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Showing posts from July, 2013

Extending the Short Story

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As you might remember from last week's Fun assignment, I said to double your short story word count. In my case, I had to go from 38 to 76 words. Here's what I did:
A dank mist hung in the air as I ran my hands along the cold stone walls. Unlatching the metal gate, I exited through a secret door. The secluded passage gave way to a clearing as gleaming sunlight burst into my eyes. Cascading colors of emerald, ruby, sapphire, and amber flooded my sight as I drank in the vision of a lush and fertile garden. Warmth drenched me as the chill of dank air evaporated away.

The evolution of this narrative shows that even though individual words can change the basics remain the same. I added words and also changed or eliminated others that didn't help advance the descriptive narrative. Changing parts that don't work or just sound wrong are part of the writing process. It may be painful at times, but rewarding and fulfilling other times. Don't be afraid to try. 
I'll be cont…

Weekend Fun #3

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If you remember last week's assignment, I said to write a short story with a word count matching your age. Now for this week, take that short story and expand it by doubling the word count. Avoid passive verbs and superfluous words. Don't worry, we'll be piecing together a good story over time. 

Next Monday I'll post up what I've come up with. Hopefully I'll be able to read some of your work as well. 





Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome. 

DouglasHClark.com


The Engine visits the Court House!

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Hello Readers. As you know, Thursday is my usual day for posting our Inspirational story for the week. However, this week I've been called to perform my civic duty and serve on a jury. 

What fun!

I've been pulled in multiple directions due to this unexpected turn of events. However, I want you to know that I will be posting a Friday Weekend Fun assignment later today. Also, Next week I will have another Inspirational post on Thursday. Sorry for the disruption. Sometimes life decides to throw you a curve ball. 



Thanks for reading.

Questions and Comments are always welcome.

A 38 Word Short Story

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- By Douglas Clark
Exiting through a secret door down a secluded passage, gleaming sunlight burst into my eyes. Cascading colors of emerald, ruby, sapphire, and amber flooded my sight as I drank in the vision of a lush and fertile garden. 

If you remember last week's Weekend Fun, I said to write a short story where the word count has to match your age. For me, I suddenly felt the urge to write about seclusion and solitude. I also really like being outdoors. When I'm stuck inside too long I just feel trapped. I guess that's why the image of emerging from a dark place into one full of color seemed so appealing to me. 
What did you come up with? If you haven't tried it, give it a shot. It won't take that long, I promise.
Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are welcome.

Weekend Fun #2

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Okay, here's a fun little exercise. This weekend write a short story. Relax it's going to be really short. For this story, your word count has to match exactly to your age. For me, I have 38 words to tell a good story. I'd say anyone nearing 100 is going to have a way easier time than any readers in their teens. 

Good luck. I'll post my story on Monday. Give it a shot, I'd love to read what you come up with.



Thanks for reading. 
Questions and comments are welcome.

There Be Dragons Here!

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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot


So I’ve debated what to do about this sketch I’ve been working on for a while. And by a while I mean over a year and a half. Granted I’m not really a ‘good’ artist, although I can make it seem like I’ve got a bit of talent. Really though, painting, drawing, sketching, pretty much anything artistic beyond writing is probably a distant second when it comes to depth in my talent pool, but I still like trying. I took classes way back in high school that taught me the basics of artistic creation but I’ve never pursued it further. However there are times I regretted that decision. Much like when I gave up on the saxophone. That’s why I go back from time to time to draw, or paint; just to see if I still can do it. For this effort, I’m rather happy with the results of the work I put into my sketch.
Now I don’t have any delusions that it will win any awards but for someone that has trouble drawing a dece…

Monday Perspective

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Early Saturday morning, I’m sitting in my favorite chair staring out the window. I felt relaxed enjoying the shining sun and the beautiful blue sky. I contemplated what I would do with the rest of the day and it hit me. I hadn’t completed my Weekend Fun assignment. If you remember from Friday, the assignment was to take a picture of something from an unusual or non-traditional angle and see how it changes your perspective on that subject. So I quickly grabbed my camera and started shooting everything in sight. I first started with a pencil. I took low angle, high angle, oblique, side, front and back angle shots; all trying to capture the image of a pencil from a distinct yet unusual view. It didn’t work. First thing I learned was that my camera lens is not designed for close ups and far away shots of something so small as a pencil lose a certain centering. So I put the pencil away and continued on.
The first subject I found that produced an interesting shot is below. Can you guess is …

Weekend Fun #1

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I was thinking that this weekend we could try something a little different. So here is the assignment, if you're adventurous enough to try. 

Take a few pictures of something, the twist is that you must take the pictures from unusual, non-traditional, and/or obscure angles. The goal here is to change your perspective on one simple thing. 

I'll post my pics on Monday with my thoughts. If you're daring enough to share, you can post your pictures and thoughts too. 

See you Monday!


Thanks for reading.

Questions and comments are welcome!

Committing to the Dream

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There’s an old cliché that says “Dreams really do come true”. And if you talk to some of the people closest to me, they’ll tell you they hate it when I use clichés and generalities. I understand why they say such things, but in this case the cliché works to touch off a discussion about an issue I have been thinking about for quite some time. My thought is simple: What does it take to make a dream come true? Let me first start off by telling you that I don’t have the definitive answer to that question for you. The details of each dream dictate the course of action necessary for success and if I knew how to make every one come true, I’d be rich, famous, powerful, and living the easy life on a tropical island paradise.
Okay, so I don’t have minute specifics for you but I think I can come up with a few basics. Knowing what you really want, having a plan, a support structure, and effective guidance all sound like good elements to include in your master plan. Sprinkle in determination, pers…