Writing Myth Monday #15

Welcome to another installment of Writing Myths Monday. I hope this Monday morning finds you well. Let’s jump into this week’s myth.

Writing Myth #15 – Your Debut Novel Is Your First Novel

The first novel you write is the one where you do a bulk of your learning. Most likely your debut novel will be the second or third one you write. I’m not saying those other books won’t sell but it may be down the road. I never give up on a story. Ultimately it will sell in some form. Just keep on writing. Every word you write gets you closer to your goal.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Prompt Friday August 7th

Happy Prompt Friday! It’s time to get your thinking caps on and get creative.

Today I have some interesting prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Remember prompts are a way to get your mind in shape for writing. Getting those creative muscles stretched and ready for action. Total bonus if a prompt turns into an awesome short story.

Here are the prompts for your writing pleasure.

  • The smell of fresh popcorn filled the theater.
  • You have an unlimited supply of bubble wrap and a free afternoon.
  • The squirrels are stealing my nuts!
  • Dragons Rule – Ten secrets to keeping a dragon as a pet.

I hope one of these prompts tickled your fancy and you’re off and writing.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Monday Writing Myths #14

Welcome to another installment of Writing Myths Monday. I hope this Monday morning finds you well. Let’s jump into this week’s myth.

Writing Myth #14 – Overnight success stories

Don’t believe the hype. It is extremely rare that “someone off the street” decides their going to write a novel, write it, sell it and make a million dollars. What actually happens is the writer has been practicing the craft of writing, working hard and every piece they write gets better. They wrote a story that clicked with not only a publisher but also a certain segment of the reading public. They were a ten year overnight success.

Focus on writing a great story and the other stuff will come.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Writing Exercise Friday July 31st

Welcome to your Friday Writing Exercise. Get your writing muscles ready like a professional athlete. You need to stretch those writing muscles before you get to the main writing event. So let’s get to it.

Twenty Minute Writing Challenge – Write a story using one of the following titles:

  • Radio Active Spider Escapes Lab
  • Bunny Fufu Gets Revenge
  • Street Performer and Monkey Jailed
  • Hot Coffee Newest Health Food Craze

You have twenty minutes to write as much as you can. I like writing these in the style of the National Inquirer or the Onion. The wilder and more outlandish the better. The point is to get writing.

Five Senses Bonus Exercise Take the story you created in the twenty minute write and do a five senses edit. When you do a senses edit go through your story looking for the senses. Using highlighters assign a color to each of the senses. Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell and Taste. Once you highlight the senses you can see how balanced the senses are in your story. If you are light or too heavy in a sense then you can add more or remove some. The goal is to have a balance of senses.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe and good vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

Writing Myths Monday #13

Welcome to another installment of Writing Myths Monday. I hope this Monday morning finds you well. Let’s jump into this week’s myth.

Writing Myth #13 – Longer is better

It’s not the word count that makes the story. It’s the story that makes the story. Don’t get pulled into the trap of this myth. Write the story that needs to be written. When you feel the story is done, it’s done. You don’t want to add unneeded words just to make the story longer. Think about a book you’ve read that you’ve skimmed over pages or paragraphs until you got back to the story. Those were unneeded words, all though those words may have been beautifully written, they lend nothing to moving the story forward.

With that said, there are standard lengths for different stories. These are guidelines and not hard and fast “rules”. Here is a breakdown as a reference.

Chapter Book 1,000 – 10,000 

Middle Grade 20,000 – 50,000 

Young Adult (YA) 40,000 – 70,000

Novella 10,000 – 40,000

Novel 40,000 plus

Epic 110,00 plus

Flash Fiction 500 words or less

Short Story 5,000 – 10,000

Knowing this information will help you classify the story you’ve written.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Friday Writing Prompts July 24th

Happy Prompt Friday! It’s time to get your thinking caps on and get creative.

Today I have some interesting prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Remember prompts are a way to get your mind in shape for writing. Getting those creative muscles stretched and ready for action. Total bonus if a prompt turns into an awesome short story.

Here are the prompts for your writing pleasure.

  • No, I’m serious. That’s how the turkey got up in the tree.
  • I think you made the Tiki Gods angry.
  • Oh, that’s dirty!
  • A scientist has moved into your apartment building. On the roof they have installed a Static Electricity Generator. 

I hope one of these prompts tickled your fancy and you’re off and writing.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Math Duel Card Game

The Math Duel Card Game is a fun way to practice adding and subtracting with your child.

This game requires a deck of cards and two people to play. Deal out the entire deck of cards. Note to modify for younger learners, remove the face cards from the deck. Players put their cards in a stack, face down and do not look at them.

