Wed. Writing Prompts XXV

1. Write a story in which other, successive stories are told in reflection or flashback, each tale layered on inside another, but all interrelated somehow. Create meaning within their interactions, integrate their symbols and choice words in a way that creates its own story within this “onion” of a tale.

2. Imagine you are presented with an opportunity to travel into the past to any period in history. The only catch– you cannot leave. You must live out the rest of your days in that time. Would you walk away from the offer? Would you accept? What period would you consider going back to? Write your story.

3. Think about the phrase “behind enemy lines.” While most people are familiar with its literal meaning, what else could this line be applied to? A trip to the mother-in-law’s? A breakdown in a rich neighborhood/barrio? The inadvertent tread into intellectual ground in which you might have no footing? Be creative, see what you can come up with, then write your story!

4.Write a story that analyzes the idea of humanity as a resource. What does this concept of people as a consumable (like wood, livestock, etc.) say about our culture as a whole and especially the business world of corporate? Jot down some ideas, consider them, and then pick one (or more) to pursue. Use that as the premise or message for your story.

5. Spend a little time researching a person from history who has either disappeared or died suddenly. It could be as far back as Pyrrhus or as recent as Dave Williams or Michael Jackson. Study the record of their final few moments, the events leading up to their demise– and then start a story there. Where do you go from here? There are a thousand ways– consider perhaps what might be going through your chosen person’s mind in the slow, stretching seconds before death, or entertain the possibility that the whole thing might have been elaborately staged, the person in question making a life for themselves elsewhere, away from the limelight. Be creative, try different things and see where your ideas take you.

6. Consider some of the things that might crop up (or have cropped up) in the course of dating someone that might be deal-breakers. What might someone say, be, or do that would completely destroy any attraction you might have had for them? Make a list (if there’s more than one) and then use this list as a guide. Write a story about a person who is/has all these things and the person who can’t stand them– but for some crushing, inescapable reason, must.

7. Create an army. It could be any kind of army– anything from a line of determined children whose goal is the cookie jar or the big hairy kid to an interstellar armada poised on the brink of an alien frontier. Make it something you’re passionate about– detail it, think about individual “soldiers” and the roles they play in the struggle that is to come. Now, write that struggle. Put words to the battle they must wage, whether it’s for cookies or the fate of the galaxy.

8. Consider the effect a given occurrence of societal backlash has (or could have) on the fragment of society seen as the “oppressor” whose “shackles” must be violently tossed aside in an act as much about freedom as retribution. (Take Feminism for example– instead of fighting for equality, which was and still is the primary goal of the movement, some feminists actively seem to seek a vengeful dominance over men in order to “show them how bad it was.” Do you think this is right? Write about it.

9. Consider the impact it would have had upon society had public education never become a reality. What would the world be like if school had remained the domain of the wealthy and those who were born to parents of lower classes were never given a chance to even learn to read or write? Create a story that takes place in just such a world. Capture the struggles, the ambiance. Make it real.

10. One staple of horror fiction is the idea of being the subject of an unplanned surgical procedure– while still conscious and without anesthesia. It plays across our fears, the expectation of pain, the violent violation of self, as well as the terror of inescapable death. Write a story that incorporates this horrific element and takes it to a level that leaves your reader feeling truly terrified.

Weirdyear launches 10/5/09

My latest project!

Set to offer you a new bite of quality offbeat flash fiction every day, 365 days a year, Weirdyear is the brain child of author E.S. Wynn. His vision: to create a place where writers of flash fiction that falls outside the mainstream could get the exposure they need to get noticed within the mainstream of society, all while providing a constant dose of short fiction for those who need just a little weirdness in their year.

Come "weird" with us!
Submission Guidelines

Weirdyear/Thunderune Publishing

I love these people



In the sky, we breathe as one.

The rushing shift of speed, the fiery exhale of the engine, the endless depths of a sky as huge, as voluminous as the ocean. Out here I am a falcon, a windhover; my wings are composite carbon and nanomorphic steel. My skin is sleek and hard, cool to the touch. I see, and the machine that is me responds. I move, I think, and the machine that is we responds. Twitches and shivers translate to ripples, tightenings in metal, all movement in eager, responsive chrome.

