August Writing Challenge

When I originally started this blog, it was a way to share the things that were happening in my head. Sort of a way to let people in, since I don’t normally do that. As I look back through old blog posts, I see a lot of challenges. I participated daily (or weekly) posting fiction, poems, or ramblings from inside my head. Despite the fact that I usually have an active work-in-progress, these writing prompts always prove to be a great way to start a writing session. They get my creative energy flowing, they get me thinking. Eventually, I find a voice buried inside of them that sometimes is the voice of a character I’m trying to connect with. I have worked a lot of issues out through writing prompts. 

But I also noticed as things got moving faster and I was always working on a book, I’ve drifted away from them. So I went on a hunt for writing prompts or challenges, old school style. I found 3. I figure, for August, I’ll pop back and forth between the three letting one or the other speak to me. 

Sounds like fun, right?

Before I tell you what I picked for today, here are the three prompts in case you want to play along. 

First, there’s a creative writing prompt that is minimalistic to avoid zapping your creative energy. These prompts are simple, usually a single word. You take them in whatever direction you want. https://www.writerswrite.co.za/31-writing-prompts-for-august-2021/ 

Next up, the journal prompts. These are more direct and would lend themselves better to nonfiction. These would be great if you’re feeling disconnected from yourself or have writer’s block and need to free write out your personal issues. https://natashalh.com/august-planner-printables/ 

Lastly, poetry. If you’ve been hanging around the blog (or my Instagram) for years you probably remember the Falls Poetry challenges. I have used them MANY times in the past. This month is their 5 year anniversary of hosting the challenge so they’re upping the poetry prompt game. The first 6 are recycled from their most popular challenges in years past, the next 12 are based on music or movies, and the last ones are more unique. You can find their boards on their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fallspoetry/ 

Wonderful, let’s dive in. 

Today I was feeling fiction. I have been editing my angsty teenager (Annie from the GhostlyYA) for awhile and I just need something different to get me started today. So I chose the simple single word prompt. Today’s happened to be LAIR. Let’s do this. 

Here’s the thing, I’m supposed to be scary. I’m supposed to be holed up in a lair somewhere, guarding something shiny. Humans are supposed to be able to earn their bragging rights by killing me, stealing my something shiny, or rescuing the last person who tried to do that and ended up captured. 

That all seems like a lot of work for a young dragon. 

Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just fly around the world, enjoying gourmet food? Couldn’t I maybe get a camera and become some kind of giant influencer? 

I get that I’m the last dragon so there isn’t a lot of experience with my kind. But does that mean I automatically have to fall into whatever stereotype you people have been writing about me since the beginning of fantasy writing? 

I’ve read a lot of accounts. Very few give me speech and language skills, which I obviously have. You have these pictures in your head which are, frankly, insulting. So many of your best writers saw drawings of dragons and went “they’re just big dogs, really”. Which … no. I played with a dog in the park the other day and … no. Those people pleasing little floor mats are nothing like me. All he could think about was his human, that stupid blue ball he got lost chasing, and getting home. 

It was nice to have a friend for a few hours though. He may have been shallow, but he was friendly. I’ll miss him a little. 

Oh, great fire breathers, you think I ate him. I just realized I was talking about him in the past tense and you probably think I swallowed him up because that’s what you think dragons do. Well, I didn’t do that. I flew him to his house and dropped him in the backyard. He was completely lost but his tag had an address and I, unlike him, can read. So I brought him home. 

I suppose you’re thinking I could just go visit my new friend again in his yard, right? Yeah, I thought of that too. How would you feel if a dragon just landed in your backyard to hang out with your dog? I figure you’d either be terrified and try to kill it or it would solidify that mindset that we’re just like dogs. So that’s out. I don’t want to be murdered and I don’t want to play into that stereotype you seem to have. 

No more friend for me. It’s fine, I can handle being on my own. I’ve done it for hundreds of years. I can keep doing it. 

Although it is getting harder, since you’re encroaching on my space. I don’t have a lair, per say. I have a space I call home, just like you. I don’t have any treasure. I have things that I need for survival and things I really like (you people really knocked it out of the park when you created that bright red Buffalo sauce that makes everything spicy). So it’s not a liar that I’m violently guarding, let’s get that straight. 

It’s just my home. Your houses and highways get a lot closer to my home every decade or so. 

I’m not going to violently defend it. Again, I don’t like playing into those stereotypes. But if you keep moving in closer I may have to do something about it. How would your congressmen feel about a letter from a dragon? Do you think they’d take me seriously? What if I were the first dragon influencer, would they take me seriously then? 

Alright, that’s it for today. I feel like I’ve found a way to get in touch with this voice. I turned this writing prompt into something that made me happy. Yes, admittedly, I gave the dragon Annie’s angsty teenage vibes … but I said I often find myself doing that. Maybe that’s what I needed today.

I had fun. I hope you had fun.

Hey, if you participate, drop me a link! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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