From the monthly archives: September 2015


…catastrophic mistakes—including implanting the wrong thing, or performing the wrong procedure—occur in one out of every 12,000 surgeries in the United States.
Serious surgical accidents tend to involve many human failures, the researchers found. The average surgery saw nine separate missteps. The most common problems they found fell into the category of the mental conditions of the surgeons and nurses, including overconfidence, and focusing too much on a minute detail and consequently losing sight of the big picture. Another common problem category: “decision errors,” like failing to understand the risks of a procedure, or mixing up procedures, tests, and medications that perhaps have similar names. –“Why Surgeons Make Catastrophic Mistakes,” by Francie Diep

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the conflict is created by a surgical error.

Journaling Prompt: Write about an experience you had with surgery or with a hospitalization.

Art Prompt: Surgical error

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the epidemic of surgical errors and suggest some steps they can take if they are facing surgery.

Photo Credit: Army Medicine on Flickr

Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics:keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mates, and their pack. They are experienced in adapting to constantly changing circumstances; they are fiercely stalwart and very brave. –Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a healthy woman as described above as the protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: How are you like a wolf?

Art Prompt: Women and wolves

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the traits that women share with wolves and include a personal story about yourself or a woman that you know.

Photo Credit: Cristee Dickson on Flickr

People Watching / People Watching

…delusions are false beliefs that a person holds on to, without adequate evidence. It can be difficult to change the belief, even with evidence to the contrary. Common themes of delusions are persecutory (person believes that others are out to harm them), grandiose (person believing that they have special powers or skills), etc. Persons with Ekbom syndrome may have delusional beliefs of an imaginary parasite infestation, whereas depressed persons might have delusions consistent with their low mood (e.g., delusions that they have sinned, or have contracted serious illness, etc.). Karl Jaspers has classified psychotic delusions into primary and secondary types. Primary delusions are defined as arising suddenly and not being comprehensible in terms of normal mental processes, whereas secondary delusions are typically understood as being influenced by the person’s background or current situation (e.g., ethnicity; also religious, superstitious, or political beliefs). –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem from the POV of a character having delusions.

Journaling Prompt: What delusions have you had in your life that you have outgrown?

Art Prompt: Delusions

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about secondary delusions and how they manifest in our culture.

Photo Credit: Tim Haynes on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for September 27, 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.

The Creative Mindset

Nina Munteanu presents Why We Need to Write posted at Amazing Stories.

Meghan Tschanz presents 5 Ways to Change the World with Your Writing posted at The Write Practice.

Philip Overby presents 10 Easy Steps to Crush Creative ADD posted at Mythic Scribes.

Donna Radley presents Confessions Of A Troubled Writer – Four Questions To Ask Before You Quit posted at Writers Write.


Art Quote of the Week

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.-Seth Godin

Writing Tips

Mark Nichol presents Physical Descriptions Put Readers in Your Place posted at Daily Writing Tips.

KM Weiland presents Don’t Know Your Story’s Theme? Take a Look at Your Character’s Arc posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Janice Hardy presents Storming the Brain: Coming Up With Ideas posted at Fiction University.

Heather Webb presents Creating Likable Characters posted at Romance University.

Jeanne Cavelos presents Tying Character Types to Plot, Suspense, and Emotion posted at Writer Unboxed.

Ethan Fox presents Authors: Want to write dynamic fight scenes? Pt1 posted at by Ethan Fox.


Ali Luke presents Why You Should Use “You” and “I” In Your Posts posted at Daily Blog Tips.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Combat, with Marie Brennan.

Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents Inside the Sketchbooks of Mattias Adolfsson posted at This is Colossal.


Melissa Donovan presents Journal Prompts for the Fearless and Fearful posted at Writing Forward.

Jen presents Lesson 9: Kindness matters (especially towards yourself!) posted at Journal Wild.

The Business of Creativity

Chrys Fey presents Working with a Cover Artist posted at Write with Fey.

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: Archief Alkmaar on Flickr

Hold All My Calls

You could say it all started out as an innocent prank, but that wouldn’t strictly be true. –“The Girl in the Mirror,” Lev Grossman

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 prank you once pulled.

Art Prompt: Innocent prank

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a prank.

Photo Credit: Matt Reinbold on Flickr


stoic noun

1. (Capitalized). A member of a school of philosophy founded by Zeno holding that one should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and should submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity.
2. Hence, one who is apparently or professedly indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain, joy or grief.

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

Journaling Prompt: When are you stoic and when do you freely express your emotions?

Art Prompt: Stoic

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

Photo Credit: tind on Flickr


His letters, though suffering like those of some other distinguished authors from being translated, are full of touches of fiery eloquence, mixed with bombast and the wildest and most monstrously inflated self-pretension. His habits certainly were not commendable. He habitually drank, and it is also said ate a great deal more than was good for him. He ill-used his unlucky prisoners. He divorced one wife to marry another, and was eager to have a third in the lifetime of the second, –The Story of Ireland by Emily Lawless

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story using the character sketch above to inspire one of the characters.

Journaling Prompt: What is your routine when you do your journaling? Do you snack? Drink? Doodle? Play music?

Art Prompt: A man of letters and drink

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about the most flamboyant character you’ve ever known.

Photo Credit: john gale on Flickr

a l u c i n a*

A hallucination is defined as sensory perception in the absence of external stimuli. Hallucinations are different from illusions, or perceptual distortions, which are the misperception of external stimuli.[12] Hallucinations may occur in any of the senses and take on almost any form, which may include simple sensations (such as lights, colors, tastes, and smells) to experiences such as seeing and interacting with fully formed animals and people, hearing voices, and having complex tactile sensations.
Auditory hallucinations, particularly experiences of hearing voices, are the most common and often prominent feature of psychosis. Hallucinated voices may talk about, or to, the person, and may involve several speakers with distinct personalities. Auditory hallucinations tend to be particularly distressing when they are derogatory, commanding or preoccupying. However, the experience of hearing voices need not always be a negative one. One research study has shown that the majority of people who hear voices are not in need of psychiatric help.[13] The Hearing Voices Movement has subsequently been created to support voice hearers, regardless of whether they are considered to have a mental disorder or not. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where one of your characters has hallucinations.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a recurrent thought you have that bothers you.

Art Prompt: Hallucinations

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Hearing Voices Movement.

Photo Credit: Meg on Flickr

Shasta Border Collie

Jeff was a grand dog, a brown and white border collie. He was bright and protective, and I loved him with my whole heart. Though he was not a small animal, he allowed me to dress him up for tea parties, and as I imagined my way through my childhood, he seemed happy to take on whatever role I cared to assign him. We would lie in the grass in the front yard and look for clouds shaped like cows, houses, bathtubs, boats, whatever. I loved this game, though the burden fell on me to do most of the talking. –Best Friends Forever: Me and My Dog: What I’ve Learned About Life, Love, and Faith From My Dog by Rebecca Currington

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a child and his/her dog.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite childhood pet

Art Prompt: A child and a dog

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a touching story of your favorite childhood pet.

Photo Credit: Harold Meerveld on Flickr