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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Women's History Month - Row80 Check in

Tomorrow is the beginning of March. Besides the fact that I can't believe we are already starting the third month of 2012, it is Women's History month; which you will hear me refer to as Herstory instead of History from here on out. After all it is Her story that we are talking about during the month of March not His story. Though His story can be nice, entertaining, and interesting as well.

Every year I have told myself that I will do something special for Women's Herstory month and up until now I have let every year go by without anything happening. In the past I wanted to help to facilitate a women's festival and this year I have chosen to celebrate through my blogs instead; basically have a blog festival of celebrations throughout the whole month.

I am going to have a lot of fun celebrating women throughout the month of March on both this blog, on Shadow Rhythms and on Dragonwillow Journeys. The write up for each blog:

A Writer's Universe
Herstories Blog-Festival
Women's Spotlight Herstory Writers
Fantasy Flash Fiction - Wild and Daring Women Stories

Shadow Rhythms
Herstories Dancing with Shadow and Creativity
Women's Music Herstory
Sacred Body Herstory

Dragonwillow Journeys
Healing Herstories
Herstory Healers
Circle of Herstories

If you are a woman and would like to contribute to one or all of these blogs any of your Women's Herstories in the topics above, email me at awritersuniverse@gmail.com. Please put the name of the blog in the subject line so that I know which blog it is for. If you would like to suggest other Women's Blogs, Women Writers, Women's Music, or Herstory Healers to be spotlighted on my blogs please email me their information and her special story to be spotlighted.

I hope that all of my men followers understand this isn't to slight them in anyway; it is to honor women and their Herstories. If you have something you are doing to honor women during the month of March, I would love to hear about it and I will share it with others.

Row80 Wrap up for February:

I have learned so much during the month of February and really I have to include the end of January when this all began for me. I went back and looked at my original goals for this journey and was happy that I had stayed on track with most of them. I discovered I could write over 3000 words in one day. I discovered my competitiveness for wordmongering. I discovered many wonderful writing friends. I discovered that I could change my goals, when needed, and have compassion for my journey. I discovered that I can use my need for instant gratification to write Flash Fiction and short stories while I am writing my novel.

Row80 Check in:
  • I have accomplished more than 30,000 words for my WIP (I am amazed) 
  • I did one guest post
  • I started the Teen Fantasy Fiction Anthology Writing Contest and found a wonderful organization, Arts Corps, for me to contribute a portion of the sales to.
  • I entered one Flash Fiction contest; didn't win but it was a learning experience.
  • I wrote two Flash Fiction stories for this blog.
  • I am beginning to hear my true voice in my writing.
Row80 Goals for March:
  • WIP word count I am dropping down to 500 a day just for March
  • Writing everything in 750words.com to reach a goal of 50,000 words badge
  • All of the above for Women's Herstory Month
  • Continuing Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest to completion date, 3/20/12
  • Continue with #Commenthour and #FlashbackFriday 

That about covers it for me. I hope you will join me in celebrating Women's Herstory Month. May you have many wonder-filled and joyous writing adventures during the month of March. Remember... if you are writing, you are a writer.

Peace,
Morgan

Check out other Rowers here...

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 9

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the ninth day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at A Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1


Honor Intuition by Flora Bowley


Prompt 2


Ix Chel - Moon Goddess, Midwife to Creativity


Prompt 3


Dragon, Beaver, Frog


Let The Writing Begin!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 8

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the eighth day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1


Above the Clouds


Prompt 2 


Journey of Courage to earn her wings




Prompt 3


Weasel, Lion, and Eagle


Let The Writing Begin!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 7

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the seventh day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1
Rooted in Love by Flora Bowley



Prompt 2

Kuan Yin/Goddess of Compassion


Prompt 3

Hummingbird, Dolphin, and Spider

Let the Writing Begin!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Obsession and Social Media - Row80 Check In

Obsessions, I have them and they can take over my life for a spell if I let them. I don’t like to admit that I have an obsessive personality but I do. Now I am thinking how can I use this to my advantage with my writing?  How can I use a trait that most people would find annoying at the least and downright disturbing at its worst? I thought about my writing and how much I want to accomplish with it. I thought about the way I can obsess over the stupidest things. I wonder if I can actually obsess about writing.  I know I think about it a lot, but could I find a way to turn my obsessive behavior into something positive by directing it at my writing?

