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A Quick Note to All Followers

Hello everyone.

As you probably noticed, it has been a while since I posted a new challenge.  I hope to get the challenge back up and running eventually.  For now, feel free to browse the old challenges and try ones you didn’t do when they first appeared.  I’m sure the participants wouldn’t mind if you looked at their contributions as well.

Cheers!

A Female Horseman

Devilish little thing, isn't she?  (Photo credit: ktryon)

Devilish little thing, isn’t she? (Photo credit: ktryon)

I already did a post about this on my regular blog and I saw some interesting ideas in the comments.  For that reason, I’m reposting the question as a writing prompt.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.  Needless to say, these horsemen are all men.  Since women are also quite capable of destruction, there ought to be at least one among the apocalyptic ranks.

Which of the four horsemen do you think would be best represented as a woman?

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Beep Beep Boop

Doesn’t everyone just love the sight of the “Beep Beep Boop” screen when we try to write a post?

That’s what I thought.  It kind of makes you wonder where the folks at WordPress got such a wonderful idea.  For this week’s challenge, you’re going to speculate on how that phrase came to become so prominent around here.

However, your task won’t be so simple.

First, go to images.google.com and do a search for “Beep Beep Boop.”  Then, go to “search tools” and make sure the usage rights for the image are appropriate for your blog.  You’re going to need to include the picture in your post.

What you’ll find on the search page is a wide array of photos.  Choose one that might illustrate where “Beep Beep Boop” came from and write a post about how it might have inspired the WordPress staff.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

This picture of Cher was the third image in my search results.  ((Photo Credit: David Carroll)

This picture of Cher was the third image in my search results. ((Photo Credit: David Carroll)

Leaving Prison

The path to freedom?  (Photo credit: Try Jimmy)

The path to freedom? (Photo credit: Try Jimmy)

When people leave prison, one of three things often happens:

1- The prisoner is so relieved to have his freedom that he makes absolutely certain that he never has to go back.

2- The prisoner goes back to her old habits and gets locked up again.

3- The prisoner enters the world to find that he lacks the social standing, community, and support system he had in prison.  Since life as an ex-con sucks for him, he intentionally gets himself sent back.

This kind of thing doesn’t just happen with literal prisons.  For instance, certain jobs may feel like a prison and sometimes people quit.  After that, they may be grateful for their freedom or they may try to return; they may even end up returning in spite of their wishes not to.

For this week’s challenge, think of a time when you (or someone else) departed from a place or situation that was like a prison.  However, try to avoid the simple story of “I was so grateful for my freedom and I never went back.”  Instead, try to write about something that parallels #2 or #3 from the list above.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Deep Within the Castle Walls

This would be a dream come true, but I'm not holding my breath.  (Photo credit: Mary Harrsch)

This would be a dream come true… but I’m not holding my breath. (Photo credit: Mary Harrsch)

Travel is usually a pleasure.  The change in scenery soothes weary eyes while the sights often lift the spirits.  Of course, the fortunate traveler also discovers excellent restaurants that deliver local recipes.

And then we have the eating establishments that are located inside the tourist attractions.  They’re kind of like school cafeterias except the cooks know you’re not coming back… so there’s little reason for them to make the food edible.  Some of these so-called restaurants are merely “not good” in the sense of airplane food but some look like they’d redefine the entire concept of food poisoning.

With that in mind, this week’s challenge offers several possibilities:

1- Recount an experience of eating at a tourist attraction.  What made you decide to eat there and how did the food compare to the surroundings?

2- Think of a tourist destination that you would not expect to have good food.  What is it about the location that would lead you away from culinary delights on the premises?

3- If you’ve had good food at a tourist destination, tell us about the meal.  Also provide the location so that readers can benefit.

4- Propose the establishment of a restaurant at a tourist attraction of your choice.  Include a basic business strategy and discuss why such a restaurant would be appropriate or profitable at the location you choose.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Answer a Stupid Question

I was shopping in a department store and had the pleasure of overhearing a mother and her (approximately) sixth grade son having a conversation.  They were in the men’s underwear section and the son was not particularly happy with the experience.

The boy says to his mother, “Why do all these packages have men on the packages?  Why can’t they show women wearing the underwear?”

