Creative Writing Prompt #7

FRI. 8/17/12

Base a story off a song lyric or

an entire song…

Kayla looked out the window and waved to her husband. He smiled, driving off. She sighed. He’d be gone for a business trip, a total of seven days alone. She didn’t trust herself. Her husband deserved better.

Grayson, who was the love of her life, moved back into town a few months ago. She thought he was the one until  he disappeared one night. Turned out, he enlisted in the Marines without telling her, his family, or friends. No word, no letters. Two years later, he came back, more quiet, more broody.

She had tried to say hello, but he pretended like he hadn’t seen her. Out of embarrassment and heartache, Kayla decided to leave Grayson alone until he was ready to talk. She needed closure even if he didn’t.

She scanned the driveway, looking for her newspaper. She walked outside to retrieve it, but a light blue envelope caught her eye. It was tucked under the middle flower pot.

Kayla bent down and picked it up. Unmarked. She sat on the rocking chair, letting the curiosity get the best of her.

Was it for her? For her husband? Who was it from? She took a deep breath. What if it was from Grayson? He was always better at expressing his feelings with the written word instead of speaking out loud.

Dear Kayla,

I’m sorry for hurting you. It’s the last thing I ever wanted to do. I was messed up after my mom died, and I couldn’t get out of self-destructive mode. You deserved better than that.

I’ve worked through my issues in therapy, but I fear I’m too late. I would love to talk to you in person, but I understand why that can’t be. You’re happily married, and I can’t be the jerk who messes up your life twice. No matter how much I’m still in love with you. No matter how much I miss you.

Just know, even though I don’t speak to you, even though I’ve been avoiding you, I think about you every second of the day. I wish I could rewind the night I left, but unfortunately I can’t.

I love you Kayla. I love you enough to let you go, as long as I know you’re happy.



Kayla’s tears smudged the blue ink into little puddles.

If only…



****My song was based off the song Ne-Yo feat. Mary J. Blige Do You. If anyone would like to try this creative writing prompt and share it, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 41 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

This morning I had writer’s block while trying to concentrate in Java. My mind was too distracted and I couldn’t calm it down. It’s my own fault for not going to bed at a decent hour last night. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. Hopefully, by the time I reach home, I’ll be ready to finish my scene.

Normally, I write in the mornings. I’m motivated, hardly looking up from my paper. Then I go home to type it, sometimes including something extra if I’m in the mood. I’ve decided not to print this novel bits at a time like I usually do. When I hold the paper in my hand, it keeps me motivated because I see my story’s progress, I see it growing. This time, I’ll just wait until I’m finished my first draft since I’m writing out of order.

For some reason, the middle section is speaking to me more than the beginning. This story is fun to write. The female main character is the total opposite of me; she’s flirtatious and seductive. She can get whatever she wants from men without even trying. To help with showing rather than telling, I researched flirty body language, ways to know men/women are attracted to each other, when to notice they lost interest, with Google.

  • It’s been interesting creating those scenes. In a nutshell, this novel is about a love triangle. I write from the woman and the two guys’ perspectives. The girl will end up deciding she doesn’t want any of them; she’d rather be alone. One guy will respect that while the other guy will become a clingy mess.
  • I noticed the majority of my stories (novels, writing prompts, short stories) involve the guy pursuing a relationship but the girl hesitates. I wonder what that says about me…

Since I’m not concerned with word count this time around, it’s been less stressful. I’m confident that I’ll have a finished product on Day 90. I don’t care how long it takes to copy and paste a new document. Even though I’m focused on this new novel, I still wonder about One By One. I still haven’t heard from my betas yet. I feel vulnerable and exposed, which is hard for a shy person. I can’t wait to get feedback, so I can feel normal again. I hate not knowing; the suspense is killing me.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Giveaway!!! Free eBook copy of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel by R. Rodriguez

Five Lucky readers can win a free eBook copy of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel!!!!

The first five people to message the author on her fb page, with the correct answers, wins a free eBook copy of Chastity!!! You can provide your answers at:  The giveaway ends tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.

