From the monthly archives: February 2017

“In the early 19th century, only men were admitted to the medical schools in Britain, and discovery of the sex of the young medical student would have ruined any chance of success,” writes du Preez.

In 1806, her uncle James Barry passed away and left his fortune to the family. In turn, Bulkley assumed Barry’s name and used the money to finance three years of medical studies at the University of Edinburgh beginning in December 1809.

The new James Barry was a diligent student. Barry pursued a diverse load of coursework, ranging from anatomy and surgery, botany, and midwifery. The number of subjects Barry studied was only exceeded by one Army medical officer and matched by one other student in his cohort of over 45 doctors, wrote du Preez.

In 1812, Barry was nearly exposed on the cusp of graduating. Edinburgh authorities tried to bar Barry from taking the four-stage final exams, claiming that the student looked underage but likely suspecting more. Yet at the time it was not unusual to see 16-year-olds at medical schools, and the ban was not enforced. After completing a thesis on the femoral hernia (primarily a female condition), Barry became the first woman to graduate from a medical school in Britain…

Barry joined the British Army’s medical unit in 1813. It’s unknown how the young doctor passed the mandatory physical exams, but scholars believe Lord Buchan, a nobleman who had been a friend and supporter of her late uncle, likely played a role. In 1815, Barry was appointed as colonial medical inspector in Cape Colony, South Africa, and was granted authority over all medical, surgical, and public health matters in the colony. –The First Female Doctor in Britain Spent 56 Years Disguised as a Man by Lauren Young

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who has to use a disguise to pursue a dream.

Journaling Prompt: Would you be brave enough to do what this woman did in order to pursue a goal?

Art Prompt: Playing Doctor

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a stranger than fiction story that is 100% true.

Photo Credit: James Barry (surgeon) on Wikimedia

A long speech is selfish and unpardonable. It wearies the guests, destroys variety, and crowds others out of the places to which they have been assigned and are entitled. –Toasts and Forms of Public Address for Those Who Wish to Say the Right Thing in the Right Way

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of something that goes undetected during a long, boring speech.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a speech that bored you. What was it about? Why was it boring?

Art Prompt: I’m bored!
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience why time management matters in presentations and speeches. 

Photo Credit: Joe Erlewein on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for February 26 2017. 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

Ali Luke presents How to Take Back Control of Your Time (and Fit More Writing In) posted at AliVentures.

Lauren presents BECOMING A WRITER IN YOUR 40S, 50S, AND BEYOND posted at Lauren Sapala.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Rosemary Carlson presents Forgiveness in response to Prompt #953 Forgiveness.

Mark Gardner presents Moonrise CH41 – To Forbidden Passengers in response to Prompt #2006 Don’t Panic!.

Reena Saxeena presents The Portrait in response to Prompt #1983 First Line of the Week – Corrine Kenner.

Sharing Our Work

Nada Adel presents Connecting with the Old World – Poem posted at Nadaness in Motion.

Tabitha Stapleton-Napier presents Vroom! posted at Cattywampussie. (NSFW)

Creativity Quote of the Week



Writing Tips

KM Weiland presents A Surefire Way to Raise the Stakes in Your Story posted at WordPlay.

James R. Tuck presents Tick–Tick–Tension: Setting the Clock posted at Fiction University.

Mary Carroll Moore presents Time Markers: How to Keep a Reader on Track with Your Story posted at How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.


Nina Amir presents Use Content Curation to Build Expert Status posted at How to Blog a Book.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Elemental Issue Q&A, with DongWon Song.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Doing your own Public Relations with Christopher Lombardo.

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Taylor Swift, Weighted Reviews, and Gaming the System.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Rescue Your Writing Career.

This week’s podcast at Mythcreants is all about When Good Guys Fight.


Need a laugh? Here you go! Not necessarily safe for work!

The Business of Creativity

Chuck Sambuchino presents How to Maximize a Book Festival Appearance: 9 Tips posted at Writers Digest.

Katja Kaine presents 7 ways your author website might be hurting you (and how to fix them) posted at Novel Publicity.

Bryan Hutchinson presents How to Stand Out as a Writer and Sell Your Work posted at Positive Writer.

