Rants and Riffs: Installment #4–Tips for failure

So, here I am and I am clearly in need of a new look for drafts in MacJournal…

There—that’s better. Charter Roman…I like it.

Giving in to meaningless font-focused distractions prompts me to share a few more tips on how to fail at this writing thing.

1. Have a dog. For a less-fettered path to failure, get one with a clear opinion of his superiority over any digital device.

dog with chin resting on iPad mini

2. Live in a locale with great weather. That sun just pulls me away, with each wavelength of radiant flux** reminding me that: A. I need vitamin D B. camping out in front of a screen is a waste of valuable daylight.

3. Own a DVR. But if you ARE going to sit in front of a screen and waste valuable daylight, you might as well be catching up on [insert favorite cable series here].

4. Keep your most valuable insights and creations on a plethora of notebooks scattered throughout the universe.

These aren't strewn throughout the house, but you get the idea.
piles of notebooks

5. Nurture a lifelong interest in sports. [Diabolical ESPN.com opens on its own, I swear.] Checking for croquet updates is thus inevitable, followed by an all-too-convenient point-and-click side trip to your favorite croqueter’s profile.

**Another tip for failure: Find it imperative to research how sunlight is measure.

Rants and Riffs: Installment #3

cinnamon roll
This one stands on its own, but a thick layer of vanilla/cream cheese frosting wouldn’t hurt.

Today’s topic: Cinnamon rolls.

Come on folks, if there isn’t a roiling ooze of brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon the second the knife presses into the roll, it ain’t a cinnamon roll.

Want one with frosting? How about powdered sugar/cream cheese mortar? Something that requires the slathering skills of a professional mason. And yes, paying the guy’s union rate is worth it.

My cardiologist awaits…

Rants and Riffs: Installment #2

I want to live in a world where employees get paternity/maternity leave for when a new dog or cat joins the family. It makes perfect sense!

“Snuffles, this is where you will sleep.” *

“Jujubee, this is when I will feed you.” **

“Angel Face, that’s what the backyard is for.”  ***

“Forsythia, we’re going to have to change your name.”   ****

“Maxwell, I’m going to have to discipline you.” *****


* “Yes, this is my chest.”

** “With intermittent snack times pending your approval.”

*** “Or at least not the living room.”

**** “No animal deserves that name.”

***** “I’ll be shortening our snuggle time by ten seconds.”

Rants and Riffs: Installment #1

I want to live in a world where…

cheese and loaves of bread
These folks are halfway there. Now all they have to do is jam a thumb-sized chunks of this cheese throughout one of those loaves.

cheese bread actually includes chunks of detectable cheese rather than a few scattered molecules. [I mean it, we’re talkin’ molecules!]

***

Ditto with cookies n’ cream ice cream. If I wanted  crumbs n’ cream ice cream, that’s what I’d buy. Cookies n’ cream should feature veins and lodes of the chocolate cookie. [I mean it, we’re talkin’ veins and lodes!].

ice cream cone with Oreo cookie lodged in ice cream
Now we’re talkin’…

© 2013 Shelly ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ . Licensed under CC-BY.
https://www.sketchport.com/drawing/1226097/oreo-ice-cream

 

NOTE TO WRITERS: Rants require overuse of exclamation points and annoying phrasal repetition…and the use of snooty words like ‘phrasal’.

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

Meanderings…

Chimpanzee
“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

***

 

10 Writing Prompts for New Year’s Day


writing prompts word cloud

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S DAY, FOLKS!

ENJOY THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS LIST AS WELL.

  1. “This information…would it have to do with my boss?”

  2. “He’s gone missing.”
    “Well, what did you expect?”

  3. How could we turn the tables within a day? It would take help from our friends…and even a few of our enemies.

  4. “Are you sure he didn’t say anything to you about his plans?”

  5. “On the bright side, you have each other!”   We each rolled our eyes.

  6. “There has to be some other way to change her mind.”
    “Nope, I’m afraid you’ll have to…”

  7. We never played well together and this was no exception…

  8. “Let’s try something new this weekend.”
    I reeeeally didn’t like the sound of that.

