From the monthly archives: March 2016

warm milk


Maybe warm milk will make her sleepy. She turns on the kitchen light. The pots clang and echo. There is nothing more lonely than an empty, lit kitchen at two in the morning. She heats the milk, stirring slowly, feeling the spoon catch on the scalded bits at the bottom of the pan. She turns at the sound of a moth beating against the kitchen light. When the gas sputters off, and she stands next to the stove drinking her milk, there is no sound at all, except for the light scuffing she makes in her robe. The wallpaper she hung around the kitchen border last week isn’t exactly straight. Geese led with a blue ribbon by a girl, around and around the room. She’d balanced for hours on a kitchen chair, arms in the air, glue dripping off the brush.

She wipes the milk from her lips, and puts the pan in the sink. The curtains flutter. Maybe a walk will tire her out. –Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a woman awake and alone in the middle of the night. 

Journaling Prompt: What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Art Prompt: Insomnia

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about insomnia and give them some ideas to deal with it.

Photo Credit: yarko3 on Flickr

Tuskeegee Airmen medallion

The strict racial segregation the U.S. Army required gave way in the face of the requirements for complex training in technical vocations. Typical of the process was the development of separate African-American flight surgeons to support the operations and training of the Tuskegee Airmen. Before the development of this unit, no U.S. Army flight surgeons had been black. Training of African-American men as aviation medical examiners was conducted through correspondence courses until 1943, when two black physicians were admitted to the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas. This was one of the earliest racially integrated courses in the U.S. Army. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who overcomes a prejudice or bias.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you overcame someone’s bias against you.

Art Prompt: Overcome

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell the story of how our military forces overcame segregation.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr

prison at night

It was just after one a.m., and a brightly lit Riker’s Island slept its usual uneasy sleep. The corrections officers were relaxed, but alert. Knowing that things can go from zero to mayhem in a blink, they were trained to always anticipate trouble and handle it when it comes. But the average corrections officer’s understanding of trouble rarely went beyond the kind that would be caused by the inmates, and tonight they would scarcely understand, much less forget, the kind of trouble they were about to encounter. –The Threshold by Matte Black

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of what happens when the trouble arrives.

Journaling Prompt: What thoughts go through your mind when you hear an unexpected noise in the night? How do you deal with those thoughts?

Art Prompt: Scary noise

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a scary story about something that went bump in the night.

Photo Credit: Matthias Müller on Flickr

personality building, tower cranes constructing 3d word

Psychologists have boxed our behaviours off into the Big Five personality traits. These describe how we perceive the world internally and how we interact with others…

1) Conscientiousness This relates to your work ethic and organisational skills. Those with this trait plan ahead and aim high. They may also take a great interest in one topic, rather than a passing interest in many.

2) Agreeableness Friendliness and compassion are among the characteristics of an agreeable person. They are also more trustworthy. Agreeableness is also used a measure of how even-tempered a person is.

3) Extraversion Those who score highly for this trait thrive interracting with others. They are extremely talkative, energetic, assertive, and are not fazed by being the centre of attention.

4) Neuroticism A person who scores highly in this area is likely to react negatively to a situation or potential scenario, and will feel more anxious, angry or vulnerable than others.

5) Openness to experience If you fall into this category you have a voracious appetitive for learning about new things, are intellectually curious, highly creative and imaginative. Those who are “open to experience” thrive on spontaneous lifestyles over rigid routines and seek out intense moments. –There are five personality types – which one are you? by Kashmira Gander

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch for your protagonist. Which personality type is he/she? What traits / actions show this trait?

Journaling Prompt: What personality type are you? How do you feel about your type? If you could choose a type, which one would you choose?

Art Prompt: My personality type

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the 5 personality types OR tell your audience a humorous story about yourself based on your personality type.

Photo Credit: Vic on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for March 27, 2016. 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

Steven presents Creativity, Magic, and The Mead of Poetry posted at Steven M. Long.

Davis Nguyen presents 7 Reasons Being Rejected Improves Your Life posted at Pick The Brain.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Mark Gardner presents Guilt posted at Article 94.

Sharing Our Work

Lisa T presents My View Of ME….. posted at Tenacitydotcom.

