Tag Archives: monthly theme

Oh dear…

It’s the 1st, isn’t it?

And a Monday? Bugger!

Once again, I’m completely unorganised. OK, everyone, if you can send your submissions for last months theme, I’ll try and get them up tomorrow.

In the mean time I’ll dig around the drafts folder and clean up a post for the next theme…

~mr sketchy

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Theme: “They called his name until it didn’t sound like a real word anymore, but he never returned.”

Wow. How did a week go by!? Sorry, we must’ve got distracted or something. Unfortunately that means you’ll have less time for this month’s project.

The theme this month is:

“They called his name until it didn’t sound like a real word anymore, but he never returned.”

This little sentence came to me just after Christmas last year when I was staying with my parents in Canberra for a week or so, and the family dog went missing. We spent so much time calling out his name, wondering if he’d ever come back. After three days, we all started to force ourselves to face the idea that he might not.

And then one morning he just showed up at the back door, exhausted, filthy and needing lots of cuddles. We were all very relieved.

Lost & found

~ Soph

Responses to this month’s theme will be due midnight Monday 1 August.

As usual, shoot us an email (themondayproject85@gmail.com) with your response attached; or, if you’ve got your own site, send us through a link.

Happy creating!

~ Soph, Kate & Mr Sketchy

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Theme response: “They grouped under the lamp post, alone.”

Somewhat unbelievably, another month has passed and it’s time to post up people’s responses. (Honestly, I don’t know where this month has gone…) We’ve had some great responses this month.

~ Soph

Pseudo Rhys got in early with his response, discovering he’s much more likely to hit ‘delete’ than he is to use an eraser on paper. You can see it here.

Mr Sketchy also went with a fairly literal interpretation of the theme, and played Photoshop. You can see his response here.

Jo (who runs Sparkapolooza, a side project similar to the Monday Project) has joined in this month with a lovely illustration. You can see her response here.

I’ve managed to get my act together and get my response typed up in time this month. You can read it here.

We’ve also had an anonymous submission — a piece of flash fiction. The contributor said they hoped I didn’t mind that they used my name for the main character in the piece. Not at all, of course! Here’s their piece:

“Where is he?” Sophie thought to herself as she scanned the ever-growing crowd.  “Dang him!  He said he would be here 15 minutes ago!  Sometimes I wonder which one of us is really the oldest.”  She wasn’t surprised that her brother was late.  He was always late.  Nor was she angry for that matter as she had long grown accustomed to his unreliability.  More than anything she was frightened.  Something so trivial had never bothered her in the past. That was before last week.  That was before the unthinkable happened. That was before her mother died.

Death was nothing new to her.  Her childhood was full of short-lived pets from fish to hamsters to her longest pet, a chubby yellow tabby named Butterball.  Both of her grandmothers had died when she was in her teens.  Her Grampy died a few years ago.  What was new was witnessing her mother in pain.  As she looked back through all her memories, she could not recall her mother ever suffering.  There were bumps and minor scrapes, but nothing that ever brought tears.  She had been invincible.

~

If you’re still working on something that you’d like to submit, we do take late submissions, so feel free to send it through on an email (themondayproject85@gmail.com). Otherwise, enjoy working on the new theme this month. It’s due Monday 4 July.

~ Sophie, Kate & Mr Sketchy

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Monday Project Motivation

I decided I’d copy Mr Sketchy and write here about some of the reasons behind the Monday Project — and more specifically why I personally am involved.

Before we started the MP blog a few years ago, Kate and I both spent an inordinate amount of time whinging to one another about how difficult it was to stay motivated to actually produce anything. It is difficult, to be sure, but there comes a point where whinging about its difficulty is just another form of procrastination.

I rarely find myself lacking ideas. Inspiration is everywhere. But I’m an impatient person; I want to do it all right now. Choice is not usually a good thing for me. If I have to choose, I’m likely to want to do everything, so I’ll spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to work out how I can do that, end up feeling frustrated or disheartened, and then do nothing at all. Not ideal.

Similarly, if I do manage to start something, I often find that about halfway through I come across another, completely different idea and am plunged into uncertainty about whatever it is that I’ve been working on all this time. Again, not exactly conducive to getting much done.

Hence the Monday Project. And its deadline.

Each time I’ve been at uni (I’m a sucker for punishment, and keep sending myself back there), I’ve found deadlines incredibly useful. With one looming, I have to actually make a choice about what I’m going to see through to completion, because I have to hand something in. And so I finish things (not always happily or well, but that’s another matter entirely). I have to admit that there’s additional pressure with the Monday Project, being one of the organisers. (That’s a good thing.)

A good friend of mine and I have recently re-started trying to do three creative writing exercises a week. Last time we did this (about six months ago), we also spent a lot of time talking about how difficult it was to let go of that fear that you’re producing something crappy, and just go ahead and do it anyway. She started using a typewriter so that it wasn’t as easy to delete something she deemed a mistake, and I tried to force myself to type up my handwritten notes faithfully. Funny thing was, we discovered that by producing writing of varying success levels we were able to highlight things in our writing that we needed or wanted to improve on. Equally, we were both pleasantly surprised to discover some skills we didn’t realise we had.

Avoiding doing something because you’re afraid you’ll be bad at it is really just missing out on an opportunity to develop your writing (or painting or drawing or playing or whatever) skills, as it turns out. My Dad told me recently that one can not call oneself an expert at anything with any less than 10 000 hours of experience or practice in that field. No skipping from novice to expert — which irritates me greatly, since patience is not one of my strong points, and you can’t hurry 10 000 hours.

I recently moved house and, among other things, I learnt that I’m much more a hare than a tortoise. I can get in and get lots of things done quickly and with lots of energy, but after a while I run out of steam. I lack the stamina of one of my old housemates, who worked tirelessly from 6am to 10pm each day of the move. To bring any kind of creative project to completion you need stamina. The Monday Project and its deadline have helped me work on that.

Which is not to say that something needs to be completely finished for you to post it here as a response to the monthly theme (I can assure you my pieces usually aren’t), but hopefully sharing it will encourage you to work on something you might otherwise give up on — and maybe even continue working on it after we’ve posted it here. Mr Sketchy also mentioned being encouraged to work on themes and ideas he might never have otherwise. Like my friend and I doing creative writing exercises, I’m hoping that the different themes and ideas will help me learn more about skills that I have already as a writer, as well as learning more about — and pushing — my limitation.

Of course, this month’s theme is Redux — the perfect opportunity to return to an older project and maybe inch it a little closer to completion.

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