Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Decorating/Writing Game & Awards

Justine over at Justine's Froggy Bloggy passed along the Bookworm Award. I am reading Stephen King's non fiction book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

On page 56:

"I won't try to argue that 'A Gradual Canticle' is a great poem (although I think it's a pretty good one). The point is that it was a reasonable poem in a hysterical time, one sprung from a writing ethic that resonated all through my heart and soul.

"Tabby was in one of Jim Bishop's rocking chairs that night. I was sitting on the floor beside her. I put my hand on her calf as she spoke, cupping the curve of warm flesh through her stocking. She smiled at me. I smiled back. Sometimes these things are not accidents. I'm almost sure of it."

Part of the book is a memoir, the other part a "toolkit" for writers. This is the second time I've read it. I lost my hardback; a writer friend brought this over for my son. He hasn't touched it, so I'm reading it aloud and driving him to play World of Warcraft.

And speaking of writing, if you would like to see Isa's update on the power attorney and her excursion into the yellow dining room (from Wednesday's post), click Isa's Story for a fabulous read. Just scroll down to the comments.
(Isa, thank you for allowing me to post this--you rock!!!!).

I love Susan's idea of posting a picture and then seeing our different reactions.

So I came up with a decorating/writing game. It can be played any time (especially with the holidays pressing down upon us). This game is also a "warm up" exercise that helps banish "Blog Block" or "Writer's Block." It's a great way to unlock your creativity and to get things flowing again.

(If anyone comes up with a way to banish "Decorating Block," please write. :-) )

The 3 elements of the game are:

1. Make up a decorating story that involves this setting

2. And then listen to this song, "Windmills of Your Mind" by Sting--or watch this video....and let your imagination run wild.

3. Write a sketch about the photo and the song, and use the following words:

French blue

daylight (or rain)

cinnamon (or cloves)


smooth (or rough, crinkly, glassy)


Circle (or circles)





You don't have to use all of the words--just use at least 5.

If you decide to participate, then post the results on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can post it here. Oh--and please pick up this award:


  1. This sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not doing much typing right now (have to rest) but I hope you will do this again sometime. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this.

  2. This does sound like fun. I'll give it some thought and try to do something next week at the lake.

    My muse flew, this week, with all we've been up to. It flitted by, around 9 PM last night, for a brief moment, so I managed to put together a little post, which is really a schedule of upcoming events, with a couple of snowy photos.

    I'll make some notes, from your post, later today, so I'll have them ready to think about, during the drive to the Ozarks, Sunday.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. This will be a fun read, but writing is not my creative outlet...I will look forward to reading the others though. vickydarnell

  4. This sounds like a fun. Great idea.

  5. Oh this sounds like such fun! I'm going to have to try to get my creative juices flowing! If I don't have creative juices to flow, I'll enjoy reading what other's come up with. laurie

  6. This definitely looks like a fun thing! Might give it a whirl in between everything else (ugh) Thanks for stopping by and the birthday wish;) French

  7. Oh how fun, I'm gonna give it a shot! :)
    Mike likes Stephen King novels...they're usually too scary for me though, lol!


  8. Gollum congrats on your award. I like this game it does sound fun, you know I love that setting, the song, movie and words are excellent. I might just have a go at this over the thanksgiving weekend.
    Have to finish Mermaids first though. hugs, Kathy.

  9. What a brilliant exercise! It will be fun to see what creative juices it stimulates.

    (The Thomas Crown Affair is one of my all time favorite movies, and oh it is about Pierce Brosnan. What a yummy!)


  10. ok...I gave it my best and put it on my bolg.. I'm afraid it's kind of flat. LOL! I think I'm gonna have to leave the fiction to you, it's a lot harder then I thought! But it was really fun! :)


  11. Hmmm... the story has to be about decorating? This will be a HUGE challenge for me in that case!!!!!!

    Justine :o )

  12. Justine, I have a general idea about how they look (with some characters this is stronger), but I don't pair a Hollywood actor with a character. That's what I meant. When I made the scrapbooks, I couldn't find faces that matched the ones in my mind's eye. So I looked for photos that involved break ups--lots of pix that way.

    One more thing, it's not a decorating story. I should have explained that MORE BETTER. LOL The picture is the setting for the story. (And like Hemingway said, the setting doesn't have to be can be below the surface.)

