Author Archives: Mr. D. Sader

About Mr. D. Sader

George Spelvin, Irving C. Saltzberg, Walter Plinge, "Rocket 88", and Alan Smithee are among my closest friends.

Who is Braver?

Who is braver: a person who leads a group of people, or someone who decides not to follow along with the behavior of a group? Answer the queson in the form of a full-length essay. Be sure to support your response with evidence from stories, movies, real world events, or experiences from your life.



Argumentative Essay Tips:
Start with an outline: figure out your main points and the evidence you’ll be presenting.
Start each body paragraph (3) with a topic sentence.
Be certain each topic sentence relates back to your thesis statement.
Use effective transitions between paragraphs and ideas within each paragraph.

Travel for Grown-Ups

Write an essay about three travel destinations you would like to visit when you are “grown up.”

Write about destinations that would bring you joy and inspiration. What destinations would bring your life meaning and fulfillment. Write about destinations that would be an important part of what it means to be “grown up.”

Letter to or from Future Self

Write a letter to or from your future self in which you praise yourself for your imagination, resilience, and perseverence.

Use a direct quotation from each of the following sources:
1. Churchill’s “Never Give In” speech.
2. Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If—”
3. STJ School Song.
Start your letter with “Dear…” and don’t bother with the addresses.


Who doesn’t like a good list? Let’s make one today.

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around List? We’re here to help:

  • Write a countdown of your top-ten [insert the category of your choice]. Cookies, sci-fi movies, Disney villains… the possibilities are endless!
  • From Mozart to Dua Lipa (not to mention Billy Joel), list songs have been popular for centuries. Write your own, or adapt an existing one for your new post.
  • Tell a story — fictional or not — using a list as the device that frames your narrative.
  • Create a new playlist of songs that channel your mood today, and share it on your blog. (Bonus points: you can even embed it from YouTube, Spotify, and other services.)
  • Photographers, I’ll be honest: I don’t know what a visual list might look like, but I trust your ingenuity to create something amazing!


Today, let’s draw all our attention to focus (or the lack thereof).

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Focus? We’re here to help:

  • Many people have been finding it more difficult to stay focused since pandemic-related restrictions have taken effect around the world. Are you one of them, and if so, how have you been navigating this challenge?
  • Tell us about a sound, a smell, or any other type of stimulus that helps you concentrate on one thing.
  • Photographers: share a photo with a particularly clear focal point. Or, conversely: post your favorite out-of-focus shot.
  • Share a story about a moment or a period in your life where, after feeling lost or distracted, you managed to refocus.
  • The word “focus” derives from the Latin for “hearth” — what is the equivalent of a hearth in your home? What’s the object, room, or activity around which everything else is organized?


Even the most self-sufficient among us occasionally find themselves part of a team.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around team? We’re here to help:

  • Sports fan? Easy: tell us about your favorite team and what keeps you rooting for them through thick and thin.
  • Photographers, show us close-knit groups of objects, buildings, animals, or people.
  • From high school rock bands to dragon-boat racing, what has been your most rewarding (or, conversely, most painful) experience of belonging to a team?
  • What’s the most impressive example of teamwork you’ve ever witnessed, whether you were part of it or remained an observer?
  • You’re founding a new team of superheroes and can choose up to three other people (dead or alive, fictional or real) to join you. Who do you choose, and what superpowers are they bringing to the group?


Today, let’s tune out the noise and turn our eyes to things that are normally hidden.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your site in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Hidden? We’re here to help:

  • What’s one thing about you — that you’re comfortable sharing, of course — that nobody would ever guess unless you told them?
  • Is there a spot in your town — a small park, a café, a bookstore — few people know about, and that you consider your own hidden gem? Tell us what makes it special (no need to name it if you’d like to keep it secret!).
  • You’re about to bury a time capsule for the next 30 years. What 5-7 objects would you put in it to represent your life in 2020?
  • Photographers, share an image of an object or a landscape that’s only partly visible.
  • Tell the story of a time when you discovered a hidden, previously unknown power within a person close to you.


Whether you believe in it or not, magic is our word of the day!

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Magic? We’re here to help:

  • Describe a day in your life that felt thoroughly magical. When was it? Where and with whom were you? What made it feel that way?
  • If you could obtain one magical power — from telepathy to flight (let your imagination run wild!) — which one would you choose?
  • Share a photo or another visual artwork that conjures “magic.”
  • Tell us about a skill or a talent you have that has magically saved you from difficult situations time and again.
  • Feel like writing fiction today? Write a short story about a kid’s birthday party that goes awry because of something that happens during a magic show.


Let’s think about the word: tempo.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Tempo? We’re here to help:

  • If you’re a photographer, show us a photo that depicts motion. Feeling like you need more of a challenge? Share a series of three photos, showing slow, moderate, and fast motion.
  • We all march to the beat of our inner drummer. Write a post about your default tempo. Are you someone who likes to take the long slow road, stopping to snap photographs and smell all the flowers, or are you someone who prefers to know all the shortcuts to your destination?
  • Musicians: write a short melody, bass line, or chord progression of eight bars. Create three variations on the melody at three different tempos: 60 beats per minute, 90 beats per minute, and at 120 beats per minute.
  • Poets: choose a favorite poem and write about its rhythm. Check out some information on rhythm in poetry and share your analysis in a post.
  • Artists: do a series of three drawings of the same scene, but set your timer! For drawing one, render as much detail as you can in two minutes. For drawing two, use five minutes to draw the same scene. For drawing three: take ten minutes to draw the same scene. Post your work to your blog. Compare the drawings: which decisions did you have to make to be true to the scene in the time allotted?


