Category Archives: Daily Prompts

Trash taken out

A sink of dishes to do, on the honey-do chore list. But I’m “gathering my energy”. Most folks would call it “stalling” or “wasting time”.

Because, honestly, I’m not terribly eager to face the sink monster this morning.

But I’m also thinking about several story hooks, and how I want to write them. So see, I am doing something! I’m plotting and not-writing!


Anyway you look at it, I should be feeling guilty for not getting A done or not getting B done or my expanding arse occupying a computer chair again.

But it’s my day off! Aren’t I entitled to enjoy the “not-working” which that implies, a little bit, before climbing back into harness and towing the load of salt out of the mine?

See what this blogging thing does? Writing (once an enjoyable leisure activity) now viewed with a degree of “Ugh, work, do not like”. When did that happen?

Annie, how many more weeks until vacation? And Spring?

Meanwhile, dishes are not washing themselves. Nor are brilliant plot ideas leaping magically into my head. Curse you, imagination. Work better. Tote that barge, lift that bail,  nose to the grindstone, whipcrack.

Sadly, even grumbling about chores is way more fun that those Daily Prompt topics have been, lately.

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Sigh… Now I have to Face the Sink.



Write your obituary

… says daily prompt. Yesterday’s, of course, as Today’s hasn’t been published yet.

Not sure I desire a standard local newspaper obituary. They’re just so… Well, don’t want one of those.

I’d prefer a sort of limerick-y, bathroom wall one-liner. You know the kind I mean.

“Here I sit, broken hearted. Came to…”

or maybe

“The once was a man from Nantucket…”

Because I don’t do oh-so-serious. Or dirges. Or requiems. Or epic, tragic poetry.

None of those things are me. SeriousFace is not a mask I wear at all well.

So write something light, kitchen prose or gutter-rhyme, instead of an obituary, please.

“Dave wasn’t a truly bad old tosser,
But sadly not much of a Chaucer.
His prose was quite sad,
(Some even said bad).
But at least he wasn’t a dress-crosser(???)”

Well, write something better that than, please. It limps. Hire somebody who’s good at it.

Or don’t bother. Whatever, I won’t care (being dead).

Now there’s a cheerful start to another 4AM day!

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Write your obituary. 


Surly old curmudgeon interviews

I’ll be honest, most personal questions make my skin crawl. Not sure why, really.

I feel like I’m being probed, uncomfortable with someone digging around in my psyche. At the same time, I’ll happily volunteer all sorts of information about myself (if you’ve been following the blog long enough, the primary problem may be getting me to stop volunteering it). Writers, Narcissists… you know how that is.

I think it’s a holdover from adult-asks-kid interview questions. Any time an adult asks you, “And what do you want to be when you grow up?” you’re nailed down, helpless in the spotlight.

It’s never comfortable in the spotlight. “Uh, well, uh…” Blush, stammer, fidget.

I was born to be a public speaker, you can tell.

Eventually I started using “Nuclear Physicist” as an answer to “what do you want to be”, cause it sounded smart.

Dumb kid.

So anyway, enough digression, back to the topic–“What question do you hate to be asked?”

Essentially, all of them.

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What question do you hate to be asked? Why?

I might not hate, “Want a million bucks?” Someone, ask me that one.

Oh no, not Sunday.

For most people, Saturday’s a nice day off.

For me, it’s a living nightmare. (Because for most people, Saturday’s a nice day off). We’re talking a Dawn of the Dead, zombie-invasion, post-apocalypse un-fun time.

What I would like my Saturday to be:

Wake up with a terrific story idea, that kind that my subconscious wrote for me, and I just have to get it down before it fades away.

Then pop in a movie, relax on the couch. Just chillax and enjoy not-working. You know, like most people.

But that isn’t what I get. That’s never what I get.

Rather than launching another bitch-and-moan session, I’ll just move on and try to enjoy my evening, instead. The next horror show isn’t until tomorrow morning, after all.

Hmm. I might make that one.

