Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday

Hey y’all!

Its been a while since I’ve done a Writer Wednesday. I know you’re all clamoring for it. My inbox is practically FULL of requests from followers simply begging me to regale them with some of my awesome writing.

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While scrolling through Pinterest (or was it Facebook? Ugh, I don’t remember…) I saw this and thought it would be a great WW prompt!

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Here’s what I came up with:

 

She sneezed applying mascara. 

 

Ha! Okay, okay, that wasn’t the real one. But every girl can totally relate, right?

 

He never returned again. 

 

What would your sad story say? Its a lot tougher than it looks! Tell me in the comments below!

Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday

 

Y’all, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. However, I don’t know if its that its basically springtime in Oklahoma or the fact that I’m getting older, but it doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me, know what I mean? I feel like me (and everyone around me) is so overwhelmed, overworked, and just plain worn out.

I know we can’t be the only ones.

So, on that note, I’m giving you a little something that you can probably relate to.

I give you, “The Twelve Pains of Christmas”:

Writer Wednesday

writer wednesday

 

A few weeks ago, a librarian friend sent me a message on Facebook asking if I could PLEASE write a blog post about how its okay for Christians to like Harry Potter. She said, “I can’t believe we are still having this conversation.” But sadly, in a world where we flip out over red cups, someone is always going to be offended by something.

Honestly, after she sent me that message I thought, “Maybe this is just a librarian thing. Like, maybe she only sees this because of the line of work she’s in.” Then, yesterday, my sister told me about how a woman called Harry Potter “nasty” and said that her husband “wouldn’t allow her or the kids to read it” (<– that statement gets me riled for more than one reason, but we’re talking about The Boy Who Lived in this post, so I’ll bite my tongue.)

Writer Wednesday HP

After that, another friend sent me a message saying that his wife was staunchly opposed to HP.

So, I figured the time was right to discuss this.

First, I’d like to say that if HP isn’t your bag, that’s totally fine. However, when someone tells me: “I don’t read Harry Potter because its evil” and then, when I ask them if they’ve read it and they say “No”, I die a little inside. I equate this to a parent asking their child if they want broccoli. The child says, “No.” To which the parent typically replies, “Have you ever tried it?” And, nine times out of ten, the child will say they have not. That’s when Mom or Dad uses the line, “Well how do you know you don’t like if it you haven’t tried it?”

The same goes for these books/movies, How do you know they’re evil if you know nothing about them? 

 

On that note, here is my case for Harry Potter:

 

If you don’t like Harry Potter because of magic, then you need to boycott The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and basically every Disney movie. 

Writer Wednesday HP signs

Both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were Christians and their faith was shown through the symbolism of their stories. (Don’t believe me? Read here and here.) True, many Disney movies aren’t faith-based, but every Sunday at church I see little girls wearing Elsa shirts, kids pretending to be Captain Hook, and even a few singing songs from Cinderella. All of those books and films have elements of magic, so why is it okay for those but not Harry Potter? These are ALL human stories told against the back drop of a magical world.

 

There is no pagan worship or religion even mentioned in the books. 

Writer Wednesday Hogwarts

Its not even alluded to! In fact, they even talk about Christmas and Easter. They’re not running around Hogwarts throwing pigs blood on one another and sacrificing classmates to appease some god. They’re going to school. True, that school has staircases that change on a whim and pictures that can talk to students, but that’s just a day in the life of a Hogwarts student.

 

It is a classic “good versus evil” story. 

Writer Wednesday Good vs Evil

There are two lines in the series that really stick with me. One is said by Professor Dumbledore when he tells Harry, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” Hmm… this sounds a lot like lessons from my youth group pastor: stand firm in your faith even though its tough; be prepared to stand alone, even when you know its right, choose good over evil.

Another quote is by Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather: “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” Sound familiar?

 

Harry Potter promotes sacrificial love and loyalty. 

