Find that pen and notebook!

writing in a notebook

In my last post, I linked to Chris Gayomali’s piece on on four benefits of writing by hand.

Further research generated this interesting post on

9 Incredible Ways Writing By Hand Benefits Our Bodies and Brains

by Johanna Silver


Writing by hand:

  1. taps into both sides of the brain.
  2. enhances our focus. There are no links to click or ads popping up.
  3. eases anxiety. Get those frustrations down on paper!
  4. increases comprehension. Research backs up this observation.


Three More Ways to Spur Your Creativity

dog wearing glasses; dog sitting in front of a laptop
Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

More from

201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity

— Keep a box labeled for each project. Toss everything in the box, and don’t worry about misplacing things or ideas.

from Amy Ng of Pikaland

— Choose just one creative aim for the day. What one creative project can you begin/continue/finish today?

from Dan Goodwin’s Wakeful Ways at A Big Creative Yes

— Think on paper. With a bunch of loose paper, start jotting ideas down. Here are four benefits of writing by hand.

from Jacob Cass at Just Creative Design


“Life can be so complex.”

Digital thoughts…

What the hey?! Even though they have backyards for convenient placement of those unsightly beasts-on-wheels, since when did homeowners find it attractive to leave their trash/recycling/yard waste barrels out for weeks on end? [Yeah, sounds ‘get off my lawn-ish’, doesn’t it?]


Which logically leads to my concerns about fortune cookies…

The other night, I had three of them lined up for late night consumption with [product placement alert!] Yogi ginger tea. Could I enjoy them? Nope. Haunted by the following…

  • Is it bad juju to break and eat the cookie before reading the fortune?
  • Am I doomed if the cookie breaks before I even remove it from the wrapper?
  • Does the exact opposite fate await me if I break protocol?
  • Worse yet, is it bad form to eat all three cookies and then read all three fortunes?
  • And should I read them in the same order as the order in which I ate the cookies?
  • Is there a proper technique to break open the cookie?
fortune cookies on a dish
Aren’t you wondering what the rest of that fortune says?

Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay


And speaking of questionable juju…

In Hallmark Channel’s Garage Sale Mysteries, Lori Laughlin has a daughter attending college. Did that fictional daughter also get accepted based on false pretenses?

bubble gum on sidewalk sticking to the sole of a boot
Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay



Accountability Counts for Something

do it accountableI should be writing. Instead, I’m making waffles—four types: plain, raisin, cranberry/walnut, cheese/walnut.

Waffles with grated cheese on top

It’s a Saturday, so, I guess that gives me license to procrastinate.

But I have found one thing: If I don’t have the need to report into the 500-Word-a-Day Facebook group, I don’t do the 500 words. I still work on my projects, but there is something about the self-imposed ’obligation’ to write that gets the juices flowing and, once the warmup words are spewed, often results in better work later in the day. Some of the words are spent on planning for projects, some are directed towards project pep talks [i.e. verbal butt-kickings], and some are sent to blog posts [lucky you]. And it does feel good to report in to the ‘500 Group’ , as I call it.

Why did I take the break from the FB group?

I just figured they had better things to do than even to click a ‘like’ or a thumbs-up.

I don’t check for results, per se. But it is helpful to have posted the daily results.

And I misguidedly thought the ‘Daily 500’ was taking energy away from the other verbal ventures.

I’m 200+ words into this warmup, but I’m wondering if other writers have similar bouts with similar weird little roller coaster rides.

In the meantime, I’m halfway—229/500, but who’s counting?] toward my daily goal and it feels good that I have turned my back on a few household chores in favor of a little writing.


Black dog hanging out on the deck
Not easy to take a photo with the MacBook’s camera, especially if you’re a bungling idiot.

Still on the procrastination thread, as the weather improves, Buddy is adjusting to new locations to either: a) Fully support my writing routine.  b) Assertively heap on the guilt for not tending to his every nutritional or entertainment need.

201 Ways to Spur Your Creativity

person with Person sitting on couch

This guest post by Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering can be found at

201 Ways to Arouse Your Creativity

She compiled these suggestions from a number of sources.

