Sunday Writing Prompt: Every Road is a Story

street sign2(1)

I’ve always wondered where people came up with the names for places; particularly streets and small roads. Pretty much every town has the generic “Main St. or First St.” but there are always a few quirky street names that stick out to me when I go to new place.

The Prompt-

Think of a unique street sign that sticks out in your mind, and write a story that involves its name. You might be surprised what road it will lead you down!

Sunday Writing Prompt: The Laundromat

One of the best tools for creating a good scene and progressing your story along is a strong setting. Setting is often overlooked as something that is just in the background, but a dynamic setting can create some owashing_machine_blackf the best opportunities in your story if you take advantage of it.

The Prompt-

Write about a laundromat where two unlikely characters meet, but their purpose isn’t to do their laundry.

Make sure you pay special attention to the setting and let it help guide your story!

Top 4 Children’s Books to Read on Earth Day

In my opinion, Earth Day is one of the most underrated holidays.Not everybody celebrates Easter or cooks a turkey on Thanksgiving, but the earth is something that everyone on this planet has reason to celebrate! So today, lets take a moment and revisit some of the best children’s books that celebrate the earth

4. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Bethel

Most of you will probably recognize the story ofCloudy_with_a_Chance_of_Meatballs_(book) “Chewandswallow,” a town where instead of thunderstorms and rainshowers, meatballs and other food rains from the sky. Bethel’s classic, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” was recently adapted into a film, and although the fun-filled animated feature is entertaining, it can’t compete with the nostalgic simplicity this little picture book provided. What we learned from “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” is that weather and the natural world is amazing, even if it doesn’t have hamburgers raining from the sky.

3. Weslandia urlby- Paul Fleischman

“Weslandia” is the perfect read for anyone;  young or old, who is interested in growing giant mysterious foliage in their backyard and starting an off-the- grid society. This picture book really dives deep into nature and teaches kids to entertain themselves with the world around them. What I love most about this story is its quirky, anthropological themes. I won’t spoil the whole experience for you, but a whole new world is discovered among these giant flowers.

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silversteinimgres

You can probably find a copy of “The Giving Tree” on most bookshelves in many homes. This sweet, melancholy story expresses our relationship with nature and what happens if we do not respect it. This story deals with themes of loyalty, devotion, and regret. It really is a deep story for such a simple poem. If you need any reminder of why you should take care of the environment, just flip through the pages; you are sure to be reminded.

1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

“The Lorax” seThe_Loraxnds the most direct message of any of the books on my list. The message is solemn and clear.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”- Dr. Suess.

The real accomplishment of this book is that it politely reminds us that we are killing the earth, and does it in a beautiful way. You don’t feel attacked when you read “The Lorax,” But it makes you think. And it makes you want to do something about it. Dr. Seuss reminds us how important it is to preserve the natural world, and that if we keep “biggering” and “biggering” there won’t be much left. This story has been so influential with the “green” movement, they even created an adaptation recently that  included the effects of air pollution and smog on the environment.

“The Lorax” has truly been a successful tool in educating children about the environment, and although the movie adaptation was cute, and introduced environmental issues to a younger audience, it lacked the heart the original story was written with.

That concludes my Top 4 Children’s Books to Read on Earth Day! Feel free to comment and let me know if you think I missed a deserving title. Make sure to go out and celebrate nature today!

Longwood Writers: A Student Reading Series

This semester I was part of a class called “Practical Issues of the Working Writer” which is designed to help writers navigate the professional writing world. We reflected on our identities as writers, learned how to write professional bios and query letters, and conducted research on the publishers that would best fit our work. The end goal of this class was to actually submit our work to publishers and make the plunge into the writing world. One of the assignments that contributed to this process was creating a short podcast.

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of my book, Betty Spaghetti.

Enjoy the rest of the readings at http://blogs.longwood.edu/longwoodwriters/

Sunday Writing Prompt: The Fish Tank

One of the best ways to develop character is through object placement. What kind of stuff would you find in your character’s bedroom? You can tell a whole lot about people by the things they surround themselves with.

Fish_BwlThe Prompt-

Write about a character who has a fish tank, but fills it with something unusual or frightening. How did they get it? What is inside of it? What happens if you stick your fingers in?

The idea for this prompt came from the ever inspiring Mary Carroll- Hackett! You can follow her at http://marycarrollhackett.com