(L-r) RYAN NELSON as Slightly Creepy Boy, NICK SHRIM as Somewhat Doubtful Boy, BONNIE WRIGHT as Ginny Weasley, SHEFALI CHOWDHURY as Parvati Patil, OLIVER PHELPS as George Weasley, AFSHAN AZAD as Padma Patil, KATIE LEUNG as Cho Chang, JAMES PHELPS as Fred Weasley, DANIEL RADCLIFFE as Harry Potter, MATTHEW LEWIS as Neville Longbottom, EMMA WATSON as Hermione Granger, RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley, EVANNA LYNCH as Luna Lovegood, WILLIAM MELLING as Nigel and ALFRED ENOCH as Dean Thomas in Warner Bros. Pictures' fantasy "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION

The series begins with an infant Harry being left on the porch of his relatives after his mother died protecting Harry from the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. Later in the series we learn that his mother’s love is what saved Harry. We see countless examples throughout the series of people sacrificing for those around them. Not only that, but we see the fierce loyalty of people within the wizarding community to the defeat of evil and the protection of Harry. Isn’t this something we’re taught in church? To love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should stand firm in our faith, and that there is no greater love than laying down our life for our friends?

 

 

 

 

I really could go on and on, but its almost 9:00 p.m. and I’m tired. Plus, I know many folks who are opposed to HP won’t be swayed by what I have to say. So, I encourage you to read this article as well as this one. They both lay out some really good points, and I believe they may help you see Harry Potter in a different light.

 

writer wednesday harry potter fan

 

 

Writer Wednesday

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Here’s today’s prompt:

Your character is being followed. 

 

The street was empty except for him. It was cold out; he turned the collar of his coat up to block out the freezing wind. He blew a puff of hot breath into his cupped hands as he waited for the crosswalk signal. That’s when he heard it.

A soft pat, pat behind him made his heart drop.

He didn’t turn to see who it was. Probably nothing, he thought. Still, he crossed the street with haste and picked up his pace.

The sound followed him and picked up speed. He quickly turned a corner and hid in the shadows. He waited for the figure to pass, but it never did. He stood for what felt like an eternity.

I must be going mad. Look smart now, he told himself.

He continued on his way home. He saw the walk-up brownstone just down the block.

As he walked leisurely, he started to feel silly. That is, until he heard the steps again. This time, it sounded as though someone else had joined. Throwing caution to the wind, he sprinted as fast as he could to his front door. He fumbled with his keys as the pounding of the feet grew louder. They were closing in as he finally heard the lock click. He fell inside and slammed the door behind him, sliding every lock into place.

He steadied his breath and looked out the peephole. He needed to be able to describe his assailants when he called the police. He peered out the hole and saw no one.

Laughing to himself, he went to the kitchen and poured himself a drink. He walked up the stairs to his bedroom, unaware of the two cats that had cuddled up on his porch.

 

 

 

Writer Wednesday

writerwenesday6

 

Happy Hump Day, writers!

Here’s today’s prompt:

What was an irrational fear you had as a child?

 

When I was a kid, one of my besties, Lisa, had a YMCA pass. She spent days with her grandma because her mother worked, so her grandma would take us to swim at the pool. I had never been to an indoor pool before this (most of the time I swam in my backyard or at the neighborhood outdoor pool) and was actually a little nervous.

After splashing around for a bit, a boy (a few years older than us) swam over to where Lisa and I were pretending to be mermaids (because, Ariel). “See that over there?” he asked, pointing to a grate at the bottom of the pool that I hadn’t noticed until then. “That’s where they let the sharks in when kids aren’t swimming.”

My heart dropped. Holy freaking crap, where did Lisa bring me?! I was going to get eaten by a shark and I’d never get to see what became of my beloved JTT on this season’s Home Improvement!

I immediately swam to the shallow end–far away from the death trap–and refused to move. What if the grate opened up and started chewing children left and right?! What if this was all a ruse and we weren’t really here to enjoy ourselves, but helpless pawns in the YMCA’s plan to feed their sea devils?

It wasn’t until I was in fifth or sixth grade that I started to realize sharks don’t live in public pools. Seriously. I blame that brat kid that fed me that terrifying lie for my aversion to sea animals. Makes me feel better about peeing in the pool he swam in. I hope he got a mouthful of my reconstituted Hawaiian Punch. Jerk.

 

 

 

What about you? What was an irrational fear you had as a kid?

Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday

Hey guys! This morning, I realized something. I have not posted any of my YA novel–that I’ve been desperately searching for a literary agent to fall in love with and decide to publish–since August 2013! That’s just craziness!

I posted the first chapter back then (if you haven’t read it, click here!) and I decided I was going to share Chapter Two with you right now! (This way you can see what a totally awesome book it is and reblog/re-tweet/re-Facebook this so it can go viral or whatever it is that you kids do these days. I promise to thank you in my memoirs!)

Here is Chapter Two of Couture in the Cornfields:

Chapter Two

The sun had not yet fully risen but Morgan was already awake, gazing at her closet door. Hanging there was the most beautiful piece of clothing she owned—her prom dress.

Now, this was no ordinary prom dress. To Morgan, this dress would be the shining seal on her glittering legacy as fashion icon at Elliot Reeves School for the Elite. Morgan always wore the latest fashions and set the trend in her school. She had been voted Best Dressed in the high school yearbook for five years! She was placed as an honorary winner her eighth grade year!

Morgan was a VIP among Fashion Week attendees and worked hard to never be outshined by anyone. She had Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Valentino all on speed dial and had a seamstress on 24-hour notice for those dire fashion emergencies.

Morgan’s reign as “Queen Fashonista” was once in trouble when, in ninth grade, Cassie Adams had stolen Morgan’s top secret design for her gown to the Winter Festival Fiesta! Morgan leapt into action, quickly designing a new, original gown. One quick call to Paris, two jets, and one steamboat later: Morgan walked in victorious and gorgeous to her first high school dance.

For Senior Prom, Morgan had taken extra precautions to ensure her dress would be one-of-a-kind and completely confidential. The Millers sent Morgan and Rosa all over the world researching the newest and hottest names in couture. After an entire summer of searching, Morgan decided to enlist the talented Rafael Barino.

Rafael was an eclectic designer from Italy and had a knack for knowing the trends before they happened. He’s the one who coined the phrase: “Pink is the new black.”

Rafael was flown to New York on many occasions to meet with Morgan and design her dress. After months of planning, sleepless nights flipping through fabric swatches, and two tearful phone calls (from Rafael to his mother in Rome), the gown was finished. The Morgan Miller and Rafael Barino masterpiece was hanging like a shrine in Morgan’s bedroom.

She watched gleefully from the comfort of her silk sheets as little flecks of the morning sun glimmered off the genuine Swarovski crystals intricately placed on the bodice. She closed her eyes and dreamed about prom.

She hummed to herself and pictured walking into the room: the double-doors burst open! Everyone stops and stares. Suddenly, applause breaks out and two guys pick Morgan up and carry her on their shoulders! She waves, blows kisses, and catches flowers in the air! A crown falls from the heavens and lands softly on her perfectly coiffed hair. The room cheers: “Morgan! Morgan! Morgan! Morgan!”

“MORGAN!”

She was jerked back to her bedroom by the sound of her nanny’s voice. Opening her eyes, Morgan saw Rosa, leaning over the bed, scowling.

“Mees Morgan!” Rosa yelled in her thick, Cuban accent. “You are being so lazy! You must get up! NOW!” Rosa quickly trotted to the bathroom door and Morgan heard her turn on the shower.

“Oh, Rosa,” Morgan sighed. “Tonight is going to be the best night of my life!” She skipped around the room, staring dreamily at her gown.

Rosa snorted and threw open the curtains.

“Aw, Rosa, you don’t think I’ll have fun?” Morgan asked playfully.

“I think you are too young to be wearing dresses that show your chi-chi’s and riding in the limousines with boys!”

Morgan sighed, “Oh, come on! You’re not going to get all Mary Poppins on me, are you?”

“I don’ know this Maria Pop-eens, but if she keep her chil’ at home, then she is a sain’!”

Morgan grinned and grabbed her nanny’s arms. She twirled the round woman around as best she could; Rosa was shaped like a square. Rosa squealed, “Dios mio!”

“See, Rosa! Isn’t this fun?” Morgan giggled as she grabbed Rosa’s hips, trying to shake them.

