Music Prompt #26

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

by Marjane Satrapi

started: December 8, 2017 | finished: December 8, 2017

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is a memoir chronicling Satrapi’s childhood in Iran during the Iranian Revolution in the 1980’s. Told through the use of Satrapi’s own illustrations, the reader is shown the loss, sacrifice, and fight that comes with such a tumultuous time through the eyes of a child.


I have to admit, I’ve never been very drawn to middle eastern stories. I don’t know if it’s a race thing or if it’s an oversaturation that I never really shook off after the early 2000’s, which, coincidentally, is when this book was originally published and probably why I never read it at the time. Either way, I’ve always avoided the topic due to lack of interest. When the Read Women group voted on Persepolis as the December group read, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m glad to say that I was entirely engrossed in this book. I finished it in a day, which isn’t hard considering the medium and reading level, however, I’m usual pretty good about taking my time with graphic novels so I can spend more time in them, but this book reads so fluidly that it was hard not to just keep reading.


Back in the early 2000’s after 9/11, when the Middle East broke through America’s blinders, I honestly got sick of hearing about it very quickly. It probably didn’t help that I was in middle school, going into high school at the time and had “more important” things on my mind than world relations (I’ve never cared that much about politics anyways), so I zoned out whenever the Middle East came up. So, while some of the information covered in Persepolis I knew, a lot of it I didn’t and the parts that I did already know, my knowledge was very surface level. Though, honestly, it’s always one thing to hear about these generalized events, it’s something entirely different to hear it from the perspective of a child who lived through it and was affected by it. As well, the inclusion of the small things that changed, such as censorship of not just media, but even history, the regulations of women’s fashion, the outlawing of parties, all helped to show just how oppressive and even claustrophobic things had become. My only issue was the ending, which felt kind of anti-climactic for me. It didn’t ruin the book, but I felt kind of left in the cold there at the end.


I love Satrapi’s parents. They were political and intellectual without being didactic and I love the way they encouraged learning in her without being overbearing. They really helped to show the contrast between Iranians who were modern and those who were traditional. I also really liked Satrapi as a child. She was inquisitive and headstrong, refusing to lie down for anyone.


I realize that I can’t really ask much in terms of writing style from a young adult/middle grade book, let alone a graphic novel (though, if Neil Gaiman can pull off lyrical prose in a graphic novel, then no excuses), but, as a writer, it’s hard for me to not notice it and the writing in Persepolis was bare. I wouldn’t say that it was bland, but just bare. I do feel that the writing could have gone a bit deeper to really drive home the darker points in the story.


Much like the writing, I felt the art could have been more detailed, especially with how bare the writing was. I know, I know, it’s a young adult/middle grade book, and I did enjoy the simplistic style, however, I do think it would have been possible to keep the simplistic style and make it a bit more detailed. There were even a few frames that showed that Satrapi does have the skill to add more detail, and I just would have liked to see that more throughout.


(rounded down for goodreads)
I really did enjoy this book, though I’m not sure I enjoyed it enough to buy it…maybe I did. I’m still not sure. I’m glad I read it. I enjoyed reading it. And I learned a good amount about a period of history and a part of the world that I hadn’t previously known much about. However, I don’t think it’s a book that I will be drawn to read again or, at least, not over and over again. It is a good book, just not one that I feel I need to rush out and buy so I can keep it on my self.


Writer Emergency Pack Story Helper #17

Writer Emergency Pack

Story Helpers are meant to continue off of the Monday prompts as a way to either help expand what came to you from the prompt or to screw it all up and force you out of your comfort zone. Don’t worry about them not matching up either. The great thing about your brain is that it will find a way to make something work. Have fun with it, don’t fear what comes. Fear is the root of writer’s block.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Photo Prompt #39

Photo Prompt #39 | Paperback LoverSource: Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Write what comes to mind. If a story doesn’t come to you, start by writing a description of what you see. Where is this place? What time of year is it? Why is this place important? Why would someone photograph it? Who lives here, if anyone does? What is nearby? What isn’t seen in this photograph? Who is this person? Where are they going? What are they doing? How do you imagine they walk? Talk? Do they have a speech impediment? An accent? Where are they from? Are they local? A tourist? A time traveler?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Inspiration Dice Story Helper #16

Inspiration Dice Story Helper #16 | Paperback Lover

Inspiration Dice

Red Dice signify plot and Green Dice signify action.

