From the monthly archives: March 2017

Civilization existed before money, but probably wouldn’t have gotten very far without it. Ancient humans’ invention of money was a revolutionary milestone. It helped to drive the development of civilization, by making it easier not just to buy and sell goods, but to pay workers in an increasing number of specialized trades—craftsmen, artists, merchants, and soldiers, to name a few. It also helped connect the world, by enabling traders to roam across continents and oceans to buy and sell goods, and investors to amass wealth…

In the centuries that followed, trade routes forged more cultural connections between nations and regions. Besides exchanging money and goods, traders also spread religious beliefs, knowledge and new inventions, creating cross-pollination among far-flung cultures. –The Journey of Humankind: How Money Made Us Modern By Patrick J. Kiger

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that shows how money spreads between cultures.

Journaling Prompt: How does money exchange feel to you? 

Art Prompt: Spread of civilization

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story of how trade and money created today’s world.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Chard  on Flickr


What happened in the next moments happened in a blur, a blur which streamed so quickly that the memory of that moment was difficult for those present to recall accurately. –The Keeper of the Stone by Mr. J. E. Jardine

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene in which the conflict arises from the protagonist’s inability to remember things clearly.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a traumatic event that happened in your life.

Art Prompt: It was all a blur

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how memories are affected by trauma.

Photo Credit: gideon ansell on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for March 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.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Reena Saxena presents Unique in response to Prompt #2005 Visual Prompt of the Week – The Promise.

Mark Gardner presents Moonrise CH45 – Neon Camouflage in response to Prompt #2034 Just Another Day…. for a Spy.


Creativity Quote of the Week

Writing Tips

Janice Hardy presents 5 Ways to Tell if a Subplot is Leading You Astray posted at Fiction University.

Mary Carroll Moore presents Thematic Threads: How to Build Them in Your Fiction or Memoir posted at How to Plan, Write and Develp a Book.

Kevin McNamara presents 7 Secrets of Creating a Memorable Character posted at Novel Publicity.

Joann Penn presents The Importance of Character When Plotting Your Novel posted at The Creative Penn.


Tee R presents 4 Sure-fire Ways to Always Find the Time to Write (No Matter How Busy You Are) posted at Be a Freelance Blogger.


This week’s podcast at Mythcreants is all about Working With Feedback.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Creating a Whole New Genre with JA Huss.

This week’s podcast at Rocking Self-Publishing is all about Diversifying Your Income with Rachael Herron.

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Fisking, Transparency, and the Kindle Underground.

This week’s podcast at The Story Tool Kit is all about Dumb & Dumber To — Character and Plot in Comedy.

This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Four Step Strategy for Selling More in Less Time on Social Media.

The Business of Creativity

Leigh W. Stuart presents 5 Year Plan & Book Promotion posted at Paving My Author’s Road.

Debbie Young presents 1 Simple Marketing Tip to Boost the Reach of Author Facebook Pages posted at Self Publishing Advice.

Kelly Gurnett presents How to Make Money Writing: 16 Tips for Finding Gigs Through Upwork posted at The Write Life.

Devyani Borade presents Six Easy Ways to Re-use Your Story Ideas posted at Funds for Writers.

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: Christine und Hagen Graf on Flickr

When Paul’s flight landed in Cleveland, they were waiting for him. –Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus

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: Who would you love to have meet you at the airport?

Art Prompt: At the airport

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous or touching story set in an airport.

Photo Credit: Karen on Flickr


  • Inclined to keep silent; reserved; uncommunicative.
  • Restrained or reserved in style.
  • Reluctant; unwilling.

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

Journaling Prompt: What are you reticent about?

Art Prompt: Reticent

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

Photo Credit: Fouquier ॐ on Flickr

The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world’s population), making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.Disease had already greatly limited life expectancy in the early 20th century. A considerable spike occurred at the time of the pandemic, specifically the year 1918. Life expectancy dropped by about 12 years.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults.

There are several possible explanations for the high mortality of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some research suggests that the specific variant of the virus had an unusual aggressive nature. One group of researchers recovered the original virus from the bodies of frozen victims, and found that transfection in animals caused a rapid progressive respiratory failure and death through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body’s immune system). It was then postulated that the strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.

More recent investigations, mainly based on original medical reports from the period of the pandemic, found that the viral infections itself was not more aggressive than any previous influenza, but that the special circumstances (malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, poor hygiene) promoted bacterial superinfection that killed most of the victims typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in the time of a world-wide pandemic.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were the most sick you’ve ever been.

Art Prompt: Pandemic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the 1918 pandemic and give them tips for staying healthy during an outbreak at work or home.

Nearly swamping a French trawler, the White Star Lines flagship RMS Titanic pulled away from its last ever contact with land at Queenstown in Ireland on the afternoon of April 11, 1912. –Caldwell Andrew, Their Last Suppers: Legends of History and Their Final Meals

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set on a doomed ship.

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone you lost to a tragic accident.

Art Prompt: Titanic

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a true story set on the Titanic.

Photo Credit: Chris Gafford on Flickr

On March 3, 1993, Saint Joseph Academy high school senior Joey Fischer was shot dead outside his home in Rancho Viejo, an upscale community north of Brownsville, Texas. Dora Cisneros, the mother of his ex-girlfriend, was convicted of orchestrating Fischer’s murder after he broke up with her daughter Cristina. Fischer and Cristina had broken up the previous summer, but Cisneros became obsessed with their relationship and insisted Fischer return to her. After Fischer refused a US$500 offer from Cisneros, she consulted María Mercedes Martínez, a fortuneteller, to cast a spell on him.

The fortuneteller said she was not able to do that, but Cisneros insisted that she would pay to have someone beat him up. Cisneros later decided to have Fischer murdered instead and told Martínez she was willing to pay US$3,000 to anyone who would kill him. Martínez offered to help and Cisneros gave her the money and a photograph of Fischer, who passed it on to one of Martínez’s clients, Daniel Orlando Garza. He then contacted two Mexican hitmen from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Israel Olivarez Cepeda and Heriberto Puentes Pizaña, who shot Fischer and then escaped to Mexico. The killing drew national attention because of the unusual circumstances of the crime.

Garza, troubled by what he had done, confessed to the police that he had acted as a middleman in Fischer’s murder. He cooperated with the police to incriminate Martínez, who then aided in Cisneros’ arrest. Cisneros and Garza were eventually sentenced to life in prison by a state court in 1994, but Cisneros’ sentence was overturned due to a legal technicality. She was convicted again in 1998 by a federal court and sentenced to life in prison. Martínez was given a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty and testifying against the two in court. Though U.S. officials tried to have the two assassins extradited, the hitmen never faced trial in Texas. They were prosecuted in Mexico and handed a 15-year sentence. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story from the POV of a middleman in a murder plot

Journaling Prompt: If you could kill someone and get away with it, would you? 

Art Prompt: Murder!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a murder in your town.

Photo Credit: Henry Marion on Flickr

TODAY WAS A day like any other day for a spy skulking behind enemy lines. Shai hid in a tangle of evergreen hedge as soldiers marched down a path skirting fields. A village lay in the distance, but not a thread of smoke or a single barking dog or laughing child gave evidence that someone might be living there. –Kate Elliott, Traitors’ Gate

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a day in the life of a spy behind enemy lines.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel when you aren’t being completely honest about who you are?

Art Prompt: Behind enemy lines

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

Photo Credit: Wendell on Flickr