Friday, February 28, 2014

Sweet Tooth

I have a theory —

I think that there’s more than one tooth fairy.

You see, way back when I placed a molar, incisor, or cuspid beneath my pillow, in the morning I’d always wake to find…

One thin dime.

Apparently, I was dealt the infamous “frugal fairy” in the tooth fairy lottery.

My children fairied much better.

Although, to be honest, I haven’t quite figured her out.

She’s either a total geography geek, or is so frazzled and harried by her worldwide clientele that she never has time to stop and do a bit of currency exchange.

So, for a molar my son or daughter might receive a British pound sterling, while an incisor might net a peso from Columbia.

You just never know.

She also has a sense of humor —

One time she shelled out French francs long after the official adoption of the euro.

Obviously, she’s not into leaving anything spendable.

I figure that’s because word must have gotten out in fairyland…

I always used my dimes at the candy store.

PROMPT: Today is National Tooth Fairy Day, so celebrate by telling a toothy tale. And if you've figured out what your fairy does with those pearlies, please let us know.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yep, They’re People Too

Believe it or not, the “talking animal” is a highly controversial subject in the world of children’s writing.

Some editors love them…

Some detest them…

And some educational companies absolutely forbid you to suggest that an animal speaks human.

And yet, many of our most beloved storybook characters from childhood are totally anthro.

Think about it —

You’ve got your Pooh bear, your Peter Rabbit, and Frances that well-mannered badger-thingy.

So, here’s my question…

Why don’t they ever wear pants?

Sure, they can chat, dance, serve tea, and even wear snappy tops…

But pants are definitely NOT happening with this crowd.

I don’t know about you, but that one’s been bugging me since I was about seven.

Alas, it is a mystery that may never be solved.

Anyway, here’s some real animal news that you can use in your writing today —

Marine biologists have recently discovered that dolphins use unique whistles for each of their friends.

In other words, they call one another by name.

Until now, we thought that only big-headed humans did such a thing.

And yet, these underwater anthros seem to fit the same old pattern —

Bottlenose bloomers and boxers have yet to be located.

The search continues…

PROMPT: It’s all about anthros today. Write with the dolphins, or knock yourself out with some other chatty critter — but do me a favor and, please oh please, keep their private parts private.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Parlez-vous Poésie?

Oh là là, I am planning a dream trip to France!

So, since January 1st, I've been taking a crash course in the language that brought you the guillotine.

The program is one of those CD numbers with plenty of online features, and I am proud to say that if we met on a Parisian avenue, I could tell you that I am fourteen years old and have red hair.

Neither of which are true.

But that’s not the worst of it.

I've smacked into an unexpected problem while learning this new means of expression —

I can’t stop thinking about all of the fresh and French poetic possibilities…

Exhibit #1:

Il y a un poisson
dans ma boisson!
Oh, mon Dieu.
Sacre bleu!


There is a fish
in my drink!
Oh, my God.
Heavens to Betsy!

Yeah, I know.

WAY better in French.

PROMPT: Studies have found that learning a second language actually enhances abstract and creative thinking! Challenge yourself today by creating a poem in something other than your mother tongue. After all, useful phrases like calling a cab or reporting your actual age are highly overrated.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

About a month ago, a piglet walked into Kai Holt’s life…

and promptly plopped into his pool.

Turns out, the little oinker loved water.

And what do you do with a hog who happens to have an H20 hankering?

Obviously, you buy him a surfboard.

At least, that’s the way Kai Holt tends to roll.

Now Kamapua'a the hog is hangin’ loose on free boards from Costco…

Sportin’ the GoPro…

And uploading to Instagram.

Yep, this little piggy has sponsors.


All the way home.

PROMPT: This one has all the makings of a piggy “tale” twist to the old classic, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White — so, write a story that saves someone’s bacon today. Bonus points if he hangs ten… or rather…eight.

Monday, February 24, 2014

All Aboard!

Years ago, I took the now-defunct Amtrak Pioneer from Seattle to Denver.

If you’re a writer, trust me; there is no better way to travel.

After all, there aren't any dishes or dusty wainscoting to distract you, and you’re basically surrounded by characters.

In my thirty-hour journey, I filled an entire notebook with poetry, character sketches, reflections, and tales.

Without a doubt, writers and trains go together like PB & J… salt & pepper… fish & chips…

And it turns out that I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Zach Seward and Jessica Gross thought that writing and rail riding were so wonderfully Green Eggs and Ham that they tweeted their opinions all over the Twittersphere.

“Yo, Amtrak!” they chirped. “We think you ought to offer a ‘writer in residence’ program.”

Well, Amtrak crowed, “We think so, too, Sam-I-Am!”

And just like that, Zach and Jessica had something to write home about — a free ride on the Lake Shore Limited from The Big Apple to Chi-Town!

I love it when writing dreams come true.

Don’t you?

PROMPT: Rev up your writing by giving a train a try. Or think outside the boxcar and come up with a fabulous new writing residency of your own.