Soft. What light through yonder window breaks? It is the Flame and I am the moon.

Last week Act III rounded out our stories leaving us one more approach of the audience to deliver our epilogue. For what is past is prologue.

How did our writers deliver that fond farewell?

Your reading list:

Title: Ilya's tale.
Author: bluegerl
Word Count: 850
Warnings: None.

Title: In Destruction Lies The Seed Of Birth
Author: darlinleo/Kathy
Word Count:143
Cento Poetry

Title: Happy Launch Day
Author: jlly_Tami
Word Count: 2,676
Warnings: One profanity and death.

JFF

Title: King Richard III.
Author: bluegerl
Word Count: 820
Warnings: no

The polls close by 11:45pm on Wednesday (EDT).
With this competition the goal is to write a four part story, so we will suspend weekly eliminations and choose the best, complete work that meets the three acts and an epilogue criteria at the end of the month. There will be a poll each week to provide feedback for the writer on how well received their story was, but the votes that choose a winner will not happen until May 1st.

Remember when you are voting to consider how well the writer has met the criteria given.

The contest is now closed to new competitors, but we encourage any latecomers to submit as JFF if their inner bard is provoked by a prompt.

Be sure to spread some comment love, let your fellow writers know they are appreciated. If it's an off-site blog and you have trouble with commenting, feel free to share your comments here and we'll pass them along. In fact, I encourage you to share some [constructive] public thoughts below with the community. Let's talk about what we read, together.

We love it when our Embers write, but we also need the community to come together and read what's being submitted. Even if you didn't have time to write this week, please take a few minutes to read and encourage your friends to read as well. Share our fire!

VOTING POLL
Good morning, Flames.

It is the last day of April - one of those minor endings within the year. It does not mark the end of anything significant, or draw you to the door of a notable beginning. Could you write an epilogue for April?

Our last piece of writing for April will be an epilogue - the ending to our various plays or stories which wraps them up in boxes and string for the reader's shelf. When Shakespeare wrote epilogues it was a grand affair. The epilogue to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that RicoChey shared in the week four write-up is one of my favorites. He styled them in such a way that he drew the audience into those last few moments of fantasy, as though they controlled whether the characters could end their story in the final scene or would pressed into further service at the whim of the crowd (or fellow dreamers).
In the last few lines The Tempest's epilogue he wrote:
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.

Send the month of April a bardic farewell. Pen a few lines below to wrap up the month and send it off properly before May turns up with her sunshine, flowers, and celebrations.

I send you this mostly unrelated song, because I thought of it while I was typing and it's a fav of mine - though she does say, "I'm the last splash." in the first stanza. It's been a wet April.





What reminders do we have today?
It's the last day to share a poem for APAD. Kiss a poet today.

You should be writing and RicoChey wants to hear the Epilogue to your three act April story.

There is a sign-up going on for May's month-long 5k words or less story - the theme for which will be shared on Sunday, May 3rd. You only have until Saturday night to reserve your spot.

 
ricochey: (Default)
([personal profile] ricochey Apr. 27th, 2015 10:38 am)

Good morn’, Flames.

The voting for Week Three is open.

The topic has been launched for Week Four — what shape does your Epilogue take?

The last few days of APAD are ticking away — check it out here.

My biggest writing project was meant to be a massive collaboration between myself and a friend. That friendship has since fallen apart and the rights (and work) have all been passed onto me. It’s looking like it’s gonna take at least five books to cover, so it’s going to be a huge undertaking every step of the way.

This happens to me fairly routinely. People come to me — “Hey, Cheyenne, you know how you can do that writing thing? Well how I about I tell you an idea and you just, like, write it?” It’s happened at least four times, and the pitch is identical every time. They tell me what they want, and I do the labor. The only reason the first one took on such a life of its own is because I contributed a great deal of the intellectual material, so it still feels like my own. The other endeavors, however, feel a lot like work.

The most recent project comes from my own boyfriend, who can write a bit, but apparently not enough. He has a brilliant mind and a vivid imagination, so stepping inside his ideas is always enjoyable. What isn’t enjoyable is trying to make sense of the timeline of his ideas. He’s one of those people who thinks “a guy shows up and saves everyone with a magic weapon” is sufficient to fill the bulk of 400 pages, because “that’s what happens!” It takes a lot of interrogation to get him to put fine detail on every single thought he has. As a writer (and a talker), I have difficulty tolerating his succinct nature. As a man of few words, he has difficulty understanding what my problem is. We’re a match made in heaven. I’m looking forward to the project, but this hang up may kill me.


