Thursday, March 5, 2015

Writing prompts for March 2015

After a year and a half... I'm back.

Now, it's two weeks to Ostara, and this time Spring Equinox is pretty amazing with the solar eclipse.

I have three prompts for today:

This is the astrological chart for Ostara 2015
Write about what you see.

Watch Solar (R)Evolution the movie. I won't be putting in a link to the movie, because I don't want to alarm the people watching over copyright... I believe this movie is something everyone should see, and I think I would be watching it several times, but I don't have money and I believe there are others out there with no money. If you can purchase it, great!
Be warned though. It's very heavy. I had to take some time off from the movie several times, it was just too much to digest at once.
Now, this is MY opinion, and if you think the movie is boring and stupid, it's OK.

The third prompt is "living planet"
Watch Avatar and Final Fantasy; The Spirits Within
then read this: Could Living Planets Exist?

Ponder the possibilities. If you think the answer is "no" and all this is poppycock, go ahead and write that. Write a story about a person trying to fight the superstitions and paranormal beliefs people have. If you think the answer is "yes", write about such a planet.
If you think the answer is "yes, and we live on it/her/him", write a story about the awakening awareness of Gaia.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lammas inspiration

Lammas - Lughnasadh - loafmas is in a couple of days. I have always celebrated it the second of August.
How about you?
Do you celebrate Lammas or any other Sabbath at this time of the year? It's the First Day of Autumn.

I absolutely hate corn circles! I wish every idiot involved in making them would starve to death! But what do you think? Aliens? Fairies? Idiots?

Write a story based on corn circles and the people who make them. I think I would write about some idiots who get punished by Goddess and sidhe and nature spirits for ruining the crop.

Read about Lammas/Lughnasadh.

What would your ideal Lammas be? Create a family - of one, two, parents and children, or more generations, or households, and describe their Lammas celebration.

If you had to describe Lammas with only one word, what would that word be? Write a story about that word, or that expresses everything you associate with that word.

If you need more than one, write a story of all of them.

What does bread mean to you?

Write about cider, beer, ale, mead

"The Circle of Life"

Write a story about harvest festival

Write a story about a storyteller

Write a story with a rooster

It is Dog Days - Write a story

Write a story about a big dinner outside with family and friends

First week of August is the International Clown Week - Write a story about clowns or with a clown

Write a story about prosperity

Write a story about a corn festival

Write about sunflowers, poppies, cornflowers, chamomille, marigolds, heather
    "From time immemorial heather has been used for making besoms, a practice recorded in Buy Broom Buzzems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broom_Buzzem)

    "Heather honey is a highly valued product in moorland and heathland areas, with many beehives being moved there in late summer. Not always as valued as it is today, it was dismissed as mel improbum by Dioscurides. Heather honey has a characteristic strong taste, and an unusual texture, for it is thixotropic, being a jelly until stirred, when it becomes a syrup like other honey, but then sets again to a jelly."
She sat on his thighs, her head against his breast, and her ivory-gleaming legs loosely apart, the fire glowing unequally upon them. Sitting with his head dropped, he looked at the folds of her body in the fire-glow, and at the fleece of soft brown hair that hung down to a point between her open thighs. He reached to the table behind, and took up her bunch of flowers, still so wet that drops of rain fell on to her.
‘Flowers stops out of doors all weathers,’ he said. ‘They have no houses.’
‘Not even a hut!’ she murmured.
With quiet fingers he threaded a few forget-me-not flowers in the fine brown fleece of the mound of Venus.
‘There!’ he said. ‘There’s forget-me-nots in the right place!’
She looked down at the milky odd little flowers among the brown maiden-hair at the lower tip of her body.
‘Doesn’t it look pretty!’ she said.
‘Pretty as life,’ he replied.
And he stuck a pink campion-bud among the hair.

D.H. Lawrence: Lady Chatterley's Lover, chapter 15

Write a story with a phoenix

Write a story about a day at the lake in late summer

Write a story about the sights, scents, tastes, sensations and sounds of Lammas

Write about your favorite Lammas food, drink, activity, decoration - When was the first time you remember eating the food? Is there a story involved in the decoration?

