Tag Archives: children’s writing

IMAGICISE: What Is Love?

31 Jul

The time has come to open your heart and pen to the possibilities of eternal love. This imagicise takes you on a journey through a bizarre yet enchanting tunnel of love. Allow your imaginative juices to spill accordingly on the paper.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

For those wishing to visualize their imagination with an artist’s touch, please follow the Art Tips or feel free to sketch/draw/paint/collage whatever inspires you. And for those with a musical touch, follow the Music Tip in order to bridge your love of music to each imagicise.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

WHAT IS LOVE?

  • Day 1: Ditto

    In the 1990 film Ghost, Patrick Swayze isn’t able to tell Demi Moore he loves her until he takes a trip to the afterlife. While alive he uttered “ditto” in place of “I love you.” Fill up a page with “I love you” alternatives. Examples could include, “of course,” “I emotionally desire you,” “a round of love on me,” and “high five.” For those bulking up, choose three sayings, and for each one describe the kind of person you envision saying it.

    ART TIP: Draw a 3 to 5 panel comic strip with dialogue involving the alternative sayings.

    MUSIC TIP: How many songs with “I love you” in the lyrics can you find or remember? Substitute “I love you” with your alternative sayings and see how it changes the dynamic. 

Day 2: Peculiar Proposals

Before you begin, please erase your gender and become androgynous. Now imagine you are going to propose marriage to the love of your life. Describe the ideal proposal if you and your soon-to-be fiance were…

Choose Two:

  • toddlers

  • giant pandas

  • aliens

  • (create your own)

For those bulking up, choose a 3rd proposal, but write about it from the perspective of being on the receiving end.

ART TIP: Draw/sketch/paint a romantic proposal between wild animals or aliens.

MUSIC TIP: If you were being proposed to what songs would you want playing? Play those songs now. What do you feel? What do you see?

 
  • Day 3: Cupid’s Arsenal

    Following an accidental shooting involving a rooster, a lion and a retired librarian, the Guardians of Magic have decreed Cupid is no longer permitted to sling his arrows. Brainstorm new ways Cupid can bring forth love into the world. For example, paper airplanes filled with pixie dust, e-mails, grenades, or a laser pointer. For those bulking up, sketch out a trial and error story where Cupid tests out the new methods.

    ART TIP: Create an image of cupid sparking love using one of the new methods.

    MUSIC TIP: Choose 10 songs from Cupid’s personal playlist while on the job.

     
  • Day 4: And then?

    We’ve all heard, seen or smelled the classic “boy meets girl” story. It’s time to play cupid and spontaneously write one of our own. Beginning with “Boy meets girl,” complete the story/fill in the page with similar short phrases or “noun verb noun” clauses. Find the courage to be as romantic, morbid, or silly as you desire. Just let the random thoughts pour. An example of what may transpire could look like this: “Boy meets girl. Boy greets girl. Girl kicks boy. Boy dies. Ghost haunts girl. Girl kicks ghost. Girl falls down. Girl dies. Ghost meets ghost. Ghost loves ghost. The end.” For those bulking up, write a 1 page script of dialogue for the characters in your boy meets girl story. 

    ART TIP: Sketch a caricature of one of the characters from your original boy meets girl story.

    MUSIC TIP: Hum a tune to the phrases from your boy meets girl story and create an original song.

     
  • Day 5: Honeymoon From Hell

    Perhaps you’ve envisioned your dream honeymoon. For example, a hammock sways between two leaning palm trees. Well it’s time to stop dreaming. Instead, brainstorm the possibilities of a honeymoon from hell. For example, that hammock is still swaying but it’s attached to giant hair follicles, as you’re vacationing on a giant troll’s buttocks. For those bulking up, create a full itinerary for your hellish newlywed vacation.

    ART TIP: Sketch a billboard advertising a honeymoon from hell.

    MUSIC TIP: Choose or compose a selection of songs a hotel from hell may play in the lobby.