Have you ever, or are you currently collaborating to complete a literary project? If not, have you ever considered it? Why or why not? What might be most difficult for you?

Ho Flames! What cheer?

We are down to the third Act, the final scenes of retaliation, recovery, and revelation. RicoChey inspired us with another quote of the Bard - "The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose."

This was taken from The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III and was spoken by Antonio against the money lender Shylock. [ASIDE] Another instance of Shakespeare influencing our modern language. Shylock is now used as a slang term for loan sharks that charge impossible interest rates and are ruthless in their pursuit of repayment. Prior to Shakespeare's use of it, the word or name shylock had never been heard.[]

In the scene, Shylock is rationalizing his profession by making an example to Antonio on why interest should be due the money lender and retells a story from the Bible to make his point. Antonio, who professes to never lend money for the purpose of gaining a profit, says his piece about the devil to his friend Bassanio directly after. Thus begins the drama in The Merchant of Venice which erupts around a cultural conflict that was highly discussed in Shakespeare's time.

Where did our writers find their conflict? Was it personal, cultural, internal? Let's slip in to find out.

Your reading list:

Title: Ilya's story.
Author: bluegerl
Words 1995.
Warnings. I suppose. It is a gangster story.

Title: Cite the Dying
Author: Kathy/darlinleo
Word Count: 265
Cento Poetry

Title: Willa the Wisp Act 3
Author: skyllairae
Word Count: 744
Warnings: none

Title: The Devil You Never Consider
Author: jlly_Tami
Word Count: 2,680
Warnings: None

JFF

Title: A King Falls.
Author: bluegerl
Word Count: 712
Warnings: a death, of course.

The polls close by 11:45pm on Wednesday (EDT).
With this competition the goal is to write a four part story, so we will suspend weekly eliminations and choose the best, complete work that meets the three acts and an epilogue criteria at the end of the month. There will be a poll each week to provide feedback for the writer on how well received their story was, but the votes that choose a winner will not happen until May 1st.

Remember when you are voting to consider how well the writer has met the criteria given.

The contest is now closed to new competitors, but we encourage any latecomers to submit as JFF if their inner bard is provoked by a prompt.

Be sure to spread some comment love, let your fellow writers know they are appreciated. If it's an off-site blog and you have trouble with commenting, feel free to share your comments here and we'll pass them along. In fact, I encourage you to share some [constructive] public thoughts below with the community. Let's talk about what we read, together.

We love it when our Embers write, but we also need the community to come together and read what's being submitted. Even if you didn't have time to write this week, please take a few minutes to read and encourage your friends to read as well. Share our fire!

VOTING POLL
 Welcome to Week Four! Acts I, II, and III are now behind us, and it is time to conclude your tales. Today, I launch this topic at precisely 0626MST (that’s 0826 CDT, as I was born in Iowa), in honor of the exact moment of my birth, on this day, twenty-eight years ago. I was even born on a Sunday. Let’s talk topic! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

 
Are you ready for a deliberately contradictory quote to round off the month?

 
 
Epilogue – “What is past is prologue.”

 
The last lines of dialog are spoken, the last gestures are made; the lights dim slowly as the curtain glides with a soft finality toward the stage. The production seems to have come to an end. Then, a lone figure crosses from stage right to stands beneath a center stage spotlight to speak into the otherwise darkened theater. The epilogue — defined as “a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work” — brings closure to what has been seen here, and the audience sighs, soothed by the final resolution of the evening.
 
 
I enjoy epilogues. A poweful, distinctive last moment before the true end of a tale. I realize there is a generally accepted definition of a prologue as aforementioned, but I feel as though they can take many shapes. Truly, there may be myriad ways to reinvent and re-imagine the concept of the “final words”. Because I am nowhere near the closing and final thoughts of my life, I will share a classic bit of epilogue instead, from the very mind of the artist we have spent the month quoting and celebrating.
 
 
”If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”

 
In the tradition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s Puck, and in whatever format you desire, spin me a conclusion to your tale worthy of quotation. I challenge you to a concluding thought, scene, or stream of consciousness so powerful, it will ring in my mind for weeks to come. Interpret this as you will, and write what you must.

 
 
Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Epilogue”, Puck’s Epilogue, and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.
 
 
The poll is here. Week Four closes at 2345EDT on Sunday, May 3rd.






Good morning, Flamefolk!
I want to talk to you today about something on the internet that I found strange. Something strange...on the internet...try not to be shocked.

I've been spending a fair amount of time on Youtube these days. I'm trying to improve my skills with this über doodling fad called Zentangle®. It seems like everyone who has ever picked up a pen to do it has made a video about it. Sometimes it's just a person drawing with music laid over the recording. Sometimes it's a person giving instructions as they draw. Typically I mute the vid and just watch what they're doing.

