Weekly Writing Prompt — August 12, 2015 Edition

Writers!

Artist’s Date Alert:  Sketchbook Project is here in Seattle. Several of our members, including myself, participated in this. You can see it beginning tomorrow night through Saturday. Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave – Seattle, WA 98121, August 13: 5:00 — 8:00pm

August 14-15: 11:00 — 3:00 pm. More details here:  https://www.sketchbookproject.com/events

I also wanted to share with you that I did a little experiment this summer. I didn’t journal for nearly a month. It was terrible. My creativity was off. I was cranky. Once I started doing my morning pages again, I felt better. If you want to ground your writing life and feel the creative rush, do your morning pages. Don’t know what those are? You need to come to a writing cafe or an upcoming workshop to find out! If you’ve been good about doing morning pages, good for you! You could try your own experiment, except I would say, don’t skip more than three days, instead of three weeks. You’ll see what I mean.

Today’s prompt is about patterns. One of my favorite novels is Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. My husband just returned from a massive ten days amongst his Hacker Tribe with back-to-back conferences in Las Vegas. They talked a lot about patterns and he brought me home all these pattern cipher quizzes and the like. Also, yesterday while on my own personal artist’s date, I began to see patterns I hadn’t noticed before. Clearly the universe is speaking to me. So your prompt is about patterns. What patterns does your protagonist notice, or the antagonist notice. Do you want to wax romantic in a poem about patterns. Just take that word and run with it. Write non-stop for 30 minutes.

As a reminder our dates for workshops with their descriptions are below:

September 16: NaNoWriMo Prep Workshop 1:
Have you always thought about writing a novel but don’t know where to start? This month SnoValley Writes will discuss: How to find a topic and develop it into a plot. Where characters come from and how to get them to do what you want in your novel. How to make time to write in your already busy schedule. And how to do it all in 30 days or less.

October 17: NaNoWriMo Prep Workshop 2:  This month SnoValley Writes welcomes you to meet with us to sign up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Meet your Snoqualmie Valley Region Municipal Liasons (MLs). Ask your questions about the NaNoWriMo website, how to plan your novel, etc. and get answers from other writers – some who are starting their 8th NaNo this year. We’re here to help you get started and give you info on local events coming in the 30 fabulous days of November!
As always the workshops are at the North Bend Library Meeting Room from 10:30 a.m. to Noon.

And now your moment of Writing Zen:

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.” ~Bruce Lee


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

Weekly Writing Prompt — July 18, Edition

Greetings Writers!

Someone sent me a very kind note about not giving up on encouraging each and every one of you in the group. It’s timing was brilliant and motivated me to push forward not only with projects for SnoValley Writes! but my own personal writing. Thank you for your kind words, you know who you are. Keep writing.
For this week’s prompt, I’m going to continue to offer you the chance to move your own writing forward by attending the peer-review work session on Saturday, July 18,  at 10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library Meeting Room. Bring a chapter, a short story, a poem or two to receive feed back. Take the time for heads-down writing. However you need the time to push you forward towards your goal.
Also, I want to encourage you to continue with your artist’s dates — go to a reading, a book launch, a town hall, an art show, a theatre production. Go. Get out. Do it. Recharge your creative energies.
Enjoy the sunshine. Write. Be.


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — July 8, 2015

Wow, every time I type the date for one of these I”m amazed by how long we’ve been together encouraging one another, helping, boosting, critiquing, and becoming friends. I have much love and respect for this group. I hope you all feel the same.

However, there’s still more to do. Still more growth to happen, more pushing of boundaries for our writing lives.
What did you push this week? What have you pushed this month?
Your writing prompt is to answer that question, to yourself, in reply to me, and with members of the group as you see them at cafes, at the July 18th peer-review critique meeting, or around the valley.
If you can’t answer that question, you have work to do. If you can answer it, how can you push further? Make a plan. Get to work.
And Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can’t control life, at least you can control your version.”
― Chuck PalahniukStranger than Fiction


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — July 1, 2015 Edition

Happy July Writers!