It seems like a challenge to me, and we all know I like a good challenge. I find myself thinking about this because over the last week when I wasn’t feeling well, I found myself obsessing over social media. It happens to me on occasion: I leave a comment somewhere then I start wondering if anyone has commented back, or I share, comment, post and wonder if anyone has responded in any way shape or form. And the obsession begins. When that happens I don’t get much done at all. I find myself hopping from one social media site to another until I am fairly dizzy with it and have to find a way to make it stop. Because once I get going, oh my, is it hard to stop.

Back to how I can use this troublesome behavior for the good of my writing. Can I turn this, tweak it, and find a way to make it work in my favor? Ah yes, words. I remember how this all began. How I allowed my competitive nature to take hold during wordmongering and began quickly building my word count for my stories. I then allowed myself to become slightly distracted by this world of online social media. I believe it is the immediacy of it. How you can leave a comment and have someone respond right away. I like right away. With my writing I have to wait. I don’t receive immediate satisfaction except knowing that I kept my word count up. 

What is true…? It is true I am having a hard time this week. It is true that I am obsessing over social media. It is true that I can become impatient and want immediate results and that is one of the reasons it has taken me this long to write.  It is also true that when I have a cold, I really don’t feel like writing because I have a huge brain cloud that doesn’t let me think clearly let alone be very creative.

Ah… so no need to panic. I am feeling much better and the inspiration is beginning to return. Yes, clear thinking is back in the building; stepping back onto the wordmongering track and away from the social media loop of just this side of crazy.

Row80 Check in
  • Minimum of 1500 words per day 
  • Flash fiction Friday post every week
  • Back to standing while I type and bopping to the music 
  • At least one post a week for Shadow Rhythms 
  • Working daily on my Contest
That about sums it up for me. Hope you are having a terrific weekend!

Peace, 
Morgan

P.S. Don't forget to check out other Rowers here...

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 6

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the sixth day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1
What Lies Beneath


Prompt 2


Lady of the Lake/Choices


Prompt 3


Beaver, Hawk, and Snake

Let the Writing Begin!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 5

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the fifth day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1
Storm Through the Veil

Prompt 2

The Moon/Intrigue and Mystery

Prompt 3

Wolf, Crow, Lizard


Let the Writing Begin!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 4

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!
Great News! 10% of the profits from this anthology is going to Arts Corps A fantastic organization that helps teens through creativity and art programs. Keep submitting your fantasy fiction stories and make dreams come true: getting published and helping troubled teens. Know that your stories are helping to change lives.


This is the fourth day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. If you have been writing along with us you will have three stories so far. If not, now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1


Deep Peace by Flora Bowley


Prompt 2


Pele, Volcano Goddess of Fire


Prompt 3


Tiger, Bear, Monkey


Let the Writing Begin!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Art of Writing a Fantasy Short Story

"A good short story is almost always about a moment of profound realization. Or a hint of that. A quiet bomb. There is a record by the American singer, Tori Amos, called Little Earthquakes. That¹s a good metaphor for a short story."  Joseph O'Connor

I have stated that I don't like rules, this is true. I do try to listen to some of them, I do seek out rules to see if I agree with them, and I am always looking for ways to improve my writing. I guess the key is to understand when you are reading what others think are rules of the trade, take what works for you and throw away the rest. Pretty much how I see life. 

I decided to go in search of other "Rules" to writing short stories and fantasy fiction.

I discovered there is quite a bit of information out there and I decided to share a couple of the interesting pieces.

How to Write a Fantasy Short Story  by Frank P. Ryan - I particularly like his idea of starting a Fantasy Dictionary of unusual words such as spectral and numinous. If you decide to check it out, the bullet points start on page five.

Art of the Short Story By William Starr Moake - I love his take on writing short stories and my favorite quote was his last line, 
“The art of the short story is really the art of getting in touch with bits of your inner self and learning how to share that experience with readers."
I believe a powerful short story is one that grabs your attention in the beginning, the mystery pulls you along, and then has a punch at the end. Mix in the magic and it spells a short story I really want to read.

I did have a question come up this week - What classifies as Teen-specific fantasy?