So the other day, the mute was off when I came across a video of someone drawing a particular tangle who whispered the whole way through it. I thought maybe she had lost her voice. Out of pure nosiness, I clicked on one of her other videos and found myself in a very uncomfortable place watching this young woman recording her vlog in a whisper and making flirty eyes at the camera. She was describing her upcoming wedding and the stress of planning it, in what struck me as a coy whisper.

All of the videos on her channel were labeled ASMR and by intentionally clicking a non-doodling post, I suddenly had a list of ASMR video suggestions made by tons of other vloggers. "What is ASMR?" I wondered. Do these people have severe asthma and can't talk above a whisper? Is it a society of people offended by loud talkers? Do they share some big secret of which I am not yet privy? I had to know, so I asked my buddy Google.

Wiki chimed in with the answer. "Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli." Whispering is one of the many triggers of this response.

Well, I like pleasurable tingling sensations, so I figured I'd dig a little deeper. I went back to Youtube and looked for a different Vlogger. This one had a binaural mic, so if you are wearing headphones you can experience the sound on each side of your head independently (which was always super cool when Pink Floyd did it). She whispered, shook a shaving cream can then smooshed some on her ear mics, dropped gelcaps into a wooden bowl...

I got through about ten minutes of this next video - skipping around and fast forwarding some - until I just couldn't take it anymore. The whispering, the hand gestures, her face so close to the camera and all of the facial language that seemed designed to be alluring and sensual. It was far too intimate. Like I was eavesdropping on some long distance Skype foreplay - but not in a happy voyeuristic way.

This thing is supposed to be relaxing, but I have yet to watch a video that doesn't make me completely uncomfortable. And I'm evidently not the only one. An article I read about the controversial phenomenon of ASMR reiterated multiple times that it is a non-sexual sensation and that it is not associated with sexual arousal. Me thinks they doth reiterate too much. No, I don't think the intent of the vlog caster is to provide sexual stimulation, but if they have to underline the point so much I'm not the only one who feels smarmy watching it.

In preparing for our conversation today, I found a Reddit thread that shares many videos from ASMR connoisseurs with the triggers provided by the video in brackets. Talk to me about how they make you feel.

The whole discovery got me thinking about those tingling sensations and my own triggers. There is frisson style tingling that is on the border of painful for me. I get that from scratching across a finely grooved surface. Like old LP's when people drag the needle across, or thighs rubbing together in parachute pants. Probably the worst for me is when a guitarist drags his pick up or down the finely coiled metal strings. This reaction (and my complete lack of understanding of music) is the reason I will never play the Cello. (I actually just got a tingle merely thinking about the sound.)

But are there good tingles to be had from sounds? Circling back to Pink Floyd, I remember as a teen feeling a sense near euphoria listening to certain parts of Dark Side of the Moon with headphones on. As an adult, I've felt the same listening to some tracks by Portishead & Massive Attack. There are certain songs in the bodies of work for Tori Amos, Sarah Mclachlan, and even Alanis Morissette that when they hit a certain note I get tingles up the back of my head. And then there are the random things I come across that trigger an emotion that is neither always happy or sad, but make me cry and get choked up. It's just a feeling of intensity that is almost always brought on by empathy whether it is for strangers reported about on the news or characters in a movie. It can be embarrassing at times.

How do you relate to ASMR style triggers and the videos attempting to connect that community? What would your triggers be? There is more to the phenom than just sounds, would you have a stronger chance of reaction from tactile experiences or scents?
Let's chat about this today.




Don't miss Act III - it's due on Sunday.

Have you read Acts I & II? Check out our reading lists here and here to share some comment love.

APAD is nearing a close. Read the poems and add your own. Bardi and Kathy have shared some true gems in there.
Good morning, Writers of the Flame!

As you know, RicoChey has challenged us to write a four part play or story for the month of April. Week One, ACT I pressed us to start some interesting tales. It's time to see how ACT II was shaped from the prompt - "Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wisemen say it is the wisest course."

This line was taken from Act III of Shakespeare's Henry VI, part 3 and was spoken by [deposed] King Henry VI himself. In the scene, he is passing through the woods - disguised because he was a man with a bounty on his head - and worrying aloud, thinking he is alone. But in Shakespeare's tragic histories, no one is ever alone. A character can always expect to be overheard and then found out because they said too much.

Did our writers reveal too much? What kind of adversity will their characters face? Let's jump in and find out.