Let’s think about a very interesting word: note.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Note? We’re here to help:

  • Today’s the day you start a diary. Take note of how you’re feeling. As Natalie Goldberg says in her book, Writing Down the Bones, “We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. Remember: magnificent, really.
  • Are you self-isolating? Write a note to each person you’re sharing physical space with. Hide that note in a place you’ll know they’ll find it.
  • Poets, put your superpower of observation to work. Look out your window and take note of the first thing you see. It could be the tree across the street. A small bird landing on the ground in search of food. It could be a street sign, a brick building, or maybe an open field. Now, write a poem from the perspective of this inanimate object. How does it feel? What does it think?
  • Artists: put yourself in place where you slept as a child. Take note of everything you can remember. What did it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Render this space from memory in the medium of your choice.
  • Composers: put together an eight-bar melody using only dotted quarter notes and eighth notes.

Start your post


Let’s think about the word: Elixir.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Elixir? We’re here to help:

  • For you, tell us about the elixir of life. Maybe it’s the dog’s wagging tail that lifts your flagging spirits. Maybe it’s the bloom you worked hard to tend. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe it’s the sight of the ancient tree in your neighborhood turning color, creating beauty for all who come near. What’s given you a fleeting lift in the last week?
  • Poets: write an ode to your favorite elixir. Perhaps that elixir is an ice-cold frosty beverage. Or a hot cup of tea. Or a mint julep. Or cranberry and club soda.
  • Photographers: prepare your favorite elixir and photograph the process. Be sure to consider unique angles and tiny details as you tell the story of how you created it.


Let’s think about a very versatile word: instrument.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Instrument? We’re here to help:

  • Do you play a musical instrument? Or multiple instruments? Tell us what inspired you to get started and what keeps you playing.
  • If you don’t play an instrument, is there one that you would like to learn to play if all barriers to it were removed? (When we say barriers, maybe it’s having enough money to buy or rent an instrument, a place to practice in private without disturbing others, or even enough time in the day to focus on learning.)
  • Take a photo of a beloved musical instrument and post it. Tell us what’s special about it.
  • Which songs would you love to learn to play? Why?
  • If you don’t plan an instrument, have you ever day-dreamed of being in a band? What type of music would your band play? Which instrument do you play? Bass? Drums? Piano? Something else entirely?
  • If music isn’t your jam, which tools are instrumental to your hobby? Perhaps it’s the fountain pen you use to draw or the soil in which you’re growing seedlings or a fine piece of wood that will soon become a detailed carving.


Let’s think about listening: today, post something about music.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Music? We’re here to help:

  • What is your favorite type of music? Classical? Rap? R&B? The Blues? Rock and roll? Indie? Drum and Base? House? Alternative? Country? Folk? Somewhere in the folds of two or more of those genres? Something else altogether? How does this favorite type of music speak to you? Why do you love it?
  • If you could be any musician in the world, who would you be and why?
  • What listening format was popular when you started listening to music? Record albums? 8-track tapes? Cassettes? CDs? Streaming Services? Which record/tape/cd did you wear out because you loved it so much?
  • Take a photo or a screenshot of your favorite album and post it to your blog.
  • Have you composed any music? Share it! Bonus points for telling us a little bit about your composition’s origin story. What inspired you?
  • Seen any music live? What about the performance moved you?
  • Which songs would you put on an epic mixtape?

Digital Escape Rooms

Escape from COVID-19
Golden Girls Escape Room
Pete the Cat and the Birthday Party Mystery!
Space Explorer Training- Digital Escape Room!
The Minotaur’s Labyrinth Escape Room!
North Carolina Escape Room
Escape the Sphinx!
Mandalorian Escape Room!
Ancient Egypt Tomb Challenge!
Sherlock Holmes Digital Escape Room
Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 1!
Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 2!
Marvel’s Avengers: Escape from the Hydra Base!
Escape from Star Killer Base! (Star Wars)
Pikachu’s Rescue
Cinderella’s Escape!
Spy Apprentice Adventure!
Harry Potter Digital Escape from Hogwarts!
Alice in Wonderland Digital Escape Room!
Dog Man Digital Escape Room
Harry Potter Digital Escape from Hogwarts
Marvel’s Avengers: Escape From the Hydra Base
Escape From Wonderland Digital Escape Room
Sherlock Holmes Digital Escape Room (Thanks to Sherlock the Musical)
Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 1 (Thanks to East Orange Public Library)
Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 2 (Thanks to East Orange Public Library)
Escape from Star Killer Base; Star Wars (Thanks to Richmond Hill Public Library)
Pikachu’s Rescue (Thanks to the High River Library)
Cinderella’s Escape (Thanks Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System)
Spy Apprentice Adventure (Thanks Washington-Centerville Public Library)
Golden Girls Escape Room (Thanks to unknown)
Pete the Cat and the Birthday Party Mystery (Thanks Abington Free Library)
Space Explorer Training- Digital Escape Room (Thanks Campbell County Public Library)
The Minotaur’s Labyrinth Escape Room (Thanks Salt Lake County: Riverton Library)
North Carolina Escape Room (Thanks To Davie County Public Library)
Escape the Sphinx (Thanks Clermont County Library)
Mandalorian Escape Room (Thanks Manchester Community College Library)
Ancient Egypt Tomb Challenge (Thanks Campbell County Public Library)

Click here to make a copy of this FREE digital escape room planning template.

How to Turn any Worksheet into an Escape Room

How One Mom Used An Escape Kit To Throw A Party Her Kids Will Never Forget

How to Create a Digital Breakout for the Classroom



With all due respect to old, borrowed, and blue things, today’s prompt is all about the refreshingly, excitingly new.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around New? We’re here to help:

  • Tell us about a new skill, hobby, or activity you’ve become interested in recently.
  • Who’s your newest friend? Share the story of how you connected.
  • Spring is here (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) — what do you most look forward to in this season of new beginnings?
  • Is your blog or website new (loosely defined)? Tell us why you decided to launch it.
  • Publish a post in a genre, format, or media that’s totally new to you. For example: poets, share a photo (or several); photographers, write some flash fiction; travel bloggers, post a book review. (And so on and so forth.)


