From the monthly archives: September 2017

Highway 16, the main route into my rural hometown of Emmett, Idaho, winds through a high desert country of sand and sagebrush before the road narrows and suddenly descends into the valley through a steep grade known as Freezeout Hill. –Weeds: A Farm Daughter’s Lament by Evelyn I. Funda

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 your hometown.

Art Prompt: Hometown

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience something unique about your hometown.

Photo Credit: Ken Lund on Flickr

  • Pompous or pretentious speech or writing.

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

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone you think is bombastic and how you feel about what they say.

Art Prompt: Bombast

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

Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yokai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox’s supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.

Conversely foxes were often seen as “witch animals”, especially during the superstitious Edo period (1603–1867), and were goblins who could not be trusted (similar to some badgers and cats). –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving a trickster or kitsune.

Journaling Prompt: What animal do you associate with trickery? Why?

Art Prompt: Kitsune

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the tradition of the kitsune in Japan.

Photo Credit: Christopher Lance on Flickr

My husband used to start my car for me on cold mornings, would turn the heater on full blast as he brushed off the snow and ice. I guess we’re even now. I used to make lunches for him to take to work, but no more. I’d hand him the bulky paper bag with a kiss and a whisper about last night or tonight after the girls are in bed. I packed him heart-healthy meals, since his cholesterol was up: turkey sandwiches on whole wheat, oat bran muffins, baggies of grapes or sliced carrots. I quit doing it when I found the cache of uneaten lunches stuffed behind the seat of his truck, along with the crumpled McDonald’s bags and dented soda cups.

Loving gestures, long gone. –HARD FROST BY REGINA BUTTNER

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a dying love.

Journaling Prompt: What are some loving things you used to do for your spouse or partner that you don’t do anymore? Why?

Art Prompt: Loving gestures

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about some small things they can do to improve their relationship.

Photo Credit: Dennis S. Hurd on Flickr

The City was essentially medieval in its street plan, an overcrowded warren of narrow, winding, cobbled alleys. It had experienced several major fires before 1666, the most recent in 1632. Building with wood and roofing with thatch had been prohibited for centuries, but these cheap materials continued to be used. The only major stone-built area was the wealthy centre of the City, where the mansions of the merchants and brokers stood on spacious lots, surrounded by an inner ring of overcrowded poorer parishes whose every inch of building space was used to accommodate the rapidly growing population. These parishes contained workplaces, many of which were fire hazards—foundries, smithies, glaziers—which were theoretically illegal in the City but tolerated in practice.

The human habitations were crowded to bursting point, intermingled with these sources of heat, sparks, and pollution, and their construction increased the fire risk. The typical six- or seven-storey timbered London tenement houses had “jetties” (projecting upper floors). They had a narrow footprint at ground level, but maximised their use of land by “encroaching” on the street, as a contemporary observer put it, with the gradually increasing size of their upper storeys. The fire hazard was well perceived when the top jetties all but met across the narrow alleys; “as it does facilitate a conflagration, so does it also hinder the remedy”, wrote one observer—but “the covetousness of the citizens and connivancy [corruption] of Magistrates” worked in favour of jetties. In 1661, Charles II issued a proclamation forbidding overhanging windows and jetties, but this was largely ignored by the local government. Charles’s next, sharper message in 1665 warned of the risk of fire from the narrowness of the streets and authorised both imprisonment of recalcitrant builders and demolition of dangerous buildings. It, too, had little impact.

The river front was important in the development of the Great Fire. The Thames offered water for firefighting and the chance of escape by boat, but the poorer districts along the riverfront had stores and cellars of combustibles which increased the fire risk. All along the wharves, the rickety wooden tenements and tar paper shacks of the poor were shoehorned amongst “old paper buildings and the most combustible matter of tarr, pitch, hemp, rosen, and flax which was all layd up thereabouts.”

