Monthly Archives: June 2013

Friday Fun Facts – The Lottery

This week marks the 65th anniversary of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in the New Yorker on June 26, 1948. Most of us probably read the story in junior high or high school. It is one of the most well-known American short stories.

The story roused a lot of anger when it first appeared. People cancelled their subscriptions to the magazine.

It’s one of the few short stories I remember reading in school. Our teacher also showed the black-and-white movie in class. To this day, I can’t think of the story without a sense of dread rolling over me. I guess that’s what makes it such a powerful story. It hooks into strong emotions.

PLEASE COMMENT: Did you read “The Lottery” in school? What are your memories of it?


From an Idea Harvester – Stephen King

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.

Friday Fun Facts – A Visit from Stephen King

While visiting Australia, Stephen King stopped in a local bookstore and began signing copies of his book. However, there was no book signing scheduled. The employees didn’t recognize him immediately and thought he was vandalizing the books. They ran up and discovered his signature inside the books. The bookstore manager, Bev Ellis, told him, “Well, if we knew you were coming we would have baked you a cake.”

Seeds of Truth – Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105, NKJV

How has God’s Word guided you? How can you use this verse or your favorite verse in your writing? How can you use God’s Word in a personal experience article? In a how-to article? In fiction? In poetry? In a devotion? In writing for children? Do you know someone who is immersed in God’s Word? Can you write a personality profile of them?

Plowing Together – Creating Characters – Please Comment

Where do you get your ideas for your characters in your fiction?

Gardening Tools: Picture It

hibiscus3.jpgWe’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Have you ever considered your camera an essential writing tool?

For Inspiration

Bring your camera with you wherever you go. You never know when you’ll see something that inspires you. It might be a landscape or scene that you can build a story around. It might be an interesting person who you can transform into your protagonist. Maybe it’s a landscape that inspires a poem.

If you’re prepared, you can click a quick photo so you don’t forget the details. Your photos can reside in your idea file along with your other ideas.

You may even consider taking a photo excursion. Go to a specific place and take random photos. Let them inspire you later. Imagine stories and articles as you go through them.

Besides a story, your photos may inspire a gardening or parenting article. You may find an idea for a devotion. Let your photos take your mind on an adventure and you may discover an idea.

For Illustration

Maybe you’ve already written the article. Take photos to illustrate it. It adds more value to the article if you can provide photos that are well done. The big publications use professional photographers. But, smaller publications can’t go that route. Many will pay you extra if you can illustrate the article yourself.

If you don’t know the basics of photography, take a class. Or, check out some of the how-to books that teach you photography principles.

Use your photos to inspire those thousand words. Use them to add more value to your work. Either way, you’ll soon discover that your camera becomes almost as important as your computer.

© Deborah Christensen

Friday Fun Facts: G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton died on this day in 1936. He’s one of the most quoted writers in the English language, along with William Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson. He was a journalist, poet and novelist. His most popular work was a series of detective novels that featured Father Brown as the protagonist.


This blog post from Writing Forward offers great ideas:

Tools for Capturing Your Ideas in Writing.

Seeds of Truth – Psalm 37:23-24

If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 37:23-24, NIV

How does God delight in your way? When does God delight in your way? How does that affect your relationship with Him? How does He make your steps firm? When was a time that you stumbled and God held you up? How did He hold you up?

What ideas for a personal experience article does this verse spark? What about how-to articles? How can you use this verse with a devotion? How does it inspire an idea for fiction? Poetry? Is there someone who lives out this verse? Can you do a personality profile on them? How can you teach this verse in writing for children?

Plowing Together – Dad – Please Comment

Join the conversation:

What does your dad mean to you?

What writing ideas spring to mind, inspired by your dad and/or Father’s Day?

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