In the sky, we are one, sexless and strong, an indistinguishable fusion of man and machine.

In the sky, we breathe as one, and we taste the wind with our wings.

Brita Wynn's Upcoming Classes!

FALL 2009

1. Please pre-register early.
2. Pay in full when registering (including materials fees). We accept checks, cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
3. Payment can be made by mail, in person or by phone or FAX.
4. Provide your name, address, phone number, and title of class when registering.
5. A 48-hour cancellation notice is required to receive a refund.
6. A $5.00 non-refundable fee will be retained on all cancellations.
7. Confirmation will be by phone.
8. Class may be canceled if a minimum number of students is not met.

Send registration to:
Morningsun Herb Farm
Attn: Class Registration
6137 Pleasants Valley Road
Vacaville CA, 95688
Phone (707) 451-9406
FAX (707) 451-1190

Broommaking with Brita Wynn
Learn to make a magikal witches broom for Halloween from wild herbs and plants. A variety of woods will be provided for a handle and beads, leather, feathers, paint, etc will be provided as well. Class includes instruction on how to engrave your broom with a dremmel tool. If you have something special to attach, please bring it to class.
$25.00 + $10.00 materials fee. Saturday, October 10, 1:00 - 3:00pm.

Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice with Brita Wynn
Learn to make all sorts of wonderful things from the warm spices of winter. Learn to mull wine, make spicy potpourri, cinnamon stick tree decorations, wreaths, and candles. Learn to make clove and citrus balls for scenting your home and more. Lots of recipes for making your holiday season all that is nice.
$35.00 + $10.00 materials fee. Sunday, October 11, 11:00am - 2:00pm.

Holiday Herbal Gift Intensive with Brita Wynn
In these times, the holidays can be very taxing both energetically and financially. So why not come and have a lovely day working with wonderful relaxing herbs, making gifts for friends and family. This class will include instructions and practical experience on creating aromatherapy bee's wax candles, Herbal body care items that make wonderful easy to make gifts, herbal glycerine soap, Sachets and natural herbal potpouri, even Vinigars and cooking herb mixes, and much much more. Handouts include recipes, how to, and ideas for putting things together into fabulous gift baskets. Specialty gift baskets are very expensive and much loved gifts!, After this class, you will have the skills to make them for a fraction of what you'd pay if you purchased them. Everyone also goes home with some of everything we make so bring any small containers you have, a bag to carry your herbal treasures home in, and a towel and wash cloth because you also get to try EVERYTHING. Come join us for this fun and relaxing holiday class.
$40.00 + $15.00 materials fee. Saturday, November 7, 12:00 noon - 5:00pm.
Herbal Medicine Making Weekend - Focus On Winter Health with Brita Wynn
This set of courses will instruct you in easy to create herbal remedies for lots of Winter health issues such and colds, coughs, pain, skin issues, etc. You will learn basic medicine making skills like how to make medicinal teas like the ones you buy for a fraction of the cost and even better quality. You will also learn how to make tinctures, liniments, salves, etc. Each class builds on the next so that when you finish the series you will not only have lots of great recipes and instructions but the practical experience to make many of the natural remedies you love yourself for less than half the cost!

Herbal Formulation and Medicinal Herbal Tea Making - Saturday, November 21, 10:00am - 12:30pm
Extracting Herbs, Tinctures, Liniments, and Elixirs - Saturday, November 21, 2:00pm - 4:30 pm
Making your own Salves, Balms, Creams, and infused Oils - Sunday, November 22, 11:00am -1:30pm

Classes may be taken separately or together as you wish. Overnight camping is available if you would like to stay over. Let us know and we'll send information. Each class is $35.00 + $10.00 materials fee. All three paid in advance is only $90.00 + $20.00 materials fee; a savings of $25.00 for all three classes!

