Challenging the Limits

Challenge yourself with limits.

Start with Six Sentences. What can you write in six sentences, a complete story with a beginning, middle and ending? It’s a challenge. Read what others have done if you need inspiration. Post your work to the site, even if it isn’t really great to you.

Next try 200 Words and then, a real challenge… 200 Characters.

Do you know of any other writing challenges with set limits for words, sentences or characters?

Cell Phone Etiquette

July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, as I read it on Twitter this morning. Read about cell phone etiquette on wikiHow, pass the link along to those who are so addicted to their phones they ignore the people sitting right in front of (and around) them.

Digital Media Wire has 12 Unwritten Rules of Cell Phone Etiquette.

Road and Travel Magazine has The Basic Rules of Cell Phone Etiquette. Geared to travelers but relevant for anyone around other people. To quote Denise McMcluggage (who wrote the article):

Keep in mind, the more available you make yourself the more available everyone will expect you to be. People will actually be miffed if you are not instantly and constantly available rather than being pleased when you do call.

If you had an hour for a lunch break and were sitting at a table of co-workers where you were the only one not talking on a cell phone what would be your best line to get their attention and stop playing with themselves (on their phones)? It’s great to write these great lines when you have some time to think about them. At the time you never get time to really come up with just the right thing to say and then even spend time perfecting it for just that moment.

Must Love Mosquitoes

I was out taking photos of abandoned places today. It rained all day so the mosquitoes were out in flocks. At one point I had a whole cloud of them buzzing around me, landing on me and sucking away. I still feel like I have them in my hair though I’ve been back a couple of hours and had a shower almost as soon as I got in the door. Up north, where Ontario gets bushier and wetter, the mosquitoes flourish.

They talk about inventing a better mousetrap but overlook the real need for a better way of handling all these buzzing blood suckers. What are your best ideas?

Spiders in the Sink

During the last Great Amazing Spider Race, several spiders were lost down drains in bathtubs, shower stalls and sinks of all sorts. This is a real problem. Of course, it’s enough to be lost in the drain but all that oily, soapy water makes them smell and squeak for weeks, and few of them survive the experience at all. Some spider has to stop this. Those humans are a menace. Why can’t they just leave spiders to play in peace? Seriously, what is their problem?!

The Neverending Blog Post

One thing about blogging that haunts me is the last post. If I were to be hit by a meteorite while crossing the street today, this would likely be my last blog post. The last thing I will have said to the world. I’d hope whatever my last post would turn out to be that it would be somewhat memorable, somewhat wise, somewhat silly, somewhat sarcastic and eccentric but in a good way. Wouldn’t it be a real shame to leave the world with a bland kind of post you stuck in just because you were tired and wanted to get the damned thing done already?

If only you had waited that few minutes more and written a better post. The meteorite would have splattered someone else all over the pavement. And, you would have left the world with something better to read.

Make some notes for your last ever blog post, write it up and then schedule it to appear on your own personal day after. You may need to become psychic for that last part.

The Unstoppable Itchiness of it All

My back has been itchy all this week. I’ve used the scrub brush in the shower, usually that works very well. Not this time. I think I’m becoming a were-creature of some sort. I’d prefer a dragon but if not that some kind of big cat would do.

Seriously, have you ever wondered what really makes you itch? Beyond dead skin cells, allergies or any other medically proven excuse… what other reasons could there be for people to develop an annoying and persistent itch? Make a little story out of it.

The Space Seed Adventure

A little seed fell down from outer space. Of course, it wasn’t an ordinary seed, otherwise it would have just burnt up in Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, it fell into an ordinary garden in an ordinary backyard in Ontario. The seed landed on a garden bed and luckily the gardener was watering that day. The seed was washed down into a crack in the dirt and surrounded by water. It had the chance to root and took it!

At first the gardener, who was a middle aged woman named Nancy, thought it was a very unusual weed. So she left it to grow, out of curiousity and thinking how great it would be to have something different to show off to the local garden club. It grew a lot, bigger and bigger, taking over that area of her garden. But, Nancy didn’t have the heart to pull it out when it was thriving so well.

At the beginning of July she noticed a flower pod coming up. It grew quickly and took so much energy from the plant that the rest of it began to wither. Nancy added more compost and that seemed to help. The pod became thinner so that one morning as she studied it she could see inside. It looked like a little boy was all curled up in there, sitting with his arms curled around his legs looking right back, studying her!

Nancy thought it must be kind of dull for a young person to just be sitting there so patiently. So she brought out a comfortable yard chair, some books and a light for when it got dark outside. She read to the boy. Reading about pirates, mathematics and of course important things like compost and garden snails too. The boy would smile each morning as she came out to begin her watering and then sit quietly as she spent hours and hours reading to him. Nancy was so busy she forgot to feel lonely.

At the end of September the flower opened. By then it was a full grown, middle aged man who stepped out sometime during the night and waited for Nancy to venture out in the morning. The man smiled, thinking of how surprised Nancy would be. Then he looked up, way up into space, hoping for another space seed to land soon so his cat, Clover, could live with Nancy too.

Write your own space seed adventure.

Anonymous Confession

What is the fascination with confessions? Do people lie so much and so easily that they have to take a moment of time to ease their conscience and blab all anonymously or to a religious person sworn not to tell all? I’ve seen magazines about True Confessions, I’ve come across websites with online confessions and I know about the Catholic thing with confessing in church. Wouldn’t life be easier if you didn’t make choices you would need to confess later?

Do you read confessions? Maybe you’re just curious, wonder if you might find someone you know or thrive on gossip but don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings? Go all out and write a phony confession. Confess to doing or thinking something you would never actually, ever even dream of doing. It doesn’t even have to be something bad or really very sinful.

Omnicide

You might think I’m a doom and gloom sort if you knew how interesting I find the end of civilization. But it’s actually the rebuilding and the survival that really interest me. In part the cause and results of how things ended too, like reading a really good mystery where you have to pull the facts together and form your conclusions.

Anyway, today I found a new word: Omnicide is human extinction as a result of human action.

To continue wtih the unpleasantness are genocide and suicide which also mean extinction of a particular group or race and extinction of one person. But, omnicide and suicide are about destruction from within. I think genocide is different in that way.  No other words with that same root come to my mind right now. Do you know of any?

Inland Seagulls

Seagulls will come inland when there is a storm coming. As we live near a bay and another small body of water on the other side of us we tend to hear the seagulls before and after storms. Even though they are not so well thought of and have become a nuisance in places where food is served outside, I still like seagulls.

When I hear the seagulls in the morning as I am waking up, especially on weekends, I think they have a lonely echoing cry. If I wrote a story about the day after the end of civilization I’m sure there would be seagulls crying as I opened my eyes from the disaster the day before. What sound effects would be in your day after story? Take some time to think about it, as if you were writing the scene for a book you have already written and are just adding the polishing touches to now.

Wikipedia: Gull – Information about seagulls and a link to seagull sounds at the bottom of the page.

Flickr: Seagulls – Active group for posting photos of seagulls.

Seagull FAQ