Friday, December 14, 2012

‘Tis the Season

Yes, it is the time of year when you may experience…

Latke lethargy

Sugar cookie comas

Relatives from the nut-bearing side of the tree

Office parties for which the boss has decided that home-cooked favorites would be so much nicer than catering.

Parking lot roulette

Music recitals that enlighten you to the striking similarities between Away in a Manger and elephants in heat.

Travel by plane, train, automobile, sleigh, subway, and/or camel to visit the third line item above

Three-hour pageants just to witness your child’s 30-second acting debut as a donkey’s rear end.

Fat cells who invite all of their friends, family, and acquaintances to the party on your rear end.


With all this holiday merriment, it's no surprise that we get a bit stressed by how little time we have to create our art of choice...

That’s when we need a friendly reminder that we’re really here to create A LIFE.

PROMPT: Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, this is your friendly reminder… And hey, chin up! It’s ALL material, after all.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the Seventh Day…


In a recent news item, it was reported that the 12 Days of Christmas kit and caboodle will set you back over $107,000.

And the most expensive items?

Seven swans, Baby!

So I traipsed out to a nearby field and snapped the above photo as a special gift for loyal Mind’s Elbow Benders.

Yes, I even threw in an extra –

Who loves ya?

PROMPT: If you happen to be a Christmas reveler, note that there are only 12 shopping days left. I think it’s the perfect time for a 12 Days of Christmas rewrite. I mean, who really wants all those leaping lords, anyway? Enjoy Bob and Doug Mckenzie’s inspiration here, eh?


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Walk This Way

Yesterday I found this gem in Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade

“He had a unique stride: it looked as though his body were being dragged forward and his legs had to flail around underneath it, landing wherever they could find room. It wasn’t so much a walk as a collapse, indefinitely postponed.”

Now I cannot get the image out of my head…

So I decided to share.

You can thank me later.

PROMPT: Does your main character lumber, saunter, amble, or galumph? Whatever his or her method of movement, take a walk on the wild side and “Pratchettize” it today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Who’s Here?

I can’t let this day get away without acknowledging a place I called home for six years of my life.

It was on this date back in 1816 that Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.
Soon after, a whole posse of people there voted to officially label themselves as “Hoosiers” rather than Indianans or Indianites.

While the origin of this word is still debated, the most common explanation goes something like this –

Back in the old Midwest, frontier strangers used to shout “Hello, the cabin!” to avoid being shot. Apparently Indiana folk were known for their loaded weaponry, hair triggers, and paranoid flavor. In response to the shout, the cabin residents would holler, “Who’s here?” But sadly, they tended to slur, so it sounded less like a question and more like a questionable “Hoosier.”

Did I mention that southern Indiana was quite famous for its moonshine?

Anywho, all that slurring led to a good bit of giggling and “Hoosier” name-calling.

But in a brash display of puffed up Indiana pride, the frontier cabin folks declared (with a hefty slur, I’m sure), “You cannot be vexin’ us with youin’s name-callin’ dadgummit, ‘cause that’s what we be callin’ our own selves from here on out!”

Unfortunately however, it didn’t really matter how much pride they conveyed…
or how much cash they poured into their PR campaigns.
The rest of the world held fast to the notion that Hoosier was a mighty good synonym for a whole heap of H words...
like hick, hayseed, and hillbilly.

Even in the late 20th century, my husband ran headlong into this harsh reality.

After college he was hired by a firm in Wisconsin, so he took a trip to Madison to look for his first apartment.

His first phone call went like this:

Potential Landlady: Where ya from?


PL: Well, I’ll be darned…a Hoosier!

Um, yes.

PL: You know the thing about Hoosiers, don’t ya?


PL: They’re SOOOO adaptable! Why, if a Hoosier didn’t have a bathtub, he’d bring in a horse trough!


PL: Vice-a versa!

Did I mention that folks from Wisconsin proudly refer to themselves as Cheeseheads?

PROMPT: What’s special about a place you’ve called home? Write up something delicious about that local flavor. But if you’ve had the misfortune of residing where it’s more Wonder Bread than wonder – no worries! Simply take a walk on the hayseed side instead. Grab yourself a little inspiration from Pixar’s Tow Mater, get happier than a tornado in a trailer park, and go to town!


Monday, December 10, 2012

What’s Your Why?

Why does action-thriller writer David Morrell write?

Well, he claims he’s got an “inner ferret.”

Apparently this weaselly thing gnaws at his organs...
And unless Mr. Morrell cares to lose a spleen, liver, or some such, he must write to make it stop.


Well, I am happy to report that I do not have an inner ferret (or outer ferret either, for that matter).

But I do have a flock of birds.

Every morning I can feel their wings beating against my little cage of rib.

On some days it’s a murder of crows…

or lamentation of swans.

Most of the time, I’m pretty sure it’s a lubberly parcel of penguins.

But the make or model never really matters, because the directive is always the same –

Take up a pen or paintbrush.

Pick the lock.

Set them free.

PROMPT: Why do you create? What inner animal moves your muse? Grizzly? Platypus? Um…termite?