Gaia Conscious Herbalist Apprenticeship Program 2010
Morningsun co-owner Rose Loveall-Sale and herbalist Brita Era are excited to announce they will once again be teaching their 9 month Gaia Conscious Herbalist Apprenticeship Program, beginning in February 2010. This course will be taught one weekend a month, in the beautiful garden setting at Morningsun. This is an opportunity to learn and deepen your knowledge of the ancient arts and sciences of herbalism and horticulture. Students will learn about the different body systems and the herbs used for each, as well as learn magical and shamanic herbal practices. In this course students will be able to follow the natural rhythms of the garden, learning how to propagate, grow, harvest and nurture their gardens.

Brita is an experienced herbalist with 25 years training and practice, teaching herbalism in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rose Loveall has owned Morningsun for 14 years and has taught numerous courses in growing and using herbs.

For more information or a class flyer, email Rose at roseloveall@morningsunherb or call the farm at 707-451-9406, or contact Brita at
Check Out Our Store
Newsletter Signup
Current Archive
View Our Catalog Gift Certificates Available Our Retail Nursery

Wed. Writing Prompts XXIV

1. Imagine that, through some bizarre twist of fate or science, you were to cross paths with some future or past incarnation of yourself. What would the two of you talk about? Would you recognize each other? How would it effect your life, you decisions? Brainstorm a little, and then write your story.

2. You come home to a message on your phone that makes your heart stop for a moment. What is this message? Who left it? What emotions does it evoke within you? Happiness? Fear? Love? Anger? Something else?

3. Do something creative and fun with myth. Write an article meant for the Olympus newsletter, detail the secret life and/or obsessions of a god or goddess from any tradition. Have fun with it, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, use this as an opportunity to try something new and entertaining.

4. Create and detail a band of drifters. Each of them has a different past, a different history, and their own set of secrets tucked away where no one else can see them. Make each character unique and real– make them interesting, explain the bonds that hold them together. Now, throw them into the middle of a frantic situation where one or more of them come under the imminent threat of death. Write their story.

5. Tell the story of a man or woman who is the ultimate fake-artist. In every element of his or her life, something (if not everything) is faked. It’s a survival strategy, it’s how the character gets by– only now, something has gone horribly wrong. What is it? Is there a solution?

6. Write a story about someone who discovers a “crack” in the framework of reality. What is this crack? Is it physical, metaphorical, conceptual? Is it an abstract concept that slips obliquely in and out of view, or is it more concrete and tangible? How does the character in your story react to this fracture? What happens in response?

7. Think about a cultural stereotype that is invisible to most people (like the unspoken standard of what is a “man’s job” or the way in which “whiteness” stands as the default racial identity in mainstream movies and/or television. Now, blatantly expose this stereotype in a short story, either through dialog or by parodying it by overapplying it in your story. Show the world what it is afraid to see.

8. Family stories – we all have them, we all have relatives who like to talk and spin a yarn to rival any novelist. Reflect on one of these from your own experience, and then recast it as the tale of someone else living in some other place and time. Be creative, change elements as necessary, but don’t lose the overall flavor of the piece.

9. Write a story that revolves around a sexy look, a sensual, silent glance that imparts more excitement and meaning than words ever could. What happens now? What was the trigger for the event? Write your story.

10. Some tribal societies claim that the tales they tell as part of their oral mythologies come from patterns seen in fire or in the stars. Spend some time staring at the patterns in clouds, fire, the grain of wood or the wash of silt after a rainstorm. See what stories come to you– then write them.

Tarsis Arc-- Now In Print!

I am happy to announce that the first arc of The Cygnus War is now in print. You can pick it up here in paperback form for $7.95 or download it there for 99 cents. It's also free if you navigate through the links to the right, but this way you have the first 23 episodes all in one place, fully revised and easy to read. Get yours today!

E.S. Wynn on 365 Tomorrows!

A piece of my flash fiction was picked up by 365 Tomorrows today! Find it here:

Fans of Pink Carbide will love this one-- focusing in again on the main character of the Pink Carbide series, "Streetmodz" gives us a fun and interesting little glimpse into the dystopian underworld of Los Angeles in the twenty-second century. Enjoy!

