Weekly Writing Prompt – Vegas

Everyone’s familiar with the slogan that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Usually it’s associated with the totality of human sin that is the cesspool of greed, lust and gluttony. It’s just another cover-up.

Any illusionist will tell you that slight of hand is all about misdirection. What better way to misdirect the whole entire world than with their own worst behaviors. Everything they wish they had left behind but haven’t.

So we paid off their businessmen and bankers with refined metals of purest gold and silver. Worthless really, yet they value them for some reason.

We used these to buy the land and erect monuments to hedonistic pleasure.

Meanwhile, beneath the surface, we tunnelled to the core and created enough energy to move the whole planet.

It will become starport 113 in less than one solar year. As always, we created this museum piece in their memory.

Las Vegas. The place humanity killed itself due to its own shortcomings.

Writing Prompt

Weekly Writing Prompt – Wizardry

Most believe wizards derive their secrets from books, dark arts and mentorship.

Alas, if only the mundane were so true. Then it would have a little more life to it and more might reach the pinnacle of Wizardhood.

Reality is often more down to earth and therefore less believable in the minds of those that do not truly understand the arcane.

The humble cookhouse is where we all begin. Learning character and eventually magik in all its forms – but often by trial and error.

Where regular mortals see herbs and spices we see long life and explosives.

Where they see chicken, we see new ideas. Where they a la carte we see a selection of particularly ripe adages which may have surprising results for the taster.

Only now in the informational age do mere mortals begin to realise what we wizards have known for so long.

You are, truly, what you eat.

Weekly Writing Prompt – Ducky

Ducky. We all had one as a child. Baths were unbearable without Ducky. They were more fun with him.

Now he sits in the car watching my child as she rides in the back seat. He has become another generations safety blanket.

Ducky goes everywhere. To grandmas. To mothers. To the mall, to Walmart.

But have you ever thought about why? Why do children need a safety blanket.

As teenagers we forget we can die. As adults we are aware but we’re so used to the word it doesn’t phase us. But to the child everything is new. There’s a big wide world out there and we need some reassurance.

It also makes things better if someone is along for the adventure. Ducky is that someone. It’s not just fear but companionship.

I think we also lose that as an adult – remembering the value of companionship where you always have someone who is with you through everything, thick and thin.

Ducky forever
Nothing without you by me
On lifes grand old road

— Memoirs of an adult —

Weekly Writing Prompt – Maze

((You’ve heard of the 7 day black and white photo challenge. A fellow author, who also happened to be a photographer, challenged me to tell an impromptu short story for every one he posted. That’s how this weekly writing prompt was born. Feel free to join in.)

I know, quotes are supposed to inspire, but after 36 years in this cell, all it does is tease. I imagine that this simple doodle is a map, a way out of solitary for this godforsaken soul, in this godforsaken prison, on this godforsaken island.
If so, I don’t even know how to get past “start.” And the switch? It is nothing but a joke. Perhaps at one time is controlled a source of light or warmth, but now it is yet another tantalising hope. A hope that never materialises. A mirage at best.
Every day I hear the clanking feet of my guards walk past the outside of my door. They never let me see their face. I hear the grind of metal against metal and a plate of food is shoved through a slot. Three other times a day a paper cup of water is also provided.
I have no hearings. There was no trial, so how can there be hearings without a trial? I had no lawyer to advise me.
I had only handcuffs, a blindfold and the clothes on my back. Clothes that left me long ago.

Every day I hear the clanking feet of my guards walk past the outside of my door. They never let me see their…face…except this day.

“Don’t flip the switch again.”

I can’t croak a response. 36 years of not speaking has left me hoarse.

“There’s no one left.”

I feel a cold tingling at the end of my spine…as the guard continues the tingle becomes an icy chill.

“Every flick kills another prisoner. There’s only you.”

Weekly Writing Prompt

A friend of mine is an author, who’s also a photographer. His name’s Derek Smith. A while back that 7 photos in 7 day challenge was circling around Facebook. He decided to run with it and then asked me to use them as writing prompts and to create a short story based on the prompt.

I loved the idea. Due to time constraints these are very limited stories of only a few paragraphs. Most are designed to stand alone, although very occasionally you may see one or two connect.

They are not checked for grammar. You will probably find mistakes in them. Their purpose is not not to perfect, but to practice.

Will you join with me in writing your own short story based on the images of this photographer and author?

Week 1 – Ode To Cats

Prompt 2

If I had known, I would have tried it earlier.

If I had known there was such a thing.

As what, you say?

Well, let me start at the beginning.

We had run out of milk, or rather, I had just discovered it is apparently bad for cats to drink milk. So I set out to the store but passed a local market on the way.

There something caught my eye. A single booth advertising, amongst other things, Cats Drink. That was all it said. I was curious enough to read more so I stopped the car and approached the middle eastern seller.

It was then I noticed he was also selling lamps and carpets.

What an odd assortment.

He said the cats drink was the best there is and would satisfy the cat for ever.

I was not convinced but it was virtually free so I took it home and put it in Maggy’s bowl. She drank it and looked at me.

I looked back.

It was then that it happened and suddenly I was looking at myself and myself was looking at me.

It took me a few more moments to realise I was in fact, the cat.

So if you’re wondering why there’s not many selfies of me recently, well here’s one but you will never know.

How to become a better writer

Writing and wrist watch

A writer is always learning and developing their craft. I recently threw out a tweet asking others how they improved as a writer. I received some great responses. Over the next few blog posts I’ll explore each one of these more in depth, but for now here’s a list. If you’re looking to improve perhaps there’s one you’re not doing yet.

1.Find some editors. 

While every writer should be able to edit, every editor will find something different.

2. Take some short courses.

Several of the people I’ve interviewed on this site have taken writing courses in the past and will do so in the future.
@CiaraBallintyne recommended the guys over at @Saavyauthors

I’ve not taken this course myself but perhaps you want to take a look?

3. Reading

The more you read the better you become at knowing what good writing is like.

4. Create or find a dedicated critique group

It’s true with anything in life, but the more you’re critiqued the more you’ll improve. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.

5.  Meet with  fellow authors

This is different to a critique group in my opinion, but authors can be part of your critique group.

More on all of the above in a future blog, I promise.

In the mean time, are any of these helpful to you?