Free Writing

Free Writing

One of my favorite writing exercises is free writing. It’s a great way to break through writer’s block. At first, it is hard to grasp but once it takes hold, wonderful things will spill out from the tips of your fingers. Give it a try. It will surprise you.

How to free write

Sit somewhere, anywhere and let your mind wander. Release each cell of your body so it can roam, touch, feel and experience with your mind following close behind. Each thought, sound, and smell becomes a new discovery. It’s similar to meditation but instead of looking for inner peace, you are exploring your environment.

Below is a free write I did while sitting at the kitchen table one night. I transformed it into the beginning of a short story and a poem.

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Lizette’s Free Write at the Kitchen Table

Sitting on a chair at the kitchen table, I watch and listen. Stillness. No, that is not true. There is movement. The clock pendulum swings back and forth. Tick, tick, tick with each arc.

The air doesn’t stir. Stuffy and stagnate. A whiff of toast lingers and reaches my nostrils. It invokes memories of my toasted tomato sandwich I had for dinner.

Humming from the refrigerator is low and constant. A cacophony of night sounds drifts in from an open window. Chirping, trilling, and clicks. Tires rolling over the road pavement from a passing  car.

The lighting is low, only the light over the sink is on. I need to vacuum the floor. I need to wipe the counters.

I focus on the clock, it draws me. The rhythmic movement is soothing and hypnotizing. I feel somewhat anxious and at peace at the same time. My mind is combing through the list of things I need to do tomorrow but the ticking of the clock draws me back.

The Intruder

By Lizette Strait

Sitting at the kitchen table, I watched and listened. Stillness. The light over the sink cast shadows throughout the dimly lit room. De Ja Vu swept over me as the day’s events flooded my mind.

I focused on the mantle clock. Tick, tick, tick.  The rhythmic movement was soothing and hypnotizing. I felt anxious and at peace at the same time. How odd.

The rustle of clothing drew me away from my thoughts. I looked down at the man lying on the floor and watched him stir. It surprised me he stayed unconscious this long. I didn’t hit him that hard, did I?

 

The Kitchen

By Lizette Strait

 

Sitting at the kitchen table,

I watch and listen

Stillness

 

No, that is not true

There is movement

Tick, tick, tick

 

Time slips by

You are not here

Where did you go?

 

The air doesn’t stir

A whiff of toast lingers

Memories

 

Your toasted tomato sandwiches

The taste of summer

Tick, tick, tick

 

The refrigerator hums

low and constant

Why did you leave?

 

Night drifts through an open window

A cacophony of sounds

Chirps, trills, clicks

Past the house, tires fly over pavement

Waiting for you to come back

Tick, tick, tick

 

The clock draws me

Rhythmic, soothing, hypnotizing

Anxious yet at peace at the same time

waiting for you

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What to Write….Plot Ideas & Characters…

I love fiction. Paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy stories are my favorite. Stepping into another world, to experience a tale through the eyes of the protagonist will take me away even if it’s for a few hours.

Where do writers come up with their ideas? For me as a writer, it’s easy for an idea to cross my mind, but to get it down on paper is another thing. However, that’s only half the battle. What’s just as difficult is to come up with plot twists, characters, and congealing it into a story someone wants to read.

One way I find ideas is to use generators. Scifiideas.com is a great site for writers and has a brilliant generator,

http://www.scifiideas.com/story-idea-generator/

The ideas will be a sentence or two but it’s enough to nudge you in the right direction. Some of the ideas are strange and bizarre but to find something new, you need to reach out to the obscure.

Another way I get ideas is from everyday life. People watching is one of my favorite past times. It’s amazing the drama playing out right in front of you. All you have to do is be observant and listen. The stories of ordinary lives with a little twist and dark shading can be the next best seller.

Characters too. Everyone has a friend or relative that needs their story told. Even the person on the street has something lurking in the dark corners of their mind. I was sitting in Starbucks waiting for a friend and a little old man walked in. He was short, probably in his eighties using a cane. After getting a cup of coffee, he sat across from me and pulled out a tablet. His smiles and laughter were priceless as he read whatever was on the screen. I would have loved to go over and talked to him but I thought it would have been intrusive. There was a special gleam in his eyes that lit up his face. This man had a story.saipan-703463_1280 (2)

I can imagine him a sailor in WWII. Fighting on a PT boat in the South Pacific was tough and one night on patrol, he and a few others were marooned on an island. At one point the men thought all was lost. What they did to survive is to be revealed by the last survivor, the little old man.