Gender Revolution

The final sexual revolution came with the invention, social acceptance and subsequent widespread use of a system of perfect synthetic surrogates. Within a decade of the system’s integration into the everyday life and future of the middle class, a stigma rose within the elite that labeled natural birth as an unclean and backward system used only by those who were too poor to afford in-vitro. Sterilization parties became a part of popular culture, and as commerce responded in turn, producing “happy sterilization” cards and appropriately-themed party favors, the idea entrenched itself within society as a new tradition, a rite of passage that both boys and girls underwent at the onset of puberty. With reproduction increasingly more and more the business of machines and engineers, new social protest groups emerged, factions within society like the Daughters of Diana, a movement which encouraged complete hysterectomies as part of a means of combating the “fascist male regime” by removing the primary organs through which the leaders of the movement felt male dominance behavior was inadvertently encouraged and therefore perpetuated. Abhorring all surgeries and sterilization procedures that involved modifying the natural state of the human genitalia, the Daughters of Mary stood as both a rallying flag and a stereotypical example of those who stood against and protested (sometimes violently) the burgeoning practices of the mainstream sexual infrastructure. Other groups, such as the Gender Aesthetics, ultimately leaned toward a total erasure of sexual identity, encouraging a sort of asexual androgyny within society that involved a complete mastectomy for women and the surgical realignment inward of external genitalia for men.

As widespread implementation of bacteria-based pharmocological “Pharms” allowed for the synthesis of designer hormones to become increasingly more mainstream, advancements within the research cabals for these “Pharms” gave the revolution the fuel it needed to carry itself past the tumultuous early stages in which gender conflicts became increasingly more heated in regards to the steady erosion of sexual identity as a constant and defining factor of the individual. Delivered in capsule-form along with a cocktail of pre-programmed nanites, the designer hormone cultures that ultimately became a mark of haute couture and only later a mainstay of all but the lowest strata of society were keyed to provide gender transformations designed to take place while the consumer slept. This availability of complete, literally “overnight” and easily reversible changes in gender ultimately changed the way in which gender itself was viewed, reassigning it to the state of an impermanent persona, a “hat” which could be taken on or off at will.

Further advances in genetic engineering and mandates put forth by the state led to official legislation that required all children to be born gender neutral and insured that only upon reaching adulthood would such children legally be allowed to be gendered as they so pleased. This of course led to a “gender black market” where young, neutrally gendered teens could experiment with street-quality hormone/nanite tandem injections and experience being gendered in a sex-friendly environment. Campaigns were launched about the unsafe nature of such “street cocktails” and “sex-easies,” creating iconic figures of those who had died from “bad mixes” or superbug STDs and claiming that those who were illegally gendered before legal adulthood produced lower academic scores on average than those who remained gender neutral, regardless of the length of time spent gendered. Even as time passed and the restraints on minors were relaxed, gender remained primarily the plaything of the adult community, a commodity with all the social joys and stigmas of any legal recreational drug. Regularly engaging in gendered activities was eventually viewed as a sort of psychological illness or dependence similar to alcoholism, and as support groups for the overly-gendered found their place within society, many gender neutral individuals found less and less appeal in taking on any gender role for any length of time, except in the case of the occasional party or social event. Those who chose “living gendered” over an androgynous lifestyle were seen as traditionalists, backward individuals and “primitives” who had lost touch with reality. Eventually, the old sexual divisions of male and female were forgotten by the mainstream and only appeared in the occasional “Gender Party,” in which guests would adopt the physical traits, stereotypical dress and mannerisms of past genders in the spirit of fun, easily glossing over the memories of a past that had long since disappeared beneath a tide of romantic notions and the forgotten books written by historians who had been either unwilling or unable to change their own genders.

Wednesday Writing Prompts XXIII

1. Write a revolution. It doesn’t have to be a bloody, cut-off-their-heads kind of revolution (unless that’s your thing)– it could be any kind of revolution. It could be a peaceful, loving, John Lennon kind of revolution, it could be a revolution like the Industrial Revolution, or any other kind of revolutionary upheaval you can think of. Be creative, try new things, and try to inspire the spirit of change within your reader, force them to think and leave them pondering what they can do to make the world a better place.

