Friday, January 24, 2014

There’s Gold in Them Thar Words!

I know we've barely gotten over the Jolly Roger good time we had talking like pirates last fall, but by gum, it’s Talk Like a Grizzled Old Prospector Day!

Apparently, a couple of fellers started the fun to mark the day of the first bony fide nugget in that thar gold rush of Californee.

Right about now I reckon you’re probably set to wonderin’ just how in tarnation you’re going to celebrate.

Well, don’t let the day hornswoggle ye. Purt’ near anybody can do it.

And it comes in especially handy when cussin’ out editors with flair—

"Consarn it, that dadburned sidewindin’ varmint done gave my tale the boot!"

But don’t let a tough day on the claim get you down none.

Just skedaddle on back to yer blank page and channel yer inner Yosemite Sam, Yukon Cornelius, or Stinky Pete.

Then write faster'n a jackrabbit on a hot rock…

And you’ll be hittin’ pay dirt in no time!

PROMPT: It’s just another day on the claim when “Eureka!" your prospector discovers…

A portal to another universe?

An orphaned Sasquatch?

The importance of bathing?

Dagnabbit, write on! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blame It on a Book


Ever since I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods in the 4th grade, I have dreamed of one day having a little homestead of my own.

You know —

Milking my own cow…

Gathering my own eggs…

Playing volleyball with a pig bladder…

Okay, maybe not that last one.

At any rate, these Wilder dreams followed me through my primary years, college, and even graduate school.

And I pined for my own Big Woods every time I rented another second story walk-up or fourth floor flat.

Then finally after years of saving, my husband and I bought our own little house on a few acres.

It was much more prairie than piney, but that was just fine by me.

Well, back in August I took an even wilder leap and purchased a dozen day-old heritage breed chickens.

Thanks to the advice of some good friends and a few info-packed books from the local library, I actually managed to get them all from fluff to feathers.

Then last Saturday something happened…

 First Little Egg on the Prairie

And all I can do is grin.

PROMPT: How has a book changed you?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cuisses de Grenouille

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning
and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
― Mark Twain

Well, that’s certainly a recipe for success...

If the frog is of the metaphorical variety, of course.

In his book Eat That Frog! business coach Brian Tracy spells out a simple method for beating procrastination.

He suggests that those items on your daily “To Do” list are actually not tasks at all —

They’re frogs.

And if you want a surefire sauté for a successful day…

Always eat the biggest, baddest, ugliest one first.

Not only will you knock a greater number of items off of your daily list…

Face it, once you've choked down one giant UGly frog, the rest are a whole lot easier to swallow

Over time, you’ll also accomplish your most important 2014 goals faster.

And you may be surprised to find that those biggest, baddest frogs aren't really so bad after all.

In fact —

They taste a lot like chicken.

PROMPT: What if you took out your magic wand and turned your daily creating, writing, or revising time into your hairiest, scariest, wartiest frog? Try it for a month, and who knows — one kiss of success might just turn you into writing royalty.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Get Squirrelly

Apparently, today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Mind you, this should not be confused with National Squirrel Awareness Month celebrated each and every October.

So I’m going to make the bold assumption that you’re already well aware of the squirrels (and squirrelly people) in your life, and get down to the business of showing the love for those super heroes of the animal world who are…

Faster than a bumper car, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap 20-foot buildings in a single bound!

All true…

Well, except for the locomotive part.

However, they can grow their mighty chompers 6 inches per year!

Feeling a little less super now, Superman?

Thought so.

And how about their knack for finding all those hidden nut hoards?

Well, it’s been recently discovered that right before stashing nuts, squirrels lick them and rub them all over their little faces.

Sciencey folks call this “scenting.”

And it clearly proves that squirrels have a level of intelligence rivalling that of your average kid brother…

who's been using this move to protect Milk Duds, Skittles, and Snickers bars since we first stepped out of the cave.

PROMPT: Get inspired by a few episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle or treat yourself to The Nut Job on the big screen. Then come up with a super squirrelly character who… gulp!... just teamed up with your little brother.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Calling All Dreamers

I have a dream…
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do you have a dream?

Of course you do.

In fact, you probably have many dreams.

You have dreams for your own life… for your family… your community… your country… your world.

Today would be a wonderful day to write down those dreams in black and white… red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Then go about the creative business of making them so.

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority 
has made the world better.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

PROMPT: Go to the mountaintop. What do you see?