Did everyone have a nice 4th of July? I hope so!
I’m happy to report that we celebrated with homemade blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream (that’s white and blue, anyway, even if we a little short in the red department) and watching the fireworks above the valley from my parents’ back deck 🙂
And now, at last, it’s finally Friday and time to kick off Summer Short & Sweets!!!
First things first…..
Please help yourself to a beach cookie (or 2 or 5)…
…and some fresh lemonade 🙂
Ah! Summery 🙂
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or at least the moment I’ve all been waiting for :))
duhn duhn duhn…. the big unveiling!!!
|Badge created by the incomparable Loni Edwards|
Just look at this creation of beauty which you may all help yourselves to if you so desire!!! I hope you’re able to read the part that says “Writing For Kittens” 🙂 (I also hope that if you need any art work done for any reason you will contact Loni – she does such great art and is a joy to work with 🙂 Same goes for Heather… but more about that in a few weeks… I am all about the surprises up my sleeve :))
Let’s start with a brief explanation of SS&S because I’m not actually sure I wrote this down yet anywhere 🙂
The object of Summer Short & Sweets is to keep our writing oars in even as we are caught up in the happy, busy, outdoor fun of summer. We do not want our writing brains to go on luxury vacation because they are SO hard to jump start when school starts. The Short & Sweets will be little fun exercises we can do together and share to keep those writing sparks flying and to make sure we write a little even while we’re playing whiffle ball, backyard volleyball, and frisbee golf, making sure our toddlers don’t fall in the pool or get swept away by ocean waves or buried by their older siblings in the sandbox, taking our pre-teens to Little League or Lego Tournaments or tap lessons, teaching our 16-year-olds to drive (I personally am sporting a whole new streak of gray hair, and the imaginary brake on the passenger side of the car is getting quite a workout :)), and tending campfires while we watch the summer sun swim down below the western hills and the fireflies come out (and if you’re at my house, watch the marshmallows catch on fire and become charcoal covered goo on a stick :))
Short & Sweets will last for 8 weeks, each Friday from today through Friday August 24. For every Short & Sweet entry you write into the comments you will receive 1 point. You may of course write 2 entries, (or even 3 or 5 or 7 if you are feeling inspired!) At the end of Short & Sweets there will be prizes (which I am still working on) that will be based on the total points for the summer. The minimum number to qualify for a prize will be 8 points – 1 each week of Short & Sweets. If you choose to do more, you can rack up points and I’ll make sure you get something good! but you must do at least one each week to qualify. The more points you have, the better the prizes. I’m going to try to get you some critiques as well as signed books and other goodies 🙂 Feel free to let me know if there’s something in particular your little hearts desire as a prize.
The other advantage of Short & Sweets? We will all inspire each other’s creativity. Once you’ve put your challenge response in the comments, scroll through everyone else’s and see what they came up with. Maybe your own entry won’t spark a story idea for you, but maybe someone else’s will! (And don’t worry – everything will be vague enough that there’s no way 2 people will ever write the same story off the same prompt. It just doesn’t work that way :))
Now then. Are you ready for some Short & Sweet fun???
Here’s today’s challenge. We’ll start nice and easy 🙂
In the comment section below, list the first five nouns, the first five adjectives, and the first five verbs that come to mind when you think about either the beach, the town pool, or the local ice cream shop. (And when I say the first five, I just mean don’t spend forever on it – you can tweak the words that come to mind into more descriptive ones if you like – run into chase for example – but this whole exercise shouldn’t take more than about 2 or 3 minutes.) Then pick one each of your nouns, adjectives and verbs and write a sentence that could start a story!
Here’s an example for the beach:
Nouns: shells, waves, sun, seagulls, kite
Adjectives: windy, salty, bright, wet, sandy
Verbs: dig, chase, squeal, laugh, splash
Howard was digging down through the wet sand when his shovel hit something hard that glinted in the sun.
See how easy? Now you try!
And as an example of where you might go with this, if anyone wants to take Howard and run with him while you’re lifeguarding at the edge of the pool later or chauffeuring the littles around town, the obvious thing for his shovel to hit would be a pirate’s treasure chest, but what if it was something else? An old English car that had somehow crossed the ocean and wound up on Howard’s beach… A genie’s lamp… A silver medallion with a huge emerald in the center and words in a mysterious language around the edge… A dinosaur scale… that was still attached to the dinosaur!… A giant’s gold-capped tooth…! 🙂
I hope you will think this is Short, Sweet, and fun! I’m really looking forward to seeing what people come up with! And if anyone ends up getting a story idea out of this, please tell us! Any 12x12ers, this might be a great place to start thinking for your July manuscript 🙂
Have fun, have a great weekend, and please tune in Monday for Q&A with the fabulous editor, Erin Molta!