Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Morcant Falcon

falconeye.jpg"His name is Morcant Falcon. He gives me nightmares ..."

Take it from there.

Empathic cat theater

catcircus.jpgTry to get all the words on each line into a single sentence:
  • cat empathic witness theater narrow excuse print revenge support
  • goblin ethereal orphan strategist vale splendrous ritual wit reveal
  • falcon cyborg bungling healer desert tumultuous tapestry charm threat entwine
  • fiend winged physicist ghost guardhouse whispering battle-madness depravity
  • creature angelic champion ally haven dusty report aggression assault

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Sucked into an altered past

oldtextbook.jpgThis is from the NaNoWriMo Adopt-a-plot folder where writers post extra plots they won''t be using.

#4: Three kids are sucked into a European History text book, and land in a very different version of history and the only way they can escape is to change things back. Everytime they do, another piece of the path home appears. -- Seadragon

Use it as a 10-15 minute writing prompt or go for a longer piece.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


googlism.gifType a name or word or phrase into Googlism, click "Who" or "What" or "Where" or "When" then click "Googlism!" (If you don't get a full page of possibilities, try a more common name. Joyce turns up a full page. Joyce Fetteroll tells me I'm a mom to 11 year old kathryn and wife to carl ;-)

(Note, there may be some beyond PG-13 results mixed in there! Also, unfortunately, Google shut them down a bit after they started so there aren't any new lists being generated but there's a huge list of saved Googlisms.)

Pick several to create a character sketch.

Use that character sketch as a writing prompt.

Here's a sampling:

joyce is predominantly humorous
joyce is born in rathgar
joyce is a magical spellbinder who touches young and old in ways that help us experience the joy of living
joyce is related to me but how?
joyce is really jumpin'
joyce is dead for a time
joyce is alive and concerned
joyce is a shutout sensation
joyce is on " the other side "
joyce is a graduate of quiet decisions hypnotherapy and behavior modification
joyce is not perfect
joyce is portrayed as a neurotic and jealous voyeur
joyce is not of any particular interest for this paper
joyce is a well
joyce is young at heart and she's gone through her life being pulled
joyce is a true diva
joyce is one of the great musical treasures of brazil
joyce is a member of the quest team (Jonny Quest? :-)
joyce is known as the psychic's psychic
joyce is a five year old african american female
joyce is willing to travel anywhere

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A place you don't want to miss

word_pyramid.gifPick one of the following and write an ad for it. It might be a city, a vacation resort, a corporation to invest in, a convention ... It might be an advertisement, a brochure, a mass emailing ...

Moron'z Landin'
The Village of Tillcreek
Crystalbrook city
Zigaco International
The Dark Hallway
Happie Palase Plase
Hanarathe city
Wild Magic Corporation

Descriptive animals

cutekittyrainbow.jpgWrite the alphabet down the side of the page. For each letter write a descriptive word that applies to your pet.

(Orignally I suggested favorite animal but Ranger, the dog of a member of the writer's list, inspired an alphabet that painted a vivid portrait which worked much better, I think.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Online Magnetic Poetry

screamdream.gifJust like the kind for your refrigerator: Online Magnetic Poetry.

There are several kits to choose from: Artist, Genius, Poet, Office, Romance and Gardner

Here's one I created with the Artist Kit by grabbing words at random and rearranging.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Heroic nomenclature

eye.jpgCreate male and female names for superheroes with the following quirks:

turns into jelly at the full moon
shoots lightning from eyes when angry
sneezing turns to the opposite sex
contains the memories and spirits of a thousand dead
god/goddess in hiding

Pet's eye view

ferret.jpgWrite about either yourself or a character from your/their pet's point of view.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A turn for the worse

killertomato.jpgA competition in New York Magazine asked people to change good titles into bad titles. Some examples:
A Walk on the Wild Side -- A Hike through Some Dangerous Areas
One Hundred Years of Solitude -- A Very Long Time Alone
The Naked and the Dead -- The Nude and the Deceased
Try it with the following movie titles:
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Apocalypse Now!
The Grapes of Wrath
Full Metal Jacket
Reservoir Dogs
Dog Day Afternoon
Sleepless in Seattle
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Shawshank Redemption
Silence of the Lambs
Children of a Lesser God
The Magnificent Seven
Rebel Without a Cause
House of the Flying Daggers
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Fearless Vampire Killers
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Emperor's New Groove
Back to the Future

Dark night, dark blood

dark_mirror.jpg"Dark night, dark blood carrying with it a river of rage that had brought him to this point. And the horror of it suddenly shone with the clarity of his face in the mirror and…"

Take it from there.