  9. “We’re still in the research phase.”

  10. “Do you even have any cleaning products?”



50 Creative Writing Ideas to Combat Writer’s Block

from thejohnfox.com

10 Writing Prompts for October 28


writing prompts word cloud

  1. Who would have known a bake-off would be the beginning of a beautiful relationship?
  2. No way were we going to convince him. Until we decided to resort to bribery.
  3. We would learn the hard way…and it would cost us a major wad of money.
  4. “Geez, you’re getting old.”
  5. “Don’t worry about her. She’ll come around.”
  6. Our nightly stroll turned ugly really quickly.
  7. “No problem. We’ll only need to knock out that wall.”
  8. “Trust me…no limitations. Make whatever you want.”
  9. He inhaled. “Something is inside your walls, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.”
  10. People had doubted her all her life…


10 Best Creative Writing Prompts

from thewritepractice.com

The journey to a 50,000 word novel…

starts with one word…

graffitti journey to 50000 words

Because I have 50,000 other things I should be working on…

I’m going to do NANOWRIMO this year and, like 2006, 2008, and 2010, I’ll finish.

I promise! [That’s me talking to me. I’m pretty sure you folks won’t lose sleep over it.]

–I’ll take my own prewriting course over the next few days prior to Nov. 1. Just to see if I know even a nano-iota of what I’m talking about [i.e. stealing from smarter, more experienced writers].

–Plus, a little inner dialogue as I venture ahead…

Critical Me: So, why are you even doing this?

NANO-Me: I need a deadline. I want to do push ahead on a new project. I want an excuse to not look at the clutter in my garage. I have to prove that I can still crank out words, since I promised my wife that a dog would actually make me more productive. [Of course, I wasn’t serious, but it was well worth the good laugh.]

Critical Me: Do you want this to be, eventually, a marketable product?

NANO-Me: Since I’m not great a Round Two Writing, that’s not even on my radar.

Critical Me: Do you have a plan for your story?

NANO-Me: Why yes I do, smarty-pants. In fact, I have a chronology all set up in my mind, a sequence of 180 mini-chapters, if you must know.

Critical Me: And you really think you’ll finish all 180 mini-chapters?

NANO-Me: I mainly want to finish my 50000 words and see which comes first.

Critical Me: What do you like about NANOWRIMO?

NANO-Me: I like the freedom to inject all sorts of detours into a story depending on your mood on a given day. And I like Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem book.

Critical Me: What’s so special about that book?

NANO-Me: Well, it’s like this. He’s the guy who started it. And his fly-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants suggestions are worth the read. And it is just that devil-may-care [am I using too many hyphenated expressions?] approach that inspires me to spend my words like a drunken, well, not Hemingway, because he didn’t waste words…spend my words like a drunken Tolstoy, how’s that?

Critical Me: First of all, yes, you are sucking the well of hyphens dry. Thanks for noticing. Care to share any gems from Baty’s book?

NANO-Me: Sure. I’ll put them at the end of this. I wouldn’t want them drowning in this sea of blather. Time for a break, right?

Critical Me: What for?

NANO-Me: For lunch, that’s what for.

Gem #1 from No Plot? No Problem

“Having an end-date for your quest through the noveling unknown is like bringing along a team of jetpack-wearing, entrepreneurial sherpas. These energetic guides not only make passage easier through the myriad formidable obstacles, but they’ll fly ahead and open coffeeshops and convenience stores along the route.”

10 Writing Prompts for October 23

warmups word art

  1. “So, we’ll just mix this up and before you know it…”

  2. “Information and entertainment, blended together seamlessly, until you get…”

  3. “This is way more than we’re going to need.”  
    “Just what I wanted to hear…”

  4. “Your story seems to have a few holes in it…”

  5. “You might want to try a little charm and a few pleasantries.”  
    “But that’s just not me!”

  6. We were pretty sure we were about to witness a complete disaster…

  7. “So what are the odds you’re going to implode before you even start?”

  8. “Time for a new wardrobe!”

  9. “Go ahead, give me every detail. I can handle it.”

  10. We had reached the inescapable conclusion that…

How to use writing prompts from betterscribe.com