Monday, November 2, 2015

This Week's Image Prompts

Here are the latest for you to consider. Try to come up with a line or two -- I especially think the second one lends itself to interpretation from our paranormal writers!


and #2

Happy November, everyone. Good Luck to all of you participating in NaNoWriMo!

Pictures from

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Little Seasonal Inspiration

This week I'm offering up a few pictures that inspire me...both are pictures pulled from my own files, snapped either by me or my son. Hopefully they will give you the same feelings of warmth and happiness they give me, but even if you don't quite see the subjects in the same light...I hope you share a line or two with us.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Writing Prompt 4

Hi All.  Sorry there was a snafu in communication which delayed this post.  The next posting will be on Oct 18th as scheduled.

Now if you've joined us before you know what this is about. If not, there are two pictures below which we hope will get the old brain band marching and drum up some creative ideas. See if you can come up with a first line of a story for either of these two pictures or as Lynne had suggested,  try following up an opening line by someone who comments with a next line. Please share your ideas with us and put the number of the picture in your response.

Thanks and have fun.





credit for pictures: (public domain section)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Writing Prompt 3

Well, everyone, as Donna promised, here's our latest pair of prompts. Give your creative energy a nudge and see if you can come up with a first line of a story for either of these two pictures:

Number 1:

Number 2:

If you can't think of a first line, try following up an opening line by someone who comments with a next line.

Don't forget to put the number of the picture you're creating from in your comment!

credit for photos due to (public domain section)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Writing Prompt 2

The ladies of the LIRW blog are taking a hiatus, but don't despair, we will be featuring a writing prompt every first and third Monday of each month.

We hope you enjoy the challenges, and that the pictures get those synapses sparking, creating wonderful ideas.  

Okay ready?  Here's what you do. Using one of the pictures, or you could try to do both, write an opening sentence to a story based on that picture.   Put the number of that picture at the beginning of your comment so we know which one you have chosen. 

Please share your creative ideas with us, we'd love to see them.

Have fun!  See you in two weeks.

by Unsplash

by Adina Voicu

Both pictures were obtained from

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why I’ll be Attending (And SO SHOULD YOU) the 2016 Writers Police Academy

Where unruly passengers are dealt with.

I only need one word to describe the Writers Police Academy held this past weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin, and that is AWESOME. Take roughly 300 people, put them together for four days of seminars and demonstrations about law enforcement, criminal behavior, things that blow up, a couple of amazing German Shepherd dogs, a jet (yes, as in “airplane”), and hands-on workshops about guns, blood, fire and EMT practices, and forensic psychology, and you get AWESOME.  

Karen Slaughter does stand-up
Add in generous sponsorship by the Sisters in Crime, guest speakers from the ATF, FBI, police forces (Ohio, California, Wisconsin, New York to name a few), the Secret Service, forensic specialists, firemen, and one (I heard) hunky SWAT team – plus the bonus of hearing from down-to-earth and funny Alison Brennan and hysterical, riffing-on-my-dysfunctional-Southern-roots Karen Slaughter – and about 300 raffle baskets, and you’ve got the kind of exhaustion that comes from a full mind and shared laughter.  And there’s no way I’m leaving out one kickass female officer who thrilled us with her fierce respect for the law and her responsibility and drive to uphold it. Also because she rocked the uniform, drove like an ace, and made us all want to be her.

Colleen Belangea, Lee Lofland, Joe LaFevre
Lee Lofland, who originated the Academy and is a former sheriff, is warm and organized and funny, and there’s a camaraderie among the instructors revealed by their mutual teasing. One of former Secret Service Agent Mike Roche’s classes is Romance Behind the Badge and he’s known affectionately as The Love Doctor, John Gilstrap gleefully taught us how to “blow sh*t up”, and Marco Connelli, former NYPD detective, took us through his days undercover and explained “defenestration” (look it up!). Joe LaFevre, our man at the brand new Fox Valley Technical College and Public Safety Training Center, made sure every one of us had our questions answered and was a terrific host. Dr. Katherine Ramsland explained psychopathy in both children and adults, and Instructor Colleen Belangea (our hero!) talked about what it was like to be one of the few females on the force when she started in the mid 1980s.

