From the monthly archives: October 2011


Before the written word, traditions and teachings were passed on through complicated dance, rituals and reenactments:

…hunt reenactments served a purpose greater than showing off. They were instructive. With expressive pantomime, and a few props, they demonstrated hunting techniques and tactics to youngsters and other clans. It was a way of developing and sharing skills. -Jean Auel, The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth’s Children, Book One)

Writing Prompt: Write a scene where a tradition or skill was passed on via reenactment.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when someone taught you something through demonstration.

Art Prompt: Hunt

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Teach your audience a lesson via re-enactment.

Photo Credit: Hans Splinter on Flickr

Welcome to the October 30, 2011, edition of the Carnival of Creativity. Please click through these links and show some love by commenting.

The Creative Mindset

Eirini H. shares Eirini’s Manual on How to Live an Awsome Life  at Ask your Dreams for Ideas.

Sharing Our Work

CE presents his defense of living creatively in Going forward by going back posted at Killing the Blank Page.

Creativity Boosts

Joe Tichio has collected some wonderful Creativity Quotes at his Inspirational Quotes Blog. I love quotes, so this is one of my favorites of the week.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to submit your article for next week’s Carnival of Creativity by Friday at midnight!



Is it any wonder we’re all stressed out? This sounds like a vicious cycle to me!

“A co-worker’s rudeness can have a great impact on relationships far beyond the workplace, according to a Baylor University study published online in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Findings suggest that stress created by incivility can be so intense that, at the end of the day, it is taken home by the worker and impacts the well-being of the worker’s family and partner, who in turn takes the stress to his/her workplace.” -Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene that illustrates at least one part of the cycle described above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when a co-worker’s rudeness cause you to feel stressed.

Art Prompt: Rude!

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the problem of rudeness in today’s culture and suggestion a solution.

Photo Credit: meddygarnet on Flickr

slit of light

“This time, there would be no witnesses.” Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Writing Prompt: Write something starting with or based on the first line of the week.

Journaling Prompt: What did you do that you wish no one had witnessed.

Art Prompt: No Witnesses
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about what you might do if there were no witnesses.

Photo Credit: seier+seier on Flickr


badinage n. [mass noun] humorous or witty conversation: he developed a nice line in badinage with the Labour leader. mid 17th century: from French, from badiner ‘to joke’, from badin ‘fool’, based on Provençal badar ‘gape

Writing Prompt: Write a scene, poem, or haiku using the word badinage.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a witty conversation you had recently. What made it so much fun?

Art Prompt: Badinage
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your writing this week.

Photo Credit: eye2eye on Flickr


A universal truth:
“There is never a way to fully outrun our beginnings.” –Christopher Barzak, Smoke City

Writing Prompt: Write about a character trying to escape their beginnings.

Journaling Prompt: What would you like to leave behind?

Art Prompt: Outrun

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about something in your background that keeps popping up no matter how hard you try to bury it.

Photo Credit: ~Shanth on Flickr

5 presidents

Some people are natural leaders, but it’s important to know whether their leadership derives from a motivation of service or narcissism.
“Narcissism can sometimes be useful in a leader, says Nevicka. In a crisis, for instance, people feel that a strong, dominant person will take control and do the right thing, ‘and that may reduce uncertainty and diminish stress.’

“But in the everyday life of an organization, ‘communication — sharing of information, perspectives, and knowledge — is essential to making good decisions. In brainstorming groups, project teams, government committees, each person brings something new. That’s the benefit of teams. That’s what creates a good outcome.’ Good leaders facilitate communication by asking questions and summarizing the conversation — something narcissists are too self-involved to do.

“Nevicka says the research has implications beyond the workplace — for instance, in politics. ‘Narcissists are very convincing. They do tend to be picked as leaders. There’s the danger: that people can be so wrong based on how others project themselves. You have to ask: Are the competencies they project valid, or are they merely in the eyes of the beholder?'” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Create a character sketch for both a servant leader and a narcissistic leader. How do they differ?

Journaling Prompt: Write about leaders you have worked with and their motivations.

Art Prompt: Narcissistic leader

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about narcissistic leaders in politics and how to spot them.

Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack on Flickr

silly dog

Yes, it’s another dog picture. 
“The world is already weirder and stupider than you could ever have guessed.” -William Gibson, Spook Country

Writing Prompt: Write a scene from real life that shows how the world is weird and/or stupid.

Journaling Prompt: What is the weirdest thing that ever happened to you?

Art Prompt: Weird

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a tall tale with a weird spin.

Photo Credit: r0sita on Flickr


Spoiler alerts abound on the Internet, but do spoilers really spoil the enjoyment?

“Spoilers don’t spoil stories. Contrary to popular wisdom, they actually seem to enhance enjoyment.

“Even ironic-twist and mystery stories — which you’d be forgiven for assuming absolutely depend on suspense or surprise for success — aren’t spoiled by spoilers, according to a study by Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt of UC San Diego’s psychology department, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science…

“Why? The answers go beyond the scope of the study, but one possibility is perhaps the simplest one: that plot is overrated.

“‘Plots are just excuses for great writing. What the plot is is (almost) irrelevant. The pleasure is in the writing,’ said Christenfeld, a UC San Diego professor of social psychology…

“It’s also possible that it’s “easier” to read a spoiled story. Other psychological studies have shown that people have an aesthetic preference for objects that are perceptually easy to process.

“‘So it could be,’ said Leavitt, a psychology doctoral student at UC San Diego, ‘that once you know how it turns out, it’s cognitively easier — you’re more comfortable processing the information — and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story.’

“Stories are a universal element of human culture, the backbone of the billion-dollar entertainment industry, and the medium through which religion and societal values are transmitted,” the researchers write. In other words, narratives are incredibly important. But their success doesn’t seem to hinge on simple suspense. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: How important is surprise to your story? Do you let your readers in on the surprise? Do you use foreshadowing as a spoiler? Do you agree or disagree with this study? Will it change how you structure your stories?

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about spoilers?

Art Prompt: Spoiler alert

Photo Credit: G. Turner on Flickr



The combination of family and big business is a fertile setting for conflict and secrecy.

“I detest most of the members of my family. They are for the most part thieves, misers, bullies, and incompetents. I ran the company for thirty-five years—almost all the time in the midst of relentless bickering. They were my worst enemies, far worse than competing companies or the government”. -Stieg Larrsen, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Writing Prompt: Create a scene between family members engaged in a struggle for power.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when members of your family were engaged in a power struggle.

Art Prompt: Family power struggle

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about an historical power struggle that destroyed a family and what lessons we can learn from it.

Photo Credit: Orange County Archives on Flickr