“No!” the nanny cried. “I am not J.Lo!”

Rosa stamped her foot and released herself from Morgan’s grip. She put a chubby finger in Morgan’s face.

“And you tell Meester Trent to keep his hands off your hips tonight, mija!”

Morgan flinched slightly at the sound of her date’s name. Trent Wellington was very handsome and very popular, but Morgan thought Trent was a little…dumb. He had played football since the sixth grade and Morgan seemed to think that maybe he had received a few too many tackles without a helmet.

“You don’ like Meester Trent?” Rosie asked, seeing Morgan’s reaction.

“Oh, its not that, Rosa… It’s just…” Morgan stopped herself and changed the direction of the subject. “You know, I overheard daddy saying to a client that Trent’s family comes from really old money! Like, Middle Ages. He even said that some of his ancestors were nobles!”

“Hmm…” said Rosa, noticing her charge’s aversion. “That is een-tress-ting…”

Morgan fingered her dress in her hands. “Tonight’ll be great,” she reassured herself.  Rosa looked at her watch and jumped.

“Mees Morgan!” she screeched. “You need to stop playing and get in the shower! Hair and make-up will be here soon!”

Rosa gathered up towels, threw them into Morgan’s arms and herded the girl into the bathroom.

“Don’ forget,” said Rosa, pushing Morgan through the open bathroom door, “Mees Stacy and Mees Jordan will be here at seven o’clock with their dates to pick you up!” Rosa closed the door and Morgan undressed for her shower.

Stacy, Jordan, and Morgan had been inseparable since kindergarten. Stacy was one of the nicest people in the world. One of the things that made her so endearing was her ability to be confused on the simplest of things.

Her bright green eyes were always opened wide, as though she saw things for the first time, every time. She wore her emotions on her sleeve and was a compulsive worry-wart. Her red, curly hair always bounced when she walked. Sometimes, Stacy would skip slightly when she walked, just to make her curls bounce more.

Jordan was the total and complete opposite of Stacy. Jordan was tall, thin, brunette and very serious. She was competitive in everything from sports to academics and would not take “No” for an answer. She was more level-headed than the other two girls and tried to think of every situation logically. She had only cried in front of Morgan and Stacy once and that was in the third grade when she made a B on her spelling test. Jordan worked hard and volunteered for many different programs at school. Her life plan had been in place since she was in seventh grade: she wanted to be a botanist and run for a seat in Congress.

The three girls were so different, but one thing they had in common was their uncontainable excitement for prom. Stacy was going to prom with her boyfriend, Ben Nichols. The two had been “on again-off again” since second grade. Jordan’s date was Tucker Foster—strictly as friends though. Jordan refused to be tied down in any relationship before she went to college.

“Boys get in the way,” she had once said. “I should be thinking about classes next semester, not whether a boy is going to take me to the kegger at some frat party, ultimately to leave me crying in the bathroom because he was being an idiot and threw up on my shoes! Honestly, Morgan, if you worried more about your grades and less about boys, you’d be going to college this fall too!”

With Jordan leaving for college, Morgan had hoped that Stacy would stay behind in New York to keep her company; but no such luck. Stacy and Ben had already been accepted to Boston College and were invited to rush the most exclusive social clubs. So after tonight, Morgan knew her life would change. Her friends would be leaving for universities and she would still be at home.

Today, however, Morgan refused to think of college. She pushed out thoughts of applications, graduation, or what her career would be. All Morgan wanted to think about was tonight. She hummed as she stepped into the shower and, with shampoo on her head, danced around under the hot water.

Stacy and Jordan arrived, and hair and makeup went by in a blur. Before Morgan knew it, she was standing in her couture gown.

“How do I look?” asked Morgan, twirling.

Muy bonita,” whispered Rosa, wiping tears off her cheek. Morgan grinned and went to her nanny, taking her in a soft embrace, as not to wrinkle her dress.

“I tell them you’re ready,” Rosa said, giving Morgan another look before walking out of the door.

Morgan waited a while until she knew Rosa had announced her, and then she made her way down the spiraling staircase. As she made her descent, Morgan saw Stacy, Jordan, and Morgan’s date, Trent, collectively sigh.