From Emily Hanlon's The Fiction Writer's Journey

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What is ...?

mooneatingcloud.jpgYou only need two people for this game. The first person writes "What is _____" and fills in the blank with anything. Abstracts work well (love, anger, beauty, justice, equality, reason) but it can be any word. The first person folds the paper to hide what they've written. The second person writes a sentence in the form of a noun followed by a verb.

You can of course play this on your own by writing several of each on slips of paper and then drawing them randomly.

Here's some examples to get you started:
What is reason?
A cloud eaten by the moon.

What is equality?
A hierarchy like any other.

What is loyalty?
A dog beaten with a stick.

What is love?
A parrot holding a beer.

What is a clock?
A bottle floating down the river.

What is life?
A popsicle melting in the summer.

What is a balloon?
A dream come true.

What is a smile?
A model in a magazine.

What is an individual?
A midsummer night's dream.

What is fear?
An expedition like no other.

What is religion?
A sea flowing towards the sand.

What is love?
An apple that has fallen from a tree.

What is anger?
A thunderstorm with no lightning.

What is beauty?
A cup of medicine to make you sleep.

What is life?
Any job you've ever done.

What is eternity?
Something that never lasts.

What is knowledge?
A person who tries to fly.
From a game played by surrealists described at What is? on the Rhizome site.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cat girls and cat guys

catperson.gifPick two (two girls, two boys, one of each). Add a third as an antagonist or make up the antagonist.

The Girls
  • This angry catgirl has slanted, orange eyes. She has waist-length, thick, wavy, orange hair worn in a weird style. Her skin is peaches-and-cream-colored, and she has orange fur with red ends on her ears and tail. She has an hourglass figure. Her tail is brush-like and carried with a curve. Her fashion preferences are best described as "it was clean so I put it on." It's rare to see her without her nose in a book.

  • This soulful catgirl has round, gray eyes. She has long, fine, straight, orange hair worn in an impractacal style. Her skin is white, and she has orange fur with yellow streaks on her ears and tail. She has a graceful figure. Her tufted ears are downturned. Her fashion preferences are best described as "belle of the ball." When touched unexpectedly, she often reacts with anger.

  • This cruel catgirl has large, green eyes. She has short, fine, straight, black hair worn in a wild style. Her skin is tan, and she has black fur with green stripes on her ears and tail. She has a wide-hipped figure. Her ears are downturned and close-set. Her fashion preferences are best described as "as little as possible." The way she carriers herself, it seems as if she has a smell under her nose.

  • This sensual catgirl has hooded, green eyes. She has waist-length, curly, red hair worn in a weird style. Her fur is red. She has a slender figure. Her ears are pointed and wide-set, and her tail is long, thin and carried with a curve. Her fashion preferences are best described as "are you sure that's not a bikini?." When she moves, it's almost like she's a ghost.

  • This placid catgirl has half-closed, yellow eyes. She has long, straight, black hair worn in a girlish style. Her skin is pale, and she has black fur with white streaks on her ears and tail. She has a voluptuous figure. Her ears are floppy and pointed. She usually wears hotpants and a tube top. Sometimes, she seems to know when things are about to happen.

The Guys

  • This serene catguy has round, blue eyes. He has long, silky, straight, white hair worn in a wild style. His skin is peaches-and-cream-colored, with white fur on his ears and tail. He has a thin build. His tail is brush-like and carried straight. His fashion preferences are best described as "jungle king." When someone is suffering, he's usually the first one to help.

  • This witty catguy has deep-set, gray eyes. He has neck-length, straight, gray hair worn in an artistic style. His skin is pale, with white fur on his ears and tail. He has a thin build. His ears are rounded and wide-set. He usually wears a simple sweater and slacks. Odd things seem to happen in his presence.

  • This determined catguy has hooded, brown eyes. He has shoulder-length, curly, green hair worn in a straightforward style. His fur is green with blue streaks on his ears and tail. He has a thin build. His ears are rounded, and his tail is brush-like and carried straight. His fashion preferences are best described as "skimpy." Always thinking, a lot seems to be going on in his head.

