I'm a 38 year old writer, farmer, and father to two boys living in Osoyoos, BC, Canada. I'm also a moderator at www.protagonize.com, an online collaborative writing community.
What do I write? Poetry, short stories, children's books, and I now have first drafts finished for two novels.
Why do I write? Because not writing isn't an option. I get antsy if I get close to the end of a day without having written something.
Daily Writing Practice is my main blog - come have a visit, won't you?
Last night was good times. Lots of laughs with good peoples. Even a little bit of writing got done :)
I didn't get home until quarter to two so I'm feeling a little bagged today. But I really enjoyed getting to meet everyone last night and I'm looking forward to more Protagonize meet-ups in the future - maybe even a massive one that could become an annual event.
In a touch of a rush over here, so I'll get right to it.
Your four lines of prose this week shall be about: pub night.
I'm going out to a pub tonight for my first face to face encounter with other writers on Protagonize. Scheduled to appear are locals Nickb (creator of Protag) and Asheyna, and all the way from the UK Dark Liquid (a fellow moderator) and his wife Druidx.
I'm both excited and nervous and excited.
Though I imagine after a round or two I'll just be excited :)
Those of you who were enjoying my HardRoad posts might be interested in checking this out.
Today's prompt: rivalry.
Team Canada versus Team Russia.
So much history. So much emotion. So much national pride on the line.
The game was meant to be played on February 28th. It was supposed to be for the gold medal.
Instead, Canada faltered in the early stages of the tournament. Now the two teams that together form one of the most storied rivalries in hockey history meet face to face tonight. The winner moves on to the semi-finals and a shot at bringing home a medal. The loser goes home. The puck is about to drop.
Update one: 4 to 1 for Canada after the first period. Update two: 7 to 3 for Canada after two periods. Update three: 7 to 3 final. Bring on the semi-finals!
So far, after ten days of the Olympics, my commute has suffered the following: one missed Skytrain. That's it. Equals about two minutes of my life. I suppose it helps that I've avoided downtown like the plague, but I normally go there about once every two months anyway, so no big sacrifice.
I mention the above because today's exercise is to pick a Winter Olympic sport and write a poem or short story about it. Or involving it, or however you want to include it.
Eyes struggling to stay open, shoulder muscles burning, nerves pinching together in my butt like the cheeks of a child in the presence of an overly affectionate aunt... it was definitely time to pull the truck over and have a rest.
And then, as if a highway god had been monitoring my thoughts, the headlights of my old Ford found the sign: Rest Stop 500m. I breathed a long, noisy sigh of relief and pulled off where the sign indicated as I eased off the gas, my foot taking its sweet time to transfer over to the brakes.
As the front of the truck smashed through the rotting wood railing mere inches from the edge of the highway and I hurtled towards the mass of jagged rocks two hundred feet below, I remembered much too late that this stretch of road belongs to Loki.
Not only have I just completed the first draft of a story I've been working on for over a year, my last drumming class was last night too. I'm feeling kind of... adrift, at the moment. Like something's missing.
So today's prompt is: the void.
They had told the child to stay away. Filled his precious, fragile skull with dire warnings and terrible stories of those who had not listened to their parents. Promised that disobedience would result in grounding for life – should he survive the experience.
But it was not enough.
The boy sat on the edge of his father’s land, his tanned legs dangling in the impenetrable darkness like wooden stir sticks in black coffee. He stared, wide-eyed and completely captivated, into the Void while distant shouts went unheard. They were looking for him, desperately, a small part of his consciousness knew. He would return in another few minutes, that part of him decided.
It was just so black, he marvelled to himself. He’d never seen anything quite so solidly, unquestioningly black before. He had thought that his bedroom, in the middle of the night with the lights out and the curtains pulled shut, was the darkest thing that had ever existed. But now he knew better.
He scooped up a handful of dirt and released it into the Void. He had to lean all the way over, his chest resting against his knees, to watch its scattered tumble. It seemed to fall for a lifetime.
But it must land somewhere, he thought, his brow crinkled with concentration. Surely there was an end to the Void. There must be. But what lay on the other side?
There was, he decided suddenly, only one way to find out.
Last night I put up the final two chapters of the first draft of A Fighting Chance over on Protagonize. It took a while, but I finally got there. Now the fun part awaits: the rewrites.
I'm not sure when I'll get started on it, as I definitely need to give it some mental space. I also have Lessons in the Dust (my NaNoWriMo novel) waiting on me, which I plan on tackling first. I'll let you know when I get started and how it goes.
Anyway, this week's Two Haiku Tuesday prompt is: satisfaction.
Kat insists that this week's Friday Four Line Prose be about: cookies.
And who am I to argue?
Also: the opening ceremonies were rather impressive tonight.
Emily slipped silently into the kitchen, not bothering to turn on the light. She paused on her tiptoes and listened hard, her eyes scrunched up and her ears wide open.
Not hearing any movement from the floor above where her parents were sleeping, she allowed a wide smile to appear on her lips, her white teeth appearing in the darkness as though she were the Cheshire Cat.
Your prompt today, from the stormy town of Comox on Vancouver Island, is: invalid.
I appear to have tweaked a muscle in my lower back and I'm in a rather unreasonable amount of pain. Invalid is probably too strong a term but I've always been fond of turning into a great big baby when I'm hurting.
The opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics are Friday night here in Vancouver, so that can only mean one thing: I'm getting the hell out of the city.
