Wednesday 15 Feb 2023: Unexpected day off + Writing prompts

Final Paperchase haul (Picture © Diane Wordsworth)

I seem to have inadvertently taken a day off yesterday. I worked late Monday night to submit Part 3 of the ghostwriting job and finished at 2:30am Tuesday morning. That, of course, meant that I slept in on Tuesday and didn’t surface until very late. Nevertheless, the plan was still to get going on Part 4 and to do some editing and perhaps work into the early evening.

However, the poet came home from work and whisked me away for some window shopping and a meal in our favourite restaurant. We thought about going to the pictures as well, but there was nothing we fancied seeing and we would have only been going for the sake of it. Instead, we visited the Paperchase closing down sale and came away with goodies at 30% off. I do love Paperchase, but it is expensive and the prices had rocketed recently. Tesco have bought the brand, but not the shops, so we’re going to see what they do with it.

Our thoughts, of course, are with all of the Paperchase staff who are now losing their jobs. We hope that those who want to find something very soon.

And that, my friends, is the end of Tuesday.

This also meant that I didn’t get to write up today’s writing prompts either, so I’m doing them now.

June throwaways

Every month I do a think/write/submit writing exercise. I usually ‘think’ around 6 months ahead, but I’m catching up a bit. So while in February I’d normally be ‘thinking’ August, ‘writing’ July and ‘submitting’ June, I’m still only on ‘thinking’ June, but at least I’m catching up.

Once I’ve done the exercise, I put the file away for a few days and come back to it fresh. Then I choose around 5 ideas to pursue for myself, and I discard the others. I hate for those ideas to go to waste, though, so I ‘throw’ them out there for others to take up if they wish.

Here, then, are my ‘throwaway’ writing suggestions for June. I don’t think I’ll have time to do much with any of these, and those I think I might be able to rustle up have already been put to one side. (Remember to double-check the dates yourself as the source I used may have made a mistake.)

  • 29 May – 2 June this year is Half Term Week in the UK (date-specific evergreen)
  • June is Pride Month (evergreen – but look out for date-specific events that take place throughout the summer)
  • 1 June every year is apparently World Milk Day (evergreen)
  • 2 June every year is the National Day of Italy (evergreen)
  • 4 June every year is apparently National Fish & Chip Day (evergreen)
  • 5 June every year is the National Day of Denmark (evergreen)
  • 6 June every year is the National Day of Sweden (evergreen)
  • On 7 June 1848, 175 years ago, the French painter Paul Gaugin was born in Paris (topical anniversary)
  • 8 June every year is apparently World Ocean Day (evergreen)
  • 8 June this year is when the Miracle Plays are due to be performed (date-specific evergreen)
  • 8 June this year is when the Mystery Plays are due to be performed (date-specific evergreen)
  • On 9 June 1898, 125 years ago, Hong Kong was leased by Britain from China for 99 years (topical anniversary)
  • 12 June every year is the National Day of the Philippines
  • 14 June every year is apparently World Blood Donor Day (evergreen)
  • On 16 June 1948, 75 years ago, The Cathay Pacific Airlines’ Catalina flying boat or seaplane Miss Macao was the first aeroplane to be hijacked – by a gang of Chinese bandits (topical anniversary)
  • 17 June every year is the National Day of Iceland (evergreen)
  • 18 June this year is Father’s Day (date-specific evergreen)
  • 18 June every year is Waterloo Day (evergreen)
  • 20 June every year is apparently International Surfing Day (evergreen)
  • 21 June every year is apparently World Giraffe Day (evergreen)
  • 22 June every year is Windrush Day (evergreen)
  • 23 June every year is the National Day of Luxembourg (evergreen)
  • 24 June this year is Armed Forces Day (date-specific evergreen)
  • On 28 June 1948, 75 years ago, the Berlin Airlift began (topical anniversary)

There you go, 24 more ideas to get you writing.

Take one idea

Still stuck for something to write? Even with all of those ideas? Okay then, let’s take just one of those ideas…

  • 2 June every year is the National Day of Italy (evergreen)

There is so much you can write about Italy, fact and fiction.

For a start, there are all things Roman Empire, especially for the ancient historians amongst you all. Or, if your name is Lindsey Davies, you can set not one entire murder mystery series of novels there but two. We also have the two cities Herculaneum and Pompeii where time stood still and can still be visited today.

What about something a bit more recent, such as the Medici years? Or how Italy fared in the two world wars? Or something about a mafia family? What could you write with these as your background?

Italy is a beautiful country. How about a travel article or a series of travel articles, each ‘episode’ concentrating on one aspect such as Visiting Florence/Milan/Naples/Sorrento/Rome/Venice… Venice, now there’s a promising destination. Even James Bond has been to Venice. What about the Dolomites? What is the history of those? What can you see and do there?

Then there is the volcano Vesuvius, which has cycles of eruptions, the last one ending in 1941. There are some who think it is overdue an eruption, but the consensus seems to be it will erupt again but not for a thousand years. What if they’re wrong? Could you write a dystopian story set after scientists convinced everyone it wouldn’t erupt and then it does?

I know several people who are hoping for Italian citizenship, Brits and Americans. Even a member of my own family. What’s so attractive about that? Why do they want Italian citizenship? Is it because there’s a lot of Italian ancestry out there? (We are of part-Italian descent.) Why? Or is it because Italy is an easy country to get citizenship for? Again, why? How would someone go about applying for Italian citizenship?

There are also the tons of what I call fast ideas to write up. These are easy to research, fast to write, and quick to earn:

  • Where to eat in Florence/Milan/Naples/Sorrento/Rome/Venice/[enter Italian destination of choice]
  • Wine districts of Italy
  • Ten Top Italian Wines
  • How to Make Perfect Pasta the Italian Way
  • Places to go in Florence/Milan/Naples/Sorrento/Rome/Venice/[enter Italian destination of choice]
  • Birdwatching in Italy
  • Skiing in Italy
  • The Italian Lakes
  • Famous People Who Live(d) in Italy
  • Famous Italians
  • Italians Who Should be Famous
  • What to do on Capri/Ischia/Procida/[enter Italian island of choice]
  • Where to eat on Capri/Ischia/Procida/[enter Italian island of choice]
  • Five Top Pasta dishes from Italy
  • Walking in Italy
  • Cruising in Italy

And right there are 16 more ideas from just one.

The ideas are endless. Have a go at brainstorming further and see if there’s something you can do for the National Day of Italy this year. But if you sell anything, remember to hold onto your copyright so that you can sell reprints next year as well.

Over to you

If you use any of these ideas, then do let me know and tell me how they fared.

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