London was also full of black powder, especially along the river front. Much of it was left in the homes of private citizens from the days of the English Civil War, as the former members of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army still retained their muskets and the powder with which to load them. Five to six hundred tons of powder was stored in the Tower of London. The ship chandlers along the wharves also held large stocks, stored in wooden barrels. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during a catastrophe.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a dangerous condition you have at home or work.

Art Prompt: Fire

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the great fire of London.

“I’m so sorry.”

As the words slipped from Jane’s mouth, another blue Line of Apology on her arm disappeared in a searing–but brief–slice of pain. She only had ten Apology Lines left. Most people her age had blue streaks marking their arms all the way to shoulder. –Apology Accepted by Kathryn Felice Board

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a world where empathy is a real, but limited power. How will your protagonist use it?

Journaling Prompt: Write about the best and worst apologies you’ve ever recieved.

Art Prompt: I’m so sorry

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to apologize properly.

Photo Credit: bronx. on Flickr

Create whatever this visual prompt inspires in you!

Photo Credit: Pasquale Paolo Cardo on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for September 23, 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

Jeff Goins presents The Real Reason We Don’t Set Goals posted at Goins Writer.

John Soares presents How Deep Work Makes You A Better and More Productive Writer posted at Productive Writers.

Sharing Our Work

Jena presents Sweet Saturday and My Moose Jaw Home posted at Painting with Words.

Creativity Quote of the Week

Writing Tips

Althia Brown presents Pushing the Plot Forward—Tying (and Trimming) Loose Ends for a Tidy Finish posted at Fiction University.

Sandy Kirby Quandt presents How to Write a Devotional in 300 Words or Less posted at Women on Writing.

CS Lakin presents 3 Hard Truths I’ve Learned about Novel Writing posted at Live Write Thrive.

Grant Alter presents Adapting Novels Into Comic Books — An Inside Look posted at Mythic Scribes.

Paula Hicks presents Classical Hero: How Make This Character Work for Your Novel posted at Novel Publicity.

Nan Reinhardt presents Some Formatting Tips That Will Make Your Copy Editor Happy posted at Romance University.

Fae Rowen presents Eight Easy Ways for Your Characters to Show Love posted at Writers in the Storm.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Hiring an Editor with Callie Stoker.

This week’s podcast at The Sell More Books Show is all about Raw Links, Wish Lists, and the Long Tail.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Packaging Your Product.

This week’s podcast at Mythcreants is all about Depicting Microaggressions.

This week’s podcast at Rocking Self-Publishing is all about Getting Book Reviews as a New Author with Derek Siddoway.

Visual Arts

Dave Fitzsimmons presents 360 Photography 101: How To Get Started posted at 500px.

The Business of Creativity

Carol Tice presents Young Writers: Earn Big With These Vital Mindset Changes posted at Make a Living Writing.

Bryan Hutchinson presents You’re Better at Selling Your Writing Than You Think (Tips that Work!) posted at Positive Writers.

Jennifer Brown Banks presents Why I Joined the EBooks Bandwagon posted at Pen & Prosper.

Frances Caballo presents How to Use Social Media for Your Book Launch? Use These 9 Tips posted at Social Media Just for Writers.

Sophia Bernazzani presents 11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why) posted at HubSpot.

Naomi Bacon presents Harnessing the power of YouTube for books posted at The Book Seller.

Dave Chilton presents How to Pitch the Media (Without Even Sending Your Book) posted at Jane Friedman.

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


I once knew a girl who wouldn’t eat apples. –The Color Master by Aimee Bender

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 your strangest trait.

Art Prompt: Apples

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a funny story about one of your unusual traits and how it got you into trouble.

Photo Credit: Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr

  • the act of increasing one’s own power, importance, etc, esp in an aggressive or ruthless manner

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

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when someone you know engages in self-aggrandizement.

Art Prompt: Self-aggrandizement

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

Photo Credit: seen on Twitter