Characters Demand Attention

Haikuandydotcom sends a daily Haiku if you sign up for it. Today’s makes a good writing prompt.

chinese restaurant

the future manager

refills our water

Makes me wonder about the future manager. Does he/she know about the future promotion? How long will it take? What is the character like, kind or ruthless? Is there an internal struggle? Perhaps accomplishing success in a restaurant doesn’t satisfy the deep desire to do other work. What does the facial expression look like? What is revealed by the body language as the water is poured?

I sense the character emerging but I have to say “later”. I already have characters clamoring for attention. Hada wants to be published this year. Lilli wants her story completed since she’s ready to redeem herself from her deeds in Hada’s story. Jill wants to time travel, but she sits in an outline.

Maybe someone else will be inspired to write about the future restaurant manager. I’d love to read the story.

Sun Dog, our Sun's Loyal Companion

Sun Dog, our Sun's Loyal Companion

This sun dog was seen over the S.F. East Bay on June 18, 2013. It is the result of sunlight refracting through tiny ice crystals in the atmosphere usually when cirrus clouds are present. The nickname “sun dog” comes from the halos next to the sun being like loyal dogs keeping pace with their master.

They often are considered good luck if you see a real one. It “followed” us from one East Bay town to the other for most of the mid day.


THEMA is a literary magazine that requests submissions every four months with target themes.  July 1, 2013 is the due date for short stories, essays, poems, photographs, and art that relate to Ten Minutes is a LONG time!

Requirements:  The premise must be an integral part of the plot, not necessarily the central theme but not merely incidental. They prefer fewer than 20 double-spaced pages. The website is themaliterarysocietydotcom. No readers fee and no e-mailed submissions.

Arleen Eagling, one of the members of my critique group and a member of the Dublin Polish Your Fiction class, had a story accepted for the newest issue with the theme, A Week and a Day. Her story is called “Half a Good Chance”. The outstanding cover illustration is by Suzanne Stuhaug.

Litotes Rhetorical Device in Writing

Litotes consists of an understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite. Examples: Hada was not unaware of Samuel’s manipulation.

She didn’t dislike it.

Lev was not a little upset.

Litotes describes the object to which it refers not directly, but through negation of the opposite. The meaning is not clear. The reader stops to understand. Why use it if it stops the reader?  If used in the right place and not often, litotes helps to make a statement in a fresh way.