Category Archives: Writer Fun & Games

Writing Prompt #96

In honor of Nanowrimo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, my writing prompts are dares.

Write a literal take on a pun.

Your character discovers they have inherited an island.

A mistake in a clothing shop leads to hidden treasure.

Have fun!

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The Next Big Thing: Pegasi Don’t Sleep

Greetings! For those of you interested, I’ve been ‘tagged’ by  to answer ten questions about my work in progress. After my answers, you’ll find the names of the three people I’ve “tagged” to answer questions – as well as links to (the other) Cathy’s answers. If the taggees choose to answer, I’ll try to post links to those posts too.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your book?
Pegasi Don’t Sleep
Bobby Stalwart Saves the World
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Honestly? I’m not sure. I have always been a big Greek myth buff, and I wondered what the world would be like if the gods of Greek mythology were a reality today. I might have also been watching FlashForward on Netflix at the time, but I’m not sure. So if the gods had always meddled  in human affairs, their existence wouldn’t even up for debate. Natural occurrences would have godly explanations.
Anyway, I meshed the idea of the world falling into a deep sleep with one about this isolated boy who is the only human still conscious. He spots a Pegasus flying over the horizon and seeks him out – and later the gods themselves – in order to save the world.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult Fantasy
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven ‘t a clue. I pictured the boy, Bobby Stalwart, as an older version of my son – physically, but not emotionally. So I’m not sure who would fit that role.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Would you settle for an elevator pitch?
Bobby Stalwart was a normal kid until the day he woke up and the world had stopped. Now he must journey to Olympus with a Pegasus to face the gods and save the world.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would like to try the traditional route first, but I’m willing to self-publish if that doesn’t work out.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Less than a month, since I wrote the first draft for Nanowrimo 2010. Between other projects, I have been editing this manuscript off and on for the past two years. My goal is to finish this round of edits by the middle of 2013.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Maybe the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series or the novel, Gods Behaving Badly? FlashForward, probably, though I’ve only seen the television series.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I can’t name one person as an inspiration for this book in particular, but my writing inspiration has always been my son.  I began writing with Nanowrimo of 2007, because I wanted to create a momento for him of the stories I’d told him as a little boy. I enjoyed it so much, I kept it up – especially with the weekly support of the Friday Flash community. My son listens to most of my stories and lets me know what he thinks. He frequently gives me ideas. He’s my little muse.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s lots of humor, interpersonal conflicts between the gods, and (of course) the Fates make an appearance. If you like Greek mythology, coming of age stories, as well as books that don’t take themselves too seriously, you might enjoy this. I think Pegasi Don’t Sleep will be a really fun read.
And now I’m going to tag… (drum roll, please)

Tony Noland

Icy Sedgwick

You’re all IT.

To see Cathy Olliffe-Webster ‘s answers, click here.


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Kreativ Blogger Award

This week, I had the honor of being given the Kreative Blogger Award by John Wiswell of The Bathroom Monologues. The game involves listing 10 things about myself as well as awarding this to other bloggers whose work I admire.

I’ve played similar games before, so I apologize if I’ve already listed some of these things about myself. Here’s my list!

1. I never attempted to write fiction (other than for school assignments) until my late thirties. The only reason I started was because Nanowrimo offered me to the chance to write down stories that I thought would make a nice keepsake for my son when he was older. They were about a character I created for him called Monkey boy. Needless to say, the ‘novel’ was pretty unreadable (the entire first chapter was an info dump), but I was hooked and decided to keep practicing until I got better.

2. During my senior year of high school, my Lit teacher liked one of my flash stories (it was an assignment) and told me that I should consider writing. I was flabbergasted and asked what I should do. He just told me to write. Without direction (I assumed you needed a plan, etc.), I did not write again until my late thirties, though I never forgot that conversation.

3. Until the late 90’s, I was computer-phobic. In high school, I had taken computer classes though I didn’t own a computer, and through the wonder of high school I developed a long-standing hatred for programming and all things computer related.

4. During the late 90’s, my husband introduced me to search engines and chat rooms. I got over my hatred/fear of computers.

5. My original alias for chats and other on-line activities was ‘Titania’, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I got tired of being constantly ‘hit on’ in the chat rooms because of my female moniker. So I changed it to the more androgynous ‘ganymede’ (the alias of Rosalind in As You Like It when she poses as a boy, as well as the name of Jupiter’s…uh, ‘cupbearer’). Then I was ‘hit on’ by gay men in the chat rooms, but much less frequently.

6. ‘Ganymede’ became ‘Ganymeder’ because I screwed up when I was creating my original blog. I added the ‘R’ to stand for the first initial of my last name.

7. When reading and writing, I prefer everyday language that’s easy to read. I don’t believe good writing equates to using big words.

8. I’ve written approximately 271,000 words of fiction since I started writing in 2007. That’s four Nanowrimo ‘novels’ of 50,000 words each, and (conservative guess) 142 flash stories of roughly 500 words each (according to my blog, not including links to other sites for flash). I am also not including word counts for short stories that have not been published or that I haven’t finished because the task of adding them up separately is too troublesome.

9. Open Office (now Libre Office) is my word processor of choice. I’ve lusted after other writing programs, occasionally used other programs, but I always seem to come back to Open Office.

10. I do not have a writing schedule. I write between doing other things, because I usually have to work my schedule around those of other people.

I apologize if I’ve said some of these before. I tried to keep my list restricted to information that has to do with writing, so my awardees are also some of my favorite flash fiction writers. My recommendations for the Kreativ Blogger Award are:

1. Icy Sedgewick

2. Helen A. Howell

3. Annie Evett

4. J.M. Strother

5. Jack Holt

And last but not least, thank you, John! I’m flattered that you thought of my blog for the award.


