Today’s prompt is to describe finding a tattoo on your body unexpectedly.
I found this prompt inspiring and can see it developing further. I hope you like my short story.
I trudged to the bathroom, peering through half closed eyes avoiding the bright sunlight streaming through the windows. In my drunken state, I had forgotten to close the curtains. My head thudded in time to my footsteps. My body ached – what had we done last night?
Turning the faucet, I braves a glance at myself in the mirror. Black smudges of mascara gave me the look of a panda. What a state!
Pulling back the shower curtain across the tub, I stepped in and let the hot water refresh me, slowly revitalizing my body and mind. With a large amount of shower gel on my hands, I began washing. Ouch! My left shoulder smarted as I rubbed with the flannel.
I looked at my arm to see a multi-colored tattoo. What the hell? When did that happen? Oh my God, how drunk was I?
I inspected the new ink, a sword across a shield embossed with a bear’s head, it jaws open, teeth bared;. As I gazed at the image a memory emerged. The tavern at the lake had been crowded and my friends and I had joined in with the locals as they relayed stories of a local legend. A massive bear larger than life, who took pet animals in the dead of night. One hunter among the group showed us a huge scare across his back, the result of an encounter.
I ran out of time here for the prompt but can see the story continuing.
Now it is your turn. Have fun. Happy writing.
Although these two ‘titles’ are dependent on subject rather than genre, I have merged them into one. As you can see the definitions are very alike.
In a varsity or campus novel, the main action is set in and around the campus of a university. The varsity novel focuses on the students rather than faculty, while the campus novel centers on the faculty. The novels are told from the viewpoint of a faculty member or, of course from a student’s point of view. The novels can be comic or satirical and often counterpoint intellectual pretensions and human weaknesses. These narrative are also called academic novels. The novels exploit the fictional possibilities created by the closed environment of the university, with idiosyncratic characters inhabiting unambiguous hierarchies. They may describe the reaction of a fixed socio-cultural perspective (the academic staff) to new social attitudes (the new student intake).
This genre is largely an Anglophone tradition. Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe (1952) is usually thought to be the first campus novel. However there are others predating that. Examples include Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue and Stephen Fry’s The Liar and Making History.
Although the genre may seem limited because of the location, there are numerous characters to utilize with their backgrounds, personalities and ambitions enabling an author to create dozens of possibilities.
Do you have a varsity novel favorite?
Brideshead Revisited is mine by far, with it’s social expectations and damaging secrets.
- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing definitely energizes me. I get so wrapped up in my writing sometimes that I lose track of time.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
My writing Kryptonite is disorganization and procrastination.
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I like my name. It’s kind of different and I want people to get to know me as a writer under that name.
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Jerry Cowling is a published author who has helped me immensely when it comes to editing my books. Archie Scott is another writer. I can bounce ideas off him and he has a wealth of knowledge on many subjects which broadens my horizons.
- Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Each book I’ve written has been in a different genre, so for the most part they stand alone. However, I am planning a sequel to my first book, so there will be a tie-in between the first book and the sequel.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Traveling to Europe, which became the inspiration for my third book.
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Having my parents help me write reports when I was in grade school and having them show me how to use my imagination to make the reports more interesting.
- What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
“A Prayer for Owen Meany.” It’s not well-known, but it really moved me.
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An eagle because they soar high in the sky and symbolize freedom
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
- What does literary success look like to you?
Having people appreciate and enjoy my work
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I haven’t really done any research for any of my books. My first two were based on interviews with people I met. My third book was based on my experiences traveling in Europe.
- How many hours a day/week do you write?
On the average two-three hours a day.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
Only one of my books is fiction. I selected fairly common names that were similar to the names of the actual people I based the characters on.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
Since all my books are either non-fiction or fiction based on actual experiences, I really haven’t had any difficult scenes to write because I didn’t have to really imagine the circumstances. They were actual events.
- Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I feel very comfortable writing non-fiction, but I am spreading my wings, so to speak, and branching out into fiction. I like the change of pace that fiction offers – the fact that I can use my imagination, so it’s not difficult to balance the different genres.
- How long have you been writing?
Since I was about 10 years old
- What inspires you?
People and events inspire me, especially people who have overcome odds and accomplished something. Events that have shaped our world also inspire me.
- How do you find or make time to write?
I get up early in the morning and write while I’m fresh and don’t have any distractions.
- What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m working on a self-help book and also an historical novel.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
Finishing my self-help book and my novel and writing a cookbook.
- Share a link to your author website.
I don’t have a website, but my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-J-Nachin-Author-273249936028795/
Also here is the link to my books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sarah+nachin
Sarah J. Nachin is an author, freelance writer, speaker and blogger. Her most recent book is the “The Odyssey of Clyde the Camel” She has also published two non-fiction works. “Ordinary Heroes, Anecdotes of Veterans”relates stories of men and women who served in the military during five decades of conflict – World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. “The Long Journey,” co-authored with Felicia McCranie, is an inspiring story of a woman who grew up in the Philippines, immigrated to the United States and overcame almost insurmountable obstacles. Sarah J. Nachin also writes for two weekly newspapers and a chamber of commerce magazines produced by Heron Publishing. She has two blogs. Sarah also works as an editor and proof reader, specializing in working with writers whose native language is not English. She is a public speaker, as well.
The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?
I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.
Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?
“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”
She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.
There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?
“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”
He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.
“Go on then, run.”
Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.
“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”
She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.
He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.
I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.