From the monthly archives: August 2016

wed laika

Laika (c. 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.

Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika’s mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, and therefore Laika’s survival was not expected. Some scientists believed humans would be unable to survive the launch or the conditions of outer space, so engineers viewed flights by animals as a necessary precursor to human missions.The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure micro-gravity, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

Laika died within hours from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002; instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six or, as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of an animal in space.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about sending animals into space?

Art Prompt: Laika

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience Laika’s story.

Photo Credit: Posta Romana – 1959 – Laika 120 B on Wikimedia

tues mona lisa

“I will make you famous,” he had said, all those centuries ago. “I will immortalize you, cara. Never to age, never to lose that heart-wrenching beauty.” He was a smooth talker, but aren’t all artists? They will say anything to convince you to pose. And he knew me too well, knew how I treasured my youth, knew how I feared losing my treasure. “You will never fade. People will never cease to marvel at your mystery, never stop pondering the magic of your smile.”

He didn’t love me, I know that now. His offer was self-serving: my living spirit poured into my portrait irrevocably cemented his renown. But he offered a union, my countenance immortalized by him, his fame entwined with mine, joined for eternity. Perhaps that is another kind of love, a choice made at the intersection of desires: his immortal fame, and my immortal beauty.

So I let him paint me, and accepted his price. –The Frown by Floris M. Kleijne

Fiction Writing Prompt: What would your protagonist do to become immortal? How would he/she deal with the consequences?

Journaling Prompt: Would you want to be immortal? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Mona Lisa

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of Mona Lisa.

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis on Flickr

mon self harm

Many people who cut or otherwise injure themselves report that they do so because it provides a sense of relief. Others say they use cutting or other forms of self-injury as a coping mechanism when dealing with a problem or stressful situation. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, people who have a difficult time expressing their feelings may demonstrate their emotional tension, psychical discomfort, pain or low-esteem by engaging in self-injurious behaviors.

While people who engage in NSSI often report feeling a sense of relief upon injuring themselves, many also report that these feelings are quickly replaced by shame or guilt once the relief passes. It is not uncommon for those who engage in self-injurious behaviors to hide their behavior from their peers, parents or teachers or to feel embarrassed or ashamed of the injuries they have inflicted upon themselves. –Live Science

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene involving self-harm and include the internal monologue of the character who does it.

Journaling Prompt: How do you take care of yourself when your feelings are overwhelming?

Art Prompt: Self-harm

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the dangers of self-harm and give them tips for talking to someone they love who is trapped in this behavior.

Photo Credit: R N on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for August 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

Christine Niles presents Five Things that Stop You from Sharing Your Work (and the dead-simple solutions to all of them) posted at Positive Writer.

Kathleen Siddell presents How to Face an Inbox of Rejection posted at Brevity.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt








Sharing Our Work

Eula McLeod presents The Tooth Fairy Is My Hero posted at View from the Winepress.

Creativity Quote of the Week


Writing Tips

Bruno Somerset presents Tips for Writers Setting Up Their Workspace posted at Mythic Scribes.

Anthony Ehlers presents Turning The Screw posted at Writers Write.

Mary Carroll Moore presents What Memoirists Always Ask: How Much of My Story Can I Tell without Hurting Others? posted at How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.

Rachelle presents That All-Important First Line posted at Rachelle Gardner.

Jody presents Seven Dialogue Basics That Can Help Tighten Our Stories posted at Jody Hedlund.

Neal Abbott presents 3 Ways Doctor Who Can Help You Become a Fantastic Writer posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Janice Hardy presents Fix Grammatical Errors posted at Fiction University.

Claire de Boer presents 3 Things That Will Mess With Your Writing Time (And How to Overcome Them) posted at The Gift of Writing.

Steven presents “Just Write the Damn Thing!”, Part One posted at Steven Pressfield Online.

Chuck Waldron presents The Sweaty Part of Writing posted at Writers and Authors.

Joanna Campbell Slan presents Out, Out, Damned Writer posted at Romance University.


Henri Junttila presents Blogging for Beginners: 17 Tips Before You Start Your Blog posted at Daily Blog Tips.


This week’s podcast at WNYC is all about Richard Russo & Jenny Boylan on Plot Twists in Books – and Life.

This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Elemental Q & A.

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Diversification, Silver Linings and the Future.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Balancing Efficiency and Effectiveness.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Is Taking Care of Yourself on Your To-Do List?.

Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents New High Speed Liquid Splash Photographs by Markus Reugels posted at This is Colossal.

The Business of Creativity

Carol Tice presents How I Got Freelance Writing Jobs Worth $15,000 — in 7 Days Flat posted at Make a Living Writing.

Joanna Penn presents 5 Ways That Authors Can Use Facebook Advertising posted at The Creative Penn.

Lauren Tharp presents How to Juggle Multiple Clients Without Dropping Them posted at Little Zotz 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: The Last Door Down the Hall on Flickr

sat creation

This will be the beginning of a new age. Or I will fail. Again. –Interstellar Transit by David Williams

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 big risk you took that changed your life.

Art Prompt: Beginning

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Share a new beginning you made that involved a risk. Tell your audience what lessons you learned from the experience.

Photo Credit: Jeff Simms on Flickr

fri witch doctor

obeah n
  • A form of folk magic, medicine or witchcraft originating in Africa and practiced in parts of the Caribbean.
  • A magician or witch doctor of the magic craft.
  • A spell performed in the practice of the magic craft; an item associated with such a spell.

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

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about magic?

Art Prompt: Obeah

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

Photo Credit: African Zulu Witch Doctor on Wikimedia

thurs street singer

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a street singer and his audience.

Journaling Prompt: When you see a street singer, do you stop to listen? What do you hear?

Art Prompt: Street singer

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Introduce your audience to a song whose lyrics remind you of home. 

Photo Credit: Syuqor Aizzat on Flickr

wed The_Ducking-Stool_from_Curious_Punishments_of_Bygone_Days_(1896)

In the common law of crime in England and Wales, a common scold was a species of public nuisance—a troublesome and angry woman who broke the public peace by habitually arguing and quarrelling with her neighbours. The Latin name for the offender, communis rixatrix, appears in the feminine gender and makes it clear that only women could commit this crime.

The offence, which was exported to North America with the colonists, was punishable by ducking: being placed in a chair and submerged in a river or pond. Although rarely prosecuted it remained on the statute books in England and Wales until 1967. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create an offense for your story that is gender-specific. Include a punishment that is specific to this offense.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about punishments, whether legal or cultural, that are specifically anti-woman?

Art Prompt: Public nuisance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of patriarchy and choose one example to illustrate your feelings about it.

tuesday grill

…smells have the power to evoke the past, bringing back sounds and even other smells that have no match in the present. Tita liked to take a deep breath and let the characteristic smoke and smell transport her through the recesses of her memory. –Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s memories are triggered by a smell.

Journaling Prompt: What smell brings back good memories for you.

Art Prompt: Your favorite smell

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story that appeals to their sense of smell.

Photo Credit: Gino on Flickr