Friday, April 12, 2013

Do Not Try This at Home…

Try it in a café with your favorite half-caf triple mocha latte macchiato in hand...

  • Buy five postcards.

  • Address them all to yourself.

  • Write some deliciously intriguing missives from five different characters.

  • Drop them in the mail on a series of random days or weeks.

  • Postcard’s arrival = Instant writing prompt!

Absolutely, positively guaranteed to be entertaining…

Especially for your postal carrier.

PROMPT: Have some fun with this! If you’re really, really lucky, you may receive one of your brilliantly-written gems 70 years from now, as did sisters Pauline and Theresa Leisenring of Elmira, New York. Of course, postal officials say that their postcard was likely found by someone outside the postal service and recently placed in the mail. Yeah, right. I know a good story when I see one.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Snitches Beware


But if you’re a doubter –

I thought you’d like to know that 80 teams from all over the globe will be participating in the Quidditch World Cup this weekend in Florida (check it out here).

This co-ed, full-contact sport was developed by combining a magical mix of rugby, dodgeball, and Olympic handball, with four balls and a human snitch.

And yes, all participants must ride brooms –

However, flying is not required.

This is muggle quidditch, after all.

PROMPT: What wonderful way do you want to change the world today?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daily Dos

One of my assignments this week is to write a short story set in the Great Depression.

Well, as I was doing a bit of research, I ran across quite a gem.

It’s the Daily Routine used by writer and artist Henry Miller back in 1932 –

If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.


Work on section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions. Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all.


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of manuscript.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

Yeah, I know it was the Great Depression and all, but right now that routine sounds like a little piece of heaven to me.

PROMPT: What’s your Daily Routine? Does it need a revamp? I, for one, could use more sketching in cafés and trains and streets! How about you?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Do You Haiku?

Black and white and read
These seventeen syllables
Feed my hungry soul

Yes, we’re still celebrating National Poetry Month!

If you've been dragging your lyrical feet and have yet to put your poetic pen to page, then today is the day to clear your conscience! You, too, can Haiku!

Remember long, long ago when you were first learning to print words with those chubby pencils and fat-lined paper? Well, that was probably around the time you wrote your first Haiku. Haiku has always been one of the stones teachers use to kill two Language Arts birds at the same time – poetry and syllables. Score!

While you may not have kept the little gem you wrote way back then, it most likely went something like this –

Rude green hoppy thing
Peeing when children catch me
Talking loud in burps

Okay, maybe your first Haiku wasn’t like this, but Richie Richendifer insisted that it followed our teacher’s recipe.

“Describe something in nature,” Miss Henry said. “And remember the 5-7-5 rule. Use 5 syllables for the first line, 7 syllables for the second line, and 5 syllables for the last line, and you will make a great Haiku.”

“Gesundheit!” said Richie Richendifer… for the 87th time that day.

Even if you haven’t wielded a chubby pencil in years, you can follow Miss Henry’s fabulous recipe for your own Haiku stew. And you don’t really have to stick with the nature part. You’re welcome to use your mind’s elbow to bend and stretch that rule the way my son once did with this poetic offering –

Bad Haiku
Bad poem this is
It is extremely boring
Wait… was that too long?


Nuts never fall far from the tree.

PROMPT: Haiku! Haiku! It’s what we've got to do! Yep, I’m pretty sure the 7 Dwarfs sang these work song words every April – now you can, too…

AND, as an added bonus, your Haiku can pay off – BIG TIME!


Are you an SCBWI member who's been pining to attend the Summer Conference in LA, but can't find the money?  Fairy Godsisters Ink, a group of five talented (and generous) writers, is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a talented (and deserving) individual.

The conference takes place from Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and it can really jump-start your writing career.  Interested?  Just follow the Godsisters's instructions:

"To enter, write at least one but no more than three haiku telling us why we should pick you for this year's conference. Have some fun with this!"

Email your entry to: by April 15th (Yes, there’s still time!).

Winners will be announced on May 1st. For more information here’s the link.


Monday, April 8, 2013


Scary, but I did it.

I have no idea how it started.

I mean, how does something like this get started anyway?

But I can tell you that it comes from the same tea-loving blokes who brought you Doctor Who.

Yes, it’s…

Draw a Bird Day.

PROMPT: Well, the name of this day says it all, so scribble, sketch, or scratch away. Then crow and/or tweet about it, of course.