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: Men on Last Door Down the Hall Blog

The stranger stared at Dora’s package. –Key To Lawrence by Linda Cargill

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 when a stranger stares at you? What do you do about it?

Art Prompt: Mystery package

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a strange package.

booklegging n
  • The illicit publication and distribution of banned books.

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

Journaling Prompt: What’s your favorite banned book?

Art Prompt: Booklegging

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

Photo Credit: The COM Library on Flickr

When Columbus first arrived in the New World, he described the indigenous people as friendly and causing no problems. He had been told by Queen Isabella to treat these people with respect and kindness, except if it became clear they are cannibals, in which case, all bets were off. Initially, the Spanish were looking for gold and, when they didn’t find it, they figured that the next best thing was slaves.

Lo and behold, when Columbus came back, the indigenous people who had previously been classified as friendly were suddenly described as cannibals, so you could do anything to them. You could enslave them, take their land, murder them, and treat them like pestilence. And that’s exactly what happened, with the result that a lot of the islands were de-populated. The idea of cannibalism as a taboo was used to de-humanize the people encountered on these conquests. –Cannibalism—the Ultimate Taboo—Is Surprisingly Common by Simon Worrall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving cannibalism.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the way that Columbus and other explorers dealt with natives in the new world?

Art Prompt: Cannibalism

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about cannibalism in the natural world.

Photo Credit: A Cannibal Feast in Fiji, 1869 on Wikimedia

On the 20th of March in 2019, Life Pharmaceuticals finally received Food and Drug Administration approval to market their new product LifereNew. This revolutionary product used micro-machines called nanites to repair cells. The nanites were so small, they could actually repair DNA, reverse the aging process, repair body damage and maintain the body. The promise was that after taking the product, you would lead a long life in a fit, young body. Most of humanity had dreamed of such a product. Needless to say, when LifereNew was approved, there was a rush on the market. People lined up to pay the $1,500,000 for the treatment, which potentially would extend their life hundreds and maybe thousands of years, while looking and feeling young and fit. New ReLife loans were set up so anyone could afford treatment, even though some folks would be paying back the loans for decades to come. Within six months, more than four million Americans experienced this life-changing procedure, the majority of those being rich retirees desperate to fend off death and start life anew. Not having to wait for a loan, they were the first to receive treatment. They became known as the New Lifers. –ZomoSapienS by David Moon

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society where some people can afford to live as a young person forever but most people can’t.

Journaling Prompt: If you could afford this kind of treatment, would you have it? Why or why not?

Art Prompt: Fountain of Youth

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the current research in nanotechnology.

Photo Credit: Aida diLeto Lundquist on Flickr

…researchers assessed each individual’s homelessness, inpatient mental-health treatment, psychological symptoms of mental illness, substance use and as victims or perpetrators of violence. The researchers evaluated all of these items as both indicators and outcomes — i.e., as both causes and effects.

“We found that all of these indicators mattered, but often in different ways,” says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper. “For example, drug use was a leading indicator of committing violence, while alcohol use was a leading indicator of being a victim of violence.”

However, the researchers also found that one particular category of psychological symptoms was also closely associated with violence: affective symptoms.

“By affect, we mean symptoms including anxiety, depressive symptoms and poor impulse control,” Desmarais says. “The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence…

…on average, the researchers found that one event in which a person was a victim of violence triggered seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness and becoming perpetrators of violence. Those seven effects, on average, triggered an additional 39 additional effects.

“It’s a complex series of interactions that spirals over time, exacerbating substance use, mental-health problems and violent behavior,” Van Dorn says. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a protagonist with poor impulse control and high anxiety.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the state of your mental health and how it affects your behavior.

Art Prompt: Mental Illness and Violence

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about the complicated relationship between mental illness and violence.

Photo Credit: Alvaro Tapia on Flickr

“Don’t panic.”
“I’m not panicking, I’m watching you panic. It’s more entertaining.”

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where two people are trying not to panic.

Journaling Prompt: Write about what makes you panic and what you do when you’re panicked.

Art Prompt: Don’t panic!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time that made you panic.

Photo Credit: Barry Mulling on Flickr