Your reading list:

Title: Pain
Author: ayumidah
Word count: 696
Warnings: none

Title: A single mind, awake.
Author: bluegerl
Word count: 960
Warnings: pc and no warnings.

Title: Adversity
Author: Kathy/darlinleo
Word Count: 222
Warnings: none
Cento Poetry

Title: Willa the Wisp Act 2
Author: skyllairae
Word Count: 1,059
Warnings: none

Title: Never The Wisest Course
Author: jlly_Tami
Word Count: 978
Warnings: still none

JFF

Title: Let me embrace thee.
Author: bluegerl
Word count: ~1,000
Warnings: no

The polls close by 11:45pm on Wednesday (EDT).
With this competition the goal is to write a four part story, so we will suspend weekly eliminations and choose the best, complete work that meets the three acts and an epilogue criteria at the end of the month. There will be a poll each week to provide feedback for the writer on how well received their story was, but the votes that choose a winner will not happen until May 1st.

Remember when you are voting to consider how well the writer has met the criteria given.

The contest is now closed to new competitors, but we encourage any latecomers to submit as JFF if their inner bard is provoked by a prompt.

Be sure to spread some comment love, let your fellow writers know they are appreciated. If it's an off-site blog and you have trouble with commenting, feel free to share your comments here and we'll pass them along. In fact, I encourage you to share some [constructive] public thoughts below with the community. Let's talk about what we read, together.

We love it when our Embers write, but we also need the community to come together and read what's being submitted. Even if you didn't have time to write this week, please take a few minutes to read and encourage your friends to read as well. Share our fire!


VOTING POLLS



First thing’s first, Week Three is underway! Draw us toward your epic conclusion in ACT III.

April’s collection of poetry is still growing. Check it out here.

I consider myself a gifted writer. I have to, or I’d never share anything with anyone and you’d be reading a Chatter hosted by some other weirdo with a silly nickname. I like to think my strong point is short fiction, but I’m working on novel projects, so I’m hoping to hone that skill. I specify “fiction” because I’m not a non-fiction writer. I mean, I can write about myself in the sense of a blog entry, but to write a true memoir? I don’t know. I think my tendency toward makin’ stuff up would interfere at some point, such that the lines between fact and fairy tale would blur pretty dishonestly. My mother tells me it’s because we’re Irish. “We’re just full of blarney. We really can’t help it.”

So, alright then. I’m full of blarney. You’d think a person so full of blarney could put a talent like that to good use whenever the fancy strikes. After all, isn’t it the same drill, just applied to different subject matters or goals? Let me stop beating around the bush. See, there’s a new position open in my office and I’m trying t0 go for it. The application process requires a cover letter, and so I set about writing one. I didn’t even manage the first paragraph before I realized I was only spinning bull-spit and just barely representing myself truthfully. So, I tried again. On the second draft, there were more hard facts, but entirely too many superfluous words (kind of like the word superfluous, am I right?), and a lot of flowery language. It didn’t take me long to get frustrated.

Dry, straightforward reality just doesn’t appeal to me. It never has, and maybe that’s why I’m a writer. “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Why? Because my version of events is far more colorful and interesting. Problem is, no prospective employer is going to use my walking-talking-human-Thesaurus skills to evaluate my eligibility for a desk job that requires, at best, only the ability to use spell check. Alas… the artist sabotages herself by doing the only thing she knows she’s good at.

Does your talent or style as a writer ever bleed into other parts of your life, with unwanted consequences? Does a tendency toward verboseness ever muddy the waters when all you need is to be blunt? Are they little inconveniences like an overly poetic cover letter, or truly disruptive complications?

Welcome to Week Three, my budding playwrights! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

Week Three: ACT III – “The Devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”

I should like to think I have not yet reached the third act of my life, but that I should be prepared for the idea that it is nearer than I anticipate. Time passes so quickly, and what seems suspended in poetic action today may come to swift and dramatic conclusion tomorrow. I hope the opening act and rising (but perhaps not thrilling) action of my life will lead to great purpose. The worst and most volatile part of standing upon the brink of my own unfolding destiny is having no clairvoyance for the details of its unfolding. So many dangerous and enticing traps lay before me, baited with whistles and siren songs. That I may be unable to resist sends a delightful tremble of terror up my spine. By what deceptions shall I be seduced? How will the lessons I learned in the Spring of my life armor me in the Fall? The blackened, blurry future is the proof that the trials we have faced until now have not been for empty value. It is by the scars of a life thus far that we can endure the new lashes of a life still to come. Or, is it bright unknown that softens us anew and keeps us blind, despite our journeys through the undergrounds of adversity and toil?  

