Tag Archives: writing novels

Weird Names & the War That Wasn’t a War

Stolen Ohio chickens, a lost Michigan militia, and men with numbers for names?  You never know what your fiction research is going to uncover. There I was, digging into Midwest canals and railroads for Book 2 of my Shimmer of Time series.  Lots of cool stuff for the book, right?  But I got sidetracked completely by Benjamin Franklin Stickney, who had weird tastes in names and was (probably) responsible for a war most of us have never heard of. Stickney’s mother was a favorite niece of Benjamin Franklin (that’s right, the key-on-a-kite-string Benjamin Franklin, “discoverer” of electricity and inventor of my ever-necessary bifocals), and she named her son after him in 1773.  So Benjamin Stickney grew up, got married, and named his sons … wait for it . . . One and Two!  Evidently he wanted to let them choose their own names when they got older, but they never did.  … Continue reading

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Linkfest: Children, Writing Tips and Granny’s Health Plan

I’ve been saving links to blogs I really liked, some new and some old, and it’s sharing time!  And not just blog links – there’s an ROW80 goal update at the bottom. Some heart-warming, life-affirming, thought-provoking, general feel-good stuff: Kids don’t just go to school, play, and do a few small chores – they can help in big things, too!  Leanne Sype’s son Sean has a caring heart, and a willing mind, as she writes in When Life Gives You Lemonade. Lynette Burrows shared a great post on keeping a child-like creativity.  It’s kept me thinking … a lot! Over on Bliss Habits, Dani Nelson continues that thought with all the positive things you get when you live Life with a Side of Silly.  Because what’s better than a smile?  (Ignore the giveaway at the bottom – it’s over.) Reading Pretty LIttle Liars got Emma Burkhart thinking about the friendships … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts – 6 Spooky Story Starters

In honor of Halloween, we’re doing spooky story starters this weekend.  Dust off your ghost-story-telling abilities and see where these ideas take you. Daylight, dense fog, muffled sound. You go for noon walk anyway. Describe your walk, and what happens when a dark shape suddenly looms before you. Late at night, flat tire, country road. What do you hear? How do you feel? Do you trust the man who pulls up in a pickup truck? Children are in bed, you’re reading a book in the living room.  You suddenly feel a prickle of skin – someone is watching you. What happens next? Turn several lights on in hotel room, put wallet on dresser and use bathroom.  When you come out, wallet is on the bed and two lights are turned off. What do you do? How do you feel? Dusk, walk through autumn woods with dog, listen to birds. Dog … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts– Story Starters About Revenge

Do you ever dream of what you would do to get back at someone?  Or are you too nice?  Even if you’re an understanding person, your character doesn’t have to be.  What kind of revenge would he or she take to make someone pay for what they did? Wait!  Make it more interesting – choose a situation below, and then spend five minutes brainstorming possible scenarios.  Do NOT write about the first one or two you list – those are the easy ones.  For a more interesting story, go with a scene you had to stretch for, one toward the end of your list. What kind of revenge might your character take if:  A party guest stole money from them? Their best friend added to an untrue rumor about them? Their partner/lover cheated on them? Their co-worker stole their great idea? A friend “borrowed” something and then damaged it? After … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing – Story Starters that Ask What If

Here are five writing prompts that ask the classic writer’s question, “What if?”  Each of these could create hundreds of story lines depending on the writer’s choices.  Where would you take it? What if . . . your brother and his wife are killed in a car accident and you become guardian of the children from hell? What if . . . a couple of teens steal a car to go joyriding, and it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? What if . . . the mild-mannered guy three doors down begins stalking you? What if . . . the sun’s glare through the windshield is blinding you and you hit an elderly man because you can’t see him? What if . . . a guy is rough-housing at the pool, shoves his friend in unexpectedly, and the friend hits his head and is paralyzed? Choose one and see … Continue reading

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