Today’s prompt is about FEAR. Oh, what a four-letter word it is for writers. It very much is the thing that blocks us from doing what we love, what we’re supposed to do — tell our stories. What are you fearful of? The story itself? Rejection? Criticism?
One way to get over that is to join a group like ours — one where we are focused on your strengths and work from a foundation of encouragement to help you hone your craft and constantly improve. Use the group for feedback, to learn, to go out of your comfort zone and grow. You will learn that you are the only blocker to your success as an author — not your schedule, your life, your ability, or that misnomer of writer’s block. I hate to sound all cliche — but, it’s true:  you can do whatever you set your mind to do. The only thing holding you back is fear. There’s no better time to be an author. Therefore, today — yes, today — I want you to sit down for just a brief 15 minutes (I encourage you to set a timer) and list what is blocking you from your writing goals. List them all — since for the most part, we all have more than one thing that holds us back. Don’t worry about format or punctuation or anything, just let it flow, kind of like morning pages. After 15 minutes stop and re-read what you wrote. Then I want you to spend the rest of today and through the weekend thinking about it. Then on Monday, sit back down with pen and  paper or at your computer and write down how you’re going to combat your fears. Make a plan. Set a goal. Make a list of actionable items (e.g. get up earlier every day to write for 30 minutes, or send out that short story I like, or research agents). Then go do it. Will the inner editor, or the crazy makers continue to try to hold you back and create new fears in your writing life? Yes. Move forward despite. Or repeat the exercise when necessary.
Finish reading this email and then go to work.
July 18th is our heads-down writing time at the Library from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Feel free to use it as an excuse to escape the heat and be left alone with your stories.

Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ~Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones. 


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — June 24, 2015 Edition

Writers:

I’m going to be kind of harsh right now, all prompted by a conversation I had in a cafe this week. I was introduced to a new member of the community as “that writer lady.” I do not take umbrage with that label in the least. Huzzah. People see me as I see myself. But the person said, “Oh, a writer! I want to write a novel.” Many of you on this list have said the same to me and have joined the group, or labor quietly in solitude and get solace and encouragement virtually from SnoValley Writes! Therefore, many of you will recall me asking you when you write, how often, what you write, etc. etc. etc. I did ask the same of this person as well. Like many of you, this individual said, “Oh, I’ll have to do it someday down the road; I don’t have room for it in my life.” Now, to be fair, there are days I don’t/can’t write. But, I’m thinking about my work in progress; I’m creating scenarios, or just plain living life for future story fodder. Then I get back to it. Or I’m editing. Or I’m reading. All things a writer must do. If you want to write, all I can say is write. If you’re not writing, you should be revising and editing. If you’re not writing, you should be daydreaming. If you’re not writing you should be reading.
Otherwise, you’re just being polite when you talk writing with me. Writing is work. It takes effort. It takes discipline. Wanting to do something and doing it are two different things.
For those who took my hints as encouragement, and the permission I gave you to write, Huzzah to you, too. Keep at it.
So, what did you write today?
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
 
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”

~Bradley Whitford



What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompts — June 17, 2015 Edition

Dear Sno Valley Writes! Writers:

Summer time! Ahhh! The kids are out of school today. The sun has been a frequent guest for us — not sure where our June-uary went, but the gardens are loving it. Although, they’ll the love the rain if it shows up as expected this weekend, too.
Speaking of the weekend, this Saturday our group has the space at the North Bend Library’s meeting room. There will be no formal program. It is simply a time to come and work in a quiet space. Head-down writing, editing, daydreaming time. That is how it will be for July’s session as well, which is July 18. Come in. Work. Embrace the quiet and lose yourself in your stories. No cafe noises to distract you. No waitress asking if you want another Mac n Jacks. Just head-down writing time. I urge you all to take advantage of this time, as many of us need to get works in progress completed before the very productive novel-writing season of the fall.
Also, the Storyteller’s Circle is on sabbatical for the summer. Look for an announcement in the fall for its continuation.
What’s not suspended is the multiple opportunities for literary field trips, artist’s dates, and our writing cafes. Please do plan to attend the heads-down writing sessions, a writing cafes and take the time to recharge your creative batteries with a reading, an art show, a hike, whatever. Take care of your creative inner child.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”



What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces

Weekly Writing Prompt — May 20, 2015

Writers:

