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Weekly Writing Prompt — May 17, 2017 Edition

Friends:

I come to you today with some inconvenient news. I will be unable to teach on Saturday morning because I have pneumonia. The diagnosis came in yesterday and I’m receiving treatment. As many of you know I’ve already been ill for more than two weeks. However, the doctors have put me on bed rest along with some intense medicinal therapy. After just 24 hours of the new med regime, I feel loads better (it helps if one can sleep). However, my presence on Saturday is not going to happen. Therefore, on Saturday morning you will all receive an email with some “homework” to substitute for the lesson we would have held at the library. Now if anyone needs any heads-down writing time or editing time Saturday between 10:30 a.m to noon, the room will still be available for Sno Valley Writes! purposes, so please feel free to use. Just please return the room to better than what you found it when you are done.
In the meantime, I expect everyone to have caught up on your homework, have finished reading or re-reading your text, and studied the links on themes in literature.
That’s your prompt. That and do something for yourself today that adds to your health. Take your vitamins. Get good sleep. Go for a walk. Release any negativity in your life. Please do whatever self-care is necessary to keep yourself healthy and thereby your stories get out into the world. Your stories matter. But you can’t tell them if you’re not healthy.
Again, I beg your forgiveness for not being able to be there Saturday, and I hope we can reconvene on June 17th for a new round of write-life learning.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


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 — May 3, 2017 Edition

Writers:

Anyone else feel like it’s the beginning of November and not May? Man, this weather.
At any rate, we’re ramping up for the May 20th workshop (10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library Meeting Room). Hope to see you there.
In preparation for that, I want you to do some DIY research on literary themes. Here’s a few links to get you started:
In the meantime, I want you to look hard if you’re following the guidelines of the Artist’s Way — morning pages, artist’s date, and even minimizing the crazy makers in your life.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.”
—Doris Lessing


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 26, 2017 Edition

Writers:

Spring Break is far behind us and we are knocking on May’s door, which means that our May workshop is quickly approaching. That means you have only have a couple more weeks to get caught up on your homework. Check out the website for past writing prompts for information, if you’re that far behind. If you are caught up you need to be searching and notating themes in your text. Don’t know what a theme is? Check out this list and compare it to your text.We’ll be discussing the themes and the like on May 20th at the North Bend Library at 10:30 a.m. This is not as scary as it sounds, and what you find as a theme in the story, may not be what others find. To some extent, there is no wrong answer if you have proof in the text for it. Like I said, we’ll be deconstructing and discussing on May 20.
Next, and very important, please consider attending the new literary event coordinated by our sister organization, Free Valley Publishing, tomorrow night, Thursday, April 27, 2017, 6 p.m. at The Black Dog Arts Cafe: WINE AND WORDS. Come drink some wine, listen to stories, and hang out with fellow writers, poets, and other storytellers. We’re trying hard to make sure this is a quarterly event for all of you to showcase your work locally and increase literary awareness in our community. I’ll be there. I hope you will, too. Take a respite from the workweek and bring on the weekend in authorial style! Oh, Look! It’s Wine and Words O’Clock! 

And now your moment of Writing Zen:  “Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” ~Pete Carroll


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 20, 2017 Edition

Writers:
My apologies that this is delayed. I had a very ill son yesterday and it ate my entire day just trying to get him access to medical care. All is on the mend now, so back to writing life efforts.
If you happened to take advantage of the head-down writing time at the library meeting room last week, please email me and let me know. I need to get numbers to the library.
The conference was overwhelmingly inspirational and I encourage you to chat me, Takako, Sheri, Maureen, or Rachel up about our experience.
Your prompt this week is to don one thing:  Be at the Wine & Words at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie on Thursday, April 27 at 6 p.m. It will be a great evening of story, wine, and writerly connection. “It’s like Live Audio Books!” Hope to see you there. You’ll be there, right? Please be there. We’re trying hard to stick to our mission of raising literary awareness in our community. This event is one that does just that. A big thank you to Sheri J. Kennedy and Free Valley Publishing for leading the charge on this one.


