Random Writing Prompt Generators
Occasionally we all need a jolt of creativity. Maybe even with a cattle prod. Here are some fun random writing prompt generators.
Writer Igniter, a feature of the DIY MLA website, makes it easy to fire up your creativity by spinning the slot style widget.
Props: Tickets to a sold-out event
Setting: Halls of a museum
Another random writing generator comes from Writing Exercises.co.uk. There's something for everyone. Need a scenario? Got it. A first line? Here's a random one to challenge you. Even characters and town names are randomly generated for your writing pleasure. A must try!
Springhole.com provides a fun, really out there group of generators. Try the genre blender, the prophesy generator or the Fairy Tale Plot generator.
What fun prompts did you get?
photo credit: Samie Harding via photopin cc
Welcome! I love visitors and if you're popping over from J.J. Devine's blog, I'm sure you enjoyed a peek at her idiosyncrasies. If not, head back after your time with me and check her blog out!
Collette Cameron would like to know - What quirky habits (superstitions, must haves, etc.) do I have while writing?
Most of the time I compose on my laptop, hopefully soon to be former laptop. But I plot rough scenes on paper, in script, with a Tul pen. I need my Tul pens. I'm addicted to Tul pens.
Also, I have a love of notebooks, pretty spiral ones, stitched leather ones with parchment paper.
Superstitions? In general, I'm pretty superstitious. With writing, though, I'm not terribly superstitious. Murphy nails me in every other part of my life so I guess he gives me a pass in writing. I'm thankful for that!
Veronica Forand is next on our blog hop. You will enjoy her company. She is funny and engaging and amazing!
Review: American Sniper
When a motion picture is adapted from a book, I'm frequently disappointed with the movie. How much was left out. How much creative license was taken to translate text to film. The poor choice of actor/actress who barely fits the physical description the author crafted so carefully so that we the reader could see him or her as clearly in our minds as they did.
And, if I really lived the book, the movie better be pretty damn good. I picked up the book during a work trip and finished it the day Chris Kyle and his buddy Chad Littlefield were killed reaching out to a fellow soldier. I cried for this man I did not know but who had served his country with the utmost patriotism. For Chad Littlefield who laid down his life helping an ailing veteran. For their families, grieving at the senseless loss.
It better be a damn good movie.
It delivered. Clint Eastwood delivered with gritty honesty the horrible responsibilities of war and the lasting effects on our military. Bradley Cooper valiantly portrayed the complexity of Chris Kyle along with simplicity of his belief that he would protect his country and his brothers any way he could. So much was left out from the book, but the film captured the essence of his personality, snapshots of his service, moments of joy and strife with his family.
It was a damn good movie. And a damn great tribute to a hero. A great tribute to every man and woman who lay their lives on the line for the defence of their country.
Spiked Hot Apple Cider
Today's recipe is simple: fresh apple cider and honey bourbon or honey whiskey. Yum! I'm not much of a drinker because it tends to make me more tired than a mom of two preteens already is. But with a chilly winter taking its toll, I've taken to imbibing one of these every few evenings. Enjoy!
6 ounces fresh apple cider (the kind you find next to refrigerated orange juice)
1 ounce honey bourbon or whiskey (I use Evan Williams and only half an ounce 'cause I'm a lightweight!)
1 cinnamon stick
This is perfect for those cold evenings.
Collecting Info and What to Do with It
You want to collect reader emails for your newsletter. But how? And once you have them, what then? Google has a great app, simply called "Forms". The best part is that if you have a gmail address, you already have this app. Once you have a gmail address, you automatically have Google Drive and all the apps in that suite: Docs, Sheets, and Forms.
To collect data, reader info or any information where you don't want to duplicate effort by retyping what someone else already has, create a Form. Make sure to make it "Public" in the "Sharing" settings. And a few months ago, Google gave us new themes (I was tired of the old ones!) with easier customizing (about time!). Once you create a form you like, post the link on your website or in a post on Facebook (or your favorite social media venue). Another option is to embed the HTML code in your website or with a button to the form.
The data from the form feeds into a response sheet (Google sheet). That used to be all you got. Other people can and do write scripts that do fancy tasks. Some of us are simple mortals who must wait for those scripts to be turned into apps that are shared through the Add-on Manager Menu. I love the Form Notifications add-on which allows you to automatically answer the respondent with a message like, "Thank you for signing up for my newsletter. I hope you'll enjoy the exclusive excerpts. If you'd like to join my street team, contact me directly at email@example.com." Or something like that. Or you can set the Form Notifications to notify you when you get a new submission.
There's also a Form Publisher app. It's like Mail Merge in Microsoft Office Word/Excel. Install the app in your form, create a Google doc template with fields from the Form and you get individualized documents. Think form letters.
Try these apps to save you time that you can spend on better things. Like writing!
Spicy Turkey Lasagna
Today, I'm sharing a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Skinny Slow Cooker special publication. Now, this is not your all day in-the-crock-pot recipe. This is a three and one-half hour recipe so you can toss the ingredients together after lunch and still make it for dinner time.
12 oz. ground turkey
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 15 oz carton light ricotta cheese
1 3/4 cups shredded Italian-blend cheeses (I used fresh mozzarella cut in thick slices for this ingredient, and I might add, it was fabulous!)
