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Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Five

Hello, adventurers!

It is time for another installment of those incredibly deadly habits we’ve been talking about. Honestly, I don’t know why I have been delaying so long since, clearly, this public health announcement is so dire.


Let’s get right down to it! Not another moment to waste. People’s lives need saving!

Strike = omit word(s)

(…) = add words

4. Properly distribute your meals
As a rule, you should have a habit of eating at least 3-4 hours before bedtime to help the digestive process function properly.

Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with this one. It reads fine, has no typos, and is quite accurate in its claim. But since we’re trying to educate the public, let’s do our research and site some sources.

4. Properly distribute your meals

It is a well-known fact that your digestive system slows down when you’re sleeping, so eating before bed can cause weight gain. An interesting site I found by the name of Science Alert has some pretty interesting words to say on the matter. However, it has also been discovered that certain foods can improve sleep. Tryptophan, an amino acid commonly found in many foods, actually helps produce serotonin, the hormone that aids in sleep. For a list of foods containing tryptophan and other melatonin boosting ingredients, check out The Greatest.


My fiance must make an over-abundance of seratonin… That man can fall asleep at the drop of a hat!

Now, please excuse me while I go buy some cherries. =D

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

 

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Raw

Quit Interrupting!

A little raw. A little unhinged. A little squeaky wheel.


Every editor I have ever worked with has told me the same thing – to expound more on different subjects within my writing. Mostly that’s true of every writer, not including the wordy, long-winded, elaborate storytellers out there. Typically, writers are in their heads so much, they forget that their readers don’t know what they are talking about. They write under the assumption everybody already knows the key details of a story, such as the background, the world-building, or the character’s history.

So editors come in and cue us when something doesn’t add up. They offer crucial insight and ask the questions every reader asks.


Growing up, I was a publicly loud-mouthed child, which my blessed mother curbed quickly. However, all the women in my family are loud. They talk over each other. They interrupt when they feel they have something more important to say. Since I was the only one curbed, I learned to be patient, kind, and attentive. I stopped to let others speak. I listened through the full story. I did not interrupt.

Do you know how rude it is to interrupt and how frustrating it is to be interrupted? If people would listen half as well as they spoke, there would be far less hurt feelings and confusion. That’s a soap box for another time, but my point is clear:

STOP. LISTEN. SPEAK.

In that order.

I am mostly patient when someone interrupts me. However, if it is a repeated offense, that’s when I bite back, because then I know my conversation partner is not listening to me and does not care what I say. Even if it’s a boring story about someone’s day, at least I have the courtesy to hear it until the end. All I ask is for the same respect to be applied to me.


Often, I write with that same mentality. I’m so used to being interrupted, I tend to speak the quick, exciting, important parts of the story and leave out a lot of detail. Even my thoughts are so curbed to this short-hand route, that I will begin a blog and realize I have nothing to say on the matter. Therein lies my main issue. I’m not superfluous – which is good, I suppose. I get by with what I need. I write only what is necessary.

However, when working with fiction, sometimes people want the extras. They want to linger. They want to spend as many moments in that world as they can, because every reader knows the story will be over all too soon.


So what have I left you with, readers? The rambling complaints of a partial-introvert? An invitation to fill your books with pages and, on the pages, words? A message to listen?

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

Can I Write About This?

Can I write about my up-coming wedding preparations on my tutorial blog? Is that acceptable to you guys? I have to ask, because I don’t want to bother anyone with my silly, stressful, and agonizing personal details when you come here to read about writing or books or fantasies.

To be honest, I feel like I’m living a fantasy right now – and I’m stuck in the bad part of the story.

I knew planning a wedding would be emotional, stressful, and frustrating. I knew little things would go wrong along the way. I knew life would be messy and complicated and RAW like it typically is, but part of me…kind of wanted to experience a little heaven-on-earth perfection.

But let’s face it, my wedding was never going to be that easy because my fiance wants the big, white dress wedding…and I do not. In fact, I want to elope. However, I love my man, and life is not about me. It’s about us.