Invasion of the American Public“. Rated XXX, this film may be too frightening for younger viewers.

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Remember when people were raised right? ::Shake my cane:: Get off my lawn, damn kids!

What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

Just like Paradise

Here in America, we take our retail very seriously.

The red carpet approach to the retail experience is where all of the paparazzi gather, hoping for a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

The limousines roll up, one by one, to deliver their loads of the Elite directly to the front door at WallyWorld.

The lovely ladies in their gorgeous ensembles and their handsome husbands in full tuxedo; the true joy of the American Retail Experience.

And their adorable children, each accompanied by their Von Trapp family Governess. Note how cultured and mannered and well-behaved all of the children are. Outstanding young examples of America’s Bright Future.

But all of the action isn’t at the entrance, oh no. Inside is the majesty and wonder of the most elite products of the fashion industry. Well-known designer labels, unique creations, models walking the runways proudly displaying this year’s colors and cuts in sizes up to 48XXXL (fondly known as “circus tent”).

And again, manners and culture are the order of the day. Note the cleanliness of the store, and the happy, well-mannered people politely waiting in checkout lines. The young gentlemen, eagerly waiting to scoop up a fallen kerchief and deliver it to a blushing young lady with a complimentary rose.

The smiling grandmothers, dispensing anecdotes of a lifetime’s collected wisdom to their descendants.

The local motorcycle enthusiast club, in their colorful local garb!

Note the wide aisles, perfect for the stately progression of electric “handcapped” carts. There will rarely be an actual handicapped person using one, of course–they were only too happy to give up their carts so that the “circus tent” shoppers can relax and motor about in the height of corpulent style.

Yes, with joyous wonderlands such as these in which to spend our weekends, it’s a surprise that anyone can pry themselves away and go back to work on Monday!

I’d love to spend all of my time here in WallyWorld. How could anything be finer?

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

“This must be just like living in Paradise
And I don’t want to go home.”





Hmm…the Daily Post people are being quite kind to me today; free land and free resources.

I think we’ll avoid the more obvious and saccharine sweet responses. Though I might choose one of those, if the Money Genie dropped a pile in my lap–it would make for a pretty boring topic to read about.

Instead, I want to build something trivial and fun. I’m going with a paintball variant.

Steve Jackson published a game called “Killer” back in the dawn of time, when I was in college. If you’ve ever played paintball or laser tag or anything similar, you’re probably familiar. Every kid that’s ever played “Tag” could pick it up quickly enough.

But basically, you get a bunch of Bros, give them a hit list, and send them out to “Kill” each other….with squirt guns, water balloons and the like as weapons. Any weapon you can “improvise”, as long as it’s certifiably non-lethal.

  • Bitten by rubber snakes!
  • Poisoned with peanuts!
  • Electrocuted by ropes!
  • Bombed with pillows!
  • Shot with a banana!
  • Hosed & sprinkled, squirted and boffed . . . even ping-ponged!

Paintballs hurt. I preferred the disc guns and dart guns, much more personal and foot chase-inspiring. Nerf makes loads of perfect weapons for Killer, so does Super Soaker.

The big problem with the game (as we found out while being chased around Bradley U. by campus security) is that there aren’t many available locations where your “bros” can chase each other like kids around in the dark waving guns, safely. We also got chased out of Bradley Park by the Peoria cops (apparently fireworks on public land was frowned on, who knew?)

But it is fun as hell. Good, clean, white-boy nerdy fun. All we need is a well-designed building, with lots of good ‘hiding places’. And enough insurance, I suppose. Ugh, sign of the evil eye, lawyers begone.

We played once in I.C.C., which had a cool snaky-building layout with lots of cubby-hole hiding spots, but not enough stairs or floors.

Designing the perfect layout for Faux Urban Warfare would actually be the very best part of the challenge.

Stocking a store with Faux-improv-weapon “supplies” would be a good time, too.

Obviously, it would be nearly impossible to turn this into a viable business. So we’re talking about spending a boatload of money for a really, really trivial purpose.

