Posted in Writing, Writing Prompts

Time To Write: Random Words 6

Time to write, writing prompt

Write a story incorporating all the words above.

If you use this prompt, leave a link to your story in the comments below. I’d love to read it!

Happy writing!
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Posted in Writing

Old Ideas Left Unwritten

So, I told you guys about why fan fiction is important to me. I also went through two of my stories I posted on the fan fiction website and wrote commentary for my awful writing way back when.

Fan fiction was the ultimate start to this writing journey that I have currently been going on for the past 13 years. I eventually stopped writing fan fiction to work on original books, but I still had many fan fiction ideas.

I remember telling myself that I would get back into fan fiction one day. That hasn’t happened, but never say never. Maybe when I’m retired I’ll get back to it for fun. I would love to get back into it now, but I’m more focused on my original work to (hopefully) be published in the near future.

So, I came across an old folder that has a list of all the ideas I was going on post on the website. There are 46 ideas total.

Unwritten Stories

I remember telling myself I wanted to post 100 stories and I have 58 stories posted. I would have had 104 stories if I had actually written and posted these ideas.

The categories vary from TV shows to video games (and that’s mostly it). They’re in alphabetical order (even back then I was super organized). Here are the different categories:

  • Ace Attorney (video game)
  • Animal Crossing (video game)
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (TV show)
  • Fruits Basket (Anime)
  • Ninja Turtles (TV show — This is my biggest category with 24 story ideas)
  • Ninja Turtles and X-Men crossover (TV shows)
  • Pokemon (video game)
  • Seinfeld (TV show)
  • Sims (video game)
  • Super Smash Brothers (video game)
  • Teen Titans (TV show)
  • X-Men Evolution (TV show)
  • Zack and Cody (TV show)

What a variety! I like a lot of things apparently.

Now that I’ve reacted to a couple of old stories, I thought I’d react to a couple of old summaries.

I’m not good at writing summaries now, but I was worse back then. Plus, my ideas were a bit out there, if we’re being completely honest.

Ace Attorney

There’s no summary or title with this one, but I had the who, what, where, when, why, and how all figured out. Maybe I’ll use it for a future novel in my current mystery series?

The main reason I’m pointing this out to you guys is because of the names. According to my notes, a jewelry store was robbed. The owner of the store is named Sapphire Gem and her mother is Ruby Gem. The culprit’s name is Bryce Bagz. Way to be subtle!

Ninja Turtles

Of course, Ninja Turtles is my favorite and I reacted to two TMNT stories already. So here are some of my favorite ideas.

Remember

“During a battle with the Purple Dragons, Raph gets knocked out and loses his memory. Master Splinter, April, Casey, and the turtles take turns telling him stories to help him remember.”

A bit sad, but not bad overall. Also, I’m pretty sure there’s an episode in the 2003 cartoon where Leo is practically dying and they all tell stories.

Memories

“After Master Splinter passes away, the brothers reflect on memories they had with their master/father.”

Well, then. I don’t know what was up with all the depressive themes.

The Mystery of Women

“The boys talk about girls.”

Oh, I’m sure that would have been a good one!

I had many great other ideas as well, such as them getting super powers and Leo haven’t an affair (don’t ask, I don’t even know).

Seinfeld

The Rejection Hotline

“Jerry meets a girl and when he asks her for her phone number, she gives him the number for the Rejection Hotline. Elaine copies down the number so she can use it on guys, but after she hooks her friend up with someone else she knows, she accidentally gives him the RH number instead of the real number. George uses the number to get a girl off his back, who ends up hooking up with Kramar.”

I have to say, I’m impressed with how fleshed out this idea was. I feel like it would be an actual episode of the show. And yes, the Rejection Hotline is an actual thing. Or, it used to be anyway.

Okay, I picked out the “decent” ideas from that huge list. Maybe those ideas will pop up in a new way in my original novels. Who knows?

