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I’ve decide on the name for our secret organization, Star Gazers. (We need a cool logo. Any artists out there with ideas, otherwise we’ll windup with me and a crayon. Probably not the image we’re going for.) I haven’t decided on our purpose other than the general goal of world domination. Should it be outright domination or subversive domination? Should we be that scary anonymous group pulling the strings behind the scenes? Yes, I think so.

I have an idea. (I’m listening to the sound track from Lord of the Rings which may be coloring my decisions). We need to create a nano technology that we can fly into the ears of the world leaders. Our command will become their desire. Unless anyone else has another idea. I don’t want to become one of those domineering evil masterminds. This should be a democracy.

While our mad scientist staff begins working on the prototype, I’ll be working on another project. I was advised to take my current goal and 10 times it. Don’t worry, I won’t be making 10 blog posts a day. I will be attempting to complete my novel, Who Stole the Corporate Sausage?  in 10 count them, 10 days. Yes you heard me right, not months, not weeks, but days.

So here’s the plan. I have completed the first 25%. I’m going to attempt to map out the next 25% and write it today and tomorrow. Don’t you just love these last minute ideas, made without giving any thought to feasibility? I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

P.S. I’m working on the secret decoder.

P.S. 2.0 If anyone else is writing about our world domination, let me know so I can link to your posts.

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Today is the first day of my World Domination Project. If you are reading this, you are in one of several groups, henchmen, minions, sidekick, subjects (see minions) or possibly arch nemesis. If you are in the arch nemesis category, beware I have low tolerance for super hero interference.

We’re going to need a few items to get started.

  1. My Evil Name, right now I’m going with Big Bad Evil, but it really doesn’t have the kind of poetic ring I was hoping for.
  2. Evil Staff
  3. Name for Evil Headquarters (Saying my bedroom does not strike fear or confidence in anyone’s heart.)
  4. World Domination Evil Plan
  5. A really kickin’ name for the Evil Plan to be used in indoctrination and marketing materials.
  6. One ring to rule them all. (If you don’t know about the one ring, you’re probably not going to fare well in the new world order.)

We may need a kickstarter account with secret decoder rings. I mean seriously think about it if of our arch nemesis is reading this, he’ll have access to our entire organization. Should we be an organization or secret society? I’m leaning toward organization, but we can be democratic about it.

I know we’ll need people strategically located in organizations around the globe (I think we should use globe it sounds more villainous than world.) We’ll definitely need a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker. I believe historically all world domination plans started with these three guys. You know the old “One if by land or two if by sea”. We definitely need the candlestick maker.

(My apologies to the British division for the American Revolutionary War reference. Though I’m not sure you guys got the reference . You have a lot more wars to study than we do. In your history books it probably goes more like, “Got a colony, got a colony, got a colony, lost one, got a colony, got a colony, … You guys really do have it tough in the history department. Our classes basically start when Christopher Columbus took a wrong turn, yours goes back a couple thousand years.)

I’ll work on number 4. You guys work on 1. My Evil Name, 3. Name of  Evil Headquarters, 5. Code name for Evil Plan and I’ll keep looking for the ring.

If you see any hobbits, hang onto them and notify me immediately.

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Writing Challenge – Somehow I lost several days of the writing challenge emails. I’m short a couple of day and then I didn’t like today’s challenge which was to write a letter of encouragement to the person I was on the first day of the challenge. Instead I decided to repeat the last challenge to write a crappy first chapter. I’m really good at writing crappy beginning.

How could everything have gone so wrong? Our first mission ending in an inquisition. The first called in three hundred years. I glanced on either side of me and saw the worn tired faces of my team members, my younger sisters. Was it my imagination or did they look broken?

The empty seat of our necromancer, cousin Sarh, caught my eye.

I remembered when my Aunt and Uncle had realized their precious little darling was born to raise the dead. Sarh had barely been four. Her parents were hosting the mid-summers celebration. Everyone had been there. Imagine her parents’ shock when the family cat, dead two weeks came romping through the house. Their golden haired four year old following after. I was only six and still remembered my horror. I was always a little repulsed by her after that.

“Why did you not call for assistance?” The voice of the inquisitor brought me back.

My hand trembled, my eyes stung. I blinked. I couldn’t cry during the inquisition. I would win their sympathy perhaps, but they would never let me off world again. Let alone lead my team.

“We have no elders. The rest of my family are younger than us, still in school. We couldn’t risk their lifes. I wasn’t sure we would even make it.”