Think of it as PG/PG13 and toss in some of the teen issues mixed with magic. Think about the angst and insecurities of teens and how much they do or don't want to fit in, how there is always someone picking on someone, and how the situations get resolved. The conflict can be something happening at home, at school or summer school (or any variation of the magical kind) or anywhere else you can imagine something magical happening with young people from 13 to 16 years old. (can go up to 18 yrs old) You can think of something you went through as a teen then put a magical twist. I am sure you can come up with lots of really great ideas. 

Whatever you do, don't allow someone else's rules to stop you from writing. If you feel like you need a little help so be it, but don't allow their rules to make it so complicated that you don't want to write. 

If you have been thinking about writing a short story for the contest that I am holding, please do. I, unlike some other contests, am not scary. I am one of you. I will encourage, support and help you achieve your dreams as I work to achieve mine. Don't worry about it being perfect, I focus more on creativity, imagination and magic. If I like the story, we can always work on the editing later on. Get creative, allow yourself to explore writing Teen Fantasy fiction, and you might surprise yourself. If you love to write, WRITE!

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 3

The Count Down has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction will you write? Join the Fun!

This is the third day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe and what fun it has been. Now it is your chance to join in. If you have longed to be published and like writing short stories, fantasy fiction or want the challenge to write it; if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start!  You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1
Papel Picado by Flora Bowley

Prompt 2

Card pulled from the Shapeshifter Tarot
Warrior of Earth - A woman shapeshifting into a unicorn - keywords - Self responsibility, Divine meeting, shapeshifting


Prompt 3
Animals pulled from the Medicine Cards
Porcupine/Innocence, Owl/Deception, Mouse/Scrutiny

Let the Writing Begin!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love Affair with Words - Row80 Check in

I fell in love with words when I was eight years old. I didn't know what a love affair it would be. How could I, I was eight. I just knew that the world of books and writing fascinated me. I remember sitting and contemplating the clouds and what they meant to a writer; how soft they looked, light and fluffy. I remember laying on a blanket looking up at those clouds with my notebook in one hand and pen in the other, wondering what it would be like to lay upon those clouds, and look down upon the earth.  

I remember wondering what words really mean and how they looked in a sentence; how one sentence led to another and another until you had a whole paragraph or a poem. My poems were crude back then. I remember trying to do something new with Roses are Red at one point.

I never liked hearing about rules of writing. Natalie Goldberg's rules, which I talked about last Sunday, were the first writing rules that I have ever liked. Before those rules I always felt that the writing rules were only stifling, that they prevented the writer from letting loose. I know I allowed it to stop me from writing. Now writing seems, easy isn't the right word, much more natural. I can lay thoughts down on the paper without it feeling quite so uncomfortable. I always felt like I had to get it right before; that is what stopped me.

I always felt that if I didn't, or couldn't, get it right I shouldn't be writing. But that isn't what writing is about. Writing is about putting our thoughts down on paper. It is about putting our hearts out for others to see, not about getting it right. My heart says that writing is a form of love. As a writer I want to intimately share my world with others. I want to write words of fascinating pictures that will have them feeling into every word. That to me is the essence of writing, being able to take someone on a journey through your words and they see it, they get it.

It is also about digging in the dark, pulling out the roots and looking at them under a microscope, examining how they grew and if you could have done anything differently, would you have? All of those juicy dark places make for such wonderful fertilizer for your stories. They are what bring life to them. How could you ever want to change or throw away something that has given your words such life? I notice as I am writing this last part I can see how my words are starting to feel painful. My chest is tightening and the inner critic is beginning to squirm and starting to tell me that others don't want to hear this. I tell myself, I am beautiful and the words are fine. Keep writing. (Thank you Natalie)

I remember sitting at a table at school and writing a song, I remember lying on my bed and writing my poetry. I remember sitting at my piano and writing a song that I wrote for a dead man in a park who froze in front of the white house because he had no place to sleep. Those words pulled my heart out and opened it for everyone to see.

I remember writing about my daughter at six months and wondering what it would be like when she began to talk; wanting to hear her thoughts. I remember when she was two and wondering when she would stop. I remember thinking then writing, that my heart was breaking in two when I left my husband. I remember writing about my journey of discovery of my new world of two daughters and no father. I remember writing about forgiveness and love. I remember writing about writing and thinking I would never get it right.

