From the monthly archives: March 2015

The Writing Reader is on hiatus. I fell and broke my shoulder, and need to rest it for a bit. I hope to be back in a couple of weeks.


Glance on a Bicycle

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Onny Carr on Flickr


Jennifer Miller was the belle of the fifth grade. –Love Letters by William C. Friskey

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: Write about a popular girl you knew in grade school. What did you like about her? What didn’t you like? Did you try to copy her about anything?

Art Prompt: Belle of the fifth grade

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about the popular kids in elementary school.

Photo Credit: Angie Linder on Flickr

Playeras Chichi


  1. adjective showily or affectedly elegant or trendy; pretentious
  2. noun a chichi person or thing. 
  3. noun the quality of being chichi.

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

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about chichi?

Art Prompt: Chichi

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

Photo Credit: Alex Briseñox on Flickr

Silence, Censor, Restraint

Dissonance makes a person stop thinking “What can this person do for me?” and start wondering, “What is this person planning to do to me?” It also keeps you and another person from connecting—or, from a neurological point of view, achieving mirror neuron empathy—because you’re not sending the message you think you’re sending. –Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston M.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write internal dialogue for one of your character that exhibits dissonance. Show the conflict it creates.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you experience dissonance.

Art Prompt: Dissonance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the psychological phenomenon of dissonance and how it creates conflicts in relationships.

Photo Credit: Kayla Sawyer on Flickr

Blue Gold Game 2013 - University of Notre Dame

Games are like any unscripted situation in which no one knows the results until they occur. Although this is what makes sports (and reality shows) so exciting, it’s also what drives fans to distraction. They want to know the outcome, and they want that outcome to be favorable. They also know realistically that they can’t control it, though, and this is the crux of the superstition. If I can’t actually influence an event’s outcome, but I think I can (through my superstition), I’ll at least feel a little bit less anxious.
For many people, not having control over an outcome is a frightening proposition. For these uncontrollable situations in life, the more important it is, the more likely you will be to try to dream up ways to control its outcome even though it may be unrealistic for you to do so. –Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Put your protagonist in a situation where he or she has no control over the outcome. Show  us the internal monologue, especially the magical thinking.

Journaling Prompt: What are your rituals in situations where you have no control over the outcome?

Art Prompt: Superstitions in times of no control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about the superstitions and rituals that influence you on game day.

Photo Credit: gbozik photography on Flickr

take revenge

The desire to get even with the people who have humiliated or hurt you is a dark truth; though we rarely admit to it, underneath all the other reasons why we find forgiveness difficult is only this one: the desire for vengeance. This one dark need can keep you tied to your past more tightly than any other trauma you have had, because there is something in human nature that needs to even the score. You may not like to admit it, but admit it you must. And more than admit it, you must get past it and ascend to a higher truth that allows you to focus on what you are meant to learn about yourself through each crisis. Beyond overcoming the need to get even, you have to be willing to give up being hurt or traumatized as a primary power identity. –Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason by Caroline Myss

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story driven by a thirst for revenge.

Journaling Prompt: Write about revenge and how it has affected you.

Art Prompt: Revenge

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the human drive for revenge and tell a dramatic or humorous story involving revenge.

Photo Credit: Floriane Legendre on Flickr

Justice sends mixed messages

When a bad deed makes headlines, the first thing we want to know is whether the perpetrator did it “on purpose.” Intention matters in our moral judgments, as we intuitively realize and many studies confirm. Now studies suggest that this focus on the cause of an event can distort our understanding of the damage done—and knowing harm has been inflicted can even change the way we view the victims, ascribing them pain and consciousness when none might exist…
The findings have implications for our understanding of complex moral issues such as abortion. People may consider fetuses to be mentally aware because they think abortion is immoral—not the other way around. “People often have knee-jerk moral intuitions and only come up with explanations for these intuitions after the fact,” says co-author Adrian Ward, a psychologist now at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “Many times apparent causal reasoning is simply post hoc justification.” –Melinda Wenner Moyer

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which something that was not intended is judged as if it were.

Journaling Prompt: Do you judge based on intention? How would your relationships be different if you didn’t?

Art Prompt: Intention and moral judgements

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the tendency to judge based on intentions and how this has formed our current culture.

Photo Credit: Dan4th Nicholas on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for March 8, 2015. 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.

Sharing Our Work

Eula presents Overcomer posted at View from the Winepress.

Writing Quote of the Week

Practice means what it says: writing is something to be done over and over, something that improves through the repetitive doing but that needs not be done perfectly. ~Julia Cameron

Writing Tips

Emlyn Chand presents Lessons Learned: My 7 Best Moves as a Self-Published Author posted at Novel Publicity.

Robert MacAnthony presents Mythic Justice – Crime and Punishment in Your Fantasy World posted at Mythic Scribes.

KM Weiland presents The Amazing (and Simple) 3-Step Plan for Learning How to Write posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Margo Kelly presents Should You Cut That Character? posted at Fiction University.

Robin LaFevers presents Pre-Writing: Discovering Your Character’s Secrets posted at Writer Unboxed.

Maria Popova presents Are Writers Born or Made? Jack Kerouac on the Crucial Difference Between Talent and Genius posted at Brain Pickings.

Joe Bunting presents Hit with Writer’s Block? Try This Psychological Trick posted at The Write Practice.

Robin Gianna presents Revision Techniques That Make Your Manuscript Shine posted at Romance University.

Melissa Donovan presents Ideas for Creative Writing Projects and Practices posted at Writing Forward.

Mary Carroll Moore presents Placing Backstory: When It Helps and When It Hinders posted at How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.

Mark Nichol presents 5 Reasons to Start a Writing Group posted at Daily Writing Tips.

Angela Ackerman presents Writing Patterns Into Fiction: Scene and Sequel posted at Writers Helping Writers.

Patrick Ross presents Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One posted at The Artist’s Road.


Robert presents You’ll Never Get Everything Done, and That’s Ok posted at Daily Blog Tips.

Elizabeth presents Observations from Years of Curating Content for Writers posted at Elizabeth Spann Craig.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Where is My Story Coming From?.

This week’s podcast at Book Marketing Tools is all about Blogging For Authors.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Using your Writing Skills to Support Your Career as a Novelist – with Chris Orcutt.


Visual Arts

Nina Munteanu presents Story and Metaphor in Art Form: How Writing and Painting Whisper or Shout Their Truths posted at Amazing Stories.

Christopher Jobson presents New Meticulously Cut Paper Illustrations by Maude White posted at This is Colossal.


Claire de Boer presents How do you want to feel? posted at The Gift of Writing.

The Business of Creativity

Joanna Penn presents Write Books You Love. Think Global. Consider Multiple Streams Of Income posted at The Creative Penn.

Carol Tice presents How to Score a Celebrity Interview: 7 Simple Strategies posted at Make a Living Writing.

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



Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Costica Axinte on Flickr