IMAGICISE: Summer Soulstice

7 Jul

Take a sip of ice tea and spit our those watermelon seeds, it’s time to celebrate the soul of summer with a spin. Let your creativity heat up as we explore all things summer.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

For those wishing to visualize their imagination with an artist’s touch, please follow the Art Tips or feel free to sketch/draw/paint/collage whatever inspires you. And for those with a musical touch, follow the Music Tip in order to bridge your love of music to each imagicise.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

SUMMER SOULSTICE

  • Day 1: Imaginary Pool Party

    Divide your page into four sections by placing lines down and across the middle. You’ve just built a massive pool in your backyard, and to commemorate the water filled hole, you’re throwing a pool party. Label each one of the 4 columns accordingly: Wild Ones (animals, pets), Famous Folk (celebrities, historical figures, dead or alive), Make Believe (fictional characters from literature, movies, TV, comics), and Familiar Faces (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers). For each column quickly list possible guests to invite. For those bulking up imagine a possible fiasco by mixing such a diverse crowd. Write about one such incident.

    ART TIP: Visualize a moment from the party including one guest from each list.

    MUSIC TIP: Select or compose some tunes for the party soundtrack.

  • Day 2: Summer Grossout

    Since you were old enough to flip a burger, you’ve been hosting an annual cookout. Your guests have been feasting themselves, but you’ve had enough. Instead of canceling the party, you’ve decided it’s better to go out in disgusting glory, so that no one will ever want to attend your cookout again. Devise a menu that will leave an undesirable lasting impression on your guests. What non-cookout friendly foods will you serve? Chips & Gerber Dip, cat food salad, raw rabbit, and stale fruitcake are some vomit-inducing examples.

    ART TIP: Visualize a a table filled with summer grossout fare.

    MUSIC TIP: Make a playlist of the worst possible summer cookout music.


  • Day 3: Snow in Summer

    Where do snowmen go in the summer? Brainstorm the possibilities or elaborate on a specific story. For example, you could write about how snowmen hibernate by shrinking down to a miniscule snowflake and sleep in your freezer. When the freezer becomes ful of ice, that’s a snowman waking up, and when you’re out shoveling snow, he sneaks out. 

    ART TIP: Visualize a snowman adjusting to/escaping/enjoying summer.

    MUSIC TIP: What kind of music or particular song(s) would a snowman hibernate too?


  • Day 4: Camp Bizarro

    School is out for summer, and for some children, camp is in. But what if summer camp wasn’t located in the great outdoors or a school campus. Forget logic, morals, and safety while brainstorming new exciting and/or weird locations. For example, a junkyard, Antarctica, Wal-Mart, and a casino. For those bulking up, choose 2 locations and create sample schedules including all of the activities and meals for the day. 

    ART TIP: Visualize kids enjoying (not enjoying) one of the activities. 

    MUSIC TIP: What is the “Camp Song” for each camp?


  • Day 5: Amazing Race

    Despite the sweltering heat, summer is the season of charity races. In some areas, there’s a different 5K every night. But what if running isn’t your forte? The time has come for creative alternatives. For example, in Buffalo, NY participants adorn 3 inch plus heels for .5 kilometers the annual Stiletto Run to benefit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Come up with a slew of alternative “races.” For instance, a 1 Mile Moonwalk to benefit a kids space camp where participants slide backwards to Michael Jackson tunes. Or how about a Pogo Gogo, a lawnmower race across a vast field, or a Paintathon in a rundown neighborhood. 

    ART TIP: Visualize the starting or finishing line for one of the races. 

    MUSIC TIP: Choose the song for each race.

