Friday, October 18, 2013

Get Ready…

November is only two weeks away, and you know what that means…

A month of outright madness.

No, I’m not talking about the fact that it’s the official Banana Pudding Lovers Month, Sweet Potato Awareness Month, or contains the ever-popular National Fig Week.
I’m talking NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month.

For those of you who don’t know about this crazy creative caper, here’s a little background —

Back in 1999, Chris Baty, an out-of-work anthropologist came up with the idea to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. And while we can certainly wonder why this guy was unemployed when every company in the world has at least 27 positions specifically designed for anthropologists, we cannot question his NaNoWriMo creative brilliance.

Heck, it is even fun to say.

Anyway, an idea that began with a group of 21 friends from the San Francisco Bay area (drinking enough coffee in one month to kill an elephant) has evolved into a force of over 200,000 participants worldwide.

Elephants beware.

And while I've never actually completed an entire novel in a month, each year I've used the 30 days of November to make a HUGE dent in my WIP (Work in Progress).


Because misery LOVES miserable company, that’s why.

Actually, I've done it because I find it much easier to edit words on a page than those floating around in my head on the slow boat to nowhere.

I’m encouraging you to try it for yourself.

You have two weeks to think about it —

Unless, of course, you’re too busy prepping for all that sweet potato awareness.

PROMPT: Are you planning to have a NaNoWriMo November? For more information, you can check out Mr. Baty’s official website here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Have a Ball

My daughter does not like sports movies.

Actually, that’s an understatement.

She despises them.

“It’s a plot problem,” she says. “They are ALL the same. You've got your ragtag underdog with ‘issues’ up against the Big Dog with all the money and talent — and shock of all shocks (she says making a big ‘O’ with her mouth), the underdog WINS!”

“Yeah,” my son pipes up. “You never see the underdogs go in there and get CRUSHED! You never hear the Big Dogs in the post-game interview saying, ‘Man we coulda beat ‘em by WAY more than 200 points if it hadn't been for that dang mercy rule.’”

As for me, I am a sucker every single time. I LOVE sports movies. Just the thought of Hoosiers, Rudy, or Secretariat makes me grin.

Well, our family actually experienced a few sports movie ingredients this week.

You see, our local high school doesn't have a tennis team. It’s small and rural and doesn't even have tennis courts. It has a parking lot... and lots of Trans Ams.

So, what do you do when your son loves tennis, and it’s the only sport he wants to play? Well, you leap hurdles and jump through hoops, provide a ton of transportation, and get special permission for him to play with another school's team as an exhibition (non-scoring) player. At least that’s what we did.

And it was worth it. Throughout the two-month season, my son had a lot of fun doing something he loves to do. End of story. Well, not quite…

Two weeks ago, we were informed that my son is his high school’s #1 player (um…he’s their only player, like, ever), and as such, he would be competing in the district tournament.


So, this week my son donned his mom-designed uniform (actually, that was wicked-cool) and traveled two hours to the district meet. He had a goal of winning just one game.

As sports movie luck would have it, my freshman son with no coach and no team (but a wicked-cool uniform) was paired with the senior Big Dog who happened to be the #1 player in the district.

And guess what!

The Big Dog CRUSHED him!

The score was 6-0 and 6-0.

So, my son regrouped for match #2.

Well, he didn't achieve his goal of winning just one game — he won 13! He even won the second set of the three-set match. And it was some grueling dueling — nearly two hours of play before my underdog pup was defeated.

But he came off the court grinning — looking forward to the next three years as his school’s #1 player.

And by the time he’s a senior, I’m putting my money on one thing for sure —

His sister is going to be really ticked off when the film crew shows up.

UPDATE for 2013: On Tuesday my sophomore underdog placed 4th at this year’s district meet. Oh, yeah!

His sister is obviously concerned.

PROMPT: Get your game on! Write a sports story today — go all made-for-TV movie or skip the formula and throw ‘em a curve by thinking outside of the boxing match. You’re sure to have a winner!

Go team!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Domo Arigato…

Ever since the first humans stepped out of the cave, they've dreamed of the day when somebody else would do all the work.

Think of it —

Your very own Rosie à la Jetson!

And now we’re so close, aren't we?

In fact, a recent article in Scientific American featured a human and robot dynamic duo.

They were pitted against a team of human “experts” with decades of experience and challenged with building a metal frame for a Humvee.

Guess which team got spanked?

Yep, the “experts” were 9 times slower and 7 times more expensive.

But here’s the rub —

The man/machine team worked so well because the robot was calling all of the shots. It laid out the plan, spelled out the steps…

And gave the human those grunt work “Rosie” tasks.


PROMPT: Yep, you just found out that the top brass is part brass, and Mr. Roboto is headed your way. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Boss’s Day!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don’t Get Even… Get Mad

Have you ever been irritated by anything or (Gasp!) anyone?

Well, today is a fabulous day to celebrate all of the wonderful ways you've been ticked off.

Yes, according to Sesame Street Magazine, it is National Grouch Day.

One does wonder why it is sandwiched between Kick-Butt Day and Boss’s Day, but no matter — we’re celebrating anyway.

After all, irritation is a beautiful thing!

How do I know?

Because it’s the only way to make a pearl, Baby.

Which, of course, is why that old saying goes —

Happy as a clam.

Because nobody, but nobody…

Is more p*ssed off than an oyster.

PROMPT: Today is a great day to go oyster. Find one thing (yes, only one!) that really irritated you in the past year. Now throw it at a character — ex-con… astronaut… anthropomorphic turtle — and watch the pearls fly!

Write on!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bring it On!

According to my calendar, the 2nd Monday in October is National Kick-Butt Day.

Well, in my book, EVERY Monday should be Kick-Butt Day!

Think of it —

Each and every week you’re handed a brand-new opportunity to make it the Best Week EVER!

So, here are a few handy tips you can use to kick butt with the best of ‘em:

1. Let it go. Say you didn't meet your writing goals last week. Or perhaps you never got that pony when you were eight. LET. IT. GO. Trust me, you do NOT need to look at your behind to kick butt.

2. Make a list of your dreams. No matter how unrealistic, crazy, and out-of-this-world they may seem. Trust me, the BIGGER the BETTER. You may not feel this way about your butt, but you really ought to give it a go when it comes to dreams.

3. Set some small goals for the week. Yes, I said SMALL. This must not be confused with the dream BIG directive above. Goals for the week should be doable. Think of them as tiny butt-kicks or nudges in the right direction. And don’t forget to write them down.

4. Get your butt in the chair. To kick butt in this field, you are going to have to do some serious butt-sitting. If you want to achieve those creative goals this week, when are you going to make the time to get cozy with that desk chair? Schedule it.

5. Kick BUT to butt-kick. Try to live without that nasty little conjunction this week. That means no excuses and no fears.

Well, there you have it —

Five ways to play on Kick-Butt Day.

Now get out there and make this your Best Week EVER!

PROMPT: So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do this thing!