Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Questioning the answers

Laser guided spit balls (click image)
Here are the answers. What were the questions? It could be an online quiz of random questions, an interview, speed dating, an interrogation ... (If you feel a story emerging, feel free to tweak and rearrange the answers. As always the prompts are meant to prompt not restrain your imagination :-)
It made me sneeze.
Red eyes and tangled hair.
3 including me.
I'm certain she was staring at me.
My brain is my worst enemy.
No, but my brother did.
A Mathematics professor living at the edge of town.
A weak sense of smell.
I am cynical and suspicious by nature.
Airplane silverware. The real stuff. The kind you get in first class.
I threw spitballs at her.
2 years or until I'm satisfied with the results.
Chinese New Year.
A nasty messy place.
At least 5 times before Tuesday.
At camp. But just once.
A bratty, pouty woman in her late 20's.
Ten out of 53 are red or have red on them.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New look!

Blogger in draft just released some great customization tools for backgrounds and I've been playing :-)

Some past posts had light text color to work against the dark blue background. Now the background is nearly white. I fixed the posts I noticed it on.

If you stumble across a post with text that's too light, just let me know! Comment on it and Blogger will send me a note.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

In short

Pick a profession (past, present, future, fantasy).

Now come up with at least 7 personalized license plates for that profession. You have 7 letters and an optional dash to work with.

Adapted from Unjournaling: Daily Writing Exercises that Are NOT Personal, NOT Introspective, NOT Boring! by Dawn DiPrince and Cheryl Miller Thurston.

A couple of books of personalized plates: Pl8Spk: California Vanity Plates Retell the Classics, "a retelling of classic and familiar stories using only the vocabulary of vanity license plates" and The Way Cool License Plate Book, "more than 400 amusing-and revealing-vanity plates organized by subjects".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The look

The obvious first guess about what's going on is jealousy or envy. Don't go for easy!  One at a time, try out several ideas below and see how each changes your view of what's happening. Then pick one or one from each category and write for 10-15 minutes.

The people:

Two are siblings.
Two are brother and sister.
None of them know each other.
One is an alien.
What's in the glasses is the most important part of the picture.
At least one is a time traveler.
The girl in the back is looking at the photographer.
One is a god/goddess.
The two toasting are on opposite sides of a conflict.

The theme:

Taking a stand

The location:

A colony on Mars
Fairy land
100 years in the future
Ancient Greece
Corporate offices in Tokyo
A casino on the coast of France
An alternate time line
Another world

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Secondhand magic

While Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm made themselves famous collecting fairy tales, a younger brother, Karl, followed in their footsteps and quietly amassed a collection of objects from the fairy tales: such as Cinderella's slippers, Snow White's coffin and her evil stepmother's magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty's spindle, the Beast's magic mirror, Rapunzel's hair (and anything else you care to add.)

At first his collecting was for his own amusement. Unlike the romantic versions in the stories, the objects were ratty and mundane in appearance. But as his brothers' fame increased and people mocked his efforts, he became obsessed with the objects, wanting to awaken their magic or something so others would believe him. Then one day ...

Inspired by Fiction Prompts posted by members at Writing.com.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Colum's comeuppance

"The relics [bones] of Patrick were placed sixty years after his death in a shrine by Colum Cille. Three splendid halidoms [holy things] were found in the burial-place: his goblet, the Angel's Gospel, and the Bell of the Testament. This is how the angel distributed the halidoms: the goblet to Dún, the Bell of the Testament to Ard Macha, and the Angel's Gospel to Colum Cille himself. The reason it is called the Angel's Gospel is that Colum Cille received it from the hand of the angel." -- Annals of Ulster

Or so Colum Cille says, trying to put a heavenly twist on grave robbing. Seems Colum Cille is a bit of a fabricator. (He also recorded the first account of the Loch Ness monster.)

While the saints in Heaven have come to terms with their graves eventually being messed with, Saint Patrick thinks Colum is full of himself and needs some Irish comeuppance. Maybe something to do with snakes? Or all that green beer Patrick inspired? Leprechauns? Potatoes?