IMAGICISE: Amusement Madness

24 Jun

Let’s take a trip to my favorite place in the world… the amusement park! Let your creativity soar up and down the hills of these thrilling imagicises! For more on roller coasters and amusement parks be sure to visit our sister site CraveCoasters.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

AMUSEMENT MADNESS

  • Day 1: Coaster Alphabet

    Turn your paper/journal over horizontally. Write the alphabet from A to Z in a roller coaster / hilly layout across the page. (See example below) Use each letter as the start for a roller coaster worthy name. Make sure to be original. For instance, stray away from Cyclone for C or Big Dipper for B. But remember, there are coasters for all ages, so each name does not need to envoke terror. Feel free to take it in any direction you desire. “Bob the Ride” could be a hit with little kids. When all the names are written it will look like a roller coaster. Example names include Amphibitor, Badlands Bruiser, Candy Kane Train, and Dungeon Dweller. For those bulking up, choose one of the names. Imagine this coaster was built. What does it look like? What are some of the features? What type of person will enjoy it?

  • Day 2: Crazy-Go-Round

    Merry-go-rounds traditionally spin a stable of horses in a circle. But many carousels have been themed to feature anything from a menagerie of endangered species to Dr. Seuss characters, and even the Flintstones. If you were going to take a ride on a carousel, what theme would you like it to have? Brainstorm a slew of ideas. Examples could include: insects, automobiles, mythological creatures, or even space age robotic horses. For those bulking up, choose one of the themes, and describe each individual “horse.”

  • Day 3: Enough Stuff

    Stuffed animals have officially been designated an endangered species. Consequently, amusement parks and carnivals are tasked with coming up with alternate prizes for their games of chance. Create a list of possible prizes. Be both realistic and creative. What would you like to win? Examples include: hula hoops, collectable coins, currency from all over the world, and especially calendars featuring 80 year old models.

  • Day 4: Perfect Day

    Not everyone has the patience for lines, or the stomach for consecutive inversions. But most amusement parks have something for everyone. Imagine their was a park built specifically for you. Describe the perfect day at your ideal park. What will you ride, eat, see, and play? Be as adventurous or sedate as you desire. For those bulking up, imagine the perfect day for a close friend, family member, or a fictional character.

  • Day 5: Golden Years Theme Park

    Theme parks like Disneyland were meant to be enjoyed by all ages. However, the hustle and bustle may be too much for elderly citizens. Envision a theme park specifically built for golden girls and boys. Describe this park. What’s it called? Where is it located? What are the differences and similarities from other parks. 

IMAGICISE: Enchanted

9 Jun

It’s time to re-visit the land of fairy tales. Inspired by a boy named Harry and a girl named Snow, allow yourself to float like a fairy through these enchanted imagicises and find sanctuary in your imagination.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

SAYING GOODBYE – TILL DEATH DO US WRITE

  • Day 1: Magic Appliances

    A magic wand is the vessel of a wizard’s magic. What if other people or tradesmen were capable of enchantment. What would their device be? For example, would a chef have a magic spatula, and whatever it mixes will turn to pure gold. In addition, a protective housewife has a mystical washing machine, where every article of clothing blessed by its spellbinding cycles, will become protective garments making those who wear them free from harm. Think of an army of magical devices, listing as many as you can. For those bulking up, choose 5 of the items and describe their powers.

  • Day 2: Snow White & the 101 Dwarves

    Despite how it may not seem so politically correct, dwarf obsession has swept the nation. To cash in on the trend, a movie studio has commissioned a film involving not seven, but hundreds of dwarves. You’ve been hired to create this new hoard of iconic dwarves. For 5-10 minutes, make a list of names with their personality traits. For example: Slick – Easily maneuvers out of harm, decisive, with a pinch of sneaky. For those bulking up, select your favorite seven from the list. How will they play off of each other, why did you choose these seven?