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (Fresh spinach cut with kitchen shears into the size right for your family works, too. Can't stand slimy greens if I can use fresh!)
3 1/2 cups chunky pasta sauce with mushrooms and green pepper
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1/2 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Snipped fresh basil and/or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Fully cook the ground turkey, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.
2. Combine ricotta, Italian-blend cheeses and spinach. (Instead, we mixed the ricotta and spinach and layered the sliced fresh mozzarella separately.)
3. Assemble in layers: first a small amount on pasta sauce on bottom of crock, then a layer of the lasagna noodles. Add half the turkey, 1 cup of pasta sauce, sliced mozzarella, half of the water. Last, spread half the ricotta/spinach/Italian cheeses (unless you followed my lead with the mozzarella). Repeat.
4. Cover and cook on low for three and a half hours.
5. Top with reserved 1/2 cup pasta sauce and that 1/4 to 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and continue cooking on low for an additional 10 minutes.
There you go! This lasagna is so good, my hubby and chicken nugget addicted youngest eat it, spinach and all!
Decided to have a little fun with this one. Just found this video and everyone needs a reason to smile. Enjoy!
We're baring our souls this week, allowing you a peek inside our personal lives. I bet Dani Jace's blog was as spicy as her books. If you missed her, head back.
This week's question is from the lovely and lively Xio Axelrod: A Day in the Life: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Where do I start?
Yesterday alone, I was plumber, contractor, chef and maid. Naturally, like others in my particular situation, the other beings in my house, otherwise known as "children," create a continual, never-ending maelstrom of mess.
I'm more often than I'd like a referee and sometimes Queen Solomon.
When not playing Wonder Woman Super Mom, I train people how to more efficiently and effectively use technology in their careers. But I know very little about what's actually inside the computer, AKA hardware.
Once I am free from the day job, I am happiest outside. At home, give me weeding, mowing and getting my hands in the soil any day over housework. Chopping wood, hauling compost. I am so thankful I've found a man who isn't a chauvinist, Someone who sees me as equal, not as the "little woman."
For free time, give me the beach. Any weather, any season, any day. I am happiest outside, hair wild in the breeze, sun on my face, salt water lapping at my toes. If I had 100 acres on the ocean so I could rescue dogs and horses, I'd be in heaven!
I've rambled on long enough about me. Head over to Fiona Riplee's blog to see what her other sides are.
Stir Fry Vegetables with Rice Blend
Today, I'm going to give you a quick, easy and healthy side dish, or vegetarian main dish. It's simply because I buy the frozen stir fry veggies from CostCo in the 5 pound bag.
Defrost the veggies. While these are thawing, prepare sprouted rice and quinoa, also from CostCo. The directions call for water but I use chicken broth. My husband loves this for the nutty flavor and texture. It takes half an hour to simmer in the broth or water and an additional ten to allow for steaming, covered and off the heat. Heat peanut oil (I use EVOO because that's what's on hand) and add the veggies. Season with onion salt or powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, whatever you like and stir them up to heat through. This is where I add the rice blend and stir another minute or two. Even my meat-and-potatoes hubby eats veggies like this.
Wow! An amazing story...
Let me warn you... Don't read this when you have anything pressing because you will not want to put this book down once you start it. Oh, and maybe don't finish it right before bed. This story gets in your head and every shadow becomes so much more than a shadow.
I won't summarize, that's what the rest of the post is for, and I don't want to spoil the read. What I will say is I read this in one day, with several unwilling breaks. Ms. Johal grabs you by the fears and immerses you in her boiling cauldron of seething spiritual oppression. Heart pounding, breath holding, fist clenching scenes made shivers run up and down my spine more than I care to remember. Throughout, I rooted for the good guys and kept an eye out for the bad guys.
Ms. Johal created realistic, likeable characters. Most books I don't like result from unlikeable heroes or heroines but Gwynneth is a girl after my own heart. She's sweet, sensitive, and broken. Her motivations for her actions are unselfish as she struggles with a full on spiritual attack.
Throughout the story, I was never sure what was coming next. Who was helping Gwen, who was hindering her, who she'd end up with? Hell, would she even survive? The pace was perfect: gave me just enough detail to satisfy my need to create an image in my head while keeping me on the edge of my seat, needing to turn the page. Turn the page!
I loved the characters, especially best friend Seth. I mean, really, hot best friend who's neat, tidy and cooks like a Parisian chef? What's not to like? Fenton, her good friend and co-worker, kicked her ass or hugged her, whatever the situation called for. Every woman needs a friend like that.
Horror is not my usual pick. I love paranormal but I've got a pretty active imagination and Ms. Johal did such a superb job painting the story, giving life to the shadows, that I have to admit having trouble falling asleep. Actually prayed a little harder, a little longer than usual. And maybe I had to sleep with the light on in the bathroom. Not that I really needed it. (Totally needed it!)
This. Is. A. Must. Read!
Link to Clarissa Johal's Author site. Can't wait to read the remaining books!
Shifters & Spice (e-book 99 cents!)
Romance writer. Paranormal and contemporary. Mother of two and wife of perfect husband. Love the environment, travel and reading.
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