A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Fun

Today's post is about fun, celebration, and good writing. I usually don't spam a bunch of links, but there are a few people I want to shout about. Your job is to just accept this list, and then go visit these people. I know, it's an onerous duty, but we all must do what is required. Then we'll have cake, music, and discuss some writing.

First on the list of people to visit are:

Travis at One Word, One Rung, One Day - Travis is troubled by the fact that he has not achieved publication despite eight years of hard work. We all need to let him know just how valuable he is to the writing community, and how terrible it would be if he allows his voice to be silenced. If you haven't had the chance to read Travis' blog, you need to. This is a writer with a very distinct voice and a true gift for storytelling. Do me a favor - stop by, read his stuff, and encourage him to keep at it. It would be a dark day if we didn't have Travis to lighten our moods.

Jeannie at Where Romance Meets Therapy - Jeannie has received positive news on a query she recently sent out. I'm a fan of hers, and I'm sure she'd appreciate you stopping by to say congratulations.

More Superior Scribblers - Christopher and Jamie have joined the ranks of Superior Scribblers, and the award is well deserved by both. I drop by their blogs whenever possible, and I've always found them to be inspiring and talented. Help them celebrate this neat honor.

Rebecca at From Brain To Bookshelf - Rebecca is leagues ahead of the competition in the Ms. Twitter UK contest. Her motto "The Pen Is Mighter Than The Pin-Up" is awesome, not to mention so appropriate. She only has three more days left, so make sure you stop by, vote for her, and drop a comment on her blog.

Michelle at The Surly Writer - Michelle is too cool for words. She has an article series going right now about her first job. It's truly entertaining and showcases her writing ability very well. Since I consider Michelle a friend (and hopefully the reverse is true), I'd appreciate you stopping by to see her. Trust me, you won't regret it. Her storytelling is superb.

Celebrating each other's successes and writing ability is necessary I think. It's important that we remember why we are doing this, and that we aren't on this journey alone. The writing community is really wonderful sometimes, but we need to remind each other of the little successes (and of course large ones) everyone is achieving. It helps us get through the patches when things aren't happening like we'd like them to. If I've left anyone out, let me know and I'll shout about you here too.

I do have a writing question for the English majors out there. This has been something that has bugged me for a long time, and I don't know what the rules are. I absolutely hate when people begin a sentence with the word 'however'. For example:

However, trying to ride a bicycle is not as easy as it looks.

My question is this: What is the rule about this phenomena? Is it okay to start a sentence in this manner? I always thought you had to write sentences using 'however' like this:

I know why not everyone rides however, since trying to ride a bicycle is not as easy as it looks.

It's just something that has bugged me, and I would like some clarification. These are perhaps not the best examples, but hopefully you get the idea.

I did mention fun as well, so here is where the fun comes in. Take the following scene and run with it, expanding it in whatever way you wish. Be creative, head off along any tangent you like. It has been left genre-less, so you can truly do what you wish:

The raindrops stung his bare scalp as Tad struggled up the slope, the rocks scraping against his toes. His eyes were downcast, intent on the climb. As he neared the crest...

Fun is subjective. Non-writers would definitely find a writing prompt less than enjoyable, but we're writer's dammit! It's okay if you choose not to join in, but I'd love to see where people take this. Remember, writing is fun and sometimes we just have to let our muse go haywire on the page.


Lost Wanderer said...

Eric, it's really sweet that you are promoting fellow writers' blogs. Dutifully, I am checking them all out.

Thanks for the prompt, I will have a go at it later (after I manage to finish my word count for WIP) and see what happens.

Christopher Goodwine said...

Hurray for community! And also for cake and music!

I hadn't seen a couple of the bloggers you mentioned; I certainly will check them out.

Personally, I don't often use "however" statements, but I find them a lot when editing other people's work. Usually when I come across sentences that begin with "However," the sentence is just as good -- and generally better -- without the however at all.

