Camp NaNo Update: Day 20

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress Tracker Infographic Seventy Percent

Camp NaNo Update: Day 19 (Updated Goals)

Camp NaNo Update Progress Tracker Infographic New Goal Sixty-three Percent

Camp NaNo Update: Day 18

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress Tracker Infographic One-Hundred Percent

Camp NaNo Update: Day 17

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress Tracker Infographic Ninety Percent Complete

Camp NaNo Update: Day 16

Camp NaNoWriMo Progress Tracker Infographic Eighty Percent Complete

Camp NaNo Update: Day 13

CAMP NANOPROGRESS TRACKER (8)

Flash Fiction Friday: The Beast Within

This Flash Fiction Friday story is my submission to the Writer’s Digest Your Story competition. The prompt was the featured image, the challenge to write less than 650 words based on the image provided.

Flash Fiction Friday – The Beast Within

Kaysee squinted into the dark tunnel that spiraled beneath the mountain. Cold air breathed into her face between the rusted iron cage that seemed meant to deter people from entering.

“What do you think?” she asked her boyfriend, Jordan, who stood slightly behind her, peering over her shoulder.

“Why not?” he shrugged, grinning. He was excited. He’d already turned on his headlamp, prepared for spelunking.

“Yeah, let’s do some exploring,” Jordan’s best friend, Matthew, agreed.

Kaysee eyed the opening dubiously. Somebody had placed the grate there to block the entrance, maybe to keep people from falling in. Or maybe for another reason.

The grate was heavy and moved grudgingly. Jordan and Matthew grunted as they lifted in tandem, barely raising it an inch from the ground. But it was enough to shift from the bulk of the cave’s entrance.

Jordan went down first, feeling with his feet for footholds as he lowered. Kaysee turned on her headlamp, trying to push down the feeling in her stomach that they should not explore this particular place. As she dropped down behind Matthew, she peered around. The entrance was short, and they all had to crouch, but with the lamp, she could see the ceiling of the cave rose several feet just beyond the light of the entrance. They crawled to the cavern and stood, allowing themselves a minute to adjust to the darkness within.

Puddles reflected in their headlamps and Kaysee could hear the water dripping from the ceiling several feet above.

Jordan and Matthew made weak attempts at echoing yodels as they splashed over the cavern floor, heading toward the openings that branched from the opposite side.

There were two; one seemed to slant upwards, seemingly back to another surface exit. Was that exit blocked as well, Kaysee thought. The other dropped steeply, leading further underground. Jordan and Matthew made a beeline for that opening, pulling rope from their packs. Jordan peeked down and whistled. The shrill sound bounced all around them, and Kaysee winced.

“This cave is a gem,” Jordan said, his smile broad and dimpled.

They made their way slowly into the hole, grasping crumbling hand and footholds. Rocks clattered far below, much farther than Kaysee cared. But her boyfriend seemed excited. She breathed deeply, bracing herself for his sake. He owed her a date night though, she thought.

Distracting herself with thoughts of cheese plates and rosé, Kaysee reached the bottom of the tunnel, stumbling a little at the sudden feel of flat earth beneath her feet. Matthew and Jordan were already moving on, lights flickering over the walls erratically as they chattered.

Their voices seemed unnaturally loud, and Kaysee wondered if they could dislodge any of the ceiling with the noise they were making.

A thunderous groan from within the darkness quieted the men. Kaysee felt her blood run cold and the sweat turn clammy on her brow.

“It’s probably just the earth settling.” Matthew finally said, though his voice was much quieter than it had been.

They walked on, slower, warily eyeing the walls and roof.

They walked until they came to another large cavern. A pit plunged into the most profound black Kaysee had ever seen in the middle of the room. They sidled up to the ledge, testing each step for weakness.

Jordan turned his headlamp up a notch, studying the pit.

“How far down do you think this goes?” he asked Matthew.

“We could find out?” Matthew replied, slapping his palm with a rope and lanyard.

Another deep noise filled the cavern. Kaysee, Jordan, and Matthew stared into the pit. The sound had emanated from its depth. Kaysee took a step back.

“I think we should leave,” she started to say.

A gust of hot wind erupted from the crater.

Red eyes blazed in the darkness. Then faded back to black.

Check out my other Flash Fiction Friday stories!

The Gospel of Eve

Machine Men

Search for more stories using “Flash Fiction” in the search bar on my website.

Interested in the Writer’s Digest Your Story Competitions? 

Camp NaNo Update: Day 12

 

CAMP NANOPROGRESS TRACKER (7)
Halfway to my goal! And almost halfway through my first draft!

 

Camp NaNo Update: Day 11

CAMP NANOPROGRESS TRACKER (6)

A How-To Guide for Writers on Pinterest

Pinterest can be a fantastic tool for cataloging information from home improvement ideas to parenting tips. Did you know that you can also use Pinterest as a writing tool? True, it is not a great platform for interacting one-on-one with other people. Fortunately, writing involves a lot of solitary time for research and inspiration.

