From the monthly archives: January 2018

During the Second World War, the Japanese worked on entomological warfare techniques under Shiro Ishii. Japanese Yagi bombs developed at Pingfan consisted of two compartments, one with houseflies and another with a bacterial slurry that coated the flies prior to release. Vibrio cholerae which cause cholera was the choice and used in China in Baoshan in 1942, and in northern Shandong in 1943. Baoshan had been used by the Allies and bombing produced epidemics that killed 60,000 people in the initial stages reaching a radius of 200 km which finally took a toll of 200,000 victims. The Shandong attack killed 210,000; the occupying Japanese troops had been vaccinated in advance –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving an unlikely weapon.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel about biological warfare.

Art Prompt: Houseflies

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of biological warfare.

Photo Credit: Robert Mitchem on Flickr

April Ann came down with a cold that lingered. She was wracked with coughing. In spite of Brenda’s efforts at doctoring, she grew listless and stopped eating, she was fading away. They had raised a good crop of corn and harvested it before winter hit. It had become their main source of food: cornmeal mush, corn cakes, corndodgers and cornbread. Brenda and John thought the girl might have an allergy that weakened her body, and she could not shake off the cold, which slipped into pneumonia. –Deadly Deadly by M. J. Vigna

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about life and death in an unforgiving setting.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you or someone you loved was very sick.

Art Prompt: Sick unto death

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about life and death in the 1800s.

Photo Credit: Beth on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for January 14th, 2018. 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.

Coming Up Next Week on The Writing Reader

The Creative Mindset

Editor presents Think Like A Champion: Six Lessons Olympic Athletes Can Teach Creative Writers posted at Writers Relief.

Julie presents BUILDING WRITERLY FRIENDSHIPS posted at PubCrawl.

Response to Writing Reader Prompt

Sharing Our Work

Dedra presents Doors; opening and closing life’s doors posted at Dedra Davis Writes.

Writing Tips

Janice Hardy presents What Conflict Really Means posted at Elizabeth Spann Craig.

KM Weiland presents Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 54: Story Events That Don’t Move the Plot posted at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Denise Jaden presents Troubleshooting for Writers: 7 Questions to Ask When You Lose Desire to Finish Your Book posted at Jane Friedman.

Larry Brooks presents The Most Important Aspect of Craft That Gets Almost Zero Airtime posted at Kill Zone.

Cait Reynolds presents Malpractice: Getting Medical Facts Right in Fiction posted at Kristen Lamb.

Kellie McGann presents Here’s How to Focus on Your Writing posted at The Write Practice.

Barry Davret presents This Simple Exercise Solves Two Creative Writing Challenges posted at Medium.

April presents 5 Ways to Make Big Chunks of Time to Write posted at April DaVila.

Miranda Nading presents Defusing Outlining Confusion posted at Romance University.

Jo Eberhardt presents Stories Within Stories (Within Stories) posted at Writer Unboxed.

Lisa Loving Dalton presents Writing Tips Using Acting Techniques: Part 1 posted at Writers and Authors.

Suzanne Pervis presents Getting Your Fabulous Characters into Your Synopsis posted at Writers in the Storm.

Creativity Quote of the Week


Ryan Biddulph presents 1 Skill to Develop for Moving Up in Blogging Circles Quickly posted at Blogging Tips.


This week’s podcast at Mythcreants is all about Throughlines.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Literary vs Genre Fiction.

This week’s podcast at The Creative Penn is all about Writing Christian Fiction And Success Over A Long Career With Jerry B Jenkins.

This week’s podcast at The Joined Up Podcast is all about LifeAfter Podcast Writer Mac Rogers.

This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about What Do Editors Really Want, with Toni Weisskopf and Cat Rambo.

Visual Arts

This meerkat pup was created by Sandra Strait. She runs an awesome blog at Life Imitates Doodles. Click the meerkat to see her Flickr stream for more inspiration.


Bryan Hutchinson presents CAN ONE JOURNAL WRITER INFLUENCE THE WORLD? (LET’S FIND OUT) posted at Positive Writer.

The Business of Creativity

Editor presents 3 Common Mistakes Artists Make in Their Portfolios posted at Illustration Friday.

Joel Friedlander presents Discoverability: Go Wide posted at The Book Designer.

Katherine Mayfield presents How to Format an Ebook for Kindle posted at Funds for Writers.

RJ Crayton presents Amazon Author Central: A Primer posted at Indies Unlimited.

Frances Caballo presents Two Questions I Ask Every Writer posted at Social Media Just for Writers.

Edie Melson presents TWITTER ABCS posted at The Write Conversation.