I'm pretty sure you can use it as a conjunction or as the first word of a sentence as a stylistic move. It can change the tone by having a period break between the sentences for dramatic effect or something. We just need to be careful that it still flows, and make sure that there is a comma after it. I would say that, when in doubt, a writer could play it safe by using it in the same sentence as the statement they are qualifying.

Michelle H. said...

Why, surely you jest as to think we are NOT friends? Yeesh! Of course we're friends. If you weren't doing Google searches for certain pictures you would already know that.

Thanks kindly for the blog link. As for the prompt, there's no way I could post it here. i don't think blogger will like it if I write a short fiction piece in your comment section. ;-)

Jim Harrington said...

Good post, Eric. Here's what the Grammar Girl has to say about starting a sentence with however.


Christopher Goodwine said...

Fun! Impromptu flash fic!


The raindrops stung his bare scalp as Tad struggled up the slope, the rocks scraping against his toes. His eyes were downcast, intent on the climb. As he neared the crest he felt a surge of excitement. At last, he finally got to be the scout, to be the first civilized man to see a brand new part of the frontier! Stony mountains were all over the region, concealing God knew what. His orders for this first scouting mission were to stop at sundown, or when he found a body of water, whichever came first. He reached the top and removed his cap. Steam rose from his scalp as he mopped sweat and rain out of his eyes.

Once his vision was cleared, he found he was looking out over a river valley. The river was certainly smaller than the Missouri, but big enough to be important. Under the overcast sky, the water was a deep blue-gray. Tad smiled to himself. He found it, so maybe the captains would name it after him! The Tad Williams River, a permanent piece of the frontier.

Tad put the cap back on his head and sat down for a minute to rest and drink from his waterskin. Pleased with himself, he made a good clip back down the ridge and back to camp.

"Where's Captain Lewis?" he asked the sentry.

"He's asleep. Captain Clark is on duty. He's in his tent."

Tad headed to Clark's tent and tapped on the flap. "Excuse me sir? It's Tad, reporting from my scout."

"Hm? Come on in, Tad. I was just writing a letter to my Virginian girl. You know, sometimes I just don't know what to say."

"Well, good luck, sir. I don't really have anyone to write to, so I'm not sure I could be much help. I found a river on my scout, Captain, about 8 miles to the west, in a valley of its own."

"Excellent. We will have to find our way over there."

"Yes, sir." Tad hesitated in the door of the tent. "Um, sir, I was thinking that since I found the river, maybe you could name it-"

"That's a good idea!"

Tad's face lit up. "It is?"

"Yes, indeed. But wait, tell me, is this river pretty?"

"Well, yes, I suppose so. It's in a nice valley, at least."

"Perfect." Captain Clark grinned at Tad. "I'll name it after Judith. She'll love it." The Captain turned back to his letter and dipped his quill in ink. "Oh, and Tad, could you relieve John as sentry? He's been standing duty since dawn."

Feeling dejected, Tad headed back outside and relieved the sentry. Just another day in the wilderness.

Christopher Goodwine said...

Oh man, Just realized that Tad Williams is the author of Tailchaser's Song. It's a book about cats.

Um, change "Williams" to "Willard" in the above when reading I guess! Ha. :p

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks for the shout out, eric! i'm taking a break from the article for a bit... :)

Jamie D. said...

Thanks for the mention, Eric. Such a great community we all have here...

I just visited the other blogs you listed - thanks for recommending them! Several more daily reads for me.

Great prompt - I'll think on it a bit. Thanks!

Travis Erwin said...

Thanks for the shout out and encouragement. As you could tell by that post I was at a dark spot in my mind as far as writing goes but I've sucked it up and jumped back in. Actually, I couldn't quit even if I wanted to.

Johanna said...

Can't wait to check them out!

Michelle McLean said...

Great links :D

And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to start a sentence with However. It's like starting it with But, Since, etc, but it's more formal.