According to TimeHop today is the three year anniversary of being bestowed with an Outstanding Writer Award from my school’s student newspaper. My editors deemed me to be the best writer for my beat, and I was blown away. I had no expectation of winning anything. When I became a staff writer I just wanted to practice my writing, become more connected with campus happenings, plus there was a nice $75 direct deposit for each issue. Getting an award made me think I had potential in journalism.
I was a Senior the following year and between semesters I applied to University of Oregon’s Journalism program. Within a week of sending in my finished application packet I got accepted. Then towards the end of my last undergrad semester I was bestowed the Best News Writer Award. This was even more unexpected. In two school year’s time I went from being a fresh recruit, to being best writer in my beat, to the best writer in the whole publication. Winning Best News Writer made me even more excited to start J School, and I was already pumped.
Hadn’t even finished my Bachelor’s and I was already an award winning journalist. I thought I had a promising future ahead of me in journalism. Within six months I knew I was wrong (check earlier entries for details).
Yesterday I wrote about the criteria for whether or not I will partake in a Daily Prompt. Well today’s prompt sums up why I often won’t. One word tends to be too vague. The old style question prompts weren’t vague at all, they were very specific. However, I will admit that a vague one word response does have greater potential variety of responses than a specific question. That’s my guess on why the change was made.
I will only partake in the Daily Prompt if the word is something I can incorporate into a blog worthy post without sounding contrived. Yesterday it was mallet, and I couldn’t think of anything so I didn’t post. Honestly I miss the old Daily Prompts that were more than one word. There was a question that formed an actual prompt. Those got my creative juices flowing and resulted in me writing a ton of material on topics I never would have mentioned otherwise. The one word prompts just don’t have that kind of stimulation for me, perhaps it’s different for others.
The last multi word prompt occurred on February 28th, 2016 and it was Five Items and asked what five items you would bring with you on a deserted island. A single word prompt appeared the following day, and there hasn’t been a multi word prompt since. I hope one day the Daily Post will scrap the one word prompts, or at very least not have every single Daily Prompt be a one worder.
“What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word –”
Jorge Luis Borges once noted that camels are never once mentioned in the Koran, which proves it is an authentically Arabic book. Anyone who isn’t from the Middle East writing a book set there would feel compelled to mention camels, whether it was necessary for the story or mere tokenism. Reading that Borges essay has given me a critical eye for set and setting, and now any details in a work I examine whether I think they were there organically or to remind you of the setting.
It’s truly astounding how whenever characters go to New Orleans it just so happens to be Mardis Gras or at very least Mardis Gras is gratuitously mentioned, similar with Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. No matter what city a film takes place in, you can guarantee that whatever landmark it is known for will make an appearance. In Ratatouille the Eiffel Tower is present pretty much whenever they are outside, even Linguini’s shitty apartment had a clear view of it. That’d be some prime real estate. I’ve been to Paris and I know first hand the Eiffel Tower isn’t omnipresent, I didn’t even see it on my first day there because my hotel room wasn’t anywhere near it.
Like most everyone my age Aladdin was a major part of my childhood. The Genie always seemed like such a cool guy and I always thought it would be cool to have a genie of my own. Not just for the wishes, but because of all the other cool things they can do. If I were to get a genie of my own I have two scenarios imagined. In the first one I quickly piss away my three wishes on whatever impulsive shit crosses my mind, all within a week. In the second one I hang on to those wishes for when I truly believe I need a deus ex machina, it would take years for me to spend all three if ever.
The next Toastmasters meeting is tonight and I’m going to be giving a speech. I’m three speeches into my Advanced Storytelling Manual, once I give this next speech I will only have one speech to go before I finish that manual and will move on to another one. It’s been over a month since I have my last speech, sometimes I fret a bit when I haven’t done it in a while.
When I was working on my Competent Communicator manual I gave a speech from it every week with only two gaps, so I knocked out a ten speech manual in twelve weeks. I’ve been working on this current one since January, it’s taken much longer because we have a lot of recently joined members who are beginning their Competent Commicator so meeting have usually had their three speaking slots filled. Sometimes I fret when I begin writing a speech, but for the next project we aren’t supposed to use notes and I plan to give my speech from memory. It’s about a life experience so I needn’t write anything down.
Lately I’ve been writing a lot of stories. Usually I look for upcoming anthologies and contests and write a story to fit the criteria / prompt given. For me that is much easier than writing a story from scratch, major setback is selection is based on how well the story fits what they wanted as it does quality. A story that doesn’t fit won’t make it no matter how good it is. Of course you can always send it off to other publications once it’s been rejected.
Most recently I entered the Best Gender Swap Fairy Tale Competition. The contest is being put on by Fairy Talez, a website which has a rather impressive collection of fairy tales that anyone can add to.
I wrote a female version of Rumpelstiltskin. In order for an entry to be eligible it needs at least 5 Likes, so if you could give it a Like that would be great! Enjoy:
#writing #fantasy #fairytale #shortstory
One new thing I started doing shortly after my most recent blogging hiatus was joining Toastmasters International. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Toastmasters is an international public speaking club. Each meeting two or three speeches are given by members. After the speeches are done each one is given an evaluation from another member. Evaluations are brief, with usually two or three positive things mentioned about the speech and one (no more than two) things to improve upon.
I’ve never been afraid of public speaking. On the contrary I’ve always enjoyed it. I joined because I wanted something new to get into and it never hurts to hone your public speaking skills.
When you first join you are given a manual to get your first title, Competent Communicator. In order to achieve this you must complete the ten speeches required by the manual, each one is focused on a specific task that will help you when you give speeches later. Once you have your Competent Communicator you are free to start on a more advanced manual (there are a ton to choose from) or give speeches unrelated to to any manual.
Another thing you will learn to do well is writing. You’ll write almost all of the speeches you give in the club, and writing is just as important as delivery when it comes to speeches. If not more so.
I managed to get my Competent Communicator in 12 weeks, which senior members of my chapter told me is the fastest any member has done it in recent memory. If you want to sharpen your speaking and communication skills I highly recommend you check out Toastmasters. Here is a link to get started: https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club
Nothing sucks more than being confused about an assignment deadline. While I was able to get a lot done over Thanksgiving break, I didn’t realize that I had a major assignment due tonight. I thought it wasn’t due until next week. I’m pretty much done in all my other classes, so I can finally zero in on completing this draft. This has been a stressful semester, especially with the additional burden of being on academic probation. I just remind myself of what Dory would do. Just keep swimming.
You’re always there, even when I don’t want you
But your presence is not visible when I’m desperate for you
And your wife La Luna is present instead