  • Day 3: Troll Protection Agency

    According to legend, trolls are known to guard bridges, demanding a toll for passage, or worse they consume weary travelers. Unfortunately for the trolls, there’s not enough bridges to go around. Imagine other places and things trolls may guard or inhabit. First make a vertical ist of places, leaving a blank space next to each one. Example places could include: cookie jar, glove compartment, or a dressing room. Next, decide what the troll will demand for its use or passage. Example demands could include: a tooth, tire rubber, or a hug. Try to come up with good-hearted, evil, and multi-faceted trolls. For those bulking up, choose three from your list, and give each troll a name. Describe their appearance. Now choose one of them and create their origin story, explaining how they got to that place and what kept them there.

  • Day 4: Unlikely Heirarchy

    Fairy tales are rife with stories of kings and queens and how their next of kin are meant to succeed them. What if succession of power wasn’t based on bloodlines? Come up with as many alternate ways to determine the next in line for a royal promotion. For example: Whoever… has the longest hair, wins the spelling bee, has the fewest teeth, owns the most cat, or procures the smelliest farts. For those bulking up, choose one of the modes of succession. Now imagine a youngster who dreams of being King or Queen. What is their name, describe their trials and tribulations towards the throne.

  • Day 5: Typewriter, Typewriter on the Desk

    In the story of Snow White, the evil queen consults a magic mirror to discover who is the most beautiful in the kingdom. Think of other items someone could consult. List them, add what must be said, and also what will be told. You don’t have to adhere to the “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all” formula. For example, a writer saying “typewriter, typewriter on the desk, who’s the most poetic of them all?” To clarify, you could write about a little girl who wants the whitest teeth says to her toothbrush “Dear little brush for my teeth, you were so white, but now you are weakened, thank you for your might to help my teeth shine bright, now tell me please if you may, are my teeth still sparkling white?” For those bulking up, if one of the ideas sends your creativity off to a place far far away, follow it wherever it goes and you may have an original fairy tale to tell!


IMAGICISE: Zootastic

2 Jun

Answer the call of the wild, well a caged wild, in this zoopendous imagicise! This session is all about enhancing your creative discovery while frolicking through a zoonderful world.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

SAYING GOODBYE – TILL DEATH DO US WRITE

  • Day 1: Human Habitat

    A world renowned zoo has decided to add a human habitat. You’ve been hired as the chief designer. You’re responsible for a main enclosure and four individual unisex indoor spaces. Describe your plans and explain the rationale behind your design.

  • Day 2: Speed Mating

    Quickly write down 8 animal species. It’s time to imagine that these animals will be participating in a animal version of speed dating. Using the 8 animals you listed, make 4 pairs. For each pair write a 2 minute dialogue on what each animal may say during their brief “date” session. This is a great exercise for those wishing to hone their dialogue writing skills.

  • Day 3: Name that Zoo

    A benefactor in your city has decided to open a new zoo. Though the city already has a zoo, and an original name must be devised for the new zoological park. Create a list of possible names. Examples: Wildlife World, Magical Menagerie, Animal Gardens. For those bulking up, select five of the names and write slogans for each one.

  • Day 4: Fantastical Menagerie

    You’re the curator of a magical zoo. It’s full of extinct, mythical, and just plain weird animals. What animals will be in your collection? Feel free to experiment and mix and match different animals. Example could include: dodo birds; unicorns; Blue Flamingo, a pink flamingo injected with blue poison dart frogs to give it blue feathers; Horny Hippos, a hippopotamus with rhinoceros horns. For those bulking up, describe the enclosures for three of the animals.

  • Day 5: Escape Plan

    List three of your favorite animals. Now select one of them. Pretend that you are a member of this species and  currently reside in a zoo. However, the zookeeper forget to lock the cage door. You’ve escaped. Where will you go, what will you do? For those bulking up, devise another ‘escape plan’ for another animal species.


IMAGICISE: Saying Goodbye

26 May

Prepare yourself for this emotionally jarring and tear invoking week of imagicises. Goodbye is a dangerous word, as we never know if another hello will be uttered. This session is all about exploring death while preparing ourselves to say farewell.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

SAYING GOODBYE – TILL DEATH DO US WRITE

  • Day 1: Bon Voice Mail

    List five people from your life, that you cherish. Consider the possibility that you will never see them again, and your message on their voicemail is the last thing they will hear before their untimely demise. What do you wish you would have said. Please keep in mind you can’t tip them off about their impending doom. Write the message for each of the five people. As a bonus, if the situation was reverse, what do you wish each of the five had said in their final voice mails.

