Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big meanings, small packages

All last week Anu Garg sent out as his Word a Day short words that have multiple meanings. Pick one word and use as many of the meanings of it as you can in a piece. For a real challenge include all the words.

1. Fierce; cruel; lethal.
2. In the idiom, in one fell swoop (all at once, as if by a blow).

1. To knock down, strike, or cut down.
2. To sew a seam by folding one rough edge under the other, flat, on the wrong side, as in jeans.

1. The amount of timber cut.
2. In sewing, a felled seam.

A stretch of open country in the highlands.

The skin or hide of an animal.

1. The small seed of a fruit, such as an apple or an orange.
2. Something or someone wonderful.

1. One of the dots or symbols on a die, playing card, or domino.
2. Any of the diamond-shaped segments on the surface of a pineapple.
3. An insignia on the shoulder indicating an officer's rank.

1. A disease of birds marked by mucus in the mouth.
2. Any minor, nonspecific ailment in a person.

The smallest change in the exchange rate for a given currency pair. Most major currencies (except yen) are priced to the fourth decimal place, so a pip is 1/100 of one percent (.0001).

verb tr.:
1. To defeat, especially by a narrow margin or at the last moment.
2. To hit with a gunshot.
3. To blackball.

verb intr.:
To peep or chirp.

verb tr.:
To break through the shell of an egg when hatching.

1. A veteran sailor.
2. A harbor seal.
3. A pirate or privateer.
4. A faint rainbow-like formation seen in foggy conditions. Also called mistbow, fogbow, and white rainbow.

1. The flat, triangular piece at the end of an arm of an anchor.
2. A barb or barbed head on a harpoon, arrow, etc.
3. Either of the two lobes of a whale's tail.

A chance occurrence, especially a stroke of good luck.

1. A flatfish, especially a flounder of the genus Paralichthys.
2. A trematode: a type of flatworm.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deviant PETs


.~          How does one Deviantly Describe?          ~.

Short version ...
From the given mundane, snoozer of a word, generate as many different-from-each-other descriptions as you can. (Set a timer for 10-15 minutes if you wish.)

Longer version ...
Is preserved at the HOME of the first Deviant Description.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In good hands

Click the picture to find out what it really is.

First, what is it? A statue? A giant robot? A mecha? A golem? The entrance to something? An alien amusement ride? A house? Something else?

Is the man hiding? Put there? Coming out for fresh air? Asking for help? From who?

Where is this? Here and now? Another world humans are exploring? A fantasy world? Someone's dream?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"If not now ..."

This came from Wordboner.


Over 1000 pithy sayings in clever typography. Also available on T-shirts at the Wordboners store.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tomb Readers

Your character has discovered an ancient tomb that has lain undisturbed since the day it was last sealed. (The tomb can be this world, some other world, a fantasy world.)

The tomb complex apparently was for a clan rather than just one person and was used for several generations. Not only are the rooms filled with objects, but frescos detail their daily lives. You can see how the objects were used but any understanding beyond that is guess work.

So your task is to describe how and why the objects were used. Each object was used in each of the five areas of life, eg, a knife was used ritualistically (or practically) in birth, food, in worship, marriage and death.

The Gods

a knife
a golden ring
a piece of blue fabric (about 2' by 2')
a round platter with two multi-pointed stars or suns in the middle, one larger than the other. (The world only has one sun.)
a red cord (about 3')

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In the eye of the beholder

Write about your character (can be the main character, villain, a minor character you're intrigued by) or a favorite character, or a character from a favorite book, from the point of view of a stranger. Put the character in his or her element or everyday life and describe someone's first impression of them.

Pay particular attention to the character's flaws and weaknesses. They're often more intriguing than their strengths and what the reader will watch them struggle to overcome as they strive for their goal.

If the character is the opposition, pay attention to their strengths. These are what they'll use to oppose your main character.

Now try putting the character in a situation they don't feel comfortable in. Now how would a stranger describe them?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

At the Movies: Supernatural Edition

The Siskel (a vampire) and Ebert (a werewolf) of the supernatural world, who have jobs at competing newspapers, review movies made by supernaturals for supernaturals. Pick at least three and give their very different takes on the week's films.

My Mom's a Werewolf
The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman
Zoltan ... Hound of Dracula
Silver Bullet

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
Bloodsuckers from Outer Space
Interview with the Vampire
Vampire Cop
The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

The Mummy's Ghost
The Dead Next Door
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
Gore-Met Zombie Chef from Hell
Zombies on Broadway
Redneck Zombies

Thursday, February 03, 2011


The following words can mean both one thing and its opposite. For each word, use both meanings in a sentence.
  • Buckle: to hold together (e.g. buckle your belt) vs. to fall apart (e.g., buckle under pressure)
  • Clip: to attach vs. to cut off
  • Cut: get in (as in line or queue) vs. get out (as in a school class)
  • Dust: To remove dust vs. To apply dust (as in fingerprinting)
  • Effectively: in effect (doing the equivalent of the action but not the real thing) vs. with effect (doing the action and doing it well) [Contrast "he is effectively lying" (colloquial?) with "he is lying effectively"]
  • Fix: to restore to function (fixing the refrigerator) vs. to make non-functional (fixing the dog)
  • Mad: carried away by enthusiasm or desire vs. carried away by hatred or anger
  • Rocky: Firm, steadfast vs. tending to sway (e.g., a rocky shelf)
  • Scan: to examine closely vs. to look over hastily
  • Transparent: Easily seen ("His motives were transparent.") invisible
Richard Lederer coined the term contranyms for them. Independently Charles Ellis came up with antagonyms (where this list came from). They're also known as auto-antonyms and Janus words.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A WELL of deviations


.~          How does one Deviantly Describe?          ~.

Short version ...
From the given mundane, snoozer of a word, generate as many different-from-each-other descriptions as you can. (Set a timer for 10-15 minutes if you wish.)

Longer version ...
Is preserved at the HOME of the first Deviant Description.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Who Killed Bambi's Mom?

Awwww :-( but I couldn't resist
So check out the 
Rabbits with Guns I was considering
Bit by bit the clues surface and it seems it wasn't a random hunter who killed Bambi's mom. She was murdered. And Bambi's out to hunt down who was behind it.

What was she up to and who was she a threat to? Was Aunt Ena jealous? Or was the purpose to orphan Bambi? Or was it a warning to Bambi's father?

The Disney movie and Felix Salten's book have slightly different characters and sequences of events. Feel free to draw from either.