Friday, March 15, 2013

Et tu, Brute?

I don’t know about you, but every time I think of March 15th, I think of the ides of March.

And every time I think of the ides of March, I think of Julius Caesar.

And every time I think of Julius Caesar, I think of salad.

No, Silly, I think of Shakespeare.

And every time I think of Shakespeare, I think that he is every writer’s BFF.

Because if your mind’s elbow is all out of joint and you are fresh out of plots, you can ALWAYS count on Willy.

Take it from this set of Shakespeare shake-ups:

The Madness of Love by Katherine Davies
Fool by Christopher Moore
Dead Father’s Club by Matt Haig
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter
Gertrude and Claudius by John Updike
The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman

And the list goes on and on and on…

Kind of like those decimal digits of pi,

only a wee bit wordier.

PROMPT: If you are in serious need of a plot today, go with the Bard instead of the Barb. In the words of The Man himself:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea…
~ William Shakespeare
(Romeo and Juliet)

Play on!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy π Day!

Hooray! It is that special day of the year when we celebrate the number with the freakishly long string of non-repeating digits after the decimal.

I don’t mean to cause any post-traumatic nightmares out there, but it may have been the curse of your ninth grade geometrical existence.

Yep, we’re talking about…

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436789259036001133053054882046652138414695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179310511854807446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912983367336244065664308602139494639522473719070217986094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872146844090122495343014654958537105079227968925892354201995611212902196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859502445945534690830264252230825334468503526193118817101000313783875288658753320838142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778185778053217122680661300192787661119590921642019893809525720106548586327886593615338182796823030195203530185296899577362259941389124972177528347913151557485724245415069595… and so on and so forth to, like, 10 trillion decimal places so far.

And yes, determining the next decimal digit of pi is what some people DO.

Shocking, I know, for those of us who simply move around the same 26 letters every day and call it good.

PROMPT: Oh, so many ways to go with this one. First off, pi is an irrational number, so it would be a fabulous day for those irrational characters we all know and love. Pi is also a transcendental number, so a meditating irrational character might be even better! Then there’s the math geek angle – every great story deserves a math geek because it’s always hip to b2.

Of course, there’s the pie kind of pi. But every day is a great day for that one.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Space Out!

I am always looking for ways to make my writing more authentic. 

That means I do a lot of research even if I’m working on a fiction piece.

So, if you happen to be writing a wormhole adventure,


plan to be the first outer space travel writer ever,


simply want to be prepped for that Mars dream vacation,

then this is something you are going to want to know…

How to make a peanut butter sandwich IN SPACE!

Now you've seen just about everything.

PROMPT: Edibles + Space Station = a recipe for fun. Food fight, anyone?

Um… Houston, we have problem.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


When I was a kid, I dreamed of being a musher.

Every year when the Iditarod rolled around, I waited to hear the day’s results on the nightly news.

Someday I will grow up, I thought, and that is exactly what I will do – just me and a team and the Land of the Midnight Sun!

Of course I did grow up, and when I did I realized a few things –

1) I’m not awfully fond of the cold.

2) I AM awfully fond of the sun. In other words, Alaskan winters now sound like a dark and frigid form of H*LL in my book.

3) I am also awfully fond of sleep. So, 10 to 14 days on the trail with very little shut-eye would probably make me psychotic.

Alas, it is a sad reality that as a grown-up I've become much more mushy than musher.

The good news is this, however – I am quickly approaching my other childhood dream.

That delicious fantasy that one day, if I worked things just right, I could grow up to be…

a Hobbit!

PROMPT: Have an Iditarod adventure today! Check out the current standings, then poke around the blogs and trail stories here – you’re sure to find a tale (or tail) worth writing about. Mush on!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Be Bold!

Fortune favors the audacious.
~Desiderius Erasmus

I spent most of the weekend working on a biography of Harriet Tubman.

You know her, I’m sure.

She’s the woman who –  
  • gained her own freedom via the Underground Railroad, then returned to the south 19 times to free over 300 others.
  • worked as a spy for Union forces throughout the Civil War.
  • became the first female to lead troops into battle during the raid at Combahee River.
  • started schools for freed slaves after the war was over.
  • toured the country with Susan B. Anthony to rally for women’s right to vote.
  • started a home for the homeless elderly at the age of 83.

Yeah, that Harriet Tubman…

The woman who kinda sorta makes your fear of the dreaded blank page look just a wee bit wimpy.

PROMPT: Be BOLD this week! Create a BOLD character! Make up a BOLD plot! Paint in BOLD colors! Go for broke, Elbow Benders, and use that BOLD function key with audacious abandon!