Write a story about your favorite Lammas song (or a song that fits the themes of Lammas (or first day of Autumn, late Summer days...)

Write a Lammas song.

August is the National Literacy Month - Write a story about your favorite book

What is your favorite fruit bread? Write a story and give the recipe :-D

Write a story about your favorites berries, or berry picking

What is your favorite preserve? Jellies, jams, chutneys, pickles... Write a story about that :-D

Think about what immaterial things you have harvested this year and how you can preserve that; skills, knowledge, wisdom... Write a story about that too :-D

How about the negative things: what negative consequences of your choices, actions, words and deeds do you see in your life?

If you made New Year's promises or are participating in "100 things in 1001 days" or similar, now it's time to see how you are doing. Write a story about this.

Write a story about your biggest regrets in your life - or in the past year

Write a story about all the things you want to leave behind in your life, all the things you regret having in your life, all the things you want to get rid of, bad habits, addictions, thought patterns you are caught into, negativity, concerns, worries, troubles...

August is the International breastfeeding Month - Write a story to promote breastfeeding

Write a story with a corn dolly

Write an indigo story.

You have been invited to a fire festival.

Catherine Wheel
"A ceremony performed at Lammas. A large wagon wheel would be taken to a hilltop, covered in tar, set afire and sent rolling down the hill."


Herb harvest. What is your favorite herb?

Write a story with a gryphon

July is the National Blueberry and Blackberry month - Write a story about blue- and blackberries

    Fishing wasn’t the only summer fun. Some July evening Father would say:

      “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Tomorrow we’ll go berrying.”

      Almanzo didn’t say anything, but inside he was all one joyful yell.

      Before dawn next day they were all riding away in the lumber-wagon, wearing their oldest clothes and taking pails and bushel baskets and a big picnic lunch. They drove far into the mountains near Lake Chateaugay, where the wild huckleberries and blueberries grew.

      The woods were full of other wagons, and other families berrying. They laughed and sang, and all among the trees you could hear their talking. Every year they all met friends here, that they didn’t see at any other time. But all of them were busily picking berries; they talked while they worked.

      The leafy low bushes covered the ground in open spaces among the trees. Blue-black berries clustered thickly under the leaves, and there was a syrupy smell in the hot, still sunshine.

      Birds had come to feast in the berry-patches; the air was aflutter with wings, and angry blue jays flew scolding at the heads of the pickers. Once two blue jays attacked Alice’s sunbonnet, and Almanzo had to beat them off. And once he was picking by himself, and behind a cedar tree he met a black bear.

      The bear was standing on his hind legs, stuffing berries into his mouth with both furry paws. Almanzo stood stock still, and so did the bear. Almanzo stared, and the bear stared back at him with little, scared eyes above his motionless paws. Then the bear dropped on all fours and ran waddling away into the woods.

      At noon the picnic baskets were opened by a spring, and all around in the cool shade people ate and talked. Then they drank at the spring and went back to the berry-patches.

      Early in the afternoon the bushel baskets and all the pails were full, and Father drove home. They were all a little sleepy, soaked in sunshine and breathing the fruity smell of berries.

      For days Mother and the girls made jellies and jams and preserves, and for every meal there was huckleberry pie or blueberry pudding.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Farmer Boy

Baking day

August is the National Napping Month - Write a story about the joys of napping :-D

Write a story about a legend of "Sleepers", like king Arthur (July 27th is "seven sleepers" http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/seven_sleepers.html)

Write a story about a craft festival or Maker Faire

Write a story involving a wheat field

Write a story about thunder

Write a story about horses

Write a story about riding a hobby horse (or a broom ;))

First week of August is the National Smile Week - Write a story about smiling and smiles

You and your friends are going to watch a game. What game? What is your favorite sport and sports team?

Write a story inspired by sun

Write a story inspired by the legend of Lugh

Write a story with or inspired by lions

Write a story about the Tarot card "Wheel of Fortune"

First week of August is Simplify your life week - which 50 items you couldn't / wouldn't want to live without :-D Write about a hoarder and how she/he manages to turn her/his life around and declutter, and what happens then

Write a story about pop corn.

