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Falling For You (Your story could be featured!)

September 14, 2020– It seems that in our part of the world (North America), that fall is here! The weather has changed drastically almost overnight, and there has been a decrease in temperature that is downright chilly. This time of year brings such a change in nature, and I fully embrace the season with all of my senses.

The writing prompt for today is Autumn.  When I think of Autumn I think of:

  • Leaves changing colour to orange, brown, rust, gold, and red
  • Apple cider/apple picking
  • Pumpkins/pumpkin patch
  • Blankets, sweaters, fuzzy socks, and scarves
  • Thanksgiving
  • Halloween
  • Fireplace
  • A good book
  • Warm drinks and artisan coffee
  • Rain
  • Soup

Here’s an easy writing exercise to get you in the mood for fall:

  1. Make a list of everything that reminds you of Autumn.
  2. Use the list you’ve made to write a 500-word short story, poem, or journal entry.
  3. Submit your story to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on our blog on Thursday, October 1st!

 

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Brain Dump

September 12, 2020-Today, we’re going to talk about a very therapeutic exercise that will help you clear your mind. It’s easy to do, and all you need is a pen and a piece of paper. The point of this writing tool is to let you get all of your thoughts down on paper so that you can effectively sort them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Write down what you’re having a problem with-whether it’s a plot issue or character development or your book not selling, whatever it is, write it down. I’ll use the example of slow book sales. 
  2. Write down whatever comes to mind while reading your problem-do not edit; this is really important because you don’t want to stifle your creativity.  Using the above example, here’s what I wrote down: Give free samples and ask for reviews while promoting our other books, send customers to our Amazon links and website links, make shopping easy and hassle-free for them, put books on sale for a limited time only (maybe a collection), talk about our books on social media or do a live reading, mail out brochures, send out a newsletter to our readers, run a promotion…and so on.
  3. Implement the best solution-after you have a full-page, re-read all of the ideas you have and go with the best solutions. I can’t tell you how many times this worked for me when I first started writing, and I continue to use this method even now. Here’s the solution based on the example given: Do all of the above.

This method of writing also helps when you’re unable to sleep. There are so many thoughts that keep us awake at night that sometimes it’s helpful to get them all down on paper so that we can clear our minds and deal with things with a fresh set of eyes in the morning.

Dump those thoughts and clear your mind! Happy writing, X LLB

 

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Taken From the Headlines

January 29, 2020– Could your next book idea be right in front of your nose? Absolutely! While I was writing this post a few weeks ago, I scanned the headlines online from around the world. Here are a few of them that inspired the inner writer in me:

  1.  Woman wakes up to find intruder in her bedroom.
  2. Man drives off cliff and escapes with no injuries in ‘Miracle’ Crash.
  3.  Baby born during record blizzard, last name Snow.
  4. Huge asteroid expected to skim past Earth today.
  5. Fly me to the moon for an out of this world date.

Inspiration is everywhere! Using news headlines is a great way to beat writer’s block and to get the creative writing juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of a nudge from international headlines to write your next best seller! I challenge you to find two headlines and write a 500-word short story for each. If you want to really challenge your writing muscles, merge the two headlines together and start writing. X LLB

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Photo Writing Prompt

January 5, 2020– It’s been a while since we’ve done a photo writing prompt. For some reason, the picture below really spoke to me when I was looking for something to write about. I hope that it speaks to you too. If you would like to share your 500 words or less story with us, please email pandapublishing8@gmail.com and put Photo Writing Prompt in the subject line. We’ll pick one person’s submission to share on our site!

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Photo Writing Prompt…

October 21, 2019– I really love this photo prompt; it’s haunting and beautiful and immediately gets my creative brain pumping with ideas and directions I could take. The mission of the photo writing prompt is to write a short story (500 words or less) or a poem about the photo below. If you would like to submit your work, I’d love to read it, send me an email pandapublishing8@gmail.com and remember that I never open attachments. I’ll post my own short story based on the photo in an upcoming blog post…maybe on Halloween:) so stay tuned for my take on the image.

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Fall Writing Challenge…

September 27, 2019- Fall is here! I absolutely love this season from the boots, to the wardrobe, to the colours, to the weather, I’m here for ALL of it.  Check out this awesome fall writing challenge below from our friends at shortandsincere.com. I’ll be working my way through this list too:) Enjoy!

