Wednesday, January 26, 2011


 #3: The dictionary atop your shelf has more than 200,000 words defined. Why don't you blow some dust off the cover and randomly pick out 10 words? Don't look at the meanings, just concentrate on the words. Write down your chosen words. Now, you're going to have fun creating meanings for those words. What do the words make you think of? What do you think they should mean?

elegise (n), an elephant dressed as something else, usually for the purpose of concealing its identity. The elegise wore thick, fully-body wigs on a regular basis to baffle the scientists in the region who were studying woolly mammoth fossils.

democratize (v), to remove all emos from an area. The party was successfully democratized when the DJ started to play Celine Dion.

homophone (n), a phone that experiences sexual and/or romantic attraction towards other phones of the same variety. The cell phone's parents were shocked to hear their son's admission that he refused to date landlines and was indeed a homophone.

capriote (n), an angry mob consisting entirely of headwear. There was a capriote outside of the college campus today when hundreds of mortarboards were carelessly thrown into the air by the graduating class.

halophyte (n), a battle that takes place in the popular videogame, Halo. No, honey, I can't come to dinner, I'm in the middle of a halophyte... ask me again next week.

banjaxed (v), having one's banjo stolen. The farmer's hired helpers went on strike after their boss banjaxed them.

calzone (n), slang term for California. The calzone is a mythical land on the west coast of the United States that operates on a set of fundamental principles that vary greatly from that of our own dimension.

radiopelvimetry (n), the insertion of a radio into one's pelvis. Because I lose every ipod I buy, I've been looking into radiopelvimetry.

ebullience (n), the state of mind in which one thinks they are a cow. After years of performing as a highly-skilled matador, Ricardo was finally forced to retire when he acquired an unfortunate case of ebullience and tried to headbutt his opponent in the ring.

lambertia (n), the tendency of a moving lamb to resist any changes in its motion.  We now know that Jesus was able to walk on water because of his natural lambertia.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


#2: A picture is worth more than a blank page. Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14.  Count however way you like, but make you sure you stop at photo #14. Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes. Then for 10 minutes, write all of the feelings the photograph made you feel. Don't censor yourself. Just write.

The first thing I thought was, "Damn, I don't know where the photo albums are." I went to look, but there weren't any in the living room. After pacing and wondering what exactly I could use instead, I went upstairs, reached into the depths of my closet, and found an old pack of photos in one of the boxes that I figured would serve my purpose.

#14. It was...well, a little jarring. It was taken when I was maybe 5 or 6. My eyes were bluer than, hair blond and down to my cheeks. I was wearing some hideous red and white striped long-sleeve that I'm pretty sure I loved at the time.

I'm being restrained by my brother, Chris, who must have been about 14 or 15. From the angle the photo was taken, he actually doesn't look much bigger than me. I guess that was before he became gargantuan. His face looks almost exactly the same as it does today, which for some reason comforted me.

Next to us about a foot away is our cousin, Travis. He must have been about 10 or so. I haven't seen him in years, so I don't know if he still looks the same today or not. He's got a funny little gleam in his eye. I always thought he looked mischievous in most of our old family photos, though I never could say exactly why.

It's Christmas, or nearly, because we're all on the floor of the living room and a fully-decked out tree is behind us in the corner, presents and all. I can tell just how dated this is because we're on a carpet, and the living room hasn't had a carpet in years. I forgot we ever had one, honestly. I'm trying to remember when exactly this was taken. I think I recall a massive family-reunion style Christmas at our house way back when. Then again, Travis and Leila didn't live that far away, so maybe it was just us. I remember going to their house a lot. I don't know if we ever spent Christmas there, but I sort of hope so.

I look at Chris and it nearly makes me laugh because we're both smiling and he looks like he's pretending to tackle me, but I'm smiling and looking right at the camera, so it must have just been a "pose tackle," unlike all the other times we'd wrestle (which were hilarious by the way, considering he was always roughly four times my size).

