Tag Archives: creative thinking

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.


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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.

     

IMAGICISE: AN EDIBLE WORLD

27 Apr

As creators, we must find places to unleash our imaginations. What better place than space? We can’t let those pocket protector geeks (purposeful stereotype) hold exclusive rights over the galaxy. It’s time for us imaginators to flex our creative muscles where no one can hear you scream.

This week’s installment of ‘imagicises’ will continue to help you get into tip top writing shape while going ‘where every man has gone before:’ Outer Space.

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.

EDIBLES

  • Day 1: TO EAT YOUR OWN – this year you’re cooking the thanksgiving feast, there’s only one catch, you and your guests are cannibals. So what’s on the menu? This is good practice for imaginators in getting past ‘yucky’ topics and seeing them from the perspectives of their ‘eccentric’ characters. If you can, dive deep and create a plethora of inventive dishes out human anatomy or embrace wordplay. Howabout a ‘hand shake’ for dessert?

  • Day 2: Human Herbivores – What if humans were strictly vegetarians? How would the world as we know it change? Please examine the consequences and how life as know it would have developed differently. Feel free to simply brainstorm a list, dive deeply into a couple of scenarios, or continue on a cause and effect roller coaster. One example scenario could be the domestication of pigs, since humans don’t eat meat, they probably wouldn’t have bothered to keep pigs, and as such “Charlotte’s Web” would have never been penned, and kids would not call each other ‘pigs.’

  • Day 3: Culinary Creator – I’ll never forget weird al munching through a ‘twinkie weiner sandwich’ in the movie UHF. While it looked gross, the name itself was deliciously cute! Use your working knowledge of foods from around the globe and create a list of new foods by combining words. Think visually or phonetically/rhythmically instead of focusing on how the dish will actually taste. Also don’t limit yourself to only edible items. ‘crunchy cereal salad,’ ‘Roasted chewing gum’ and ‘Ham and Sneeze Sandwich,’ all make the menu. For those bulking up, choose one of the foods and write a step by step recipe for it.

  • Day 4: PERSONIFIED FOOD PROFILES – Writers need to know their characters so much that they could fill out an annoyingly long survey about them. Choose any edible item and complete a ‘character Profile’ for them. Feel free to create your own questions or borrow any existing personal survey/character profile available online. For those bulking up do a minimum of two profiles, one for a food you enjoy and one you find disgusting.

  • Day 5: Best/Worst Food Fight Weapons – An edible war is upon us, and you must prepare for battle. Create a T-Chart (two columns). On the left side list the best possible ‘weapons’ in a food fight, and on the right side list the worst foods to use. For example a scoop of ice cream would soar through the air and smack your enemy in the face slowly dripping down their face, but a handful of frosted flakes wouldn’t make it five feet. Also try to think globally and certainly don’t feel guilty about those starving or harming anyone because in make-believe, it’s all fun and games and no one can lose an eye! Consider this battle a life or death dituation and give it your creative all.

Shopping List: A Writing Exercise

20 Apr

Each and everyday there linger biological and societal tasks we all must attend to: laundry, a trip to the little boy/girl’s room, and even opening the door for a total stranger. Usually they have nothing to do with our lives as writers, until now. It’s important for us imaginators to apply our creativity to as many daily ordeals as possible. Consequently, I present to you today’s writing exercise: ‘The Shopping List.’

Much like ‘Day in Disguise,’ this exercise gets your creative juices flowing. ‘The Shopping List’ allows you to play maestro masterfully conducting words to score the otherwise mundane grocery  list. Regardless of who does the shopping in your house, creatively re-name each item. Be sure to imploy figurative language, sensory details, and/or pop culture references.

Disclaimer: Make sure your list is appropriate for all ages, especially easily offended grumpies. By the way, I never take my own advice.

  • Milk: Udder Juice
  • Lamb: Mary Doesn’t Have This Anymore
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: E.F.O – Edible Flying Objects
  • Eggs: Plastic Nest
  • Mayonaise: Causasian Spread
  • Paper Towels: Liquid Huggers

Not only will it help get the creative juices flowing, it’s a fun activity for couples, roommates or the whole family. Have others try to solve the ‘riddle’ for each item. It’s important to see if your remixed names are merely beautiful letter parades or if they actually relate to your audience.

Even if the list is just for you, give it a whirl. If you can’t find the peanut butter simply ask the clerk, “Excuse me, where is the greasy peanut  poop?”

Happy shopping imaginators!

IMAGICISE: OUTER SPACE

19 Apr

As creators, we must find places to unleash our imaginations. What better place than space? We can’t let those pocket protector geeks (purposeful stereotype) hold exclusive rights over the galaxy. It’s time for us imaginators to flex our creative muscles where no one can hear you scream.

This week’s installment of ‘imagicises’ will continue to help you get into tip top writing shape while going ‘where every man has gone before:’ Outer Space.

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.

