Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Light Switch

Write a scene involving a light switch. Bloody fingerprints smeared across the switch plate, or a light that doesn't come on. It's up to you. The only requirement is that the light switch is part of the story.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Your Feet

Describe your feet. How do they feel? How do they smell? Write a brief description, add it to a character and use it in a brief scene.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Sometimes shadows offer shade, othertimes they might be scary. Describe shadows in a way that strikes an emotion in the reader.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Write a scene describing the emotions experienced when a long awaited piece of mail arrives. It is an acceptance or denial?

Possible scenarios:

Student hearing from a college
Writer hearing from a publisher

Friday, April 21, 2006

Blessing or Curse

Write a scene where the character gets what they've always wanted, but not with the result (or perhaps in the way) they were expecting.

You may write it as general fiction. For example: a young woman longs to be married and her desire is fulfilled. However, the reality of everyday life makes her wish for the days when she had more freedom.

Or, you can take more of a fantasy, thriller, horror route. I think of Stephen King's Thinner.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Notice in Your Mailbox

Write a short story about receiving a notice informing that a package awaits your character at the post office. Why couldn't it be delivered in the mailbox? Did it require a signature, or perhaps was too big to fit into the mailbox. Build the anticipation and bring the story to a close with opening the package.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Essay Contest at the Dabbling Mum

"Standing out on the deck, observing the birds in flight, and admiring the view..."

All entries must be received by July 1, 2006, no later than 8 p.m. Central Time Zone.
A new contest will be posted by the 10th of the following month!

Submit Your Winning Essay!

Subject: Essay Contest Entry
Your full name:
Your email address:
Your complete address:
(Required to send prize.)
Your phone number:
(Required in case email bounces or prize returns.)
Please tell us how you found us?
Paste your descriptive, story-telling essay using the following format:
(1) Tell us if the essay is hypothetical, made up, or true,
(2) Your 500-600 Word Essay
* If your essay is longer or shorter, it WILL be disqualified.
(3) Your Web Address (optional)
Send your email to:

* Please type this email address into your email program.
It is a .jpeg and not clickable; to prevent spam.

See: for all the details

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Bell Tolls

In the steeple of a little village church a bell hangs, but doesn't ring as often as it once did. Tell the story of this bell.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Forbidden Fruit

Way back to Eden, humans desired what they should not have, taste, touch, or look at. Write a scene with a character lusting after something off limits. If you can't think of something, choose one of the following:

dieter--a food they are not to eat
man or woman--someone else's date
teenager--a father's '69 Corvette

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Natural Inspiration

In my book Pumping Your Muse you'll find an exercise called "One Inch Tall." In that chapter, I explain how a drainage ditch inspired a whole new world. That world not exists as the soon-to-be-released Windwalker. As I went for my walk this morning, I snapped a picture of the drainage ditch where it all started. Imagine yourself one inch tall, and see where it takes you.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Create a scene involving two ships at battle. These can be seafaring ships, space ships or any other type of ship your imagination conjures up.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Low Battery

Write a story about a low battery in one of the following:

Cell phone

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Story Starter

The young girl huddled in the shadows of the pub. Her dark, disheveled hair hung in her eyes.

"She ain't talkin'," the barkeep said as he swiped a dirty rag over the worn wood counter. "Don't know where she's from...who's her people." He shrugged.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Favorite Dish

Describe your favorite dish. Entree or dessert. Smell it, taste it, feel it. Mm. Make the reader want some.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hamburger Joint

Depict a visit to a hamburger joint back in the 50's. What's the floor look like? Is there a counter with stools? Is music playing? Is it crowded? Have a blast with the past.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Comic Book Story

Comic books tell stories in frames. Dialog shows in balloons and sounds are written out in letters like ZONK. Write a story in Comic Book Form. Make each short paragraph a frame.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Home Improvement

Write a scene depicting a home improvement project. It can be a small task or a large refurbishment job. Write the story from one character's POV.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Boat

Place your character in a charter boat leaving the dock for a day of fishing. A small group of people and one charter captain head out to the great unknown. Describe the day. Be sure to include the sense of smell and sound.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Missing Day

You character opens their eyes and blink in the early morning sunlight. What time is it anyway? Have them start their morning routine and discover they've missed a day.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Blurred Vision

Your character rubs their eyes. They strain to focus, but their vision is blurred. What are they trying to see and why?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Gym

Place an overweight, middle-aged character at the gym among fit twenty-somethings. Music blaring, face paced instructions and the latest equipment create a frenzied pace. Write a humorous piece from this character's POV.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

One More Thing

Create a scene where your character is trying to get out the door for an appointment, but has one more thing to do first. Do they get side-tracked, run late, experience a mishap?