But, as I said earlier, it was kind of jarring. I hadn't exactly forgotten that we had those moments together, but it almost seems like another lifetime. Like I said, I haven't seen Travis in years, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure he lives in the state. Everything kind of changed when Leila died. We didn't really go over to the house anymore, just a few times to help clear out and sort all the stuff. I don't remember seeing Travis at all after that. All I can really remember in the year or so that followed was Mom being periodically very upset. It was a terrible time for her and the entire family, one that's really stuck with me because it was my first real experience with loss. It took me ages to realize that I wouldn't see her again, that we wouldn't have another Christmas with them again in our dated living room on our ugly carpet playing with Koosh balls (which are scattered next to Travis in the photo).

Chris is grown now, too. He's turning 26 in a little over a month. He lives across the country in Seattle and has been out of the house for about 4 years. In fact, almost exactly four years. It was mid-to-late January when he left to join the army. I don't see him much, but the last time was a month ago for Christmas, because I can't really imagine spending a Christmas without him, further evidenced by this photo. Even if it's a hell of a lot harder now, Mom does everything she can to try to get the family together for Christmas. I sure ain't complaining. I love the family, even if it's a little small because people have the rather rude habit of dying or not having kids.

Come to think of it, Chris, Travis, and I were pretty much it for the family kids at the time. There was also my cousin Casey who I never got to see, but she's much older and now has kids of her own who I also never get to see, but I think she still counts as my generation. That's another weird thing about my family, we're so scattered. Mom and Dad's parents are both based in Seattle and the surrounding area, my only surviving aunt on my Mom's side lives in Michigan, my only aunt on my Dad's side lives in Philadelphia, and here we are in New England. Any extended family beyond that scope is pretty much beyond me, honestly.

I guess what jars me about this picture is that what was once a happy and fairly common sight now just...never happens. I don't see Travis anymore, Chris lives across the country, and I'm pretty sure I burned the striped shirt in effigy.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Prompt #1: Close your eyes briefly. Think of one object that’s in the room and focus on it. Without opening your eyes, recall as much detail as you can about it. After three minutes or so, open your eyes and write about that object without looking at it.

There’s a little square table in the corner of the dining room. The wood is dark cherry red and it’s quite pretty, or, it would be, if it wasn’t absolutely ancient and the surface wasn’t warped. That was rude. I shouldn’t say that about the table; it would give you the wrong impression. Really, it’s a lovely table. I’m just being rude to it because I feel like being rude, and it’s very easy to be rude to inanimate objects because they can’t be rude back to you. Usually. If they do, there’s a problem. But I’m in my right mind tonight, or at least I must be, because the table isn’t being rude back.

I don’t really know where it came from, honestly. I want to say it was Aunt Leila’s, but that might be wrong. It might have been here when we got the house. Though, come to think of it, I doubt that, too, because I don’t see it in my mind when I think back to my early childhood memories. Then again, my early childhood memories aren’t exactly the most reliable source. That section of my mind is sort of my Wikipedia section: subject to convey one perfectly normal piece of information one day, and studded with imagined alien visits the next. Does that make sense? I don’t care. It did to me.

The table is very dusty because no one ever dusts the furniture because that’s usually my job and I’m exceedingly bad at it. I usually blow off tasks my parents give me. I probably shouldn’t, but I do, and I honestly don’t have much of a reason why I do it. We all rebel against something or other in some way or another. But, since I can’t stand in front of tanks in Tienanmen Square, I’ll stick with not dusting my parent’s furniture. At least while I’m still sixteen. All bets are off when I’m old enough to get out of this tiny town.

On the table are various objects: vases, a statue, some computer cables. The statue was Leila’s (this one I’m only slightly more sure of than the table itself), and the vase may have been, too. The computer cables are mine because I’m quite disorganized and like to leave my junk out where unsuspecting passersby can stumble over them, such as on an ancient, dusty table in the corner of the living room that no one really cares about, anyway.

#0:The explanation

I am a Stumbler. For those of you out there born under a rock, this means that I have a toolbar that lets me click a little button and be transported to a random website based on my interests.

One day, my Stumble button gave me this:

After staring at it for a long time, I realized that I had found the inspiration I'd been searching for. I am a writer, but my mind likes to go on periodic strikes. I at times have problems deciding what to write about.

This is my personal experiment. I am going to start at prompt number one and see if I can work my way through all 346 by posting one prompt a day.

What do I hope to achieve by this? Mainly, I'd like to just generate ideas that may be used in any future works of mine, but we'll see where I take this.

Thank you all for reading!