So the next time you read a story, take a moment and think what the author had to do to get the book in your hands. You will be amazed how authors come up with their ideas.

Pink Sneakers in Space

Pink Sneakers in Space

So the book is written. What now?

I have written a children’s book, ‘Pink Sneakers in Space’ and now it’s time to get someone to read it. It’s a sci-fi fantasy where a little girl travels into space to save an alien princess’s planet. A friend designed the cover and drew illustrations. The book looks great if I don’t say so myself. But what do I do next?Business card

There are so many great books out there waiting to get read but are never discovered. And there are horribly written books that become best sellers and even made into movies. Why is that? I’ll tell you why marketing. It all boils down to your fan base and reaching readers.

My book has been out for about 2 weeks and every day it sinks further down the Amazon list. It’s rather discouraging but I’ll not be defeated. I’ve watched a few webinars on how to market your book and got some good ideas. Instagram and LinkedIn are two social media tools that can be used for promoting books.

Another marketing strategy of mine is book signings at independently owned bookstores and hosting a ‘Meet the author’ at local libraries. It’s going to take a lot of work. Probably more than writing Pink Sneakers, but the reward of a child reading my book will make it all worth it.

Pink Sneakers in Space

Pink Sneakers in Space

Bewitched by JK Candlen – Weekend Writing Warriors #16 May 3, 2015

Here are the next 8 sentences of my story, Bewitched. I hope you enjoy it. And don’t forget to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors. A good read is only a click away.

 staring-eyes

“Did you bring it?” the raspy voice said from behind.

Carol turned to face the man and studied the slitty eyes peering from behind the ski mask. So the bastard came. His expression was detached, it wasn’t what she wanted to see. He won’t be fooled, not this time. But she needed what he had and would tell him anything to get it.

She glanced down at her sneakers again. God help her, the smudge was still there.

X-tra Crispy Please

french-fries

When I get French fries, I always want them x-tra crispy. There is nothing worse than a wimpy tater. In fact I like everything crispy; cookies, toast, or deep fried Oreos. Not that I have them often, but there is something ethereal about biting in and hearing crunch.

The phrase is also embedded in our urban culture. When something is so good, so hot and amazing, it can only be described in two words: x-tra crispy. [1] There are many things I can think of that would qualify using the term and on top of the list is my book, Bewitched.

So what’s on top of your x-tra crispy list? French fries, chicken, or me?

 

[1] [Top Def.]. (n.d.). In Urban Dictionary Online, Retrieved April 28, 2015, from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Extra+Crispy

Bewitched by JK Candlen – Weekend Writing Warriors #15 April 26, 2015

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Bewitched by JK Candlen

Things have been hectic and I missed last Sunday, but I’m back. So as a treat, I’m giving you a double dose of snippets today. Last time Carol was confronted by her inner demons. They are a jovial group reminding Carol her life is not right. She tries to ignore them but they are always there in her peripheral.

And don’t forget to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors. They are worth the click.

     Carol started to pace, she was tired of waiting. Where was he? A curse slipped over her lips and she was getting madder by the minute. She had better things to do and it was he that needed her. No, that wasn’t right. Carol needed something from him.

    Ring, ring, ring. The bright noise startled Carol, but she chuckled to herself when she realized it was her cell phone.

    Why was she so jumpy? It was probably just Frank. She knew he would be calling her eventually wondering where she was. An icy smile crept onto her face thinking about the lie she would tell him this time. He was so gullible and would believe anything.

     She pulled the phone out of her pocket and looked at it. Iris? Why would she be calling her at this time of night? She ignored the call.

Patty in Peril

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     They didn’t like her answer. The four men towered over the woman, menacing scowls locked on their faces. Slowly, they tightened the circle, frightening her even more. Jimmy stood behind Patty, he closed the distance then shoved his shoulder into her back, knocking her forward in what felt like a brick wall. He laughed.

Patty looked up and wished she hadn’t, for the brick wall’s expression told her she was in big trouble. His white tee shirt was stained with grease and dirt, his stance was threatening. He flexed his shoulders and stared down at her. She needed to think fast. Patty backed up and tried to look around the threatening men for help but it was almost impossible to see past the wall of terror.

Patty in Peril