Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Writing Prompt: Flying Monkeys

Narcissists project a false sense of self in order to get a constant stream of attention (also known as their narcissist supply).  If they aren't getting the adulation, admiration, respect, fear, applause or affirmation that they seek, they will  manipulate situations and pit people against each other in order to create drama and garner attention for themselves.

Of course, narcissists don't always work alone.  Sometimes they enlist the help of family and friends who believe their stories and do the bidding of narcissists.  "Please just do this for the so-and-so," they'll ask the narcissist's target.  Alternatively, they'll spread gossip and rumors in order to help the narcissist achieve his or her goals.  The helpers of a narcissist are known as "flying monkeys."

For today's writing prompt, spin us a short tale of -

flying monkeys and the damage they can do.

Three Wise Monkeys - photo by Ray in Manila / CC BY (

Monday, June 22, 2020

Writing Prompt: Operation Mayhem

For today's writing exercise, we'll dip a toe into the world of political thrillers.  We'll begin with the known fact that somewhere in far off lands, there are whole offices of people spending time online with the sole purpose of fomenting and exacerbating arguments between various factions within western society.  In other lands and other buildings, secretive organizations seek to weaken society's resolve in the war against terrorism.  They spread rumors that horrible terror incidents were actually "inside jobs" perpetrated by shadowy government conspiracies.  We'll sprinkle in a smattering of actual bona fide conspiracies and secretive moves by politicians and major financial interests.  By the end of the day, everyone questions everything everywhere.

For today's writing prompt, examine your own society, look at its political and societal fault lines, and write a short piece of fiction about agents of a foreign power that try to create -


Photo by Jonathan McIntosh / CC BY (

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Writing Prompt: A Cowboy

Frazzled?  Annoyed?  Are people getting on your last nerve?  It's time for a western Wednesday prompt.  Look behind him.  There isn't a person to be seen for miles and miles.  Cowboys were social distancing before social distancing was cool.  For today's writing prompt, take us to a home where the buffalo roam and spin us a yarn about a --


Friday, June 5, 2020

Writing Prompt: A Drabble of Fish

One of the best ways to relax is to go fishing.  Fishing provides a chance to breath deeply, reflect, exercise patience, and use skills and knowledge to find good fishing spots.  One of the fun things about fishing is that fishing spawns fish stories.  A good fish story can transform the most humble of fishing trips into something amazing.  Whether you're writing a reflective book like A River Runs Through It or a Peter Benchley epic that requires a bigger boat, fish stories are fun.

A Brook Trout

For today's writing exercise, let's write a flash fiction fish story called a drabble. Your story must contain - 

exactly 100 words and a fish! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Writing Prompt: Another Perspective

For every yin, there is a yang.  For every point, there is a counterpoint.  But, in today's polarized America, it can be difficult to see the other side of any story.  In today's writing exercise, you are invited to see the world from a perspective that is not your own.  Today's writing prompt is to walk in someone else's shoes for awhile.

Here is our scenario:

It's late on a dark, damp, night on a four-lane road through a suburban office park that is largely empty at this late hour.  A silver Chrysler 300 with two black occupants has just been pulled over by a police officer from the suburban city.  The Chrysler has deeply tinted windows.  A backup police cruiser has just pulled in behind the first officer.  The officers get out to approach the vehicle.  Something is about to go very wrong.  Someone is going to die or get seriously injured.

Chrysler 300 photo by SsmIntrigue / CC BY-SA (

Write a short story or flashfiction story that ends in tragedy.  You can write the story either from the perspective of the African-American driver and passenger or from the perspective of the police officers.  But, the challenge is to write it from the perspective that you have the least affinity for.  Let the reader  know what your characters are scared of, what they have to live for, and what goes wrong.  Challenge your own perspective.  Play with the scenario.  But, write from a perspective that is diametrically opposed to your own and write a story where to opposite perspective is not necessarily bringing an attitude of malice.  For today's writing prompt, just

write from another perspective.

If you are a moderate that sees both sides, then pick a side, write a tragedy for all involved, or write the scenario where everyone does everything right and tragedy is averted.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Writing Prompt: Hit the Road

If you've been cooped up for too long, it's time to get your imagination out on the open road.  To start you need a classic sportscar like this Triumph Spitfire and a great destination.  But, there's more.  A classic sportscar isn't just a car.  It is a moving bundle of idiosynchrasies and comes with all sorts of joys and heartbreaks.

For today's writing exercise, try to describe aspects of your journey using all five senses.  What do we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel along the way?  Incorporate all of our senses in your writing.

For today's writing prompt ---

take us on a trip!

Setting Writing Prompt: The Old Shack

America's countryside is littered with old houses, barns, and shacks.  Many of these are documented and explored in Abandoned Places pho...