Wildcard Wednesday

September’s Wildcard Wednesday

Surprise!  It’s that time again.

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The WCW rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

PROMPT:  What animal do you think would make the worst possible pet?  Write a FICTION piece about owning this pet.  

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as a jumping-off point and go from there.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here:

 

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Giveaways, Book Club, and more like “Wow Card Wednesday!”

Hey, Tomato Pie Peeps! This is going to be a fly-by. Things to do, people to see, breakfasts to cook, etc.

  1. Cristina at Filling My Prayer Closet has one part of an interview with little ol’ me, not to mention a giveaway of an ebook (Kindle, I believe) of Don’t You Forget About Me. BTW, this part of the interview reveals how the story came together, how endometriosis of all things played a part, and… outtakes. Books have outtakes. Oh yes they do. Cristina is a hilarious, warm and full of fresh ideas, so go check out this fresh, young lay Dominican.
  2. Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian has another part of that interview and is giving away a hard copy of DYFAM. This part of the interview tackles the value of a Best Good Friend, how to write a mystery if you don’t really read them, and the question everybody seems to want to ask but is afraid to: Is Cate really just Erin with a different name? If I have learned one thing from homeschooling, it is the value of a good librarian–her value is above rubies, above curriculum catalogs. Go visit Tiffany, a lay Dominican Middle Eastern dancer. Yes, you can be both.
  3. WOW! We are getting in some fabulous flashes for Wildcard Wednesday. In case you missed it, WCW is a monthly fiction improv, and this month’s is an audition for an upcoming short story anthology from Full Quiver Publishing. It’ll take 10 minutes to write, maybe 5 to post/link, and you could get discovered. Oh, and the linkup doesn’t even close until September 6 at 1am. Q: What’s to lose? A: NOTHING!

And now I’m leaving you with my tall glass of cold, bubbly coffee.

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Wildcard Wednesday for AUGUST: The “Get Discovered” Edition

 

 

 

Surprise!  It’s that time again.

This time, however, there’s a little twist! This time, WCW participants have a chance at having their stories appear in an upcoming anthology!

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So I’m helping Ellen Gable of Full Quiver Publishing glean stories for an as-yet-untitled anthology of short stories, all of which are to illustrate (not preach, illustrate) principles of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  If you link up your story here, there’s a chance FQP might pick up your story for the anthology.  It is my understanding that stories will be bought on a per-word basis, and all rights revert to the authors.  Even if your story doesn’t get selected, WCW is a great way to flex your writing muscles, to get your work noticed a bit, to help build your own mutual support society, and so and so.

It’s really not much of a gamble for you, if you ask me.  You in?

The WCW rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

PROMPT:  In St. John Paul II’s teachings on the Theology of the Body, he points out four “originals”:  Original Solitude, Original Unity, Original Nakedness, and then Original Sin.  Your prompt today is to take one of those four Originals and spend ten minutes with it, creating a piece of fiction.  

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as a jumping-off point and go from there.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here:

 

My #WCW Wildcard Wednesday

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The prompt:  An elderly man sits alone at a bar.  On the big screen over the bar, Argentina vs. Germany play in the final game of the World Cup.  Germany scores.  With a silent smile, the man throws his fists into the air.  Tears spring to his eyes.  

My response:

[A note:  My husband and, somewhat obviously, children are of German descent.  First Shift has been studying World War II, and I’ve found myself reassuring them that, just because they are German, doesn’t make them or anyone of German descent automatically evil just because some people who happened to be of German descent did some unspeakably evil things.  Where we come from is important, but not nearly as important as where we choose to go.  I think this response to the prompt grew from these conversations.  I dedicate this piece to my husband and children.]

—–

It was just homesickness, really.  What was he, a grown man, doing at a bar alone at his age, crying over football?  He’d been a child in the streets of Berlin, playing on a neighborhood team the first time he’d cried over football.  Stephan, his best friend, had joined with him.  They’d been babies, practically, only six, seven years old,their families still poor after the war, still frightened, but still hopeful .

Still hopeful that there could be something good about being German. 

And then the Wall had been built.  Stephan was on the other side of it, their team torn apart and thrown in two different directions.  Time passed, and the two directions became many.  Harder times came on his side of the cement.  Lines to buy toilet paper.  Hushed voices.  Frightened looks on his mother when his father went away once, twice, then a third time never returned. 

The Wall fell.  He found his father in a cemetery in Siberia.  He tried to find Stephan but could not even remember the boy’s family name, so much time had passed. 

Life changed.  He changed.  Work opened up.  Opportunities came that had been denied him in his youth, but he didn’t take age as an excuse to turn them down now.  A job in America opened up.  He was qualified.  Did he want it?  Yes.  Of course. 

