From the monthly archives: June 2016

Thursday Poltergeist

Poltergeist is the term assigned to those apparently meaningless noises and movements of objects of which we from time to time hear accounts. The word is, of course, German, and may be translated “boisterous ghost.” …

Professor Barrett, in the paper to which we have already referred, draws certain conclusions from his study of this subject; one of the chief of these is that “the widespread belief in fairies, pixies, gnomes, brownies, etc., probably rests on the varied manifestations of poltergeists.” –St. John D. (St. John Drelincourt) Seymour, True Irish Ghost Stories

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving a poltergeist.
Journaling Prompt: Do you believe in poltergeist or other supernatural events?

Art Prompt: Poltergeist

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a dramatic story about a poltergeist.

Wednesday Blood Test

In the 1950s, the Supreme Court of the United States issued two key rulings clarifying the constitutionality of physical intrusions into the human body by police and other government agents. In Rochin v. California, police officers broke into the home of an individual suspected of selling narcotics and observed him place several small objects into his mouth. Officers were unable to force his mouth open, so they transported him to a local hospital where his stomach was pumped against his will. A unanimous Supreme Court held the involuntary stomach pump was an unlawful violation of substantive due process because it “shocked the conscience”, and was so “brutal” and “offensive” that it did not comport with traditional ideas of fair play and decency. In 1957, the Court held in Breithaupt v. Abram that involuntary blood samples “taken by a skilled technician” neither “shocked the conscience” nor violated substantive due process. In Breithaupt, police took a blood sample from a patient suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol while he laid unconscious in a hospital. The Court held that the blood samples were justified, in part, because “modern community living requires modern scientific methods of crime detection.” Additionally, the Court mentioned in dicta that involuntary blood samples may violate the constitution if officers do not provide “every proper medical precaution” to the accused. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about involuntary body searches.

Journaling Prompt: Do you feel that criminals have too many rights? 

Art Prompt: Blood

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Rochin v California court ruling and how it protects suspects today.

Photo Credit: Graham Beards on Wikimedia

Tuesday Full Moon

The night air felt smooth and warm, and many guests wore only diaphanous scarves. A full moon lit the sky and torches flared along the lakeshore illuminating gardens and pavilions. –Suzanne Tyrpak, Vestal Virgin: Romantic Suspense in Ancient Rome

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem in this setting.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most beautiful full moon you’ve ever experienced.

Art Prompt: Full moon at the lakeshore

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the extravagant parties of ancient Rome.

Photo Credit: Hefin Owen on Flickr

Monday confidence

Washington State University researcher Joyce Ehrlinger has found that a person’s tendency to be overconfident increases if he or she thinks intelligence is fixed and unchangeable.

Such people tend to maintain their overconfidence by concentrating on the easy parts of tasks while spending as little time as possible on the hard parts of tasks, said Ehrlinger, a WSU assistant professor of psychology. But people who hold a growth mindset–meaning they think intelligence is a changeable quality–spend more time on the challenging parts of tasks, she said. Consequently, their levels of confidence are more in line with their abilities.

Ehrlinger’s research, conducted with Ainsley Mitchum of Florida State University and Carol Dweck of Stanford University, appears in the March edition of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

“A little bit of overconfidence can be helpful,” said Ehrlinger, “but larger amounts of overconfidence can lead people to make bad decisions and to miss out on opportunities to learn.” The researchers note that overconfidence is a documented problem for drivers, motorcyclists, bungee jumpers, doctors and lawyers. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. Does your character have a growth or fixed mindselt? What areas is he/she overconfident in?

Journaling Prompt: When are you overconfident?
Art Prompt: Overconfident

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about growth vs. fixed mindset and how that affect their confidence.

Photo Credit: Chris & Karen Highland on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for June 26, 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.


Laney Smith of Redlands releases new book, ‘What He’s Done’.

The Creative Mindset

Joe Konrath presents A Gentle Reminder posted at JA Konrath.

Lisa Alber presents Hope After (Traditional Publishing) Rejection posted at Lisa Romeo Writes.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Mark Gardner presents Hatred posted at Article 94.



Sharing Our Work

Rob McLeod presents When Do You Realize You’re A ‘Cracker?’ posted at Florida Cracker Chronicles.

Liz presents Book Review – Another Country by James Baldwin posted at Liz Andra Shaw.

Creativity Quote of the Week


Writing Tips

Mariella Hunt presents 3 Things Writers can Learn about Storytelling from Children posted at StoryLight.

Michael J. Sullivan presents Get in Good With Goodreads posted at Writer’s Digest.

Jody presents 5 Ways Writers Get Lazy posted at Jody Hedlund.

Janice Hardy presents Clarify the Theme posted at Fiction University.

KM Weiland presents What the heck is the Inciting Event? posted at Kill Zone.

Mark Nichol presents 5 Tips About Writing with Rhythm posted at Daily Writing Tips.

Alicia Rades presents Relax! Beta Readers Aren’t Scary: Here Are 3 Truths About Them posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.


Slavko Desik presents 5 Things That Make Sure Your Content Pass The Test Of Time posted at Daily Blog Tips.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Elemental Horror.

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Live Events, Cliffhangers and Reviews.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about James Altucher on Choosing Yourself for Writers.


Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents “Guerilla” Tree Sculptor in North Yorkshire Identified (is not Banksy) posted at This is Colossal.

The Business of Creativity

Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine presents 5 Ways to Use Instagram as an Author posted at Jane Friedman.

John Soares presents Should a Freelance Writer Have a Blog? posted at Productive Writers.

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


cranberry pickers hine

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Cranberry Pickers on Last Door Down the Hall

baldwin saturday

He was facing Seventh Avenue at Times Square. It was past midnight and he had been sitting in the movies, in the top row of the balcony, since two o’clock in the afternoon. –James Baldwin, Another Country

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: How do you feel after binging on TV or movies?

Art Prompt: Movies

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a show you recommend for binging.

Photo Credit: Vitor Machado on Flickr

prophet friday

presage v
  • (transitive) To predict or foretell something.
  • (intransitive) To make a prediction.
  • (transitive) To have a presentiment of; to feel beforehand; to foreknow.

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

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about predicting the future?

Art Prompt: Make a prediction

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

Photo Credit: stainedglassartist on Flickr

dreadful Thursday

You isolate the single event
As something so dreadful that it couldn’t have happened
Because you could not bear it. So you must believe
That I suffer from delusions. It is not my conscience
Not my mind, that is diseased, but the world I have to live in.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a family fight based on the poem above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your family’s dysfunction.

Art Prompt: Dysfunctional family

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about common types of family dysfunction.

Photo Credit: Dogan Kokdemir on Flickr

interrogation Wednesday

An interview technique for eliciting intelligence without asking questions has in a series of experiments proven to work very well. The idea dates back to the renowned WWII interrogator Hanns Scharff, but has now — for the first time — been empirically validated…

Instead of an interrogation, Scharff arranged his meeting as a conversation, emphasizing that the most important details were already known, and that all he wanted was help to fill in some minor gaps. This meant that prisoners never knew when they disclosed information that Scharff did not already know, and often ended up revealing much more information than they thought they did…

When interviewers avoid direct questions and instead emphasize what they already know, it becomes difficult for the interviewee to cooperate without contributing with new information, and difficult to assess how much one has revealed. –Refined interview technique can reveal plans of terror: How to get answers without asking questions

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an investigator going after a terrorist.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the strangest interview you’ve ever done.

Art Prompt: Interview

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the various techniques investigators use to interrogate suspects.
Photo Credit: Chris Tse on Flickr