I now write, just to write. I now write for me. I now write in hopes that someone will find a piece of truth within it for them, but if they don't, it is alright. Because I love to write, and will keep on writing no matter if it is for me or if it is for someone else; it is my heart after all, this art of writing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words. If it touched you in anyway, please leave your own words below for I would love to read them.

Row80 Check in

I am feeling like everything is on track. I am tired, have a bit of a cold but all is well. I will give a full Check in on Sunday.

I am enjoying my journey with words.

Peace,
Morgan

Please visit other ROWers here and encourage them on their writing journey.

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 2

It has begun! Fanciful and daring, sweet and magical, what Teen Fantasy Fiction would YOU write? Join the Fun!

This is the second day of the first Quarterly Writing Contest here at Writer's Universe. Yes I am new... Yes I am not a published author... But if you aren't published and would like to be, this could be the best place to start! You are new too, just like me. You want to reach your writing goals for this year as do I. We can make this happen together. Join the fun and let's make our dreams and goals come true!


I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1


Beloved 2 By Flora Bowley


Prompt 2
*You can use one piece or all pieces to prompt 2. Card pulled from Shapeshifter Tarot by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight Illustrations by Lisa Hunt


Sorceress/The High Priestess - Hidden influences, Mystical wisdom - Shapeshifting into an Owl


Prompt 3
*With prompt 3 you can use the animal or the keyword/phrase or all of them combined. These were pulled from the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson Illustrations by Angela Werneke


Skunk/Reputation, Armadillo/Boundaries, and Black Panther/Embracing the Unknown


Let the Writing Begin! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I - Day 1

Have you ever thought about writing Teen Fantasy Fiction? Do you like writing short stories? Would you like to be published in an anthology? Do you like a good challenge that can push your writing to the limits?


This is the First of many Quarterly Writing Contests that I will be hosting and I hope you will be joining in on the fun! I will be posting new writing prompts every night  for 30 days at Midnight EST and you will have twenty-four hours to complete your story for the Teen Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest. Your story must be emailed before the next Midnight EST when that days prompts will end and the new writing prompts will be posted. Remember that there is sometimes a lag in email going through the web so don't wait until the last minute.  You can read the rest of the guidelines here. Grab the 30 Stories in 30 Days Badge to share on your page showing that you are participating in this Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest.

The Theme for this Writing Contest is... Shapeshifting/Shapeshifter Your story must have either a shapeshifter  or some kind of shapeshifting theme. This is the magical component spoken of in the guidelines. 

Now for the Prompts...

Prompt 1

Crown by Flora Bowley


Prompt 2

The Sacred Flame


Prompt 3

Opossum, Rabbit, and Prairie Dog


May your fingers fly like the wind! Good Writing!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tearing Down the Walls Brick by Brick - Row80 Check in 7

Inspired by Flora Bowley's Art
It was one of my writing goals last week to tear down the walls, brick by brick, to get to the nitty-gritty of my writing. It seems you can't write as much as I have been writing, over the last few weeks, and not break down some walls. One, you get sick of writing the same things all the time. Two, you get sick of not being able to say what you want to say and you just have to climb over the wall or break it down. I chose to tear it down and then barrel deeper still.

I am taking on my challenges one by one. I am looking at what scares me in my writing and writing through it. I am loving every minute of it even when it terrifies me.

I found myself writing more on my own than on #wordmongering this last week. I think it was because I was doing the 30/10 and it wasn’t always convenient to be #wordmongering at the top of the hour. I don't know maybe I need to tweak my schedule just a bit. Although as long as my word count is up I won’t worry about it too much. I am averaging about 10,000 words a week; not all of them great words of course but as long as I keep writing it feels like I am going in the right direction.

This past week my granddaughters have been sick with bad colds and yesterday I started feeling like I was getting a sore throat. I am taking vitamins and oregano oil to help with it but I am not feeling so good today; pushing through the icks.

