What better day than April Fools’ to tap into your imagination and work on some creative writing prompts? As we all know, April Fools’ Day is traditionally a day to kick back, play practical jokes on one another, and have some fun.
In the spirit of the upcoming April Fools’ Day, I’ve dug up some fun-loving, creative writing prompts, courtesy of Litbridge.com, thinking that some of you can flex your writing muscles. Whether you are a writer with a creative moment or a student with a writing assignment for April Fools’ Day, I believe at least one of these will spark your inspiration and move your pen.
Were you able to create any interesting stories from these prompts? Anything worth sharing or—dare I say it—publishing? Share your results in the comments below.
Come back next week, when I discuss the lack of April Fools’ related books available for us adults, as well as a special book that I found about the holiday.
Let the pranks and hoaxes begin!
Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Stephenie Meyer, George R. R. Martin, J.K. Rowling… I imagine that they spend their days on the beaches of their latest Mediterranean vacation, sipping from drinks adorned with tiny umbrellas, counting the hours until they meet Leonardo DiCaprio, who is on set of their latest book-turned-movie… Okay, maybe that’s a little excessive.
Whether you are Stephen King, Danielle Steel, or Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, the life of an author isn’t as lavish as you might imagine. Writing is a profession that has its joy and frustration just like any other job. It’s a job with good days and bad days. And while I personally don’t know Stephen King or Danielle Steel, I know enough other authors to tell you that a day in the life of an author is not that far from anyone else’s.
But if you insist, I’ll share a snapshot from my life with you. For the most part, I am an early bird. 6:00 a.m.—I rise and shine, there is so much to do that there’s never time to sleep in. I religiously start my mornings with a cup of coffee and then robotically get in front of my computer. First, I answer e-mails—anything including communicating with my editors, determining future timelines with book festivals, interacting with my readers, and exploring marketing opportunities. I check Facebook. Share any fun writing-related posts. Post a status and Tweet.
Before I know it, it’s 10:00 a.m.
Before lunch, I kick into creativity mode. I spend a couple hours writing. But not the writing that you think—I have yet to work on my current project. In the mornings and early afternoon, I’m normally blogging, marketing and working on newsletters—I have to be honest—these aren’t my favorite things, but I have to do what I have to do. I’m always on the lookout for a new idea for a blog to better connect with my readers and fan base.
By now it’s 4:00 p.m. and I’ve already had a full working day and still haven’t worked on my current project, my next book. Are you surprised? Well, the day is far from over.
It’s time to get out of my chair, stretch my old bones, get away from the computer and enter my other life—where I create my plots and characters. I’m inspired on a regular basis by the things around me—each of which is another brush stroke to my current or future novel—my family time, travel, social life, work-out, shopping, cooking, and anything else I do away from my computer inspires me and brings new insights to my work.
It is only late at night or when I get away from the exhausting routine that I finally get a chance to relax and really write—and what do I mean by write? Writing my actual book.
So you tell me, how much of this time do you really get? I bet it’s not a lot—just like me. The bottom line, I don’t have enough time to write. Clearly the business side is demanding and eats away at my time.
Although Pinnacle Lust has received numerous book awards, honorable mentions, and great reviews on Amazon, I know I’m not a worldwide known author…yet. And while I know I probably won’t be stopped on the street and asked for my autograph anytime soon, those daydreams—of the Mediterranean beaches, of the book-turned-movie, of Leonardo DiCaprio—can keep me pushing to write the next word, the next paragraph, the next page… until I get there.
Who can argue the power of books? In a moment you can be in a submarine at the bottom of the sea being attacked by a giant squid, or you can be on a spaceship navigating outer space, meeting new species, or you can be a spy or a private detective or a normal boy who discovers he’s a wizard. There is an adventure to suit every taste. It’s available with a quick visit to the library or a swift tap of the download button.
Paradoxically, today, fewer people read in their free time than those in previous generations (shhhh, including myself). I bet you have a good idea for what is behind this phenomenon. With the constant stream of new information, entertainment and technology—the latest video games, toys, TV, movies, or just the Internet in general. There are infinite choices of hobbies and activities to capture our attention.
I’m not here to argue—I can even agree that this isn't entirely negative. Yet, I’m bothered to see that good, old-fashioned reading is being left behind. And when I observe our lifestyle, I say, no wonder. Honestly, there are many reasons for the change, too many to fit into one article. However, here are three of the largest factors that totally impact our choices.
New games and technologies are being constantly replaced with newer, faster, better ones. The Internet is a continual distraction, allowing instant interaction at almost all times. Not to mention a stream of information easy to get lost in for hours when searching for a small fact. Everything is right there at our finger tips. Smart phones are not just phones, but mini computers in the palm of your hand, with millions of apps to choose from that can do nearly anything you can imagine. With cloud technology, all your data can be stored, shared between people and devices wherever you are so that your favorite games or movies, emails, or even browsing history are always with you. All of that, without even mentioning social media like Facebook and Twitter. And let’s not forget, technology offers the convenience of shopping online. With so many distractions it’s no wonder people don’t read as much.
The modern world is not only mobile but also visual—leaving very little for our imaginations—it doesn’t take a lot to move forward or to grow—you really don’t need a book to spread your wings and fly.
Education programs have a direct impact on students’ afterschool hours—ironically, they might even discourage reading for fun. English classes assign many books, often even important books, for students to read, including Shakespeare, Chaucer and Dickens. Historical and classic literature is often very difficult for students to relate to, leaving a bad after taste for would be readers. If a student is made to dissect Shakespeare at school, he is much less likely to come home and want to read. He’ll want to do something else to distract him from the hard work of understanding antiquated language. And if this is the only reading he does, well it doesn’t do much to encourage him to pick up a book in his own time. He’s much more apt to pick up a game controller.
The other issue with making children read certain books and grading them on it falls into the psychological concept called the over justification effect. In essence, this effect is based on the idea that when a reward (i.e. money) is given to someone for an action that they already find interesting, that previously intrinsic interest and motivation will decrease.
Most of us are overworked and have little spare time. There are a million little things that occupy our attention. Our schedules are saturated. We wake up in the morning and we are working from a never-ending list of things that need to be done.
Of course there are many issues that keep us from picking up a book. But once you sit down and get lost in a book and discover the joy of interacting with your own imagination, I’d like to think you’d be hooked on reading. You just have to meet that book, the right one for you. Reading is an exercise where you learn about yourself—your likes and dislikes, your sense of morality, your ideas about what is possible. It’s a place to find camaraderie and solace. It is sad to think that this is being denied to so many in a world where we are overwhelmed with technology and desperate to find those human connections. I believe reading will always have its place and I hope you will discover a new adventure for yourself… today.
Let me know what book is next on your reading list.
We all know that being a perfectionist is not always a good thing. Flexibility is the name of the game today. However, it seems that due diligence is the key to success.
Last week when I shared my books one-year anniversary with you, I discussed the learning curve that comes with publishing a book. My first venture into the publishing world was not easy. Though I surrounded myself with professionals and kept my hands on my baby, problems and mistakes were and are a part of this game. Sadly, not all of them can be corrected—some of them come with a high price, like this one: Pinnacle Lust’s cover failed to mention that it’s a TRILOGY or FIRST IN A SERIES or TO BE CONTINUED
First In A Series/Trilogy
Oops! None of the formats of Pinnacle Lust states that the book is the first of a trilogy. Period. How could I miss this one? How could any of the people involved in the publishing of this book miss this? There is probably no good answer for this. Unfortunately, the readers and reviewers don’t know any of this—they judge only the end result. With this said, my mishap caused a handful of readers to react negatively to the end of the book and give me poor ratings, saying that the future of the story is left hanging and unanswered. How I wish I could reach out to those disappointed readers and tell them yes, the Pinnacle story continues!
Since many of my readers don’t know that Sharon’s and Leigh’s story will continue in book two, I lost the momentum I had built up by the end of book one. Many of my readers have moved on, and now I find myself having to start almost from scratch to build up my reader base again. Oops. Now I know—a bit too late—that it’s customary for authors to write To Be Continued, include an excerpt from book two, or share in some way that there will be a sequel.
Now, I’m hard at work on wrapping up the writing for book two of the Pinnacle trilogy, but I can’t help but wonder how many readers I’ve lost by my one small mistake. I can only hope that those who enjoyed Pinnacle Lust might stop by my author website to see if, by chance, there’s a sequel—and I hope they will be pleasantly surprised to see there is one.
Well, as the saying goes, you live and learn.
It’s here—the one-year anniversary of the release of Pinnacle Lust! It’s a very exciting time for me, as you, my loyal readers, can imagine. I thought I’d spend a few moments sharing the highlights of the past year with you, and expressing my gratitude on this important milestone.
First and Foremost: Thank You To My Readers
Where would I be without my readers? Surely not celebrating Pinnacle Lust’s success, including being named as the 2015 Beach Book Fest’s winner in the romance category and receiving an honorable mention in many other book festivals this past year. Thank you for making Sharon Lapidot’s steamy affair such a popular read!
Then: Thanks To My Reviewers
I was surprised at the volume of reviews that started flooding in shortly after Pinnacle Lust’s release. Readers have taken time to post detailed reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and I’ve even managed to snag some great professional reviews—including Steve Bowden, New York Times bestselling author and Grady Harp, a Top 50 Amazon Hall of Fame reviewer. It’s a wonderful feeling—being validated by so many voices stating that they loved my book. Thank you.
And The Sour Part: Overcoming The Struggles
Of course, not all of this past year has been sunshine and rainbows—there have been ups and downs. While I’ve gotten plenty of positive reviews, I’ve seen the bad ones too—ouch! Yes it hurts, but my first published book will always remain a source of pride and gratitude.
Last But Not Least: The Learning Curve
No matter how many professionals were involved in the publishing of Pinnacle Lust, problems and mistakes were and are part of the game. Not every problem or mistake can be corrected and overcome—some you have to let go and may even have to pay a price for. But what author will share his/her mistakes with you? Humm… well maybe I can share just one. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, as I’ll be revealing the one major mistake I made during the publishing of Pinnacle Lust.
Again, thank you to all of you who continue to stick with me, even now, during my sometimes-silly blog ramblings, and those who look forward to the sequel, which will be released later this year.