Epic Weekend of Epicness

No, that’s not hyperbole about what a fantastic weekend I had.

Now, I’m not going to get into all the details here as it probably doesn’t interest most of you, but if you’re curious, you can read blog posts here and here that go into the writerly details about the activities we did and all the feelings that go along with them. Opening up to other writers, to people who use their emotions, life experiences, and personality faults to craft stories that may help others become better people is an extraordinary thing. Non-writers don’t get it (I know this because I’m married to a non-writer), and they don’t understand what it’s like to be a part of a tribe.

At any rate, this was probably my last big hoorah with this particular group of writers since my family and I are planning a long move in the late spring, early summer of 2017. Sure, I’ll see them again before I go, but probably not all of them, and certainly not all at the same time, and definitely not in such a sharing, open environment.

All the things I learned this weekend I’m putting down right now are because these are some of the best people I know, and this is how I want to remember them, in my own assholish way: fondly, sarcastically, and forever:

  • people with two first names are sketchy as fuck
  • twerking is not an acceptable way to wake people up
    • unless you like ninja monkey pajama ass in your face…
  • necrophilia and butt plugs may be a cause for concern, even in your fiction
    • necrophilia and butt plugs will never go away
  • dwarves do not always make good traveling companions, but their ale is damn good
  • gay werewolf terrorists may be the next big thing
  • glitterbeard should be glittier, and worn continuously
  • one should not sacrifice sex dolls in the fire pit
  • do not summon anything you can’t kill or screw
  • Bree is love
  • not all DMs are murdering assholes, sometimes they save your ass, too
    • unless you’re a dwarf, in which case you’re eaten by a box
  • voiceless leaders are still leaders; it’s about presence, not volume
  • rage bacon and love pancakes are best eaten with an apathetic appetite
  • psychic “ma’ams” are as powerful now as they were then
  • and lastly, Dear World, we accept the fact that we spent an entire weekend in a secluded cabin with each other for whatever reason we write. But we think you’re crazy for making us feel like we’re anything less than we are. You label us how you want to label us–with the worst grammar, and the most condescending terms–but we found that each one of us is a leader, a poet, an asshole, a gamer, a little sketchy, an innocent, a lover, a hater, a recluse, a joiner, a bitch, a flake, a brain, a friend, and a writer.

That’s the damn truth, and I’m sticking to it. I’ll defend said statements with harsh words bred from my consumption of the aforementioned love pancakes and rage bacon. I’m not above stealing Bree’s new sword, either, and you don’t want that.

Oh, hell no you do not want that,” as she’d say.

If you’re a writer, get involved with your local community, foster those relationships, and watch yourself soar along with them. A rising tide raises all ships, and as I’ve said numerous times over the last few years, we are in the unique position to be both the tide and the ships.

To every one of you crazy fuckers at the retreat this weekend, continue to be the highest tide, the most humble boats, and you will rise far above the rest. This I believe.

This I know.


Fivers for Using Timed Writing Prompts

Holy shit, people. We’re talking about writing prompts today! I am all for writing prompts, and you guessed it, here are five reasons why.

  1. The time element is taken care of. No more worrying about whether or not you’ve written enough words. For reals, people, if you set a timer for ten minutes, and you write for ten minutes, you’ve just hit your first goal. Celebrate and have a beer. Or a cookie. Whatever your preferred method is, do it. Then sit your ass back down and do another prompt.
  2. The writing prompt takes care of your brainstorming, too. Seriously, if the prompt says, “A boy walks into the back yard and finds a dead body.” what is there to think about it? You have your protagonist and the conflict.
  3. With the two elements above (deadline and content) determined, it’s all GO TIME once the timer starts. The two act in conjunction with each other to strip away your need to think about your writing, and therefore prevent you from overthinking and getting bogged down in a paragraph or a bit of dialogue.
  4. Writing prompts are bullshit. And I don’t meant bullshit as in disregard them, but bullshit in the vein of you know they’re not going to be literary gold. You can stop stressing about whether or not these little word nuggets are good or not and just fucking write them down. No one, absolutely no one, is going to be reading them and judging your ability as a writer based on these things.
  5. There’s always a diamond in the rough. So while most of what you write isn’t going to amount to the paper (or computer screen) you’re writing it on, you will find a few that are worthy of pursuing and polishing. The age old adage “The more you write…” applies in spades here. Your prompts will provide you with pages of little nuggets to consider.

Woot! You can’t beat those reasons with a stick. Well, you could, but what’d be the point of that? You can’t go wrong by using writing prompts, especially when the words fight you.