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Photo Writing Prompt…

September 25, 2019-This stunning photo writing prompt is full of inspiration! Look how gorgeous the landscape is! Will your story be romantic fiction? Will it be a mystery or psych thriller? Will it be poetry? There is no limit to creativity with this piece. I challenge you to write a story in 500 words.

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Fortune Favours The Bold…

August 23, 2019– Quick, what is something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t done? Too often we have a list of things that we set out to accomplish, but the list never gets finished, or worse, we never start. Today, I have an exercise for you to complete! Check it out below:

  1.  Dream BIG! The bigger the better! Decide what you want to do and make sure that it’s huge. Examples could be, sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, to have an article that you wrote featured in a major magazine, or to travel internationally to a writing conference. Whatever it is, make sure you really want it!
  2. Set a timeline. I personally use the 30-day rule. I set a goal and give myself 30 days to accomplish it. It’s realistic and gives me enough time to get to work on what I’ve set out to do. Without a timeline, you don’t have anything to work toward and even if you don’t fully reach your goal, you’re going to be a heck of a lot closer than you were!
  3. Be bold and take steps toward your goal every day. Remind yourself of your goal constantly and do at least one thing each day to help yourself reach it! Let’s use the example above and your dream is to sign a publishing deal for your manuscript, what have you done today to help realize that dream? Have you made a list of publishers to query? Have you polished your query letter? Have you done your research on which publishers fit with your submission? You get the point!I challenge you to dream big and take the necessary steps to turn your dream into reality! Get started today, you’ll be glad you did.  X LLB

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We Have a Winner…

June 6, 2019– As mentioned a week or so ago, we had a photo writing-prompt challenge for the chance to have your story featured on our blog; congratulations to Tonya C. for her story! Check out what she’s written below:

Isobel hummed as she surveyed ground zero and scanned the field full of yellow bio-hazard barrels left to rot for countless years.  Twisted, human-made, poisonous flowers oozed their diseased contents into the ground; smoke billowed up in thick, dark clouds from the incinerator chimneys and sent shivers down her spine.  Isobel knew they were burning bodies.  The army claimed everything was contained in the quarantined zone.  Those who were outside of the zone felt safe but were unaware that the borders continued to slowly increase outward.

Hot and uncomfortable in the heavy white hazmat suit, she reached a gloved hand down and gently patted the black Labrador that stood beside her; he pressed against her a moment before he resumed a high alert stance.  She saw his eyes track movement in the distance. She whispered, “Steady Ranger,” and prevented the dog from darting off and drawing the soldiers’ attention.

Months earlier, inside the facility, Isobel worked on finding an antidote to the virus. Her husband and son had been dragged in by the military who were desperate to know why some people were immune to the deadly virus. They rounded up people from inside of the quarantined zone where doctors treated them like lab rats; they performed tests, took endless tubes of blood, and deprived them of food and sleep to force them to cooperate.  Those that refused to cooperate were taken outside and shot and their bodies were thrown into the incinerator. 

Isobel was cut off from the outside world; she had no idea that her husband and son were inside the facility and by the time she found out, it was too late. An alarm sounded when suddenly her husband burst into her office. In his panic to escape, he slammed her against the wall but stopped when he heard her cry out in pain and fear.  He turned to face her and whispered, “It’s the well.  I tried to save him!”  Soldiers burst through the door with their guns drawn.  She screamed as they opened fire on the man she loved.  Shots rang in her ears and in the madness, she realized her husband had told her that the virus originated in the town well and that her son was in the building.  She searched for him until she finally found him in a heap of discarded, decaying children.  His lifeless, milky eyes stared blankly up at her. She knew that she must have revenge. She bottled up her grief and rage that burned brightly in her chest. Today was the day it would be released.

Ranger gave a low whimper as the light flashed in the distance. It signalled a message from the others.  The well water had been deposited into the army base cistern with the codes Isobel had slipped them.  In less than a week all in the base would be dead.

The virus had leeched from the barrels into the town water supply over many years. Like the others who grew up drinking from the local well, Isobel was immune to the virus.  As darkness fell, she slipped out from the unneeded protection. Finally free, she and Ranger jogged into the bush to join the group.

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Photo Writing Prompt…

May 27, 2019– It’s been a while since we’ve done a photo writing prompt so what better day than today? It’s the middle of the week and we could use some excitement:) Using the photo below, come up with a 500-word short story. Submit to pandapublishing8@gmail.com for your chance to be featured on our blog.  Happy Writing! X LLB

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