Currently viewing the tag: "quirks"

There is in human nature a compulsion to repeat… It compels us to do again and again what we’ve done before, to attempt to restore an earlier state of being. It impels us to transfer the past – our ancient longings, our defenses against those longings – on to the present. –Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst

Fiction Writing Prompt: What is your protagonist compelled to repeat? How does this feed the conflict in your story?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a pattern that recurs in your life and what you are seeking to accomplish through it.

Art Prompt: Repetition compulsion

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the repetition compulsion, either with a humorous or dramatic personal story.

Photo Credit: mari moon on Flickr


Even daredevils need to watch where they step. In 1911, Bobby Leach became the second person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He had been a circus performer earlier in life, and was said to have narrowly missed death on numerous occasions. So he was no stranger to extreme stunts when he decided to descend the Falls in a large steel barrel. During the plunge Bobby broke both kneecaps and his jaw, and spent six months in the hospital recovering. But he received major publicity after his stunt, and toured the world for years after with his dented steel barrel (click below to see a photo). Ironically, it was a much more mundane obstacle that caused Leach’s death. He slipped on an orange peel in 1926, breaking his leg (supposedly still weak from his Niagara experience). It soon became infected with gangrene and needed to be amputated. After the amputation, his health took a turn for the worse and he died soon after. I guess once you’ve survived Niagara Falls in a barrel, you’ve used up most of your luck. –Justin Kitsch,

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a daredevil whose luck runs out.

Journaling Prompt: What do you think about daredevils? Are they show offs or incredibly brave? Do they have a death wish? What do you think you can learn from daredevils?

Art Prompt: Daredevil

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the story of a famous daredevil and tell them what they can learn about leading a more full life from the story.

Book hoarder  (28 Jan 13)

Hendrix Law of Hoarding: You will never need any of those old items you are hoarding, unless you throw them away. –Notes of a Nobody by Cary Hendrix

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story inspired by the Hendrix Law of Hoarding.

Journaling Prompt: What are you afraid to throw or give away? Why?

Art Prompt: Hendrix Law of Hoarding

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story based on the Hendrix Law of Hoarding.

Photo Credit: Ed Brownson on Flickr

~ L.U.C.K ~

Theodore Brooks couldn’t believe his luck. -Dark Reality by Richard M. O’Donnell

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 a time when your luck was so good or so bad you couldn’t believe it.

Art Prompt: I couldn’t believe my luck

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an incident spurred by bad luck.

Photo Credit: Mohammed Alnaser on Flickr

Paris 2013: Shakespeare & Company

Writers doing research are a sojourning breed. We spend our days wandering through other people’s work, diligently searching when we know what we want, exploring for epiphany when we don’t; dallying for a short time between one set of bound pages, practically setting up house in the next. –The Chalice and the Blade by Tara Janzen

Fiction Writing Prompt: What are your research habits? How is the research you are working on going in to your character sketch? How does your character research?

Journaling Prompt: How do you research something you need to know?

Art Prompt: Writers and research

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to research a topic.

Photo Credit: Jim Forest on Flickr

Living Room

Hoarding is considered an offshoot of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but recently this categorization is being reevaluated. It’s estimated that about one in four people with OCD also are compulsive hoarders. It is possible that some time in the future hoarding will become its own distinct category. In the meantime, it’s very real, and more and more people are opening up about the difficulty hoarding presents in their lives.
Without exception, hoarding is always accompanied by varying levels of anxiety and sometime develops alongside other mental illnesses such as dementia and schizophrenia…
Hoarding both relieves anxiety and produces it. The more hoarders accumulate, the more insulated they feel from the world and its dangers. Of course, the more they accumulate, the more isolated they become from the world, including family and friends. Even the thought of discarding or cleaning out hoarded items produces extreme feelings of panic and discomfort. –Gregory Jantz, PhD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story of scene about a character who hoards.

Journaling Prompt: What kinds of things do you feel like hoarding? Why?

Art Prompt: Hoarding behavior

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about anxiety and the behavior it can cause.

Photo Credit: ZerO 81 on Flickr

Psychologists do recognize something called the “Pratfall Effect.” There are times when a minor mistake or flaw only increases our good feelings toward a person. We like people who make relatively small mistakes, and we like objects that have minor flaws. It’s not just sympathy for a person in trouble or difficulty. We actually like them more than we would if they were paragons. The only trick is figuring out the right circumstances under which we like these things. –Esther Ingliss-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene or a story using the pratfall effect to endear your character to the reader.

Journaling Prompt: What is a minor mistake or flaw that you see in your best friend that makes him or her more dear to you.

Art Prompt: Pratfall

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the Pratfall Effect and show them how they can use this information to get past things about friends and family that irritate them.

Photo Credit: Eric Fidler on Flickr

slogans for nothing

shibboleth noun

  1. a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons.
  2. a slogan; catchword.
  3. a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.

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

Journaling Prompt: What is a slogan that you live by. Why?

Art Prompt: Shibboleth

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

Photo Credit: Jes on Flickr


To salute a person who sneezed with some form of benediction, was a pagan custom. It is said to have originated through an opinion of the danger attending it; and the exclamation used was: “Jupiter help me!” In Ireland, the pagan custom still remains, but it has been Christianized, and “God bless you!” is substituted for the pagan form. –An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 by Mary Frances Cusack

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a pagan custom that you’ve created. Trace its practice through the centuries.

Journaling Prompt: How do you react if someone around you sneezes or coughs? What protective steps do you take to stay healthy?

Art Prompt: Sneeze

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the origin of some of our customs and rituals.

Photo Credit: Allan Foster on Flickr


My childlike immaturity’s the only thing standing between me and a major midlife crisis. –Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character inspired by today’s quote.

Journaling Prompt: How does your immaturity express itself?

Art Prompt: Childlike immaturity

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write a humorous story about your childlike immaturity.

Photo Credit: Tim Hsu on Flickr