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Towel Day 2012

Once again it’s time to break out your towels and act like hoopy froods for the International Celebration of the life of Douglas Adams – Towel Day. On May 25th, every year, fans around the world proudly wear their towels and do other things in honor of the author of that most extraordinary book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

First of all, if you are unfamiliar with the series, you REALLY need to read this novel. You’ll find it’s a quick and easy read, and so many things are drawn from its pages that you’ll find yourself recognizing references you never ‘got’ before. For instance, Babblefish – the online translator, is named after the babblefish in the book. So again,  the first thing you need to do – if you haven’t already done it – is read the book!

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the day to those already familiar with the Hitchhiker’s series.  Since the novel’s main character, Arthur Dent, is forced to hitchhike across the Universe in only his bathrobe and pajamas, my son and I spend the day in our bathrobes. And of course, we carry our towels with us throughout the day. Why a towel? In the words of The Guide:

A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are a very popular drink in the Hitchhiker’s Universe, though unfortunately the Terran equivalent of the ingredients are hard to find on Planet Earth. However, you can have fun making up your own. My son, Monsterbat, and I have fun making up a non-alchoholic version of the most alchoholic drink in the Universe.

There are many activities you can participate in, such as posting photos of yourself with your towel to the Towel Day Flickr page. You can watch the movies, use phrases from the books throughout the day, or even compose some Vogon Poetry. The possibilities are endless.

If you visit the Official Towel Day site you might even find others fun activities you’d never imagined. Just be sure that whatever you do, you enjoy yourself while remembering the work of a great author.

Happy Towel Day, you hoopy froods!

*image courtesy of markbult via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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Lucky Seven – Pegasi Don’t Sleep

Eric J. Krause tagged me in his Lucky Seven list, a fun game for writers; so I thought I’d take a shot at playing. Here are the rules.

1. Go to page 77 in your current manuscript
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are – no cheating
4. Tag 7 other authors (Done on Facebook)

I wasn’t sure if #4 meant 7 sentences or just the next 7 lines. I just copied the next 7 lines of text on page 77 of my 2nd draft, so it ends mid-sentence. Keep ’em wanting more; right? Anyway, here is my 7-line excerpt from my YA Fantasy Pegasi Don’t Sleep or Bobby Stalwart Saves the World

In the meantime, Medusa fussed over her son and gave them fresh supplies. The boy could only hope that they would have no cause to need them all. She had packed enough in the small satchel to last weeks. Like so much else about her house, the bag was magical, enabling its owner to carry an indefinite amount of goods while only weighing about a pound.

Ever since Bobby’s discovery in the library, he had sought to

And you can read the rest after (at least) one or two more drafts, when I’ve gotten a fabulous agent and book deal, and I am living on a tropical island populated by adoring fans.

Now, since I’ve avoided working on my novel today by talking about it instead, I should probably do some actual work. Those adoring fans aren’t going to write the novel for me!

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Fun and Games for Writers: Continue the story…


*Rules: Add one sentence to the previous sentence (in the comments) so that the story grows with each comment, and have fun!

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Writer Fun & Games: Getting to know you…

Need a break from writing?

Well, I’ve got just the thing for you. Remember those books from elementary school that would get passed around the class? You would fill in the answers to favorite color, car, and television show? Well, here is an updated version for the net-surfing bibliophile. (I’ll answer in the comments first to get the ball rolling)

Who is your favorite author(s)?

What is your favorite book(s)?

Do you prefer novels, anthologies, fiction, or nonfiction?

What book(s) are you currently reading?

If you could be any literary character, who (or what) would you be?


Ready, set… GO!



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Writer Fun & Games: Your Favorite Subject!

Alright, so my son is starting virtual school again in a couple weeks, which means we’ve started unpacking his books, buying new pencils, and all the other back-to-school stuff we normally do. Since his school books are sent ahead, before his courses are even uploaded to the website, it gives us a chance to sneak peek what he’ll be studying in the coming year. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m almost as excited as when I used to go to a brick-n-mortar school as a child!

This year he’ll be studying a lot of subjects that were my favorites or became my favorites in later years. He’ll read (kid versions of) A MidSummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Don Quixote, and American Folk Tales like Paul Bunyan and The Ride of Paul Revere. He was excited by the Science kit which came with litmus paper, gravel, etc. because he likes to experiment.

And this got me thinking…  what were YOUR favorite subjects, dear reader, as a child? When you were in Middle School, what books did you read ahead in? What sparked your imagination?

If you don’t want to answer a question about your past, how about now? What really gets you excited now? Science? Mythology? That girl you sat next to on the bus? Well, no…scratch that last one.

Please leave your answer in the comments below. I’ll start off.

My favorite subject in Middle School was Literature, especially when we studied Greek Mythology. Our teacher even hosted a Greek Banquet where all the kids dressed up as gods or goddesses and had to ‘introduce’ themselves to everyone at the banquet. I was Leda – the goddess who laid eggs (no kidding), but Mythology remained my favorite subject despite this.

Now, it’s YOUR turn!

*image courtesy of New York Public Library via Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.


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Fun and Games for the Literate: Continue the story…

*Rules: Add one sentence to the previous sentence (in the comments) so that the story grows with each comment, and have fun!

I’ll start.

After the accident at the Mill, George was never quite the same.

*image courtesy of George Eastman House via Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.



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Fun & Games for Writers: What happens next?

Continue the story by writing the next line.

“I swear the zebra followed me home,” said Dolores.

*image courtesy of PedjaP via Flicker and Creative Commons.


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