Writers Posts

Posting a Prompt #1

Posting a Prompt #1

Writers often use prompts to get their imagination going. Each month Writers Cafe meets to write from a prompt. Once announced, the timer is set, and we write for 16 minutes plus 1 (it’s a long story). Sharing our words follows, along with surprise, laughter, tears, critique, encouragement, and learning.
April, 2014 the member in charge of finding a prompt set this challenge.
Write something that incorporates the following phrases:
“I’ve nothing pressing to take my time today.”
“That’s the story I hear everywhere I go.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
This was my effort…

The news rambled in the background as Kate mashed a pot of potatoes in the kitchen.

“Can’t you turn that down, Evan?” she called to the old man, even though she knew he wouldn’t hear her over the blare of the news anchor. Why did she even bother? She smashed the potatoes a little harder. “I can’t do this anymore,” she muttered to herself.

Suddenly, surprising even herself, she pounded the masher one more time into the pot, left the handle sticking out of the white mass, and marched into the living room.

“Evan!” she shouted.

Her husband’s hairy brows crouched into his bifocals, indicating awareness, but he remained riveted on the television.

“Evan!” she pronounced again, this time moving towards the end table.

His hand slid off the arm of the chair and came to rest on the conveniently placed remote. “Not right now, Kate,” he pronounced firmly. “I want to hear what this fella has to say.”

“Hear what he has to say? The whole neighbourhood can hear what he has to say.”

“Ah, yes. But I have nothing pressing to take my time today.”

“What’s that got to do with anything?” Kate queried, shaking her head.

“Just that I have the time to focus on this right now. Besides, that’s the story I hear everywhere I go.”

“What is?” she asked, perplexed.

“That the neighbourhood is going astray.”

“I didn’t say that,” Kate protested, frustration building. “I said the whole neighbourhood can hear your TV. Turn that darn thing down so you can hear me.”

“Hear you? I can hear every word, my dear.”

“Well, what did I say. Tell me,” she demanded.

“You said the neighbourhood is going to hear about all this stuff on the news.”

“I did not. I said they can hear the news, our TV’s news because you’ve got it on so loud.”

“Well, yeah. Which means they’re going to hear what’s on the news.”

“But they shouldn’t hear it from our TV. They should hear it from their own TV.”

“Why would they want to hear our TV when they have their own?” Evan finally turned and looked at Kate. Purposefully, and with exaggerated motions, he lifted the remote, aimed it like a pistol at the television, and pushed mute.

“Now, what’s this about the neighbours needing to hear their TVs?” he questioned the woman fuming in the doorway.

“It’s not their TV’s!” Kate nearly shouted. “It’s your TV. It’s too loud!  You need to…”

Suddenly a hiss and a sizzle bubbled behind her as the vegetables boiled over. “Oh no!” Spinning around, she grabbed the pot handle. “Eeyoww! My hand!” Shoving the pot off the burner, she rushed to the sink, holding her hand under a blast of cold water. Tears flooded her eyes. “I can’t do this anymore. I just can not do this anymore.”

Behind her she felt a pair of thin, wrinkled arms wrap around her waist. “Let me look, my dear,” Evan said, gently turning her hand so he could see the angry red tissue.  “I’m a pain of an old man, Kate. I know that. But I love you, darling. I love you with all my heart. What can I do to help?”

Hand dripping, she turned, unmoved by his expression of love.

“You can put your doggone hearing aid on!” she blurted. “And then you can have some dinner.”

 

Here I am! Can you see me?

Thanks to my guest blogger, author Sara Davison for sharing her perspective on social network marketing. Her conclusion is dead on, and best of all, doable! 

Do you ever feel like you are a single, waving stalk in an endless field of golden heads of wheat?  That’s because you are. At least, if you are attempting to be seen, or make yourself heard among the vast sea of social network voices clamoring for the attention of the general public, you can completely relate.

I recently came across a post listing the 370 top Social Media, Apps and Tools . I was intimidated by the sheer numbers, but even more by the fact that of the 370 sites on the list—many of which had exotic, Muppet-character sounding names like Cloob, Kilco, Burple, Deezer and Keek— I had only ever heard of a handful. Just reading the list of sites made me tired. The thought of exploring what each of them had to offer was enough to cause me to close my laptop and go take a nap. A long one.

