From the monthly archives: May 2016

mon claret

Twirling a ringlet about her finger several times and tapping her foot in short, rapid jerks, she sipped despondently at her claret. The rich wine glided over her tongue. Warmth passed through her body, easing the gnawing ache of loneliness inside her. She downed the glass then had another and another and another. Each one seemed better than the last. The warmth filled her, from the top of her head right down to her toes. It was like being bathed in pure sunlight. How many glasses of wine had she drunk? –Natasha Blackthorne, Wild, Wicked and Wanton: A Hot Historical Romance Bundle

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a lonely lady, some claret, and a stranger.

Journaling Prompt: What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve done after drinking?

Art Prompt: Claret

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about something you did that was fueled by alcohol.

Photo Credit: Adrian Midgley on Flickr

mon BD blues

The birthday effect (sometimes called the birthday blues, especially when referring specifically to suicide) is a statistical phenomenon where an individual’s likelihood of death appears to increase on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies of general populations in England and Wales, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States, as well as in smaller populations such as Major League Baseball players. Studies do not consistently show this correlation; some find that men’s and women’s mortality rates diverge in the run-up to the birthday, while others find no significant change. Suggested mechanisms for the effect include alcohol consumption, psychological stress relating to the birthday, increased suicide risk, terminally ill patients attempting to hold on until their birthday, an increased mortality salience, or a physiological cycle that causes the body to weaken annually. It has also been suggested that it may be a statistical artifact, perhaps as a result of anomalies in reporting, but the birthday effect has also been seen in studies that control for known reporting anomalies. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the birthday effect.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most difficult birthday you’ve ever had.

Art Prompt: Birthday 

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Birthday Effect and give them suggestions how they can help their loved ones move through it.

Photo Credit: Rebecca on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for May 29. 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

Ellen Hendrikson, PhD presents How to Grow a Thick Skin and Handle Criticism posted at Quick and Dirty Tips.

Karin LeFranc presents Unlocking Our Creativity posted at The Winged Pen.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Chuck Downing presents Secrets of the Sequenced Symbols in response to Prompt #1727 Cryptanalysis.

Hema presents Short Fiction : Turmoil in response to Prompt #1681 Insomnia.

See the comment by J. Richardson on Prompt #1283 The New Contract.

Mark Gardner presents Sleep posted at Article 94.





Sharing Our Work

Suellen presents Some Of My Earliest Memories posted at Human Diaries.

Creativity Quote of the Week

Technology will change, but not art.― Ashraf Saharudin

Writing Tips

Tanya Kappes presents Newsletter = Marketing Gold posted at Romance University.

Amanda Patterson presents 10 Incredibly Simple Ways To Improve Your Business Writing Style posted at Writers Write.

Lori Hatcher presents Why Should I Attend a Writing Conference? posted at The Write Conversation.

Sarah Hood presents Give Your Clichés a Makeover! posted at Mystic Scribes.

JJ presents MidPoints: A Breakdown posted at PubCrawl.

Kimberly Brock presents The Story I Thought I Would Write When I Knew Everything posted at Writers in the Storm.

Jennifer presents Gunshot Residue: Now You See it Now You Don’t posted at Author Jennifer Chase.

KM Weiland presents Do You Know the 6 Must-Have Elements of a “Wow” Story Premise? posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Janice Hardy presents Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan posted at Fiction University.

Mark Nichol presents 12 Signs and Symbols You Should Know posted at Daily Writing Tips.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about The Environment, with L.E. Modessit, Jr..

Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents Gorgeous Bird Paintings by Adam S. Doyle 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!


Memorial Day Parade

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

living home first line

There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations –Leaf by Niggle by JRR Tolkien

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 how you usually prepare for a long trip.

Art Prompt: Traveling

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a trip you made and what you learned about yourself in the preparations for it.

Photo Credit: Roberto Saltori on Flickr

smitten word of week

smitten adj

  1. Made irrationally enthusiastic.
  2. In love.

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

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were smitten.

Art Prompt: Smitten

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

Photo Credit: Jody Sticca on Flickr

coffee mustache thursday

As he drank, little brown drops of coffee clung to his mustache like dew. Men will live like billy goats if they are let alone. –Charles Portis, True Grit

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a man’s habits from the point of view of a woman.

Journaling Prompt: What habit do you judge in your spouse, parent, or friend?

Art Prompt: Men and Billy Goats

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a bad habit you have.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr


There are four main reasons for the demise of a city: Natural disaster, as in the case of Bam in Iran or Balestrino in Italy, which both disappeared as the result of earthquakes; economic problems, as with the gold rush towns in the United States, where the depletion of the mines robs a place of the very reason for its existence; human folly, of which there are numerous—often terrifying—examples. Epecuén, a charming lakeside resort in Argentina, was submerged because the flood-protection barriers were neglected. Kantubek, in Uzbekistan, the site of a biological weapons research center, was evacuated in a hurry following a series of laboratory accidents.

A town can also die as the result of the death of a civilization, as was the case with a number of Roman cities and also cities in South America such as Tikal, a Mayan center that disappeared because its civilization simply ran out of steam. –These Ghost Towns Once Thronged With Life by Simon Worrall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about the death of a thriving city.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your feelings for your home and community.

Art Prompt: Death of a city

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a city that died.

Photo Credit: Neil Moralee on Flickr

quaint village tuesday

It is a city of neat cottages and cobbled streets where wander cats without number, for the enlightened legislators of long ago laid down laws for our protection. A good, kind village, where travelers take their ease and pet the cats, making much of them, which is as it should be. –A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, scene, poem, or haiku set in the city described above.

Journaling Prompt: Describe the kind of setting where you would like to live if money were no object.

Art Prompt: Cobbled streets

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story, emphasizing the setting.

Photo Credit: Riccardo Cuppini on Flickr

Mutiny_on_the_Bounty mondy

The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship’s open launch. The mutineers variously settled on Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island. Bligh meanwhile completed a voyage of more than 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) in the launch to reach safety, and began the process of bringing the mutineers to justice.

Bounty had left England in 1787 on a mission to collect and transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies. A five-month layover in Tahiti, during which many of the men lived ashore and formed relationships with native Polynesians, proved harmful to discipline. Relations between Bligh and his crew deteriorated after he began handing out increasingly harsh punishments, criticism and abuse, Christian being a particular target. After three weeks back at sea, Christian and others forced Bligh from the ship. Twenty-five men remained on board afterwards, including loyalists held against their will and others for whom there was no room in the launch.

After Bligh reached England in April 1790, the Admiralty despatched HMS Pandora to apprehend the mutineers. Fourteen were captured in Tahiti and imprisoned on board Pandora, which then searched without success for Christian’s party that had hidden on Pitcairn Island. After turning back toward England Pandora ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, with the loss of 31 crew and 4 prisoners from Bounty. The 10 surviving detainees reached England in June 1792 and were court martialled; 4 were acquitted, 3 were pardoned, and 3 were hanged. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during any part of the story of the Bounty or create a mutiny in your own story.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you felt like mutinying.

Art Prompt: Mutiny!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a famous mutiny.