Back-to-school mode has hit our house, though I deliberately left my school prep at home for the weekend, having plowed through many hours of it last week. I have new binders and dividers and white board markers, and, even now, I wish I could justify buying new crayons and construction paper, too. Those were a big part of going back to school when I was a child. And the crayons had to be Crayola and not Peacock because I never thought I got dark enough colours from the Peacock crayons. Pencil crayons had to be Laurentian–same reason.
The first day of school always feels like my New Year’s Day. For me, this is when new goals are set and resolutions made: edit one book; create a new edition of another, publish a third, and, by October 25th, finish 8 short stories for an anthology that I’m co-writing. Lots on my plate–and I’m looking forward to all of it! Do you set goals at one particular time of year or do you reevaluate and set new goals as the year goes a long–or a combination of both! Whichever you choose, do you find that setting goals is useful? How do you keep your focus on reaching your goals? I find that calendars and blocking out writing time and making a lot of lists are methods that I need to get to the finish line. Oh, and a healthy dose of forgiveness when things go pear-shaped and I need to regroup. After all, if we can’t be kind to ourselves …?
Here are some writing prompts to play with this September. If you’re still working on your writing goals for 2013, maybe one of these prompts will help.
Use one, some, or all of these words in a story or poem: blue, jar, post, mirror, glow. Or try these: door, sliver, label, dawn, clasp.
Here are some opening lines you might try.
- Where’s Ralph?
- Yesterday I would never have guessed that this could be true
- The sword felt heavy in her hand.
- Flight was second nature to him.
- My best friend is a ghost.
- My mother always said that it was better to ask for forgiveness than for permission
Maybe these lines of dialogue will inspire a scene:
- We have to go.
- But I like it here.
- And I like staying alive.
- Wilson has the answer.
- Are you sure?
- Yes. And I’m not the only one. That’s why we need to get him out of here now.
Here are some story titles you can play with–Playing Unsafe, Nightmare Island, The Goblin’s Revenge, River of Sighs, The Final Race, The Grove, Wendy’s Wish.