Do you have any old ideas in the back of your mind? Do you think you’ll ever end up writing them? Let me know in the comments!

rachel poli sign off

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Posted in Guest Posts, Inspiration Station, Writing

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Skye Hegyes

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Skye Hegyes. Thanks, Skye!

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Skye Hegyes

This is going to be horrible to say, but I honestly can’t remember when I started writing. I know. I know. I’m a horrible writer/author, but it’s the truth. I have no real recollection of when I started writing. Nor do I know what started it all truth be told. I have my hunches, though, and I guess that’s going to have to be good enough.
First, you must realize I come from a major reading background. There have always been hundreds of books (no lie; last count there was over three hundred) in my parents’ household. Most of them were fantasy. Some of them were thrillers, some romance, and some horse books. Horse books are their own genre in my household. Both of my parents were readers, and as soon as I could figure out words and letters and everything in between, I was too. My younger sisters weren’t far behind.
Even before the ability to read kicked in, my ability to tell stories reared its head. I was a knight saving a princess from a dragon, an astronaut exploring space in my one-man shuttle and fighting galactic battles in order to save the universe, a native hunting on the plains or taming a wild horse, a gunslinger who robbed banks but went after a murderer when my family was killed. I befriended giants and dinosaurs, rode dragons and unicorns, build robots and cybernetics. The games were endless and with them my ability to weave a story. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were too horrible to ever be mentioned again.
When these stories started being pulled from games and instead weaved into words on a page, I’m not certain of. My first “stories” that I can recall were all the school papers written based on writing prompts I was given in class.
The first story I can remember writing and being proud of was a short story I wrote for a fifth grade journal. I don’t remember the topic we were supposed to write about or how I came up with the particular story (See? Bad author!) but I remember being more proud of it over other stories, not because the idea was good, but because it was the first short story/prompt to spark an idea for a novel.
Of course, this was the first novel I plotted in my head completely but only wrote out bits and pieces to here and there. If I ever did complete the whole novel: a) it wasn’t right away, b) I have no recollection of it, and c) I no longer have a copy of it. Either way, it’s quite possibly a good thing. I might – just might – have a copy of the short story still but I don’t know. If I do, it’s mixed up with all my remaining school paperwork somewhere deep in the depths where only Cthulhu himself dares to go.
The first full novel I have a full recollection of writing was a novel I wrote in a black and white composition notebook, and it was called A Horse Called Catapult. It was the first somewhat original piece I’d ever written – heavy on the somewhat – and the first I showed someone else and asked their opinion on only to have that person question why I wasn’t trying to become an author.
Looking back now, I’m glad I don’t still have a copy of it. It was… well… to put it mildly… It was a bucket of copyright infringement. It had a plot close to the first three books in the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell. In that series, a young teenager called Ashleigh moves to a racing farm where she meets an older pregnant mare who gives birth to a sickly foal she then has to convince everyone is worth saving. Then it continues on with the foal’s training and finally on into her racing career. If you ever want to read it, the first book is called, A Horse Called Wonder.
My novel, A Horse Called Catapult, was about a teenager named Anna living on an Arabian horse farm. A local vet brings in some rescues including a black stallion Anna nurses back to health, trains and then races. See the similarities? Yeah…
Beyond that, I wrote a bunch of short stories about a girl and her horse, the first of which she saved her horse as a foal when it fell through a frozen pond. While I don’t still have the original, I re-wrote it, and it appeared in Short Story Smash.
Since then, I’ve written hundreds of stories and several novels. I’ve had great people introduce me to National Novel Writing Month, publishing, and blogging. I’ve been privileged to meet dozens of awesome people both online and in real life. It’s been a great opportunity and an even greater experience. Plus, just think. I have many more amazing years left in which to continue to grow, develop, and of course WRITE!
Author’s Bio:
Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…
Connect with Skye:
Posted in Guest Posts, Inspiration Station, Writing

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Sacha Black

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Sacha Black. Thanks, Sacha!

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Sacha Black

I had a cupboard.