One of the challenges and goals I have set for myself is creating a Teen Fantasy Anthology which I have created a contest for. I am very excited about this and it starts tonight at Midnight. If you enjoy writing Teen fantasy I encourage and challenge you to participate. I am also quite excited that the artist, Flora Bowley, has agreed to allow me to use her art as part of the writing prompts for the contest. I hope you will find her art as provocative and exciting as I do. I will be challenging myself to write a Teen Fantasy Fiction every day of this contest as well. I believe it will grow my writing as it will challenge me to write a short story every day for 30 days. Of the stories I write, I will have my daughter choose the one she likes the best and I will display it on my blog at the end of the 30 days. If you decide to take up the challenge of writing a short story every day but not enter the contest, I hope you will leave a comment with a link to your story if you post it on your blog especially if you use the writing prompts for the writing contest.

I am still doing my morning pages in 750words.com every day though sometimes not until late at night. I am still working on the books for the Book Reviews I will be doing on this blog. I need to speed it up but it just seems that this past week has been exceptionally busy.

I believe that is all for now. Doing my best to keep the momentum no matter how busy life gets and enjoying the ride.

Peace,
Morgan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exciting Times - Row80 Check in 6

This has been an incredible week and I am loving every minute of it. Before I talk about all of that I want to talk about my offline journal. Tui at Mental Mosaic has given me much inspiration for everything from writing to journaling to how to schedule my day to possibly doing a photo essay in the near future. Tui recently posed a  question whether anyone still journals in a real journal or just journals on the computer or online now.
First time I doodled my little monsters.

They morphed into my wild woman.




I love my offline journal and typically take it with me almost everywhere. The thing is I had the same one for a couple of years. It was thick and I didn't write in it every day but I did love writing in it. It is the first journal I started doodling in. It is the journal that freed my inner artist. 


And her personality grew.



At the end of last year I lovingly had to finish working out of that journal. I hated having to set it aside because it no longer had any more blank pages. You see one of the reasons I loved that journal so much was because it had both lined and blank pages. My handwriting and print is so atrocious I really needed the lines to keep my writing in check and not get too big or all over the page. I discovered with the blank pages I loved to doodle. 






These symbols were channeled in.


I never really “doodled” all that much in my life because I thought I couldn't draw. I was under the misconception if you couldn't make some spectacularly beautiful piece of art you weren't an artist and should't draw at all. This journal not only gave me permission, nobody else was going to see it, but it also showed me how doodling helped me connect to my higher self and would lead my writing to a deeper place. Because of this I will often write and doodle in my journal no matter how much I write online.






I love the different personalities of my wild woman.





Now the problem is that I couldn't find a new journal with both lined and blank pages. Over the last year I have just carried around notebooks to write, journal and make notes in. I hadn't really been doodling all that much except in creating my mandalas, which is different, and I was sorely missing it.







Creating with color.


This week I finally made the decision to buy a blank notebook and make it my new journal. I love it. It is an artist flip book that is, I believe, 5x7 which is smaller than my last journal. I am not going to worry about the lines anymore and I will doodle, draw, and journal to my heart's content.








Row80 Check in

This has been a very busy week:
  • I am writing with Shan on the writing experiment which is quite fun 
  • I have the first two books to read for my very first and second Book Reviews for this website 
  • I have been working on a writing contest that I will be holding starting next week (check out the new web pages above)
  • I have increased my wordmongering for the stories I am working on to as many as I can fit in a day increasing my word count to 1500 - 3000 a day
  • I am continuing to do my 750words.com 
  • I did another flash fiction. 
  • And I did two blog posts


My crazy and lovable wild woman.


I think that is all. I had to implement Tui's timing schedule from her blog post, My 20on 10off Writing Plan to keep up with everything but it is working quite well. I do 30/10 that works best for me. Until Sunday, have a great rest of the week!


Other Posts You Might Enjoy:


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unexpected Joy - Flash Fiction


I sat on my blanket, at the edge of the lake, completely focused on my journal, and swallowing back the great rocks that felt forever lodged in my throat. A flash of white caught my attention and I looked up. A beautiful swan coasted seamlessly through the water. I looked down continuing to write when the swan stepped out of the water towards me. I thought she might be hungry; I reached for my pack to pull out bread. She shook the water off and immediately changed into a woman wearing a cloak of white feathers..

My mouth dropped open and she said with a smile, "You might want to close your mouth dear, eternity can be seen within that chasm.

I snapped my mouth closed then said, “Who are you and where did you come from?” 

“I came from the water.” She said simply.