I have taken the leap into the world of social networking (or maybe, after looking at this list, I should say that I have dipped a toenail into the endless ocean expanse). I am attempting to stay connected and to build a platform for my work using a blog-based website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Even there, though, the numbers are staggering.

Tumblr.com, WordPress, Livejournal and Weebly report a combined 240 million plus blogs. Wow. That makes me one quiet voice among more than 240 million. How on earth can I ever hope to be heard?

The answer, I am coming to realize, is that I can’t. Very few of us can make a loud enough sound on our own to be heard over the general cacophony of noise that is the World Wide Web. The best we can hope for is to make a tiny squeak that, if we’re fortunate, just might succeed in turning the heads of those standing closest to us in our direction, if briefly.

But what if I stop trying to make that tiny squeak all on my own? What if I reach out to others, drawing them into my little circle and asking them to squeak along with me, or at least to contribute to my blog and have me as a guest on theirs, or mention something I’ve done or written on Twitter or Facebook while I do the same in return. That would expand the ripple exponentially, wouldn’t it? The few people who had turned their heads in those people’s directions would now hear my voice added to theirs. And maybe they would jab their elbows into the sides of those around them and point them my way too. And then those people would elbow their neighbours, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Community. That’s the key. Supporting and encouraging each other, and promoting each other and our writing to an ever-expanding circle of friends, acquaintances and even strangers. As writers, and as Canadian and Christian writers in particular, we need to band together. After all, we’re way up north. And muffled by snow. We have to speak extra loud to be heard, or at least work extra hard to get the news out there that we’re here, we’re working hard, and we just may have something to offer.

God has given us a gift, and we must use it for His glory. But first we have to get it out there. And we can do it, if we work together.

After all, that’s what being connected is truly all about.

 About the Author

Sara Davison has been a finalist for three national writing awards: Best New Canadian Christian Author; Best Column – Single; and Best Novel – Mystery or Suspense (The Watcher). Her favorite way to spend the days (and nights) is drinking coffee – a running theme throughout her novels – and making stuff up. Davison lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/geespot/25267361/”>GerjanneTiemens</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Go ahead. Mess with Tradition.

I belong to a couple of writing groups. One, in particular, seems to hold to the belief that writers who dabble in the technical revolution are bordering on blasphemy. In fact, we had to take a vote as to whether members should be allowed to bring laptops to our meetings, as opposed to pen and paper.

“I have to hold a real book in my hands. The smell of it. The weight of it. It has a presence. E-books are ruining the industry.”

On the flip side, arthritic hands easily hold an e-book. Failing eyes can read the adjustable font. Travellers can carry a library of books. People in closed countries can safely own a Bible.

“Blogging isn’t real writing. It compromises an author’s integrity. Your words will get lost in the glut of drivel on the internet.”

But in that mire of musing, someone might stumble upon one of my posts and be urged to who-knows-what. With search engines, anything can happen.

“Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Videos and You-tube–nothing but time wasters.”

But if I have something to say and that’s where people are going for information, that’s where my words need to be.

My foray into the electronic revolution was reluctant at best. Typewriter to word processor was my first jump. The leaps have been significantly higher ever since. These days I Facebook. I blog. I tweet (just a little).  I look at new forms of media through interested, rather than panic-filled eyes.

The younger folk in my writing groups discover exciting platforms to spread their message. Sadly, they’re likely to receive unveiled criticism from the purists in the room. To be honest, I sometimes catch myself going there as well, but I don’t intend to slip into that mind-set.

One young friend is posting personalized mini-videos on her blog.  So far, I haven’t googled the app. (Yup, that was me, 60+ years old, saying I google apps!) She’s developing a tutorial, though, and I’m looking forward to learning this new skill.

To the older folk out there, I would ask: Are you willing to give it a try? If not, let’s at least celebrate and encourage those who are.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mugfaker/5780578430/”>mugfaker</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>