  1. from Alison Motluk: “Seek out creative company. The best ideas are forged not in moments of solitary genius, but during exchanges with trusted colleagues.” [Note: Austin Kleon calls this creative company a ‘scenius‘.]
    Five silhouettes looking outward
  2. from Jacob Cass at Just Creative Designs:  “Mindmap. Whether you use key words, images, colours, a hierarchy system, numbers, outlines, circles or random words, mindmapping gets your creative juices flowing.”

    light bulb surrounded by mind map set against chalkboard

  3. from Steve Pavlina:  “Architect a worthy challenge. If a task is too easy, you don’t need to be particularly creative, so your creative self will simply say, “You can manage this one without me.”

    outline of person with a choice to follow one of three arrows/directions

Ten Writing Prompts for March 11


  1. “Ready? Now close your eyes and count back from twenty…”

  2. They had everything and we had nothing…

  3. We never expected our innocent little lemonade stand to…

  4. It was pure joy/boredom/hate/love at first sight…

  5. Title: Night of the Zombies

  6. Title: Donald Trump Meets Forrest Gump

  7. My cruel words hung in the air…

  8. He had bit the hand that fed him…

  9. Luckily, Superman does exist…

  10. “Okay, soldiers/kids/Mr. President, pat your head and rub your stomach…”

Seize the moment…


So it’s like this.

My friend from NY sent me a quick email telling me a classmate of ours from junior high had passed away…a year ago.

M was always a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and he was the same way as we went facemark-to-facemask in a junior college football game in 1972. And the same way as he served customers at his dad’s fish market and at the restaurant he started in the 80’s.

While I hadn’t seen him for decades, his passing hit me a little harder.

Maybe each succeeding loss of a contemporary does that now…but it was yet another reminder, a tug at my insides, with the familiar message…”What in God’s name are you waiting for? Get out there and make stuff!”

Yeah…it doesn’t have to be good—especially at first. It has to be done, so you have something to build on, a reference point.

And let’s all assume we’re not going to live forever, so it’s time to build some creative momentum.

It doesn’t have to be a leap. Even a step will do. But let’s aim together to be in a different place than we were the day before.

How to Never Miss a Day of Creative Work


  1. “Take the minimal viable action of sitting down at your desk…”
  2. “Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.”
  3. “It’s better to lower your standards and actually follow through…”


Let your mind wander

I’ve been reading The Wander Society by Keri Smith. And it got me to thinking about the wandering mind.

Here’s an interesting post on one writer’s research into and use of that valuable resource.

Why Writers Should Let Their Minds Wander

Which led to this fun foray of my own.

I noticed recently that Vanderbilt University extended the contract for their bowling coach.

A few thoughts, and many more questions than answers.

What does pre-season training look like? Powering down six-packs and then rolling a game or two? Practicing high-fives and, after the training table beer consumption, hoping to make hand-to-hand high-five contact?

Where do they travel? And what do they travel in?

Are there rankings?

Is there a TV contract?

What league are they in?

What does a coach’s recruiting trip look like? How do they win over a bowling prospect’s parents? What side benefits are they offered?

Has any school been put on probation for recruiting violations? Or for lack of institutional control?

Does the NCAA oversee bowling programs?

Is there a ‘one-and-done’ rule as in basketball?

Are there pre-match bonfires? Pep rallies? Do cheerleaders show up at competition and do they have to wear bowling shoes when doing their routines?

What does halftime entertainment look like? Where do you fit an entire college band?

Do they have to work their schedule around the Alley Cats, Nimble Seniors, and Mixed Minglers Leagues?

Are there playoffs? Sponsored bowl games? [Ironic label, eh?] No doubt, Brunswick would be one of the companies ponying up some cash.

What does a coach’s contract look like? Is it incentive-laden and if so, what are the incentives?

Uniforms? What do they look like? Are Nike, Adidas, Under Armour clamoring for bowling shoe sponsorship?

What about team trainers? What are the most prevalent injuries?

Are referees needed? What would unsportsmanlike conduct look like? What would targeting look like in a bowling match? Illegal motion? And are they called ‘matches’? Duels? Alley-fights?

Have Las Vegas oddsmakers gotten involved?

How can you ‘throw a game’ without attracting suspicion?

Is there such a thing as ‘home lane advantage’?

Yes, pretty pathetic that I’ve expended that much energy on this, but…when dealing with reality is the alternative, suddenly obsessing over college bowling starts to make sense.