Thursday, October 28, 2010

Talking trash

"The wastebasket is a writer's best friend." -- Isaac Bashevis Singer

What if it were? What if an author sequestered himself or herself with a chatty wastebasket. Does it give good advice? Is its goal to be filled? Does it interact with the Muse (from Tuesday)? Does the Muse not like her creations ending up in the wastebasket? Or does she accept it as part of the process to make room for new ideas?

What does the author do with the wastebasket during NaNoWriMo when the goal is to not delete?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Life is like ..."

"Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.…"
Samuel Butler

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whose Muse?

Who is your Muse?

Describe the Muse that comes up with the wild ideas that seem to come from no where as you're writing. What is she/he/it like when you remove the shackles and open the cage door for NaNoWriMo? What about after NaNo when the editing process begins? How do your Muse and your inner Editor interact? Is there conflict of epic proportions?

Or, if you'd rather, what about Ozzy Osbourne's muse? Or J.K. Rowling? Lady Gaga? George Lucas? Alfred Hitchcock?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Speak of the devil

“Speak of the Devil, here she comes now," Raz grumbled into Limo's tufty ear, then immediately punctuated it with an "Erp!" when the Devil's crimson gaze turned toward her.

Take it from there!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reality bites

Create a reality show around a favorite character, or, if you're doing NaNoWriMo this year and have a story idea, your main character or main antagonist. Putting them in a high pressure situation is bound to bring out some new personality quirks and conflicts.

Perhaps one of your NaNo characters is the central figure of the show and the other competes to win an opportunity to be a partner or be mentored. Or the protagonist and antagonist compete against each other.


If you have only an unwilling knowledge of reality TV, there are far more types than you might imagine. (Wikipedia has a good list of subcategories of reality TV shows with examples of each.) Some cribbed from there:

Documentary style shows: Selected strangers required to live together. Recording a celebrity's or unusual person's home life. Or the daily doings of someone in an interesting profession.

Contest style shows: Competitors face a series of physical, intellectual, skill based or creative challenges and are eliminated by the host or the audience. This includes dating shows and career opportunity shows.

Improvement shows: Someone or something is made over.

Swap shows: Someone is inserted into another person's life to sink or swim.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

High Church of the Evil Stepmother


The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just because we can't agree on whose fairy tales to believe. -- Ed Krebs, photographer (b. 1951)

Of course Krebs's "fairy tales" is a snarky reference to religion, but what if the beliefs actually were fairy tales? What if the wars are over which of the various interpretations of Snow White is the real one? Were they dwarves or theives? Was it 7 dwarves for 40 dragons? Was the instigator an evil step-mother or two jealous sisters?

(There's a list of mostly European fairy tales at Fairy Tales if you'd like to explore other fairy tales with multiple versions.)

Or broader, perhaps Grimm versus Perrault? European versus Chinese? Marvel versus DC? Classic Star Trek or revamped story line?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Congenially congealed

Aunt Hexia has brought her (in)famous lime jello salad to the family picnic.

There are, as usual, mysterious things suspended in it. (Could those be pretzels? Are those olives or is something looking back at you?)

Capture the dozen tactful statements you hear being made. What do you say?


Inspired by #111 in Unjournaling: Daily Writing Exercises that Are NOT Personal, NOT Introspective, NOT Boring! by Dawn DiPrince and Cheryl Miller Thurston.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Prince


(Geez, I just totally disappeared. I did the 24 hour comic book challenge over the weekend with my daughter and didn't expect it to throw me completely off schedule. If you're curious to see it: A Morning in the Life of a Magical Girl.)

You're hired to be The Prince's bodyguard, caretaker, watchdog, general factotum while he's visiting your city. The Prince proves to be quite high maintenance. You need to keep him occupied, happy and within sight. For the next 48 hours when he will give a speech at the opening ceremonies of the intergalactic exposition your skills are challenged to the fullest.