  • This composed catguy has narrow, gray eyes. He has short, straight, purple hair worn in an attractive style. His skin is cream-colored, with white fur on his ears and tail. He has an overmuscled build. His ears are rounded and close-set. His fashion preferences are best described as "business casual." He loves to find out more about other people.

  • This feral catguy has narrow, orange eyes. He has medium-length, thick, straight, brown hair worn in a precise style. His skin is dark, with gray stripes on his thighs and shoulders. There is gray fur on his ears and tail. He has a wide-chested build. His tufted ears are perky and pointed. He usually wears a ten-gallon hat and simple leathers. The night and shadows are his favorite things.
These characters were automatically created at Seventh Sanctum Catgirl and Catguy.

Gangster island

gangsterisland.jpgFor those Googling "gangster writing" would you mind telling me what it is -- and any good links you find so I can link them here? Lots of people searching for it end up here and I'm very curious! :-)

Email: Joyce. Thanks!

Use the following words in sentences:
  • lizard alien champion gangster island foreign proof dreams hope help
  • lady apprentice ruins over basket skull sin nestle
  • falcon intelligent chef playwright barrier under trial tears anger assault

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Banish adjectives and adverbs

trollwolf.jpgThis is a two parter.

First, sit for a few minutes and make a list of phrases and words that describe something that evokes strong feelings in you: a troll, a wolf, ice cream, favorite stuffed animal, an annoying little brother ;-) Try to get all the senses in there.

Second, go over the list and reword them without adjectives and adverbs (so "annoying" and "little" have to go though he could become "He who must annoy." "An annoyance waiting to happen.") Use strong nouns and verbs instead. (You can also use any other words, just not adjective or adverbs.)

This is from Finessing Description at the Rhizome website and they say in addition: "the technical heart of the experiment is to use no adjectives or adverbs. You can't talk about the "starry sky." You can't tell me "the sky is starry." You must find another device to render that sight. "Stars litter the sky" says it? "Blackness punctured by stars, pinholes punched in sable, seeds scattered wildly, spawning light." Get the idea?"


asphodel.jpgThis is from the NaNoWriMo Adopt-a-plot folder where writers post extra plots they won't be using.

"What's he doing this side of town? I though he was banned from the imperial library altogether."

"Maybe he was brought here after death- after all if you want to hide a body," Asphodel said, "no better place than the icctatology section." -- Zara Ravenwood (#551)

Saturday, May 06, 2006


cattoilet.jpgThis week pay attention to taste in your notebooks. Don't forget texture, temperature and smell too. Breathe in as you're tasting to get the full effect.

It's a good excuse to try a new restaurant or food you've been thinking about.

Random fantasy and science fiction sentences

sentencegenerator.jpgKessel's Random Sentence Generator is similar to the random sentences at the bottom of emails but they have a fantasy and science fiction flavor to them :-)

Here's a page generated by it. Every time you go to the page (or click reload) there will be new sentences. There are some phrases that jump out for me like:
  • carelessly paternal
  • blithe spirit (I think that was the name of a movie and/or play)
  • moldy roller coaster
  • defendant of a girl scout
  • some wheelbarrow plans an escape from a support group a moldy ocean
  • a turn signal from a line dancer
  • a truce with a revered spider
  • sanitizes a steam engine of a demon
  • how lazily a precise grain of sand goes to sleep
  • ridiculously hypnotic support group
Yikes! I could keep going!


When a surly photon is carelessly paternal, the tomato related to a cyprus mulch accidentally satiates a fraction. Now and then, the submarine of the blithe spirit finds lice on a fruit cake. For example, the moldy roller coaster indicates that another turn signal related to the class action suit derives perverse satisfaction from the defendant of a girl scout. Indeed, the particle accelerator defined by a light bulb ridiculously can be kind to the steam engine around the customer. A slyly childlike cough syrup is burly.

A boiled corporation

Indeed, a sandwich somewhat brainwashes the power drill. A twisted cough syrup is mean-spirited. Furthermore, a carpet tack inside a ski lodge prays, and a cyprus mulch defined by the satellite learns a hard lesson from a fundraiser. The orbiting tomato figures out some spider about the judge. Furthermore, a microscope hides, and some wheelbarrow plans an escape from a support group a moldy ocean.

