Writing Prompts

I came across an article some time back and it talked about Kazkhstan was going to build a new capitol.  They were going to spend 30 Billion dollars on it.  The old capitol was called Almaty and the new one is called Astana.  It is a catchy name.

If you needed to make a new capitol in one of your stories, what would you do different from the old capitol?  What would be new?  What would you spend most of the money on?  Infrastructure? Government buildings? Presidential house?  Religious houses?  What would the lay out be?  Circular?  Walls of protection? or Imprisonment?

Would a secret society build the city?  Would it be practical or extravagant?  Would native vegetation be used, or would it be shipped in?  Is the site a better site than the old capitol?

There are so many ways to look at building a new capitol.  Have fun and share below in comments.

Happy Writing.

 

Writing Prompts Again

I have collected more than a baker’s dozen of writing prompts through the years.  They have been collected on the hope that they would help a story develop, or contribute to characters’ depth, and three dimensional build-up.

Yet for the most part they have languished in files, folders, binders, and notebooks.  They have collected dust, and tears. They have served as a reminder that I have put off today what I should have done.

Plans have been made, regarding these collected prompts.  Great plans.  The best plans.  I have taken them to coffee shops, and workshops, and libraries.  When it comes time to put to use, I find some other activity to engage in, usually sexting, or reading blogs.  This in turn leads to frustration, and depression and anger.  But I fail to scold myself for not following through.

This particular plan of using the prompts as blog posts has been a dream in waiting for at least 3 years. Why wait so long?  There is no one answer.  Most I am ashamed to admit to, i.e. depression, work, the ease and comfort of the chair which is planted in front of the T.V. Obsessive compulsion to watch said T.V.  Various bad habits I have fallen into-sexting, porn, nervous eating, anxiousness when it comes to writing.  I get up, walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, mindlessly root around for something that is tasty.  That something is usually unhealthy.  So, I debate myself on consuming it now, or when I return in 20 minutes.  Or debate whether to eat half, or to eat the unhealthy option now and only eat healthy options the rest of the day.  Sometimes, I can shut the fridge before I grab any food.  But more often than not the battle is lost.  There is no real hunger.  It is anxious hunger.  My mind is worried about all the terrible things the wider world will surely say about what I write.  What I will write.  What I have written.  Therefore whatever foolishness I have planned to write using these collected prompts will surely cause me pain.

But what if the pain of not doing it, becomes greater than the pain of avoidance?

I feel that is where I am.  This place, where the pain of not following through on this plan is greater than the pain of skipping it, sucks.  I can’t stand it.  I hate rolling in a blanket of depression on the bed.  I hate not being able to propel myself out of this blanket.  I hate being able to get up and go to work for someone else, but can’t gather the strength to work for myself.

Oh the frustration.

I am attempting to say enough.  I don’t know how long my strength will last in this endeavor.  Nor if I have the strength to break this cycle, to shred the blanket of depression.

All I know is that today the pain of not trying is greater than the pain of avoidance.

And so I begin.  Ever so slowly, I begin.

Creative Blocks-IFeel Them

I often feel blocked.  Not because I do not have anything to say, but because I am not sure where to begin. what to do if I finish.  What if it is not good?  What if if is hack-eyed and crap writing?  How do I develop characters so they are not card board cutouts?  How do I write sharper dialogue and more concise descriptions?  How do I get what I envision in my head onto the page?

What I write never seems good enough once I begin.  I fret over its shortcomings and push it away.  I move onto another project or begin another piece.

Yet the questions persist.  Soon I grow anxious.  When I grow anxious I eat.  I have struggled with this for years.  I can’t control the eating or stop it.  I have tried to work with it.  I buy fruit and salad and give myself permission to eat it all.  And I do.  Then I feel terrible with the lack of self control.

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Who Doesn’t Have A Few

I believe it was my mother who once told me I should live life so that I had no major regrets.  I have tried to follow that advice.  And I have a quite a few minor ones, such as not applying to the University of Illinois, and not getting my degree sooner, so I could get a decent job overseas.  There are a few girls I wish I had asked to the dances back in my high school days, or asked for a date in my college days.  I regret things didn’t work out between Cheri and I.  But all of these are minor happenings and they don’t haunt me.

The ones that haunt me are soul crushing.  Luckily I only have two.  Leaving my son and giving him up for adoption left me hating myself for years.  Eventually I worked to live a life that would make me happy to share with him, if I ever got the chance.  And the other regret is not returning to China to be with Fanbin.  I miss her everyday.  The way she smiles, or pretends to be made at me and the fierce determination she lives life, I miss that and more.  I wish I was a brave as her.

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I Hate Flying

I didn’t always hate flying.  I use to enjoy the plunges through the sky and flying through storms, lighting flashing and the plane swerving through the screaming winds.  I would often sit with my face pressed to the window, watching the Earth bend at the horizon.  I loved the ground moving slowly beneath, city giving way to farm land before I was so high I couldn’t make out much of anything.  Except for the mountains and the rivers, those always stood out.

Perhaps it is part of growing old, knowing that time on Earth is short, that made me fear flying.  I know for sure that after my first flight to China I have avoided flying as much as possible.  The plane took off from San Fran for a direct flight to Shanghai.  Some where past the international date line the flight hit the worst air turbulence,

I had just gotten my food when the first bounces began.  They were good size but they were intermittent.  Then the sky began to fall away quite regularly.  I have to hang onto the tray so it wouldn’t fly through the cabin.  The stewardess stopped serving.  Occasionally one or two of them would dart by and pick up the trays that had been served.  It seemed I waited for ever for my tray to be taken.  It was the only time I experienced air sickness.

The only good thing about the flight was I didn’t have a window seat.  I don’t think I could have bared the horrors outside.  And there was the stop over in Korea.

The plane had exhausted most of its fuel battling the winds that the plane was diverted to an island off the coast of South Korea to refuel.  I was never so happy to reach terra firma.

If I have to fly I try to get a seat on the aisle so that I can stretch out my left leg.  A few hours of sitting my knee begins to ache.  Stretching it out between stewardess’ ambling by answering passenger requests, helps.  Of course when the cart runs into my foot I wake with a start.

I am a huge fan of train travel, especially in these days of traveling.  Train travel may be slower, but it is so much more civilized.  I love going up to the dining car and watching the world roll by.  On the train I don’t really care if I get a window or aisle seat.  Both are some what comfortable.

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Preliminary Menu For Saturday Market

I have been working on this for a few days now.  And while the menu has at times ballooned up on me I have pretty manageable now.  That was due to my constant refrain “keep it tight, keep it easy’.

In theory this plan will work out, but in practice well . . . .  Hopefully it won’t go completely pear shaped-as the Brits say.

For breakfast I plan to do mostly burritos-similar to the ones El Burrito Loco in Gresham, OR serves.  They are massive affairs-I would be stuffed after eating half.  I continued to until nothing was left because-it was the awesome.  I miss those burritos.  In addition I am thinking of biscuits and gravy.  At least come October they will be added.  There will also be a secret menu-ala In & Out Burger-of biscuit sandwiches.

Come lunch time will be the usual suspects of burgers and brats.  And there will be chicken wraps and a salad of two.  But the secret here will be the rubs and BBQ sauces I make.

There might be some problems transitioning from breakfast to lunch but happens in stand alone restaurants.

I went to the Health Dept today and they told me what was required and they said they would work with me to on what was possible.  The guy told me he visited farmers markets around the midwest and wondered how long until Quincy got food stands in its market.  Well here is hoping to this year.

I can’t wait.

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