 

 The tradition of act three is to move down through the falling action and arrive at the conclusion. I challenge you to imply the end is near, but hold me waiting another week to know for sure. Are you already a master of cliffhangers? Ensnare us so cruelly that our comments are devoted to begging for Week Four spoilers. The end draws nigh!

 

Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Act III” and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.

 

The poll is below. Week Three closes at 2345EDT on Sunday, April 26th (my birthday!) --  make me proud!

 

http://brigitsflame.polldaddy.com/s/april15-week3-act3

Good dawning to thee, Friends!

Yes, I am still on the Shakespeare kick. The man is like black, he goes with everything.

How many of you out there hate editing your work? How many of you end up rewriting instead of fixing here and there? We all know it's a necessary evil of the writing process, and even if I had an editor, I'd still prefer to use my words (and eyes and brain) to alter a story than have someone else do it for me.

As a person who dreams of publication one day (and hopes the word self does not proceed it). I know the only way I'm going to make it happen is to take the stories I've written and make them as close to perfect as I can manage. For some that's sacrificing chapters and playing with the order a bit. For others, like my favorite work-in-progress “Adrift”, it means treating what I have written in the past as a wire-frame or skeleton and trying to reshape a story around it that comes from a more experienced voice and a goal-oriented structure in the story-telling.

It’s a huge pain, a timesink, a distraction from writing NEW things - but it must be done.

Sometimes I wonder about the big name authors and how perfect their work was when it first left the pen, ribbon, or cursor. Would we want to see the pile of discarded pages lying around Margaret Atwood’s feet? Would we love her any less if we saw that level of human experience on her office floor instead before it made it into her stories? Do the crumpled pages in Stephen King’s wastebasket bleed? Do Neil Gaiman’s strikes-through delete words from our dreaming?

As I was clicking through Shakespeare’s sonnets to pull some inspiration for today’s chatter, I came across an example of Shakespeare editing his work. I found a resource to his entire collected work here and I am hoping what I found is not an error of the people who compiled the site.
Sonnet 153 or (CLIII)
Cupid laid by his brand, and fell asleep:
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of Love
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fired,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest,
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire--my mistress' eyes.

As far as sonnets go, it’s fairly straightforward - cupid fell asleep, some sworn to Diana virgin nymphs decide to do away with ardor and thought, we’ll just put this arrow out in some water. But the arrow turned the water into a hot spring. Men discover the healing properties of the springs and flock there for vigor. But water cannot heal a man who is weakened by his lover’s presence. Through her (or him) Cupid’s fire is renewed.

Now read this:
Sonnet 154 (CLIV)
The little Love-god lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vow'd chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd;
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseased; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

The numbering suggests that this was the second version. To me it looks like he used more poetic words, but obscured the overall meaning some. Cupid is unnamed and the Maid of Dian is expanded upon. The place lost some of it’s geographic description, but the last two lines of 154 have a much stronger impact and show that back and forth play on words Shakespeare liked to do.

So next time you have to pick apart your poem or story or essay, consider that even Shakespeare - after having writ more than 100 sonnets - still had to chuck his parchment ball into the fire and start again.

Have you ever come across an interview piece about a favorite author or filmmaker and discovered that their original story actually went a completely different way before it was offered up to the public? Tell us about them that we might better commune with the Spirit of Revision. (I almost typed Revicious - I’m keeping that one.)




What are you building for Act II? It's due on Sunday. Be the Bard you've always wanted to be and #gowrite

Another brick in the steps to Bardishness - APAD. We are halfway through the month of April go be a poet now and share it with us. It's a known fact that quoting poetry improves your posture - added benefit.

What's that you say? You want to write 10k words or more in the month of April? And you want to do it from a virtual tent? Well go join the campers over at Camp NaNoWriMo - there are fourteen days left in their spring event. Get your words out.
Since it is reminder day, I thought I would be fitting to stir up some old memories.
I apologize in advance to the people of other nationalities and generations who cannot relate to my memory.

Back when I was a kid there was a TV show I used to watch with my parents every week. Most of the spoken humor I was too young to get, but the characters would get themselves into exaggerated situations that were almost slapstick in nature and that I could understand completely.

That show, a spin-off of "Happy Days", was "Laverne & Shirley".

At the kick-off of the title music, the two main characters would link arms, do this little crouch-bob dance and say, "Schlemiel. Schlimazel. Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!". Being a child, I would sing along and do the dance. In fact, I was so obsessed with the sounds of the words schlemiel and schlimazel I would often blurt them out for no reason - at any time of day, in any social setting. Of course back then, most people identified the words with the show immediately. But no one ever told me they had a meaning.



