Friday, November 22, 2013

Small Change

Welcome to the YESvember homestretch.

Only one week and one day left of goal-getting awesomeness!

Let me be the first to say that you are a ROCK STAR!
But right about now, some of you might be feeling a little less like the star part and a lot more like the rock.

If this is the case, you are probably mired in a muddy middle. 
Symptoms of this bothersome affliction can include wedged wellies, sticky hands, insatiable carb cravings, and writing that smells like… wet dirt. 
Did I mention those carb cravings?

Anyway, if you ever find yourself in such a state, try one of the following to help yourself unwedge —
Change your writing time. If you've been writing in the morning, try afternoon or evening… or midnight!

Change your writing stretch. Sometimes even a 15 minute approach can be too much, so try doing your daily words in 5 minute blasts.
Change your location. Try a coffee shop, a laundromat, the frozen food aisle, a treadmill, a tree house, a library, a zoo, a train, a mud puddle… et cetera, et cetera.

Change your writing posture. Lie down, stand on your head, yoga pose it, and so on and so forth.
Change your writing method. Try texting, longhand, shorthand, or “Look Mom! No hands!” (AKA voice recording)

Change your words. Do a Mark Twain and substitute “damn” for every “very” in your manuscript. Oh, what delicious fun that will be.
Now get out there and have a damn good weekend!

PROMPT: Even if your writing is still humming along, try one of today’s tips just to see what it does for you. Because sometimes a small change = pennies from Heaven!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

NaNoWriMo — Day 21…

Yes, I imagine you are all getting pretty tired out there.

But fear not, Elbow Benders —

Science says sleepiness can work for you!

A study reported in Thinking and Reasoning found that the unfocused, disorganized thinking style of the tired brain causes it to make random connections.

Um…duh. Someone was actually paid to determine this?

Anyway, it turns out that these random connections are exactly what you need to gain insights or jump-start creative tasks.

You realize what this means don’t you?

If you are weary, worn out, or wiped…

Griping is no longer aloud.     


Dang scientists.

PROMPT: Hip, hip, hooray, we’re sleepy today! Write about the weirdest place your main character could catch some Z’s. Or try this one on for size — Sandman vs. Snowman… with espresso.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Have a Bad Day!

Believe it or not, today is National Have a Bad Day Day.

I ask you, WHO would do such a thing to YESvember?

Some dude in sales, apparently.

This “holiday” was developed to help break salesfolk out of the robotic and disingenuous “Have a nice day” we all know and love.

So, I guess it’s a great day… ehem, I mean BAD day… to break out of our routine as well.

I do realize that here at The Elbow, we are all about having super-duper fabulous days, so this one might be a challenge.

Fear not! I've found the perfect recipe so you can mix up your very own Bad Day — guaranteed!

1. Before you even get out of bed, spend at least an hour chewing on some childhood grievance. Trust me, nothing will start this day better than crying over the pony you never got or the fact that your dad did indeed like your brother better.

2. Now that you’re out of bed, take extra care to notice absolutely everything that s*cks. Whether it’s the weather, the state of the economy, your spare tire, or the fact that your back yard is still pony-free, get out the metaphorical magnifying glass and enjoy!

3. The mood is set, so you’re ready to think about ALL of those folks out there who lack spare tires while enjoying better weather and economies. Dang it, I’ll bet they have ponies, too. If you know any of them, be sure to get on your favorite social media site and tell them how much they stink.

4. Time to head to work — don’t forget to tailgate the entire way. Hey, that guy ahead of you should have a bad day, too. Besides, he probably has a pony... that he does NOT deserve.

5. While at work be sure to snap gum, whistle with reckless abandon, and tell folks how you really feel about their hair, breath, and fashion sense. Bonus round — spend all day on your favorite social media sites and perhaps you’ll even get fired! Wouldn't that make this the best darn bad day EVER?!

There you have it — the very best “Bad Day by Noon” recipe I know. Feel free to add your own spicy flavor to the mix like…

Taking 37 items to the “10 items or less” checkout stand,

inviting your boss out to lunch and “forgetting” your wallet, or

flirting with your best friend’s spouse.

Whew! I’m exhausted already.

Man, this bad day business is way too much work.

I think I’m going to have a super-duper fabulous bad-A day instead.

PROMPT: If you've ever had a bad day, or happen to be working on one right now, be sure to put it on the page. Who knows — you could end up with a best seller! After all, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz has sold over 2 million copies, been made into a TV special, a musical, and is currently being turned into a movie by Disney. Now, that’s my kind of bad day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Off to a Flying Start!

Last Friday I experienced the delight of Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

And there among the Fairchilds, Pipers, and Nieuports, I couldn't help but wonder how they would taste with a side of fries.

After all, my all-time favorite inspirational goal-setter happens to be Michel Lotito.

Yeah, I’m talking about the French guy who dreamed big — Cessna 150 big.

As in, he wanted to eat one.

So he did…

Along with 18 bicycles…

15 shopping carts…

7 televisions…

6 chandeliers…

2 beds…

1 pair of skis…

And a coffin.

Sure, he was probably bananas (ironically, the one food that made him sick).

But hey, if some crazy French guy can eat a Cessna 150 —

IMAGINE what YOU can do!

Getting back to that novel or posse of picture books doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

And I’ll bet they taste a whole lot better, too.

PROMPT: BIG Goals and unusual food choices are on the menu for today… go ahead and combine the two if you’re feeling a little French. What are your main character’s favorite foods? What’s the stuff he/she will not touch? Or try this appetizer and GO — The minute I saw those random number generators piled high on Elmer’s plate, I knew there was bound to be trouble…