Monday’s Kick-Ass Prompt of the Week (KAPOW)

I’m late again.  Had another bout with some kind of bug.  Feeling a lot better today and determined to catch up.  In lieu of my own writing prompt, I’m going to pass along a prompt from another blogger.  She shares her words at Fay Moore: I Want To Be a Writer.

Fay offers up music prompts, something totally out of the realm of my experience.  I have been a little chicken to try one but have decided since she responded to my last KAPOW prompt, it is time to put on my big girl panties and do it.

The prompt song is “Lightening Crashes” by Live.  It is not the kind of music I usually listen to so it was a stretch in every way.  It is an intense, ethereal song with a universal premise.  I considered writing poetry, but since the lyrics are poetic, it felt like I’d be butting heads with the lyricists over their own song.  So I went with poetic prose.  It was an eye opening experience and unlike anything I’ve written to date.  Thank you, Fay!

If you decide to write a piece for the prompt and post it to your blog, please let me know about it in a comment, or post the piece itself in a comment.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.  Comments are appreciated.  Kind critique is also appreciated.

 

REBIRTH

by C J Gorden

Tympanic rolls of thunder rumble low over the dying day as dark, roiling clouds connect with bursts of blinding light to the waiting Earth.  A lone angel weeps.  Her tears renew the life below and her wails grieve the losses of the day and the dying of the light.

With a pervasive howl a cleansing wind sweeps over and around, above and below, drying the angel’s tears while down below, cradled in the Earth’s embrace, an old woman breathes her last as a new baby takes a wailing first breath, echoing the dying of the day and the rebirth of a new dawn.

Monday’s Kick-Ass Prompt of the Week (KAPOW)

Up to now my loose goal for this blog as been two posts per month.  As a goal, it’s too loose for an inveterate procrastinator.  Good intentions with no structure become only good intentions, and we all know how that works out.  My February 10, 2012 post was all about “life” getting in the way of writing, so no need to rehash that.

Onward and upward.

My new plan has two parts.  Every Monday from now on is KAPOW day.  I don’t know about you, but I love writing prompts.  The strangest things appear on my keyboard when I finish something somebody else started.  I end up going somewhere I never would have gone before.  In this case I hope you’ll be going somewhere you’ve never gone before if you decide to follow my prompt.  Some will be the finish-this-phrase type of prompt and others will be scenario prompts.  This week will be the latter.

In addition, Thursdays will be for general posts, continuing exposés of my struggles and occasionally (hopefully increasingly) my successes as a writer.  I’m hoping the addition of structure and the increase in frequency will help keep my creative juices flowing and keep bringing me back to writing even when “life” interferes.  In this context “life” equals “distractions” be they illness, family drama or the classic zombie attack.

This week’s prompt came to mind when something (can’t remember what any more) reminded me of Bob Newhart and his classic one-sided telephone calls.  For those who haven’t had the opportunity to hear them, here’s the only one I could find online:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7YBaiJMnik&feature=related.

For those of you who can’t resist a challenge, here it is:

Write one side of a phone call.  The result is one-sided dialog that conveys a situation without the reader able to “hear” the other side of the conversation.  Try to keep it to 300 words or fewer, but if you have to go over, do it but be as concise as you can.

There are no losers.  Everyone who submits wins.  I’m taking a page from the NaNoWriMo book sans the stickers, certificates and merchandise.  You’ll have to be happy with bragging rights and a place to send friends and family to see a sample of your writing.

Send submissions to caroljgorden@gmail.com.  Put “KAPOW Submission” in the subject line.  They will be posted to the new KAPOW page as soon as I can get to them.  Make sure I know what name I should use for attribution.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.  Comments are appreciated, especially positive comments.  Kind critique is also appreciated.  Mine is posted.

I am so excited I’m doing a low-level internal hum like a cell phone set on silent.  But I’m not.  Silent.   Heh.

 

FAMILY NEWS

by C J Gorden

Hey, bro!  What’s up?  Haven’t heard from you in ages.

Get out of town!

No lie?  You gotta be kidding me.

Yeah.  I wouldn’t  know what I do if it happened to me either.   I mean I’ve thought about it, dang, who hasn’t?  You just don’t really think it will happen to you, you know?  Never mind.  Of course you know.

Listen to what they tell you.  They’re the experts.  You can’t go it alone, bro, it’s too dangerous.

Yeah, I hear you.  News like that puts a real spin on your reality, dude.

So what can I do for you?  I’m glad you called and told me about it.  Anything I can do, I’ll be there for you.  You know that, right?  No pressure.

You’re making out a will?  Oh, man.  Now that there, that’s pressure.  I know I should make one too, but I keep putting it off, you know?  Never mind.  There I go again.  Of course you know.

How’s the better half handling it?

Yeah.  It would affect everybody in the family.  Huh.  I still can’t get over it.  You always know it could happen to you, but you never really believe it will.

Sure, bro.  I’ll let you go.  I’m sure you got a lot of calls to make.

Yup.  You do that.

Soon as I get off the phone I’m gonna go invest in some more Lotto tickets myself.  Dang, bro.  I’m happy for you!  Yeah, you too.  Bye now.

About inspiration

Something happened this week that made me consider the mechanics of inspiration.  Did I say mechanics?  Maybe magic is more like it.  How else can you account for flights of fancy that start with fingernail polish and lead to a whole new story in my head, complete with main characters, secondary characters, conflicts and a rough story arc?  It defies logic, or anything so mundane as mechanics.

Okay, this is how it happened.  I have a bad habit of bending my fingernails backwards with my teeth until they split or break, then worrying them until they’re gone.  My plan was to put nail-strengthening polish on them to make them tougher, so they wouldn’t break as easily.  I don’t like the feel of polish on my teeth, so it was a good reminder to leave them the heck alone.

It worked!  My nails are the longest they’ve ever been.  Then my youngest daughter decided they needed color.  I asked what color but she said not to worry.

I worried.

After I rid my nails of the clear polish and worked at my cuticles a little, I put out my hand to her and held my breath.  The polish was red.  I mean red.  The last time I had that much color on my nails – well, I think maybe Regan was President.  She did a good job, and it looked great.

When I was describing it to some friends and co-workers in instant messages, I told them I couldn’t remember the brand or the name of the color but it was the color of blood.  More, it was the color of clotted blood.  I could tell, because it exactly matched the cat scratch on my thumb I’d gotten earlier that day from one of our kitties.  As we talked, I held a hand up in front of me.  Maybe it’s because of the number of fantasy and paranormal books I read, but my brain went from the red of the fingernail polish to the red of clotted blood to teens and vampires, and within 2 days and some brainstorming with my friends it had evolved into a full-blown story ready to start putting to paper.

Another story’s inspiration was a dream.  I swear I dreamed the entire story and woke up so excited, but by the time I got some of it written down, I’d forgotten the rest.  I had to work that out myself – meaning the conscious me.  Now I always keep a pen and tablet beside the bed.  I have written another 3 story ideas in it since then.

I also keep a tablet in my purse.  Years ago it was a little black book, about three by five inches.  The one I carry these days is a stenographer’s spiral notebook.  What can I say?  I carry a bigger purse now.  Sometimes I write quotes I happen to overhear in it, sometimes little character studies, and sometimes ideas about a work already in progress.

What kinds of things have been your inspirations?  Add a comment, I can’t wait to hear!

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