“I saw that but how?” I am talking to a swan shape shifted into a woman; am I dreaming? I could still feel the ache deep in my throat. I don't think so, maybe I have finally gone over the edge into insanity, or maybe my heart stopped and I just don't know it yet.

“I am water, or rather Goddess of the water.” My mouth dropped open again then snapped shut so hard the vibration rang in my head. No need to give myself a headache I better not do that again.

“Okay putting aside the fact that that sounds crazy, why are you here?”

“You needed me... your sorrow pulled me to you.” She slowly walked over and stood before me.  “You are lucky that I heard you first.”

“Why?” She was so beautiful, almost hard to look at, but I couldn’t turn away from her deep, dark blue eyes.

“Because there are things that are attracted to sorrow that I am sure you would not like to show up ever in your sweet life.” I blinked. As far as I was concerned this was the most outside the norm I could imagine and now she’s saying that something crazier and scarier than this could happen. I quickly looked around.

“I was just journaling.” I said cautiously.

“Yes and you were pouring your heart into your words.” Her eyes took me in as if she were enfolding me within her arms. “There isn't anything I can do about your loss.” I felt my heart painfully skipping along.  “But I can show you a piece of your future if you like; well actually I can show you your feelings in the future...”  

She came forward and placed her hand over my heart. I closed my eyes and at first I felt tremendous peace wash over me, and then I felt great joy; I felt the greatest joy that I could possibly imagine. A tear slid down my cheek. She then slid her hand down over my belly and I knew in an instant where the joy came from.

He was gone but I would always have something wonderful to remember him by.

“Thank you.” The tears flowed freely now; the rocks in my throat melting away. She smiled and moved back toward the lake. As soon as her feet touched the water she transformed into the beautiful swan. I just stood there glowing from her presence, wondering if I would ever see her again and then looked around with a little fear at the others that she mentioned. I definitely didn’t want to run into any of them. I packed up to leave and my hand drifted to my belly and I smiled.


*My writing prompt for this piece The Goddess of Water from the Shapeshifter Tarot Deck by D.J. Conway and Sirona Knight. My word count 599.

Other Stories you might enjoy:

Essence of Life
Time to Remember
Shapeshifters


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Taking Risks - Row80 Check in 5

From having to take time off from wordmongering with my writing group and the pace I had set for myself, I began to evaluate where I was in my writing and where I wanted to go with it. I discovered that I had forgotten some of the basics that I had learned long ago.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Essence of Life - A Story Woven in Wordmongering

I lean against her and feel her pain. I feel her unshed tears for the planet. She whispers to me of times gone by, of days that she was worshiped, of days that she was celebrated as life giving. My tears flow down my cheeks unbidden. I listen to her stories, knowing that I may never be able to hear them again. Her voice becomes weaker as I strain to hear every last word.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Balancing Act - Row80 Check in 4

Everything was going so well up until last Saturday. That is when we discovered my partner's grandmother was in the hospital and was scheduled for surgery on Monday. 

I must say that the stress and sleeplessness of having a loved one in the hospital is quite tiring and it is making me feel old. I am usually the one that stays with loved ones at the hospital during their stay and at this point in my life I am feeling ready to hand it to the younger generation. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Writing Experiment

I am looking for a writer that would like to experiment with a co-writing adventure. We would take turns writing a scene then writing another scene off of each other's writing. It could get interesting where the story leads, it could be just fun or it could turn into something that could be published.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writing Challenges and Victories - Row80 Check In 3


It is interesting that you never have more or less time. There is always the same number of ours in the day but we are programmed to think there isn’t enough. There isn’t enough time, there isn’t enough resources, there isn’t enough; but there is exactly enough time and resources for everyone.

I have been writing off and on (mostly off) for a good part of my life. I have the same amount of time that I have always had yet I am suddenly writing more than I ever have before; both for my stories and for my blogs. I had hoped that someday would get here but little did I know someday was already here.

I say that because it wasn’t the time that prevented me from writing, it was the fear of what people would think of my writing, it was allowing my wounds to stop me from writing. Seriously, how silly is that; to allow something that someone else said or did to affect how you are?  I am feeling a freedom with my writing that I have never had before.

