I’ve had a good run this week for getting up either early or on time and yesterday was no exception. I was also at my desk bang on 10am. Starting at 10am gives me some time to do some household chores as well as time to faff.
On Wednesday I tried using the Novelist app on a different browser, and it seemed to work a lot better. Opera’s getting a lot of bad press at the moment and the poet hates it. I hate Edge and Chrome, though, and there aren’t that many other alternatives for Windows. Firefox has always been a bit too glitchy, unstable and insecure. But if Opera keeps playing up or if many more sites don’t function very well on there, then I might be making a permanent switch back to Chrome.
Why don’t I like Edge and Chrome? Well, one’s MS, so open to more hackers and bugs, etc, because some folk have nothing better to do with their time than try to wreck anyone’s MS applications. The other is Google, and I think Google already knows too much about us. Plus, they’re both a bit monopolising and I don’t like that either.
BUT… a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and any other suggestions would be most welcome.
I set off the first pomodoro, whizzed through the competition entries and the jobs board, updated the diary for the week so far, and went onto the 12 Stories in 12 Months website to see if my story had been posted yet. It had, but so far there were no comments.
This story needed to be longer than 2,500 words and I feel as though I’ve missed out a chunk of stuff that will make it a better story. But that was the target for the 12 Stories in 12 Months assignment and we don’t get much wriggle room on that. I also want to submit it as my assignment for the locked room mystery for the Dean Wesley Smith pop-up workshop. It needs to be at least 3,000 words for that and it also needs much more depth. It can be up to 8,000 words, although the description says 3,000 – 6,000 words, so maybe I’ll aim at around 5,000 words. I think doubling it will give it the extra depth it needs and maybe make the locked room aspect more of a puzzle.
And for the rest of the morning I did dates work. I finished collecting topical dates from the this-day-in-history site (yay!) and moved on to my much-beloved dictionary of dates. I finished with the book on martyrs, maypoles and mayhem, then I selected the 5 I wanted to pursue for myself and 30 I wanted to include in this week’s writing prompts. I’d also chosen the one for take-one-idea as soon as I saw it. I updated my ideas spreadsheet, and then I broke for dinner.
I did a quick social media catchup before moving into the device-free conservatory, where I ate my dinner with mindfulness rather than trying to do a dozen things at the same time. Just after dinner I had someone come to inspect the conservatory, which made me 20 minutes late back to my desk. When I got back, the first thing I did was finalise those writing prompts.
I wrote the writing prompts up, including the take-one-idea, selected the illustration, then cut out the part on the throwaways and copied them to Medium and Vocal. I reformatted them, submitted them to the relevant publications, and updated my submissions spreadsheet.
For the rest of the day I worked on the proofreading.
We went out last night to see Limehouse Lizzy in Doncaster (more about that on Monday), so I didn’t have time to hang around at my desk as I had to get ready as well. I’m not sure what we’re doing over the next couple of days. If the weather’s nice we might go in the garden and do some work, or we might go out for the day. We might even do both.
Whatever you’re doing, have a great weekend!
Here then, at last, are those writing prompts. (Yay!)
Every month I do a think/write/submit writing exercise. I usually ‘think’ around 6 months ahead, but I’m STILL catching up. So while in March I’d normally be ‘thinking’ September, ‘writing’ August and ‘submitting’ July, I’m still only on ‘thinking’ August.
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 August. There are 30 of them. THIRTY. 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.)