He moved to America an old man and only grew older there.  When retirement, came he chose a tiny town in Pennsylvania, named after an equally tiny town in Bavaria.  He’d never been free to visit the Bavarian town when he’d been closer.  He saw in his American life a chance to reclaim another chance lost in his youth. 

Then, one Sunday night in July, he found himself at a bar, alone, watching a soccer game, drinking a watery American beer.  He didn’t care, he noticed.  Money was tight on a retiree’s income.  Had money become more important to him than beer? he wondered.  He chuckled at the thought.  What kind of German was he now?  Would Stephan or his other teammates ever recognize him now?

A goal?  A goal!  Before he knew it, he was throwing his hands into the air.  He did not shout like any of the others at the bar, though.  Shocked, he felt a tear run down his cheek, then another.  He wiped them away with a soggy bar napkin. 

Somewhere, in some other bar, with some other beer, perhaps Stephan had seen the win.  It had taken a bunch of young men to put them both on the same team again. He left a $20 for the tip and left the bar, smiling, still hopeful that there could be something good about being German.  

 

Wildcard Wednesday: The World Cup Edition

Yeah, I know, the World Cup is over for another handful of years.  Why drag it out another handful of days?  Read on for rules & prompt.

WildcardWedImprovButton

The rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

PROMPT:  An elderly man sits alone at a bar.  On the big screen over the bar, Argentina vs. Germany play in the final game of the World Cup.  Germany scores.  With a silent smile, the man throws his fists into the air.  Tears spring to his eyes.      

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as a jumping-off point and go from there.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here:

WWRW: The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt

Join up with Jessica at Housewifespice and all the other coolest bookworms for What We’re Reading Wednesday.

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“I am not afraid that the book will be controversial.  I’m afraid it will not be controversial.”

Flannery O’Connor

Today I’m reviewing one of the best, most powerful, most well-crafted, most heart-challenging books I’ve read in a very long time.  I am not exaggerating.  It’s The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt.  

Writers are often told to perfect “the elevator pitch,” a three-sentence summary of one’s book.  If you’re pitching a Catholic novel, I can’t think of a more interest-grabbing elevator pitch than the intro to the Amazon summary for The Lion’s Heart.  

Is love ever wrong?
Paul Meyer has never let anyone get too close.
Until Max.

Spoilers:  Max is not a girl.

Here’s my review as I posted to Amazon:

Whatever side of controversy you call home, this book is a game-changer. Dena Hunt gives us a compassionate story courageously told, depicting the truth in all its dimensions. The characters are clearly drawn as are their passions, conflicts, losses and triumphs. Hunt handles the divergent and convergent points of view of these characters–and their readers–with a hand both light and deft. Readers will never be the same. With The Lion’s Heart, the landscape of faith-based fiction is changed forever.

It’s so hard for me to elaborate on that, because The Lion’s Heart is more art than antagonism, more compassion than controversy.  I dare anyone who thinks the Catholic teaching on this subject matter is based on “hate” to read this book–really read it–and then continue thinking that “hate” is anywhere in the picture.

Double.  Dog.  Dare.

The love–yes, I’m going to use the word love here–between Paul and Max is depicted in every dimension imaginable.  Yes, the more conservative? hard-hearted? among readers may very well be furious that Dena had the guts to depict a romantic relationship between two men that includes elements of selflessness, of sacrifice.  “It can’t be anything like love at all.  Nope. Uh-uh  Never,” they may say.  Well, forgive me for pointing it out, but let’s not discount each other that deeply, shall we?  Dena sure doesn’t.  She gives us the great depths of passion and giving (or what we very well-intenioned-ly may believe is giving) of which all humans are capable of achieving when drawn to share intimately with another human being.

Long story short, nobody is demonized in The Lion’s Heart.  Nobody.   Every character is depicted from many angles for us to study and recognize as simply, beautifully human.  And, unfortunately, in our polarized world, that’s going to piss off a lot of people.  It’s going to piss off both sides of a Marriage March.  It’s going to piss off every single person on my Facebook friends list, half of them for one reason, and half of them for the exact opposite reason.  And isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that literature is supposed to do?

Brava, Dena Hunt, for giving us this book.  Bravo, Full Quiver Publishing, for putting so much on the line to publish it–a task that the Big Catholic Houses were, forgive me, too cowardly to do.  Bravo/a to you, Pride or Respect, if you have the guts to read it.

Triple.  Dog.  Dare.

 

 

My #WCW “This was going to be fun.”