August is the Pooh Friendship Month - Write a story about Winnie the Pooh and his friends :)

Write a story with elder and elderberries

Write a story about Demeter or Ceres

Write a story with full moon, Harvest Moon

Write a story with peridots, citrines and yellow diamonds

August is the "Admit you're happy" month - Write a story about 5 things in your life that make you happy :)

August 1st 2010 is the Friendship Day :) Write a story to honor your friends :)

Write a story inspired by cereals, grain, corn

Write a story inspired by fire

Write a story about St. Catherine and St. Laurentius (Corn Goddess and God in a Christian form ;))

Write a story with your favorite fictional parents

Write about a kitchen

Write about late summer, early autumn... about the changes in weather, that makes the air a bit chilly at night, but the days are still as warm as ever... about the subtle reminders of that summer is about to end. About the promise of autumn and harvest days ahead.

Write a story about John Barleycorn
http://www.davidpbrown.co.uk/poetry/robert-burns.html

Thursday, May 30, 2013

50 + 50

50 exercises for story writers

50 exercises for fiction writers

I have been reading Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time quadrology and I love it. It is very empowering and makes me love the whole world and everyone in it.

I came to think about Inspirational Fiction, and how tightly the concept is tied to Christianity, especially in North America.

Now... what do you think when you hear "faith-based fiction"?

How could you infuse your writing with your spiritual beliefs?
How could you write characters that are very clearly Pagan, by showing, not telling?
What is being a Pagan? What kind of inspiration do you feel you get from your spirituality?
How could you bring your faith "into the mainstream, both religiously and culturally"?
How can you "celebrate Gods' presence in the Pagan lives"? How do you show the Divine influence in the events and outcome? How do you write a story, where the main character's Paganity is the thing that gets her/him through the hardship life throws at her/him?
How do you create characters, whose relationship to God, whose spirituality, faith and beliefs are the primary focus, without writing a "point-finger" book?
How do you put a stamp of Paganity to your writing, without it being blaring.
What do you find inspirational? What qualities would you want in your life? Love, hope, something else?
How to write a positive, uplifting novel without getting too Pollyanne-y?
How could you inspire people to do better, think higher, be kinder, or other things you wish to inspire in people?
How do you write a book that makes people want to share your spirituality without trying to convert people, or making them feel as if you are trying to push your faith on them?

I have been thinking that my writing needs to be commercial, and Paganity isn't commercial - I think. But - I am to write books I want to read. I would love to write books like Wrinkle in Time or Narnia books, infused with the author's beliefs without pushing them to your face. I would like to write books like Mary Poppins and Wind in the Willows, which are to me very Pagan, but not so Pagan it is obvious to every reader. As far as I know, neither has ever got to "banned books" lists. :-D
And there are Pagans who read. I would like to get more books where the characters "are like the reader", a Pagan. "ordinary people who are challenged to live their lives in accordance with Pagan principles." Pagans are people too.

"Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?"


And all the people want to read books where the main character shares qualities with them - like being a human :-D

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

As you have noticed...

I'm really bad at this blogging thing. Simply because I write seldom and publish rarely.

So - what to do for those days, when you wish you had writing prompts, but you can't find any?

Prepare for that day.

Collect writing prompts.

Collect writing prompts from every source you can find.

Print them out, write them on index cards, create a system that works for you.  I think it would be nice to have like ATCs... big enough for pictures, small enough to comfortably have just one word written on them.

Adjust them to fit your beliefs, preferences, circumstances, etc. I mean, just because you are Pagan, doesn't mean you cannot be inspired by Christian writing prompts. We are all human.

You can write from the same prompt several times, you know. :-D




Those days when you don't need someone to suggest you what to write, write down your ideas in your writer's journal, and use them as writing prompts those days you can't find anything elsewhere.

Is today a special day? What is being celebrated today, where and why? What happened in history this day?

There's an ocean of oracle cards, divination cards, tarot cards and like.


Story-World Create-A-Story cards

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Still April! Wow!



Write a praise of your favorite springtime food and/or drink.

In praise of asparagus

There is a Finnish book called "the restaurant of goose pen", where different Finnish authors have written about food. There are recipes, memories, gastronomical thoughts, and all kinds of things written about food.

Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Perigrinations of an Epicure by Joseph Wechsberg

Try to mediate the sensations eating this food creates in you, the scents and views, the feeling of first mouthful... try to make your readers want to eat this too...

Great Food series

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Well, well... still April :-)

With less than two weeks to Beltane.


You know the song "Nessun Dorma"? 
Do you know the story behind the song?
Why, do you think, do I associate this song with Beltane?

1. Describe Beltane with one word. Write about that word.

2. What would your ideal Beltane be?

3. Handfasting
Write about your ideal handfasting, write about a handfasting where everything goes wrong, or just something, and how it changed the whole thing.
Think about all the weddings you have encountered, and think about the stories about and around the event.

4. Morris dancing, clogs...
Terry Pratchett wrote a fantastic piece about clog dancing in "Lords and Ladies"
The Lancre Morris Men faced one another, rain plastering their clothes to their bodies. Carter, tears of terror mingling with make-up
and the rain, squeezed the accordion. There was the long-drawn-out chord that by law must precede all folk music to give bystanders time to get away Jason held up his hand and counted his fingers.
"One, two..." His forehead wrinkled. "One, two, three..."
". . . four..." hissed Tinker.
". . . four," said Jason. "Dance, lads!"
Six heavy ash sticks clashed in mid-air.
". . . one, two, forward, one, back, spin. . ."
Slowly, as the leaky strains of Mrs. Widgery's Lodger wound around the mist, the dancers leapt and squelched their way slowly through the night. . .
". . . two, back, jump..."
The sticks clashed again.
"They're watching us!" panted Tailor, as he bounced past Jason, "I can see 'em!"
". . . one... two... they won't do nothing 'til the music stops!... back, two, spin... they loves music!... forward, hop, turn... one and six, beetle crushers!... hop, back, spin..."
"They're coming out of the bracken!" shouted Carpenter, as the sticks met again.
"I see 'em... two, three, forward, turn... Carter... back, spin... you do a double... two, back... wandering angus down the middle..."
"I'm losing it, Jason!"
"Play!... two, three, spin..."
"They're all round us!"
"Dance!"
"They're watching us! They're closing in!"
". . .spin, back... jump... we're nearly at the road..."
"Jason!"
"Remember when... three, turn... we won the cup against Ohulan Casuals?... spin..."
The sticks met, with a thump of wood against wood. Clods of earth were kicked into the night.
"Jason, you don't mean-"
". . . back, two... do it... "
"Carter's getting... one, two... out of wind..."
". . . two, spin. . ."
"The accordion's melting, Jason," sobbed Carter.
". . . one, two, forward... bean setting!"
The accordion wheezed. The elves pressed in. Out of the corner of his eye Jason saw a dozen grinning, fascinated faces.
"Jason!"
". . . one, two... Carter into the middle... one, two, spin. . ."
Seven pairs of boots thudded down...
"Jason!"
". . . one, two... spin... ready... one, two... back... back... one, two... turn... KILL... and back, one, two. . ."
Intriguing? It should be... find the book and read it.
If you have already read it once, re-read it (unless you absolutely hated it. I mean... I LOVE Terry Pratchett... I love his weird sense of humor, his brilliance, his constant twixing with things, turning things upside down, taking sayings literally, or mixing them up... I never know what I get when I read Terry Pratchett, but I know it's going to be good. :-)

5. Which is your favorite love couple from a book?

6. Which smells and scents do you associate with Beltane?

7. What is your favorite spring flower?

8.

9. April 28th is "Kiss your mate" day

10. Magic mirror... Snow White's stepmother had one. Galadriel had one. What would yours do? Do you know any mirror magic?

11.
"The whole drift of my education goes to persuade me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist, and that those other worlds must contain experiences which have a meaning for our life also." 
- William James

12. What do you really know about elves, fairies and other such beings?

13.

14. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

15. Green... as simple as that. What does the color green mean to you? What does it symbolize in your own symbol world? Why do you think the color of Beltane is green?

16. Green Man

17.

Yes. I know. It's a Christian song. Composed as one, sang as one, meant never to be anything else.
Nevertheless, there is only on Lord of the Dance and He's not Jesus.

18.   The White Stag
        
19.    La Belle Dame Sans Merci
   
20.  "A lion chased me up a tree, and I greatly enjoyed the view from the top." — Confucius

21.  The May Basket           

22.
       
