Posts by: Liz

  • To treat with contempt and disregard; to show contempt for.
  • To mock, to scoff.
  • Mockery, scoffing.

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

Journaling Prompt: What convention or rule do you flout? (I wear white year-round.)

Art Prompt: Flout

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

Photo Credit: Enric Borràs on Flickr

Late on the night of June 14, 2015, deputy sheriffs in Greene County, Missouri, United States, found the body of Dee Dee Blancharde (born May 3, 1967, Chackbay, Louisiana, as Clauddine Pitre) facedown in the bedroom of her house just outside Springfield, lying on the bed in a pool of blood from the stab wounds that had killed her several days earlier. There was no sign of her teenage daughter, Gypsy Rose, who according to Blancharde suffered from leukemia, asthma, muscular dystrophy and several other chronic conditions, and had the mental capacity of a 7-year-old due to brain damage she had suffered as a result of her premature birth. Her neighbors, who had notified them after growing concerned due to Facebook posts earlier in the evening suggesting she had fallen victim to foul play, were fearful that Gypsy Rose, whose wheelchair and medications were still in the house, might have been abducted and in serious danger.

Police found Gypsy Rose the next day in Wisconsin, where she had traveled with a boyfriend she had met online. She was alive and well, but “things are not always as they appear” the sheriff said the next morning. Public outrage that someone might have had taken advantage of a severely disabled girl to kill her mother gave way to shock, and some sympathy, for Gypsy Rose when investigators soon announced that the younger woman was, in fact, an adult and had none of the physical or mental health issues her mother had represented her as having.

Further investigation found that some of the doctors who had examined Gypsy Rose both locally and in the New Orleans area, where she and her mother had lived before allegedly being displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, had not found any evidence of the claimed disorders and in one case suspected Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MbP). Dee Dee had changed her name slightly after being confronted by her family over her treatment of Gypsy Rose and her possible poisoning of her stepmother. Nonetheless, many people accepted her situation as true, and the two benefited from the efforts of charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Dee Dee, who apparently did have MbP, had been making her daughter pass herself off as younger and pretend to be disabled and chronically ill, in the process subjecting her to unnecessary surgery and medication and controlling her through occasional physical and psychological abuse. MbP expert Marc Feldman says this is the first such case in his quarter-century of experience where the abused child has killed the parent. Gypsy Rose has pled guilty to second-degree murder and is serving a 10-year sentence; her boyfriend is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge. The case was the subject of a 2017 HBO documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest, directed by Erin Lee Carr. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a child who kills a parent and the strange circumstances surrounding it.

Journaling Prompt: What is the strangest disease you’ve ever had?

Art Prompt: Victim

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the strange story of Gypsy Rose.

Photo Credit: Mo springfield.jpg on Wikimedia

It had been 297 days since David died. And 297 since he’d come back, gasped and sat up in a base camp hospital tent covered in warming pads, the defibrillator still buzzing in the medic’s hands, his teeth chattering with cold. –Warm Up by V.E. Schwab

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where your protagonist has a near death experience.

Journaling Prompt: Write about what happened in your life 297 days ago.

Art Prompt: 297 days

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a dramatic story about a near death experience.

Photo Credit: plenty.r. on Flickr

In December 2016, 74 people died in a mass methanol poisoning in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia, Russia. Precipitated by drinking counterfeit surrogate alcohol, the death toll led one news agency to call it “unprecedented in its scale”.

While Russia is one of the highest consumers of alcohol per capita in the world, the use of non-traditional surrogate alcohols rapidly rose in the 2010s due to ongoing economic difficulties in Russia. With a price far below that of government-regulated vodka, surrogates reached an estimated height of twenty percent of the country’s alcohol consumption by 2016. These products were often nearly pure alcohol that could be diluted to a rough approximation of vodka, and were frequently available at all hours via strategically placed vending machines. In the Irkutsk incident, the victims drank scented bath lotion that was mislabeled as containing drinkable ethanol.

In the aftermath of the poisoning, regulations on products being used as surrogate alcohols were tightened around the country. Politicians announced a temporary ban on non-food items with more than 25 percent alcohol, and health officials publicly mooted imposing a state monopoly on Russia’s perfume and pharmaceutical industries. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a mass poisoning set in the world of your current WIP.

Journaling Prompt: How much alcohol do you drink and why do you drink it?

Art Prompt: Drinking death

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the 2016 mass methanol poisoning in Russia.

Photo Credit: Gnusam on Flickr

Justice on the ALbert V Bryan Courthouse in Alexandria VA sends mixed messages. “Justice Delayed Justice Denied” vs. Tortoise and Hare.

I slumped back in my chair, willing my mind to think faster. No human had ever set foot inside Vampire Court. This could be the break I needed in my career to join the big league—the kind of case any lawyer with an ounce of ambition would kill for. Oh. My. God. My mouth went suddenly dry. –The Vampire Code by E.C. Adams

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a legal proceeding involving your protagonist and his/her favorite mythical creature.

Journaling Prompt: How would your life change if your favorite mythical creature were real?

Art Prompt: Vampire Court

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a fantastical tall tale of an encounter with a creature you thought was mythical.

