I've always been someone who loves words. Spelling them. Reading them. Writing with them. Just one of those things that I've been interested in since I was a young lass.
For me, the vocabulary part of the SAT was going to be my shining moment. It was the one area I had never been worried about. My high school English teacher had prepped me well. I loved her assignments. We were to read a challenging book, keep track of words we didn't know, and then once a week we were to write a few short pages using those new words.
This was golden for a word lover like me. The new words I learned out of books like "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells or "Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding would be the starting point for me to get my creative juices flowing.
I also remember my sophomore or junior year of college. I took a Modern Fiction class with a friend of mine. There was one kid in our class who used what I called "50-cent" words regularly...in his questions to the professor, in any presentation, etc. Words that were so esoteric and so bizarre for a 21-year-old to be spouting, that one day, we decided to keep track of all the words he used. And we came up with a brilliant contest: After class, we both had to write a story using those words and then see who wrote the best one.
The challenge was on! I wish I still had the list of words...but there were some good ones, as I recall. Immediately after class, I headed back to my dorm room and whipped out a 2-page story using all the words. I met up with my friend, showed her my work, and she said, "You actually did it?"
Although she had agreed to the contest, apparently she'd seen it as a joke. I saw it as an awesome challenge.
Writing "Blood Moon" reminded me of those two times in my life when vocabulary gave me inspiration to write. Instead of needing a 'writing prompt,' I just needed a vocab prompt!