Today’s prompt is all about trios, triptychs, and other things that come in three parts.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Three? We’re here to help:

  • Write about the three objects, books, songs, people, or places that best tell the story of the past year in your life.
  • Share a photo that makes great use of the rule of thirds. (Or, as an alternative, go for an image that showcases three subjects, whether they’re human, inanimate, or something else.)
  • Haiku famously call for three verses. Write a few (maybe… three?) about something you saw on your last walk.
  • Publish a short story or a piece of memoir composed of three sections or vignettes.
  • Think about where you were — geographically, mentally, academically, or any other way — three years ago. What’s the biggest change you’ve gone through during that period?


Whether your brain thinks in feet, meters, leagues, or lightyears, today let’s think about distance.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Distance? We’re here to help:

  • During this time of physical (and/or social) distancing, what’s the thing you miss the most about being in close proximity to others?
  • What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled from your hometown, region, or country? Share one thing that you learned in that faraway (for you) place.
  • Distance doesn’t have to be spatial — it can be temporal as well. Write about a period in your life that now feels as if it took place in a different galaxy.
  • Share a photo that stretches far into the horizon, or go to your window and snap a photo that includes the farthest object or structure you can see.
  • Write a story, poem, or imagined dialogue featuring you and a person you were once very close to, but who is now a distant presence in your life.


With half of April behind us, now is as good a time as any to slow things down.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Slow? We’re here to help:

  • Tell us about an activity, chore, or habit most people devote little time to, but that you enjoy lingering on.
  • What’s your favorite slow-cooked food, and what would be lost if you could prepare it in a few minutes?
  • What music, art, or literature do you turn to when you don’t need to rush?
  • Are you a photographer? Share a recent long-exposure shot. Or, if you’re like me and you only have your phone’s camera, take a photo of an object or landscape that channels slowness visually.
  • Write a poem about feeling calm, relaxed, bored, or unproductive.


We’re going olfactory today: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to publish a post around a scent.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Scent? We’re here to help:

  • Create a list ranking the top-ten scents that make you feel at home.
  • Write about a food or beverage whose smell immediately makes you hungry (or, conversely, makes you lose your appetite in an instant).
  • Take a photo of an object (from a bottle of perfume to a freshly mowed lawn) in a way that makes it so vivid, your viewers could practically smell it.
  • Write a short story or a series of vignettes revolving around a memory unlocked through a specific scent.
  • How would you rank the sense of smell among the other senses? Is it more or less powerful for you than, say, touch or taste?

Philosophy Conundrums

Philosophy Conundrums


 There are people on the streets without shelter; the government owns many vacant houses no one wants to buy. Should the government let these people live in these houses?


There is a book in the library that I think is a neat book. The publisher owns the copyright but will not print any more copies of the book to sell. Do I have the moral right to photocopy the book then?


Suppose that the earth was perfectly smooth all the way around, with no hills or valleys or bumps of any sort, and suppose you tie a ribbon around the equator after pulling it tight so that it fits snugly to the surface all the way around. Now imagine splicing in an extra piece of ribbon –exactly one meter (that is, 100 centimetres) long– and then smoothing out the entire ribbon all the way around the globe, pulling out all the slack so that the ribbon is now everywhere the same height above the earth’s surface, if it comes above the earth’s surface at all. Will you notice a difference?


If one twin gets in a rocket ship and takes a 50-year space trip at very near the speed of light, when he returns to earth, will he be much younger or older than the twin who stayed here on earth?


In order to figure out a math problem, do you need to know whether you are doing it in Greek math, French math, God’s math, or Canadian math?


Are Man’s hockey rules different from God’s hockey rules?


Are Man’s and God’s mathematical laws and principles different?


If you drop a raw egg from the roof of the Fr. Cordeau Centre onto the lawn below, will it break?


If the current 100-meter sprint world champion, Donovan Bailey is healthy and ran a fair 100-yard race tomorrow against Mr. Sader, will the Thirty-something-year-old, slightly scrawny, Mr. Sader win by at least 3 seconds?


For children to grow up to be happy, you should not raise them in ways that (1) make them insensitive to other people’s sorrows and problems so that they do not feel bad just because someone else is suffering, and so that they don’t have to be concerned with other people any more than is simply polite, and (2) make sure they have only limited goals and aspirations because those will be much easier to be successful at and therefore bring happiness.


 If God and people both have to figure out what is mathematically or morally correct, people cannot figure out any of the same principles or answers God can without looking at God’s answer sheet.


 Suppose that your spouse or your baby, like in an old movie, is tied to a railroad track with a train approaching that is carrying 100 people. You are at the switch, but if you switch the train away from your spouse or baby, it will run over a broken bridge off a high cliff with jagged rocks and a raging current hundreds of feet below. What should you do? Why?


What is the modern definition of death?


Do I have the moral right to secretly hook up to the cable TV company, even though it is illegal?


Is it reasonable to forgive somebody who is not sorry for the wrong thing that he did?


If a person is irresponsible and does something that hurts someone else, should he be punished?


If a person is irresponsible and does something that hurts only himself, should he be punished?


You can never leave any room you are in, because before you can get to the door, you first have to go halfway to the door. But before you get halfway to the door you must first get halfway to that place (that is, one-fourth of the way to the door). But there are an infinite number of such halfway places and you do not have time to go to an infinite number of places, so you can never get out of any room — or move anywhere. Right?