Today, thanks to the magic of #wordoftheday and dictionary_reference. com I was brought back to that childhood memory and have something explained that I had stopped questioning long ago.
schlemiel [shluh-meel] noun, slang.
An awkward and unlucky person for whom things never turn out right.

schlimazel [shli-mah-zuh l] noun, slang.
An inept, bungling person who suffers from unremitting bad luck.





What are you building for Act II? Be the Bard you've always wanted to be and #gowrite

Another brick in the steps to Bardishness - APAD. We are exactly halfway through the month of April go be a poet now and share it with us. It's a known fact that quoting poetry improves your posture - added benefit.

Did you read what our Flames wrote for Act I? Today is your last chance to show your appreciation for their work through votes. #govoteflames and share a little #commentlove
(Be sure to check out Willa the Wisp's story in Act I - she's a true Flame.)

What's that you say? You want to write 10k words or more in the month of April? And you want to do it from a virtual tent? Well go join the campers over at Camp NaNoWriMo - there are two weeks left in their spring event. Get your words out.

Happy April, Flamefolk!

RicoChey is hosting our themes for the month of April and has challenged us to write a four part play or story over the course of the month. For Week One, Act I she has 'roused us with a quote from Hamlet -
"We know what we are, but know not what we may be." These words were spoken by Ophelia in her grief-wrought ramblings - when everyone thought her mad - and yet the phrase seems so very wise.



Did our writers find it to be wisdom, folly, or something altogether ethereal? Now is your time to decide.

Your reading list:

Title: Growth
Author: ayumidah
Word count: 552
Warnings: none

Title: I know who I am...
Author: bluegerl
Word count: 790 appr.
Warnings: nil.

Title: Know Me
Author: Kathy/darlinleo
Word Count: 152
Warnings: none
Genre: Cento Poetry

Title: Willa the Wisp Act 1
Author: skyllairae
Word Count: 707
Warnings: none
Genre: supernatural/adventure

Title: A Stranger Comes To Call
Author: jlly_Tami
Word Count: ~1,500
Warnings: none so far
Genre: science fiction

JFF

Title: I am King tonight.
Author: bluegerl
Word count: 340
Warnings: not really

The polls close by 11:45pm on Wednesday (EDT).
With this competition the goal is to write a four part story, so we will suspend weekly eliminations and choose the best, complete work that meets the three acts and an epilogue criteria at the end of the month. There will be a poll each week to provide feedback for the writer on how well received their story was, but the votes that choose a winner will not happen until May 1st.

Additionally, we'd like to tighten things up around the competition. Typically when we click our vote it is after deciding which story(ies) we enjoyed the most. This month when you are voting, also consider how well the writer has met the criteria given or worked in the weekly prompt. Though we want everyone to be creatively inspired, we also hope to improve our skills as writers by practicing with different forms and writing outside of our comfort zones.

The contest is now closed to new competitors, but we encourage any latecomers to submit as JFF if their inner bard is provoked by a prompt.

Be sure to spread some comment love, let your fellow writers know they are appreciated. If it's an off-site blog and you have trouble with commenting, feel free to share your comments here and we'll pass them along. In fact, I encourage you to share some [constructive] public thoughts below with the community. Let's talk about what we read, together.

We love it when our Embers write, but we also need the community to come together and read what's being submitted. Even if you didn't have time to write this week, please take a few minutes to read and encourage your friends to read as well. Share our fire!

VOTING POLLS

Happy Monday, Flames! We have some fun stuff goin’ on.

The second topic of April is up — are you ready for Act II? Be on the lookout for the reading list and voting poll from Act I!

APAD is still afoot! Contribute to our effort to collect A Poem a Day during the whole month of April.

I carry my flash drive with me wherever I go. I’m like one of those kids who carries their bank cards in the same dangling lanyard as their bus pass. I can’t help but have it with me at all times. I have had actually paranoid delusions about my house burning to the ground with my flash drive inside. I worry about the animals too, of course, but my flash drive is definitely up there! I’ve been working harder than I’ve ever had to against writer’s block, just to get through ONE of the books in a series I dream of completing. In an effort to change the game a little, I used my junk paper pile to print off everything I have so far. I combined the pages into a binder and separated them by section/topic. The idea is that my natural inclination to edit hardcore with a red pen on physical paper will kick in and put my creativity into overdrive. I got so into the idea, I even made a hard copy binder for a second project of mine, and for a joint project my boyfriend would like to pursue.