    I'm off to clean my refrigerator--again. I'm doing it one shelf at a time. For tomorrow, I'm blogging about Thanksgiving stress. ::Sheesh::

  13. Muffin was my college nemesis and my dearest friend! Nothing I did could compare with her all-encompassing skills. Daylight or darkness, rain or shine she ran circles around me. Decorating was her biggest talent. (What did you expect of someone actually named Muffin at birth?) I watched her as she decorated countless dorm rooms. I sat by, hopelessly wishing, just once, I could wave a wand and create a little magic of my own. Life after school happened to each of us .. on different continents! Looking at a clock meant adding eight hours to determine if it was an appropriate time to talk. So many conversations through the years .. about husbands, children, happiness and sadness, dreams and disappointments.
    And how did life turn out for me? Well, I bacame a decorator too! Imagine that!
    Flash forward .. here we are today preparing for a face-to-face meeting! At an international, invitation only, highly acclaimed decorating symposium. Everyone is required to submit a favorite design. Muffin's will shine no doubt. She is still the apple of the decorating world's eye. So much angst and lots of jitters...and suddenly I'm looking at photos of two designs -- alarmingly similar. A porch used for dining, French blue paint, apple green paint, the reflection of mountains in the window panes, hanging crystal pendant lights, simple florals, lit candles, pure charm ... pure, pure charm. And I look once more and realize that Muffin and I are still connected. Our minds in perfect sync .. like wheels spinning silk into thread. She is my dearest friend - and no longer my nemisis.

  14. Gollum... I going to give it a try... this sound like so much fun! I will post tonight when I get home from work!


  15. You know, I think that I will give this a try. But I can't get to it tonight, so please give me a day or two. I am finally recovering my dining room chairs. It only takes the threat of a house full guests to motivate. - Robyn

  16. I'm like Vicky, writing isn't my creative outlet either, in fact I don't know what is! I can't wait to see what the others come up with! I loved Isa's story about the yellow dining room, with the high powered lawyer and Caitlin! I tried to read the other story she wrote, but darnnit! It has been removed! Connie

  17. Gollum,

    I posted my Story...


  18. Gollum, I absolutely loved this. Thank you for doing it! I just finished my little story and it's up on my site, along with the music. I fell in love with my characters - I wish they really were my family. =)

    I couldn't watch the video, and hadn't seen the movie - I didn't want it to color my imagination. I can't wait to hear what you think!


  19. Connie, thank you for telling me about that broken link--I fixed it.
    My son is reading a book on character development and it has a chart:

    Character's Name
    job archetype
    birth sigh
    style of dress
    distinguising marks
    family secrets
    worst fear
    greatest hope
    prized possession
    general outlook
    lessons to learn


  20. Hi Gollum, I think I am going to try this... this weekend...I don't have a blog but will post it on yours, and hope to keep it short and sweet (like so many good romances :-)! ) I'll bet you are (at least)a hundred kicks to be around. I would give my eye teeth to be at a party that you are at!

  21. Okay Gollum,

    I took the plung, I posted something. And I know you wrote that we didn't need too, but I think I used all but one of the words. LOL


  22. GG girl~ This DOES sound like a lot of fun! I can't wait to "MAKE" the time to give this a "whopping whirl"! (Is MONDAY OK?~ more ledger stone being installed in kitchen tomorrow, guests coming Sunday, etc.~ YOU know, "LIFE in general!"). Looking forward to reading everyone's stories later, after the weekend! (May I print mine here? I don't have a blog, remember?). GREAT IDEA! And HELEN I enjoyed YOUR story here! Weekend blessings to all & Happy T'Giving, too!!! Happy hugs, Linda

  23. Well, I couldn't resist and I did it too! It was a lot of fun. Thank you! bridget

  24. Gollum,

    I had so much fun participating in this exercise. I left out so many details because I didn't want my story to be too long.

    If you come up with another exercise, I will write about her again. :) (LOL)

    I really enjoyed myself and I am glad that you enjoyed my character as well as my story.

    Thanks a million!!

  25. WHat a fun challenge...I've enjoyed reading the results of this challenge that I've found so far!!

  26. Good Morning Gollum... I have heard so much about you that I finally had to come visit you... It was the challenge that brought me here... I am by far not a creative writer and I am just enjoying everyone else's stories but I wanted to stop by and visit (glad I did... love your blog) and invite you to visit mine... I am putting you on my favorites so I can keep up with your blog... Please stop by and when you do if you would kindly sign my guestbook and if you want click on my followers to follow my blog... Have a wonderful Day... Nice visiting you...


  27. This is really a lot of fun! I read a few, and I've posted my story too. Deb

  28. YES! We want to do this again! lol! For me it's good because it gets my imagination flowing. I really think fiction is harder than fact to wrtie but I've always wanted to try it and this gave me the courage to try at least. It gave me a starting of the best ideas anyone's had! This was soooo fun!

    Buffie :)

  29. Hihi

    I spent a chunk of the afternoon following people home from here so I could read their stories -- it was wonderful.

    Thank you so much Gollum, for being the catalyst for all this wonderful creativity. I thorougly enjoyed writing in it, reading everyone's stories, and seeing the the world colored happier because of people's creative juices flowing!


  30. This was so much fun to do! My story will post Sunday morning. I can't wait to see what everyone else came up with, and to see if we were on the same wavelength or came up with something totally different!

    Life on Bonnie Lane

  31. Hello Ms. Gollum...oh, I just proved what an amateur I am...but it was a fun challenge! I'm going to have to try this again..thanks for the prompt! ♥;-) Bo♥