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Writing Prompt…

It’s ALL about Texas today! Let’s check out some really cool facts before we get to today’s writing prompt. Texas’ name comes from a Caddo Indian word, “teycha,” which translates to friends or allies. This name was given by the native people who lived here before the Spanish conquest. The land of this native American tribe was transcribed by an early Spanish explorer as “tejas,” and eventually made its way to the name we know today. Still today, Texas’ motto is “Friendship,” truly embodying the Southern hospitality the state is known for.

Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885 and began selling all across the country in 1904. Even today, the top-secret recipe is split in half and stored at 2 different Dallas banks.

Johnson Space Center in Houston is the site of Mission Control for all NASA flights into space. For more than 50 years, the country’s leading training, research, and flight control programs have been conducted here

Texas is a leading domestic producer of several products, like oil, natural gas, cotton, and wind power. This state alone accounts for 40% of the nation’s oil production and 25% of the natural gas production. Some of Texas’ other top exports include sheep, horses, citrus, pecans, and corn. Of course, to keep up with all that production, you need lots of land. With yet another #1 title, Texas has the most farms in the US–nearly 250,000!

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport covers 27 square miles of land (that’s larger than Manhattan), with 5 terminals and 191 gates. Even better, it’s the largest carbon-neutral airport in the world (and the first in North America)! (source: roamingtheusa.com)

Texas is known as the cowboy capital of the world. Many Texan ranches brand commercial cattle so that they can be identified. Since we’re in Texas, I thought it would be fitting to use this photo prompt for the creative writing exercise of the day! I’d like you to use the photo below to write a 2,000-word story in the third person narrative (he/she they/them), and I’d like you to put a Western spin on it; I’m talking cow folks in the old west, horseback, covered wagons and cattle drives, survival of the fittest. Use your imagination! For the opportunity to have your story featured on our blog, send us your work to pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Your story should be submitted before January 25, 2023, at 5 pm EST. Can’t wait to read what you’ve written! Check out some of our online writing courses here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Writing Prompt Story Submission

You may remember that last week we put out a photo writing prompt that asked writers to send in their stories in the mystery genre. I’m thrilled to say that we received a ton of submissions and have picked a winner! Thank you to S.P. Taylor for your submission of The Bait. Authors, If you’d like to brush up on your writing skills, check out some of our courses and classes here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House. I hope you enjoy S.P. Taylor’s story as much as I did! Stay tuned for more prompts and opportunities to submit your stories.

The Bait by S.P. Taylor

In any other circumstance, I would fancy my surroundings as romantic. In hindsight, I realize, hiding behind an ancient crumbled estate at twilight whilst the fog steals across the remainder of the pale blue sky, this may not be the best spot for a rendezvous. Especially given that a murderer was likely on my tail, not a lover. 

Birdie Quinn, how in the devil have you ended up here? I asked myself. My heart beat heavily against my chest. Small gulps of breath escaped my lips. 

Bait, I reminded myself. If my suspensions were accurate, he’s following me. My plan feeling risky now. 

A soft bird cried to my left. An Eastern whip-poor-will. I was comforted in knowing Thomas was somewhere here. Frightened that I may have put both of us in danger.

 I heard footsteps approaching. In my seated position, I leaned deeper into the cold rock, aware that I was literally a sitting duck. An owl hoot, then silence. Something was gravely wrong. 

“Amusing that you, an invalid, thought you could catch me. Did you figure me for a fool?” I heard his voice seconds before his face appeared inches from mine. 

“No, you’ve averted the best,” I answered boldly, my body riveting. 

“For days, I’ve watched you. Who could have imagined such eyes? How spectacular. I promise to leave them alone. As for the rest of you…” he didn’t finish. 

Trembling, I thought of Tom. Myself. What have I done? 

“I’ll give you to the count of ten to run and hide.” His laugh was diabolical. I could not move, and he knew this. 

He pounced, his fingers clutching my throat. If eyes were the window to one’s soul, then I was sure my last breath would be at the hands of the devil.

“Do you hear that?” He whispered. “A crow sings. Bad luck, my dear”.