Signing up for Pinterest (C’mon, you know you already have an account)

The process of creating a Pinterest account is relatively simple if you don’t already have one. I have my Pinterest linked to my Facebook account, making registration quick and straightforward. If you don’t want to connect your social media accounts, you can create a new account with your email address. (If you do decide to create a Pinterest profile using Facebook, it will use the email address associated with your Facebook account.)

Private v. Public Boards

Once your Pinterest account is created, you can start pinning articles, websites, images, etc. You pin these resources to collections called boards. These boards can be public, meaning anyone can view the items you save here. If you would prefer to keep your content private, when you create your board, just set the button to “Secret.”

Secret Pinterest Board Dialog Box
Click the “Secret” button to make your board private.

However, if you do not make your board private, you may notice that people can follow your board, meaning they will receive notifications when you add resources. You can also follow other boards in the same way, receiving alerts when things are added to the boards you follow.

Creating Pins

So, you have created a board for your writing project (or a single aspect of it like research, aesthetic, or technical advice), now you ready to add pins! A pin is an icon with an image and link attached that consists of the resource you want to add to your board. Think of it like the push pin that holds a photograph to your corkboard at home above your desk.

There are a couple of different methods for creating a pin.

Creating a Pin On Pinterest

You can add a pin to Pinterest directly on the website.

Create a Pin button on Pinterest
Click the plus button beside the search bar on Pinterest to open the dialog box which allows you to create a Pin.
Create a Pin Dialog Box with all features
Add an image, link, and description to create a Pin. The more information you provide, the more useful the Pin will be in the future.
Create a Pin Dialog Box with the option to insert website URL
Enter a website URL to generate a Pin.

The above option is customizable within the website itself. However, there is one other option to creating Pins that does not require entering the website.

Creating a Pin Using the Pinterest Browser Extension(Google Chrome)

If you prefer, you can add the Pinterest browser extension to your web browser. I installed this extension through the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome Extension for Pinterest from Chrome Web Store
Add the Pinterest extension to your Google Chrome and pin directly from your browser!

Once you have downloaded the extension it will show in your web browser along with any other extensions you have, next to the URL search bar.

During your research, you can use the extension to Pin a webpage, or webpage resource such as an image, without navigating to Pinterest itself. From the resource’s webpage, you will click the browser extension icon and create the Pin according to the following steps.

Pinterest Extension in Browser Example
The Pinterest Browser Extension will install and be available from your browser next to the URL search bar.
Pinning from Browser Selecting Image for Link
Once you click on the Pinterest browser extension you will be prompted to choose an image that accompanies the link.
Select a board for your pin from Pinterest extension
Once you choose the image you want to pin you must select the board you want to pin to. Clicking “Pin” finalizes the pin creation and will automatically exit you from the dialog box, returning you to the webpage.

Creating Writing-Centric Boards

You may have various preferences for how you conduct research and get inspiration for your writing projects. Pinterest boards are just one of a myriad of ways you can compile and optionally display your resources, inspiration, etc.

Boards can be organized into subboards, allowing you to more specifically sort resources under a broad subject. For instance, creating a board for your writing project, then subboards for the various aspects of writing your story. I have broken my WIP board down into three subboards, aesthetic, research, and general writing advice.

Aesthetic

Creating a writing aesthetic means compiling things that capture the feeling you want to convey in your novel or things that place you in the mood to write your particular story. For instance, my current WIP is a YA fantasy about medieval witches. My writing board for this project is filled with art of witches, witchy items, spells, and other Wicca related resources. The artwork enables me to visualize the atmosphere I want to convey in my writing. The spells and witchy items likewise provide inspiration for actual scene setting and plot.

(WIP aesthetic example)

Research

Similar to things that might capture the feeling of your story, research that you compile can range from images of clothing, historical or fantasy objects, incantations, recipes, myths and fairy tales, charts, etc. On my WIP board, I separated pins that I consider specific to research for that story from pins of more general writing advice.

(WIP research example)

General Writing Advice

This is an optional subboard and can really be its own topic board if desired. I have one separate board for “Writing Inspiration” pins. Then I have my individual writing project boards with writing advice pins that I feel more succinctly meet my needs for that story. This can encompass avoiding bad writing habits like using the word “very” too much to ways to write believable emotional scenes.

(WIP writing advice example)

Happy Pinning!

In conclusion, I hope I was able to provide some helpful information on how to use Pinterest as a writer. Pinterest, unlike other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, provides an interesting format that is more accessible to the user than followers. I love the box format of displaying my information and find the layout particularly helpful with images.

Check out my other posts on writing advice and inspiration!