  • Day 2: Original Goodbye

    It’s fun (depending on who you are) to break down words and to guess their origins. Farewell probably came from “fair/do well,” while “take care” is the shortened form of “take care of yourself.” Now pretend you are a government endorsed linguist and it’s your time to shine some new light on everyday expressions. Consequently, create a slew of new words or phrases for goodbye. They can be completely original, based on other languages, inside jokes, or abbreviated forms of existing words or phrases. For example, “break it” could be used as an abbreviated form of “go break a leg.” This is a difficult imagicise for some, and you not know where to begin. To aid the process, think of a variety of characters or personalities and imagine if they had their own way of saying goodbye what would it be? For instance, a irate taxi drive won’t say “farewell.” What would a high strung hair stylist, or a retired mob boss say? Here is a sampling of the possibilities: dayo, boodles, to infinity, until dinner, funbe.

  • Day 3: Reverse Pirating

    List your 5 most prized possessions. The bad news is, the time has come to tell them “bon voyage.” The good news is, you get to choose their next destination and owner. For example, who gets your diamond ring, the Xbox 360, and your Adam West autographed batman cape. However, you can not choose family or close friends. Where and/or who do you choose, and why?

  • Day 4: Putting the Fun in Funeral

    This may be difficult for some and enjoyable for others. You’ve been warned. You’re in the funeral business, but the business side is taking a turn for the worst due to stiff competition from Wal-Mart opening its own funeral parlor. It’s up to you to save the day by coming up with unique and innovative ways to say goodbye to a loved one. Be sure to think outside the coffin box. For example, perhaps the corpse is given a ride on a roller coaster that soars underground staying buried. Maybe, the funeral parlor can relocate to a beachside location and offer viking funerals where the recently deceased is cremated in custom built boats set aflame and sent out to sea. Death is a touchy subject, but as a writer you’ll have to deal with it from all angles, so practice escaping your preconceived notions, and feelings on death.

  • Day 5: Fictional Tombstones

    Make a T-Chart (self-explanatory) with a left and right column. In the left column, for 1-2 minutes, list your favorite fictional characters from cartoons, movies, comics, and/or literature. In the right column, for 1-2 minutes, list fictional villains you despise. Now choose 3 to 5 favorites in the left column and 3-5 of your least favorites from the right column. Next, for each one, pen the words that should appear on their tombstone. Optional: Compare and contrast the tombstones from the left and right columns. Were you bias, or were you able to remain objective and pen beautiful words for both columns?


IMAGICISE: YUCK!

12 May

Get pumped for this gut wrenching week of imagicises, or you may have to get your stomach pumped. This session is all about exploring the nasty, ooiest, and gooiest the world has to offer.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

YUCK!

  • Day 1: Gross Thesaurus

    List as many synonyms for gross as you think of. Examples include eww, disgusting, nasty, yuck, and icky. Brainstorm for a minimum of five minutes. Next, spend five additional minutes inventing your own words for “gross.” For instance: bugly, toejamish, “oh litter,” GWB, and budget.

  • Day 2: Smelly House

    An amusement park is developing a new twist on the classic haunted house. Introducing the “Smelly House,” a haunted house exclusively for your olfactory senses. Plan out the “scary features” of this attraction by listing the nastiest, most vile smells on earth. Make sure to continue listing for 5 minutes. For those who wish continue, list a plethora of a wonderful smells for a “Tunnel of Love: Aroma Therapy” ride.

  • Day 3: Horrid Hybrids: Barely Edible Combinations

    If, “Beauty is in the eye of the holder,” than “deliciousness is in the eye of the eater.” In your lifetime, you’ve surely come across some less than flattering dishes. Now is your chance to become a master chef. Devise a menu full of the most hurl inducing items. Let your creativity flow, combine whatever your stomach doesn’t desire. Feel free to add combinations from a celery smoothie to a kitty litter corn dog.

  • Day 4: Fart Flavors

    You are the acting CEO of the Bottled Farts Inc. and it’s up to you save the company from losing out on major sales to still competition. Brainstorm ideas on new fart fragrances and their catchy names. Examples include: Mountain Ewww, Sweet Southern Belch, and Dr. Gasser. If you have extra time, choose one of the ideas and write a slogan and/or a 30 second radio advertisement.

  • Day 5: Icky Names

    Have you ever kissed a girl named Mildred Backwater, or hugged a man named Fungus Ficklebrew. There’s a reason for that. It’s the same reason you’ve never checked into the Stenchtrap Hotel. The names alone are vile enough to keep a parade length distance. It’s your turn to create the yuckiest of names and titles. Brainstorm names for people, schools, stores, cities, countries and whatever else is on your mind.

IMAGICISE: PLANTIFUL

5 May

While we may spend most of our time in man made boxes, nature is omnipresent. It’s important for us to connect to our host, Mother Earth. This session of imagicise will harness our creativity while galloping through a little garden, a flowery meadow, or a frightful festive. Think of plants, bushes and trees.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

PLANTIFUL

  • Day 1: Odd Origins

    Plants grow all over the earth. Some in soil, some in sand, some in water, while others can even grow in the air. Life can originate anywhere as 2pac once wrote about “the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete.” Think of unusual places plants could grow. Examples: a couch, a nostril, a little girl’s head, a car, a stinky shoe, a bowling ball’s finger holes. (5 mins) Choose one of the images and start a story on the origin of that plant and its adventure. (5 mins)

  • Day 2: Fantasy Garden

    Fruits and vegetables grow on plants and trees, but money doesn’t. Well in your fantasy garden, you can grow ANYTHING. What would you grow? Examples: money, tea bags, tooth brushes, bikinis, and groovy mustaches. Now imagine you are 7 years old, what things would you want to grow? Examples: yoyos, ice cream sandwiches, baseball cards, barbie underwear. Bonus: Compare the differences between the lists. Why have your tastes and needs changed… consider treating yourself to something from the 7 year old’s fantasy garden.

  • Day 3: People Plants

    Create new species of plants/trees/bushes based on people you know (celebrities and fictitious people are ok too). Incorporate their name. appearance, and personality into a plant. Describe these new plants. Example: Valerie Mint Trap- Valerie loves mints. Leafs like lips open up hoping to snatch a mint, just like a venus fly trap.

  • Day 4:  A World Without Green

    All the plants and trees on earth vanish. Describe the immediate effects from any perspective or location.

    Click here for more Vanishing style imagicises.
  • Day 5: Cactus People

    What if there was a race/ethnicity of humans with cactus like skin and features. Pretend you’re researching the lifestyle and customs of a native population of “cactus people” for National Geographic. What do you observe? Where do they live? What is their diet? What is there daily life consist of? Comment on how they would fit into modern society. What advantages/disadvantages do they have? 


IMAGICISE: Groundhog Day

28 Apr

On February 2nd, the groundhog may predict if spring will come early , but it possess no control over the weather’s destiny. However, with this imagicise you can not only predict the outcome of your creative efforts but also control your destiny as an imaginator.

This week’s installment of ‘imagicises’ will continue to help you get into tip top writing shape while exploring the tradition of Groundhog Day as well as the 1993 motion picture of the same name starring Bill Murray.

For those wishing to ‘tone’ their creative muscles, simply spend 5 minutes on each prompt. For those ‘bulking up’, spend an additional 5 minutes writing or follow the specific instructions with each prompt.

* For further directions on ‘Imagicise’ click here.