Today’s prompt is about something I’m still trying to get many of you to do — and that’s to make sure you’re doing literary field-trips as often as possible. There’s so many reading, writing work shops, cool book stores, storyteller circles,  heck, there’s even a Hike & Write coming up (which I hope to attend). When was the last literary field trip you went on? Oh, and a great one right here in town coming up on May 27th:  Bard & Starlet Radio Hour. 
These kinds of events fuel your creative fire and many of us need a kick in the creative fire pants now and then.
That’s your prompt. Find some field trips and go. Don’t forget to write about them after (whether you publish via a blog or just keep it in your private journal…just write).
Now your moment of Writing Zen:

“I think writing really helps you heal yourself. I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money, or what will make fame.”

Alice Walker


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — April 15, 2015 Morning Pages

Quick Missive for you all writers, as its my daughter’s 17th birthday
today and I’m mobbing big time….

Saturday is the monthly Peer Review Work Session at 10:30 a.m. until
Noon at the North Bend library meeting room. This month’s topic is
lessons learned from NorWesCon ’38. Bring pen and paper or lappie,
whatever. Coffee and snacks allowed, just clean up afterwards. Thanks
to Tara for leading the pack on this.

Saturday afternoon the Storytellers Circle will meet at 3 p.m. at the
Umpqua Bank’s Community Room. It’s potluck. Food and Stories, what a
great way to spend a couple of hours.

Your prompt is to plan to be at one or both of these. Please.

And now your moment of Writing Zen:

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty; to
interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication.”
James Dean



What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — April 8, 2015 Edition

Writers:

Notes:  April 18 is the third Saturday of the Month. Time for writerly workshops and storytelling.

The workshop will be at 10:30 a.m. until Noon with the subject:  Writing Lessons Learned from NorWesCon 38. Bring pen and paper (or laptop). Be prepared to write — at least take notes — and ask questions.

Then the storyteller’s circle is at the Umpquah Bank community room (right next to the bank) at 3 p.m. This month’s is a potluck and food stories would be heartily welcomed. But any and all stories and their tellers are welcomed. As is music, poetry, and the like. This has been a lot of fun over the months and we’ve outgrown are little space at the visitors center and are now expanding. Won’t you join us?

Now for today’s prompt:  It’s about food. You knew that was coming, right? I want you to write, or retell a story where food is a focal point. Shoot for about 2,000 words, but no less than 1,000.
Go.
See you on the 18th!


What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron

Weekly Writing Prompt — April 1, 2015 Edition

I don’t do April Fool’s Jokes. I’ve tried. I fail at it.

Instead, I always make sure there’s sweet stuff in the house for April Fool’s.

Which reminds me about food.

Which then makes me think about several of the food-centered conversations I’ve been privy to recently.

So here we are at the prompt.

Write about food. Food you love, food you despise, food you’ve grown, food you’ve cooked. Write about it. But make sure that what you write is also about people, not just about the food. Unless, of course, you want to make the food have a personality, you know pull a  anthropomorphism card. When has food been the center of a scene of great transformation in your life? The food at your wedding, or a loved one’s funeral, or the train you took to Chicago. Whatever. Shoot for no less than 1,000 words. If you get closer to 2,500 words, even better. If you decide to post the exercise on your blog, be sure to let us know.

Next workshop is April 18 at the North Bend Library Meeting room at 10:30 a.m. More details to follow in the next few weeks. Put it on your calendar and plan to attend.

That same afternoon, at 3 p.m. the Storyteller’s Circle will be sharing stories. Location to be determined. Stay tuned for more details on that, too.

Congrats to those in the group that went outside their writer comfort zone and did #TheSketchbookProject.
Also, good luck to Free Valley Publishing in its appearance at NorWesCon this weekend. If you’re planning on attending #NorWesCon38, be sure to check out their booth.

And now your moment of Writing Zen:

“For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I’m outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where it’s hardest to see.” ~Robin Williams



What did you Write today?
~Casz

Casondra Brewster
Moderator/Founder
Sno Valley Writes!
Helping Writers Reach New Literary Peaks Since 2008
http://www.snovalleywrites.org
Check us out on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SnoValleyWrites

“But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” ~ Lord Byron