So here we are with a year to go and nothing planned. 

Turns out, finding a venue is the single most difficult part of wedding planning.

Who knew this would be so hard.

Let’s all be honest. I’m no best selling author. I’m as broke as you are as I sit on a hand-me-down couch writing this blog on a phone that came with a $40 rebate because – guess what – it’s not name brand. So trying to find a venue that meets our individual specifications and fits within our budget is extremely frustrating. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit I completely pushed the blame on my loving fiance in a fit of emotional breakdowns. But we’re still together! Thank God. I am NOT as patient and understanding as he is.

This weekend we have a tight schedule to look at some venues. Every time I see the price tags, I can feel myself hyperventilating (I need to start carrying around a paper bag.) 

I just want this to be done. I know when we finally nail this project, we can look forward to the less-intense-but-still-important tasks of writing invitations and registering for gifts. We can finally start preparing.

GW (fiance) keeps reminding me that it will work out the way it’s supposed to, despite all obsticles. I used to believe that. I guess I don’t trust the process as much as I thought I would.

I think life is a series of pop quizzes we all get jumped with. There’s no way to prepare for what the teacher is going to ask. You can only hope you were paying attention up to this point.

That’s where I’m at, folks. Step one…of the rest of my life.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Four

Good morning!

10 Deadly Habits is back on track with the fourth “deadly” habit. Have you been enjoying your summer? I hope so, because it’s well on its way out the door, and autumn is in the air. For many of you, the kids are back in school, and for the younger crowd, you yourself are returning to the halls and classes which will envelope your schedule for the rest of the year. In light of all this responsibility, this next DEADLY habit seems suitable.

Let us begin!


(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

4. Set a bedtime routine
You need to make a bedtime routine and stick to it. This includes showering, brushing teeth, going to bed and the like, in order to get your body accustomed to it, since only then (will it will) be able to send you signals that you are ready for sleep.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this paragraph, I would like to take some time to build on it. It’s lacking scientific evidence to back its theories, and I feel the wording could be more smooth and clear. It is also important to offer suggested methods so your readers can walk away armed and ready to conquer whatever it is you want them to do (UNLIMITED POWER, MUAHAHA!)

Easy now…

The best way to prevent ignorance is through education. Trite, but true. Readers don’t know what you don’t tell them, and change doesn’t happen without clear steps to implement.

4. Set a bedtime routine. 

Sleep may come easily when we are young – especially for teenagers who sometimes can sleep all day if allowed. However, as we age, every-day stress and anxiety can play a significant roll in disrupting our sleep. Sleep doctors recommend a variety of methods for promoting a healthy sleep schedule, as stated in Healthy Sleep. A few ways we can do this is to maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule, even on weekends and vacations, get at least 7 hours of sleep, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as read, drinking caffeine-free tea, shutting off phones, tvs, and other distractions, and avoiding large meals before bed. If you are looking for more ways to improve your schedule, Sleep Education has a lot to say on the matter.


I personally like to be in bed between 10:30 and 11:30pm. Now my fiance has a terrible weekend schedule, because he wants to stay up all night long, but he can sleep at the drop of a hat, so go figure.

Sleep well tonight!

Fanny T. Crispin

Le Shorts

Hair There Be Pirates

A satirical short fiction based around the shenanigans of cosmetology school.

*****

Captain Jon Wickham paced the forward bow of his ship the Clipper Lady. He fumed, and every time he let out a breath, his curly mustache fluttered above his lips.

“Confound those bloody blighters. What be keepin’ them so long?”

He turned an eye to the watery horizon, silver glass all around them, gray skies above matching his own cloudy steel eyes. The sails snapped in the breeze, as if mimicking his frustration.

“Cap’n,” the first mate Ethram started, squinting against the growing light. “I don’t think she’s gonna show up.”

“She better!” the captain sputtered. “By Jove, she better, or I’ll have her sails fer my washrags.”

