Category Archives: Writing Exercises


“Daddy, Bobby at school today said we all eat eight spiders a year while we sleep. Is that true?”

“Hah, no dear. It’s a myth. Think about it a moment. We don’t sleep with our mouths open for one thing, or if we do we’re snoring, and the vibrations from the noise would scare a spider away. And the size? Think about it this way: would you walk up to a sleeping giant and crawl into its mouth?”

“Hmm, no, I guess not.”

The little girl fell silent, contemplating, perhaps, the dietary habits of giants and suicidal tendencies of spiders.

“No, dear,” her father assured her. “It’s not the spiders you have to worry about. It’s the eye parasites.”


Stories Every Day!

The writing group is in the midst of our annual Story Every Day event. We’re all doing our best to churn out 500+ word stories or scenes each day. I have two so far, for a total of about 1900 words, which is more than I’ve written in ages.

The two are connected, emerging from the things that have been on my mind a lot lately, as I discussed a couple posts back. The world is shaping up in my mind, but I’m playing it pretty fast and loose. I don’t know if these are stories and characters I’ll be using in the final…novel?…but it’s a fun way to world build.


This day in history, 1863:

President Abraham Lincoln and his crack special forces teamĀ  battle the Confedabot, a twenty-foot-tall doomsday machine. Lincoln himself delivers the killing blow to Florida Senator Augustus Maxwell, who had been controlling the Confedabot via psychic broadcasts. Ten miles away, the Gettysburg address is delivered by a projectogram hidden in Ward Hill Lamon’s hat.

Don’t blame me, blame your textbooks.

This Day In History

Occasionally on Facebook I post these little “historical” factoids as my status for fun. I like to think they’re more interesting than “OMG I hate Mondays” or whatever. Some are funny, some are simply dramatic. I’m obviously not the first to do this, but they’re fun to write and make nice little exercises to keep the brain working.

There’s more room there than on Twitter, so I can do things a little more involved without that shorter character limit. But even then, sometimes I don’t have enough space. Today’s was one of those where I wanted to embellish more, but didn’t have the space.

At any rate, I thought I’d start posting those here, and more of them, as regular content. With any luck, some will grow into fuller stories. Also, here they won’t eventually vanish into the Facebook ether at some point. You guys can let me know which ones you think are cool and which ones are dead ends.

So here’s the first.

This day in history, 2108: Begin the great Cephalopod Invasion. By midnight, Octopus Prime conquers Manhattan, his enormous tentacles cutting a swath of destruction across New York and New Jersey. His amphibious army seizes ports throughout the Eastern Seaboard. They retreat a week later, leaving behind cities completely depleted of human life. Typed missives inform the beleaguered nation that they attack only to remind us why the month is named October – and to replenish their supply of human slaves.

(I have some totally awesome ideas about the Cephalapod Marine force, so I’m looking forward to expanding this one.)


The Writer’s Ink crew had an excellent meeting the other night, and it was decided as a group goal that we’ll all be trying to write some 250 words a day during October. This is something we should be doing anyway, as a matter of policy, but I think various things have been conspiring to keep many of us from productivity this past year. We are hoping to get back at it!

I know I, for one, have not gotten nearly enough rejection letters this year.

It was perhaps inspired by this post, among other things.

We will be consulting these, should we need them.

Maybe I’ll try writing a novel a thousand words at a time.

Story a Day Day 12

Or whatever day we’re on.

Not really sure where this one was going, but I kind of like the beginning. I was up late watching Whale Wars the other day. People that feel so strongly about issues that (ultimately) don’t affect them interest me, regardless of the cause. I have no idea what it’s like to be that passionate about anything, unless we’re talking about casting Summer Glau in a Scarlet Ranger television series.

At any rate, here’s what I’ve got.

Continue reading Story a Day Day 12

Story-a-day Day 0

I almost forgot, but the writing group is doing our annual Story Every Day contest this month. For the next couple of weeks we’ll be churning out a short story every single day. It is crazy!

Thanks to some forgetfulness and a minor communications snafu, we’re actually starting today instead of yesterday like we’d originally intended. But no biggie. So I’ll be trying to post excerpts of my attempts each day.

This is a little of what I wrote last night at the write-in to kick things off. I thought this might serve as a good companion piece to a story I’ll have appearing in A Thousand Faces later this year.

Continue reading Story-a-day Day 0