Friday, October 28, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday – You're getting hit +11 Other Writing Prompts

Provocative Phrases for Friday, October 28, 2011:

The Small Hand that Kills (41th/52)
Courtesy of Alexandre Normand via Flickr
  • You’re getting hit.
  • When he came back…
  • It wasn’t because…
  • When you check…
  • I can’t live…
  • We look forward to…
  • What can we do for you?
  • How can I tell…
  • What do you mean exactly?
  • How do I look?
  • If somebody said to me…
  • Do you know where you’re going?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday – Can you imagine... +11 Other Writing Prompts

Provocative Phrases for Friday, October 21, 2011:
Courtesy of Su Neko via Flickr

  • I’m in debt…
  • Don’t assume this means…
  • Why do we so often try to…
  • Did I want to…
  • Can you imagine…
  • You’ll also find…
  • You decide how…
  • There is nothing…
  • He used to be…
  • A shot at the…
  • Is there anything not…
  • He’s not the only one…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday – The Walking Dead Edition

The Walking Dead on San Diego
Courtesy of Antonio Ruiz Garcia via Flick
For those of you who have been living in a remote commune somewhere for the last 20 years, the Walking Dead refers to the latest monster craze: Zombies. Riding the wave of zombie-rific popularity, one of my new favorite shows is back for a 2nd season.  I was a fan of the Walking Dead comic book series before it was adapted for television.  Even though it is a violent, blood splattered gorefest, the Walking Dead explores some very interesting topics: How do you remain human when all parts of civilization as we know it fails? How do you make decisions when faced with impossible moral dilemmas?

So since we are now in the middle of October, let’s explore some horrible zombie-related topics:
  • How are you preparing for the zombie apocalypse? Where will you go? What equipment and supplies do you think might be necessary?
  • What is the cause of the zombie apocalypse?
  • What do you do if your family or loved ones become mindless, savage zombies?
  • What are you the most afraid of? Why?
  • Your favorite horror movie (it doesn’t have to feature zombies).
  • Zombie Haiku: Check it out at
  • Write about the moment when you were the most scared in your entire life. What happened? Why was it so scary?
  • Make a comprehensive list of everything you are afraid of.
  • Ghosts: Have you ever encountered one? Explore a “haunted” place? Experienced something that couldn’t be explained?
  • Haunted house – A popular activity in the United States this time of year… Have you ever been to one? What was it like?
  • The best Halloween costume ever!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday - Love is NOT all that you need + 99 other prompts

Funny argument
Courtesy of Nathan Rupert via Flickr
This has been a crazy past couple of weeks and I completely forgot about last Friday's Provocative Phrase Friday writing prompts. But one of the reasons for the craziness was presenting a Creative Thinking for Creative Writers workshop at the Write-Now Workshop.

One of the exercises I had the group involved in was creating a writing topic pool.  They came up with 100 topics.  So to make up for missing last week, I'm giving you an extra 88 writing topics this week.  Enjoy:

