The 100 Day Project Kick-off (one day late)

Over in Instagram world, there’s this lovely thing taking place.  Starting on April 6th, people all over the world have committed to doing some creative something for the next 100 days.  This #100dayproject (that’s the tag in instagram) came to life from a partnership between  Elle Luna & The Great Discontent (a quarterly print pub and online magazine).

So, I am taking part, and I think you should give it a shot, too.  I am, of course, writing.  Of course!  I’m so happy to participate in “challenges” these days, I think I must be revisiting my old competitive tendencies from grade school.  Hm.  Not sure that is a good thing.  What IS good is the fact that such challenges make me stick to something longer than I normally would.  For whatever reason.  Probably because I am a recovering “straight A” student.

Anyway…here’s how I started.

I have this book in mind.  It’s something of a memoir mash-up with a food book/humor…it’s hard to explain. Anyway, so I brainstormed 120 prompts for this book with basic ideas I intend to cover anyway.  And then I must write about one of them each night for 100 nights.  The first one was “Drastic Times.”  Then you take some sort of picture to represent your work and share it on Instagram with the #100dayproject hashtag.  This was mine.

If you get overwhelmed with big things looming over your head (like…I dunno…writing a book), this might be one way to find a pathway into that project by tackling it in small pieces.  The brainstorming step is like leaving breadcrumbs for yourself, and writing each prompt out is like following them back home.  Hopefully, if you run into a witch who wants to eat you, a fierce woodsman will come to your rescue.  Or something like that.

Good luck, y’all!

Starting Up Again – Time to Write

Hey all!

I got married! Woo hoo! So glad THAT’s over…

SO…now it’s time to start writing again. I don’t know what it is about winter and colder weather and holiday vibes that make my brain go crazy with ideas, but here they are again. It’s like a cocktail party in my head what with all of these characters bouncing around and trying to tell their stories over each other.

So, I’ve devised a plan. A writing exercise based on this cocktail party idea. I really just want a way to tease out the characters, make them less like an amorphous, cacophonous crowd, and more like solid individuals.

First: Name each character with a full name (and if you are so inspired, explain why this person is this person, a la “Her mom and dad had met at the Starlight Diner, and so, logically named their firstborn child after the waitress who served them: Cleo.”)

Second: What is your character drinking at this cocktail party, if anything? Cleo likes Jack & Coke.

Third: What is the character wearing…party attire or “regular” clothes? Just make the clothing true to the character’s style or lack thereof.

Fourth: What would your character be doing at this party? Hiding in a corner, laughing the loudest, earnestly discussing the Superbowl prospects of her favorite team, getting drunk for drunk’s sake…?

And now that you have all of this fodder, try to focus in on these characters in pairs. They can be from different stories, even, but let them have a conversation. What would they talk about? What would the character share about his/her life with a person from a different story? What would they say about their own stories?

I am really excited to do this one! I can hear the glasses clinking and the smokers heading outside, and the one who MUST tell the story of the trip they took to Africa, and the one who is rustling through the coats…

Cheers! And good luck!