Friday, March 22, 2013

Get Goofy

According to my sources, it is International Goof-Off Day!

Go ahead and Google away if you’re a doubter.

I’ll be out celebrating…

Big time.

PROMPT: Garsh! Do you really need instructions for this one?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Bet

After Theodor Seuss Geisel completed his book about the hatted cat, using only 236 first grade vocabulary words, his publisher Bennett Cert said, “I bet you can’t do it in 50.”
That is, he bet that the Seuss-Meister could not create a story using only 50 distinct words.
Well, the good doctor took Bennett up on his offer, saying something like – “Fifty bucks says I can, Sam I am!” 
And the rest is Green Eggs and Ham history.
I hear that Bennett never paid up.
But considering that Green Eggs and Ham has been one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, Teddy never complained.
Obviously, there are two lessons here…
First of all, restrictions lead to higher levels of creativity. In fact, research has shown that imposed limitations boost creative thinking because they force folks to work outside of their comfort zones.
And second – never make a bet with your publisher and expect to get paid.
Consider yourself enlightened on both counts.

PROMPT: Pick a limiting word limit, 50 or 100 words say, and create a complete story.
And because I’m sure you’re dying to know, Seuss’s 50 were: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.
Write on!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The News

New sheep!

New bunnies!

New horses!

New cows!

New crocs!

Okay, maybe not new crocs.

But crocs or no crocs –

It is time to fling off the trappings of winter

and rejoice in the wondrous newness of spring!

Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Today is a great day to embrace a new you! Be the child who knows poems and write the one that’s beating there deep within your heart.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Writers have been known to have strange habits.

There’s Truman Capote, who wrote lying down…

and Earnest Hemingway, who wrote standing up.

But nothing compares to Victor Hugo’s means of summoning the Muse. And since the DVD release date of Les Misérables is only days away, I thought it was time you knew.

According to some sources, Mr. Hugo had a glass cage installed on the roof of his marvelous mansion. It was there that one could find him each day at dawn, scribbling away at a lectern…

wearing nothing but his smile.

Apparently when the writing was not going well, he would dump cold water over his head or rub his torso with gloves made of horsehair.

I know, I know, this is NOT information that you really wanted to know.

Well, neither did I.

But you know what they say…

Les Misérables love company.

PROMPT: Who can resist a wacky writer? Well, he or she is your main character today. I know that good old Victor has raised the bar pretty high, but give it a whirl anyway.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Any Direction Will Do

In my line of work, I am often asked to come up with 3 or 4 short stories a week.

Over the years, I've had a few students ask me where I get my ideas.

While I am always tempted to direct them to a particular beach on the Oregon Coast, what I really say is Look around!

Stories are EVERYWHERE!

This past weekend, for example, I attended the Washington State Archery Tournament. One room, and 600 minors armed with deadly weapons.

I’m thinking this could be where Suzanne Collins found that Hunger Games plot.

Then there was a classic sports tale in the works as well. My son’s team was a close second for the second year in a row… Argh!

And if you’re reading this, Deer Park High – enjoy the win while you can. Our hodgepodge team of homeschoolers has got you next year for sure!

That one is obviously a “To be continued” saga.

But without a doubt, this was the BEST story find of the weekend…

Yeah, a nun winning the bow raffle.

Trust me, she was quite pleased.

Play on, Sister. Play on!

PROMPT: You've got to go with the nun on this one. I mean, holy smokes, what are the chances??