Just seeing my book (or what I have so far) in print like that… it was a great feeling. It really helped me envision what it will be like to have a real, finished manuscript. I’ve already taken a red pen to some parts, changed up a few big chunks of the story, and whisked up some new ideas and plans. Something about taking a red pen to actual paper just felt more like I was taking something apart and putting it back together the way it needed to be. Editing from the computer is definitely quicker, but I think I missed the idea of having “drafts” — instead of mistakes going away, you get to keep copies of where your work started, so that you can truly compare it to h0w far it’s come. I am hopeful this means I’ve found the trick for jump-starting my brain… or whatever organ it is that writes books.

By what method do you inject a dose of adrenaline into your drive to complete a project? Also, do you edit more effectively by computer, or by pen and paper?

Welcome to Week Two, Flames! Remember, April is a themed month, so if you need help understanding the goal, visit this link to read the preamble I presented before the prompt for Week One. We can also address questions in the comments, if you need a little clarification. To put it basically, we are dividing up the four weeks of April into four parts of a “play” (the entries do not have to be plays): ACT I, ACT II, ACT III, and Epilogue. Visit the aforementioned link for specifics!

ACT II – “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.”

Ah, character development. Story arc. Plot bunnies everywhere. As it is with the second act of any good story, the second act of my life has thus been the most riddled with trial. I consider these chapters of my life, between gaining independence and learning to thrive, to be Act II of my (hopefully) long years upon this earth. I expect my own second act will be a lot more boring, however, than your own.

Just four short years ago, I couldn’t have supported myself if I tried. I was living off of those around me, sometimes in the worst ways. In 2011, I took the first job that ever meant anything to me and everything changed. One insanely out-of-character decision at a time, I began to evolve. I created and took on new responsibilities for myself. I sought out challenges that had previously been terrifying to even consider. I endured hardships with stubborn bravery and deliberately took note of what I had to learn as I plowed through. For all that, here I stand today, so different a woman than the one I was in 2011 that people have actually told me I’m unrecognizable. That is simply narcotic.

My second act is about personal growth and learning the courage to continue to move forward. How will your second act bring us closer to your story and the character(s) in it? Take me through the developing action of your tale. What kind of story has this become? Am I hopeful for this world’s future, or fearful of what comes next? I challenge you to draw me in so deeply, I see this world through your characters’ eyes.

 

 

Remember that entries are meant to complement one another as a series, and that the concepts of “Act II” and the Shakespearean quote provided are for inspiration and do not necessarily represent a requirement for content or word use.

The poll is here!

Good Flames, what cheer?

Our writing theme this month was born of Shakespeare and I have a strong desire to chatter in Iambic pentameter. Worry not, I shall refrain.

Over the centuries, there has been much ado made about Shakespeare and his reputation. Some people insist he was not educated enough to have written his plays. They even accuse him of stealing the work of other playwrights. Others will tell you he had some level of familiarity with seven languages and a vocabulary bigger than his eventual fame.

I choose Team Shakespeare. We all know that a formal education is not an indication of intelligence or ability. Being so gifted with words, then he was likely an excellent listener. For someone with the right mind, listening and observing is a kind of hands-on education in itself.

What I have always loved about Shakespeare is the way he plays with words. The sounds they make were just as important to him as the meanings. And if they has more than one meaning - woohoo - those went straight into his bag of tricks to be thrown down like an Ace in the middle of a poker final.

Did you know, that Shakespeare's word play actually created new words that are still a part of our speech today? About 1700 of them, scholars have counted. I found this article yesterday that has a cool grid linking Shakespeare's word to the first play it ever showed up in. He did for language what we still do today, he re-purposed nouns into verbs into adjectives and combined multiple words into a single one. In fact, if Shakespeare hadn't demonstrated that our language was so flexible in this way, we might still be executing a search for a person's published, public references on the internet -instead of just googling them.

Shakespeare was the Bard with googliness.

What's your take on Shakespeare? Have you read his work? Studied his sonnets? Can you quote him on the fly? How many of his plays have you (knowingly) seen on stage or in film adaptations.

I've had the good fortune to see "The Tempest" and "Much Ado About Nothing" acted on stage (in person) and I try to watch all of the film adaptations that follow the plays verbatim. My favorite of all his plays is "Titus Andronicus", but I'm morbid like that, Yo. "Much Ado About Nothing" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" follow on the favorites list.

Talk to me about The Bard today.




 

There's still time to get your act together - April's week one prompt is waiting for you.

APAD - soul food - write it while it's hot.

Camp NaNoWriMo - 21 days left. Don't miss it.