2. Write a classroom romance. Start simple– two people meet in the classroom and eventually fall in love. Be creative– the people can be of any age, in any kind of school, and you might even consider using the setting of the classroom to frame the piece, making all the action, from the first “hello” to the first kiss and beyond bound within the classroom. Make it real, make it your own, and put the effort into it that it needs for your reader to truly feel the piece the way you do.

3. From the Ghibli museum to the De Young museum, there are a million different ways to bring different fragments of history and art into the public eye. Spend some time brainstorming up a unique and interesting museum of your own that has its own interesting allure to it. What’s on display? Describe the art/artifacts that passerby might stop and ponder. Now, write a story about this museum or a tale that occurs within it.

4. Jot down some notes about a dream you’ve had (or several) and then do the same with a dream you have (either for yourself, for a friend, the world, etc.) What aspects do they have in common (if any?) Even if they’re totally different, integrate them and see how different parts fit together to inspire you. Now, write your story.

5. Previous decades have shown instances of cross-cultural transference (like the appearance of “Black Bart” Simpson on T-shirts, or white rappers like Vanilla Ice) Try taking something you’re interested in or even that you choose to research and understand better, and then encroach upon it with another ethnicity altogether. (Ubangi Country/bluegrass? Mormon deathmetal? Bollywood’s take on Star Wars?) Be creative– the wilder the jump, the better. Next, turn it into a story.

6. Take a moment to consider the phenomenon of video dating. What do you think about it? Jot down some notes, brainstorm some ideas, and put yourself in the shoes of someone who either chooses video dating, makes a career out of making the videos, or anything else. Get inside the minds of the people involved with it and put it down on paper. Now, write your story.

7. Write a story about two people who fate keeps tossing together. Make it interesting, not just a story of two people who cross the same stretch of street on the way to work or meet every Tuesday in the grocery store– create the worlds in which each of them lives, the realities of which they are very much a part, and then add the bit of spice and fate that makes those two worlds come together suddenly and when least expected.

8. Write about a time when you were genuinely frightened, when you felt the icy talons of fear steal across your spine and seize your heart. What happened? Where were you? Fill your tale with imagery that brings the reader right into your shoes and forces them to feel the same fear that you did. Show them what it means to truly feel the fear that you experienced first hand.

9. Craft a story that holds some interesting and unique tribal religion at its core. Whatever the action, the plot or the theme, have it revolve and interact with this religion. Ask yourself– what kind of issues might crop up around the animistic beliefs of a people who believe in the spirits of the earth, the trees, the rocks, bright orange fungus and the stars. Be creative, make it fun and mystical, full of mystery and charm.

10. Write a story about the life of someone whose occupation is outside the “norm,” something that you would never normally think of, like a professional sound-effects maker, the person who crafts the firmware coding that makes your computer hard drives know how to function, or the person who does the janitorial work for a place like NORAD or CERN. Be creative, have fun and bring to your reader a world they might never normally see or even know exists.

Wednesday Writing Prompts XXII

1. Spend some time leafing through “women’s” magazines and see if you can find one that has no articles on weight loss. Now, consider your findings– what do they say about our society and how it views women? Put some thoughts on paper, then write a story that incorporates these thoughts.

2. Have fun playing around with revision drafts. Write several different versions of the same event (something from your life) and edit egregiously. Focus on nothing else– make revision and editing the primary tools through which you tell your story.

3. Write a bunch of interesting words on a piece of paper (i.e. Star, Field, Ancient, Azure, etc) and then cut them out in the form of little slips. Now, put the slips in a hat or a fishbowl (or other similar container) mix them up, and then draw three at random. Put the words together however you like, and then use that as your subject or main character. Write your story.

4. Design a car you’d like to see on the road and/or own yourself. What does it look like? What kind of features does it have? What makes it special and/or different? Be creative. Now, write a story that in some way incorporates this car, even if only as part of the background.

