What If? Writing Prompts: Paranormal IV

As promised, here are some new “What If?” Writing Prompts for you to enjoy! This week’s theme features another set of prompts in the paranormal genre. What sorts of bizarre tales can you spin from these ideas? Have fun!

What If - Parchment and QuillWhat if… every time you had a dream about someone you knew, it meant that person had one week left to live?

What if… the ghost of a relative haunted your family’s home, but only you could see and hear them?

What if… the planchette of your friend’s ouija board started moving on its own whenever you went to visit?

What if… you suspected someone you knew of being possessed by a spirit?

What if… you saw a will-o’-the-wisp while you were out camping with your friends?

Good luck writing more stories of the paranormal!

If you have any “What If?” writing prompt suggestions (for any theme), please feel free to share them in the comments below. Ideas I like may be featured in future “What If?” posts, with full credit and a link to your blog (if you have one)! Also, if you’ve written a piece based on an idea you’ve found here, be sure to link back to the respective “What If?” post. I would love to see what you’ve done with the prompt! Thank you!

Word of the Week: Brexit

Word: Brexit

Pronunciation: BREKS-ət

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

Oh yes, it’s time for some more current events in my Word of the Week segment! The United Kingdom made waves around the world last week with the news that the majority of its population voted “Leave” in the EU referendum that took place on June 23. If you’ve been following the news before and after this event, you may recall seeing a certain portmanteau floating around the headlines. Of course, having such a huge impact on the UK and the entire world, it’s kind of hard not to hear any talk about the “Brexit” right now!

“Brexit” (originally “Brixit”) is a term for the (once hypothetical but now very real) departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The word was coined in 2012 as a blend of the words “British” (or “Britain”) and “exit”. This term probably followed the same pattern as the term “Grexit” (“Greek”/”Greece” + “exit”), which was coined earlier in the same year.

Before the referendum, you may have only started hearing about “Brexit” if you’re into financial news, as the vote to “Leave” would have an especially significant impact on both the UK’s and the global economy. Since it just happened a few days ago (and I’m really terrible about keeping up with political news), there isn’t much else I can contribute to this topic myself, so for your information and entertainment, I refer you instead to John Oliver’s “Brexit” video. On a final note, if you happen to write fiction about up-to-the-minute current events, then I’m sure you can find a good place for the “Brexit” in your stories!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

To Be the Middle Sister

To be the middle sister
Is a blessing and a curse.
To one sister, you’re the “better”;
To the other, you’re the “worse”.

When it comes to being older,
You’ve had gifts enough to give
To the younger of your siblings,
Who adores the life you live.

At the same time, being younger
Must have been a challenge too,
Growing up with someone older
Who made life so tough for you.

Yet the sister who’s your elder,
Who pretends to reign supreme,
Is in fact a little envious
Of your life lived like a dream.

But regardless of her envy,
She adores you just the same,
And she couldn’t be more proud
Of the person you became.

So today, my dearest sister,
Please allow me just to say
That I love you very much
And hope you have a great birthday!

Happy Birthday to my amazing little sister! Keep being the wonderful person you are! I love you!

3 Creative Writing Themes Inspired by Grandparents

When it comes to looking for creative inspiration, sometimes you needn’t look farther than your own family. Plenty of my characters and stories have been inspired by my family members (you know who you are), but today I’d like to honor someone special by focusing on the inspiration that can be found in some of our oldest and most beloved relatives: grandparents!

So for today, here are three creative writing themes that can be found in the loving relationships shared with our grandparents! Enjoy!

I_love_my_grandma_and_grandpa1) Family Love

There’s no love like family love, and speaking from experience, grandparents have a lot of that to offer. My grandparents always treated me and my sisters like the greatest treasure of their lives when we were growing up, and that love remains strong with us today, even if most of our grandparents no longer are. In fact, some of my favorite love stories and poems to write aren’t even about romance, but family. It’s the most unconditional kind of love you can find, so if you were lucky enough to be spoiled by your grandparents growing up, I highly recommend using that experience as inspiration for some sweet family love stories of your own!

2) Family History

As I’ve mentioned in the past, grandparents can be excellent sources of stories about your own family history. Most grandparents do love to tell stories about their lives, and those stories can be extremely valuable to a young audience, especially budding writers. It’s only natural to want to know where you come from and what mistakes you should avoid making as you grow older (even though you’ll probably make most of them anyway), so if your grandparents are still around, it may be worth sitting in for a few experience-based history lessons if you haven’t yet. Who knows? Your grandparents may just help you find inspiration for your most interesting writing in the stories of your own family’s past!

3) Respect for elders

If you have childhood memories of your grandparents, you may remember being taught to treat them with the utmost respect. No matter how much they spoiled you or treated you like a close friend, you were still expected to listen to them and always put them first. At least, my sisters and I were. Showing respect for our elders is an important lesson that we should practice our whole lives, so as long as you hold on to those memories of respecting your grandparents, you’ll likely find it easier to write older characters and their relationships, especially with younger characters. After all, if there’s one thing grandparents love to teach their grandchildren, it’s the value of healthy and loving relationships!

What about you? Have you ever found creative inspiration in your grandparents? What kinds of stories or poetry have they inspired?

Today’s post is dedicated to my grandmother, whose love has always been a wonderful inspiration to me. Happy Birthday, Grandma! I love you!

Word of the Week: Ecclesiastical

Word: ecclesiastical

Pronunciation: ə-klee-zee-A-stə-k(ə)l

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: of or relating to the Christian Church or its clergy

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

He had a special passion, also, for ecclesiastical vestments, as indeed he had for everything connected with the service of the Church.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde, 1891)

So I’ve been reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I have to admit that the novel has me utterly fascinated. Considering it was written at the end of the 19th century, it obviously contains a handful of words uncommon to modern vocabulary that I could pick out for this segment, so I randomly chose one of the words that had me reaching for the dictionary (read: built-in dictionary widget) the moment I read it. The above excerpt, taken from the chapter detailing the various fleeting pleasures in which Dorian indulges himself throughout his life, mentions his passion for clothing and other items related to the Church. Being one to readily succumb to temptation and sin, one can only imagine where Mr. Gray’s “ecclesiastical” obsession came from!

Anything “ecclesiastical” is related to the Church and/or its clergy. The word is the adjective form of the noun “ecclesiastic” (“a priest or member of the clergy”), which arose in late Middle English and traces back through the French adjective ecclésiastique and the Latin adjective ecclesiasticus to the Greek noun ekklēsia, meaning “assembly” or “church”. This noun stems from the adjective ékklētos, which means “summoned”.

While “ecclesiastical” is apparently limited to contexts referencing the Church and its clergy, I admit I like the sound of the word enough to consider writing a scene in a religious setting just for the excuse to use it. It may be worth noting that the noun form “ecclesiastic” can also function as an adjective with the same meaning as “ecclesiastical”, though this usage is considerably less common in modern English. If your stories tend to include religious characters or settings, you could make great use of some “ecclesiastical” details!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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