The only problem I seem to be having right now is in the emotional aspect of my writing. Something is holding back the feelings part of it. It is something I am going to be exploring the next couple of weeks; both within myself and within my writing because really, they are both the same.

I have written/typed 5838 words since Sunday, as well as four blog posts and finished one guest blog post.  That isn’t counting all of the words written/typed replying to comments, making comments on others’ blogs, and my morning pages of 750 plus every morning. I don’t think I really had a clue how much typing I could do in so short a time before. That is what wordmongering and 750words.com has shown me over the last week and a half. It is fascinating how much you can get done when you have given yourself 30 minutes to do it.

I am not sure if everyone gets, really gets, how to use the wordmongering. It is to bust out as many of your streams of consciousness for your stories and blogs as you can within that thirty minutes. No it isn’t all going to be great writing but the more you write the more you let your fingers put down all of the thoughts going through your head about your story then you will find the gold. You can go back and take your time editing, or time yourself editing as well so you don’t over think it. That is why it is called the first draft. Don’t worry about what it looks like or sounds like just type.

My goals for this week are to make sure I do at least one wordmongering a day – We have a lot going on the next week or two. I would appreciate any positive energy you can send our (my family and I) way. I will explain more in a couple of weeks.

Continue doing my morning pages every morning. – I love them and it really helps to purge the clutter in my brain.

Work with writing and feeling the emotions within my writing.

Yes that is all I am going to focus on for this week. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple. 

Blessings,
Morgan

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Creating a Change - Weightloss Wednesday

One simple change can make all the difference in how you feel. Even though this is Weightloss Wednesday, this is about making changes. When you make one simple change in your life it often can create a positive change in how you feel; which can lead to better health. That is what this is all about; feeling good and creating better health through positive changes.

Creating art is something I do for myself to create a change in my mood. When I am in a not so good place, and I am not turning to music and dance, I turn to creating. 

I imagine there are some people out there that are happy exactly as they are but most people I know want to make a change for the better and for a lot of them it is their weight. Hmmm… we do attract into our lives people to mirror us whether we realize it or not. Seeing  that a lot of the people in my life wish to make a physical change says something about me. Can you look around and see the people in your life?  What changes do they want to make. Can you see the similarities for yourself?

Back to creating a change through creativity-Often I feel discontent because I am not doing the work that I love or better put I’m not creating in some form or another. If God made us in his likeness, wouldn’t it be also that he/she made us creators as well. Sure we aren’t creating new worlds but we are creating our lives.  We can create art whether it is with words, painting, sculpting or some other medium. My daughter just created a child and that is the highest order of creation.

If you can allow yourself to explore creativity and not look at it as something that has to be perfect; in fact if you can move into ‘being’ during your creation instead of focusing on the outcome, you may discover the very act of creating can take you to a place filled with love and compassion for yourself. Isn’t that what you want ultimately to love and have compassion for yourself? Wouldn’t you make wiser choices if you loved yourself?  You can change the way you feel. It is something that you have control over even if right in this moment you don’t realize it. You can change the way you feel whether using art, music or dance; you have control over what you are feeling and you can transform it.

Do yourself a favor, get out a pen or pens and paper, let your eyelids droop just a little, take a nice long deep breath and put your pen to paper. Now without lifting it up start drawing lines, circles, and any shapes that come to mind.

Keep doodling until your paper is full or you feel complete.

Remember to take nice long slow deep breaths and not let your pen stop until your paper is full.

When you are done ask yourself how you are feeling. Do you notice feeling calmer, a stillness within? (If you only feel anxiety check out this article) Turn the paper over and write down any observations that you made during your doodling. Ask yourself questions such as; how do I feel right now in this moment. Did you gain any insights during this exercise? 

You can use this technique to journal with or to shift your mood. You can use it to get in touch with your inner self to help you feel more connected. Your loneliness doesn’t stem from not feeling connected to others; your loneliness stems from not feeling connected to Source/God/the Universe/Your Higher Power. And when you or I feel that disconnection we reach for something to fill it, and for some of us it is food.

Change how you feel and I guarantee you will begin to make wiser choices for yourself.  I believe I will reach for my pen now, to begin doodling in my journal once again.

Happy doodling!

Leave a comment and your link with your weightloss journey adventures.


Blessings,
Morgan Dragonwillow

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