Category Archives: Creativity

A Little Spring Fling Writing Challenge

I often feel stuck when I’m writing. When I first started pursuing writing as a possible career, sometimes I would walk away when I got stuck. But more often than not, I would get lured by the lovely promise of writing something new. So of course I wound up with lots of beginnings of stories, but very few middles or endings. I’ve since learned to ignore the siren songs of new stories in favor of powering through the current story and, as a result, I now have a few manuscripts under my belt. In fact, this month I am participating in Candace Havens’s Fast Draft and am powering through another story.

But as I’m sitting here on my back deck working, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and after the awful winter we’ve just had, I feel like celebrating spring with just a little bit of something new. And I’m inviting you to join me. I’ve picked four words at random and am going to write something using those four words. My time limit is fifteen minutes. I’ll share what I come up with in the comments section below and hope you will do the same. The words I picked are: ostrich, carnage, melancholy, August. Don’t worry if you don’t use all of them, or even any of them. They’re just to get you started. And if you can’t spare fifteen minutes, try ten or five. No hard and fast rules here. Just go for it and have fun. I’m off to do mine now. See you on the other side. 🙂

If This Were A Sign, What Would It Mean?

Before I get started, I need to give credit for the above title to Sally Felt. She and I took an online website design class together, part of which had all the students looking at each others shiny new web pages. In her class post, she mentioned this is a game she plays to help get her creative juices flowing. I loved the idea of it and have kicked it around in my head ever since she mentioned it.

This spring and summer, I’ve really been asking the question a lot lately and all because of feathers. That’s right, I said feathers. For some reason, since winter ended, I have been seeing an unusual amount of bird feathers. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep count of how many. I wish I had but, trust me, it’s been a lot. I see them everywhere – on my deck, on my lawn, on my windshield, on the street. There have been a few in the parking lot at the library, and there was even one just inside the entrance to the supermarket. I picked up a beautiful brown and white one a few weeks ago. I am assuming it is a hawk’s feather, and it now resides in my desktop pencil holder. My dog, Spike, was snuffling around the edge of the yard the other day and came up with a pretty little white one stuck to his nose.

But mostly they’ve been large black ones, which makes it all sort of spooky. And thus what has really prompted me into asking if this were a sign, what would it mean? Having spent many an hour during my formative years reading Stephen King novels, you can guess what kind of path my mind is wandering. Just what are those crows up to? Are they leaving each other signals? I recently saw a Nature episode on PBS demonstrating how intelligent crows are, complete with problem solving skills, so the prospect of them leaving feathers around for a purpose does not seem too far-fetched to me. Perhaps they are letting each other know where the next meeting of the revolution will be held (can you say Hitchcock?).

Does this look like an innocent grouping of feathers to you? I think not!

So I put it to you. Share your creativity and tell me what you think the feathers mean. Or maybe you’ve got some signs of your own to share. Either way, let’s figure out what they mean before the crows take over the world…..