I was nine and it was built into my bedroom wall like an adults’ closet, a fact I used to feel smug about because it was in my room and not my parent’s.

At first, I used to store things in it, like toys and roller skates. Then after a particularly bad day at school with bullies, I came home and wanted to hide. Usually, I’d grab a book and run into the fields to climb a tree and read till sunset. But it was winter and by the time I was home from school, darkness had fallen.

I looked at the cupboard – it was just big enough for one small child to fit inside. So I yanked open the door and threw everything into the middle of my bedroom floor. I sat inside and slammed the door shut. I cried, not because of the bullies, but because it was cold, dark and uncomfortable and not the safe haven I’d expected.

I took pillows, a blanket, a torch and what I’d thought was a book back into the cupboard. But it wasn’t a reading book, it was a sketch book. Instead of finding a reading book, I grabbed a pen and started doodling. Doodles turned to words, which turned into a story. That was the first real story I ever wrote, and I wrote it in a cupboard!

The creatures in the story were called Praeth. Even then I wrote fantasy, it was my little way of escaping, of creating worlds where I would fit in and didn’t have to explain myself or be the school weirdo because I liked books and studied hard.

I rewrote that story several more times, expanding and building each time as my skills and knowledge developed. That short story called Praeth eventually got so long that on August 20th 2016, twenty years after I inked the first full stop, it was a completed novel called Keepers. Next year, I’ll publish it, and I’ll put the first copy next to that very first notebook which I still have.

Why do I write? I write because stories are woven into my blood like oxygen. When I was created, instead of filling my DNA with genetic material, someone put characters and words into there and now those characters’ bark at me until I sit down and pen their stories. They demand to be told like the government demands taxes. This isn’t a choice. I was born to tell stories.

Author’s Bio:

Sacha is a nightwalker carefully treading the line between light and dark, strange and unusual. A hunter desperately pursuing the right words to chronicle stories. Sacha was always meant to write, she was the girl who spent her lunch break tucked away in the corner of the school library, head buried in a pile of books, pencil in hand, weaving stories on the page. But she grew up, stumbled and fell forgetting her dream and then spent a while lost in a dark and twisted place. Then, one day she sat in front of her laptop and started to write. She remembered that all she’d ever wanted to do was write stories in faraway places filled with curious creatures and magical happenings. Sacha is also a mother to a toddler terror tot and wife to a beautiful woman.

Connect with Sacha:

Website

Email list (full of juicy writing tips and the latest industry publishing news)

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Google+

Instagram

Posted in Guest Posts, Inspiration Station, Writing

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Start Writing? With Nthato Morakabi

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Nthato Morakabi. Thanks, Nthato!

Inspiration Station with Nthato Morakabi: when and why did you begin writing?

Writing: A Privilege and an Honour

I think a majority of writers start at an early age, and I am no different from the flock. The oldest piece of writing I found was in an old diary when I was between the ages of six and eight. My piece of creative writing featured my own version of the lyrics to the song La Bamba performed by Ritchie Valens in the film of the same name as the song. Something along the lines of “La la la la la Bamba I was born in Soweto.” I imagine my parents dancing to the off-tune vocals of young me while their faces wondered when the madness would stop. It didn’t. I wrote more than just lyrics and in Grade 2 (second grade), I was fast becoming an avid reader.

My reasons for writing have evolved from those formative years and has become a more refined version, something I experienced quite a couple of years ago. But initially, it was for the praise of my parents and teachers. I wrote to please others. I remember freaking out during creative writing because the story I wanted to write ended up with such a large scope it wouldn’t fit the word count, and I would whip up something quickly in the last ten minutes. At least that hasn’t changed, I still can’t keep word counts.