Up in the crow’s nest, high above the deck and beyond the canvas sails, Redhand Jess Snipps shielded her eyes from the glare of the ocean. The Jolly Roger flapped and snapped around her head. She frowned. Drawing out a spyglass and fitting it to her eye, she slowly swept the surrounding horizon.

“Nothin’ yet, Cap’n!” she shouted, battling the wind to make her voice heard below.

Wickham snatched the plumed hat off his head and tossed it to the deck. “Blistering barnacles! What be keepin’ her this long?”

“D’ya think she got boarded?” shipmate Angel questioned, her hand resting fidgety on her pistol butt.

The captain froze and turned a weather eye to the rough sea. It was picking up ferocity as the day dawned. The clouds darkened the sea and waves rocked the ship about.

“Aye,” he murmured. “I be thinkin’ that meself.”

“Ho, Cap’n!” Snipps suddenly cried. “Somethin’s appeared southeast in the distance.”

Captain Wickham scooped up his hat again and rushed towards the stern, climbing up the steps to the helm where quartermaster Lorn stood. He stepped aside quickly before the captain could elbow him out of the way. Wickham took up the wheel and shifted the ship’s direction with one quick spin. The entire vessel dipped on its port side. Salty water sprayed into the air, misting the sailors. Coils of rope slithered across the deck. Crewmen scrambled to scooped them up and secure them. In the far-off distance, a black speck bobbed lazily on the horizon line—the source of their excitement.

“Blimey,” Lorn muttered. “‘Bout time they showed their scurvy hides.”

Wickham’s expression remained severe, his thin lips pressed in a grim line. The wind thrust itself into their sails, speeding them towards their target. Despite the rapid pace, it wasn’t until midday before the blight became a recognizable figure.

“It’s her a’right,” Ethram said softly, coming to stand with his captain. “The Late Show. Who’s gettin’ the rift fo’ this ‘un?”

Lorn gave a queer smile and glanced upward. “Let’s give ‘er to Jess. She won’t keep us out till dark.”

“Aye, agreed,” Captain Wickham said. “We’ll come alongside ‘er by high noon. Ready the sweeps.”

“Aye, aye, Cap’n,” the first mate said, nodding as he descended to the main deck.

Jess climbed out of her barrel and scurried down to the deck. The crew were already swarming the area, planks and grappling hooks in hand. Others were monkey-climbing the rigging and grabbing hold of loose, dangling ropes. They prepared to board the Late Show at any minute.

The pirate ship cut through the water, spilling waves on either side as it sped toward the smaller vessel. Crewmen from the other ship ran across the deck in a mad hurry—they knew what was coming. They could not outrun the faster ship, not with the wind working with the Lady, but they sure as Davy Jones tried.

The Clipper Lady cut in front of the Late Show, stealing the wind from her sails. The Lady slowed and both ships stopped dead in the water. A great cry rang out from the Lady‘s crew as they shot the grappling hooks to the other ship. Cannons boomed, tearing through the Late Show‘s wooden hull.

First mate Ethram donned a jaunty hat. He hefted a wicked looking sword with sharp ridges running down the blade. He gave a nod to Snipps, indicating his weapon. “Dis here’s a feather, sharp as a razor.” It glittered in a shaft of sunlight.

Getting ready to scamper across one of the rickety planks, Jess whipped out her own weapon, but something didn’t feel right. Looking down at the object in her hand, she found a pair of polished shears. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

What the Dickens?

“Take ‘er down, Snipps,” the captain ordered, pulling a blood-red hairdryer from his belt.

Something isn’t right, Jess thought again, and looked out towards the other ship.

Then Jess saw her—the captain of the Late Show. A fierce woman with the thickest mane of hair Jess had ever seen. The hair was curly and wild, blowing about on the wind as if it were alive and was ready to attack. Someone had done a hack-job on it before and tried to cut through the thickness, but that only made it grow. Besides all of this, however, was something far more terrifying to Redhand Jess . . .

. . . Dreadlocks.

The End