A turtle and a rabbit are about to run a race, and the rabbit wants to be fair so he gives the turtle a good head start. The race begins and pretty soon the rabbit gets up to the place where the turtle has started from. But, of course, the turtle has moved ahead a bit to a new place, further down the course. So pretty soon the rabbit gets to that place, but again, by then the turtle has moved ahead to the next new place. When the rabbit gets there, the turtle will again have moved ahead. Therefore the rabbit can never beat the turtle because the rabbit can in fact never even catch up with the turtle, since every time he gets to where the turtle was just an instant ago, the turtle will have already left that place. Right?


If your spouse wants to go out for the evening with you, say to a particular movie, but you do not want to go, what should you do?


Describe exactly what it is for someone to have a headache.


What is a brave act?


In the middle of a large field there is an old oak tree with a thick trunk. A squirrel is on the trunk of the tree, about five feet from the ground. A man is on the other side of the tree about 10 feet from it. He knows the squirrel is there and he circles around the tree in order to see the squirrel. But the squirrel does not want to be seen, so it circles the trunk too (in the same direction), keeping the trunk between himself and the man. Both are going around the tree, but is the man going around the squirrel or not? Why or why not?


Can you tell who wrote or is playing a piece of music (or who wrote a work of literature) even if you never heard (or read) the piece before? Do writers and performers have particular characteristics or styles? If a writer or performer does have particular characteristics that are in most of his/her work, does that make her/him better or worse than someone who does not have a particular style? Or does it make no difference? Why?


What makes a film or TV program or series a good one?


Would it be theoretically possible to make a robot or computer that could think?


When, if ever, is it right to break a promise or a date or appointment?


What makes a work of art (painting, music, film, sculpture, literature, or whatever) a good one?


What is a good person?


Is it more important to be a good person (and/or do the right thing) or to have good things happen to you?


If the mind is the place that all your sensations are perceived, how can you tell they don’t simply start there?














Let’s turn to the pleasures of reading: today, post something about a book.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Book? We’re here to help:

  • Has a book ever changed your life? Which one is it, and how did it transform you?
  • If you could lead the life of a character in any book you’ve read, who would it be?
  • Choose five important people in your life, and (virtually) dedicate a specific book to each one.
  • Spend a few minutes by your bookcase and create a book-spine poem — then snap a photo of it, and share it with your readers.
  • Have you written a book or thought about it? Tell us what your project is about.
  • Feeling less bookish today? No worries: use “book” as a verb and tell us about a restaurant, event, or trip you’d reserve a spot at as soon as it becomes possible again.


We never stop learning — because there’s always someone who can teach us new, unexpected things.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Teach? We’re here to help:

  • We all possess niche, quirky talents. Write a post in which you teach your readers something — from baking a perfect chocolate-chip cookie to fixing a clogged shower drain.
  • Share links to some of the websites, magazines, or podcasts that never cease to inspire you to learn new things.
  • What subject or skill was the toughest for you to learn — and what did your teacher do to help you master it?
  • If you have a pet, what did you most enjoy teaching your pet?


Let’s set aside dark and heavy for a day, and focus on light instead.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Light? We’re here to help:

  • Describe the last time you felt positively lighthearted and carefree.
  • Candles, desk lamps, screen glare, the sun: tell us about the light source that you find most conducive to writing.
  • Share a photo with a particularly dramatic arrangement of light and shade.
  • Focus on any of the other (many) meanings of “light,” from “non-serious” or even “frivolous,” to “weightless” or “a prominent person in a specific field.”
  • Poets, you know what to do: stars, feathers, a dusting of snow, or a roaring fireplace are the stuff ballads and haiku are made of.


Your imagination is wide open with today’s prompt: Bite.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Bite? It has so many meanings!

  • An injury. (“Charlie bit my finger!”)
  • A pinching or stinging feeling — physically (“Yikes, that chile has a serious bite.”) or emotionally (“That criticism is really gonna bite.”).
  • A chance. (“Okay, I’ll bite — what’s your idea?”)
  • A piece of something. (“Take a bite out of crime.”)
  • A slang term for a negative thing. (“I’m sorry to hear that — that bites.”)
  • An action. (“Keep away from the fence, they bite.”)
  • A mouthful of food. (“The part with extra cheese is the best bite.”)

Still not sure? Use one of the sentences above as the opening line of a story, a poem, or a photo essay and see where it takes you.


Orchestrate: To arrange or control the elements of, as to achieve a desired overall effect. That’s your theme for today.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Orchestrate?

  • What’s the most complicated thing you’ve ever done? Tell us about all the moving parts. If you’re feeling really ambitious, give us instructions!
  • What’s the last piece of music that moved you? (It’s fine if it’s not orchestral music, we’re not strict!) What was your reaction to it? What did it bring up for you?
  • What’s the most delicious thing you ate in the past six months? How did all the elements on the plate come together?
  • Publish a collection of short poems, where each one is a stand-alone that also works with the others to tell a bigger story.


In these days of lockdowns, closures, and physical distancing, what does Open mean to you?

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Open?

  • Describe a memorable experience in a wide-open space: a desert hike, a picnic, an old-school train station…
  • Tell us about a store, restaurant, or public venue that’s currently closed, and that you can’t wait to see reopen.
  • Write a haiku (or several) in which “open” is the final word.
  • Share a story about a time when you or someone you know acted with open-mindedness and curiosity.
  • Post a photo that invokes a feeling of openness (for you, at least) and tell us when, where, and why you took it.


When you hear the word song, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Song?

  • Tell us about the one song that brings back a specific childhood event or experience whenever your hear it.
  • Look at the stats of your music player or digital music service: what’s the most-played song in the past week (or month, or year)? Explain why.
  • If you could sing a duet with one performer, dead or alive, legendary or obscure, who would it be? And what would you sing?
  • Do you love curating mixtapes and playlists? Create one to suit whatever mood you’re in today, and share it in your post. (You can embed music on your iBlog website from a number of platforms, including Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, among others.)
  • Take an existing song and tweak its lyrics to fit with your current state of mind or with recent events — just like people on Twitter have been doing with Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
  • Write a glowing review of the song you consider to be the worst of all time.