It was in Grade 9 when I really started writing for myself. I was so consumed by the fictional worlds that existed around me that I had to delve into them. If they weren’t big enough I created my own. I spent a lot of time in class writing my stories rather than taking notes; the only thing that helped me pass was my strong short-term memory: study the night before, go to bed, retain what I studied and write exams/tests; forget it all the moment it’s pens down. This was where I started thinking of writing as more than just a hobby; I wanted to be a writer. I had stories man. Tons of stories. I had a file where I kept all my drafts and documents and ideas; any empty notebook immediately became a story book. If I saw a blank page, I saw potential. Of course, I was also frequenting the school library, determined to read every Stephen King, Clive Barker, James Herbert, Dean Koontz and any other horror author I could find. These pulled into my writing. Anime I was watching pulled into my writing. Games I played pulled into my stories. I fell in love with Final Fantasy not only for its amazing CGI (which at that day and age was far ahead of its time) but also for its intriguing stories, characters, and villains.

I look back now and see how my education, upbringing, and circumstances have allowed me to be the writer I am today. It truly is a privilege to sit here and type this out with speedy, proficient keystrokes, to be able to string thoughts together using letters and words formed back in school when I was a young lyrical genius (sarcasm). It’s been quite a journey already and I look forward to enjoying the remaining years achieving my goal of becoming a full-time author – I’m a full-time writer by profession after all.

Author’s Bio:

Nthato Morakabi is a South African author working as a Junior Technical Writer for Everlytic and a freelance writer for Gamecca Magazine. He has a total of seven published short stories, available in separate anthologies on Amazon and Chasing Dreams Publishing website. He is currently working on personal anthologies, one of which will be on Patreon.
He is a hobbyist blogger, avid reader, and aspiring digital artist.
Connect with Nthato:
Twitter: @Nthito
Posted in Life, Writing

When A Schedule Falls Apart

I’ve always been the type of person to have a schedule, to get myself into a routine. I write a to-do list for the following day every night before I go to bed. I even include “shower” on those lists. Yeah, I’m that kind of person.

The summer was great. I was home alone for the majority of the day while everyone else was at work. I read, I wrote, I blogged, I swam, I played with the animals, took walks, among other things. But mostly I was able to get a lot of writing, reading, and blogging done.

I had a good rhythm going for a while. Then work started back up again.

Today is my seventh day of work, but I feel like I’ve been back for months. I still babysit every day after work as well and, on top of that, I’m still running the Sunday school program at my church.

I enjoy all three jobs, but it’s exhausting. Nine to ten hours of my day is gone as I chase preschoolers around the majority of the day only to go help a couple of elementary kids do their homework. There’s not much room for writing during those times.

Sunday mornings are blocked off because I’m at church and I do the majority of the Sunday school planning in my free time at my house during the week. Still, not much room for writing.

Before I started back to work, I attempted to create a new “schedule” for myself. I knew it was going to be a flexible one, but I thought that if I could get in just one hour a day of reading and then one hour of writing or blogging, that’d be great.

I still keep up with my routine where I write on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and I work on my blogs on Thursdays and Fridays. Sundays are either/or, or I just take a break.

But the hour a day? It hasn’t been working so well.

By the time I get home from work, I’m utterly exhausted. It’s tough to stare at the computer screen, my hand can’t remember how to hold a pen, and my eyes suddenly drop if I try to read.

Needless to say, I’ve barely gotten any writing or blogging done since work started. If I didn’t have deadlines for my book reviews, I probably wouldn’t be reading either (and even then I missed a review this month). The only reason I’ve been keeping up with my daily blog posts is because I spent a whole day on my blogs before I started back to work and got the majority of September done.

It sucks because while I absolutely love my jobs, I don’t want to be teaching and babysitting for the rest of my life. I want my career to be writing related. I know that takes time and I’ve been working on it bit by bit, but the waiting game is hard.

I’m trying not to get discouraged, but I know what I want to do with my life. I just can’t get there yet. I’m not trying to be impatient because I know this takes time as well as a lot of hard work, determination, and dedication, but… I don’t know. This was just something I had to get off my chest, I guess.

