creep me out, but after being around them, I began to see their charms and their silly personalities. Along this line, I never thought I would be in a pen with giant diary cows. I’m a farm girl, but I have had unpleasant experiences with cows, so it took a lot of effort for me to remain calm when walking amongst them.
It truly has been quite the experience, and I am eternally grateful I was given the opportunity. I am sure there will be many more unexpected experiences in the future, and I will look forward to them.
The first step is realizing you have a problem… and then you procrastinate further while examining the problem — or by examing your pencil while never putting it to paper to, umm, write.
We all have them — and if you claim not to, you are lying — namely, writing sins. They are things you do that you know you shouldn’t do. Some writers might might actually have more than seven writing sins, but lets face it, seven is much more manageable — plus, there is the whole biblical seven sins… parallelism and all.
But I digress, for today, I’m sharing my seven deadly writing sins.
- Procrastination: This is my absolute top writing sin. I will sit down and start typing or editing and then suddenly I’m on Facebook, Deviantart, a forum, Youtube, etc. On the flip-side, sometimes I will plan to start working on a project and then postpone it for one reason or another — and never a good one. To combat this, I started to exercise regularly, which has increased my energy levels and focus.
- Redundancy: I can be a little redundant with my writing, and I have to practice constant vigilance. I will repeat facts and sentiments, continually reuse certain words, or write statements that are not really needed.
- Too much telling: We all know the old adage: show don’t tell. However, sometimes it is alright to tell, just don’t do it too often since all things must be done in moderation. Sometimes, I cross that line… and catch my slips during revisions.
- Self-doubt: We all have those moments when we think that ‘oh, it’s not that good,’ ‘I will never catch the eye of an agent/publisher,’ etc. I am not immune to this despite often having a decently sized ego. I just try to squish that annoying voice down where it is not so vocal and plod along on my merry way.
- Wordiness: My sentences have a way of holding too many words (some nothing more than clutter). It is often true a few probably suffice and work better than the many. However, despite knowing my tendencies, I don’t worry so much about this writing sin while writing; instead, I save tackling it for edits.
- Sentence Variation: This kind of ties in with my redundancy writing sin since I can be very redundant with sentence variation, favoring certain structures over others. This results in certain structures taking over the novel and leading to the realm of boring. This is another sin I fix in revisions.
- That: This ties in with wordiness since often times the word “that” is unnecessary. I became aware of the cluttering nature of “that” when I started as a staff writer. I then proceeded to de-clutter my manuscript by removing unnecessary that’s. The key to finding these ‘clutterers’ is to read aloud a sentence both with and without “that.” If the sentence sounds good without “that,” delete it.
What are your seven deadly writing sins? Blog about them and include a link below.