Creativity Quote of the Week

When you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip-Elmore Leonard

Writing Tips

James Chartrand presents 6 easy ways to improve readability in 5 minutes or less posted at Men with Pens.

Kristen Lamb presents The Writer’s Journey—Staying the Course From Newbie to Master posted at Warrior Writers.

Patrick Hartoonian presents Try These Absurd Methods for Overcoming Writer’s Block (That Actually Work) posted at Make a Living Writing.

Brianna Bell presents 15 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now posted at The Write Life.

Jamie Raintree presents Why Writers Need Human Connection posted at Writers in the Storm.

Bryan Wiggins presents How Important Is It for Authors to Do On-Location Research? posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Janice Hardy presents Writing Characters Whose Loyalty is Uncertain posted at Fiction University.

Laura Drake presents Writing with Emotion posted at Romance University.

Mark Nichol presents Narrative, Plot, and Story posted at Daily Writing Tips.

Dave King presents Writing is Hard posted at Writer Unboxed.

Anthony Ehlers presents 3 Incredibly Powerful Ways Myths Inform Storytelling posted at Writers Write.


Jennifer Brown Banks presents 15 Business and Blogging Lessons I Mastered Part 1 and Part 2 posted at Pen &Prosper.

Zul presents How to Start a Blog Which Stays Active Even After 5 Years posted at Daily Blog Tips.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about The Convention Survival Kit, with Gail Carriger.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Replay of How to Sell a Metric Crap-Ton of Books.

Visual Arts

Editor presents Robert Yancy posted at I Need a Guide.

Christopher Jobson presents We Are Nature: New Multiple Exposure Portraits by Christoffer Relander posted at This is Colossal.

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


swimmers on the beach

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Archief Alkmaar Commons on Flickr

woman offers book

This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it. –The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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 book tempts you even though you’ve never read it?

Art Prompt: Favorite book

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about your favorite book.

Photo Credit: Rayani on Flickr


mesmerism n
1. The method or power of gaining control over someone’s personalityor actions, as in hypnosis or suggestion.

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

Journaling Prompt: If you have used hypnosis, write about the experience. If you haven’t, what would you try it for? Do you believe it would work for you?

Art Prompt: Hypnosis

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

Photo Credit: Mariano Cuajao on Flickr


The interpretations of Freud are more and more successful because they are among the myths accessible to modern man. The myth of the murdered father, among others, reconstituted and interpreted in Totem and Taboo. It would be impossible to ferret out a single example of slaying the father in primitive religions or mythologies. This myth was created by Freud. And what is more interesting: the intellectual élite accept it (is it because they understand it? Or because it is “true” for modern man?) –Mircea_Eliade – No Souvenirs (1977) later retitled Journal II, 1957-1969 (1989)

Fiction Writing Prompt: Using a sensational news story, create a modern myth.

Journaling Prompt: What myth speaks to your soul? Why?

Art Prompt: Modern Myth

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a modern myth created from something that happened in your family.

Photo Credit: Max Halberstadt

Lucha Libre masks

Mexican wrestling is characterized by colorful masks, rapid sequences of holds and maneuvers, as well as “high-flying” maneuvers, some of which have been adopted in the United States. The wearing of masks has developed special significance, and matches are sometimes contested in which the loser must permanently remove his mask, which is a wager with a high degree of weight attached. Tag team wrestling is especially prevalent in lucha libre, particularly matches with three-member teams, called trios.

Lucha libre wrestlers are known as luchadores (singular luchador) (“wrestler(s)”). They usually come from extended wrestling families who form their own stables. One such line integrated to the United States professional wrestling scene is Los Guerreros.

Lucha libre has also transcended the language barrier to some extent as evidenced by works such as Los Luchadores, ¡Mucha Lucha!, and Nacho Libre. It also appears in other pop culture such as mainstream advertising: In Canada Telus’ Koodo MobilePost Paid cell service uses a cartoon lucha libre wrestler as its spokesperson/mascot. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a luchador on vacation.

Journaling Prompt: What is your impression of pro wrestling and the people who watch it?

Art Prompt: Lucha Libre

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how Lucha Libre has entered pop culture of countries beyond Mexico.

Photo Credit: Beth on Flickr