GROUNDHOG DAY

  • Day 1: Punxsutawney Phil & Friends

    City officials have caught on to the success of having their own weatherhog. Though each city needs to come up with a name. Brainstorm names for possible groundhogs. First write a town/city name, from anywhere in the world including fictional cities, and then add a personal name to it. Alliteration is not essential, but definitely focus on the rhythm of the name. Make sure it takes on a personality of its own. Possible creations could include, Miami Miguel, Tonawanda Tiny, The Buffalo Burrower, and Gotham Gabe.

  • Day 2: Animalistic Holidays

    Groundhog Day is founded by the simple premise that if an animal sees its shadow it will mean 6 more weeks of winter. Brainstorm new traditions based on animals. For example, the number of kittens born to an honorary cat will correlate with how many months of beautiful weather people will enjoy. For a college football town, the first treat a zebra eats could predict what bowl game the team will participate in. Or a town could promote innocence and childhood and encourage senior citizens to visit local parks for free pony rides. They could call the rides, “The Jubilant Juvenile Journey.”

  • Day 3: Wildlife Opinion

    How do the other creatures of the earth feel about the groundhog’s annual 10 minutes of fame? Brainstorm a list of animals and for each one provide their opinion on the groundhog. For example, a bear could think, “Why would I wake up early for that?” and a chipmunk might say, “Why him? I’m cuter!” This exercise is helpful when naturally learning how to craft original voices for your characters. Dig deep into the soul of each critter.

  • Day 4:  Groundhog Day Starring You

    Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy directed by Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray whose character for no apparent reason continues to relive February 2nd, Groundhog Day. In essence, when he wakes up at 6am, it’s always the same exact day, though Murray retains his memory of the previous day(s). If you were the star of Groundhog Day… what things what you do? For example Murray’s character learns to play the piano, takes up ice sculpting, figures out how to rob a money truck, and learns information about local women in order to seduce them.

  • Day 5: Your Day of Repetition

    Bill Murray’s character comments how he’s upset that he has to relive a day in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the middle of winter. If you could have any day be your Groundhog Day, which would it be. Where is it? Why? For example… on the day of your surprise birthday, your wedding day, or a sunny day in Bali.

     

From BOBE to BOB

6 Jan

The bloggable world of children’s writers is pleasantly filling up with calendar writing challenges. There’s PIBOIDMO, Picture Book MarathonNaPiBoWriWee, and 12x12in12. The best news is, these are ALL funtastic! So back in October of 2011, I piloted a prototype called B.O.B.E.: The Book of Beginnings and Ends. Let’s just say… things began late and ended early.

This journal ended up feeling empty

As the kiddies went around for their candy treats, I was supposed to have heaps (big fan of that word) of book beginnings and endings, 30 to be exact. In reality I inked 18 beginnings and 18 ends: just over half of my goal. Even though you’re writing alone during those previously mentioned challenges, it motivates you to know that others are out there pushing their pen to the paper as well. PiBoIdMo is especially funderful with Tara Lazar masks as Santa giving away great prizes. During these challenges, no one wants to look like a quitter (even on the internet), so we all end up producing more. But in this case, it was just me.

In addition, while I enjoyed scribing fanciful and whack job beginnings it was difficult to write the endings. Last lines are memorable, but how much can you really unveil in the final paragraphs? Needless to say, it was difficult to put a close on a book I hadn’t written.

Thus, if B.O.B.E. ever sees the light of day this autumn, he/she’s (I’m not a chauvinist pig) gonna be missing a letter. Say hello to B.O.B, the Book of Beginnings. If anyone reads this and would be interested in journaling/typing/sidewalk chalking 30 1-page book beginnings in October please comment below. If any writers, illustrators, editors, or agents would be willing to contribute a guest post and/or a giveaway prize please comment below or e-mail me at scravak@hotmail.com.

LET IT BEGIN! (maybe)

Happy challenging imaginators!