There were so many possibilities for research that I’m sorry if I leave any out. There were jail tours, police ride-alongs, simulated and real firearms training, crime scene photography, forensic procedures and portraiture, and methods of handling everything from handcuffs to light sources to martial arts moves to intercepting a fleeing vehicle.

Every day I met someone new, from every corner of the country. Some of the attendees had been coming for years (WPA is in its seventh year), but many of us were newbies – it didn’t matter how many times you had been to the Academy before; everyone was excited. Although the conference was centered around getting your story – thriller, mystery, procedural, romantic suspense, spy novel, noir – right, many of the writers crossed genres. I met many writers who were part of Sisters in Crime, but many as well who were RWA, or completely unaffiliated.

Some of us occasionally pointed out where it would be a good place to hide a body (but only theoretically, since Appleton's actually a very nice town -- check out FatGirlzBakin for amazing cupcakes or the Appleton Brewery for great brews and snacks), or asked how you could (again, just theoretically, we promise) blow up a cottage from a mile away, or how relationships worked between members of different branches of law enforcement. We learned about biological dangers and what the term “badge bunny” meant, how luminol reacted when bleach was used to clean up a crime, and how witnesses could be coaxed to recall the criminal’s features or suspects to confess. If you wrote about good guys versus bad guys, this was the place to be.

Lee told us near the end that the planning for next year’s event would be starting shortly after he got home from this one. 
If you’re interested in finding out more, look for the Writers Police Academy online and join their mailing list. Or try #2015WPA or www.The, which is Lee Lofland’s blog. 
I’ll be watching and waiting to return, when I’m not writing more realistic sleuthing…

"The pool closes at eleven"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Are you a one percenter?

My name is Jenna and I proudly support the one percent.

No, I am not referring to the Occupy Wall Street faction, or the same-named 2009 documentary, 1%, proposing that 1% of Americans control 25% of the country's wealth. Neither have I earned induction into one of the notorious, outlaw One Percent motorcycle gangs where killing someone is the sole "Raison d'ĂȘtre." And, although I am a mild version of a tree hugger, I haven't recently applied to the nonprofit, "One Percent for the Planet" for membership.  

You didn't know "one percenter" covered so much ground, did you? (And I didn't even mention coach Pat Ryan's 1% system to bring his losing 1986 LA Lakers team to back-to-back championship wins.) Oops yes I did. Just now. But that's a topic suitable for a future blog post. 

Anyway, I refer instead to a pretty astounding, extremely surprising, "1%" result in a poll I read about -- a statistic you can't misinterpret or fudge. 

The poll and article related to "digital natives." I am a "digital immigrant," it seems, while those post-millennials who grew up immersed in digital technologies, are "born digital" --  and are most comfortable in a life surrounded in technology. Hence the name, digital native.

If I were to ask, "is reading print books dead, especially among digital natives?, would you think, as I did, "Yes, definitely?"

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Michael Rosenwald, "Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right," changed my answer. WSJ Full Article Here

Of interest in the article:
  • Textbook makers, bookstore owners and college student surveys all say millennials still strongly prefer print for pleasure and learning
  • Pew studies show the highest print readership rates are among those ages 18 to 29, and the same age group is still using public libraries in large numbers.

Naomi S. Baron, author of  Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, is quoted by Rosenwald as well. She discovered that far from finding disinterest by millennials; for fuller comprehension, the feel of the book in their hands, and increased concentration, print was not only NOT dead, it was preferred.

The article states, "The lives of millennials are increasingly lived on screens. In her surveys, Baron writes that she found “jaw-dropping” results to the question of whether students were more likely to multitask in hard copy (1 percent) vs. reading on-screen (90 percent)."

So 90 percent of millennials multi-task (e.g. surf Pinterest or  logon to Facebook, check email) or "skim" while reading on-screen.

Only 1% do this while reading a hard copy of book. Holy reading comprehension, Batman.Isn't that amazing? So when the rubber meets the road, e.g. in reading when it matters, they revert to printed books.

Maybe the future of print publishing isn't so dire as we've been led to believe.

Guess I've been doing it right all these years.  I'm a happy one percenter (even if I am a digital immigrant.).
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