 
Just a few reminders today, mon Flames.

A Shakespeare inspired month-long contest is in the offing.
Go forth and pen Act I with a mind  to The Bard's line -
"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
Week one submissions are due Sunday by 11:45 pm edt.

It's a poem a day in April, or what we like to call APAD.
Dive in now and sing to us of beauty true.
Your soul will thank you.

And then there's Camp NaNoWriMo for all you rugged types.
Sit by the fire with Cedar and thousands of other campers - spinning yarns, telling tall-tales, and eating virtual S'mores.

See you tomorrow.

 
 A very long-winded and verbose man once said (and I paraphrase), “All the world’s a stage.” In this month of April, I want to explore this concept, as well as celebrate a birthday I share with the very man who spoke these influential words. On April 26th of 1564, William Shakespeare entered the world. Four hundred and twenty-three years later, I did the same. So, Bill’s got several centuries of legacy on me, but let’s not assume that makes me less impressive by default. It isn’t just about birthdays, of course. There is some poignancy here! Though I have only had twenty-eight years upon this earth, I already feel as though I have moved through so many chapters of experience. Setting aside the fact that I have (on many occasions) expressed my desire to have my life play out like a musical upon a stage, I have often felt as though all life truly is a work of theatrical storytelling. I’m not sure who’s benefiting from it, but I certainly hope they’re amused. Maybe that’s why writers write, because we’re sick of being only players.

Shakespeare remains one of the most recognizable playwrights of this world’s history. Even for people whose interests bear no column labeled “theater”, Shakespeare is a household name. The concept of the Three Act play, however, is more commonly understood by members of the creative community. Let’s not assume all of us have an interest in the stage and move quickly through an explanation of the classic format of the Three Act Structure. Traditionally, Act I (or “exposition”) is meant to introduce the elements of the script, and build the story. This act should also introduce at least one central conflict. Act II takes us through the main action and inevitable “rising action” of the story, building to the peak (also, the “climax”), of the tale. In the movie world, this would be where we see the biggest car chase or the most explosions. By Act III (which may also harbor the true climax of the story), we arrive at the “falling action”, leading to the ultimate closure of the tale. In most writing, we refer to this as “conclusion”. This month, we will be writing based on this classic structure.

Does that sound too simple? That’s because I’m not done. The Three Act Structure is old hat for most of us, but in April we’ll be breaking the acts up into four weeks of writing: Act I, II, III, and Epilogue. You are free and encouraged to interpret this however you choose to, but there is one clear rule: Your four entries should work together as a cooperative series of installments, complementing one another. If possible or preferred, they should also be chronological. This stipulation is not required, but is suggested. In tandem with the three acts and the epilogue, I will provide quotations from Ol’ Billy himself to inspire and drive you. Ready? Curtain up.
 

ACT I: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

When I came into this world, apart from having no language or motor skills for a bit, I had no general idea of what to expect from this crazy ride called life. I was completely raw material, malleable to a fault. There are a handful of wonderful years at the very beginning that protect you from the terrifying prospect of becoming an actual person at some point. No one ever knows to appreciate those years, however, and all too soon we thrust forward without warning. I think you can identify the cusp between “just got here” and “just realized it’s going somewhere someday” by looking back on your earliest memories, and choosing a median age. Before that, we are so swept up in simply living, there is no time available for holding onto how things happened. By the time I was no longer in Preschool but rather attending Big Kid School (that’s K-6 in my part of world), I knew something was up. I was on the verge of a journey, and I had absolutely no idea what to make of it.

In Week One, I ask you to open your tale. Show me your world and the person, people, or creatures in it. Help me see and understand the surroundings. Will I be able to grasp where this all leads, or will there be a learning curve? An immediate element of mystery? I challenge you to capture me within those first precious moments after the velvet rises slowly from the stage.


Submission closes Sunday, April 12th at 2345EDT. The poll is here.

Hiya, Flames,

I challenge you today to go out and find some interesting poetry and share it with us all.
Recite to us something we may never have heard.

So many people talk of poetry as though it is this foreign or alien thing that they could never fathom, but poetry is all around us. You can find it in:
A rapper's dis
A singer's bliss
A commercial for a Hershey's Kiss

Bad rhymes aside - poetry does not have to come from the long silent pen of a lord. Nor from an overly flowery mind obsessed with birds. Poetry can be fun.

Consider the modern world around you and identify some poetry today. Then come back here and share it with us.

This chatter brought to you by National Poetry Month and APAD pushers extraordinaire.




 

Don't forget to work on your art for this week's mini contest.

Participate in APAD - your soul will thank you.
.

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