Mondays Finish the Story: A Mind Made of Memories

-Photo copyright Barbara W. Beacham

The old typewriter had a mind of its own.

There were times when the words would not come.  It was not a lack of inspiration.  No, Elle had inspiration in plenty; she could see her fantastic realms and valiant heroes so clearly that they were real to her.  Her job was convincing others that they were real, if only momentarily; and for that, she needed words.

Sometimes, they just would not come.

It was on those days that Elle abandoned her computer in favor of the old typewriter.  She would place her fingers on the keys the way her aunt taught her, and soon a story would be born, a story quite unlike her own.  For the typewriter had a mind of its own, made up of the memories of generations of writers, a mind that told stories grounded in truth rather than fiction.

And on those days, she helped it tell its stories.

~ ~ ~

This post is part of the weekly blogging event Mondays Finish the Stories!  If you write, I encourage you to check it out, it’s loads of fun. And if you like to read flash fiction, the same goes!

Well, I barely managed to stay within the word count today!  This story was quicker to write than last week’s but it doesn’t feel like it’s as good. I don’t know how to explain it, other than it seems to want another paragraph.  Ah well, it’s done! and I think tinkering at this point would be a disservice.

Constructive criticism would be wonderful. :)

Mondays Finish the Story: Painting

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham

Little did they know when the photographer took their picture that they would find themselves trapped in a painting. This painting here, in fact.”

His grandchild’s eyes are wide.  “In a painting?  What did they do?”

“What do you think they did?”

“Played music.”

“Right, they played music.  Jazz, mostly.  They played for a long time.”

“How long?”

“Longer than people here can.  Weeks or months or years.  Time was different there; didn’t matter how long they played, they could keep going.”

“Didn’t they get bored?”

“Would you get bored?”

“It’s boring when Momma makes me practice piano.”

“Well, that’s because you don’t like it.  They loved it, so they never got bored, in that place where they could play music forever.” The grandfather’s voice is quiet now, trailing off.  “But they did get lonely. . . . “

Choices, Quality, and the Dangers of Transmedia

River:

If you’re interested in transmedia at all, you should read this post. There’s a thin line between using transmedia to tell more parts of an engaging story on many platforms and simply exploiting the medium by forcing the customer to purchase all the parts across multiple mediums to experience a satisfying part of the story. Where is the line drawn?

Originally posted on A Means to Meaning:

Last semester, I took a second class from one of the best terrible professors my school has to offer. His classes had little to no structure, and he constantly went off on seemingly irrelevant rants. After looking back on his first class, however, I realized that he actually had a lot to say in his different stories and rants. I took away more from his class than I had expected. If there’s one thing I remember most vividly from him, it’s his catchphrase: “it’s all one thing.”

He was talking about media convergence. At one point or another, aspects considered unique to each form of media overlap. Episodic storytelling traditionally reserved for TV can now be found in billion-dollar Marvel movies. Ninety minute dramas typically found in movies are being used as television episodes in the Emmy Award winning show, Sherlock. And 5-minute news segments reserved for radio can be…

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“Free Time” is a Misnomer

Ah, free time.  I remember free time.  Maybe I should try it again one day.  –Natsuki Takaya

So this week I was going to finish up a draft I have on the subject of free time. . . then I realized that I had no free time. Gotta love the irony, haha. So here’s a quick five-minute update instead!

So remember how I said I’d like to do reviews again this year? I’ve signed up for the Around the World Reading Challenge to help with that!  I figure I’ve got at least North America and Europe covered since I just have to pick something off my bookshelf.  Asia too (manga does count, yes?), so that’s halfway done right there!  I actually haven’t read that much by South American, African, or Australian authors though, at least not off the top of my head–any suggestions?

In other news, Cloud and I are working on the plot of our upcoming webcomic.  It’s maybe halfway done–we’ve gotta put everything in order now, but it’s (partially) a gag comic so thankfully the plot doesn’t have to be as tightly woven as a serious story would be!  If all goes well, we’ll work on it a lot this summer and maybe launch in the fall, which would be exciting!  But we’ll see on how many pages we’ll be able to complete.

And finally, I made a deviantART page!  But there’s no art yet (can you guess why? :wink: )  Not sure yet if I want it to be my portfolio, but a lot of my friends use it, so I’m testing it out.  I’ll link it when I actually upload something, so maybe that’s something to look forward to.

Hope your week went well, with lots of free time!

~River

Getting Started with a Prompt Box

River:

A lovely idea for those days when you can’t think of anything to write about. It’d be a great idea for artists, too!

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

The other thing I discovered: If I had a topic to begin with, it was easier to get started.

– Natalie Goldberg, Long Quiet Highway

Sometimes with writing, getting started is the hardest part. You feel this energy inside you, this impulse to write, to spill words and sentences and paragraphs onto a page. Electric with excitement for the brilliance in your mind, for the genius you will share, you sit down to write.

And… nothing.

You stare at your blank screen. Your white sheet of paper. You think, “What was that idea I had in the shower? The beginning I thought of as I fell asleep last night?” You stand up and pace. You think. You sit down again.

And? Nothing.

Most writers know this feeling. I certainly did. Then I remembered my prompt box.

How I write

Writing Station Writing Station

I abandoned my writing practice in the second half…

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Random Ramblings: The Suffix “-ish”

Lately I’ve been using the suffix “-ish” to modify an adjective quite often.  It’s one of those things that quietly took over my vocabulary; I’m pretty certain that a few years back, I may have used it a couple of times a year, if at all, while these days I drop it several times a day.   When I said the word “earlyish” today, it started me thinking: Why am I so obsessed with this suffix?

At first, I was certain that it wasn’t a proper suffix like “-ing,” but rather a slang term that just appeared among modern use and took off like the appearance of “friend” as a verb after the arrival of Facebook.  However, a quick search at Dictionary.com proved me wrong:

-ish

1. a suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, with the sense of “belonging to” ( British; Danish; English; Spanish); “after the manner of,” “having the characteristics of,” “like” ( babyish; girlish; mulish); “addicted to,” “inclined or tending to” ( bookish; freakish); “near or about” ( fiftyish; sevenish).

2. a suffix used to form adjectives from other adjectives, with the sense of “somewhat,” “rather” ( oldish; reddish; sweetish).

Apparently, it’s derived from the Old and Middle English (originally spelled “-isc”), and has similar synonyms in German and Greek.  So it’s not only a proper suffix, it’s ancient!  (Also, I forgot that “-ish” is used to denote where someone is from, for example, Scottish.  Embarrassing.)

So there was my mini-vocab lesson of the day!  I’m sure that “-ish” will continue to be my favorite suffix for a longish time to come.  ;)

What’s your favorite suffix?