Category Archives: Weekly Writing Prompt

Weekly Writing Prompt — April 2, 2014 Edition

Don’t forget! Workshop next week, April 8 at North Bend Library Meeting Room, 6 p.m. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I thought of the most perfect prompt for you. I made of the mistake of not writing it down. So, now, you, like me have the opportunity to make sure that near your bed you keep a ready pen and notebook for writing down ideas. When you’re mind is quieted at the end of the day, that’s when you sometimes have your best ideas. Scribble it down in as much detail as you can muster. Keep it until morning and then see what creative projects it seeds. Do you already have one of those pen/paper combos waiting on your bedside table? Good! Now use it. 🙂
Conference season is upon us. I encourage all of you to attend a conference at least once if you haven’t done so. Or try a new one if you’ve been to one before. What conference would you recommend?
Now your moment of Writing Zen:

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 26, 2014 Edition

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Wow, the end of March is upon us. Where does the time go? As one of my favorite non-fiction authors, Gretchen Rubin, says, the days are long but the years are short.

Hopefully you’re reading and working on creating book reviews. I missed being able to do the workshop yesterday, but as it turned out it was just as well. Hospital stays, even when they are not yours, are exhausting when you are a caregiver.
Our next workshop is April 8 at 6 p.m. at the North Bend Library. In between, I would hope you would all participate in a writers cafe or two. 
An administrative note, our Facebook page will be going away soon. Due to Facebook’s new policy for “pages” the likelihood of you seeing it is about 8 percent, which doesn’t make it worth our while. I’m in the midst of trying to determine the best social media format to feed into our web site. If you haven’t bookmarked our website, please do so today. I’m trying to determine the best path to make it more interactive, but that has been difficult. Also, I’m looking to see how many of you are on other social media platforms like twitter, Google+, linkedin, Tumblr.. Just ship me a quick email to say which is your preference for social media usage. I don’t need handles or anything like that, just an email that says, “I’m on twitter, but love Google+,” or whatever. This is all to help you stay connected as writers.
Today’s prompt/exercise is to do a freewrite as a response to a book you’ve just read. Set a timer for 20 minutes, and just write everything that comes to your head about the book. Don’t stop, just let the pen flow or your fingers fly. Allow a stream of consciousness. Don’t worry about punctuation or spelling or any of that. This is strictly for you. When the timer goes off, put it aside. Wait at least a day and then revisit it when you’re ready to do your review. It might give you a great hook for your review or, at minimum, a jumping off place.
Don’t forget to keep doing your morning pages and participating in artist’s dates.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:  “The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” ~Albert Einstein

Weekly Writing Prompt — March 19, 2014 Edition

Writers:

You should be reading. Reading like a writer. Making notes (if you need) for a review.
We will discuss this in great length on our April 8th Workshop at 6 p.m. at the North Bend Library Meeting Room.
Remember:  The March 25 Meeting is cancelled (scheduling issue with library). I’m sorry we couldn’t make the Lit Salon work. It’s just as well as I have a child in the hospital with an expected week-long stay (no worries, she’s going to be fine and is getting great care), so next Tuesday would have been an extreme juggling act for myself. The universe always answers us the right way, ya know?
Also, before April 8, I hope many of you will make an effort to get to one of the Writing Cafes. They have been a huge source of inspiration and favorite work time for myself. Many will also tell you they use the time productively.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:

“A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility.”  – Aristotle – Greek Philosopher


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 12, 2014 Edition

Writers:

Greetings. Here at Thrasher Studios, the sun is shining and I’m getting ready to plant some of the seeds in the garden. Hopefully you’ll have some time to soak up that juicy sunshine and get your Vitamin D & K fixes. Many folks around these parts yesterday were what I have termed “sun drunk.”  Let the UV Ray Party continue. 🙂
Those who did attend the workshop yesterday learned quite a bit. I’m happy to pass along whatever knowledge, skills, tips, tactics, etc. in regards to the writing life. Hemingway said that writers needed to stick together like beggars and thieves. Thanks for sticking with Sno Valley Writes! all these years. We’re approaching our 6th anniversary. I can easily report that everyone has grown as a writer, author, and artist since our inception. Way to go!
We’ll continue throughout the months to help anyone with solidifying their online presence as an author. There’s some easy tools out there to use. I hope you all go and get it done.
Important:  In regards to our March 25th workshop, there was a scheduling snafu at the library, so we don’t have the space there. I was trying to put together a literary salon and have a special speaker come, but I wasn’t able to pull that off under short notice. However, I’m not without ideas.
There is a couple of literary events we could field-trip to together.
If any of these sound interesting (I’m kind of partial to the competitive storytelling as I am aware of the work of the authors there and I think there might be some good laughs…but I’ll go with majority rule), please let me know what your preference is. If you, also, have ideas, please speak up. I hope to have a plan before next week’s prompt, so don’t delay in voicing your preference.
That is your prompt this week. Give Casz suggestions, ideas, your preferences on what to do with our March 25th Workshop.
Now your moment of Writing Zen:
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