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 12, 2017 Edition

Writers:

Quick reminder:  This Saturday’s workshop is only a heads-down writing time for those that need it to catch up on Camp NaNoWriMo or your Level Up Your Writing homework. Or you can join myself and many of the rest of the group at NorWesCon.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe


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 5, 2017 Edition

Writers:

I want you to pause for just a moment and consider just how wonderful and what a blessing it is to be able to do what we do — write. How incredible to craft stories and be a storyteller. When I meet new people and they find out I’m a writer, I often hear:  “Oh, I wish I could do that.” Honestly, they could; but, such a scene can help make you grateful for those moments of awesome that is the write life.
Also for today’s prompt you need to SAVE THE DATE of April 27. It’s a Thursday evening. 6 p.m. At the Black Dog in Historic Snoqualmie. We’re going to fill that Thursday evening with WORDS & WINE. This is what we hope will be a quarterly event, where we’ll focus on you the writer and your words, as well as special guests of honor who will be featured. In order for other partners in this effort to get excited about doing this, we really are hoping for great support from our writing community — writers, authors, poets, and those that love writers, authors, and poets. Let’s pack the house. You’ll hear lots of good stories, have a chance at some wine tastings and specials, and get to hang with members of your outer literary tribe.
Plus a reminder that our next workshop is supposed to be April 15 at 10:30 a.m. But, since I’ll be at NORWESCON, the workshop will be turned into some hard-charging heads-down writing time for Camp NaNoWriMo — or just anyone that wants to have some quiet writing time. So, be ready on May 20th to continue our Level Up Your Writing lessons.
Now for Your Moment of Writing Zen:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya AngelouI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


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

Writers:

As I pen this it’s been raining for 32 hours straight. Perhaps we should be crafting arks and not novels. Of course, there’s at least a few of us working on ARCs right now. hehe.
Hey, if we’re not trying to laugh at this point in the winter/spring of never-ending rain…you know what they say, “Tears in the rain….”
Last week I told you I was trying desperately to find someone to sub for our April 15 workshop; however, I have not been successful as of yet. Worse case scenario, the time and space will be there for those who are not attending NorWesCon to have some quiet heads-down writing time in a different space. Sometimes moving locations helps spur creativity. But, once again, I will continue to find a solution. I heard from a couple of you that you decided to attend this convention and I’m thrilled to hear that. Again, it’s local, very affordable for the whole weekend and chock-full of writing panels and inspirational programming. So that is still very much an option for anyone not already attending.
Regardless, there is much work to still be done on our track of Level Up Your Writing! So far you’ve looked at lots of mechanical things — description, dialogue, lay out. Now we’re going to start looking at themes in the story and the tools used to reveal them. So take your chosen text and re-read as necessary, making note of themes. Maybe take a few minutes and journal out thoughts about what you think the themes are in the novel you’ve chosen. The biggest thing I want you doing is thinking about the text and deeply considering it. Next week there will be more definitive exercises, but thinking is part of the creative and learning process. We’re at that stage in this examination, so give yourself permission to just think.
Want to also tell you all about an event that’s headed our way on April 27:  Wine & Words at the Black Dog. So pencil in that early evening for a literary event that I hope will become a regular one. More details next week. Just mark your calendar today.
Also, I was trying to update the blogs on both my personal site as well as SnoValley Writes! some of them are linking to blogs that have disappeared. Please take one minute and respond to me with the link to your most current or “main” blog. Thanks.
Don’t forget our weekly writing cafes Tonight at Little Si Cafe beginning at 6 p.m. and Friday morning at The Black Dog Arts Cafe at 9:30 a.m.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ~Mark Twain

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 — March 22, 2017 Edition.

Writers:

We have a really great opportunity being provided to us by a former member and successfully published author, Ruthanne Reid.

She just launched her book last Tuesday, and it’s doing really well – as of today, it’s the #15 bestseller in contemporary fantasy. To celebrate the success and give a nod to a group for which she has fond memories (she doesn’t live in the valley any more). She offering a bonus for writers: a 28-minute video crash-course on world-building: http://ruthannereid.com/bonuses She said, “I loved SnoValleyWrites – to this day, it’s the only in-person writing group I attended – and I’d love to offer them this resource. Normally, I’d ask that they buy the .99 book first, but you guys really meant a lot to me at a time I needed the support, so I’m willing to just share the video.” The particular video link is here:  https://vimeo.com/ruthannereid/worldbuilding2017

Do PM me for the password to get in so you can use it. If you’re interested, please act fast. But do work with me — Casz — to troubleshoot any issues. It’s a really great video chock full of great information and brings a bit of a tear to my eye so that one of our authors is kicking so much publishing booty!

