Preparing for the A to Z adventure

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Since we’re coming up on April and the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I wanted to give everyone an idea of what to expect over the next month.

My regular visitors know by now that I usually post once a week on Fridays at 10am EST.  This works for me, my blog, and my process.  In April, things are a bit different.  For one thing, I’m posting a heck of a lot more often.  However, I will continue my two standard monthly posts on the second and third Friday.  So there will still be an Image Prompt on April 14 and I’ll still post my response to that prompt on April 21.  This pushes the challenge post to later in the day, usually 1pm EST.

The other things that’s going to be different this year, is that all the posts are going to be primarily fiction.  As I revealed on Monday, my theme for this year’s challenge is One Word Writing Prompts.  I’ve already started working on them, and so far I’ve been weaving them together as a single cohesive story, which I plan to continue.  So over the course of the month (and probably into May because I know me) I’ll be posting a new segment in a continuing story.

The other thing that will be a bit new is the definitions I’m including at the beginning of each post to go along with the One Word Writing Prompt.  I love words and word histories and etymology and language development and all the things that make studying language interesting.  And because of that, my very favorite dictionary is the Oxford English Dictionary.  It includes all the etymology and examples and so much more.  While I’m not including the entire entry (that would be way too long), I am including all the various shades of meaning.

I’m a few posts into my drafting for this, and so far it looks like this is going to be an urban fantasy of some kind.  The supernatural elements came in pretty fast, and it’s a genre I enjoy reading and writing, so I’m going to run with it and see where it takes me.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me in April and have as much fun reading the story as I’m going to have writing it.

A to Z Blogging Challenge: The Theme Reveal 2017

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I am once again taking on the amazing adventure of April blogging, the A to Z challenge.  I’ll be posting 26 blogs in 30 days themed around one concept and the letters of the alphabet.  You can learn more about the challenge here, follow them on twitter here, and check out the #atozchallenge hashtag on Twitter to keep up with what everyone’s posting in April.

Here is the 2017 Schedule:

Letter dates 2017

And here is this year’s pretty badge (which you’ll see magically appear in a corner of my blog ID photo in April).

A2Z-BADGE-150 [2017]

And now, without further ado, this is my theme for 2017:

One Word Writing Prompts

I will do 26 fiction posts each on a word beginning with a different letter of the alphabet.  I’ll start the post with the definition of the word (or words, since this is English after all) and then launch into the fiction piece that word inspired.

These will not be complete stories, merely scenes and ideas, but I am going to challenge myself to tie them together as much as possible either by continuing a theme or reusing a character or in some way connecting each piece to the next.  So in theory something from the A story will carry into the B story and something from the B story will carry into the C story and so on and so forth all the way to the Z story.

Follow along for the whole month to see if I can manage any kind of cohesive whole, or if it’s all just disjointed leaps and bounds to a new topic each post.

Never heard of the A to Z Challenge before?  What do you think?

Doing this crazy adventure with me?  What’s your theme for this year and where can I find you?

Image Prompt 026 Response: Escape by the Cliffs

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I selected the image of the Moher Cliffs for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

Escape by the Cliffs:

The fog was thick as Lea made her way slowly down the narrow path.  It was just a tiny strip of black dirt cutting through the grass at the edge of the cliff.  It was probably safe enough in daylight, but in the weak like just before dawn it was all she could do to put one foot in front of the other without slipping.  It had rained the night before, leaving the path and the grass equally slick and treacherous.

When the wind picked up, Lea stilled, holding her cloak tight around her slim frame.  If the wind caught it with enough force, it could pull her off her feet.  From the right angle, that could send her tumbling over the cliff into the water she could hear below.  The fog was so thick she couldn’t make out much more than the shapes of the cliffs.

As soon as the wind died down again, Lea started to pick her way down the path once more.  She needed to put as much distance between her and the castle before dawn.  If the noticed she was gone before she was out of sight, they’d send someone after her.  She was fairly sure they’d send someone anyway, but she hoped this way they would think she’d ran toward the next town by way of the road, and take longer to pick up her trail.

