From the monthly archives: January 2014


pastiche (noun)

  1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed fromone or more sources.
  2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources;hodgepodge.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a hodgepodge of thoughts you had today.

Art Prompt: Pastiche

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: Scalino on Flickr

kindness crew

…that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. –William Wordsworth, Lines

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about the impact of a small, random act of kindness and the ripple effect it has.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a random act of kindness you did recently.

Art Prompt: The best portion of life

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inspire your audience to undertake random acts of kindness every day.

Photo Credit: termie on Flickr

The Argument

When we’re about to be a bit of a jerk or a bit dishonest, we’ll use terms like, “I want to say,” “I’m just saying,” “To be perfectly honest,” “Don’t take this the wrong way,” or “I hear what you’re saying.” From the speaker’s perspective, these types of terms are used to make it easier to say something difficult or to get a few extra seconds to collect thoughts together.
These “tee-ups” are also a good way to lie, because it softens the blow a bit by distancing you on an emotional level. This might have unintentional consequences to your relationship as a whole because listeners tend to take those types of statements in a negative light. –Thorin Klosowski

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene in which a character uses a verbal tee up to try to soften the blow.

Journaling Prompt: What phrases do you use when you try to soften the blow.

Art Prompt: Verbal tee up

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about verbal tee ups and give them strategies for handling the rest of the conversation.

Photo Credit: roeyahram on Flickr

baseball from the cheap seats

The sight of the ballpark that first day, the crowd, the noise, the smells, the crack of the bat, the hot dogs, the peanuts–that sip of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer! It was all too much. Bobby was so excited he was dizzy. –Fannie Flagg, Standing in the Rainbow

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a young boy’s first visit to a major league ball park.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your first experience at a sporting event.

Art Prompt: Take me out to the ballpark

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story about your first trip to a major league ball game.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks on Flickr

Roulette wheel

The Gambler’s Fallacy is the idea that past behavior influences future behavior. In everyday life, it’s a good strategy — there are all kinds of ways that events in the past affect events in the future. When gamblers take that idea into a casino, things get very bad, very quickly. At least, things get bad for the people; the casino can wring some profit out of that cognitive bias, and it did at the Monte Carlo Casino on August 18th, 1913. It was an ordinary night, until someone noticed that the roulette ball had fallen on black for quite some time. When it just kept falling, people got interested. Then they started pushing money onto the table. The thought process was that the ball had fallen on black so many times that it had to fall on red sometime soon. –Esther Inglis-Arkel

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the gambler’s fallacy complicates your protagonist’s life.

Journaling Prompt: What is the biggest gamble you’ve ever taken?

Art Prompt: The Gambler’s Fallacy

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the gambler’s fallacy and how they can avoid it when taking a risk of any kind.

Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for January 26, 2014. All links will open in a new tab or window, so feel free to click through and leave some love in the comments. Once you close that window, you’ll be right back here for more linky goodness.

The Creative Mindset

Maria Popova presents On Motivation: Beloved Composer Leonard Bernstein on Why We Create posted at BrainPickings.

David Burkus presents How Your Friends Affect Your Creative Work posted at 99u.


Art Quote of the Week

Space is the breath of art. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

Writing Tips

Nina Munteanu presents How to Hook Your Reader and Deliver posted at Amazing Stories.

Larry Brooks presents How Michael Connelly Writes… and What He Drinks When He Does It posted at StoryFix.

Chrys Fey presents Writing About: Happily Ever After posted at Write with Fey.

Antonio del Drago presents Is Outlining for Hacks? posted at Mythic Scribes.

Jeff Goins presents How to Stop Sounding Stupid and Write Like a Pro posted at Goins Writer.

Dr. Jeremy Ellis presents I am a Mad Scientist: Using Real Science to Help Write Science Fiction posted at Kinja.


Skellie presents Six Steps to a Stress-Free Blogging Habit posted at Daily Blog Tips.

Amy Harrison presents 3 Ways the Magic of Dr. Seuss Can Help You Create Unforgettable Copy posted at CopyBlogger.

Creativity Prompts

Lauren Davis presents Real-Life Locations That Would Make Badass Supervillain Lairs posted at io9.



This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Character Perception vs. Narrative Perception with Nancy Fulda.

Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents Humorous Street Art and Urban Interventions by SpY posted at This is Colossal.

Journal Writing

Dona Middleton presents 5 Questions to Discover Who You Are and What Will Make You Happy posted at Tiny Buddha.

The Business of Creativity

Thomas James presents 9 Ways to Run a Smart Creative Business posted at Illustration Friday.

Alicia Dunhams presents 3 Misconceptions + 3 Blunders + 3 To-Dos on Book Writing, Publishing and Marketing posted at Marketing for Hippies.

Ali Hale presents Pen Names posted at Daily Writing Tips.

Kathryn Gillett presents Why We’ve Been Wrong: The Product Isn’t the Hero posted at MarketingProfs.

Spam of the Week

I don’t sometimes appreciate how I ended right up here, nevertheless i imagined this distribute was once superior. I don’t know which team you can be however unquestionably ensure any famous blog writer if you find yourself definitely not witout a doubt. All the best!

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

Tagged with:

Still Life by Henri Fantin-Latour

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: cliff1066™ on Flickr


The problem is I don’t care whether I convince you or not. –Anna Moschovakis, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: What are you apathetic about?

Art Prompt: Apathy

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem of apathy in the world and convince them to start caring.

Photo Credit: JohnCrider on Flickr


sobriquet (noun) a nickname

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: What were your nicknames growing up? Do you have nicknames today? Write about how you feel about them.

Art Prompt: Sobriquet

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your article or speech.

Photo Credit: michellerlee on Flickr

The Power of Choice

…power is the fundamental ingredient of the human experience. Every action in life, every thought, every choice we make-even down to what we wear and whether we are seated in first class or coach-represents a negotiation of power that we engage in somewhere on the scale of the power that constitutes life. Power expresses itself as the psychic force of which you are most aware: who has it, who doesn’t have it, what type of power you are dealing with, what type you want-and what you have to do to get what you want. –Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. How aware of his or her personal power is your protagonist? How does he or she exercise it? What choices reflect it?

Journaling Prompt: How do your exercise your personal power? When are you reluctant to exercise it? When does it feel comfortable to use it?

Art Prompt: Personal power

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about personal power and how to use it effectively to make life better.

Photo Credit: tastygoldfish on Flickr