“You look hot,” said Trent, sliding the corsage onto Morgan’s wrist. Rosa made a sound like a low growl under her breath.

“Thank you,” Morgan replied, giggling as she saw Stacy and Jordan making kissing faces behind him. A bright light flashed and the kids looked around.

“Woah, Rosa!” Stacy whined. “You’re going to blind us.”

“Yeah, no joke,” Morgan said, blinking her eyes. “Rosie, will you go get Mom? I want her to see us before we go.”

Rosa slipped out of the room and returned a few minutes later with Mrs. Miller screaming into her phone.

“No, I don’t care if that statue was built for the victims of the bridge collapse, we own that property and the spa is going in!” she yelled into the phone.

Rosa coughed loudly, causing Mrs. Miller to look around the room.

“Well, don’t we look lovely tonight?” Mrs. Miller said, covering up the receiver. “You must be Tristan,” she said, walking toward Morgan’s date.

“It’s Trent, ma’am,” Trent replied, shaking her hand.

“Yes, well… you kids have fun,” Mrs. Miller said, and turned to the nanny. “So, we’re done here now, Rosa?” Rosa nodded and Mrs. Miller started out the room.

“Oh yeah? Well I attend the same club as the Chairman of the City Council, so we’ll see who wins this argument!” Mrs. Miller screamed louder into the phone as she left the foyer.

“Oh, Mom, I wanted to get a…” Morgan cried out after her mom who continued to walk away. “…Picture…” Morgan sighed and turned to her friends who gave her small smiles.

“Your mom’s pretty smokin’…You know, for an old chick,” said Trent, oblivious.

“Go see you father before you leaf,” Rosa said to Morgan and cast Trent an annoyed stare.

“Where is he?” Morgan asked.

“His office,” Rosa replied.

Morgan knocked softly on the door to her father’s office. “Dad?” Morgan called, opening the door slightly. Mr. Miller’s office was enormous. It was a good fifty-foot walk from the door to the desk, and Morgan’s voice slightly echoed.

Mr. Miller was sitting in his leather chair, legs up on the desk, talking on the phone and smoking a cigar.

“No, Jim! We specifically said ‘No’ to the Germans! This cannot happen! I thought you said you were on top of this!”

Morgan walked into the office and closed the door quietly behind her.  She tip-toed to the bookshelf and ran her fingers over the leather books. Her father looked up.

“Hang on, just a sec, Jim. Morgan’s just walked in.”

“You look very pretty,” he said.

Morgan smiled.

“You have enough money?”

Morgan nodded. “Yeah. I have the card in my purse.”

The two waited in silence.

“Hey, Dad…” Morgan’s father cut her off before she could finish.

What? No, we will not reschedule!” Mr. Miller yelled into the phone.

“Morgan?” said a voice behind her. Morgan turned and saw Jordan poking her head into the room. “We need to go, the limo’s here.”

“Alright,” Morgan sighed, turning to tell her father good bye; but Mr. Miller had already turned his back to the door and was yelling into the phone.

The group went outside and piled into the stretch limo. The first stop was Ben’s house, which took longer than expected. Ben had insisted on dying his hair to match Stacy’s green dress, causing a yelling match to break out between him and Stacy. When the two had finally calmed down, they all loaded into the limo again and started for Tucker’s house.

“How about I just go in to get him since we’re running a little behind?” Jordan suggested as the limo stopped in front of Tucker’s house. They all agreed and Jordan left, reappearing seconds later with her date.

Dude! Nice hair!” Tucker said to Ben, holding his hand in the air for a high-five.

“Shut up,” interrupted Ben through clenched teeth. He nodded to Stacy; and Tucker lowered his hand sheepishly back to his lap.

Though they arrived forty-five minutes later than planned, the festivities of prom had only just commenced. Morgan was rather excited that their convoy was tardy, this way everyone at the prom would see her in her gorgeous gown.

“Hold on a sec,” she whispered in Trent’s ear. “I want to go in last.” Trent nodded his head in agreement, checked his hair in the reflection of the glass doors, and waited for the rest of their party to enter.