Sorry if this post seems like such a downer. Let this be a lesson to just stay positive. Even though this post is the complete opposite of yesterday’s post.

rachel poli sign off

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Posted in Life, Musical Mondays

Musical Mondays: I Will Make It

I’ve decided to start something a little different on here.

I love music. Music is a form of creativity just like writing. So, every once in a while I’ll have a Musical Monday where I discuss a song I love and that has been inspirational to me.

This won’t be a weekly series. I can’t even promise that this will happen every month or even every other month. It’s just something special I’ll share once in a while as new, inspirational songs pop up.

Musical Mondays: I Will Make It by Yungtown featuring Garrett Williamson

Though I can tolerate some songs and artists, I’m not that into rap music. But Kris and I love watching a YouTuber named Yungtown. He talks about video games a lot and he also writes and raps his own songs, which are also about video games.

He’s probably the only rapper that I can truly tolerate and listen to all day long.

He posted a music video a little while ago featuring another great artist, Garrett Williamson.

This song is called, “I Will Make It.” It’s about being who you are, doing what you’re passionate about and what you love. Don’t worry about what other people think of you. You’re amazing and unique.

This song really speaks to me especially because of my writing. Every once in a while, I have one of those days where I don’t think I’ll be able to make it as a writer or my writing isn’t good enough or that everyone else is so much better than me, so why would anyone enjoy my writing?

There are a lot of doubts that go with pursuing a writing career (or any career, really).

I wrote my first novel in 2009 thanks to NaNoWriMo. That’ll be seven years this upcoming November. I’ve been writing original novels for a very long time. And since then, I’ve completed at least five first draft manuscripts along with various poems, short stories, and children’s picture books.

Yet, nothing is ready. I’ve queried a few pieces here and there, entered contests, and nothing has come from any of them.

It takes a lot of time, determination, and hard work. I will get my chance sooner or later. And if I don’t, I’ll keep working at it because I love writing and I love this community that my blog has built over the past few years.

This goes for all of you, too. If you haven’t made it yet, you will. All in due time.

I listen to this song every time I get down about my writing or anything else I’m trying to pursue. It speaks a lot of truth and is a great pick me up.

Below is the music video. The song ends around the 3-minute mark, even though the video itself is about six-and-a-half minutes. Below the video is the lyrics and I’ve bolded my favorite lines.

Enjoy! And I hope the song will have some meaning for you.

Lyrics:

This goes out to the people who are thinking of giving up
Listen up each of you are sounding ridiculous
Get out of the rhythm of living with doubt yes it’s difficult
We cannot allow these articulate

Visions twist what we know clear
When we hold fear, it screams loud making it delectable to listen to
Interesting isn’t it, realism is our best defense
Our foundation so we won’t get disappointed or discontent

Like what’s the point of dreaming big or even trying
You don’t who I am, they won’t care if I quit
My friends are fortunate, talented, and flourishing
I put in so much work, will I ever get my chance?

Look that path is a different one
If you walked that then that is who you’d become
Usually, an opportunity will swoop ruthlessly from our reach
As a reminder to be the best you that you can be

No matter what they say
I’ll still find my way
I’m gonna stand my ground

No matter what they do
I won’t let them get through
Ain’t nothing bringing me down cause

I will I will
I will make it today
Nothing nothing
Nothing will stand in my way
I will I will make it and find the open door

With each measure and task, we develop a path
But instead of glancing ahead we’re stuck rubbernecking our past
conversate with the hatred, concentrate on complaining
Constantly complicating each thought till they’re all entangled

Creating a situation where creating becomes painful
and each operation feels like we’re creatively disabled
and we cradle impatience our priorities decompose
Aligning with complacency our anxiety grows

Redefining our soul solidifying a home
Assembled entirely out of unrecognizable stones
By and by scrutinizing our by-product thoughtfully
Stuck following unconsciously, but do you wanna be a wannabee?