The old men magicked our family history. The shimmering outline of the text was in front of them.

“Surely there was someone,” the old man said, as he flipped through the text. “Ah, here.”

I closed my eyes and began counting to myself, trying to block out the memory of the mid-summer’s celebration that took the rest of my family.

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The writing challenge for today is to write a bad first chapter. The purpose behind this prompt is to give yourself permission to write a bad first draft, so that you don’t worry about the quality, just about getting a draft onto paper. Writing something is better than writing nothing I suppose.

This prompt isn’t an easy one for me. I can’t think of a story that I haven’t already written a bad first chapter.

So first, what is a bad first chapter? I’m defining it as one filled with backstory and exposition with very little happening. Throw in a boring character and story and voila a bad first chapter. What’s the most boring thing I could come up with? Why me, of course. Here is the first chapter of a novel about a person writing a novel.

The Writer’s Notebook

By Deidra Alexander

Chapter 1

I often wonder why I started writing this tale. Was I hoping to rid myself of demons? Was I driven by some deep need even I wasn’t aware of? Or was I trying to make my long deceased parent’s proud of me?

If I could answer that “why” question my life would suddenly change. I would feel this drive I haven’t felt in a long time. I ponder it, meditate on it, pray about it. But, the answer never comes. So I write without need or desire. I try to roll in the words, some kind of beauty of prose and rhetoric, but it doesn’t satisfy.

A painter marks their canvas with color – lights and darks; brilliant and muted. People watch the process astounded at the image emerging before them. There’s cheering and applause while the work builds. For writer’s there is no cheering and applause, no audience to turn to for inspiration and support. Nothing to help drive forward to push to the next word.

 

I knew I couldn’t delay any longer. Opening the leather bound book of empty pages, I began writing. Words fell from my mind onto the blank page. The scratch of quill against rough paper continued until the shadows grew long. My back and shoulders ached. I ignored the stiffness and pain continuing on, never knowing if anyone would care how the righteous had fallen and the evil had risen. Perhaps no one would ever read about innocence lost and bravery triumphing.

It had seemed hopeless in those final days. Even looking back now it was a wonder we won. Death had seemed so certain. There was a single moment. A single rallying point when light and hope pierced the darkness. When blood soaked and battle worn, Roman had raised his sword and let loose a monstrous scream. For a moment no longer than a breath, everyone paused. Then as one all of his men yelled in response and an energy surged through them.

The enemy stumbled and the advantage was pressed. Their slight hesitation had cost them not only the battle, but the war.

At least that is how I remember it, looking across the field. One moment their commander’s hand was locked firmly around my throat and the next I was wrenched free, released from his strangling hold.

Was that the turning point? Or was it earlier? Had I missed it because I was struggling through my own war? Perhaps that was why I was writing. Trying to discover a truth that might not exist.

But that was the end, not the beginning. I must return to the beginning before you’ll really understand.

It started years earlier.

Moving swiftly across the silent hall, I heard the sound of faintly falling footsteps. Seeking cover in the shadows, I pressed myself against the wall. The footsteps faintly falling grew closer, perhaps it was my fellow conspirator or a traitor. I couldn’t be certain of which.

The uncontrollable shaking started. Clinching my fists and closing my eyes, I whispered to myself, “Thinking begins hesitation. Hesitation begins doubt. Doubt begins paralysis. Paralysis destroys progress.”

My teacher had made me repeat those words a thousand times until they had become a soothing mantra that pushed the curtain of panic back.

“Alicia,” a voice whispered in answer. It was Roman, my ally.

When I released my fists, I realized thin lines of blood marked where my nails had dug in.

Nothing like the threat of a traitor’s death to get your blood pumping. I almost laughed at the thought. What was I thinking trying to free people who might not even want to be freed?

The End.

I hope that was bad and boring enough.

 

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Today’s challenge is to write using a bad voice. Problem:I don’t think I have another voice. This is my crappy voice.

I have an instruction voice.

Step 1. Strike nail with hammer.

Step 2. Repeat Step 1…

I have a Simon Says voice.

Simon says stand up.

Simon says hop up and down on one leg.

Simon says turn around.

Sit down.

Simon didn’t say…

I have a resting bitchy face. Someone mentioned it just today, but I don’t know if I have a resting bitchy voice. I’ll give it a try.

“You suck. You can’t read to save your life. You are such a bad reader, you don’t know you aren’t reading this correctly.”