A street can be many things: leafy, bustling, hidden, cobblestoned, winding. Which one will you write about today?

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Street?

  • Describe the street you live on today as if it were a person.
  • If your community has been under a form of lockdown in recent weeks, write about the thing you miss the most about the streets in your neighborhood.
  • If your window overlooks a street, snap a photo of it, and post it. (Optional: add a poem to accompany the image.)
  • From memory, describe in as much detail as possible the street you grew up on (or any other street that played an outsized role in your life).
  • You have the magical power to combine three streets from anywhere in the world into one perfect street. Which three would you choose, and why?


Focus on something delicious. Serve us your best dish.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Dish?

  • What’s the best thing you’ve cooked this week? Tell us about your meal — the food, the company, the setting, or anything else you’d like to focus on.
  • If you could go anywhere you wish (and money were no object), where would you go, and what would be the first thing you’d eat there?
  • Many of us have powerful memories of a specific dish from our past — something not even the best professional chef could recreate. What’s yours?
  • Share a photo of the next meal you’re preparing, and teach us how to make at least one thing shown in it.
  • What’s the one ingredient you would never be able to live — let alone cook — without?
  • Feeling poetic? Write an ode celebrating a dish you love.


We can all use one sometimes: talk to us about hands.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your site in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Hands?

  • Look at yours. What have they accomplished? What do you hope they’ll do next?
  • Tell us about a time someone lent you a hand, or a time you were a helping hand for someone else.
  • Create a post with your hands: share a sketch, or a photo of handwritten text.
  • Is there something you’ve always wanted to try your hand at? What holds you back? Tell us about it.
  • Stuck inside? Post a photo of something that’s close at hand. Why did you choose that thing? What does it mean to you?


Life has thrown a big one at a lot of us these days: a curve.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Curve?

  • Write some flash fiction that takes an unexpected twist.
  • Do a little self reflection: trace the arc of your life from 5 or 10 years ago to the present day, or think about what you hope the arc of the next 10 will look like.
  • Share a photo or a sketch of a graceful curve — the stalk of a flower, the pillow of a chubby cheek, the rounded edges of the cookies you just baked.
  • Write a poem where the final word curves back around to echo a word used in the first line.


Birds in the hand, peas in a pod: today is about pairs.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Pairs?

  • Pick two people who don’t seem to have much in common — people you know, celebrities, historical figures, fictional characters, up to you! — and write a story about what happens when they’re forced to spend time together.
  • Pair different media in one post: add images to a story, add video to a photo essay, add sketches to a collection of haiku.
  • Tell us about the best meal you’ve ever had, the best trip you’ve ever taken, or the best book you’ve ever read, and pair each one with a song. Bonus points for embedding the songs in your post!
  • Look at your nearest pair of shoes. What stories do the scuffs tell?

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Today’s one-word prompt is Joke, and no, this isn’t a prank.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Joke?

  • Tell us the best / worst joke you’ve ever heard, or the most recent one.
  • April Fools’ Day! Share your favorite memory from years past.
  • Tell us about the funniest person or animal you know.
  • Describe the last time you had a full-on, snort-inducing belly laugh.
  • Not feeling very jocular today? Understandable. Tell us why.

To Build a Fire

Read “To Build a Fire” by Jack London.
Responding to the Story

  • The author writes of the main character, “The trouble with him was that he was without imagination.” Why would it be important to have imagination living and traveling in a harsh climate? What other characteristics or qualities does the man have? How are these demonstrated?
  • When did you first suspect that the man was going to die? How is his death foreshadowed?
  • Who or what is the “enemy” in this story? How did the man deal with this enemy? What type of conflict is developed in this story?
  • Why do you think Jack London gives no name to the man or dog?
  • What examples in the story can you find that tell you it was written a long time ago? Could the events in the story occur today? Why or why not?

Literature Studies: Short Story Theme
In “To Build a Fire,” Jack London not only tells his story convincingly, and entertainingly, he also expresses his feelings about the North and how people react to it.

  • In a sentence, write what you think the author’s theme is. List three examples from the story to s support your view. For each example, write a sentence that explains why it supports the author’s theme.

Writing an Essay
Look over the notes you’ve made so far. What you have written may be enough for a rough outline for an essay about the story’s theme.

  • The sentence you wrote about the author’s theme is your thesis. this is a statement or viewpoint you are trying to prove or explain.
  • The sentences you wrote for the examples are similar to the topic sentences you might write for the body of your essay. They develop and prove your thesis.
  • Review your notes. Is your thesis clear and easy to understand? Do your examples support your thesis or do they stray from its topic. Revise your sentence outline.
  • Now write a five-paragraph essay. The first paragraph will be your introduction and include your thesis sentence. Write a paragraph for each of your topic sentences. End your essay with a one-paragraph summary or conclusion. Work with a partner to edit and revise your essay.

Research: Gather Facts
“To Build a Fire” takes place in the Yukon. Use online sources to find out more about the first large settlement in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. List each fact you discover. Include a link to the source of each fact you collect. Divide your facts into categories, for example, the type of people who went there, or how people traveled to the gold fields. Using these categories as guidelines, write a brief report.

The Prospector’s Trail

Read “The Prospector’s Trail” by Cathy Jewison
Page 21 from Imprints 11

Write a brief description of Roy’s personality. Do the same for Norman and Jennifer. In each case, include specific lines from the story that illustrate the character traits you’ve described.

In your view, do the characters in “The Prospector’s Trail” seem like real people? Do you detect any stereotypes? Explain.

There are two red plaid shirts in the story. What is their symbolic significance.

Rewrite a Fairy Tale

Pick a fairy tale and rewrite it.


Change the time period.

Change the point of view: rewrite in first person, change the point of view from to another character.

Change the relationship.