Kat and I are heading over to Vancouver Island tomorrow to spend the weekend with my parents. We'll be coming back on Sunday, which could be interesting traffic-wise. But it's bound to be better than trying to get to and from work on Friday - particulalry the commute home, when people will be flooding into downtown for the events and celebrations.
I'm sure my commute next week and the week after will be quite the adventures, but I'm glad that I'll be able to avoid what's expected to be the worst day. I'm going to do my best to enjoy the experience of the world coming to visit but I'm not exactly a big fan of crowds. We'll see how it goes.
Because I enjoy a good one every now and again. And I like torturing my readers with them too :)
Muscles burning with fatigue, sweat saturated skin, the sensation that the sun was focusing its heat on him alone, the forty feet of sheer rock face above him, and the one hundred foot drop to the forest’s edge below. None of these things can pry the smile from Marcus Danielson’s face.
Up here outside worries are given no time or space to grab hold of his mind. Marcus doesn’t think about the recent concerns he’s been having about his wife’s strange behaviour. He doesn’t even allow himself to remember the odd look she had given him when she passed him his climbing rope this morning. Every fibre of his being is focused on foot and handholds, both the ones he is currently making use of and those awaiting his tanned fingers and toes.
Marcus pauses in his ascent to hammer another spike into the rock, giving it a hard tug before moving on. It is a beautiful day for a climb and he is fortunate to have such an accepting supervisor who understands his deep need to get above and away from it all when work stresses approach unmanageable levels.
He may not be aware of thinking about any of this, but as his fingers slip off of the rock ledge above him and he begins to fall, one has to wonder whether his subconscious was fully concentrating on the dangers at hand.
The NFL's Super Bowl is being played today - I'm sure the vast majority of you don't particularly care about this, but that doesn't mean we can't make a writing prompt out of it! Personally I don't have much invested in the game; I have a team I'd prefer to win but I won't even be watching it tonight and I think that says it all.
So today we're going with a list prompt. Pick two or three (or more, if you're feeling super keen) words from the following and make use of them in your poetry or prose: super; bowl; Sunday; colts; saints; Miami; trophy; competition.
We're going to try something a little different today.
The exercise today is: part two. Go digging for a previous bit of writing you've done, here or elsewhere, and continue it. I think we're all guilty of writing things here that could easily be continued (I'll gladly admit I'm the guiltiest of all) so let's start making amends!
Due to the beg... er, requests of several of you, I shall be continuing this today.
It got a little long. And yeah, there will most likely be a part three some time.
The man made no move to continue, instead taking up position in the middle of the road and sheathing his swords across his back, the blades forming the most dangerous ‘x’ in the eastern provinces. He would wait for them to come to him and then let fate decide his hand. And theirs.
A cloud of dust on the horizon was the first visual indication of their approach and it wasn’t long before he could discern the dark silhouettes of five horses and their riders amidst the light brown cloud that nipped at their heels. The man crossed his arms across his chest and shifted his weight slightly to the right as the riders spotted him and slowed their mounts to a more cautious canter.
“Hail,” the lead rider called as they drew to a halt twenty paces away. He sat confidently upon his mount, a black beast thick with muscle and heavy with the scars of regular combat. The man’s thin black hair lay slicked back against his head and his beard was well trimmed. The markings on his chest plate indicated he was a captain of the royal guard.
“Hey,” the man replied with a slight nod, causing the captain’s eyes to narrow slightly. The man looked up to the clear sky overhead and added, “Lovely afternoon, isn’t it?”
“What business have you on the royal road?” the captain asked as his men formed a solid wall of steel and horseflesh from one side of the path to the other.
“I come with a message for the king,” came the reply in a bored tone. “Say, I don’t suppose I could catch a ride with you kind gentlemen? I hear it’s a long way to walk.”
“I do not think so,” the captain answered, allowing a sneer to corrupt his expression. His men laughed quietly, knowing enough not to anger their leader through overly obvious adulation. “Perhaps, if we deem the message worthy of his royal ears, we can deliver it to his highness for you and save you the trouble. What is your message and what name should be attributed to it?”
“Well that is mighty, mighty kind of you. Unfortunately these lips of mine are quite insistent on their need to speak directly to the king, so I’ll have to take a pass on your generous offer. But I would appreciate the use of that fine horse you’ve got between your legs there. This road of yours is making my feet awful sore.”
“Turn back,” the captain growled as he drew his sword, his men following suit without hesitation, “or be left to feed the vultures.”
“Going back is not an option, my friend. But perhaps my name will change your mind?” The man reached over his shoulders and pulled his swords free in unison, his body taking up a Tonzen warrior stance with practiced ease. “I am Rohman Greywood, lone survivor of the massacre at Desmond Manor perpetrated by your so-called king. I will have his head before I go to the Great Sky Dream and I will have yours as well if you dare stand in my way. The choice is yours.”
One: If you do the daily practice please feel free to share it in the comments - the best part of this concept is seeing the different places people go from the same starting point. I do my best to leave some feedback on all comments.
Two: Anyone can write. Everyone should. So write!
Three: This is daily writing practice. Practice. Not daily writing perfection. So let loose and write!
Four: Write for five minutes, an hour, all afternoon, whatever works. Just write!
Five: There are no deadlines. In fact, I love being surprised by a take on a prompt that's a few days old!