  • A loose bull with horns in front of my car
  • A married man, who loves his wife, also falls in love with another, much different, woman
  • Aggressive helplessness
  • Aging well
  • Allergic to aspirin
  • Bedbugs in your hotel room
  • Before I ruined it
  • Bigfoot crossing a road at night
  • Blanket of flowers
  • Blue bumps
  • Brutalize
  • Bubblewrap
  • Cacophony
  • Can you cope?
  • Compound a lie
  • Coughing wheezing, like coffee grains in sand
  • Crush
  • Daily ritual
  • Dead flowers in the pretty vase
  • Destruction of the earth
  • Divided in two
  • Doing laundry on a Saturday morning, seeing endless piles of dirty underwear
  • Everyone has a story janitor who was a noted jazz pianist
  • Extemporaneous prestidigitation
  • Fetid
  • Finding alien roadkill
  • Flaming business cards
  • Flat tire on my way home from work
  • Friendly enemies
  • God made me do it! Becoming a sister.
  • Good stumbles
  • Hidden influence
  • Hide by standing out
  • Hilarious underachieving cousin becoming alcoholic
  • Hope: how to find it
  • Horny mom
  • Hypochondriac drama queen
  • I browse through dictionary
  • I wish I would have known that then
  • Identity theft
  • If I could have dinner with three people, living or dead, they would be…
  • If such a thing exists
  • Imaginary number
  • Immortality
  • It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
  • It's dead
  • Job interview – I pooped my pants right before
  • Judgment makes me angry
  • Juicy
  • Kill
  • Knock a girl off a bike to ask her out on a date
  • Lemon lips
  • Life in 144 characters
  • Living after the Great Depression – learning how to save, conserve, appreciate
  • Long eyelashes, porcelain, creamy skin and radiant hair
  • Lost my e-mail account
  • Love is not all you need
  • Meaning of life after 80
  • Meltdown
  • My beloved autistic niece
  • My special sister with mental retardation
  • Natural hair
  • Never
  • Never let go for my hearts sake
  • Not me
  • Obliterate
  • Old cat, Sore hips, can jump
  • Online school that trains students to be…
  • Only the vampires can save us from the aliens
  • Paranoia as a survival trait
  • Philosophy of everyday things
  • Plus size modeling
  • Regarding Steve Jobs: death as a way to clear the earth
  • Set fire to the trailer
  • Sitting in a room temporarily, surrounded by style and class and fashion that doesn't exist in your normal world, with light streaming in a bay window, bittersweet moment
  • Sleeping in a tollbooth
  • smash
  • Some people will never get there
  • Sovereignty
  • Speed karaoke
  • Strange shadows on the moon
  • Sunken vegetable garden
  • Swallowing my pride, I apologized for my cruel insult
  • Tarot card reader in a Western saloon
  • Tattoos
  • The putrid odor he emitted was incredibly offensive, almost arrogant
  • Three friends playing outside find an anthill and argue about what to do with it, how to treat it
  • Torture
  • TV is my muse
  • Tweet the life of your favorite character as the book progresses. For example: Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice
  • Ugly face
  • What am I supposed to do with my life?
  • What made me a criminal do it? Reasons behind the unreasonable the unthinkable
  • What makes a hero?
  • What might you achieve if you just believe in yourself
  • Why
  • Why did this happen, God?
  • Why does this seem normal?
  • You start hearing instructions and advice from a voice no one else can hear
  • You wake up in a strange bed in a foreign country, (you don't speak the language) and you have no idea how you got there

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday: The RIP and VIP Edition

It has been a hectic week.  Job interviews and a speaking engagement at the Write-Brain Workshop has sucked up a considerable amount of time this past week, so I’m keeping this Tuesday’s Writing Topics theme simple and straightforward: RIPs and VIPs and topics surrounding them.  We lost a few important and well-loved people this week and a few of the living have made their mark so here they are:
Steve JOBS 1955-2011
Courtesy of COG LOG LAB via Flickr

  • Steve Jobs, 56, American computer entrepreneur and inventor, co-founder of Apple Inc.
  • Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Speech
  • Think Different.
  • Fred Shuttlesworth, 89, American civil rights leader
  • Freedom rides
  • Al Davis, 82, American football coach and team owner (Oakland Raiders)
  • Just win baby!
  • Amanda Knox
  • Dr. Conrad Murray
  • Tim Tebow
  • Ashton Kutcher   
  • Michael Vick

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday – Patience Edition

Patience is an essential skill for a mature adult.  Without it we are little more than impulsive animals grabbing things and running around on whims, reacting constantly to every movement, stimuli and sensation.

Growing up, I hated fishing because it involved so much waiting, silence and staying still… I rarely caught anything and soon came to dread it completely.
Job hunting requires a great deal of patience.  Finding a place and position that is right for you, sending out resumes and carefully tailored cover letters, waiting for a response, getting an interview, then waiting to hear how you did on that interview, then the negotiation phase begins where you establish salary, start dates and ask questions about benefit packages.  This is the limbo that I’m in right now. Waiting to see if the company I’ve interviewed with sees me as a fit for them.  It has been a lot of waiting because the process is always a slow one with big companies, but hopefully worth the wait.

Courtesy of Romel Jacinto via Flickr
Here are a dozen topics with the theme of waiting and/or patience this week as I await a decision that has a major impact on my actions over the next several weeks:
  • Do you consider yourself a patient person? Why or why not?
  • What was the last thing that you had to do that required considerable patience? Describe how you remained patient despite the difficulty.
  • How do you know when you are starting to get impatient?
  • Describe a person or character who is impatient through actions alone.
  • Waiting builds tension not only in life, but in fiction as well.  Write a scene where you make a character wait for something he or she desperately needs. Drag it out as long as you can. Dangle relief in front of him just to snatch it away from him again.
  • “All commend patience, but none can endure to suffer.”  - Thomas Fuller. Thoughts?
  • What happened the last time you lost your patience with someone or something?
  • Have you ever waited and waited for something only to find that you shouldn’t have wasted your time? Why or why not?
  • What do you do to remain patient and distract yourself from the “elephant in the room?”
  • List all of the sayings that you know of that preach the benefits of patience. For example: A watched pot never boils.
  • Make a list of all the things that you’ve waited for at some point in your life.
  • What would your life (or a character’s life) be like if you didn’t have any patience or was incapable of it at all?