Change the gender.

Change the genre – turn the fairy tale into a Science-Fiction thriller.

Change the place – physical, cultural, socio-economic.

Human Rights Violation

Research an example of a human rights violation from any country at any point in time.


Focus on one event and find three different sources: a book, online, magazine, etc.


Compare what you have learned from each source. If there are differences in facts and explanations, how can you tell which is correct.

Why is it important to use more than one resource when researching a topic.

Random ideas for a short story

  • fate vs free choice
  • a secret reason
  • a quiet sacrifice
  • betrayal of an old relative
  • flirting with a stranger
  • flirting with an old friend
  • predator vs prey
  • a symbolic object
  • jealousy
  • second language words or phrases
  • specialty jargon
  • animal captivity
  • symbol of good
  • symbol of evil
  • annoy your brother
  • regret a decision
  • choose safety over risk
  • something mythologically familiar
  • a song without words
  • a song with words
  • a passage from scripture
  • describe a colour
  • focus on hands somewhere
  • current piece of technology
  • a current event in the news
  • some natural phenomenon with infinite details
  • notice dirt, mud, dust, rust or decay in some small way
  • refer to a classic book by name
  • have a character cut something with scissors or a knife
  • have a character write something on a sticky-note
  • quit something
  • cuss but don’t write the word
  • flashback
  • whiffle ball accidents
  • two faced
  • dream with a shadow in it
  • eat healthy at a fast food restaurant
  • loss of your own soul
  • a falling object
  • focus on a facial expression
  • loss of a significant other
  • betrayal of another
  • poison from a secret
  • chaos from order
  • have a character say “Huh?” and really mean it.
  • smile fiercely
  • smile falsely

Twitter Essay: Environment and Technology

Your Specific Tasks:

The Discussion:
Form a discussion group of about 5 students(invite a staff member, too, if you want).
Start your discussion in Twitter (use a new/unique #hashtag and avoid spamming existing hashtags). One of you picks the discussion starter from any of the “Environment and Technology” prompts from my iblog. Post follow-up responses to each other so the discussion is “two-way”.

The Proof:

  1. Add a #hashtag widget to your blog of your discussion.
  2. Create a “Twitter essay” in your blog highlighting the main points in your discussion, try to embed a tweet or two from each contributing group member.

Demonstrate these “I can…” outcomes:
“I can … Explore your thoughts, ideas, understandings and ask your discussion group members to do the same.
“I can … Respect each others opinions, but work together towards building a discussion thread that is perceptive, insightful, engaging and unified.

Once each member of the group is satisfied that they have completed the discussion task, and met the more general “I can…” outcomes, assign your discussion thread a score using this “Personal response” rubric:

Use this rubric for scoring your “Twitter Essay”:

Rubric for a “Twitter Essay”

Barney 2.0


Imagine a companion story to “Barney” by Will Stanton – “Barney 2.0.”

Think about the possibilities of a parallel story where a female rat also experienced “awakened intellectual curiosity.” Her name is … Barbara. (It has to be Barbara, I’ll tell you why if you ask after all stories are done.)

1. Begn the diray in trees in the stial of the ratt Barney.


2. Begin a new sequence of enlightened diary entries in the voice and style of Barbara.

No “R” rated male/female stuff for the rats, please. I could not handle that. Classical allusions, metaphors, allegory, suspicion, trickery, betrayals, violence, fear of isolation, love and loss. Barney and/or Barbara have “flipped through” more books. Go.

PG-13 ok. Imagine the musical soundtrack if you like, just no sex.

Have fun, but try to remain faithful to the purposes of Will Stanton in the original.

What does your “Barney 2.0” reveal about the human condition after critical examination?

Environment and Technology–Reality and Responsibility

Equality–Pain and Pride

The Wheelbarrow Girl

Molly Malone
In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”

“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh,”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”.

She was a fishmonger,
But sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they wheeled their barrows,
Through the streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”


She died of a fever,
And no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone.
But her ghost wheels her barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”


Stop to talk with Molly Malone and, on the pretext of buying some mussels from her, strike up a conversation with her about her life and her dreams.
Write the dialogue that goes on between you.

Conduct Your Own Oral History Project

The Courage of Conviction
Conduct Your Own Oral History Project

An oral history project preserves part of a person’s life history—as viewed through that person’s eyes, experiences, and memories. In general, oral history projects add to the knowledge we share about our lives and also add details to our understanding of the past. History is not simply a series of isolated events that you read about in text books. History is truly made up of the life experiences of individuals just like you.

To gather oral history, it is important to conduct a good interview and to take good notes.

Get Started: This activity can be done with a friend or two—while one person interviews by asking questions the others can take written notes or record what is said on tape. Successful oral history inter- views will cause the person being interviewed to start telling colorful stories—just like those captured on film and in the book form of Glory Road.

You, too, can capture the story of a person who has acted on his or her beliefs or convictions.

Think about someone you know who has done something wonderful, overcome a hardship, or committed an act of courage.

Make an appointment to talk with this person and to interview them. Tell the person you will need about an hour of their time. Be sure to bring a note pad. A tape recorder would also be help- ful, if you have one. You may also wish to bring a camera to take a picture of the person you are interviewing. And, bring a friend or two to help if possible.

Before you go, make a list of questions that you would like to ask. 10-12 questions are about the right number. Here are a few oral history questions you might use:

  1. What is your full name? Did you have a nickname when you were growing up?
  2. Where were you born and when?
  3. What would you consider to be the most important inventions that have been made during your lifetime?
  4. How is the world now different from what it was like when you were a child?
  5. Do you remember your friends and/or family discussing world events and politics? What did you talk about?
  6. Who was the person that had the most positive influence on your life? What did this person do?
  7. Is there a person that really changed the course of your life by something that he or she did? Who was it and why?
  8. Do you remember someone saying something to you that had a big impact on how you lived your life? What was it?
  9. What were the hardest choices that you ever had to make? Do you feel like you made the right choices? What would you do differently?
  10. Have you done something that you feel especially proud of? Please describe it.
  11. As you see it, what are the biggest problems that face our nation today and how do you think they could be solved?
  12. Describe a time and place when you remember feeling truly at peace and happy to be alive. Where were you? What were you doing?