Colum Cille went onto be remembered as one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland and became Saint Columba. So either Patrick's prank turned him around or he just got more full of himself ;-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cave in

Your brother left you a cryptic message and said he'd be back soon. That was 6 months ago. Now you're on a quest to find him. As you follow the clues, an address circled in his journal leads you here. What is this place? What kind of people or race lives here? How does it connect to your brother?

Note there are some anomalies: there are power lines coming in, one of the window frames is aluminum, and there's a stainless steel railing on the stairs to the right. The picture is of a troglodyte (cave dwelling) village. The homes were carved from ancient volcanic rock and some are 700 years old.

The dwellings are part of a the tourist village of Kandovan in Iran.

(Click on the image for more views.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Antithecal alphabet

For each letter of the alphabet write two opposing alliterative attributes. They can be attributes for a person -- and might spark an intriguing character -- or for an object -- which might spark a story idea or add to the atmosphere of a scene.

For example:
  • zany and zombielike
  • yakkity and yawning
  • exhibitionistic and xenophobic
  • wacky and well-balanced

Inspired by comment #12 on the article A to Z Cure.

(A surprisingly common technique to fall asleep is to create a list of things from A to Z, like animals, diseases, countries. Maybe this prompt can be recycled as a sleep aid!)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thunderous fool

Write a farewell speech or letter. It can be from anyone to anyone for any purpose but include the following words (in any order). Feel free to change the form of the words (eg, discovery to discoveries, discovering, etc.)


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Immortal Love

Immortal Love, the vampire dating site has just opened up. Write several vampire singles ads. Vampires seeking vampires ... Vampires seeking humans (or other creatures of the night) ... Humans (or others) seeking vampires ... Wherever the imagination leads. :-E

Okay, personal ads are old school. Singles now write online profiles with pictures, but the short ones are more fun to write. :-)

If you'd like examples to get the creativity flowing, here's some that are safe for work and kids:
  • SWM, old, fat, balding, many disgusting habits seeks SWF with money. Send pictures of your house, car, RV. This could be your lucky day.
  • JELLO BOY-SWM who likes to slowly fold canned fruit into jello, seeks female partner for distinctly American activities. Dirty pigeons need not respond.
  • Hideous-looking, obese, smelly, ill-tempered, lazy, cowardly, chronic, and a complete liar seeks total opposite.
  • SWM into chainsaws and hockey masks seeks likeminded SWF. No weirdos, please.
  • SWM seeks 300lb+ woman to sit and squash doughnuts on me.
  • I like eating mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwiches in the rain, watching Barney Miller reruns, peeing on birds in the park and licking strangers on the subway; you eat beets raw, have climbed Kilimanjaro, and sweat freely and often. Must wear size five shoes.
  • Small lumpy squid monkey seeks healthy woman with no identifying scars, any age. Must have all limbs. Recommend appreciation of high-pitched, screeching noises. Must like being bored and lonely. Must not touch the squids, EVER. No tongue.
  • Mmmm Pez! Rabid Wonder Woman fan looking for someone in satin tights, fighting for our rights and the old red, white 'n blue. You look like Linda Carter? Big plus. Know all words to theme song? Marry me.
  • Gentle, middle-aged teddy bear with unfortunate flatulence challenge seeking olfaction-impaired ourdoors girl for good times and possible matrimony. Must enjoy open-air activities and prefer spending time alone as a couple.
  • Jungle girl seeks Tarzan for swing through the trees. Must look good in a loincloth.
Many of these are supposedly from: Professional Stool Sampler Looking For Place To Sit: A Collection of Personal Ads From Alternative Newspapers by Skippy Williams and Zohre Crumpton, 1996, Simon and Schuster. I don't see the book, even used, actually existing anywhere other than cited with the same few excerpts.

If you get inspired for a more fleshed out love lorn vampire, there's some amusing dating profiles at Nothing Personal Ads and Advice: "Take a break from your quest for long walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners. Meet some people you've probably met -- and hope to never meet again."

And two longer singles ads: "I need an unstable woman ..." and "Single black female ...".