Story Helpers are meant to continue off of the Monday prompts as a way to either help expand what came to you from the prompt or to screw it all up and force you out of your comfort zone. Don’t worry about them not matching up either. The great thing about your brain is that it will find a way to make something work. Have fun with it, don’t fear what comes. Fear is the root of writer’s block.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Inspiration Dice Prompt #12

Inspiration Dice Prompt #12 | Paperback LoverInspiration Dice

Yellow = Genre
Blue = Character
Pink = Character Traits
Red = Plot
Green = Action

Though these dice are more specific than the story dice and seem more intimidating, try your best to let go of any nerves or fears that you’re feeling and just let you’re imagination take over. That might be what I love about these dice the most, they force you out of your comfort zone faster than any other writing exercise. But, like I’ve said before, our brains are amazing, storytelling machines and they will find a way to make these seemingly unrelated words come together to make a story. It might not be the best story, but it will be a story.

Feel free to approach the plot and action dice however you feel comfortable. Pick your top three plot dice and use those to follow a three-act story structure. Use all five and allow how the dice landed to dictate how the events unfold. Let the orientation of the action dice dictate the outcome of that action: right-side up elicits a positive outcome, upside down brings about mayhem, sideways confusion. However you choose to approach it, the point of this exercise is to let go and let what happens happen. The point is to have fun and write without worrying about the outcome.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Writer Emergency Pack Story Helper #16

Writing Emergency Pack Story Helper #16 | Paperback Lover

Writing Emergency Pack Story Helper #16 | Paperback Lover

Writer Emergency Pack

Story Helpers are meant to continue off of the Monday prompts as a way to either help expand what came to you from the prompt or to screw it all up and force you out of your comfort zone. Don’t worry about them not matching up either. The great thing about your brain is that it will find a way to make something work. Have fun with it, don’t fear what comes. Fear is the root of writer’s block.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Music Prompt #25

Start by listening. You don’t have to listen all the way through, but do give yourself some time to really listen. Close your eyes, if you’re comfortable doing so, put on your headphones, and listen. Allow yourself to really feel the music and immerse yourself in what you’re hearing. Once you’re ready, start writing.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a story, start by writing a list of words the music makes you think of. Is it calming, energetic, creepy? Does it make you think of a specific place, person, or genre? What type of person can you imagine listening to this kind of music?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.

0:00 Susan Christie – Rainy Day
2:07 Tom Day ft. Monsoonsiren – Dreams
5:35 Mimi Page – Tomorrow (YinyueS Remix)
8:53 Ryan Vail – Fade
13:20 Stateless – Bloodstream
16:51 Janicha – No Fear
20:09 Mt. Wolf – Hypolight
24:35 Tiësto – Take Me (Mr FijiWiji Remix)
28:20 Little People – Aldgate Patterns
33:07 Hiatus – Dawn
36:24 The Cinematic Orchestra – Arrival of the Birds & Transformation


Photo Prompt #38

November’s StoriesPhoto Prompt #38 | Paperback LoverSource: November’s Stories by Tanja Moss

Write what comes to mind. If a story doesn’t come to you, start by writing a description of what you see. Where is this place? What time of year is it? Why is this place important? Why would someone photograph it? Who lives here, if anyone does? What is nearby? What isn’t seen in this photograph? Who is this person? Where are they going? What are they doing? How do you imagine they walk? Talk? Do they have a speech impediment? An accent? Where are they from? Are they local? A tourist? A time traveler?

Remember: Even if all you come up with for now is a description, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.


Inspiration Dice Story Helper #15

Inspiration Dice Story Helper #15 | Paperback Lover

Inspiration Dice

Red Dice signify plot and Green Dice signify action.

Story Helpers are meant to continue off of the Monday prompts as a way to either help expand what came to you from the prompt or to screw it all up and force you out of your comfort zone. Don’t worry about them not matching up either. The great thing about your brain is that it will find a way to make something work. Have fun with it, don’t fear what comes. Fear is the root of writer’s block.

Remember: Even if what you come up with doesn’t make sense, keep it and come back to it later. If your muse is like mine then it most likely enjoys giving you puzzle pieces that need to be fit together over time rather than the whole story all at once. You never know what will connect your pieces together, so don’t trash something just because it doesn’t seem to go anywhere right away.