When you can be the one who reaches farther than a lot of these
People who only wanna piece of stardom like astrology
So stop pondering your significance and promise me
you’ll stop comparing yourself especially since are unique

rachel poli sign off

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Posted in Guest Posts, Inspiration Station, Writing

Inspiration Station: When and Why Did You Begin Writing? With Topaz Winters

As you know, guest bloggers appear on my site twice a month. For the months of August, September, and October, my guests will be discussing the same topic:

When and why did you begin writing?

This week we’ll learn a little bit more about Topaz Winters. Thanks, Topaz!

Inspiration Station with Topaz Winters: When and Why did you begin writing?

Something Real

It’s like this: there is a fascination I have, an obsession almost, with things that stay the same.

I’m talking about stories, the things that are real, the things that remain when the rest has willed away already to unknowing. Do you ever notice, in this peculiar fast-paced existence of ours, how many things change irrevocably in the quickest, softest moments? This, I have come to believe, is the nature of the universe. How it’s all moving, it’s never the same, you go to bed one night, you wake up the next morning & suddenly your own soul is a stranger, you’re making small talk with the deepest parts of yourself.

I want forever. I want eternity in an impossible, longing way. In a way, I could never hope to find.

I’ve been told this is what makes me a poet. I’ve also been told this is what makes me a sad person. I am not quite sure whether they are one & the same.

But there are enduring things. (And I have to believe this. And I have to remind myself this, my anxious & fast-moving head, this mind of mine that has never understood how to stop wondering, wandering, worrying, say it soft, like—there are some things that stay. There are always things that stay.)

I need those infinities, those rare constants I’ve found so fleeting in this existence. I need stories.

It’s like this:

there was a boy I loved who read me poetry at two in the morning when I was on the verge of a panic attack, and those words stayed long after the boy had drifted away. It’s like this: seven books are stacked high on my nightstand, and they’re all partially read, the way I revel in the reassurance that their contents will not change no matter the terror of the world spinning around them. It’s like this: yesterday I read a book from my childhood & it felt like coming home. It’s like this:

stories stay when nothing else does.

How they are the steadfast glue that holds together our uncertain panging myopic world.

This is a very romantic way of putting the fact that I am bone-deep heart-quake terrified of the piercing unknown. That this terror is natural is, of course, no help at all: I am only human, only like everyone else in feeling scared & alone & weightless in the universe.

See, I fall in love with writing—not just poetry, not just novels, but stories in all of their forms—because it teaches me that not everything is destined to leave. That not everyone is searching for an escape route.

There is nothing fictional about the infinity within the written pages. I treasure things that remain because so few do.

(And say stories like you say compass, like you say little black dress, the deliciousness of night driving, slow-drip honey Sunday mornings, like lucky penny & the boy next door’s cat who is ugly but beautiful if you ask him, say it like you’ll never fall out of love with the person you first kiss, like hopscotch & carousel rides & your grandfather’s homemade milkshakes & the exquisite pleasure of the song on the radio that never seems to be overplayed: that’s what stories are. The inevitability, the permanence of them. Something that never changes in a world that never stops changing.)

I have these fits of panic whenever I don’t write enough, deep in the stomach where the soul lives. I need the reminder of stories, I’ve learned. If I don’t hold onto it, if I don’t harness it & clutch it tight to my chest & whisper to myself, over & over, here is something endless, something real—I’m lost. Adrift in the sea of the ever-flowing universe—how you blink and suddenly the ground beneath your feet is gone.

But here. Take these stories.

And hold them to your chest & feel how they are solid, unshakeable. And let yourself forget the horizon you can never quite touch. And let the stories fill your vision, reach for them as a kind of knowing.

And everything could still change in an instant, and you are not free, and the sky may fall on your head at any moment, and there is no way of knowing the wonder or the terror that lies ahead.

But you can see the stories that stay when all else is left behind. And the stories, the stories, the ever-present stories—they have always been enough. 

Author’s Bio:

Topaz Winters was born in 1999. She writes big poems in small packages. She resides in Singapore, at topazwinters.com, and on Twitter @topazwinters.