Tag Archives: ideas

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.

MUSE WORTHY: SPACE STATION NATHAN

11 Jan

With February’s Picture Book Marathon approaching, there’s no better time to rocket over to Nathan Hale’s blog Space Station Nathan. In 2010, the author/illustrator generously provided a graphic illustration with details for each of his 28 manuscripts. As a delicious bonus, each idea is prefaced with an episodic incarnation of the comic book / graphic novel serial  “Yellowbelly and Nate Visit Children’s Publishing a.k.a. THE LAND OF DOOM.”

To gear up for this year’s PB Marathon, begin with Nathan’s first entry and then work your way through the list by clicking ‘Newer Post’ on the bottom left.

Many writers are weary of their ideas being stolen and thus are shy to post them on the internet. Though, Nathan, a publishedwriter / illustrator confidently hands you a backstage pass into his imagination. With titles, “I’m a Fungi” and “Mermaid Fire Brigade” his ideas are fresh, funny, yet appeal to all ages. The covers are drawn in a classic picture book meets modern graphic novels style as seen in The Twelve Bots of Christmas.

When finished peering at Nathan’s picture books, stay up to date with recent  installments of his early reader Percy: The Little Big Dragon.

Two thumbs up, a presidential wave, and a humble bow to Nathan Hale, a true imaginator, and his Space Station of creativity.

Recommendation: PiBoIdMo

3 Nov

I've got my badge, where's yours? Sign-up today!

Tara Lazar, author of THE MONSTORE (2013) is sponsoring Picture Book Idea Month 2010. PiBoIdMo is the cuddly companion to the arduous stress of NanoWrimo. So what do you have to write? Simply jot down 30 original ideas for picture books and you’re a winner and may even take home some prizes including agent contact and professional critiques. There’s no requirement to share, and you can keep your “best-selling” premise on the down-low. Personally, as a self-proclaimed “Idea Factory” I’m looking forward to peeking through my imagination’s closet by giving myself plenty of leads for February’s PB Marathon.

Happy “idea planting” imaginators!