The Writing Reader

Creativity Unplugged

0 notes

Prompt #410 Fear

fear of...

He had lost his courage. In its place was a sick nausea. -L. Ron Hubbard, The Great Secret (Stories from the Golden Age)

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use this as a first line for a story or as the inspiration for a poem.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when your courage left you.

Art Prompt: Fear

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about fear and its impact on your life or the life of a famous person.

Photo Credit: fluffisch on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #409 Colonizing Mars

Salmonella typhosus, cause of typhoid fever

Michael Crichton would have loved this: Bacteria common to spacecraft may be able to survive the harsh environs of Mars long enough to inadvertently contaminate the Red Planet with terrestrial life, “If long-term microbial survival is possible on Mars, then past and future explorations of Mars may provide the microbial inoculum for seeding Mars with terrestrial life,” according to researchers from the University of Central Florida. “Thus, a diversity of microbial species should be studied to characterize their potential for long term survival on Mars.” Off the record, many astrobiologists believe that we’ve already contaminated the planet. -The Daily Galaxy

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about an accidental microbial infestation.

Journaling Prompt: Write about space travel - do you dream about it? fear it?

Art Prompt: Microbes on Mars

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the human history of transporting microbes as they travel.

Photo Credit: kat m research on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #407 First Line of the Week - Elif Shafak

Mother & Daughter in our festival shelter.

“There we were, my mother and I, caught in a bittersweet maze of feelings that only mothers and daughters are capable of getting caught in.” Elif Shafak, Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story beginning with the first line of the week.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you and your mother relate to each other.

Art Prompt: Mothers and Daughters

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the relationship between a mother and a daughter.

Photo Credit: Ctd 2005 on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #406 Word of the Week - Maw

Smile for the Camera

maw: 1. The upper digestive tract (where food enters the body), especially the mouth and jaws of a ravenous creature. 2. Any great, insatiable or perilous opening.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story using the word of the week.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a perilous opening that you’ve gone through.

Art Prompt: Maw

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use the word of the week in your writing or speech.

Photo Credit: Furryscaly on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #405 Courtesy

be thankful

Consider the custom, in American society, of constantly saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ To do so is often treated as basic morality: we are constantly chiding children for forgetting to do it, just as the moral guardians of our society - teachers and ministers, for instance - do to everybody else. We often assume that the habit is universal, but… it is not. Like so many of our everyday courtesies, it is a kind of democratization of what was once a habit of feudal deference: the insistence on treating absolutely everyone the way that one used only to have to treat a lord or similar hierarchical superior…

All of this is a relatively recent innovation. The habit of always saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - among those very middle classes who were largely responsible for it. It is the language of bureaus, shops, and offices, and over the course of the last five hundred years it has spread across the world along with them. It is also merely one token of a much larger philosophy, a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe one another, that have by now become so deeply ingrained that we cannot see them. -David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set in a society where no one says “please” or “thank you.”

Journaling Prompt: What are you grateful for today? To whom do you need to express your gratitude?

Art Prompt: Please and Thank You

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Discuss courtesy and its role in society.

Photo Credit: rustiqueart on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #404 Aggression and Self-Control

chocolate chip cookies

Criminologists and sociologists have long believed that people commit violent crimes when an opportunity arises and they’re low on self-control. “It’s an impulsive kind of thing,” says Thomas F. Denson, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales. He cowrote the new article with C. Nathan DeWall at the University of Kentucky and Eli J. Finkel at Northwestern University. For the last 10 years or so, psychologists have joined this research, using new ways of manipulating self-control in experiments; they have found that, indeed, self-control and aggression are tightly linked.

A psychological scientist can deplete someone’s self-control by telling the subject they’re not allowed to take one of the cookies sitting in front of them. Studies have found that, after people have had to control themselves for a while, they behave more aggressively. In a 2009 study, after someone’s self-control was depleted, they were more likely to respond aggressively to nasty feedback that ostensibly came from their husband or girlfriend. Specifically, they assigned their partner to hold a painful yoga pose for longer. -Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where one person purposely depletes another’s self-control and what happens.

Journaling Prompt: What depletes your self-control and how do you react?

Art Prompt: Self-control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: What aspects of modern life are depleting our self-control and leading to a generalized increase in aggressiveness?

Photo Credit: seriousbri on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #404 Aggression and Self-Control

chocolate chip cookies

Criminologists and sociologists have long believed that people commit violent crimes when an opportunity arises and they’re low on self-control. “It’s an impulsive kind of thing,” says Thomas F. Denson, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales. He cowrote the new article with C. Nathan DeWall at the University of Kentucky and Eli J. Finkel at Northwestern University. For the last 10 years or so, psychologists have joined this research, using new ways of manipulating self-control in experiments; they have found that, indeed, self-control and aggression are tightly linked.

A psychological scientist can deplete someone’s self-control by telling the subject they’re not allowed to take one of the cookies sitting in front of them. Studies have found that, after people have had to control themselves for a while, they behave more aggressively. In a 2009 study, after someone’s self-control was depleted, they were more likely to respond aggressively to nasty feedback that ostensibly came from their husband or girlfriend. Specifically, they assigned their partner to hold a painful yoga pose for longer. -Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where one person purposely depletes another’s self-control and what happens.

Journaling Prompt: What depletes your self-control and how do you react?

Art Prompt: Self-control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: What aspects of modern life are depleting our self-control and leading to a generalized increase in aggressiveness?

Photo Credit: seriousbri on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #404 Aggression and Self-Control

chocolate chip cookies

Criminologists and sociologists have long believed that people commit violent crimes when an opportunity arises and they’re low on self-control. “It’s an impulsive kind of thing,” says Thomas F. Denson, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales. He cowrote the new article with C. Nathan DeWall at the University of Kentucky and Eli J. Finkel at Northwestern University. For the last 10 years or so, psychologists have joined this research, using new ways of manipulating self-control in experiments; they have found that, indeed, self-control and aggression are tightly linked.

A psychological scientist can deplete someone’s self-control by telling the subject they’re not allowed to take one of the cookies sitting in front of them. Studies have found that, after people have had to control themselves for a while, they behave more aggressively. In a 2009 study, after someone’s self-control was depleted, they were more likely to respond aggressively to nasty feedback that ostensibly came from their husband or girlfriend. Specifically, they assigned their partner to hold a painful yoga pose for longer. -Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where one person purposely depletes another’s self-control and what happens.

Journaling Prompt: What depletes your self-control and how do you react?

Art Prompt: Self-control

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: What aspects of modern life are depleting our self-control and leading to a generalized increase in aggressiveness?

Photo Credit: seriousbri on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize

0 notes

Prompt #403 Awaiting Doom

Halley's Comet

During the night of May 18/19 of 1910, when the Earth passed through the tail of comet Halley, some people took precautions by sealing the chimneys, windows, and doors of their houses. Others confessed to crimes they had committed because they did not expect to survive the night, and a few panic-stricken people actually committed suicide. Enterprising merchants sold comet pills and oxygen bottles, church services were held for overflow crowds, and people in the countryside took to their storm shelters. A strangely frivolous mood caused thousands of people to gather in restaurants, coffee houses, parks, and on the rooftops of apartment buildings to await their doom in the company of fellow humans. -Gunter Faure and Teresa Mensing, Introduction to Planetary Science: The Geological Perspective

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story set during a time when people believe that they are doomed.

Journaling Prompt: How would you spend tonight if you knew it was the last night of your life?

Art Prompt: Awaiting Doom

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: How do you see the tendency toward doom and despair playing out in today’s world?

Photo Credit: NASAblueshift on Flickr

Filed under tumblrize