Photo Credit: Dan4th Nicholas on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for June 18, 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

Bryan Hutchinson presents 9 Crippling Beliefs Holding Writers Back From Writing Their Book (and How to Overcome Them) posted at Positive Writer.

Creativity Quote of the Week



Writing Tips

Ali Luke presents How I Wrote More Fiction in 2016 than In Any Other Year (Despite Two Small Children) posted at AliVentures.

Mary Carroll Moore presents Using Pause Breaks to Strengthen the Pacing of Your Story posted at How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.

Janice Hardy presents What to Do When Your Novel’s Too Short posted at Fiction University.

Melissa Abramovitz presents Learning from Rejections posted at The Working Writers Club.

Paula Munier presents Your Novel’s First Scene: How to Start Right posted at Jane Friedman.

Hannah presents MAKING YOUR CHARACTERS DO STUFF posted at Pub Crawl.

Summerita Rhayne presents Secondary Characters in Romance – Yay or Nay posted at Romance University.

Larry Brooks presents Writing In A Corset posted at Story Fix.

Jacob Chambless presents Mental Workouts for Writers posted at Terri Guiliano Long.


Lisa Fourman presents How to Overcome the Biggest Misconceptions About Freelance Blogging posted at Be a Freelance Blogger.

Elvis Michael presents How to Leverage Reddit for Great Blog Post Ideas posted at Blogging Pro.

Ryan Biddulph presents 5 Monetizing Tips for Travel Bloggers posted at Blogging Tips.

Nina Amir presents How to Enter Blogger’s Paradise posted at How to Blog a Book.

Jennifer Brown Banks presents 4 Alternatives to Hanging up Your Blog Hat posted at Pen &s; Prosper.


This week’s podcast at Writing Excuses is all about Diction.

This week’s podcast at The Self-Publishing Broadcast is all about Why Readers Buy the Books They Buy.

This week’s podcast at Rocking Self-Publishing is all about A Book as a Business Card with Rachel Smets.

This week’s podcast at The Author Biz is all about Are You Prepared for Breakout Success with Your Next Book?.

The Business of Creativity

Sandra Beckwith presents 6 book publishing models in 2017 posted at Build Book Buzz.

John Soares presents Lost All Your Freelance Writing Clients? Do This… posted at Productive Writers.

Joel Friedlander presents 7 Signs Your Book is “Professionally Published” posted at The Book Designer.

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: Forgotten Beauty on Last Door Down the Hall Blog

I was sitting in the canteen minding my own business. I had a coffee and a crossword. I swear I wasn’t earwigging, it was just that what she said was arresting. –EARWIGGING BY DEREK MCMILLAN

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 strangest/most interesting thing you’ve overheard in a restaurant?

Art Prompt: Overheard

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an overheard conversation.

Photo Credit: Frederico Pellachin on Flickr

  • A natural inclination; predisposition.

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

Journaling Prompt: Write about one of your proclivities.

Art Prompt: Proclivity

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

Photo Credit: hobvias sudoneighm on Flickr

The Monty Hall problem is a brain teaser, in the form of a probability puzzle (Gruber, Krauss and others), loosely based on the American television game show Let’s Make a Deal and named after its original host, Monty Hall. The problem was originally posed (and solved) in a letter by Steve Selvin to the American Statistician in 1975 (Selvin 1975a), (Selvin 1975b). It became famous as a question from a reader’s letter quoted in Marilyn vos Savant’s “Ask Marilyn” column in Parade magazine in 1990 (vos Savant 1990a):

Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats. You pick a door, say No. 1, and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door, say No. 3, which has a goat. He then says to you, “Do you want to pick door No. 2?” Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?

Vos Savant’s response was that the contestant should switch to the other door (vos Savant 1990a). Under the standard assumptions, contestants who switch have a 2/3 chance of winning the car, while contestants who stick to their initial choice have only a 1/3 chance.
The given probabilities depend on specific assumptions about how the host and contestant choose their doors. A key insight is that, under these standard conditions, there is more information about doors 2 and 3 that was not available at the beginning of the game, when the door 1 was chosen by the player: the host’s deliberate action adds value to the door he did not choose to eliminate, but not to the one chosen by the contestant originally. Another insight is that switching doors is a different action than choosing between the two remaining doors at random, as the first action uses the previous information and the latter does not. Other possible behaviors than the one described can reveal different additional information, or none at all, and yield different probabilities.

Many readers of vos Savant’s column refused to believe switching is beneficial despite her explanation. After the problem appeared in Parade, approximately 10,000 readers, including nearly 1,000 with PhDs, wrote to the magazine, most of them claiming vos Savant was wrong (Tierney 1991). Even when given explanations, simulations, and formal mathematical proofs, many people still do not accept that switching is the best strategy (vos Savant 1991a). Paul Erdos, one of the most prolific mathematicians in history, remained unconvinced until he was shown a computer simulation demonstrating the predicted result (Vazsonyi 1999).

The problem is a paradox of the veridical type, because the correct result (you should switch doors) is so counterintuitive it can seem absurd, but is nevertheless demonstrably true. –Wikipedia

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the problem facing the protagonist can only be solved by doing the opposite of what makes sense.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your favorite game show.

Art Prompt: Let’s make a deal!

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Monty Hall problem and the controversy over vos Savant’s column about it.

Photo Credit: Monty hall abc tv on Wikimedia