Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just a word, please!

A quiz for your character. :-) Answer each question with just one word that is not a noun.

This idea circulated around Facebook a while back. I've changed it to include questions that are more character revealing. The original didn't specify what kind of word, but the more intriguing answers weren't nouns probably because they left more to the imagination :-)

Your significant other?

Your mother?

Your father?

Your favorite thing?

Your goal?

Your dream?


Something you aren't?

What's on your wish list?

Your friends?

Your personality?

Your current mood?

Your life?

One thing you want to accomplish?

Your best childhood friend?

Your worst enemy?

Something you are?

What you want to control?

Your heart?

Your brain?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Catty twittering

Sam was brushing her hair when the girl in the mirror put down the hairbrush, smiled and said, "We don't love you anymore."

Take it from there.

This was the first line in a collaborative story begun by Neil Gaiman that continued one Tweet at a time by about 100 contributors over the course of 8 days until a 1000 tweets were collected. Intended as an experiment, it was edited on the fly and released as a audiobook at Audible.(free if you sign up for a trial membership, $2.79 otherwise, 99 cents on iTunes).

You can also read the retweets on the BBC blog. Scroll down to the Monday, October 12, 2009post.(The posts aren't linked to each other which is a bit of a pain. As it says on each page, read the tweets from the bottom up.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Write a sentence for each of the following word pairs.

facedump (verb) : to delete (someone) as a friend on Facebook.
Cereal Dust (noun) : the pulverized remains at the bottom of a breakfast cereal bag or box.

Stabby (verb) : characterized by a desire to stab something; angry or frustrated.
grannify (verb) : to appear old or appropriate for an old person.

rabbit (verb) : to talk excessively about something unimportant.
funnify (verb) : to make (something or someone) fun.

scraggle (noun) : an indistinct or irregular grouping.
unshop (verb) : to return unpurchased merchandise to the shelf while shopping.

nibby (adjective) : nosy.
gladitude (noun) : a feeling of contented appreciation.

vegangelical (noun) : a vegan who seeks to convince others to become one.
pronoia (noun) : a tendency to believe that others hold friendly or positive opinions of oneself.

hecticity (noun) : a feeling of panic and stress usually brought on by having too much to do and not enough time to do it.
conflustered (adjective) : confused and flustered.

endarkened (adjective) : confused, ignorant, or misled.
knitmare (noun) : a failed knitting project.

hamster wheel (verb) : to talk continuously about a problem or regret without coming up with a solution or resolution.
racker (noun) : a person who collects sports memorabilia (such as autographs or sports cards) that are particularly hard to obtain.

pooch-pouch (noun) : a handbag or shoulderbag for carrying a small dog.
immaculize (verb) : to improve to a standard just short of perfection.

metrognome (noun) : a gnome supposedly living in the subway stations of Paris.
drizzmal (adjective) : relating to weather that is cloudy and raining slightly.

terribad (adjective) : having exceptionally poor or undesirable qualities and characteristics.
gigundous (adjective) : exceptionally large

Words from Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I exist

"I believe that man exists to ..."

It could have been said by a dead white guy spouting his views on the world but how different would that be? (Though you could make it your mission to find the new in it :-)

Or what if it's an alien speaking of humans? Or an animal? Or one of the other intelligent beings in your world? A god speaking of his or her or its creation? Or a woman speaking specifically of men (from some spot on this time line or any fantasy world)?

Is it a religious viewpoint? A social viewpoint? A political viewpoint? A scientific viewpoint?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A snowman's chance in hell

Take an old saying, aphorism or cliche and change it in some way. Use that in your piece, including five of the following words:


If you're using the prompt for a poem, the original suggested 10 lines.

(The list of sayings is from Mom-isms, a collection a son made of what he heard his mother saying growing up. There are a few that are "old school" thinking but you get to change them :-))

This was originally a poetry prompt from the Practice of Poetry edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chain reaction

Use one of the following as the title of your piece. While they're all physics terms, you don't need to know physics. Use the images and ideas they spark for you.
  • Potential Difference
  • Chain Reaction
  • Manipulated Variable
  • Equivalent Resistance
  • Boiling Point
  • Spark Chamber
  • Quantum Mechanic
  • Destructive Interference
  • Inverse Relationship
  • Incoherent Light

May 11, 1918 is the birthdate of Richard Feynman, American physicist and gave me a reason to use physics terms as a writing prompt. He was a popularizer of physics -- his writing is clear and often amusing -- and introduced the idea of nanotechnology. "He was regarded as an eccentric and free spirit. He studied Maya hieroglyphs, was a prankster, juggler, safecracker, bongo player, and a proud amateur painter."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Clown funeral

I'll never forget the day my mom turned to me out of the blue and informed me, "When I die, I want everyone to dress as clowns at my funeral."

Take it from there. It could be about the funeral. Or what prompted her to say that at that moment. Perhaps a mysterious past? An agreement made? A way to prevent a curse?

From One Sentence: True stories, told in one sentence.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Short and to the point

Tell a true story ... in one sentence. No cheating with run ons ;-) Tell the essence and keep it succinct.

This is trickier than it seems! A story should have at least one character, an obstacle or slice of life and a resolution. A lot to pack into a sentence :-)

When you're done, you can submit it to: One Sentence: True stories, told in one sentence.

There are loads of stories at the site (though you may want to wait until after Thursday to read deeply into the archives since one story is coming up next prompt :-)

(Some past posts that involved one sentence: One sentence review and One sentence plot.)