Be sure to thank the person you have interviewed and let them know that you will share what you write. Remember to ask permission to share their story with others. You could even write them a thank you note!

Now, write or record the stories you heard during the interview in a way that will be of interest to other young people.

If granted permission by the person you interviewed, be sure to share your oral history with others—adults, your peers, younger children or your local paper!

Does Music Speak to Your Values?

The Courage of Conviction: Social, Political, and Spiritual beliefs

The 1960s was a time when popular music—whether country, R&B, gospel, Motown or rock—spoke of themes such as overcoming adversity and the possibility of freedom and equality. Songs touched on messages about the hardships of racism, poverty, and the urban experience. During the Vietnam War, many songs were also written raising questions and calling for peace. Not only were songs on personal issues heavily requested, but also personalized songs, dedicated for a loved one, were pervasive.

Composers of songs that addressed social issues took risks to express their values, as well as their social, political and spiritual beliefs through their music. Some songs were ignored by radio stations. Yet, some of these same songs from the 60s are still on the airwaves today and most of them have endured and been recorded on CD, and are widely available online (YouTube, iTunes, Play). Newly composed and recorded music still speaks to us on many of these social themes and concerns.

Listen and Respond

Think of a song that you enjoy today that you believe speaks of an important social issue, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Listen to it a few times, and reflect on the following questions. Write out your answers.

  1. What are lyrics from the song that stir emotions in you? Why? Record the lyrics that you believe are the most powerful or memorable below:
  2. How do you feel when you listen to this song?
  3. Why do you think the themes and messages in the song are important?
  4. Do you believe that a wide range of people, for many years to come, will be able to connect with the meaning of this song (in the way that people have connected with the meaning of “People Get Ready” for more than 40 years)? Why or why not?

Group Discussion

If possible, share your song (by playing it) with a group and have each person share the song that he or she chose for this activity. Talk about the messages in the songs. Tell each other what your answers were to the questions above.

Write a Post

Write a post about a song in which its composer addressed social issues and took risks to express their values – their social, political, and spiritual beliefs – through their music.


Try These:

Sweet Music (One of These Days)
Written by Alicia Keys
Produced by Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers (as Kerry “Krucial” Brothers)
Performed by Alicia Keys

Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
Written by Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Henry Cosby
Performed by Stevie Wonder

Written by George Donald McGraw
Performed by Rock-a-Teens (as Rock A-Teens)

Rave On
Written by Del ‘Sonny’ West (as Sunny West), Bill Tilghman, Norman Petty
Performed by Buddy Holly

Kaw Liga
Written by Hank Williams, Fred Rose
Performed by Hank Williams

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
Written by Hank Williams

If We Never Needed the Lord Before We Sure Do Need Him Now
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey

I Can’t Get Next to You
Written by Norman Whitfield (as Norman J. Whitfield), Barrett Strong
Performed by The Temptations

I’m Blue
AKA “The Gong Gong Song”
Written by Ike Turner
Performed by The Ikettes

Last Night
Written by Charles Axton, Chips Moman, Floyd Newman, Gilbert Caple, Jerry Lee ‘Smoochy’ Smith
Performed by The Mar-Keys

Shake It Up Baby (AKA Twist and Shout)
Written by Bert Berns, Phil Medley
Performed by The Isley Brothers

My Guy
Written by Smokey Robinson
Performed by Mary Wells

Function at the Junction
Written by Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.), Shorty Long (as Frederick Long)
Performed by Shorty Long

My Home is on the Delta
Written by Muddy Waters (as McKinley Morganfield)
Performed by Muddy Waters

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch)
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)

Can You Do It
Written by Richard Street, Thelma Gordy
Performed by The Contours

Burnt Biscuits
Written by Chips Moman, Booker T. Jones (as Booker T. Jones, Jr.)
Performed by The Triumphs

I’m on My Way to Canaan
Written and Performed by Mahalia Jackson

Baby Love
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by The Supremes

Jordan River
Written by James Herndon
Performed by Shirley Cesar

Texas Fight
Written by Colonel Walter S. Hunnicutt, James E. King, Burnett “Blondie” Pharr

Green Onions
Written by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Lewie Steinberg and Al Jackson Jr.
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T. and the MG’s)

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)
Written by Otis Redding, Jerry Butler
Performed by Otis Redding

Ain’t That Good News
Written by James Cleveland
Performed by The Meditation Singers

El Paso
Written by Marty Robbins

Going to a Go-Go
Written by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Tarplin, Warren Moore, Bobby Rogers (as Robert Rogers)
Performed by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Written by Junior Walker (as Autry Dewalt)
Performed by Jr. Walker & The All Stars

You’re a Wonderful One
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edwards Holland, Jr.
Performed by Marvin Gaye

Get Ready
Written by Smokey Robinson
Performed by The Temptations

Ain’t That Peculiar
Written by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Tarplin, Warren Moore, Bobby Rogers (as Robert Rogers)
Performed by Marvin Gaye

Down in the Boondocks
Written by Joe South
Performed by Billy Joe Royal

Ballad of the Green Berets
Written by Barry Sadler (as Barry A. Sadler), Robin Moore
Performed by Barry Sadler (as Sgt. Barry Sadler)

Road Runner
(AKA “I’m a Road Runner”)
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.)
Performed by Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Dancing in the Street
Written by Marvin Gaye (as Marvin P. Gaye), Ivy Jo Hunter, William Stevenson
Performed by Martha & The Vandellas

These Arms of Mine
Written and Performed by Otis Redding

People Get Ready
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by The Impressions

Up All Night Blues
Written by Rick Garcia, Craig Eastman
Performed by The Raven Shadows

The Eyes of Texas
Written by John Lang Sinclair

On, On, U. of K.
(University of Kentucky)
Written by C.A. Lampert

People Get Ready
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Produced by Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers (as Kerry “Krucial” Brothers)
Performed by Alicia Keys and Lyfe Jennings

I Will Make the Darkness Light
Written by Charles P. Jones
Produced by Alicia Keys and Trevor Rabin
Performed by Alicia Keys

Conversation Starters

Are you a good listener?