Some hydrogen atom near the parking lot

For example, a turn signal from a line dancer indicates that a rattlesnake for a cowboy is a big fan of a movie theater. Most people believe that a statesmanlike buzzard secretly sanitizes a steam engine of a demon, but they need to remember how lazily a precise grain of sand goes to sleep. A bottle of beer related to the wedge makes a truce with a revered spider, or the ridiculously hypnotic support group conquers a fruit cake. When a scooby snack is elusive, the tape recorder hardly ignores a feline sheriff.

A frozen power drill

A garbage can steals pencils from the burglar. If another short order cook plays pinochle with a vaporized grand piano, then the particle accelerator near a fundraiser reads a magazine. The tuba player reaches an understanding with a cab driver. A pompous rattlesnake pours freezing cold water on an alleged demon.


A submarine flies into a rage, or a hole puncher from some pit viper buries a green food stamp. Furthermore, another twisted ball bearing hesitates, and a carpet tack beyond the class action suit gives a pink slip to the rude tuba player. A cyprus mulch is righteous. A warranty ruminates, and the satellite about a reactor rejoices; however, the surly wedge non-chalantly buys an expensive gift for a dolphin from a pine cone. A salad dressing operates a small fruit stand with the crane.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Disastrous alphabets

twister.jpgWrite the alphabet down the side of the page and for each letter come up with an alliterative disaster like "Torturous twisters tearing turf and tarmac from Toledo."


tanakh.jpgIs it a bit of a prophecy? The cryptic answer to a question from an oracle? Or something else? Is it received in a fantasy land or a future setting? You decide and use it as a 10-15 minute writing prompt.

These excerpts represent the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and are drawn from The Tanach:
  • Psalms 9: 13 (9:14) Be gracious unto me, O LORD, behold mine affliction at the hands of them that hate me; Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;
  • Psalms 9: 14 (9:15) That I may tell of all Thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion, that I may rejoice in Thy salvation.
  • Psalms 9: 15 (9:16) The nations are sunk down in the pit that they made; in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
  • Psalms 9: 16 (9:17) The LORD hath made Himself known, He hath executed judgment, the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah
  • Psalms 9: 17 (9:18) The wicked shall return to the nether-world, even all the nations that forget God.
These are from Facade where you can randomly draw passages from the Bible, the Koran (Islam), the Rig Veda (Hinduism) and the Tanakh (Judaism).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dada writing

ballroom2.jpgAlternate the following sentences with sentences of your own to create a story!

(Feel free to rearrange some of the sentences and change the tense of the words, eg, send to sent or add a few words so they sound like sentences from a story. Right now they sound like newspaper headlines.)
  • Actuaries send threatening letters to Macintosh users.
  • The ladies dream that the auto mechanics would like to purchase physicists.
  • Faculty advisors hope to be hired as game show hosts.
  • Geologists own ballroom dancers.
  • Compulsive gamblers really hate the con artists.
  • Optometrists really hate the seismo-zombies.
  • Do you believe that criminals do not trust milkmen?
  • During the debate, Ann Richards maintained that the spirits possess the students.
  • People torture McDonalds' employees.
  • Civil servants argue endlessly about the farmers!

The sentences came from Clifty WebWorks Scripts: Random Sentence Generator.

Not Daddy. Dada. The Dada artists incorporated randomness into their art (fine art, poetry, literature, theater ...) Artists would cut up random pictures and paste them randomly together. Poets would cut up random articles from the newspaper and randomly paste them together.

What's gnu?

gnu and penguin.jpgWrite a conversation between them as they're off to wherever they're going.

Things to think about if you're stuck:

Who are these guys?
Where are they headed?
What is their goal?
What is their purpose?
Are they unique in their world?
Were they created? By who?
Did they come from somewhere else? Where and what is it like there? Why did they come?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Top 10 tabloid headlines for May 2006

180px-Elvissighting.gifFrom The City Newsstand's (a newsstand/bookstore in Chicago) monthly MAGBAG -- Top 10 Tabloid Headlines. (Mostly from Weekly World News (WWN) and the SUN.) 
  2. TOBOGGAN TABBIES Cats drag lost geologist to safety — WWN
  5. New religion proclaims: God is a flying spaghetti monster! — SUN
  6. Housewife knits sweaters with lint from her clothes dryer! — WWN
  7. Edgar Allan Poe foresaw 9/11 Govt. probes claim famous Raven is Osama Bin Laden! — SUN
  10. ALIEN ZOO ANIMALS LOOSE ON EARTH! Saucer crash sets bizarre creatures free! — WWN