1. Guess the main theme for Chastity.
a. Suicide
b. Promiscuity
c. Illness

2. One of these is the muse for the protagonist’s love interest. Guess who it is?
a. Jared Leto
b. Taylor Lautner
c. Robert Pattinson

3. If Chastity were ever a movie, guess who the author would cast as this teenage femme fatale?
a. Taylor Swift
b. Kristen Stewart
c. Julianne Hough

4. Where does Chastity travel after graduation?
a. France
b. Bali
c. Puerto Rico

5. Chastity has a very unique birthdate. Guess when her B-day is.
a. Halloween
b. Leap Year
c. Valentine’s Day

Google, Google, Google…

For the past month, my blog has gotten the majority of hits from search engines. Cool beans! It’s always fun to see what topic people searched for, then compare that to posts read that day to see if they would have been disappointed with the results they found.

Here’s a few interesting topics I’ve seen recently:

  • other peoples experiences of airports are they intimidating to sensitive people
  • what is an annulment yeah
  • he’s still not over me and we never dated–Interesting. Wish this person would’ve left a comment. I love gossip!
  • head-hopping nora roberts
  • fish kill research paper–This will never get old to see. Poor students…
  • yvonne hooters
  • learn to hooters imitators floot–Too funny
  • carton codependents don’t fall in love they take hostages
  • chicken wings date rape–What the…? That’s creepy on so many levels!

The majority of searches are always for a certain novel or book reviews, so I’m happy I included a book reviews section. Recently, it seems like someone typed “yawatta hosby book reviews” and my contact page was glanced over. I wonder if someone wants to ask me for a book review. If they do, I’ll make time. Anything to help out fellow writers.

It’s a good feeling to know people are finding my blog slowly, but surely…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

“One By One” Thriller Third Draft Completed!!!

Is there such a thing as editing burn-out? If so, I think I have it.

Last Saturday, I finished revising One By One, then I left it alone for three days. On Thursday, I decided it was time to read the entire novel out loud to hear any mistakes. At that point, I’ve looked over this thing for so long that I skimmed the pages. Things didn’t go so well; I found errors, changed them, read it again, found more errors, read it again, then went back to original wording. I was all over the place, stressing out. It’s pressure knowing that other people will read your work for critique.

I was honestly two seconds away from giving up, clicking out of Word, and ignoring the document for good. Good thing I talked myself out of it. I think it’s wise to get  other peoples’ opinions because I think I’m just being too hard on myself. Do most writers do this? While they’re taking a look to make suggestions for improvement and highlighting what works, I’ll be taking a much needed break from editing. I won’t touch One By One until I get everyone’s suggestions in front of my face.

I’m happy to say that my third draft is completed with 55,125 words, 12 point Calibri font, single spaced, 101 pages. Hallelujah! Finished August 16th at midnight–just in time to start my first rough draft of my 90 day novel challenge.

Needing a new pair of fresh and objective eyes, I’ve put on my big girl panties to ask for beta-readers. I found two in my hometown and one author. Just need one or two more. My goal was to get two readers and two authors–both have valuable information to share whether they realize it or not :).

I’ve always had a thick skin, so I like constructive criticism. I view it as a challenge to make my work better.  It’s best to work out the kinks in rough drafts, instead of publishing with many errors and getting blasted with negative reviews all over the place. I respect honesty. Besides suggestions of improvement, I think it’d be cool if my beta-readers wrote in the margins when they had a suspect in mind. This would help me know if I have the right balance of red herrings or if it’s too predictable. Actually any feedback would be much appreciated! The fact that people will be taking time out of their busy schedules to help me out means a lot…more than they’ll ever know.

However, I’m only human so I have fears. What if my story sucks but they’re too nice to tell me? What if I send it out and no one finishes it? That’s why I want 4 or 5 (I like to weigh different opinions). If someone fails to come through, then I’ll have back-up. I totally have a Chapter 4 curse–sometimes critique partners disappear after chapter 3, claiming they read and made suggestions on chapter 4, but end up never sending it to me. It’s happened to me twice already. Definitely not a good feeling.

So far, there’s been no massive rewrites. I had to add a lot of details about setting (what clothes characters’ wore, what they looked like, rooms they stayed in, outdoor scenery). I waited to do this last because it’s the most boring aspect for me in the writing process. I see everything vividly in my mind where sometimes it’s hard for me to express it on paper. Plus, my 12th grade creative writing teacher said I overwrite too much–maybe I took that to heart to the 10th degree? Maybe now I underwrite? My main goal is to keep action going with short, sometimes choppy sentences. Some say I have a fast paced writing style like a sportscaster. Definitely something I’m trying to work on.