23.  May 1st is the international workers' day.
Even if you are not a Socialist, it doesn't harm to show appreciation to all the work people do. The world would stop quickly if no-one worked. Write a praise for workers and bodily work.

24.    Aphrodite... Do you think She was a benevolent Goddess?
What about Eros and Psyche?          

25.    Friendship Bracelet

26.     Daisy Chain  

If these names are not enough to inspire you to write something, google "daisy chain short story" or "friendship bracelet short story"

27. 
The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be

28.    Jack-in-the-Green, Robin Goodfellow or Puck   


Have you seen Jack-In-The-Green?
With his long tail hanging down.
He sits quietly under every tree ---
in the folds of his velvet gown.
He drinks from the empty acorn cup
the dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
And taps his cane upon the ground ---
signals the snowdrops it's time to grow.

It's no fun being Jack-In-The-Green ---
no place to dance, no time for song.
He wears the colours of the summer soldier ---
carries the green flag all the winter long.

Jack, do you never sleep ---
does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
motorways, powerlines,
keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so ---
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

The rowan, the oak and the holly tree
are the charges left for you to groom.
Each blade of grass whispers Jack-In-The-Green.
Oh Jack, please help me through my winter's night.
And we are the berries on the holly tree.
Oh, the mistlethrush is coming.
Jack, put out the light.

29.   Write a character you think is smoking hot... he/she doesn't need to be a believable person, he/she doesn't need dimensions or any good qualities, he/she is not after a romantic relationship, making friends, not even talking with anyone. He/she only wants one thing, and when you meet him, that's the only thing in your mind as well... you would sacrifice anything just for one night... you would leave your children, you would leave your spouse, your friends, your family... you would sell your honor and pride, you would walk from your grandmother's dying bed, just to have a quickie in the hospital's cleaning room... He/she works on you like Axe in the ad.          
30.    Write a love poem.     

31.   

32. Come Into The Garden, Maud...

33. "Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling From glen to glen, and down the mountain side..."

What is your favorite musical instrument? Write about it. 

Think about the movie "Red Violin", for inspiration.
Think about "The Piano".
Think about Moria and the drums... oh, the drums...

Agatha Christie has written a collection of short stories called "The Hound of Death", and in it is a short story called "The Call of Wings"... and in it is a description of a man playing an instrument... sort of a flute.

34. The Indian festival of Holi.

35. May Pole

36. Bonfire

About these three, of course you may write anything you like, but if you need more inspiration, describe what you would experience if you were to participate in such celebration.
I was thinking about Susan Cooper's Greenwitch, and the making of the Greenwitch. It is a simple description, but very well written. Now, of course, I happen to love Susan Cooper, so your experience might be different.

37.   Think about movies... think about a sexy scene. Why do you think it was so effective?
I personally think one of the most erotic scenes in a movie was the one in which Don Juan de Marco seduced the woman in the restaurant...

38.   birds - song birds - spring birds singing - love birds...


39.  
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore.
Dream.
Discover."
— Mark Twain  
 
 40. Clover

And then, one more: May Day is a good day to think about environment, the nature spirits, green thinking, ecology, Gaia and other such things.
Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, that still converts people to think more about the planet than themselves. She was just a person. Just a writer. Like you...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Oh, dang...

I had forgot all about this blog...
sorry *blush*

So - it's April. April 1st, actually... April Fools' day.

I hate April Fools. I hate practical jokes. In our family this day is the Contrary Day.
Today we'll do things in the reverse order, eat dessert for breakfast and breakfast for dinner.
We eat things we don't usually eat.
We'll wear mittens in feet and the sweater as pants.
We turn left when we are supposed to go right.
We do the things we are most afraid to do.
We do the exact opposite of what we are asked to do
We especially mote our negative thoughts and words. If I tell myself I'm ugly, I say "no, you're wrong, I'm beautiful!"
It's a "yes!" day, a day of trying out new things, taking new paths, thinking new thoughts...

So - here's a couple of prompts to you:

- Learn about the tarot fool and write a Fool's Journey

- Learn about the Holy Fools
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos135.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foolishness_for_Christ