Did that work? Are you doubting your ability to read? Did I make you cringe?

I might have a whiny voice. Here try it.

“Why? Why would you say that? You aren’t fair. I never get to do anything. You don’t trust me.”

I don’t know. Do you feel the urge to grab some cheese?

This prompt really stumped me. I’m hoping for better inspiration tomorrow.

 

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In today’s challenge, I’m supposed to write a blog post and let it organically morph into another topic. Not sure why, but then again I probably didn’t read the instructions.

Men got nothing on me. When I need to assemble something, I take out all of the pieces; hold a screw driver and the instructions (upside down); and start reading out loud. Before you know it, someone grabs the instructions and screwdriver and starts assembling. I don’t need no stinkin’ instructions.

I wonder if that counts. I started writing about the writing challenge and then digressed into instructions and assembly. Hey, maybe that’s a subplot. Maybe I’m subconsciously a writer. I’m taking a writing class online. It’s less writing and more outlining and preparing to write. I’m much better at preparing to write than I am actually writing.

I’m also taking a procrastination class. It turns out it isn’t about procrastination at all. Quite the opposite, it’s about doing stuff. Like ALL DAY. And by stuff, I don’t mean napping. Napping was not on the list.

Step one was to estimate how long everything would take to finish and then time yourself doing it to see how accurate your estimates were. So I estimated everything I normally do and then timed myself doing it. And after analyzing the results I discovered, I’m really good at procrastinating, quite efficient and effective.

I’m not sure he meant for me to time the activities I perform to procrastinate or the activities I should have been performing if I wasn’t procrastinating. I think his instructions were a little vague.

I did discover one thing, See if you can follow this train of thought. (Warning, Ride can make you dizzy.)

Things I use to keep from doing by procrastinating become the things I do to procrastinate if I find something I don’t want to do more than the things I was supposed to do before. Follow that? Don’t worry I barely did.

I use to procrastinate writing blog posts and would do other things to keep from writing blog posts. Now I write blog posts to keep from working on my book. I think I may have stumbled on gold. Now I need to find something I don’t want to do more than writing a book. I don’t know if it’s really accurate to say I don’t want to write a book maybe I’m scared of writing a book. (This is a suggestion from procrastination 101.)

I’ve written like a mad person in the past, when I’ve had a muse. Someone who appreciated and encouraged my work. I can understand why artists who found such a person kept them around. Never underestimate the value of a muse. Where does one find a muse? I wonder if I could build my own.

I may start a YouTube channel The Muse Builder. It starts with a blowup doll, male or female? He / she will need a smashing outfit. Now this sounds productive.

P.S. I was adding search categories to this post and thought about using Mental Health issues. It seems to fit today’s post, but then again it seems to fit most of my posts.

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Day 5 of the writing challenge is to write a story about a road trip, fact or fiction, with dialogue as if it’s happening.

The sky was so gray it seemed the sun would never shine again. It match the biting cold. This was the last factory on my schedule. Once I checked in with these guys, I could go home for Christmas. I was eager to get to finish my review and get some shopping done. It wasn’t everyday I was working in the south of France, so champagne, chocolate and china were top on my list.

What wasn’t top on my list the crawling pace of the traffic ahead of me. A few hours outside of Paris and everything had come to a virtual standstill.  I was just outside of a small village, a one horse town. Since it was France, maybe a one snail town was more appropriate especially considering the pace. I could have walked faster then we were driving.

I have to say that little silver rental car had one heck of a heater. It wasn’t long before I had to crack the window. I waited semi-patiently my thumb tapping on the steering wheel to the tune on the radio. I heard something strange. Horns, maybe a tuba? It certainly wasn’t in keeping with the French version of pop music playing on the radio.

I turned the radio off, rolled the window down and listened. Drums. Cymbals. It was definitely music. As we crept up to the edge of town, the ten or so shops which made up the business district were decked with tinsel and bells.  People lined the streets mostly women and children bundled against the cold. Some cameras flashed.

What was going on?

I leaned out of the window to catch a glimpse of the traffic ahead as the road curved to the left. Ahead of me I glimpsed a marching band, a fire truck and several fancy cars. That’s when I realized I was in the middle of the town’s Christmas parade.

I smiled and waved as people snapped my picture. Later they probably asked each other, “Who was that woman in the silver car?”

I like to thing the reply was, “A visiting dignitary, of course.”

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