Once again, I really want to thank my beta-readers! And I want to thank Melissa for being my critique partner, sticking with me to the end. Without her help, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I hate reading documents on computer screens (it seems like the process is neverending), so I would never force the people in my hometown to give me their email address, so I could send it to them. Instead, I printed my story out, will bind it this weekend, then give them a hard copy the next time I see them. I’m nice like that 🙂

For all the writers out there, how long does the beta process usually last? How long of a break do I have before going back to work on One By One?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Creative Writing Prompt #6

TUES. 6/26/12

A celebrity wants to enjoy his or her

time with family, but a fan is bothering

him or her because won’t stop nagging…

Sequoia strolled down Paparazzi Central to meet up with her sister Seneca. Seneca was finished her photo shoot and wanted to hang out before she left for LAX airport.

Sequoia texted: Almost there. Let’s eat at Luigi’s around the corner.

Diego crossed the street, camera in his hands. “If it isn’t the lovely Sequoia Pondelik.”

“If it isn’t the handsome Diego. When are we going on our date again?” She smiled, winking.

Even though the device covered half of his face, his cheeks showed a deep shade of red. “I get off at 6.”

Sequoia laughed. “A paparazzi’s work is never done.”

She slowed her pace so Diego could keep up; he walked backwards in front of her. She loved appearing on TMZ; it made her feel worthy. As long as she flirted and had a good relationship with paparazzi, they would give her good press.

The public hated her at the moment. No longer America’s sweetheart, she planned to win the hearts back of her fans and possibly gain new ones.

“Trust me, I’d make time for you…so talked to Perry lately?”

Sequoia lowered her gaze to the sidewalk, slipping her hands into her pockets. It was time to put on an Oscar worthy performance. “No, he’s away filming for a new movie.” She frowned. “He didn’t take Echo, but he won’t tell me where my doggie is. I want to see him to make sure he’s okay. To let him know mommy still loves him.”

“That’s cold. I’d never do that to you, Sequoia.”

“Thanks Diego. Then again, I didn’t break your heart,” she whispered. She put a strand of hair behind her ear.

“We all make mistakes. You’ve apologized. That’s all that matters. If he still wants to be a dick about it, then that’s on him.” Diego maneuvered to avoid stepping on a big rock. “Good thing you two never had children since he’s being so vindictive.”

She let him continue being worked up on her behalf. Inside, she smiled because her plan was working. On the outside, she had to fake vulnerability to continue getting sympathy, deserved or not.

“Hopefully, everything will work out soon. We have one more movie to film together, then I’ll be out of his life forever. Well, except for Echo’s visitation.” She knew damn well that she had already been let go of the trilogy, but she wasn’t allowed to speak about it. That whole confidential agreement.

Did Sequoia regret cheating on Perry? She honestly didn’t know anymore. It felt right being with Plaid at the time. Now, it felt right being alone to reflect on things, to reflect on life.

Sequoia was twenty-three, and ever since junior high, she was the girl in the arm’s of a boyfriend. Now, she enjoyed her freedom of being single. Neither guys took that news well, but they’d have to get over it. America too.

“I heard through the grapevine that the studio chose Perry over you.”

Damn TMZ was good. She still couldn’t blow her cover though, no matter how much she wanted to.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry, Sequoia, but I heard you were let go for scheduling conflicts.” Diego frowned. “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”

“Who’s your source?”

“I’m not allowed to say.”

“Thanks for giving me a heads up, unless I’m being Punk’d right now.”

“I wish that was the case.”

Sequoia sighed, forcing back tears. That would work on the teeny-boppers. They loved their drama. Her bottom lip quivered.

“Sequoia, please don’t cry.” Diego didn’t set the camera down, but he angled it sideways, so he could step closer. He held her hand, squeezing it.

She smiled weakly.

“Do you have anyone you could talk to?”

“I’m heading to meet up with my sister now. Diego, thank you, but I’ll be fine.”

Why did he lower the lens? Hello, this needed to be filmed. Screw privacy. Show the world her waterworks. It’d be fun playing the sweet, innocent actress against the meanie, bully studio.

Game on bitches.



