First Date

Writing Prompt: You’re writing a scene set in the past (say, between 1890 and 1912). Two people go out on a first date. They could take a walk in the park, see a play or visit the ice cream parlor. But what if she suggests something a little more offbeat? Or what if he’s just received two pairs of stilts from his eccentric great-uncle? Or a newfangled zipline has just opened up down the block? What happens next?

 

First Date

The Force Is Everywhere Today

luke skywalker action figure

So this seems like a good day to mention that there’s a mini-Star Wars theme in my first novel, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney. (One of the characters, Jack, has this action figure on his bookshelf. It means something…)

Check out my Pinterest board for other images related to Sparrow!

The Force Is Everywhere Today

Finish One Book. Start the Next.

Death_to_Stock_Photography_Venice_Sun10

The advice I always give the aspiring writer is persist — and don’t get stuck on one manuscript. I think that’s a mistake that a lot of writers make. They write one manuscript, one book, and then they spend an awful lot of time trying to improve it, to get it just right, whereas in fact what I think they should be doing is going immediately on to the next book and starting the second manuscript. So that’s my advice to aspiring writers: Don’t get stuck on your first book or indeed your second. Go on and write manuscript after manuscript after manuscript. Writing is like playing the piano or long-distance running; you have to practice it.

— Alexander McCall Smith

Finish One Book. Start the Next.

Finding Stories Everywhere — Part 5

Chicago artist Theaster Gates Jr. bought a derelict bank in Chicago for $1 and turned it into an arts center within three years.Here’s more:

Under the new moniker Stony Island Arts Bank, the building is now home to art installations, artists, scholars, and archives on art history, architecture, and black culture. It also houses the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Gates to invest culture in underdeveloped neighborhoods.

A true (and inspiring) story that could generate all kinds of  ideas for fictional stories and/or travel itineraries…

 

 

Finding Stories Everywhere — Part 5

Quote of the Week — 12.14.15

DTS_Tailor3

Errands are so effective at killing great projects that a lot of people use them for that purpose. Someone who has decided to write a novel, for example, will suddenly find that the house needs cleaning. People who fail to write novels don’t do it by sitting in front of a blank page for days without writing anything. They do it by feeding the cat, going out to buy something they need for their apartment, meeting a friend for coffee, checking email. “I don’t have time to work,” they say. And they don’t; they’ve made sure of that.

Paul Graham

Quote of the Week — 12.14.15