We all know the obvious and most clearly correct answer.  Don’t write about that.  Instead, your challenge this week is to devise a sociological, psychological, or other other intellectually infused explanation for why underwear manufacturers don’t sell their product using irrelevant images like other businesses do.

You are not obligated to write a post about underwear packaging.  Instead, consider focusing your post on the sociological or psychological (or other) phenomenon that your explanation is grounded in.

Sex sold valve caps.  Sex sells cars.  Sex sells alcohol.  Sex doesn't sell underwear?  (Image is in the public domain.)

Sex sold valve caps. Sex sells cars. Sex sells alcohol. Sex doesn’t sell underwear? (Image is in the public domain.)

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Death, Taxes, and Quotations

He could kill and tax people, I'm sure.  (Image is in the public domain.)

He could kill and tax people, I’m sure. (Image is in the public domain.)

Nothing is certain but death and taxes, or so the old saying goes.  Another popular quote: “Always look on the bright side of life.”  Perhaps someone might also say, “Always look on the bright side of death and taxes.”

This week, you will not be writing an ode to how much you adore death or taxes, or even on how death and taxes might serve a useful purpose.  Those topics are already overdone.  Instead, pick another famous quotation and transform it into a line about death, taxes, or death and taxes.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Dick Cheney’s Sex Appeal

Happiness is a beautiful thing.  (Photo came from this site by way of a Google Images search.)

Happiness is a beautiful thing. (Photo came from this site by way of a Google Images search.)

Are you laughing?  If so, existing research can offer a reason for that.  Humor is often structured as the juxtaposition or integration of two things that don’t go together.  It might be that “Dick Cheney” and “sex appeal” are incongruent, that “sex appeal” and that scowl in the picture don’t go together, or that a post containing the words “sex appeal” doesn’t seem to fit on this blog.  Whatever the reason, this post’s title surely got your attention.

By the same token, you might be surprised to see that this post is written in a serious tone without the undercurrents of humor or innuendo you found in the title.  If anything, the outrageous title proved to be  sober explanation of what you found when you read further.

For this week’s challenge, your title should create humor by bringing together two things that one does not normally see together.  The two things might both appear in your title or you might create a clash between your title and the picture everyone will see immediately.  Alternately, you could choose a title that will grab your regular readers’ attention for being far outside the scope of your normal tone and focus.  Whatever you choose, make sure that your post is serious yet still relevant to the title you used for your starting point.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

Subconscious Dreamscapes

random

I drew that picture myself using a computer painting program.  I had no idea what it is or what it might mean when I created it.  Of course, I could get an interesting (if not necessarily accurate) psychological analysis out of it if I were to treat it like a dream and search for a deeper meaning.

For this week’s challenge, you’ll be creating your own piece of rudimentary digital artwork.  The only requirements are that it contain at least one person somewhere on it and that the remainder be abstract; additionally, the person need not be you.  While you’re creating your artwork, don’t think about what you might write.  Let the color flow freely.

When you’re done, look at the image and ask yourself what it says about you or what message it might convey.  Analyze.  Be sure to look at individual pieces (for example, the purple corners in my picture) and think about what they might represent.  Then, create a post that includes your image as well as the explanation of what you’ve discovered about that image.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.

 

Reincarnation

The many lives of a soul.  (Image credit: Himalayan Academy Publications)

The many lives of a soul. (Image credit: Himalayan Academy Publications)

This week, you can write about yourself, someone else, or a fictional character.  Whomever you choose, that person is going to die twice in your post for this week’s challenge.

Imagine that someone is going through successive lives and that those lives (or individual events from those successive lives) come together to develop a person’s spirit.  With this in mind, write three stories; each story should come from a different reincarnation of that person but that person must be a different entity in each story.  The result should (at least somewhat) resemble the character development you normally find in a novel but without keeping that character in the same body.  You could also use this challenge to show how your selected person or character became the way they are or to speculate about what they’ll be like in their future lives.

Compose and publish your response to this prompt on your own blog.  Be sure to include a link to this post so that a pingback will appear here, thereby allowing other participants to discover your work.  Please be patient if your pingback does not appear immediately; I am not at my computer 24/7 and I have to approve all pingbacks.  For this reason, using the bcandelabra tag may be advisable.