It’s Wildcard Wednesday here at Will Write for Tomato Pie.  Check this post for the prompt.

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—-

Other girls had come and gone.  Hers was the only face that stayed before his eyes every time he closed them.  His mother had kept telling her he’d find another girl.  He just had to open his eyes.  Why bother, when the one he wanted was right there.

Sort of.

Then congestive heart failure had crept up on her—crept up on her from behind while he stood before her, watching its slow progress, doing nothing.  Just waiting.  He could be patient.  He could no longer hear the tremble in her voice as she pleaded for him to take her to the hospital.  Time had washed that away, washed away his mother’s dreadful, whimpering voice.

But her face, Mary Cate’s face, remained.

It wasn’t just the face.  It was the hair.  Nothing like that hair, flames curling around his face, skin so pale he could watch her blood pulsing beneath it.  It fluttered behind her while others flew past on the Cardinal-Neumann High track.  He would watch her while she raced and lost, always lagging behind.  Why was she there in the first place, when she so obviously couldn’t keep up the pace?

She was slow.  Easy to catch.  A flame he could hold in his hands.  There would be no competition.  Not for a few years, anyway, but how was he to have known that then?  Just out of rehab, he’d been a seventeen year-old idiot sentenced to Catholic school.

“For the discipline,” his mother had said.  “That public school special ed program has done all it’s gonna if you don’t get yourself some discipline.”

He’d been suspended once for smoking in the bathroom—just for smoking.  One stipulation for being allowed to come back was to go to peer tutoring.  The senior honors English student who’d walked into his peer tutoring session had been reason enough to straighten up and fly right—or at least look that way.

She had slipped away from his hands before.  And now  she was practically being handed to him.  He’d tried to get her back once, twice before.  It had been a fight he’d lost both times.

But this time?  This time was going to be fun.

May Wildcard Wednesday: “For the fun of the thing”

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The rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

PROMPT:  Today is Jim Thorpe’s birthday! Thorpe once said, “I have always liked sport and only played or run races for the fun of the thing.”    Today write about a character in a competition not to win, not to get a prize, but just for the fun of it.  

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as a jumping-off point and go from there.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here:

 

Wildcard Wednesday: It’s Hammer Time

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The rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

PROMPT:  Write a story entitled “A Day in the Life of a Hammer.”

(As I get deeper into writing Never Let Me Down Again, I’m spending more time with song titles from 1987-1991.  Hence, “Hammer time” being on my mind.”  Hence the prompt.  You’re welcome.)

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as your first sentence.  Or don’t.  Just use it as a jumping-off point and go from there.  I don’t care.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here:

Wildcard Wednesday–March

WildcardWedImprovButton

The rules are thusly:  

  1. I post a writing prompt on a sort-of randomly selected Wildcard Wednesday.
  2. In 10 minutes or less, you write something based on that prompt.
  3. Post it to your blog.   After you’ve written your response to the prompt, add the link for your blog post to the list by clicking next to the little blue frog face below where it says “Add your link.”
  4. Please make sure that the URL you submit is to your response to the Wildcard Wednesday prompt, not to your main blog URL.
  5. Include a link back here in the post on your blog.
  6. If it’s PG-13 or better and you don’t have a blog of your own, feel free to enter it as a comment on this post, but please note that this is my house, so if I find your post offensive, it’ll be shorter by the head.  I love free speech, though, so take this as your opportunity to get thee to a bloggery.

I invite you to Tweet the link to your prompt with the hashtag #WCW so we participants can find each other on Twitter.  Another fun Twitter tag to try is #improv, which will connect you with anybody on Twitter doing any kind of improv. #amwriting is another goodie.

Last week I gave two chat presentations at the Catholic Writers Conference Online.  One of them was “A Writer Prepares:  Using the Principles of Method Acting to Build Believable Characters.”  If you were there, this exercise might sound familiar.

PROMPT: Write a piece based on a “to-” action verb–the kind of verb that moves a human body.  Examples:  To Run.  To Stand.  To Jump.  To Fall.  To Lean.  To Play.  To Convulse (that one’s from my husband).  To shiver (also from him).

A note on responding to the prompt:  Use the prompt as your first sentence.  Or don’t.  Just use it as a jumping-off point and go from there.  I don’t care.  Just write for ten minutes and share it.  Don’t worry about playing by writing rules, because I don’t have any here, and if you’re looking for rules to follow on improv like this, you’re probably looking for an excuse to not write, in which case, try another hobby.  Scrapbooking.  Quilting.  Swimming.  Anything but this, because writing brings new meaning to the term “hot mess.”

Now, here’s hoping the linkup stuff will show up here: