Writing Tip — Writing in Time: September as Writing Inspiration

autumn1-1657662_1280As I said last year, fall is my favorite season, and the weather where I live is at its best in September and October with bright sunny days, cool nights, and most of the the most annoying bugs dead.  Here are some events that occur where I live that I can use for September as writing inspiration.

Labor Day: Labor Day always feels like the end of summer rather than the beginning of fall for me. So I would use a Labor Day picnic as a climax where all my plots are resolved, especially for a family drama.

Beginning of the School Year: Regardless of your age, starting school is always dramatic. Many, many stories have been written on the subject, so I will throw out an idea I hope hasn’t been used too often: follow several characters through twenty-four hours, from the time they wake up on the first day of school until they meet again at school on the second day. I think the characters would have to be high school or older to give them independence, and the opportunity for drama, during the twenty-four hours.

County Fair: The county fair is one of my favorite events. In the county where I grew up and the one I’m living in now, both have their fairs in September. I could use the fair as a setting for nostalgia as people take part in activities their grandparents would recognize. It would also be a great setting for a middle grade mystery. Perhaps several 4-H kids who are spending the night at the fair with their animals suspect a crime has been or will be committed. The fair in my home county does big business in harness racing, so I could also use it as a setting for a country noir story where a gang of thieves try to steal the gambling proceeds.

Football Season: A lot stories have been written about the drama associated with football, but as a former band member, I would like to see more stories about the marching band. I observed a lot from my seat in the stand with the band, and a climax to a mystery or thriller at a high school football game would be very exciting. I like the contrast between a large crowd enjoying an ordinary event while a few people take part in something extraordinary that the crowd has no clue is going on.

Fall Equinox: The only one of two days in the year when light and darkness last for equal amounts of time seems like a great setting for speculative fiction. The equinox could signal that special powers wielded by good and evil characters are evenly matched, and these characters battle it out before the growing darkness makes the evil characters too strong.

Are there any special events in September where you live? How would you se September as writing inspiration?

Mondays Sparks — Writing Prompts: Reflections on Summer 2018

naturew1-3294681_1280Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer in the U.S. Although the calendar says summer lasts until September 22 this year, most people regard Labor Day as the true end, time for reflections on Summer 2018.

If you were to write up your summer, what would be the theme, something that could tie most of your experiences together? Mine would be Nature Adventures.

Because my kids worked on a fishing project for 4-H, I got to know the river and creek near our house so much better. They have moods almost like people. Where the creek meets the river, the bottom is very rocky and uneven, but when I wade further west, the bottom smooths out. I’ve seen a doe and fawn dart away as we come splashing through. We found a dead beaver, which we think had been attacked.

On our annual trip to North Carolina, my family and I took a cruise around Harker’s Island. As we headed back to the dock, the full moon rose over the sea. If Blackbeard’s ship had suddenly sailed beneath it, I wouldn’t have been the least surprised.

We had another adventure when the kids and I met a cousin and her family at a state park. All the kids hunted for fossils and went swimming, and my youngest caught a fish. As we drove home that evening, the golden light was as comforting and cozy as the day spent with family. The perfect summer evening.

What are your reflections on Summer 2018?

Book Release!

fullsizeoutput_8cI am so excited to announce the release of From the Lake to the River: Buckeye Christian Fiction Authors 2018 Anthology, which contains my country noir short story, “Debt to Pay”.

Below are the links where you can buy the anthology as well as the website for the publishing company and the Overdrive link for libraries. If you buy the book and like it, the one way to help all of us authors is to write a review for it. Another is to recommend it to friends. I think most people are more willing to try a book that a friend has recommended. If you want to tell me what you think of the anthology or my short story, please comment below.

Happy reading!

Mt. Zion Ridge Press


Barnes and Noble




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