Writer’s Block

Slice of Life 2019: Day 11

Back in August, I found this nifty book in a used bookstore. The Writer’s Block! You’ve got to love the title and design. Three inches thick, the block shaped book touts “786 ideas to jump start your imagination.”

Tonight, I made the decision that is was time to pull out The Writer’s Block. Actually, I’ve been wanting to study the contents and this seemed the perfect time. It’s day 11 in Slice of Life and time for a little variety. Thumbing through the copious pages, I see pictures, spark words, questions, author tidbits and weird facts to get the creative juices flowing.

Here’s an example of a topic idea: Trace the journey of a five dollar bill through the lives of five different owners.

Here’s a weird fact: According to the National Coffee Organization, there are more than 300,000 Americans who consume at least 10 cups of coffee each day. Describe one of these people.

There are a lot of interesting photographs in the book as well. I think this will be a fun resource for my high school creative writing class. But, I won’t be sending the book itself around the class as there are few provocative questions, facts and photos.

One of my favorites was this one:

Ash tray full of bad habits

Now, I’m not a smoker but I have some quirky little habits. I asked a couple of my kids tonight which habit was my worst and they both agreed that I’m a sniffer.

“Mom! You sniff everything. It’s so annoying.”

Okay! I am a sniffer. And sniffing is literally involuntary for me; I’m mostly not aware its going on. I do know this: smelling things helps me to understand. I can tell if something is used or new, attractive or useful, loved or trash by the smell of it. The smell of something new is exciting: “What does this remind me of?” I ponder as I take in the air of a thing. Weirdly, I can also tell which of my kids or husband wore a shirt by the whiff of it. I can sniff the air and tell if the dog is in the house or if a door has been left open. I can detect the scent of a dead rat or a dirty rag a mile away.

One could make the argument that it’s healthier to sniff than to smoke, but that could go either way. During pollen season, sniffing can backfire. So, I’ve learned to be a selective sniffer and that has helped with the sneezing.

Back to The Writer’s Block…this is a really fun book and I may try another topic from it next week, if I’m feeling confounded. Usually, I have several topics swirling around in my head, ready for pen to hit paper. But, it’s nice to know you have a backup if the need arises.

You should give it a try if you see it on a shelf somewhere.

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