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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 The Shrimp Plant

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TerishD


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PostSubject: The Shrimp Plant   May 3rd 2011, 10:15 am

I was once given a shrimp plant. I want to say that my mother gave it to me, but it could have been my sister. The plant grows like a weed. I don't mean that it grows a lot, but that it spreads out without a clear stalk. On the lengths are strange little flowers that resemble shrimp, thus its name.

Really, the flowers look like shrimp. There is a red series of petals on top beneath which hang little white flowers(?) like the legs of the shrimp. It actually takes people a time or two of looking at the flowers to realize that they are not jokes, but real flowers on a real plant.

Why this plant grows for me, I do not know. I know that my mother has stolen a piece of it a time or two, but it has never grown for her. My sister does not have one of those either, and she can grow anything. I cast out seeds every years with the grocery store supplying my bounty. While I know of many growing so much that they are eager to give things away, I speak of once tasting certain things -- then wanting more I head to the grocery store. The shrimp plant does not produce anything to eat, but it is pretty, and it does grow for me.

I thought it had died. I have missed it. It grew next to one of my pumps that circulates the water for my turtles. I would thus look at the plant when I went to change the filters. It was there for about four years. I thus missed it when it was there no longer. Still, it had survived far longer than any other plant that I have possessed, so I cherished the memories of its existence.

I was out looking at the next batch of growing plants. I truthfully see hopeful signs that this year I might eat somethign from my own yard. Some tragedy will occur, such is my luck, but I spent time looking at the plants as they begin their growth.

"Roby, look."

I cannot say that I actually heard that. I did have my eyes open. I thus saw something. What I saw were the weeds next to the house that I had removed just a few weeks earlier. I really was not in the mood to be destructive however.

"Roby, look."

Again I cannot say that actually heard anything, but I was in no rush to go back inside. I thus stopped on the steps simply looking at the growths below. There was rain coming, so I looked down really unhappy that I would probably need to do some serious destruction again in a few days.

"Roby, look."

I have boys. A step-son and one that is really mine. I saw a few rust-red things that I suspected was trash. I moved to see what evidence I could use to get the boys to clean up the weeds for me.

Those rust-red things were not pieces of trash. They were shrimp flowers. Really. I looked over to the pump where such a plant once lived, and wondered how the plant had come to thrive near the house. Further, there were serious native weeds in the location. Those plants liked the local weather and conditions, so would out-grow anything non-native. Not only that, but I got malicious in the location it was in. I had concreted all around to give me a walkway for moving around my turtle area. I thus worked hard to eradicate anything growign between the cracks in the concrete. I looked to the shrimp flowers wondering what great miracle had put them there.

I cannot grow anything. My sister regularly gives me plants that "even you can't kill." They died. That little shrimp plant is however proving itself as one that is determined to survive -- even around me. It is like a friend has returned. I thought that I would share the good news. Yeah, shrimp plant.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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