“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



Ten more writing prompts…and one more Warmup strategy.

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Another use: I have reduced one of my hard copies to 1000 strips of paper, each containing a Warmup. I pull out four or five at a time and see what story develops.
[Note: My first ebook of Writing Warmups is currently free.]

  1. “Why don’t you come with us?” As she considered the request, the three of us turned our backs and winced.
  2. “Don’t sweat it. You’ll get the hang of it.”
  3. I swear when I grabbed her hand for the first time, a jolt of electricity shot up my arm.
  4. “How do you get anything done in here?” 
  5. “All due respect…” Oh, geez, I knew anything but respect was on its way.
  6. The deadline was approaching, but our solutions weren’t.
  7. “So, what’ll it be—root canal or a date with my brother?”
  8. “Should my hands be sweating like this?”
  9. “Let’s just make believe we get along…just for tonight.”
  10. “What is it with you? Why does everything have to be so organized?”

**Photo by Jeremy Beck on Unsplash


Another ten writing warmups…

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Another of my writing prompt strategies…

I often merge two or more Warmups into a scene for practice writing or one that might show up in a work-in-progress. [Note: My first book of Writing Warmups is currently free.]

  1. “Let’s just say your mom will not be pleased.”
  2. She was a master at starting rumors about herself.
  3. “Hey, don’t look at me. I’m just the middle man!”
  4. His family business was impeding our progress, not to mention his parenting skills.
  5. We’d been looking at the wrong person this whole time.
  6. Her nationality remained a mystery…to us…even to her parents.
  7. And so began my climb up the corporate ladder…
  8. “Just one more problem.” He showed us the photo.
  9. “We will probably need some reinforcements after a couple of hours.” “Are you kidding me? We’re talking about a group of kindergarteners!”
  10. “Oh, I forgot to mention…”

**Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash

Ten more writing prompts…and yet another way I use them.


Another way I use my writing warmups: I will close a mediocre writing day with a burst of Warmup-inspired words to help kickstart  my next session. [Note: My first ebook of Writing Warmups is currently free.]

  1. “He gave me a detailed description of what he wanted.” I held it up. “This is as close as I could get.”
  2. The speaker hobbled across the stage to the podium. I leaned to my buddy. “This is going to take a loooong time.”
  3. The bank statements told an interesting story.
  4. “Just jot your name on the dotted line and all will be well.”
  5. “That guy across the street? Been there three straight days.”
  6. “Not so fast. I need a few minutes to read this over.” Totally not what I wanted to hear.
  7. The books were stacked. The coffee was brewed. The all-nighter had begun. And then the phone rang.
  8. I held the document up to the light. “Very interesting.”
  9. In strutted a fashion disaster. “Which way to my dressing room?”
  10. “I have absolutely nothing to hide.”



Ten more writing prompts…and another way I use them.

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  1. The last suitcase at the baggage carousel was about to change my life…
  2. “He really teed off on me…and for no good reason.”
    “Wellll…let’s just say…”
  3. Josie’s feet were propped on the desk as I entered her den of sin…
  4. Non-stop yakking…that was the only way to describe it.
  5. I reached for the ring in my pocket. So far, so good…
  6. “Let’s just say follow-through wasn’t exactly his strength…”
  7. It was hard to tell the criminals from the politicians…
  8. At the far end of the terminal, a diminutive woman huddled inside her heavy coat and waited. There had to be more to her story…
  9. I braced myself for the worst possible news. Instead…
  10. I wasn’t sure who the applause was for, so I shrugged and waved to the welcoming crowd…

Another use: I turn to my lists of prompts to spice up my morning pages when I’m tired of writing about my own little issues and plans.




Ten more writing prompts…and one way I use them.


  1. “This brings back special memories.”
    “I hoped it would.”
  2. It had been years since we felt this close…
  3. The attic contained secrets no one wanted to explore…
  4. “You look good in red.”
    “Well, you look good…nah, I can’t even lie about it.”
  5. “I am your doctor, you are my patient. Therefore…”
  6. “So it’s settled. I’ll stay here and you look inside the cabin.”
  7. “This festival is going downhill fast.”
    “Yeah, gale force winds and dozens of casualties tend to do that.”
  8. “Can I have this dance?”
    Wrong question. Wrong time.
  9. Why couldn’t this moment last forever?
    I couldn’t believe I was even thinking that.
  10. “You’re going to eat all that?”
    “Yeah, why?”

One of my writing prompt strategies…

If I’m stuck at a point in one of my fiction drafts, I thumb through my lists to find a character’s action or a piece of dialogue that, at the very least, nudges me into the ‘What if…’ mode.

Ten More Writing Prompts…


  1. “You look good in heels.”
    “Shut up and give me my shaving kit.”
  2. “You’ve been through a trauma. You’ll need some time.”
  3. It was all starting to come back to her…
  4. The writing teacher complained that there was no ‘aboutness’ to my story. ‘Aboutness’…he actually used that pseudo-word.
  5. “It sounds like a lot of work to me.”
    “I knew you were going to say that.”
  6. We had descended into the hellish vortex of worthless meetings. Something had to be done.
  7. “You have your beer. I’ll go with chocolate chip cookies and milk.”
    “Perfect! I knew we were made for each other!”
  8. “You’re looking especially haunting today.”
  9. Their laughter seemed especially insincere this time around.
  10. “There’s no such thing as a good politician.”
  11. “There’s a special someone out there waiting just for you.”
    “Yeah, like I’ve never been told
    that before.”

Curation Friday: Austin Kleon gems…

inbox internet overload

I confess to allowing my inboxes to be overloaded with quality resources that I don’t consistently pursue. Not so with Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletters…

Here are two Austin Kleon items that I vouch for:

1. Working On It [5 Quick Thoughts on Writing]

2. How to Keep Going [Take time to watch his 26-minute talk OR, if you’re pressed for time, lock in his list of ten tips and bookmark the page for a later viewing.

Two of my favorites:
The ordinary + extra attention = extraordinary.
Build a ‘bliss station’. [borrowed from Joseph Campbell]
Quote from Austin: “Airplane mode is not just a setting on your phone; it can be a way of life.”

Another of his tips: You are allowed to change your mind. Well, here goes…I was going to add a third A. Kleon gem, but other commitments arose and I just plain wanted this out in the world, so I’m changing my mind and sharing only two. Thanks, Austin, for the license to do so!

And believe me, these two items are value-packed. So, turn on Airplane Mode and enjoy.