Next, don’t forget the writing cafes…tonight at Little Si Cafe beginning at 6 p.m.. in North Bend and at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie on Friday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.

One note about our upcoming April workshop before I get into the follow-on from last Saturday’s workshop — most of those in the class, as well as myself, will be at NorWesCon on that Saturday. When I booked my pass for the Con, I thought it was the week prior. Oopps! I’m trying to come up with a special guest speaker for that day, so stay tuned. If anyone knows of someone who might want to take the class period and speak, that would be great. But for those not going to the convention, my goal is to have some writing programming regardless.

Alright, to the workshop and homework. Below is what we covered in the workshop on Saturday. It was a really great workshop and I know that everyone really got lots out of it. If you missed, please see the worksheet (both attached and below my signature line for your convenience) and work through it. Feel free to email me with questions. That’s your prompt this week — do the attached homework and maybe send me leads for a substitute for April 15th’s workshop.

Now your moment of Writing Zen: “There are 30,000 days in your life. When I was 24, I realized I’m almost 9,000 days down. There are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Your biggest risk isn’t failing, it’s getting too comfortable. Every day, we’re writing a few more words of a story. I wanted my story to be an adventure and that’s made all the difference.”~ Drew Houston


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

SnoValley Writes!

March 18, 2017

Level Up Your Writing (Class 3)

 

Continuing the DeConstruction Process — Reading Like a Writer

 

  1. Time to clear the cobwebs. Writing warm-up (Casz will provide prompt)

 

  1. Discuss last month’s homework. What did you learn? Where did you struggle?
  2. Share the one most interesting line from your conversation observation.
  3. Read your piece.

 

  1. Time to think about the book your dissecting.

 

  1. Now think about the description in the story. Where is it best to you? Pick out one scene and share with the group.
  2. Where does the description struggle? Discuss.

 

  1. How do we make our description better?
  2. Know the key 5 components:  Sensory Details, Figurative Language, dominant impression, precise language, and Careful Organization

*Sensory Details

*Figurative Language

*Dominant impression

*Precise language

*Careful Organization (sentence structure to chapter structure)

 

  1. Homework: Creating your own description worksheet. Get your chosen work text and find a section of descriptive writing. Retype it or rewrite it on a document that you may mark up (track changes in word or a red pen on paper). Highlight which key component was used in the description, or find five different places where the key components are used in your text.

 

  1. Rewrite those sentences in your own voice or find five key components in your own work and compare them to the author of the text you’ve chosen.

 

  1. Find a place in one of your own stories or the story of your text and rewrite it with your new knowledge.

 

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 15, 2017 Edition

Writers:

The rain has my brain a bit of a soggy mess, so we’re in bullet point mode again….
1. This months’ workshop is this Saturday (3/18) at 10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library’s Meeting Room. Bring your books. Bring your homework. Something to write on (lappie, pen/paper). Bring your own coffee and munchies, if you like. RSVP, please, so I can print off worksheets/agendas appropriately.
2. Tomorrow evening is a spoken word event at The Black Dog. I’d love to see the writers come out in droves. It begins at 7 p.m., but feel free to come out earlier and have dinner before the event.
3. Don’t forget writers cafes tonight at Little Si (6 p.m.) and at The Black Dog on Friday morning (9:30 a.m.)
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
‘The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.” ~Eminem


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 — March 8, 2017 Edition

Writers:

Writing one-handed is fun. Actually, not really. But, I’m bringing you your weekly cheerleading and information all the same.
We have about 10 days until our next workshop:  March 18, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the North Bend Library. I certainly hope that we’ll have good attendance. As our community has grown, meeting space is at a premium and the library readily offers space to us, but we must be active to maintain that space. Also, writing! Right? Give yourself permission to carve out just 90 minutes once a month to be pushed to level up your craft.
Your prompt is to continue to work on the homework from Feb. 18 workshop and keep deconstructing your chosen text.
If you want to zing out a short story (no more than 1500 words about International Women’s Day and a story of a strong woman in your life, I’d love to see that, too.
Don’t forget about the weekly writing cafes — tonight at Little Si Cafe beginning at 6 p.m. and Friday at The Black Dog at 9:30 a.m. Hope to see you.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“Your personal life, your professional life, and your creative life are all intertwined. I went through a few very difficult years where I felt like a failure. But it was actually really important for me to go through that. Struggle, for me, is the most inspirational thing in the world at the end of the day – as long as you treat it that way.” ~ Skylar Grey


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