Welcome Guest Heather Smith - Setting the Stage

Please join me in welcoming freelance writer Heather Smith to writercize today! She has a great way to create a scene by setting the stage below. The writercize sample is hers - I will post my own in a comment below. I welcome you to do the same!

Read on for the writercize, sample and Heather's bio!
Setting the Stage
Coming up with ideas on what to write about is never easy. Sometimes it seems like I am pulling teeth just to get down a few hundred words every day. Other days I feel like my fingers will just not type fast enough! We all have good days and bad days, days where we feel like writing is a chore and days where we feel like there is nothing in the world we would rather be doing.
On the days that I get stuck for ideas, however, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. One of my tricks I will share with you now, in the hopes that it, too, will help you get started in your writing adventure.
writercize : Instead of coming up with a plot idea or even characters, first start with the setting. You can look at a painting on the wall, the background on your computer desktop, or an image on Pinterest. Once you have the setting in mind, picture what would go on there. Who would live there? What job would they have? What kind of relationships? What era is it in – modern, historic, fantasy, or future? Once you get to thinking about the setting, other things start falling into place. If you do not have access to an image or do not want to look one up, then try one of these settings below:
·       A dark city street filled with fog
·       A green pine forest
·       A towering glass skyscraper
·       Twisted trees barely visible in the dark
·       The cogs of a great machine, slowly turning
·       A cubicle-filled office
·       A grassy meadow with a red barn in the distance
·       A lighthouse in the middle of stormy seas
·       A grey cement jail cell
writercizer sample response:
The cell was the same as it always was. Pale grey-green paint peeled from the ancient walls. The bars were rusted, coated in sharp, flaky powder. The remnants of names and numbers were barely visible all across the grey cement, like graffiti washed away by the sands of time.
Jeremiah shivered, wishing he had never taken the job. Sure, it sounded like an easy opportunity to make a few bucks, but as he eyed the cracked and stained wooden cot in the corner with trepidation he wondered what he had gotten himself into.
“A word of advice,” the old man croaked, his voice barely audible as he forced the words past the cancerous lump in his throat, “Stay away from cell number four. That’s his cell.”
Jeremiah nodded mutely, stifling a cough as the man’s cigarette smoke curled around his trembling, yellowed fingers. Jeremiah threw a glance towards cell four, lost in the shadows. The narrow, barred windows let in precious little light, especially as the sun set.
As the old man shuffled down the long, empty corridor, the crash of waves masking his footfalls, Jeremiah couldn’t help but wonder if Alcatraz was truly as haunted as the stories said.
Pulling out his lantern he went to work, the broom scraping against the dust left behind by inmates long dead but never forgotten.
Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to www.nanny.net/ service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.


Guest at Nutschell's Today @nutschell #writing #onwriting

Howdy Writercizers!

Today I don't have a normal writercize for you, as I'm hanging out over at Nutschell's blog, The Writing Nut. Contrary to my norm guest post practice, I don't offer a writercize up over there either, because Nutschell did it for me!

Nutschell wants to know where writers write, what their workspace looks like, and how they get inspired. She features a different writer every week in her Wednesday Writer's Workspace series, and this week it's me!

I'll leave my intro about myself and Nutschell to you, so go ahead and click on over. While you are there, check out Nutschell's veritable encyclopedia of all things writer-related. She is one of the best resources on the net for helping writers navigate the tricky waters of querying, building a platform, editing material, and more. And if you are lucky enough to live in the Los Angeles area, you can see her dynamic teaching style in person at Children's Book Writers of Los Angeles meetings.

So, come on over. Find out a bit more about who I am and why I write, and I'll see you there!

If you'd like to share info about your writer's workspace, let Nutschell know while you're there. She has openings available.

If you still want to do a small traditional writercize here, here you go.

writercize: Share five attributes of your ideal desk space. You can focus on the desk itself, items, organizational qualities, room placement, even geographic location. Whatever you like!


Enviro-Poem - writercize #191

Today I just want to play with language and create sounds that flow off the tongue. I want to use words like pop, and slithery, and laden - pretty words and startling words. I want to feel them glide through my mind and out of my mouth and transport me to a place that is not my desk chair in the dim light of the night room.

Join me in this literary romp. 

Combine the tools of onomatopoeia (words that evoke a sound) and alliteration (same beginning letter). Challenge yourself to invoke the inner Latin in your soul and bring fanciful words to light. One does not share a secret, one engages in a clandestine conversation. A gem does not simply sparkle, it shoots stars from within. Play with similes and metaphors. Ooze with adjectives and adverbs. Forget about grammar and the writing rules, and just enjoy the sounds of language.

writercize: Pick a place that you love. Conjure the image, the sights, sounds and smells in your mind's eye. Now paint a picture of that place in words. An environmental piece of grammar-optional poetry.

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response. Please leave your writercize result in the comments below!