Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Creating & Maintaining a Blog to Build a Readership: Part 2

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In the previous post, we discussed how writers can build a blog readership by establishing a brand, deciding on a topic, and having a clear target audience in mind. But how is a blog maintained once its created? Here are 5 strategies I’ve found to be the most helpful... {Continue Reading}
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday's Minute Challenge: Writing Prompt Challenge For Teens & Up!





A quick writing prompt challenge (and contest) for teens to get their creative juices flowing for the new week. A new prompt is posted, and winners are announced, every other Monday.



  1. The entry must be between 150 - 300 words. (In order to see how many words your entry is, write it in Microsoft Word, or you can copy and paste it here.)
  2. The deadline for the contest will be the Thursday after next. 
  3. The winners will receive a badge for their blog.
  4. The winner will be chosen based on the judges's preferences, as well as the following questions: Does this entry capture my attention immediately? Does it make me want to continue reading? Is the writing clear? They will also take into consideration the writer's voice and style--not necessarily technical issues, such as grammar, punctuation, etc. 
  5. This is only for fun and to stretch your writing muscles--not necessarily to be taken too seriously. =)

 


The judge panel chooses these winners based on a point system. Keep in mind that the judges are not aware of which entry belongs to which participant until after the judging is complete.





Leanora climbed the dusty steps spiraling up. She lifted her skirts with one hand, and in the other was a candle. She paused at each step, listening for any awakening noises, but the house was still. At last she reached the attic door. It creaked as it opened, and Leanora breathed a deep sigh of relief. At last, her own room. No heavy breathing cook Martha, or snoring Beth, the scullury maid. No Maclean to order her to do needless tasks, just to keep her busy. Nothing but the musty smell of the attic. She stepped inside, careful to stay away from the creaky boards. She had memorized the way across, so that even in the dark, she would make no noise. At last she made it to a small desk. Sitting down at it, she closed her eyes and let the sound of the rain on the roof envelop her. She breathed deeply, and picking up the pen on the desk, dipping it in the ink she opend the blank book. She wrote with care and dexterity
Once upon a time,
She paused to refill her pen, and held it in place over the paper. What next? What should she write? She looked down at her dark skin, barely illuminated in the candle light. What could she write? What would make a difference. The thunder cracked overhead, the rain persisted in it’s tireless dance on the world. And Leanora thought of her mother, her father, and her baby brother in heaven. The pen met the page once more, as she finished
I was free

Congratulations, Esther! Click here for your badgeand don't forget to claim your points here. =) 


 (Tie!)

Once upon a time, I was free.

I was not bought or sold or thrown away carelessly. I was given freely and received freely. I didn't come with a label that says "What will you give me in return?". I had no hidden strings or clauses written in fine print. 

That has all changed now. I am a fake. A knockoff. A slave to the masses of humanity that buy and sell me and lessen my value more with each passing day.

My name is Love and I am not alone on this black market of virtues. 

Around me see others like me suffering the same fate. Hope, Kindness, Mercy, Compassion. They're all here. All cheapened and all slowly dying.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are still people who use us as we were meant to be used. Those people possess other virtues which are even more scarce than us. Honor, Duty, Selflessness, Responsibility. 

The only thing is we need each other. If one of us we're to die the others would soon follow.

Don't let that happen.
Congratulations, His PrincessClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)


 (Tie!)

Once upon a time, I used to be free.

I don’t remember it, I was too young. All I know, is I once was free. I wasn’t a slave, having to do everything to please my master. I wasn’t shipped from planet to planet, bracing for the lashes I would inevitably receive because I stood up to soon during auction.

I wonder what that was like.

Was I ever happy? Did I have a family, one that loved me?
I was born on the outer rim, I think. That’s why I’m a slave. New mothers rarely survive on the outer rim.

Freedom seems so possible. I see the soldiers around me, the generals, and see that they’re free. They’re just a few ranks above me - I could climb to their level, I could earn my freedom.

