Question of the Week

Welcome to TC’s Question of the Week minicast. We post a new question every Wednesday for #writerwednesday. Each minicast is 30 seconds or less.

If you like these questions, you might also like the Friday FUM.

Be sure to check out our longer A Podcast in Each Hand writing-inspiration podcast on Mondays. If you like the minicasts and podcasts, please let us know! Like, share, comment and all that good stuff. Thanks :)

 

Answer in the comments or link back here if you post your answer on your own blog. (If you’d like to record your response and are looking for somewhere to host your audio file, try SoundCloud.)

Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

Question of the Week

Welcome to TC’s Question of the Week minicast. We post a new question every Wednesday for #writerwednesday. Each minicast is 30 seconds or less.

If you like these questions, you might also like the Friday FUM.

Be sure to check out our longer A Podcast in Each Hand writing-inspiration podcast on Mondays. If you like the minicasts and podcasts, please let us know! Like, share, comment and all that good stuff. Thanks :)

 

Answer in the comments or link back here if you post your answer on your own blog. (If you’d like to record your response and are looking for somewhere to host your audio file, try SoundCloud.)

Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

A Podcast in Each Hand

Toasted Cheese presents A Podcast In Each Hand: original exercises and writing prompts from our archive to inspire you for the week ahead. Each podcast is briefer than the time it would take to sizzle up a toasted cheese sandwich. If you use any of our exercises or prompts, we’d love to hear about it!

 

Producer: Stephanie Lenz
Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

Question of the Week

Welcome to TC’s Question of the Week minicast. We post a new question every Wednesday for #writerwednesday. Each minicast is 30 seconds or less.

If you like these questions, you might also like the Friday FUM.

Be sure to check out our longer A Podcast in Each Hand writing-inspiration podcast on Mondays. If you like the minicasts and podcasts, please let us know! Like, share, comment and all that good stuff. Thanks :)

 

Answer in the comments or link back here if you post your answer on your own blog. (If you’d like to record your response and are looking for somewhere to host your audio file, try SoundCloud.)

Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

The Summer Writing Bucket List

Absolute BlankBy Shelley Carpenter (harpspeed)

Summer is my favorite time of year. For many of us it is a change-up in the daily patterns of our lives. Because there are fewer vehicles on the roads due to school breaks and vacation rotations in the office, the commute to work isn’t as long, so many of us can sleep in a little longer and arrive home a little sooner. Home life changes, too. The sandals and flip-flops come out of the closet. Summer food is back. It’s a time to BBQ and to enjoy an icy cold one while dinner cooks on the grill or at your favorite restaurant now that the patio and umbrellas are open for dining al fresco. Don’t forget to stop at the ice cream stand on the way home.

The Summer Writing Bucket List

Indeed, the day-to-day demands don’t seem so demanding when the sun is still shining at eight o’clock, leaving plenty of time in the day to squeeze in those extra activities that were not possible during the long winter months. It is so easy to drop off the radar and slip away because no one is looking. And there is no requirement or a sunny sign-up sheet in order to take part in the summer change-up. It’s a given. A gift.

I personally get very excited beginning in June when I see my favorite indie bookstores and my local library have their summer reading lists posted on their doors and display boards. How many new novels can I squeeze in before September? Yet reading is not the only change-up in my summer lifestyle—my writing changes too. It seems to be a natural occurrence as it happens like clockwork every year. Maybe it’s the boost in serotonin levels in my brain from all the added sunshine or maybe it is an evocative reaction to the sights, the sounds, the summery smells resonating deep in my writer-being that I credit from spending extravagant amounts of time outside as opposed to the ocean of time spent inside last winter. Perhaps it is all of the above.

Whichever the reason, along with it comes one extra perk and that is a sense of freedom that can be exhilarating. During July and August I give myself express permission to break away from any existing writing projects. I tuck them in on my hard drive and I step away to try something new. Something that perhaps I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the chance. I break out my summer writing bucket list. bucket1My bucket is blue with a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants on its side. If ideas were stones, my bucket would nearly topple over from the weight of all the ideas it holds. I reach inside and pick…

Last summer, I was possessed with writing personal essays. I made a list and managed to get three nearly finished before September first. The summer before that I spent some time playing with narrative points of view. This summer, I’ve decided to change up my writing bucket list. The last three bucket numbers are now re-ordered to Numbers 1, 2, and 3. My plans are to spend some time writing blog posts on a particular non-fiction subject, writing an old story in a different point of view, and perhaps writing one or two fresh pieces of flash fiction. Yes. I’m ambitious.

And even though I may abandon my laptop to literally go fly a kite on the beach or go see a ball game, and may not return to my writing until the next day or the day after that, it is perfectly A-okay to do so. It is okay because if indeed the summer months take over my writing schedule, I know that anything I don’t finish will become fodder for the winter months—my winter writing bucket list.