If anyone would like to try this writing prompt, email me at Author.Yawatta.Hosby(AT)aol(DOT)com. Once I wrote it, I realized it didn’t even meet the criteria. Oh well, it was close enough; besides, the key was getting used to creating scenes again. For the past month or so, I’ve only been editing–hardly any rewrites.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Creative Writing Prompts Are Here To Stay

School is back in session! I remember my first writer’s group meeting where I introduced myself as a creative writing instructor. At the end of it, they never really described what they do or what they’re about (red flag–they were a critique group disguised as a writing group), so I asked them if they assign exercises or anything. One of the ladies exclaimed, “We don’t have homework!”

A total dig. I could have been catty and said, “Apparently you need some, since you can’t grasp the constructive criticism people were telling you.” Instead I chose to laugh it off. No need to make waves on my first day. Who am I kidding? I’m nonconfrontational.

Anyway, this post has a point. I took a hiatus on writing creative prompts (or exercises)–so sorry–but I’m back now. Today, the one I left off on (celebrity nagged by fan) will be due on Tuesday.

Prompts help. I promise if you’re stuck with writer’s block or bored with your writing routine, try writing prompts. Go crazy. Be silly. Experiment. They can be useful later to create novel or short story ideas. For example, ‘the Vegas marriage’ prompt interests me enough to base a short story off of it. From ‘someone says no’, I can see a novel coming from it. It was going to be my NaNo inspiration in November; however, I think it’d be wise to turn Trapped into a novel.

When I submitted that short story to my writer’s group (well, my old writer’s group because I quit due to all the tension. They had a clique already formed and weren’t welcoming to newcomers), most of the feedback I received was expanding on it, revealing the beginning of Finia and Miki’s relationship. Especially the act of him sabotaging her birth control to trick her into getting pregnant. I might as well try it with NaNo while it’s fresh in my mind.

Who knows how many story ideas will evolve from these creative writing prompts. I’m excited to see!

For all the writers out there, do you give yourself writing exercises? Or do you feel like they’re a waste of time?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 20 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

I didn’t lie when I predicted I’d have plenty of time on my hands while outlining my next novel. I’ve managed to get the majority of my editing accomplished for One By One (only 20 more pages to go woo hoo), provided character sketches and plot outline for screenplay with my writing buddy (it was fun the day we scouted locations in Harpers Ferry), and I completed character sketches for my comic–even did research (will be combining comicpress with wordpress for my art blog next year).

Now, its day 20 of this novel challenge. In 8 more, I can start my rough draft. I can’t wait! I’ve described the majority of the scenes that I want in this story, so it’s all fresh in my head. I just have to jot it down on paper. I’ve been a busy bee, getting intimate with my characters. I’ve roleplayed enough that I know them by heart. It took a while for me to figure out their names though–that was a first. I’m not even completely sold on my four main characters’ names, so they may change in revisions. Since they are celebrities, they should have memorable first and last name combinations.

My routine for this challenge so far has been to focus on plot outline and character sketches  in the morning(using my own method instead of those questions in the 90 day book), then in the afternoon and night, I work on my other projects. This challenge expects a 80,000 word count novel at the end! I have to rethink my strategy.

  • Let’s see, for NaNo, it was 1,666 words a day. If I write 1,000 words a day for the next 2 months, that only leaves 60,000. If I do 1,340 words a day, then it’ll be 80,400 words give or take. Hopefully, this will be less stress compared to NaNo. When researching, I couldn’t find anything about when to expect burning out or being motivated, the best and worst weeks of the process, etc. I’m going into the situation blindly, and I hate that. I want to already know, so I can prepare myself for it. Oh well.

Being realistic, I don’t expect to reach 80,000. I really don’t want to hee hee. I like to get in, make my point, then exit to the left. This 90 day novel challenge will probably give me a headache, but I’ll succeed. My inner-nerd won’t let me fail. It’ll help that I plan on dividing this novel into different parts–it should help me produce a higher word count than usual.

The premise is based off of an actress’s experience. It’s a popular headline at the moment for magazines and blog sites. It was fun to Google the gossip to get the juicy version from the press and to hear fans’ reactions. I’m excited to reveal behind-the-scenes of Hollywood with PR, bruised egos, inflated egos, narcissists, etc even if my story is make believe. That’s why it’s called fiction. The details are changed so much that no one will be able to tell where I found inspiration from. There’s only one person I told, and she better not spill the beans hee hee.