Only problem is, the slaves that do that are usually killed.

The radiation has been messing with my head too long. I probably couldn’t take care of myself if I were free.

But there’s still a chance, right?

Marsi said she was free once. She told me about the food. How she could make anything she wanted, and she could eat however much she wanted whenever she wanted.

Oh, to have a full stomach again.

But I’ve gotten used to it. My stomach is permanently concave, no amount of food could make it normal again. I’ve been working since I was 5. That’s when my earliest memory is. It isn’t anything special. Just me, opening my eyes and looking at my master. Then slapping him across the face. My first lashing.

I don’t like this, but I’m used to it.

Because, once upon a time, I used to be free.

I’m not free anymore.

And I’m pretty sure I never will be free again.
Congratulations, OliviaClick here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)


“Lullaby, lullaby, go to sleep my darling.” 
I can still hear my mother‘s lullaby playing in my head. The last song she ever sang to me. I still remember the look she had in her eyes, a look that said ‘I’m sorry’. 
I was too young to understand. Too young to understand the tears streaming down her face as she sang me to sleep. Too young to understand what was happening when she opened a tiny black bottle and drained the contents. 
Too young to understand why she never moved again. 
But I remember. 
I kept that bottle and wouldn’t let anyone take it from me. I still have it. 
I take the bottle out of my pocket now and finger the label. It has started to peel, and I can’t read it anymore. But I know what it said. 
Poison. 
On accident, my fingernail rakes away a portion of the sticker. I grimace, even though no real damage is done. This bottle is all I have left of my mother; they took me from her, the night she died. 
And then … then I see it. Words beneath the label, words I can’t make out in the dim light. Shocked, I move closer to the candle. Maybe they’re a clue to my mother’s death. 
So I scratch, scratch, scratch away until my fingers are sticky and the bottle is clear. Then I read. 
“Once upon a time,” the bottle says, “I was free.” 
… so much for that idea. I sigh, about to stick the minuscule bottle back in my pocket, when I hear a noise. I freeze. 
Tap. Taptaptap. Tap. 
My blood runs cold, and slowly, very slowly, I turn around. 
There’s someone at the window.
Congratulations, Savannah P! Click here for your badge, and don't forget to claim your points here. =)


Honorable 
Recognitions

  1. Angela

    Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

    • Submit your response in the comments below, or post it on your blog via InLink (below).
    • Your response should range between 150 - 300 words. 
    • The deadline for the contest will be the Thursday after next. 
    • If you'd rather not submit your post in the comments or on your blog, you may email it to me instead.





    Choose at least one:

    Note: You can always combine the prompts into one entry.

    (Optional) Write a passage continuing your entry from last week week (or whichever week you'd prefer). If you can, try to continue it using one of the following prompts.
    • Write a passage using these items: bricks, stubble, ashes (submitted by His Princess)
    • Write a passage based on this picture (submitted by Kendra)
    • Write a passage either incorporating this phrase OR based on this phrase:  

      The rumors were true.   (submitted by Savannah P)


    Post your entry on your blog!:


    If you're posting your entry on your blog, please add your link below:






    NEW: Tag your friends!

    (Optional) If you post an entry on your blog, tag at least 3 writers who have never participated in Monday's Minute Challenge. Be sure to comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged. (Thanks to Micaiah for this suggestion!)


    Do you have an idea for MMC? I'd love to hear! 
    Send me an email at christiswrite (at) gmail (dot) com. 



    Submit your prompt idea!:

    The prompts that are used for Monday's Minute Challenge are submitted by the participants. 

    Here's how this works:
    • You will be able to submit 3 prompts each week in the same format as above: three objects, one picture, and a piece of dialogue or phrase.
    • On Mondays, I will choose 3 prompts that have been submitted by 3 different people.
    • If your prompt is selected, you will receive 2 points!
    • You may submit in the comments below.



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