Kristina Elyse Butke
Moxie Books: October Writing Prompts
These prompts come from Moxie Books, a website from the UK that's devoted to helping out writers. There's a lot of fun stuff there to look at, so I hope you check it out. Anyway, these are meant to be daily prompts (and particularly used on Instagram) but I'm using them for a single blog post!
You're highly encouraged to follow the creator of these calendars, Vicky Quinn Fraser, on Instagram -- @tinybeetlesteps. You can do the posts daily on Instagram, too! Have fun with it!
1 - October goals
I actually made my September goal of finishing revisions and have since begun querying agents! So what are my goals for October? I need a driver's license! My US license expired while I was in Japan and the renewal requirements got more difficult. Because I was living in Japan I had no way to prove I was a resident of my state (no utility bills or mail to me in my name!) so I had to let it go. I have to retake the driving test all over again. My street driving is a-ok as I've finally acclimated to driving on the right side of the road again (in Japan they drive on the left), but my maneuverability skills aren't quite there. I've been practicing regularly. I hope I can get it soon.
My other goal is to continue rewriting The Name and the Key. I'm over 7,000 words in but my motivation to work on it kind of comes and goes, which doesn't bode well. I've got a lot of stuff on my mind right now, I think.
2 - What does Autumn mean to you?
This is my favorite season. It means cooler weather and changing leaves; hoodies, sweatshirts, and sweaters; pumpkins, ghost stories and scary movies; delicious dinners with family; and a reflection on the nature of change and things ending.
3 - Your most recent milestone
I got a full request from an agent amid a multitude of rejections. I'm super scared that my full will get rejected, which I know is par for the course, but I'm praying that the agent will like it because I really want to work with her. But the fact that she wanted to read the whole thing is a huge deal, so I consider that a milestone reached in the querying process.
4 - Your favorite writers?
Margaret Rogerson is up there at the top of my list, along with Holly Black, Juliet Marillier, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, and N.K. Jemisin,
5 - World Teachers Day
In last month's post, I gave shout-outs to my middle school teachers...from high school I want to shout out Mrs. Linne and Mr. Nabors; from Capital, Dr. Summers and Dr. Dyck; from OSU-M, Dr. Fahey; from Seton Hill, Tim Waggoner, Scott Johnson, and Anne Harris. Each of these teachers not only shaped who I was as a writer and student, but also shaped my life!
6 - How many selves are you?
I sort of always thought I was at least two selves--a public one and a private one, but those are starting to blur together because of trying to market myself as a writer. In other parts of my life, I always thought there was a manic me and a depressed me, but thanks to self-care and the help of doctors and a support system, that's pretty much gone by the wayside. Maybe I can say there's an extrovert me who gets up and gives presentations and panels and sings karaoke, while there's an introvert me who prefers to stay in bed and read, hiding away from the world and its people.
7 - What 2 skills do you need to be great at your job?
Adaptability and the ability to make decisions quickly. Teaching in Japan really helped me develop these skills.
8 - National Hero Day
This probably isn't what the holiday is supposed to be about, but I keep thinking about superheroes. My favorite has always been Batman since the Tim Burton movies and animated series came out...I also liked the X-Men. And I love the running gag of focusing on Nightwing's beautiful butt. Meanwhile, in anime, I like Genos and Mumen Rider from One Punch Man and Todoroki and Bakugou from My Hero Academia.
9 - What do you want to get better at?
I would love to be able to get better at plotting and writing faster. I take forever with both.
10 - What's an unrealized dream?
I want to be a comic book artist and illustrate my own stuff.
11 - What do you think is the meaning of life?
To love yourself and others.
12 - National Fossil Day
When I think of fossils, I think of dinosaurs...my favorite place to view dinosaur bones is The Museum of Natural History in NYC. We went there many times as kids growing up and I always "oohed" and "ahhed" at the T. Rex. I think they had a stegosaurus, too, but I don't quite remember.
13 - Your favorite musicians?
I haven't listened to newer music in a while (except when my brother in Korea sends me K-POP stuff) so I'm going with The White Stripes, A Perfect Circle, and Fiona Apple. In terms of K-POP I really like Tri.be.
14 - A humble job you'd really enjoy?
I would like to be a docent in an art museum.
15 - One thing you appreciate about yourself?
I'm glad I'm able to change myself. I've grown so much and have come really far in my life. There was a time I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I have, and there's still so much more to experience! I love the person I am now compared to who I used to be. They're very different people. My goofiness is still there, though.
16 - Global Cat Day
YES! Cats are my favorite animals!
17 - Black Poetry Day
My favorite poem is "Harlem" by Langston Hughes. I always think about the question, "What happens to a dream deferred?" and I consider my life in that context. I don't want my dreams to "shrivel up" but rather, "explode."
18 - What's an experience that made you feel alive?
I've talked about this before on the blog, but when I went to Yakushima and hiked by myself for six hours at Shiratani Unsuikyo when the sun was rising...that was a truly special, almost spiritual moment, in my life. Another time I felt alive was climbing Mount Tryfan and Mount Snowdon in Wales. I was not healthy back then and really had no business climbing--I sucked at it, was weak, and couldn't breathe--but I did it anyway. And in a snowstorm, too!
19 - Wonders of the world
The two ancient wonders that interest me are the Colossus of Rhodes and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The wonders of the modern world that interest me are Machu Picchu and Petra.
20 - What are you curious about?
I'm always curious about the clothing people wore in other times, as well as the food they used to eat. They're one of my most consistent research topics whenever I write a book!
21 - Your biggest priorities?
I need money! And I need to write!
22 - What do you value more than money?
Love of friends and family. Especially family.
23 - Mulligan: What would you do over?
I would see a psychiatrist at age 17 or 18 and I would never have quit ballet.
24 - An extra day off
Well, it'd probably be spent reading or streaming! Most likely streaming. If I was really ambitious, I'd try to write, too.
25 - When do you write?
At the moment it's "when I feel like it," which is not good because it doesn't cultivate a regular writing practice. At least in Japan I wrote consistently on the weekends. That will probably resume once my schedule follows normal working hours again.
26 - National Mule Day
I don't know what mules are being talked about here. The donkey? Or the shoe?
27 - Where do you write?
In Japan I wrote on my pretty glass desk or on a wooden tray table near my bed; at home in the US I write on a laptop at a desk in my bedroom.
28 - Halloween
Halloween is absolutely my favorite holiday. I love not only all of the spooky, ghostly things going on, but I love, LOVE, LOVE getting dressed up in costume.
29 - What would you dress up as?
It's been a dream of mine for a while to dress up as Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate. But I don't actually have that as a costume right now, so I'd probably rewear my cosplay from Obey Me or from Gankutsuou. My actual Halloween costumes are all gone...just my cosplay!
30 - The weirdest thing you've ever found
I honestly don't remember finding anything weird.
31 - Celebrate your month!
I hope I reach my driving goal this month! I hope I get more requests, be they for partials or fulls, or even an acceptance from the agent I'm gunning for. I want to be able to tell you good news when the next one of these writing prompt posts rolls around!