5. Try experimenting with atypical ways of showing character actions (like “he dug around in the pool” or “She swam through the readings”) try a number of them, play with them, and challenge yourself to create new ones. Now, pick at least one to build a story around.

6. Spend some time writing with a child. Ask them about their writing, help them construct a series of drafts, then have them do the same with you. Simplify, try to understand writing and storytelling through the eyes of a child again, and take the time to see where the process takes the two of you.

7. Have you ever been stereotyped? Did someone ever assume something about you based on your physical traits? (Like assuming that being black makes you athletic, being Jewish makes you thrifty, or being a man with long hair makes you a druggie?) Jot down some notes, then use these notes to start your story.

8. Go to work with someone and act as an observer. Watch how they move within that job environment. Take note of their style of interaction, how they solve and/or deal with the unique, daily problems of their profession. Now, write a story with what you’ve collected.

9. Write a sequel that has no precursor. Sit down with a basic idea of the course of events for a story (you can even use a previous writing prompt to help you come up with a quick sketch of probable events,) and then use it is a spring board for “the next installment.” What happens in this sequel? Does evil return? Does the hero retire? Does something else happen altogether? Be creative, and think about possible routes a sequel could take from the original springboard before deciding on any one in particular.

10. Write a story about a transgendered hero. While this task may be easy or difficult for you, take it seriously and try to remove any of the humor, fun poking, and/or loaded statements you might be tempted to make during the course of the story. Remember: your hero is human, (s)he has all the same dreams and aspirations as any other human being, and is only as different from you or me as someone of the opposite sex or a different race may be. Remember to be creative, think about possible courses your story could take before you write it, and remember to be even handed and fair in your writing.


“Hey,” She says, and I can see the smile in her eyes, the light in the depths of a gaze the color of cobalt glass. Her smile softens a little as she turns back to her work, concentration taking over, mind and soul mingling to guide hand and paintbrush across canvas. I smile reflexively, in love with her drive, her dedication. Fifteen minutes ago, she had stood where I stand now, tired from a day at work, but revitalized at the sight of her canvas, her paints, the cool touch of familiar home. A heap of discarded clothing crouches outside the door of the bedroom, the leavings of the day, hurriedly exchanged for the color-touched tanktop and shorts she wears when she paints.

“What are you working on?” I ask, and she looks up again, grins before she disappears back into the paint, the canvas.

“A family photograph for a client.” She says. “Come here, tell me what you think.”

Setting down my bag, I smile as I cross the floor between us and slide in behind her, hands meeting, arms sliding into place across her waist. “Looks great.” I say, and the words come naturally, a true reflection of the skill she puts into an arena of art I could never grasp or understand. She smiles, closes her eyes as I playfully nuzzle her neck, breathe in the sweet scent there. She sinks into me, whole body loose and soft in my arms. “Their kids are pretty cute.” I say, and she chuckles in response.

“Yeah.” She says, and the smile that slips across her lips is sharper, almost conspiratorial. Moving within my arms, she turns toward me, and the midnight edges of her wild, brutally short hair caress my cheek as she moves. Our eyes lock for a moment as her hands trace lines across my back, meet somewhere behind me, and then our lips touch, and I breathe in the sweet, cool air. To me, she tastes like rain, jasmine, and her scent reminds me of heavy clouds, of rainy breezes that tickle the skin between storms. When the kiss ends, she smiles again, and we breathe shivering, sensual exhales before we touch again, hold one another, connecting silently, gratefully. Moments later, we turn as one to look at her work again, and she says: “They are cute, aren’t they?”

Later, we’re singing opera in the shower, a little piece we’ve practiced and learned specifically for this moment, something from her childhood. We laugh as we forget parts, key sequences, picking up the lines that the other blurs through. Time passes as we move from song to song, old favorites, things and bits from movies and games and memory that linger on in our minds and hearts. Holding each other here, enshrined in the cool cascade of water, there is no fear, no inhibition– the outside world no longer exists for us, only a body and soul that blurs vaguely into two.

