• Art,  Inspiration

    Art Feature: Mysterious Objects

    Are you familiar with the term McGuffin? It’s an object in a story that serves as the driving force behind the action. It may not always be clear why the character(s) want the McGuffin but they do and they are often willing to go to great lengths to obtain it. For this month’s Art Feature, I found an assortment of objects. Each one is unique and beautiful. This time, along with the image, I will include a prompt in which the object is central to the plot. White Green Rose Glass Pendant This pendant by Lithomancyglass, is made from borosilicate glass. It’s a charming little piece and Lithomancyglass’s page is…

  • Mythology Prompts,  Writing Prompts

    10 Writing Prompts from Egyptian Mythology

    There are few areas of human history as interesting as Ancient Egypt. For me it’s the age, the time involved. There were Ancient Egyptians living in the shadow of already ancient monuments. They have so many deities and figures to include in their stories it’s hard to keep track. So much time passed that things changed, gods took on new roles and pharaoh’s rose and fell from favor. It’s easy to get lost in the history of Egypt. For this list I used two sources, Ancient Egypt: the Mythology and Ancient History Encyclopedia. Please forgive spelling discrepancies as there are many ways to spell most of the names and I…

  • Art,  Inspiration

    Art Feature: Spring!

    I am very excited to share my first art feature. I studied art history in grad school and have been looking for a way to get it back into my life. While this isn’t the kind of art I typically studied, it is all beautiful and inspiring.  I found all of these pieces on DeviantArt and I tried to select a variety of styles and mediums.  In the Grass by Rarrie I chose this piece because I could just hear her harrumph about something we can’t see. The possibilities immediately began dancing through my mind.  The soft colors and sketch-like feel of the image make it perfect for spring. It’s…

  • Recommendatons

    Things Worth Reading: The Apothecary’s Curse

    I was fortunate enough to meet Barbara Barnett at Capricorn 39 this past February. She was on a panel called Indistinguishable from Magic where they discussed the blurred line between some science fiction and fantasy stories. As part of the discussion she described her book and I knew I had to read it. She said she couldn’t firmly put it into any one category and she’s never even dreamed of trying. It has magic, science, history, and a touch of horror. How could I resist? I must say, it didn’t disappoint. While I have no problem firmly placing this book under fantasy, I can see where she was coming from.…

  • Inspiration

    One Year Anniversary

    We did it! Quixotic Quill has been up for a year. Without all my readers, followers, and commenters, it wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you everyone! I know this year has been a bit topsy turvy. One of my resolutions for the next year is to keep content coming more regularly. Another goal is to create content that gets us engaging more. I created Quixotic Quill to share inspiration with others. I’ve focused mainly on writing advice but that’s not the direction I saw this going. For the second year I’d like to branch out: share books I’m enjoying, share art that inspires me, and discuss things important in my…

  • Inspiration

    The Gift of NaNoWriMo

    With Camp NaNoWriMo approaching many are gearing up for another month of turning their writing up to eleven. Others however, are on the fence or don’t see the point. I’ve done NaNo for four years now, mostly November, and this last year is the only one I’ve won.  This time, I realized something about the NaNo that has really helped my writing as a whole. As early as September you start to see the posts and find the articles about NaNoWriMo and all it has to offer, as well as reasons that it’s a not worth it. I have my own complaints about the process too, but there are some…

  • Stories

    To Swim Among Stars

    Originally published in Mundelein Writes: Nature, by the Mundelein Arts Commission, Mundelein, Illinois, 2018 Astrid Ventas sat in the jungle and looked out the window into the sea. She hated it here. Not just the jungle, though that was bad enough. It was humid, smelled of decay, and was full of insects with an alarming degree of self-awareness. She hated the whole dome system though; the desert and the arctic and the beautiful meadow. All of it. She hated being trapped in a web of glass bubbles meters deep in the ocean. But the jungle served as a refuge. All the others, the ones who believed in their purpose, felt…

  • Writing Prompts,  Writing Tips

    Imagining the Future: Tips and Prompts for Writing Science Fiction

    One of the most common settings for science fiction novels and short stories is the future. Who doesn't want to imagine what the future will be like? As a writer you have the power to make the future a bright happy place where the problems of today are only a distant memory. Or you can make a dark future where everything has compounded into apocalyptic proportions. But where do you start?

  • Writing Tips

    The Importance of Writer Expectations

    One of the most important elements of a story is the reader’s expectations. I’m not talking about guessing what readers want or trying to write for the market. Writer’s must find the balance between fulfilling the readers’ expectations and surprising them in pleasing ways. If the reader’s expectations are fulfilled too exactly, they will get bored because they can always tell what is going to happen next, but if the writer puts in too many twists and turns, the reader will get confused and frustrated. There are different levels of expectations to keep in mind and they can be treated differently. The way you handle the reader’s expectations for the…

  • Writing Tips

    How to Make Your Setting a Character

    The setting of your story should be dynamic enough that it acts as its own character. By forcing your protagonist to consider elements of the setting when making decisions, you fill your your world and create a more compelling story.