Eden Fried presents The One Tool Every Freelance Writer Needs to Succeed posted at The Write Life.

Ava Jae presents What I Learned From Debuting posted at Writability.

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: Victory on Big Happy Fun House

The people in my head seem to have been there for a very long time. –Hiking in My Head by Gareth D Jones

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 do the scripts running in your heads try to tell you?

Art Prompt: The voices in my head

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the thoughts they have that seem like they are coming from somewhere else and what they should do about the disturbing ones.

Photo Credit: Janine on Flickr

cavil (verb)
  • to raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily (usually followed by at or about ): He finds something to cavil at in everything I say.
  • to oppose by inconsequential, frivolous, or sham objections: to cavil each item of a proposed agenda.

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

Journaling Prompt: Write about someone who is constantly complaining and how you deal with it.

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

Photo Credit: ttarasiuk on Flickr

A coffin is put into the vault of iron,
where seven children of the king are held.
The ancestors and forebears will come forth from the depths of hell,
lamenting to see thus dead the fruit of their line. –Nostradamas

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story based on this prediction.

Journaling Prompt: What do you believe about the end times?

Art Prompt: Coming forth from the depths of hell

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about Nostradamas and his prophecies.

Photo Credit: Gustave Dore Inferno Canto 21 on Wikimedia

Stephen starts to remember the early days of their marriage when they fought over silly things like furniture. He and Gwen had spent three months shopping for bedroom sets, picking at each other’s tastes for traditional or modern furniture. The young couple had taken almost every Saturday to go shopping to fill their home. Giddy and in love, their fights never lasted long and often ended in the bed. In hindsight, maybe that was why they had been so careful in their choices. Stephen wishes their lives could be that easy now – just make love to end an argument. –Time Killer by Todd M Thiede

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a married couple who have fallen out of love.

Journaling Prompt: What do you do when you are falling out of love?

Art Prompt: Falling out of love

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with the fluctuations of feeling in a relationship.

Photo Credit: Nubby Tongue on Flickr

The first record that something was untoward on the Flannan Isles was on 15 December 1900 when the steamer Archtor, on a passage from Philadelphia to Leith, noted in its log that the light was not operational in poor weather conditions… The lighthouse was manned by three men: Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald MacArthur, with a rotating fourth man spending time on shore.

On arrival, the crew and relief keeper found that the flagstaff had no flag, none of the usual provision boxes had been left on the landing stage for re-stocking, and more ominously, none of the lighthouse keepers were there to welcome them ashore. Jim Harvie, captain of Hesperus, gave a strident blast on his whistle and set off a distress flare but no reply was forthcoming.

A boat was launched and Joseph Moore, the relief keeper, was put ashore alone. He found the entrance gate to the compound and main door both closed, the beds unmade, and the clock stopped. Returning to the landing stage with this grim news, he then went back up to the lighthouse with Hesperus’s second-mate and a seaman. A further search revealed that the lamps were cleaned and refilled. A set of oilskins was found, suggesting that one of the keepers had left the lighthouse without them, which was surprising considering the severity of the weather on the date of the last entry in the lighthouse log. The only sign of anything amiss in the lighthouse was an overturned chair by the kitchen table. There was no sign of any of the keepers, neither inside the lighthouse nor anywhere on the island.

Moore and three volunteer seamen were left to attend the light……the men scoured every corner of the island for clues as to the fate of the keepers. They found that everything was intact at the east landing but the west landing provided considerable evidence of damage caused by recent storms. A box at 33 metres (108 ft) above sea level had been broken and its contents strewn about; iron railings were bent over, the iron railway by the path was wrenched out of its concrete, and a rock weighing more than a ton had been displaced above that. On top of the cliff at more than 60 metres (200 ft) above sea level, turf had been ripped away as far as 10 metres (33 ft) from the cliff edge. The missing keepers had kept their log until 9 a.m. on 15 December. The entries made it clear that the damage had occurred before their disappearance –Wikipedia
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about people who go missing and the search for what happened.

Journaling Prompt: What have you lost that you have never been able to find?

Art Prompt: Lost without a trace

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Flannan Isle lighthouse keepers’ disappearance.

Photo Credit: The lighthouse on Eilean Mor on Wikimedia

Damn raccoons. Or with her luck, it would be a bear this time. She welcomed the distraction. –Hope by Sam Rook

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story that starts with a noise in the night.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a scary noise in the night, how you handled it, and what it turned out to be.

Art Prompt: Noise in the night

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic or humorous story about a noise in the night.

Photo Credit: Alyssa L. Miller on Flickr