As the duo walked into the large ballroom, Morgan could swear she heard a collective deep breath coming from the room.

“Your dress is gorgeous!” squealed a petite blonde; “It’s like she just walked out of a magazine!” she heard a boy whisper to his friend; “Wow!” came a cry from across the ballroom.

“Everyone is looking at us!” exclaimed Trent delightfully.

“I know… cool isn’t it?” Morgan replied.

The night continued on with compliments upon compliments, each one more gratifying than the last. Morgan was swelling with pride at being the best dressed at her Senior Prom.

“Excuse me,” squeaked a small, woman’s voice over the speaker system. The room was still abuzz with Morgan’s dress and the general frivolity of the evening and no one took notice.

“EXCUSE ME!” the woman’s voice called louder. Everyone on the dance floor turned their attention to the short, frazzled-looking teacher on the stage.

“Thank you, yes, I am Miss Deranger and it is now time to reveal your Senior Prom King and Queen!” announced Miss Deranger. The audience clapped loudly.

“I just know you’re going to get it, Mo!” Stacy shouted over the applause.

“Yes, yes, thank you. And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!  Your 2008 Senior Prom King is…” Miss Deranger ripped the envelope open. “Trent Wellington!”

The room exploded with claps, cheers, and whistles. Trent winked at Morgan and walked up to the stage. He strutted over to Miss Deranger who, slightly turning pink, placed a paper mache crown on his head.

“Yes, such a handsome king,” said Miss Deranger.

Trent nodded and gave the teacher a beseeching look. Miss Deranger merely gazed at his bright, green eyes and sparkling teeth that seemed to glitter even more under the stage lights.

“And the queen?” he whispered.

“What? Oh yes, right.” If possible, the short teacher was going redder. “Your Prom Queen is…”

Miss Deranger seemed to pull at the envelope slower than with Trent’s results. When finally out of the seal, Miss Deranger read the name and frowned. “Morgan Miller,” she said flatly.

 

If possible, the cheers were louder than ever. Morgan glided through the crowd and pranced up the steps to accept her crown. Miss Deranger placed it upon Morgan’s head (rather roughly Morgan thought) and went back to the microphone.

“All right, everyone, now the king and queen will have their first dance,” Miss Deranger said and stalked off the stage.

A slow song started as Morgan and Trent walked hand in hand to the dance floor. Trent twirled Morgan and gave a little bow.

“Your majesty,” he whispered regally. “Might I have the pleasure of this dance?”

Morgan giggled, “Yes you may. But only if you don’t talk like that anymore.”

“Okay!” he said, smiling and took Morgan into his arms. “This is great, isn’t it?”

Morgan sighed, “It really is.”

 

Writer Wednesday

writer wednesday

 

Normally on Wednesdays, I write an awesome short story from my handy dandy writing prompt book. Today, however, I’m going to give you some helpful tips that can help you break through any writing plateau, destroy procrastination, and get your creative juices flowing!

I have books all about writing and websites favorited that help me with writing, but I never thought of getting an app to help me write! I don’t know why this never dawned on me; I’ve got apps galore! I’ve rounded up the best apps that every writer should have on their phone or tablet!

Name Dice

Name Dice is exactly what it sounds like: dice that you “roll” to help you come up with names for your fictional characters!

name dice

There are HUNDREDS of names to choose from and even if you don’t choose a name that you roll, it will definitely get the motors in your writer mind turning!

 

Werdsmith

werdsmith

Werdsmith works a lot like your Notes app, but is so much more than a digital notebook! You can set daily word goals to motivate you to write every day! You can also share with friends to get feedback on your writing!

 

Lists for Writers

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This app is AMAZING! There are tons of lists that are helpful for writers including character names, physical descriptions, and plot outlines! There are also tips on how to build a character, ways to boost your descriptions of setting, and reference materials (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.).

 

Brainsparker

barinsparker

If you ever get stuck while writing (which happens to 99.99% writers at one time or another) this app is crazy-helpful! There are over 200 writing prompt “cards” that will instantly spark creativity and help you bust through blocks. You can even schedule a daily “spark” so your creativity is always flowing!

 

Do you have any writing apps you use? What are your favorites?