While I have enough story ideas to last me the rest of my life—and the life of whoever inherits them someday!—finding interesting topics on which to blog continues to be a daily challenge. While I do some promotional blogs—character interviews, blurbs, and excerpts, and so on—I’ve come to the conclusion that a worthwhile blog should provide the reader something to take away and use—and that means not only ideas, food for thought, but also links.
So beginning today, The Word Place will have a new feature: a once-a-week listing of ideas with links to same. If they stir up a story, provide impetus for more research, or just fill a few minutes with interesting reading, the weekly spotlight will have fulfilled its purpose.
Let’s get started! Five ideas—so we’ll call this new feature The Friday Five!
1. Ancestry.com says there are 7 different types of ENGLISH surnames. Which category might yours fall into?
· Descriptive characteristic
· English place name
· Name of an estate
· Geographical feature
· Patronymic, matronymic, ancestral
· Signifying patronage
If you don’t want to plow through the entire article (though you should—it’s jam-packed with great information for writers mulling over names for their newest characters), type in your name here and see what fascinating facts come up about YOUR name!
2. Looking for next Halloween’s short story? Try this mystery at an excavated colonial site. Seven skeletons and—you guessed it!—one is headless!
3. And speaking of unearthed (though not unearthly) treasures, this photo essay about things hidden for 5000 years until Mother Nature revealed them with a huge storm. Hint: It would make a great setting for almost any kind of story!
4. Unsolved mysteries—don’t you love them? Flyer Amelia Earhart disappeared 77 years ago, and curious folks have been searching for her ever since. Could this recently-discovered piece of metal provide the best clue yet?
5. And finally—though with a caution about a rather dark theme—do the last words of condemned prisoners provide a clue to their true characters? What did Marie Antoinette say just before the executioner relieved her of her shorn head?