From the monthly archives: September 2016


Banal adj

  • devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.
Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the word of the week in whatever you write today.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something that you find banal and your feelings about it.

Art Prompt: Banal

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

Photo Credit: TomEats on Flickr


One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a kiss by moonlight.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a romantic setting and what happened.

Art Prompt: Kiss by moonlight

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a romantic story from your past.

Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management  on Flickr


The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone using a secret escape route and the perils he or she encounters.

Journaling Prompt: If you were living in the time of the Underground Railroad, would you help the fleeing slaves? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Underground Railroad

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Underground Railroad.

Photo Credit: Kyle J. Schultz on Flickr


Two lovers, here at the corner, by the steeple,
Two lovers blow together like music blowing:
And the crowd dissolves about them like a sea.
Recurring waves of sound break vaguely about them,
They drift from wall to wall, from tree to tree.
The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene, poem, or haiku that includes a memorable kiss.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the most memorable kiss you’ve ever had and what made it so special.

Art Prompt: Kiss

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the humorous or touching story of your first kiss.

Photo Credit: Linh Nguyen on Flickr


In 2015, Penn Ph.D. candidate Robert Hegwood, a scholar of Japanese/American cultural relations in the mid-20th century, purchased a rather innocuous looking “Scrap Book” at a used book store during a stay in Tokyo. Inside this commercially-produced scrapbook is a collection of postcards, welcome booklets, travel ephemera, and training documents collected by an unidentified Japanese sailor of the Renshu Kantai 練習艦隊, the Japanese Imperial Navy’s Training Fleet, during a 1936 voyage to the United States. From 1903 to 1940, the Renshu Kantai took such training deployment cruises almost every year, with graduates of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, the Naval Engineering Academy, and the Naval Paymasters Academy spending several months traveling around the Pacific Ocean, occasionally venturing as far as the Mediterranean Sea or the East Coast of the United States. The 1936 cruise (lasting from June 9 to November 3) saw Vice-Admiral Zengo Yoshida commanding the ships Yakumo and Iwate as they sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Yokosuka to Seattle, down along the West Coast and up through the Panama Canal as far as New York City. –Japanese Naval Cruise Books and the Renshu Kantai by Michael P. Williams

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character that finds a vintage scrapbook that uncovers a mystery.

Journaling Prompt: How do you save things that you want to remember?

Art Prompt: Vintage Scrapbook
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the value of keeping memorabilia and how they can easily and inexpensively get started.

Photo Credit: Charlton Clemens on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for September 25, 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

LiAnnah Jameson presents Creativity in 140 Characters or Fewer posted at IFIDIENOWWHOWILLFEEDMYCATS.

Kristen Lamb presents Emotional Toughness—How Haters & Hurt Feelings Can Be GOOD for Us posted at Warrior Writers.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt


In response to Prompt #139: First Line of the Week – Long Dark Teatime of the Soul:


In response to Prompt #211 First Line of the Week – Hunter S. Thompson:






Sharing Our Work

Eula McLeod presents Playground Lies posted at View from the Winepress.

Jena presents The City Moose and the Country Moose posted at Painting with Words.

Creativity Quote of the Week


Writing Tips

Mark Nichol presents How to Write a Book Review posted at Daily Writing Tips.

Janice Hardy presents Should You Have an Alpha Reader? posted at Fiction University.

KM Weiland presents Whom Should You Be Writing For? Yourself or Your Readers? posted at WordPlay.

Jody presents Ten Techniques for Getting Tension on Every Page posted at Jody Hedlund.

Mary Carroll Moore presents Emotional Peaks: How to Make Sure They’re in Your Scenes and Chapters posted at How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.

Rayne Hall presents Writing Scary Scenes posted at Romance University.

Anthony Ehlers presents Write Your Novel In A Year – Week 20: Getting To The Heart Of The Story posted at Writers Write.

Jill Williamson presents #WeWriteBooks, Post 16: Dividing Your Book Into Chapters and Scenes—And How to End Them posted at Go Teen Writers.

Julia Reffner presents Every Day You Get Our Best: Lessons in Viral Marketing from One of the Nation’s Top Supermarkets posted at The Writers Alley.

Angela Ackerman presents Let’s Get Sensory: Powering Scenes Using The 5 Senses posted at Elizabeth Spann Craig.


Steff Green presents Blogger for Hire: How to Find Blogging Jobs posted at Daily Blog Tips.

Jennifer Brown Banks presents 3 Legal Issues That Can Enhance Your Blogging Efforts posted at Pen & Prosper.


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

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Comebacks, Engagement and Spousal Support (with Robert Scanlon).

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Creating and Keeping Ideal Creative Habits.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Two Different Approaches to Successful Pre-Orders.

This week’s podcast at The Creative Penn is all about Writing Lesbian Fiction With Clare Lydon.

Visual Arts

Christopher Jobson presents Brooding Cityscapes Painted with Oils by Jeremy Mann posted at This is Colossal.

The Business of Creativity

Rachelle presents How to Get Published posted at Rachelle Gardner.

Carol Tice presents How Freelancers Get Hired Online: The Essential To-Do List posted at Make a Living Writing.

Callie Oettinger presents Write Your Bio (a.k.a. an answer for Michael Beverly) posted at Steven Pressfield Online.

Susan Spann presents Publishing Deals: A Warning About Nondisclosure Clauses posted at Writers in the Storm.

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: Chris on Flickr


“Say again, Control. Should I cut the red or the blue wire?” –CUT THE BLUE WIRE BY PATRICK MAHON

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’s the worst emergency that  you’ve ever had to handle? How do you feel you did?

Art Prompt: Bomb!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a day in the life of the bomb squad.

Photo Credit: Jonathan on Flickr


jorum n

  • (countable) A large vessel for drinking (usually alcoholic beverages).
  • (countable, figuratively) A large quantity.
  • (countable, uncountable) The contents, or quantity of the contents, of such a vessel.


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

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about people who drink large quantities of alcohol?

Art Prompt: Jorum

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

Photo Credit: Sarah E. Bond on Flickr


Arnie Schwartz had always looked for ways to make an easy buck. He was generally lazy and thus, strongly believed in the concept of getting as much as possible for the least effort. He didn’t hide this fact and often boasted that this was the main reason why he had gone to work for the government. Decent gains for little effort. –The Consultant: A Vigilante Series crime thriller by Claude Bouchard

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a lazy person who works for the government.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone at work you know who is lazy and how they get away with it.

Art Prompt: Bureaucrat

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how they can be more effective and productive in their jobs.

Photo Credit: Michigan Municipal League on Flickr