- 1 August every year is Yorkshire Day (evergreen)
- on 3 August 1963, 60 years ago, the Beatles had their last performance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool (date-specific topical)
- on 3 August 1973, 50 years ago, a flash fire killed 51 at an amusement park on the Isle of Man (date-specific topical)
- 4 August every year is apparently Owl Awareness Day (evergreen)
- on 6 August 2013, 10 years ago, 1 person was killed and 4 injured after a hot-air balloon crash in Montbovon, Sweden (date-specific topical)
- on 8 August 1963, 60 years ago, it was Britain’s Great Train Robbery (date-specific topical)
- on 9 August 1898, 125 years ago, Rudolf Diesel of Germany obtained the patent for his internal combustion engine, later known as the diesel engine (date-specific topical)
- 10 August to 13 August this year, it’s the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (date-specific evergreen)
- 10 August every year is apparently World Lion Day (evergreen)
- on 11 August 1873, 150 years ago, Bertram Mills, the English circus proprietor, was born in London (date-specific topical)
- 12 August every year is apparently World Elephant Day (evergreen)
- on 12 August 2013, 10 years ago, organised crime boss Whitey Bulger was found guilty of 31 (of 32) racketeering & firearms counts and 11 murders (date-specific topical)
- 14 August every year is apparently World Lizard Day (evergreen)
- on 15 August 2018, 5 years ago, the first every US execution by fentanyl was carried out (date-specific topical)
- on 16 August 1898, 125 years ago, Edwin Prescott patented the roller coaster (date-specific topical)
- on 16 August 1948, 75 years ago, George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth died in New York City (date-specific topical)
- on 20 August 1923, 100 years ago, the London dock strike ended (date-specific topical)
- 22 August every is Chinese Valentine’s Day (evergreen)
- on 24 August 1998, 25 years ago, the first RFID (micro-chip) human implantation was tested in the UK (date-specific topical)
- on 24 August 2013, 10 years ago, 30 were killed in a gang battle that involved the use of flamethrowers in Palmasola Prison, Bolivia (date-specific topical)
- on 25 August 1898, 125 years ago, 700 Greeks and 15 Englishmen were slaughtered by Turks in Heraklion, Greece (date-specific topical)
- on 26 August 2013, 10 years ago, all 25,000 applicants to the University of Liberia failed their entrance exams – ALL of them (date-specific topical)
- on 27 August this year, it’s the World Bog Snorkelling Championships in Mid-Wales (date-specific evergreen)
- 27 August – 28 August this year, it’s London’s Notting Hill Carnival (date-specific evergreen)
- on 28 August this year, it’s the Ironbridge Coracle Regatta (date-specific evergreen)
- on 28 August 1898, 125 years ago, Caleb Bradham renamed his carbonated soft drink Pepsi-Cola (date-specific topical)
- on 28 August 1973, 50 years ago, Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple went gold (date-specific topical)
- on 30 August 1993, 30 years ago, the Eiffel Tower in Paris welcomed its 150,000,000th visitor (date-specific topical)
- on 31 August 1923, 100 years ago, Italian troops occupy Corfu, Greece (date-specific topical)
- on 31 August 1948, 75 years ago, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands celebrated her golden jubilee (date-specific topical)
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…
- on 31 August 1923, 100 years ago, Italian troops occupy Corfu, Greece (date-specific topical)
Okay, well, starting with ideas for fiction, there is so much the fiction writer can do with this. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin anyone? Yes, that was much, much later, but if Louis de Bernière can do it, so can you.
- write a novel or play set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write a short story or short play set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write a murder mystery set during the Italian occupation of Corfu, short or long
- write a romance set during the Italian occupation of Corfu, short or long
- write a military story set during the Italian occupation of Corfu, short or long
- write something from the perspective of an Italian soldier set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write something from the perspective of a Corfiot set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write something from the perspective of the respective Italian and Greek governments set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write something from the persective of the wife left behind by her Italian soldier husband set during the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write a poem or a song based around the Italian occupation of Corfu
Ten fiction ideas enough? (I may have cheated with the poem/song…) Good, now let’s get onto the non-fiction ideas.
- write a researched article about the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write a researched book about the Italian occupation of Corfu
- write about the Italian army in 1923
- write about the Italian army today
- write about the Greek army in 1923
- write about the Greek army today
- write about Italy in 1923
- the political landscape in Italy in 1923
- the political landscape in Italy today compared to 1923
- write about Greece in 1923
- the political landscape in Corfu in 1923
- the political landscape in Corfu today compared to 1923
- write about Corfu in 1923
- write a researched exposé on the Italian government in 1923
- write a researched exposé on the Greek government in 1923
- write about other occupations of Greece and its islands throughout history
So that’s the heavy stuff out of the way. Still struggling? Here are some easier, quicker ideas.
- where to go in Corfu
- where to stay in Corfu
- where to eat in Corfu
- places of interest in Corfu
- what to do with the kids in Corfu
- holidays for the disabled in Corfu
- how to cook like a Corfiot
- getting a job in Corfu
- a potted history of Corfu
- walking in Corfu
- cycling in Corfu
- birdwatching in Corfu
- famous Corfiots
- Corfiot architecture
- what Corfu is famous for
- 5 reasons to visit Corfu
- 5 reasons not to visit Corfu
- Corfiot statuary
- the climate in Corfu
- everything you need to know about Corfu
- to 40. replace Corfu/Corfiot with Italy/Italian
And if you’re still struggling, choose another topic from the initial throwaway list.
Over to you
If you use any of these ideas, then do let me know and tell me how they fared. And if you’d like to say thanks, you can support me on Ko-fi. They take a lot of work and your appreciation would be very much appreciated.
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