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

Moon Day Activity

Moon Day is Monday, July 20th. We are celebrating the 51st anniversary of the first moon landing. I know I try to spy the moon every night. Here in Oregon it can be difficult due to how cloudy it gets. Below I’ve shared some information about the moon landing and fun facts about the moon. Also a fun, but a tad messy, moon dirt activity. Hope you enjoy it.

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. As they took these “small steps” Michael Collins orbited the moon in the command module. Millions of people around the world were glued to their televisions as the Apollo crew inspired generations to believe they could do anything if they tried hard enough.

But why do you think we wanted to go to the moon? Why would you like to go to the moon? It’s the unknown. It’s the possibility of what could be or what could be accomplished. 

We as humans want to find the answers to the unknown. What is the moon made out of? How does it shine? Does the moon affect anything here on Earth or is it just a rock orbiting our planet?

Facts about the Moon

Our moon  orbits the Earth at a distance of 239 thousand miles.

It makes a complete orbit around the Earth in 27 days. 

The same side of the moon is always facing us.

The surface is rocky with a powdery dust.

There are many craters.

There have been over one-hundred spacecrafts launched to explore the moon.

The moon is the only place that humans have visited beyond our planet during the Apollo mission.

How to make Moon Dirt This activity is appropriate for preschool and older

Supplies Needed:

Large Bowl or container

Large Spoon

Table cloth

Small items to make impressions

9 cups Flour

1 ¼ cup Baby Oil

Activity Preparation: Combine the Flour and Baby Oil in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. The moon dirt should hold an imprint when mixed. If too dry add more baby oil if too wet add more flour. Has the same feel as kinetic sand.

This fun activity can be messy, but a great kinetic experience. I hope you, and your children, enjoy this activity.

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

Now Available on Amazon

If you are looking for tools for your preschooler or kindergartener you may 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.

Writing Myths Monday

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 #11 – If You Can’t Spell, You Can’t Write

Well then I better pack up my writing gear and close up shop. I identified a long time ago that spelling wasn’t my strong suit. My father used to help me with my spelling / English homework. English is not his first language, Dutch is, so I learned to spell phonetically. Which in the English language isn’t very accurate. I didn’t let that stop me from writing. I use the tools at my disposal like spell check, a dictionary , sticky notes with words I frequently misspell, spelled correctly and an editor.

As a side effect of spelling not being my strong suit I reread my manuscripts many, many times. In doing this I’ve caught non-spelling related mistakes or just things I feel need to be changed or enhanced.

What can be seen as a disadvantage I turned into an opportunity to make my work stronger.

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 Prompt July 10th

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.

  • Mom, the snake got out!
  • Who is the grouchiest person you know?
  • What’s on the roof?
  • We are being invaded by flying Jellyfish!

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.

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

Writing Myths Monday #10

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 #10 – Writing is Hard

Each of us has that one part of the writing process that is more difficult than the others. That one thing is different for everyone. But writing as a whole isn’t hard. Writing is many things, awesome, freeing, time consuming. I think this myth comes from equating time consuming with hard. But doing something you love overrides any of the tough patches that we may experience.

It can be hard at times but nothing worth doing is ever easy. 

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.