Just-for-fun answer given a Cash-Genie scenario, right?

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You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Had ta be there

Tourists, feh.

It’s just a quiet little grove. Not much happening, except peace and quiet. The perfect vacation spot, the place “idyllic” was invented to describe.

No fourty-hour work weeks, no farming chores to attend to. Food’s provided! Nothing to buy, no use for money.

Maybe too quiet. Need to find someone to talk to, or I’ll just go bugtussle.

And when I wake up the next morning, there she is. Love at first sight! Perfect, just ask and you will receive.

But there is one rule. She makes breakfast for us with a special treat added to the usual fruit basket.

A nice, juicy red apple. (According to some, you could make a case for pomegranates, too).

One bite, and here it comes:

“OK, That’s it. Everybody, out of the pool. Out!”

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What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Why did it have to be snakes?

Think Global

Hmm, globe, sphere, 3-dimensional solids. Geometry, cosines damn but we hated geometry in trig class, didn’t we? It hated us in Calculus, yes it did.

Why can’t we Think Cubical? I’ve always been pretty square. But no, eventually that gets us right back in the cubicle farm, doesn’t it?

Tetrahedron! Now that’s a good classic geometric solid for you. But don’t leave the pointy little buggers lying around on the floor in the dark, owch! Tiny caltrops, just waiting to pounce on big, clumsy bare feet.

Octahedron, now we’re talking, good stuff Maynard. But those eight-siders were so rarely used, just sucking up loads of space in the dice bag.

My favorite, of all time: Dodecahedron. 12 sides, constructed of pentagons. I made one with poster board and tape once, for some school project or other. It was the très kewlness, a much better time than those other Platonic solids.

And twelve different points of view to look at the world, unlike that Sphere.

Of course some smartass will surely point out that Icosahedron fans have even more viewpoints. Indecisive bastards!

So don’t think Globally. Think Geometrically!

And let your nerd flag fly.

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“Think global, act local.” Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.

Nerd. That’s my personal issue, I’m guessin’.

The Merchandising Awakens

Star Wars, Episode I (Phantom Menace).

I thought we’d never come back from that one??

But then Episodes 2 and 3…oh, oh no no no no no. LucasArts, a victim of its own merchandising. Could the franchise possibly recover?

No. You can hold out hope for Episode VII, if you want to. But the franchise is dead. It died years ago.

Someone should bury the corpse already, it stinks.

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The Star Wars franchise is like the thirty-ninth(!!!) Xanth book. Sure, Piers can continue milking it forever. But will anyone still care?

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

Five delicious lunches

Well, I only get to choose five, so balancing the nutrition should be a treat…not.

But I suppose I must begin with bananas (Nature’s Perfect Food, the ads used to say). And they are chock full of useful calories and carbs, and a surprising amount of potassium and trace elements rarely found elsewhere. Gorilla diet = human food. I’ll pass on the bugs as a protein source though, thanks.

A breedable and sustainable protein source. I guess Goats? Easier to maintain than beef, for sure. Damn, I was hoping to get by without needing to learn butchery. Robinson Crusoe in his goat-skin cap, here we come!

I hope my desert island has an ocean. Need seafood, please. I guess crabs are the easiest to acquire, generally speaking. (Can we cheat some not-on-the-list variety, here?)

So protiens and carbs, what’s missing? Probably just vitamins?

Gimme that orange tree (that miraculously grows in this climate), since Scurvy is one of the big malnutrition boys.

Iron from the red meat, iodine from the seafood…what’s a good source of Vitamin A? Hmm, looks like sweet potatoes. Another starchy carb!

Hey, I may even put on weight, on this desert isle.

Well, that’s all I get to choose. Hope there’s enough trace elements in this spread. Nutritionist! I think there’s something missing (antioxidants?), but hey, they only gave me five.

Better be some damned coconuts or breadfruit or something on this island!

Hey, get out of my hut, damn goat. Shoo!

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You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

Hint: Eat your captors and escape!