Turn to the person beside you and ask them to talk to you for about 30 seconds about one of the following:

  • Tell me what you would do if you won a million dollars?
  • Tell me about the last movie you watched?
  • Tell me about why this school year is (or is not) better that last year?

Macbeth: Personal Response after Act 5

Examine one of the following topics and write a narrative or personal essay:

Kingship (Consider the differences between the four Kings in the play)
Ambition (Consider the differences and similarities between the ambitions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth)
Guilt (Consider Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s response to guilt)
Order (Consider nature, politics, relationships, and how order is restored)
Deceptive Appearances
Fathers and Sons
Loyalty and Patriotism
The Ideal Marriage

Stand Up

Have you ever stood up for something you believe in?  A brave and proud woman takes a different path at the … Borders.

Background Check:
Locate the following on a map:

  • Western Canada
  • Western United States
  • Alberta
  • Montana
  • Follow Alberta Highway 4 to the border where it becomes Interstate 15 in Montana.
  • Follow I-15 through the states of Montana, Idaho, and Utah to Salt Lake City
  • Locate other place names: Vancouver, Edmonton, Vermilion, Lethbridge, Coutts, Sweetgrass, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Kicking Horse Pass, Banff, Cardston, Browning, Calgary, Pincher Creek, Chief Mountain.
  • Locate the Blackfoot reservations closest to Coutts.

Refresh your familiarity with the Blackfoot. What details did you already know? What new interesting details(3-5) have you found?

Read the short story “Borders,” by Thomas King.

Respond to the Story

  1. Why is not stating her nationality such an important issue for Laetitia’s mother?
  2. Do you think the mother did the right thing in not telling the border guards what they wanted to hear? Explain fully.
  3. What role does one’s nationality play in forming your identity
  4. “Native literature gives readers new ways of looking at the distinctions between the real and the imaginary, diffusing the tensions of identity checking by looking beyond to wider contexts.” Discuss.
  5. To what extent do you believe the mother and her son suffered discrimination from both the American and Canadian border guards. Use explicit information from the story to support your view.
  6. When asked what he found so “compelling” about borders, Thomas King, in a 1999 interview, replied, “The fact that there is one. The fact that right in the middle of this perfectly contiguous landscape someone has drawn a line and on one side it’s Canadian and therefore very different from the side that is American. Borders are these very artificial and subjective barriers that we throw up around our lives in all sorts of different ways. National borders are just indicative of the kinds of borders we build around ourselves.” He speaks further of the need to keep constructing new borders: “As soon as we get rid of the old ones we construct new ones” (Interview with Jennifer Andrews). Discuss.

Editor’s Desk
In “Borders,” Thomas King uses a variety of sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and parallel structures. Any story that is full of simple sentences tends to be choppy and sound, um, boring. King uses different sentence types to create variety and keep the reader interested.

Write a post about Thomas King’s sentence structure.

“Her gun was silver.”

“The Canadian border guard was a young woman, and she seemed happy to see us.”

“The border was actually two towns, though neither one was big enough to amount to anything.

“He leaned into the window, looked into the back seat, and looked at my mother and me.”

Pick 5 and Synthesize (Part 2)

Pick 5 of the following words and synthesize them into a piece of your writing:

  • divergent
  • amity
  • pseudovision
  • extremities
  • abnegation
  • transcribe
  • apparitions
  • prototype
  • plod
  • cultivating a narcotic
  • contingency
  • incrementally
  • unfathomable
  • threshold
  • gumbo
  • dauntless
  • perpetual
  • candour
  • idyllic
  • perfunctory
  • polyurethane
  • bureaucrats
  • ontologically
  • erudite
  • intuitive
  • ventilator
  • roundabouts
  • decompensating
  • reverberated
  • skeletons
  • ghosts
  • invisible
  • primal
  • vigilant
  • tenuous
  • gourmet
  • pungent
  • hyperthyroidism
  • catastrophic

Pick 5 and Synthesize (Part 1)

Pick 5 of the following words and synthesize them into a piece of your writing:

  • psychological
  • scorn
  • elitism
  • promenade
  • demeanour
  • crystalline
  • bickering
  • furrow
  • gilded
  • a rococo motif
  • absently
  • deprived
  • orrery
  • turnover
  • endowed
  • haunches
  • evanescent
  • wiry
  • claustrophobic
  • disembodied
  • matronly
  • oblation
  • hackles
  • bedraggled
  • frump
  • decisively
  • vehemently
  • tote
  • tentatively
  • resentfully

A Room with a View (or Just a View)

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.

— Joan Didion

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

from Writing 101: A Room with a View (or Just a View) by Ben Huberman

Write a Descriptive Paragraph

Think about a family member who has had an impact on your life. What memories stand out in your mind? Jot down words or phrases that describe the person. Consider character traits and physical appearance, as well as memories you have of the person. Write a descriptive paragraph using these details. Will your readers be able to picture the person your describe? Use concrete nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to create your description.

Nature Personified

Watch some living creature(s) in their natural environment: a nest of garter snakes, an orb spider, a gopher mound.

Write a short story featuring the creatures, but describe them with human characteristics: personify.