Kevin responds to The Writer’s Sketchbook


I just released the first Writer’s SketchbookWeird Worlds edition. Many of my students have been using the book, and I’ve been hearing lots of positive feedback. I wanted to share this story with you today because it really shows why the writer’s sketchbook works.


Kevin recently purchased The Writer’s Sketchbook: Weird Worlds, and he posted this on Facebook. I got his permission to share it with you:

I Cranked Out Words 

This book is designed to help you fight writer’s block. Its main features are 30 writing prompts  using six unique methods to kick-start your story writing. Because I can never sleep before an early morning flight, I tried out the first prompt of the “Story Starters” section late that night. I was given the first sentence of a story and told to write for about 15 minutes and finish the story. I will make two admissions: I wrote for about 20 minutes (although it took me about 3 minutes to figure out what my story would be about) and I wrote a second story using the same prompt immediately following completion of the first one.

I guess I kind of didn’t follow the rules, but I found myself “cranking-out-words” instead of staring at a blank notebook or promising myself that I would one day make a story out of the cool idea I had last month. I want to overcome another obstacle to writing by sharing the second story I wrote that night. Minor spoilers ahead if you plan on getting the book.

PROMPT: It was the year 3015… again…

Crossing the Line

It was was the year 3015… again…

Nobody realized that the universe was round (rather, spherical to be precise) until we had taken our spaceships out to chart its edges. And, what do you know? Earth turned out to be in  its exact center! Since humans were alone in this round universe we, naturally, got to adopt all our weights and measures as universal standards. That included our system for measuring time. We simply projected Earth’s 24 time zones into the surrounding space and scaled up the units from hours to “half-months” so that the universe’s circumference equaled one solar year.

This is all just the technical explanation for all you planet-bound land-lubbers out there. In the Space Navy, universal time zones are a part of every day life. Anyway, my ship had just crossed the Intergalactic Date Line, or IDL. This was significant in that instead of advancing or retarding our clocks by two weeks, we took them back a whole year!

“Crossing the Line” is an important tradition in the Space Navy. See, you are considered a hapless comet until you cross the line. Then you become a trusty star-back. My crew would be even more distinguished. Due to the territorial dispute between the Ooma-Powdin and Teethor Galaxies, the IDL had been shifted 3.5 million light years. That meant our planned track took us across the line just after midnight on January 1st, 3016. Crossing on the first day of the year made us “resolute” star-backs: a special breed.

After a whole day of comets crawling through trash ejector chutes, trying to navigate escape pods back into their launch tubes, and being forced to only float backwards through the ship’s corridors, our “Crossing the Line” ceremony was held and we were made official. Now we could sit down with our shipmates to a New Year’s meal, born again as star-backs. You know the best part? 3015 was burger year. Here we come again!

The End