That night, as I stare at a half finished page, fingers tapping across well worn keys, I hear the soulful notes of an alto saxophone on the porch as it rises above the quiet, ambient strains tumbling from the radio. I pause, listening, lingering on the rise and fall of that more distant tune as my fingers find the knob and silence the radio, leave only the sound of the sax to hang softly in the night. I smile at the sound of her playing, the passion she has for her art, and as I stand and push aside the chair, she pushes into something gentler, something that reminds me of rain. The boards of the house creak beneath my feet as I cross to her, sit silently behind her and wrap my arms around her waist as she plays. The tempo rises, becomes stronger and more complex as she leans into me again, back against my chest, head coming to rest on my shoulder. I smile again, gently kiss her hair as she finishes.

“Hey,” She says, curling into me, smiling contentedly. “I’m not bothering you, am I?”

“Never.” I smile, and gently move an edge of hair out of her eyes. “Play on.”

This Is Blue Valkyrie!

Wednesday Writing Prompts XXI

1. History is full of great men and women, explorers and pioneers who did things and went places that others had only dreamed of. Think about one of these driven, amazing figures from history (My personal favorites are Amelia Earhart, Nikolai Tesla, and Magellan) or more than one if you feel up to it, and then try to capture a sense of what made them great in a story. (Maybe– the first woman to fly an aether-powered blimp, etc.) Be creative and see where the writing takes you!

2. Begin a story with the line “I’ll never forget that horrible night.” Think about it, think about where that line could go, and write whatever comes to you.

3. Make up an excuse. It could be for anything– why you were late, why your dog left a hefty hunk of stink on the neighbor’s carpet, etc. Feel free to make it detailed and as improbable as you like (or not) but remember– you’re arguing your case. Why isn’t whatever happened your fault? Now, write a story that includes this excuse.

4. A man hands a package to a woman at a funeral. What is in the package? Does he say anything to her? How does she react? Does she already know what’s in the package, or will she find out later when she opens it? Spend some time trying different scenarios until you come up with one that excites you and makes you want to write right away. Now, write the story of the package.

5. Start a stream of consciousness freewrite after you write the words “If he wasn’t so dense, he might have understood.” See where that line takes you, see where your mind goes with it. After a while, look back over everything that you’ve written and extract the story (or at least the foundation of it) from the freewrite.

6. Take a moment to consider your face, your features and your general physical characteristics. If someone were to spot you in a crowd, is there one or two things about you that would make you stand out? Now– imagine you’re being pursued by a force of people bent on capturing you. (It could be the police, a secret organization, fans, creditors, etc. feel free to have fun with it.) How would you disguise those features and evade capture? Write your story.

7. Think for a moment about a favorite poem, one that you remember and that stands out in your mind in some way or another. Now, write down the last line, then compose a poem of your own that uses that line as its first line. It could be an answer to the other poem, a continuation, a piece that captures a certain image from that line and its poem and incorporates it into its own ambiance, or anything else. Try different things, see what works, and write as much as you feel.

8. Have you ever thought “Well, at least I’m not a...” (Fill in the blank as appropriate)? Imagine for a moment that you suddenly were, that you suddenly became that thing. What would you do? How would life change? What would be different, and how would you fix it? Would you fix it? What would be the ultimate outcome? Spend some time thinking about it, then write your story.

9. Some spiritualists and UFO hunters claim that we may be approaching a point where contact with an intelligent alien species is right around the corner. Take a moment to consider the repercussions of a sudden and irrefutable announcement that someone else is out there. These creatures don’t have to be hostile– they may just be curious, or maybe they’re here to help us. How would you react? How would the government react? How would various religious, social and political groups react? (Goths, Republicans, born again Christians, dictators and rebels in third world countries, etc.) Create a story that focuses either on one person/group’s reaction, or that encompasses a certain number of them into its storyline. What is the ultimate outcome?

10. Write about some massive, far reaching, global event (doesn’t have to happen in our time/on our world/dimension, etc.) as told through the eyes of a survivor looking back on the event. Start with where he/she was when “it” happened, and focus on the emotions, the trauma, the relief, the happiness– whatever the character feels.

Blog Archive