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 5, 2014 Edition

For those that practice, I wish you a blessed Ash Wednesday.

I’m not getting all religious on you here, just humor me a moment, please. Today marks the beginning of the Christian faith’s season of Lent. Much like Christ’s 40-day fast in the desert, many who follow the season leading up to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection give something up for the next six weeks (40 days, actually). Long through history, practicing Christians haven given up everything from bad habits to not eating meat (where the tradition of fish on Friday came from….), or even giving away worldly goods.

We’re going to be looking at giving up stuff in our writing life for the next six weeks, and maybe beyond. I’m not suggesting you give up your lap top, coffee fund, or anything like that. No, I want you to get rid of the things we keep around because being successful can kind of be scary.
Here’s a list of things I need to give up in order to make my writing life more successful:
procrastination
self doubt
fear
and
anger
All these things keep me from doing what I need to do to be successful in my goals as a published author.
Today’s prompt is for you to think about the things you need to give up in order to make your writing life more viable.
Do you need to give up NOT going to writers cafes?
Do you need to give up relying on adverbs?
Do you need to give up not practicing dialogue in your stories?
Do you need to give up putting something ahead of Workshops?
Do you need to stop procrastinating about editing?
Think about what is keeping you from moving forward and GIVE IT UP.
As with any goal, I encourage you to write it down. They say it only takes 21 days to make a habit. So before Easter arrives, you could very well be on your way to a more successful writing life. Now what do you need to give up?
***
Our next workshop is March 11 at 6 p.m. at the Library. I’m feeling stronger and stronger each day and have spent a few hours here and there being around people. So, hopefully health will continue to rule and we’ll finally get that workshop complete. Please RSVP if you plan to be there.
***
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
― Babe Ruth

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 — Feb. 27, 2014 Edition

My apologies for the tardiness of this week’s prompt, but as you all got word earlier this week, I’ve been fairly ill. I’m upright today with enough brain juice powered by tea and Popsicles to send you all a note.

After my dearest spouse sent his note relaying the sad news of our workshop cancellation due to my illness (again…more on that later), there were some responses to the SnoValley Writes! box asking to leave the group. About quarterly I need to do some administrative housekeeping. So if any of you want to stop receiving these emails, please send a message with simply the phrase “Remove from SVW” in the subject line. I will take care of it post haste.
I also feel like I need to apologize to you all for my inability to conduct the scheduled workshops. Trust me when I say I’d much rather do the workshops. I miss our time together and being able to improve all our write-life lots. But, life hands us what it hands us and we have to somehow cope. Regardless, I apologize for any inconvenience for the cancellations.
I also want to thank many in the group who have been supportive and helping me during these seeming repetitive illnesses (I’m hoping that means I’m done for the year). It’s so great to have such a great community behind me and my family. It keeps me motivated to keep doing what I can do to support the community, as well.
As your prompt today, maybe take the plunge and go down to the AWP 14 event in Seattle today or throughout the weekend. There are a ton of poetry slamsreadings, the book fair, even free bands. I’m bummed I’ll be missing the festivities (especially the Rule of Threes party tonight with all my Emergency Press & Dark Coast Press comrades), but knowing the great folks of our writing community are out there gives me a smile all the same.
We’re still continue to work on our portfolio things until our next workshop (March 11). Until then, read, write, soak in some literary culture, and stay healthy.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:

“You get used to the rejection and you don’t take it personally.” ~Daniel Craig



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 — Feb. 19, 2014 Edition

All,

We are continuing on our journey in our created Poor Man’s MFA Program. All of this will teach you to be a better writer via exercises in art immersion and observation of the literary world and beyond.
Coming up we’re going to have each one of you complete a portfolio of sorts, that has you examining other work. Learning from others makes our own work better. In the end you’ll have 3 book reveiws, 8 literary journal responses, and 4 essays on community/cultural activities (two of which should occur preferably outside the valley). The great thing is the “portfolio” will be proof of your involvement in the writing world. Ideally this portfolio will appear on your blog, enhancing your online presence — another write-life facet we’ll discuss in the upcoming workshop.
Book Reviews is where we are going to start.You need to figure out which three books you are going to write a review on. In the Feb. 25th Workshop after we do our Online Profile piece, we’ll be gin to dive into what this is all about. So your prompt here is to pick the three books you plan to do a review on. Please have only one of the books one you’ve already read. Pick your favorite author if you like, but be sure that it’s a new book by them you haven’t read. Bonus points in the end if the books have been published no earlier than 2011.
RSVP to let me know how many of you will be there at the North Bend Library at 6 p.m. Have tablet, laptop, notebook at the ready. Also bring your three book choices.
Hope to hear from many of you.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne


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 — February 5, 2014 Edition

This week our prompt is about helping others in our community — our writing community.

Your goal is to do one thing this week that helps out another writer.
Pick one, or pick all:
1)  Buy a book.
2)  Write a Review (post on your blog, goodreads, Amazon, Barnes-n-Noble, or all of them)
3)  Give a book by an author you love to someone you think will love it.
4)   Plug it — give the work or your author a plug on your social network preference (or all of them); tweet, post, heck, even snapchat some love their way
5)   Charming Note — send a note to an author, editor, or artist whose work you admire. Let them know. The note can be a letter in the mail (too cool!), an email, or even a note on their public facebook page. Your call.
Send me links or emails about what you chose and what you did. Let’s share a little literary love this week.
*****
Don’t forget our next workshop is February 11 at the North Bend Library at 6 p.m. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.
*****
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“A barista spends 3 minutes making you a $6 cup of coffee, you tip her. A writer spends a year writing a book; you complain that $4.99 is too high.” ~Robert Smartwood via Twitter



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 — January 29, 2014 Edition

I must note following typing that date that my crazy parents have been married 48 years today.

Given that, I think we should talk a little bit about romance in our prose. For those of us who seem to write romance more than anything else this may seem odd; for those who run from romance, take heed:  this is for all of us.
Even the best stories have a bit of romance in them. It doesn’t have to be kissing scenes every page, but connection to a love interest fuels many a character to do things they wouldn’t normally do — with both positive and negative consequences.
So go find your favorite romance scenes — either in a book, a movie, a tv show.
Here’s one of mine, humor me, it’s almost 10 minutes, but there’s love and devotion throwing up all over this screen, especially the last scene with Alice & Uncas. Can you pick all the love out?:
Find three scenes. Scenes that flow with love, or deep romance, and maybe even a first kiss.
Find them and dissect them.
What words does the author use to convey the feelings? What mechanics do they use to do so? Are the sentences long? short? How much dialogue is there? If you’re dissecting film, what angles, close-ups, establishing shots, what do you see that gets you there? What other feelings besides attraction and love are there? Is there fear? awkwardness?
Write down everything you think of as you watch or read.
Now, take a moment and think how would you write those scenes differently? (not better or worse, just differently…you’re a different writer, of course they’d be different). Now pick one and rewrite it. Go on, go for it. Just one scene, it shouldn’t take you long. Make it as serious, humorous, or silly as you like. This is all about playing with our talent, craft, art, and learning while having fun.
***
Thanks again to those who attended the workshop last night. It was jam-packed but short one.
Next workshop is February 11, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the North Bend Library Meeting Room.
Hope to see you there.
***
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“I had a romance novel inside me, but I paid three sailors to beat it out of me with steel pipes.”
― Patton Oswalt



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 — Jan. 22, 2014 Edition

This week’s prompt is going to require you to read. Read this, now:

Then plan to come to the workshop on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., we plan to get out no later than 7:15 this week so many can then attend the Free Valley Publishing event at the Loft at Boxley’s, which is also that night and gets into full swing by 7:30 p.m.
RSVP if you plan to attend so I may make appropriate plans.
And now your moment of Writing Zen:
“We have our Arts so we won’t die of Truth.” ~Ray Bradbury



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