Card values : Jokers 0 , Jacks 0 , Queens 10 , Kings 11, Aces 1

Addition Duel – On the count of three, both players flip the top card of their pile over and place them in the center of the playing space. Players mentally add the two cards together. The first person to say the answer to the addition problem keeps the two cards. If it is a tie, count to three again and flip another card. The player who wins that round gets all four cards.

Addition Duel

Subtraction Duel – On the count of three, both players flip the top card of their pile over and place them in the center of the playing space. Players mentally subtract the smaller number from the larger number. The first person to say the answer to the subtraction problem keeps the two cards. If it is a tie, count to three again and flip another card. The player who wins that round gets all four cards.

Subtraction Duel

In Kindergarten, students learn to add and subtract within ten to learn the mechanics of adding and subtracting. Adding makes the number bigger. Subtracting makes the number smaller.

Until next time be happy, stay safe, and have fun!

Looking for more tools for your preschooler or kindergartener ? Then you’ll like my new book, Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten – fun and educational activities to give your child a jump-start to success. Click HERE or on the cover to view.

Available Now on Amazon

Writing Myths Monday #12

Welcome to another installment of Writing Myths Monday. I hope this Monday morning finds you well. Let’s jump into this week’s myth.

Writing Myth #12 – You have to know what you’re going to say before you start writing.

The physical act of writing helps you figure out what you’re going to write. This myth goes well with I need to be inspired, or my first draft must be perfect. One of the beautiful things about writing is the journey. All the false starts, rewrites and epiphanies. No one sees all the crap you wrote before the final piece but you never would have gotten there without all the other stuff.

So get writing and see what comes out.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and good writing vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

The Big Book of Writing Exercises, Prompts, and Blockbusters is Coming Soon – stay tuned for release details.

Writing Exercise Friday July 17th

Welcome to your Friday Writing Exercise. Get your writing muscles ready like a professional athlete. You need to stretch those writing muscles before you get to the main writing event. So let’s get to it.

Twenty Minute Writing Challenge – Write a story using one of the following titles:

  • Swimsuit of Horror
  • Seesaw of Terror
  • The Swamp Monster of Mt. Scott
  • Breaking News – French Fries Healthy

You have twenty minutes to write as much as you can. I like writing these in the style of the National Inquirer or the Onion. The wilder and more outlandish the better. The point is to get writing.

Five Senses Bonus Exercise Take the story you created in the twenty minute write and do a five senses edit. When you do a senses edit go through your story looking for the senses. Using highlighters assign a color to each of the senses. Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell and Taste. Once you highlight the senses you can see how balanced the senses are in your story. If you are light or too heavy in a sense then you can add more or remove some. The goal is to have a balance of senses.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe and good vibes into the universe.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall , for the fun of it.

Bubble Fun

Playing with bubbles is a fun for all ages activity you can play outside most of the year. We have outside time every day to get our bodies moving, get fresh air and some sun. To make things easy I buy bubble solution at the dollar store or the grocery store. We’ve also made our own from water and dish soap.

Below I’ve included a fun bubble experiment (with super bubble recipe) I’ve done several times with my STEM students. It’s always a big hit.

Super Bubble Science Experiment 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Liquid Dish Soap (avoid ultra-dish soap)
  • 6 Cups Distilled Water (tap water also works fine)
  • 2 clean containers with lids
  • 1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Pipe cleaner or plastic pipet (cut off closed end to make blower)
  • Tape and a marker

What to do:

  • Measure six cups of water into one container, then pour 1 cup of dish soap into the water and slowly stir in until the soap is mixed in. Try not to let the solution foam or bubble while you stir.
  • Once the soap and water are mixed, go outside to test it. Dip your bubble blower into the solution and let the extra drip off. Blow to make bubbles. Did you get a lot of bubbles? How big are they? How long did they last before popping?
  • Have an adult help pour half of the bubble solution into the other container. Put a piece of tape on the outside of the new container. Label Super Bubbles.
  • Measure ¼ cup of corn syrup and add it to the Super Bubble solution container. Stir the solution until mixed together.
  • Go outside and blow the Super Bubble solution bubbles. Are these bubbles different from the plain water and soap ones? Are they bigger or smaller? Do they last longer or pop faster? Can you blow a really big bubble?
  • To make even better bubbles, put the lid on the container and let your super bubble solution sit overnight. Add corn syrup to the other bottle to make those super bubble too.

Bubble Games

How long can you keep your bubble afloat before it pops? How many bubbles can you blow in one minute? How long can you keep a bubble in the air?

Even the dog gets into the action

Until next time, be happy, stay safe, and have fun!

Looking for more tools or activities for your preschooler or kindergartener? Then you’ll like my new book, Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten – fun and educational activities to give your child a jump start to success. Click HERE or on the cover to view.

Available Now on Amazon