I plan to finish editing One By One this weekend, leaving me time to begin my creative writing prompts again. I’ll start this Friday. I’m sorry I had to stop awhile–it was cool that some of you enjoyed reading them 🙂

Come on Day 28, I’m ready for ya! For all the writers out there who’s participated in this 90 day novel challenge, do you have any tips or suggestions for me and my writing buddy before we start our first rough draft?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Do You Have Any Idea How Many Books You’ve Sold?

Yawatta would  like to welcome JT BARONI as her special guest! She’s happy to hear that his novel is doing well, and  she thought it’d be cool to get some insight into the best way of tracking book sales. This is his second mention on her blog–the first was Read A Spooky Ghost Story And Help Sponsor A Leader Dog!


Hello everybody! Yawatta asked me to research and write a piece on how authors can track their book sales. In a nutshell, here’s what I have to offer; some of you may already know this. For those that don’t, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Read on…

Unfortunately, there are very few ways for authors and publishers to track accurate, precise book sales. Of course, there is the very expensive A.C. Neilsen “Bookscan” reports that show actual sales, but only the largest companies and wealthiest authors can afford this expensive service.

One way we starving writers have is NovelRank, a completely free website for authors to track their Amazon Sales Rank on,,,, (Germany), (Japan), (China), (Italy), and (Spain). NovelRank is also a free resource for self-promoting authors to track their print and ebook sales and Sales Rank on Amazon with charting, RSS feeds, and real-time data. The Amazon Sales Rank is a number that reflects how many other titles have sold more than your titles, the smaller the Amazon Sales Rank number, the better the sales.

Then there’s Aaron Shepard’s Sales Rank Express website, another place where a writer is able to check their Amazon Sales Rank. It’s a neat site, similar to NovelRank, with a few more bells and whistles, it also has user-friendly charts and graphs.

However, the major drawback to these two sites is that you can only track sales from the time you join.

Which brings us to the Giant amongst all booksellers…Amazon! Most seasoned writers know the benefits of participating in Amazon’s Author Central program. It’s totally free, and Amazon encourages you to update your author bio, import your blog’s RSS feed, view the reviews written for your books, and more. And the best part? Sales are available from nearly day one when your book hit the market, no matter when you join!

This amazing platform now includes book sales data as reported by Book Scan, by A.C. Neilsen. Although this data doesn’t reflect every book sale, it does offer authors an interesting opportunity to gain valuable insight into sales trends, with the numbers being surprisingly accurate.

For example, you can see book sales geographically. From an author’s viewpoint, I thought it was fascinating to learn that my books have been selling across the country, from Maine to California, and all points in between. I felt as though I accomplished a great feat, even if only on a small scale. I also think it is so cool to think that people across the US are actually reading my novel, which has received seven five star reviews on Amazon so far. One of the best reviews came from our very own gracious host…Yawatta! From Shepard’s site, I learned I had two sales in the UK. Also, I have determined that most of my sales came from blog touring.

This information and service provided by Amazon is priceless, especially from a marketing perspective in tracking the results of your promotional efforts. In other words, if any of your hard-earned dollars spent in advertising paid off. For example, if you had bought an ad in The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, you are able to see if there was a spike in book sales in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area of Western Pennsylvania as a result of when your ad ran.

I imagine other tracking websites exist; however, once I stumbled upon Author Central, I quit Googling “tracking book sales.” I now have time to promote my paranormal tale, The Legend of Rachel Petersen, and to concentrate on writing my next one!

For those writers who did not know about this unique and free Amazon service, I hope I passed on a great and invaluable piece of information. I have only briefly touched upon their offerings, so I encourage all published authors to personally investigate the benefits of joining Author Central, and the other two sites, for a complete understanding. To reiterate my opening statement, I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

However, as a cautionary word of advice, if you are involved in a dispute with your publisher over royalties, you will need more than this information. Seek legal advice on an audit.

And Yawatta! My gratitude for asking me to write this piece, and especially for having me on your blog again. It’s always my pleasure! Be sure to keep everybody smilin’, now!

Thank you,

JT Baroni

P.S. I welcome any comments and feedback on this column, and any reviews on my spooky tale.