What’s the Story?

June’s theme is speculative fiction. I’ve read that the Christian fiction industry uses the phrase speculative fiction while the general market uses science fiction and fantasy.

Whatever you call this genre, all the Monday Sparks will feature speculative fiction prompts that will allow your imagination to run wild.

What’s the story? Here’s mine:

I shifted my guitar to my back, and the sparks of magic I’d strummed into flying settled to the ground and winked away.

Molith City, lit beneath my feet, shone almost as bright under a blanket of heat that had rolled in the first week of August.

Molith City. I’d heard a lot of things about the mega city back home. None of them good. But if that’s where Zare was, I had to go down the hillside and go in.

Taking a deep breath, I started down the steep slope. I swung my guitar in front of me and strummed up some sparks for the light and company.

Close Our Eyes to Nature

Sight is such a dominant sense in humans that for writers to evoke the other senses, we may need to close our eyes to nature.

A few days ago, I sat on the river bank near my home while the kids fished and closed my eyes to tune in my other sense to nature. Below are my impressions:

  • Whine of passing cars on bridge
  • Bird calls — “purty, purty, purty” and “cheer, cheer, cheer”
  • A thick, sweet smell–magnolias?
  • Water smacking against an oar
  • Air perfect temperature to be without a coat.

I opened my eyes and added “Sunlight glittering on the water”

Now I have the raw materials for using the setting in a scene.

Despite the whine of cars passing on the bridge above the river, Aiden didn’t look up. He kept his focus on the bobber as it danced in a glittering ripple. Birds tossed songs to each other, and a thick, sweet smell reached him from the other bank.

Now go find a place in nature where you can close your eyes and test your other sense with what they can pick up.

I’d love to read what you discover!

Spring Haiku

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a poetry prompt. Since haikus describe nature, spring haiku is the perfect prompt to go with this month’s theme of nature.

The redbuds are blooming in my neck of the woods in the Buckeye State. Here’s my haiku:

Redbud trees feathered

In pink and purple glory:

A bird dressed for spring

Click to read my spring haikus from 2018 and 2019. Lori Z. Scott wrote an impressive haiku that’s also an acrostic on her Instagram page.

What haiku does spring inspire in you?

What Natural Wonders Do You Want to See?

This month I’m focusing on how nature can inspire our writing. But nature means much more to me than simply source materials for stories. I see the goodness of God in nature. It’s demonstrates His joy in the act of creation. I can clear my mind and relax when I get out into nature and away from the grind of the daily routine.

I haven’t traveled very far in my life. I’ve only flown three times. The furthest east I’ve gone is Acadia National Park in Maine, and the furthest west has been Dallas. Natural wonders I would like to see some day are:

What natural wonders do you want to see?

Write This Scene in Show Don’t Tell

Last prompt for the month featuring show don’t tell.

*****

The air burned in my nose as I pumped up the hill. All this exercise would either kill me or make me fit enough to beat the entire cross-country team next fall. But if this was the only way I could see Ava and Lucy during this stupid virus crisis, I’d let the air burn off my nose completely.

“C’mon! Race ya!” My little brother flew by us as we passed the Jenkins’ farm.

Besides the threat of death, Gavin was the other drawback of these rides. But Mom made me bring him.

“I’m glad it stopped raining.” Ava sat up straighter, the breeze that was tossing the leaves of the budding honeysuckle catching her long, red hair.

Lucy bent lower over her bars. “I don’t let a little rain stop me from riding.”

Of course she didn’t. Lucy was in good enough shape to make Olympic athletes throw up their hands and go home to their couches.

I didn’t say that, though. Couldn’t. I was pedaling.

Gavin stopped at the overgrown drive that always had a chain across it, and we pulled up beside him.

“Look.” He pointed at the chain that was wrapped around a tree.

“That chain is always blocking that drive,” said Lucy.

“It’s not now.” Gavin hopped into this seat and took off.

“Gavin! That’s a private drive!” I tried to shout, but it came out as a strained whisper.

He disappeared around the bend.

I looked to Ava and Lucy. “He’s your brother,” Ava said.

“You know, I’d forgotten that.” Blowing out my cheeks, I pushed off and headed down the drive.

Write This Scene in Show Don’t Tell

A photo prompt for the speculative fiction writers out there. How would you write this scene in show don’t tell?

Here’s mine.

*****

I slipped my hand into Jakon’s as we strolled along the highest catwalk in the city park.

“It’s beautiful.” I sqeezed his hand.

A big grin lit up his long face. “I knew you’d like it here.”

This close to the dome, we could see the sun sending its beams through the clouds. The devastated land was too far below us to see clearly. The perfectly controlled air temperature blew gently over us, stirring Jakon’s wavy red hair.

“We’ll have to get back soon.” I sighed.

A loud hum made me look up. My jaw swung loose.

Sailing against the clouds was some kind of vehicle. I’d seen pictures like it in history posts.

Jakon gawked. “Nothing can live outside the dome.”

“Maybe it’s a government or military vehicle.”

“But everybody travels underground to visit the other domes.”

The flying vehicle turned, heading straight for us.

Write this Scene in Show Don’t Tell

Assume the point of view of one of the people in the scene or add a character of your own.

*****

I climbed on top of the jeep, spitting sand out of my mouth. The wind spun another gust into my face, and I wiped sand from my eyes.

“They’re coming! They’re coming!” our guide pointed to the shapes blurred in the dancing sand.

Clearing my eyes again, I looked through the viewfinder of my camera. After tracking the herd for a month, I could not miss this shot. As long as the wind didn’t get stronger, I could do it.

“What a way to make a living,” Dean muttered, brushing sand from his grizzled beard.

Spitting again, I grinned, and the sand tried to burrow into my teeth. “I wouldn’t want to be any place else.”

Write this Scene in Show Don’t Tell

This month, the theme is “show don’t tell”. My pictures for writing prompts will all feature scenes that allow you to imagine yourself as a character in it. Or you can describe the scene as an omniscient narrator. Then write the scene in the “show don’t tell” technique.

Here’s mine:

A breeze ruffling my fur, I stare at Mandy. Life just hasn’t been the same since those two-legged pups showed up. Mandy hardly notices me any more. I appreciate she hasn’t let me starve and still takes me for walks, but it’s not the same.

She’s so busy with getting her pups to sit–something I can do on the first command– that I’ll just do some exploring on my own.

I head off at an easy trot. Nothing like springtime. Sometimes all the smells can overwhelm young dogs, but I’ve got enough experience to sort them all out and enjoy them.

Let’s see … sweet yellow flowers, clean grass, and–and–I lick my nose. Yes, meat. Probably one of those fat worm-shaped cuts humans like to eat with red sauce. But the pungent, sweet aroma of the sauce is missing.

I glance over my shoulder. Mandy drags the younger pup back to the log. I won’t be missed. Licking my chops as well as my nose, I lope toward the aroma of meat.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