Lea almost didn’t notice when it started to rain again.  It was such a gentle rain that it blended with the mist.  Lea pulled the hood of her cloak further down to shield her face, bending her head forward so she could focus on her path while avoiding some of the wet.  She made each step carefully, avoiding the rivulets of water that began to trickle down the path.

The path turned, following the edge of the cliffs, and Lea glanced back toward the castle.  She couldn’t see it through the fog.  There was a chance she would remain undiscovered even when the sun came out and the mist began to fade.  The rain would mean the mists would last far longer than usual.

Lea turned away from the castle.  She hoped to never see it again.

Memories came unbidden as she continued her slow progress along the narrow path along the cliff’s edge.  She’d been excited the first day she arrived at the castle.  Its lord had head of her mother’s skill and brought her whole family to live at the castle.  It had been so large and new and interesting then.  He fascination had long since worn away to leave resentment in its place.  When she was young, before she’d shown signs of inheriting her mother’s gifts, she’d been allowed to roam freely and visit the nearby village whenever she wanted.

Last night, after everyone had gone to their beds, she’d had to climb out an arrow slit to leave.  Lea refused to be a prisoner any longer, even if it meant being an outlaw the rest of her life.

Image Prompt 026 – Cliffs of Moher & Omaha Zoo Butterfly Sculpture

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It’s the Second Friday of the Month, so today is an Image Prompt day.

I’ve included two images to work from.  Pick one (or both if you’re feeling ambitious) and write something inspired by the image.  You can use something in the image, the feeling it invokes, or whatever the image makes you think of.

If you write a piece and end up posting it somewhere online, please link back to it here on a comment so we can all enjoy it too.

I’ll be posting my own piece next week.

2017-03-10 Image Prompt-026-1 - Shamrocker Tour05-04-22 023 Cliffs of Moher

2017-03-10 Image Prompt-026-2 - Omaha Zoo 2011-10-22 338

Brain Candy Live! – Science, Laughter, and The Joy of Curiosity

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This week I had the opportunity to see an amazing show called Brain Candy Live! Hosted by Michael Stevens (of Vsauce fame) and Adam Savage (of Myth Busters fame).  To quote the show’s own about page, “They’re bringing along their crazy toys, incredible tools and mind-blowing demonstrations for a celebration of curiosity that’s an interactive, hands-on, minds-on theatrical experience like no other.”

I’ve been excited about this show since the preview video came out, and we bought our tickets the same night.  I’ve always loved learning and find the layman accessible version of science that Michael and Adam are both known for to be fascinating.  The idea of combining these two personalities with more of their usual curiosity-building demonstrations and explanations, sounded like the best kind of entertainment.

And they did not disappoint. Continue reading

Chilly Adventure in Montreal

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Earlier this month, I got to have a bit of an adventure when work sent me to Montreal for four days for a training.  Granted, it meant spending three and a half of those days in a training room, but that was actually pretty great in its own way, and I got to have some little adventures on the side too.

For this post, I’m going to focus on my extra-curricular adventures.

I had one afternoon to go exploring.  And of course, it was the coldest day while I was there, registering a high of only 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

And I decided to go out for a walk around Old Montreal anyway. Continue reading

Image Prompt 025 Response – The Temple’s Magic Tree

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I selected the moss-covered tree at Brookgreen Gardens image for my twenty-minute sprint this week.

The Temple’s Magic Tree:

Kyli crept along the wall slowly, her eyes sweeping the ground in front of her.  She didn’t want to step on a stick and make noise, or worse stumble and fall.  The moon was only a bare sliver in the sky, providing almost no illumination.  Thankfully Kyli could see well enough just by starlight to make her way down the wall toward the ancient trees.

If she made it that far, she’d be fine.  If the trees didn’t reject someone, the priests wouldn’t either.  She was technically doing the same ritual initiation that the temple apprentices did, she’ just didn’t exactly have permission. Continue reading