My heart leapt. Could it be? My throat was desperate for words.

“What’s that?” He mocked, loosening his grip. 

“No, a raven. A bad omen for you, to be sure. For me, the opposite,” I managed. 

A violent thrust, and I was free. Tom’s familiar shape in front of me, a raw gash to his forehead. The blood, red and hardened. 

“Turn yourself in,” I ordered. Overcome with relief. 

A gun materialized instantly, the gleam of its barrel shining against the darkening sky. 

“Do I look frightened?” He taunted. 

“No, but you should be.” I countered. 

Within an instant, the authorities had us surrounded, their expert hands all trained to fire at the murderer.

Detective Civille was not difficult to spot as the sea of officers parted, and he emerged. 

“Miss Quinn, how many times must I tell you to keep your curiosity at bay.” 

“What the devil took you so long?” 

Our eyes locked. Mine with gratitude. His? Perhaps relief? I didn’t think about it long before Tom lifted me into his arms and did as he had done so often in the past, giving me legs to safety. 

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Writing Prompt

We’re currently travelling to Arizona, and we’ve passed a lot of fun billboards on our route, particularly one that said Meramec Caves explore Jesse James’ hideout! Let me give you a bit of background about the caves and their connection to the American outlaw.

Meramec Caverns is the name for a 4.6 mile cavern system in the Ozarks and is the most visited cave in Missouri, with around 150,00 visitors a year! The caverns were formed from the erosion of limestone over millions of years. Mike and I counted around 50 billboards pertaining to the Caverns, and I can certainly appreciate their commitment to marketing:) Speaking of marketing, in 1935, Lester B. Dill introduced the caves to the public as a tourist attraction and promoted the attraction by inventing the very first bumper sticker! How cool is that?

Meramec Caverns was also an important station on the Underground Railroad that housed thousands of slaves on their way to freedom.

According to local legend, James and his partner in crime, Frank, used the caves as a hideout in the 1870s! The caverns have also provided a setting for Hollywood in movies such as Tom Sawyer and Deep Impact.

A fun fact about Jesse James is that he handed out ‘press releases’ to witnesses at the scenes of his crimes; one read: “The most daring robbery on record. The southbound train on the Iron Mountain Railroad was stopped here this evening by five heavily armed men and robbed of ____ dollars… The robbers were all large men, none of them under six feet tall. They were masked and started in a southerly direction after they had robbed the train, all mounted on fine-blooded horses. There is a hell of an excitement in this part of the country!” *source historyhit.com

Also, after his death, his body was exhumed and proven to be him due to the missing finger bone that he had accidentally shot off while cleaning his pistol.

For today’s writing prompt, I’d like you to write a 1,000-word story using the photo prompt below, written in the third person narrative using crime as the genre. Feel free to submit your stories to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for your chance to have your story featured on our blog!

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Update to Blog Subscription!

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January 2, 2022– Dear friends, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you rang in the new year in whichever way you enjoyed the most! My wish for all of you is that you have a prosperous, healthy, and happy 2023. This year I’m switching things up-here’s what you need to know:

  1. If you’d like to continue to receive exclusive subscriber content about author marketing tips, neuromarketing strategies, and more, please know that the price has been increased to $1 per post, which works out to $20 per month. There is a ton of new information that I’ve added to my arsenal to help authors of all types, from beginner to intermediate.
  2. Exclusive subscriber content will not be posted on this blog. Your content will be delivered via email directly to your inbox. This blog will be dedicated to writing prompts, upcoming events, author interviews, book spotlights, and updates.
  3. To purchase the subscription to exclusive content, click here: Exclusive Subscriber Content – Pandamonium Publishing House

Thank you for being a valued subscriber! Check back often to see what’s happening at Pandamonium Publishing House and join in the writing prompts to keep your creativity flowing.

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12 Days of Tips (Day 12)

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12 Days of Tips (Day 11)

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12 Days of Tips (Day 10)

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12 Days of Tips (Day 9)

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12 Days of Tips (Day 8)

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12 Days of Tips (Day 7)

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