OUTER SPACE

  • Day 1: NAME THAT PLANET – You can count the number of planets with two hands, but thanks to imaginators george lucas and other science fiction writers, our vocabulary is filled with a vast array of planet names. The time has come for you to name the planets in your galaxy. This is a great way to notice trends in your style. Where does your brain look to for inspiration? Are there any particular sounds or themes that are often repeated? For those ‘bulking up,’ spend an additional 5 minutes describing one of the planets as if you’re writing it’s travel brochure.

  • Day 2: ALIEN FAMILY RESTAURANT – What’s on the menu at a family Restaurant for aliens? Use ingrediants present on Earth, but don’t limit yourself to edibles. For instance, a used car salad with gas tank slices, rubber tire croutons, and dusty car seat morsels sprinkled with rust and marinated in unleaded fuel is worthy of the menu. Try not to limit yourself to ‘technologigcal’ or ‘scientific’ themes, allow your menu to branch into whatever realm your culinary creativity desires. For those ‘bulking up,’ spend an additional 5 minutes describing the restaurant with sensory details.

  • Day 3: SPACESHIP REALITY – Imagine you are a cast member of a new reality tv show set on a spaceship. The intended audience should be the same as the audience you intend to write for (ex. children, adults, intelligent canines). Choose 5 (10 for those bulking up) spaceship mates, fictional or real, that will naturally create infinite storyline possibilities. Consider this imagicise as practice for assembling an ensemble cast of characters by learning how characters must play off one another or support the protagonist, which in this case is you.

  • Day 4: TAKE ME TO YOUR DENTIST – Science fiction often portrays aliens landing on earth to destroy mankind. While this creates universal conflict, it’s also cliche. Let’s have some fun and create a list of reasons aliens may land on earth. For example, “they need to borrow some mayonaise,” “They want to study spanish,” “A young alien was punished for bad behavior and sent to earth,” or “they arrived for the sole purpose of telling earthlings to kindly keep the noise down.” For those ‘bulking up,’ choose one of the scenarios and spend an additional 5 minutes crafting the dialogue between the aliens and a group of earthlings.

  • Day 5: Alien Google Trends – The google empire has invaded the outer limits. While daily google trends can range from sports, to celebrities and current events, imagine what would be the most searched for items on a galactic google.

Day in Disguise: A Writing Exercise

13 Apr

Between each sunrise, writers should have written…something.

After a busy day, it’s difficult to swim in your imagination. If you need a help transitioning from the adreline pumping confines of reality into a writer’s groove, forget curious liquids, there’s a writing exercise waiting to assist you.

Remember, writing is the key: you don’t always have to pen a staggering slice of a novel. If you’ve had a full day, use the activities, events, and experiences of the day to your advantage.

Say hello to the “Day in Disguise” writing exercise. Simply recall all of the things you did today but instead of writing them down like any Joe Shmoe (no offense to the Shmoe family), enlist your creative dominance over the letters to remix the day.

For example, “ate grapes” becomes “savored the flavor of juicy spheres after ripping them from their umbilical cord.” Or “watching the movie Sorceror’s Apprentice” becomes “Witnessed a skull faced motorcyclist who could be gone in 60 seconds wait 1,000 years to train a dork who previously scored a girl “out of his league” to be Merlin’s apprentice.”

You can also choose keep it simple by remixing “took a nap” to “visited the dream SPA.”

For each “Day in Disguise,” start from the beginning of your day and simply list all of the things you did or want to remember. Then one by one, until you’re satisfied, in the writing mood, or successfully defeated writer’s block.

In addition, you can use this list to test the power/humor of your writing, while entertaining others.  Bring it to work or school the next day and have your peers try to see through the figurative language and guess what you actually did. Remember, sharing is caring, and there’s nothing better than to easing others into reading your work.

Happy creative listing imaginators!

ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES:

*Can you guess what they are?

  • Gave my teeth a bath.
  • Was attacked by an indoor rain storm.
  • Calmed the waves of the blanket ocean.
  • Fancy footwork accelerated two circles towards my destination.
  • Mowed my facial fields.
  • Avoided the temptation of Ronnie M’s dead cows and feasted on a bowl of green.
  • Co-workers laughed at the color of my refrigerated urine.

IMAGICISE: Dungeon Dwelling

13 Apr

PROMPT: Describe a different sort of dungeon.

WRITE NOW!

Then check out the example below!


Crave’s Example:

Not all dungeons are dark and dingy, scary and stingy. Some are quite pretty! Well, at least one was. Oh yes, it’s true, it’s quite true. There was once a girl, she wasn’t a princess, yet she wasn’t that poor. She was an heir you see, but she was one of nine. So when the time had come for her elders to say goodbye, her and her eight brothers and sisters were given their piece of the castle pie. The first got the gold, the second the horses, the third the navy, the fourth the food, the fifth the jester, the sixth a wardrobe of exotic dresses and gowns, the seventh received lands in vast countries, the eighth was given the castle grounds, but what was left for the little girl. Well, the dungeon! “Oh my!” she said as she toured the moping, crying, and ghastly grounds. We need to spice this up! And indeed she did. But in fact, she made the dungeon so cute, that it was even more torturous than before for those who entered. [ 5 mins, 179 words]