So writers, while the sun is shining consider a change-up in your writing. Write a list for your summer writing bucket and make it happen.

And tell us about it, too. Share your thoughts and experiences with the TC editors in a comment or a tweet or drop by TC’s weekly writing thread in the Chasms and Crags forum hosted by TC editor, Beaver. Tell ’em Harpspeed invited you. ;)


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Make Your Own Summer Writing Bucket List

A Pen In Each Hand

By harpspeed

What will you put in your bucket? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Post a suggestion or a comment here. :)
  • Take out an old story and write back stories for your main and supporting characters.
  • Write a short story.
  • Write a story entirely in dialogue.
  • Write a story in backward chronology.
  • Write a story that happens in a 24-hour span.
  • Rewrite a story in a different point-of-view: first, second, or third.
  • Rewrite a story with a different narrator, style, or structure: Give an inanimate object or concept such as “joy” a voice. Try writing in stream-of-consciousness style or in epistolary format to tell your story. It worked for Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Charles Frazier and a host of writers.
  • Write a flash story.
  • Give an old story a fresh coat of words: Rewrite it in a different verb tense. Try a present, past or future voice: I write all summer long. I wrote all summer long. I will write all summer long. I promise!
  • Write in a different genre.
  • Interview someone of interest in your community and pitch the interview to your local newspaper editor or local magazine editor. Hint: Retired veterans and school bus drivers have great stories to share and know a lot about the community.
  • Create a cookbook anthology using your personal favorite recipes.
  • Pitch an event to your local newspaper editor, attend, and write about it. (I touched the real Titanic and wrote about the artifacts on exhibit when I toured a local museum with third-graders. There wasn’t much news that day so my little story and accompanying photograph made the front page.)
  • Write a friendly letter.
  • Write a query letter.
  • Write a personal essay about something you feel strong about that has a universal audience and pitch it to your local newspaper editor. (I once wrote about Beanie Babies and compared them to other collectables of the past. Approximately 30,000 people read it in the editorial section of my local newspaper.)
  • Write a poem.
  • Write about something you are an expert on. A how-to essay or what a particular activity means to you. If you have hobbies start there. Maybe you know how to build the perfect chicken coop or know some gardening secrets you can share. Visit the newsstands and see where your piece best fits.
  • Write an article or book review for Toasted Cheese!

Ready.  Set.  Write!

A Podcast in Each Hand

Toasted Cheese presents A Podcast In Each Hand: original exercises and writing prompts from our archive to inspire you for the week ahead. Each podcast is briefer than the time it would take to sizzle up a toasted cheese sandwich. If you use any of our exercises or prompts, we’d love to hear about it!

 

Producer: Stephanie Lenz
Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

Question of the Week

Welcome to TC’s Question of the Week minicast. We post a new question every Wednesday for #writerwednesday. Each minicast is 30 seconds or less.

If you like these questions, you might also like the Friday FUM.

Be sure to check out our longer A Podcast in Each Hand writing-inspiration podcast on Mondays. If you like the minicasts and podcasts, please let us know! Like, share, comment and all that good stuff. Thanks :)

 

Answer in the comments or link back here if you post your answer on your own blog. (If you’d like to record your response and are looking for somewhere to host your audio file, try SoundCloud.)

Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

A Podcast in Each Hand

Toasted Cheese presents A Podcast In Each Hand: original exercises and writing prompts from our archive to inspire you for the week ahead. Each podcast is briefer than the time it would take to sizzle up a toasted cheese sandwich. If you use any of our exercises or prompts, we’d love to hear about it!

 

Producer: Stephanie Lenz
Sounds: PacmanGamer and Corsica_S; Music: gadzooks. All shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license and available at Freesound.org

My Writing Space: Ruth Raymer

“My Writing Space” is a series about writers and the places in which they write. To contribute, send a photo of your writing space along with a paragraph or two describing it and its influence on your writing to beaver[at]toasted-cheese.com with the subject line “My Writing Space.”

Raymer

This is my very first—ever in my life—room of my own!

Christened ‘The Ladyshed’, it is a 10′x10′ softwood summer house built in my back garden. This is the culmination of months of planning and plotting and about forty years of daydreaming.

Let me explain. I am approaching the age of fifty at a rate of knots and last October I achieved one of my ambitions and enrolled at the University of Essex on a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. I quit school at 17 and was married just over a year later. The eldest of six children, I never had a room of my own growing up, having shared with one or more of my siblings all my childhood. When I left home, I married then went on to have seven children of my own. Most of them have now flown the nest, but it was always my dream to have a space to write in, to be alone with my muse and no interruptions. In April this year I was finally in a position to create my own space.

I now spend at least three hours a day in the Ladyshed, writing, reading, knitting and enjoying my personal space. It has made a great difference to my writing. At 5am the birds are singing and the rest of the world is quiet. Sitting in the Ladyshed I can usually get 1000 words down in the time before the rest of the household awakes which is where I really want to be!