Tag Archives: writing

Let the Idea Parade Begin! PiBoIdMo 2015

1 Nov

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Quote Parade: Mini Habits

12 Jan

Besides dust, I enjoy collecting words of wisdom. Whenever a catchy arrangement of words motivates, stimulates, or wraps me in a giant smile I digitally engrave it into my personal archives. These motivational quotes appear in Stephen Guise’s self-improvement book: Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. 

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“Fear can’t exist if you’ve experienced something and it wasn’t scary.”

– Stephen Guise 

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

– Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”

“As I age, I realize that now is yesterday’s later, and that later is a bad plan.”

– Stephen Guise 

“If you don’t execute your ideas, they die.”

– Roger von Oech, public speaker

“Emotions will either serve or master, depending on who is in charge.”

– Jim Rohn, entrepreneur

“I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.”

– Arthur Conan Doyle from “Sherlock Holmes”

“When you never lose, you tend to win. ” 

– Stephen Guise 

“Be happy, but never satisfied.”

– Bruce Lee

Quote Parade: Best of 2014

30 Dec

Besides dust, I enjoy collecting words of wisdom. Whenever a catchy arrangement of words motivates, stimulates, or wraps me in a giant smile I digitally engrave it. These are my favorite “other people’s words” gathered in 2014.

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

– Dalai Lama XIV

“Don’t take yourself out of the game, there’s already plenty of people that are willing to do that for ya.”

– ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage 

“Eventually things get tragic enough and they circle back to comedy.”

– Mandy Patinkin from “Wish I Was Here”

“I’m not gay. I’m not a cop. Just a guy who sees a guy who might need a sandwich.”

– Bill Murray from “Broken Flowers”

“Writing fiction is lying in a good way.”

– Kristi Valiant, Children’s author and illustrator

“I think that it should become some sort of rite of passage that if you sleep with someone, whoever the more experienced person is should cook an omelette for the other. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?”

– Anthony Bourdain

“I write picture books because I have funny ideas in my head that I think would entertain children.”

– Josh Funk, Children’s author

“If you don’t know it’s impossible, it’s easier to do.”

– Neil Gaiman

That’s a Wrap: PiBoIdMo 2012

8 Dec


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Special thanks to Tara Lazar for hosting the fourth annual Picture Book Idea Month. My third venture with this global creativity party left me feeling less than “imaginative,” as you can see from my idea list below. This could be my gut saying, “it’s time. Revise and send out your existing stories, before you go mustering up more ideas.”

However, the true joy was seeing my talented ninth grade students generate ideas each and every day. I’m proud of their “imaginator” skills and look forward to guiding them as they turn one of their ideas into a genuine picture book manuscript. I just need to remember to add one student to my roster: ME!

Happy writing everyone. For those with a picture idea or three, I urge you to consider Picture Book Marathon in February.

This year’s ideas, well the titles at least:

  1. Busy Baby
  2. Thomas LeClair the Strange Little Bear
  3. Journey of the Droplets
  4. The Unlucky Cannon
  5. Frank and Steve’s Monster
  6. The Greedy Gyoza
  7. Septopus
  8. Mirror Jumper
  9. Outside the Box
  10. Down the Mountain
  11. The Giant Eraser
  12. Super Slice
  13. The Chip Monk
  14. The Wampire
  15. The Ark
  16. Sensory Field Trip
  17. Pet Buffet
  18. For Giants Only
  19. Owl Cafe
  20. The Late Bird
  21. Birthday Doors
  22. My Pony is Bigger Than Yours
  23. Girl VS. Cap
  24. Cop Kid
  25. Santa’s Apprentice
  26. The Haunted Boy
  27. Uninsultable Kid
  28. The Vegetable Jar
  29. Cinderello
  30. Aldo the Alligator Finds a Job

 

Musical Motivation: Don’t Give Up

14 Jul

What motivates you? We all have our muses, our creative Jiminy Cricket so to speak. It just so happens mine is a DJ. Music manifests whatever mood I’m in the… mood for. I’d like to offer one of the many tunes that have helped me, as the Japanese say, GANBATTE! (fight/press on).

The Caesars – Spirit from the Paper Tigers album provides that little push you need when the fear of failure trips you up. This song depressingly tells the truth f how life is hard and that you aren’t going to get much help. What I love most is how it doesn’t explain why you should press on. Instead it simply asks you not to quit. That’s enough for me, and hopefully you too.

The Caesars – Paper Tigers – Spirit

I, I need some young blood
Come Friday night
Bring on the big flood
Like September’s coming on
Summer won’t be back for long

Hey, let’s start a big fire
Let’s shake it up
Let’s try to open brighter
There’s no one here to catch our fall
No one here to hear us call

Tonight, this dirty September night
We’re stuck out here
You’re caught in the starlight
Running through these empty streets
You see this filthy you and me
Running through these empty streets
You see this filthy you and me

I, I know that the road’s long
It lingers on
And Lord knows it’s uphill
Seems like you’re not getting anywhere
You give up just before you’re there
Seems like you’re not getting anywhere
You give up just before you’re there

Hey, don’t lose your spirit
Seen all along
But its there if you need
Seems like you’re not getting anywhere
But don’t give up you’re almost there
Seems like you’re not getting anywhere
But don’t give up you’re almost there

Relax Towards Success

11 Jul

Hard Work = Success

…if only we squeeze enough relaxation into the equation

If you’re ready to relax, and I hope you are, please take these words into your heart while you listen to the Doctor prescribed melody below.

“Movies teach us that AMAZING just happens and when returning to reality we drown in “it takes hard work, sacrifice, trial and tribulation.” But we’re wrong. AMAZING is not something we find. It’s not something we discover, earn, or even buy. It’s something within us. We each desire to smile at the end of our own movies as the orchestra segues the credits. End your movie today, I’m sure they’ll be enough in the ‘budget’ for a sequel tomorrow. Feel good now and forever, because AMAZING just became a habit.”– Crave Cravak

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?