horses

Here’s the place for anything that doesn’t fit in the other areas of the sandbox. Have fun. Be inspired. Write something outrageous. Get passionate. Share your ideas and bursts of creativity.

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15 Responses to “Go Wild!”


  1. 1 stranglingmymuse August 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    SANDBOX CHALLENGE #2: TELL A GOOD LIE:

    Make up a false history about any item you can see right now. (Or any item you own, if you prefer.) Your description can be just one sentence, a paragraph, or more. It can be funny, touching, historical, mystical, whatever you want.

    Here are a couple of mine:

    My grandmother used to write to Franklin Roosevelt with this pen. She wrote letters to him weekly for a while, expressing her opinions on the events of the day. Gran received many responses from his office, which she kept in a thick leather binder. Unfortunately, in 1973, a fire destroyed the binder and all the letters. But my grandmother kept the pen, and always carried it in her purse. She died two decades after that fire, and left the pen to me in her will.

    The fan next to my desk belonged to a local punk rocker named Mike Fester. He dated my friend Brenda for a while in the late 1980s. One night I was backstage at one of his shows, and he threw it at me, after making an insulting comment about his fans. When it hit my shin and broke the skin, Mike and Brenda laughed. I grabbed the fan and left. I never talked to either one of them again, but the fan still runs perfectly.

    Read more about this challenge
    here.

  2. 2 Susan @ 2KoP August 26, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I took up challenge #2 — Tell a Good Lie. I based it on this photo from Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/puddlesforsnails/797615719/sizes/o/

    (FYI, my dad really did meet Kennedy in the alley that day; the rest is purely my imagination.)

    On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic to be elected President of the United States. But on September 4 of that year, he was still in the heat of the campaign, stumping in Detroit. My dad, a staunch Republican banker, even at the tender age of 23, was not that impressed by the Massachusetts senator and elected to stay behind at the office while his coworkers went around the corner, lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the rising star.

    At the last minute, my dad decided to lock up and sneak out the alley door to see what he could see. If he had missed Kennedy, oh well, at least he would avoid the crowds on the way to his car. Much to his surprise, he literally bumped into JFK, who was exiting another door onto the alley from the bank offices. Kennedy flashed his 1000-watt smile, shook my dad’s hand and apologized for bumping into him.

    “I hope you’re planning to vote for me come November,” Kennedy drawled.

    “Not so far,” said my dad, “but I’m willing to listen.”

    “Well, good for you for keeping an open mind,” said Kennedy. My dad has told this story hundreds of times, and each time he marvels at the memory of Kennedy’s good looks and charisma. “He looked good even sweating in an alley,” says dad.

    It was well into the 90s that September afternoon and, when Kennedy pulled out a handkerchief to wipe his dripping forehead, a second one fell from his pocket onto the pavement. By the time my dad stooped to retrieve it, Kennedy and his entourage were halfway down the alley. My dad tried to catch up to him, but was turned away by a security guard. “Step away from the senator, please, sir.” My dad watched them turn the corner to the roars and applause of the waiting crowd.

    The next day, my dad and his boss, Larry Landhorn, were sitting in Larry’s office when his wife, Beatrice, flounced in. Beatrice (known to everyone as Bee) was a fading southern beauty and apparently was in quite a huff.

    “Larry, have you seen my little hanky — you know, the one with the little blue bumble bee on it. I had it when I met Senator Kennedy in here yesterday, and now I can’t find it anywhere.”

    “Kennedy was here, in my office?” Larry asked incredulously.

    “Oh, yes, darlin’, you missed the whole thing,” said Bee. “Jack and his men came into the office right after you left, looking for a place for him to freshen up. I unlocked your office and let him use your bathroom. I’m sure I told you.”

    “No,” said Larry. “You did not. Imagine that, Jack Kennedy right here in my office.”

    “Well, never mind all that,” said Bee. “Maybe I didn’t have that hanky with me after all.”

    Now, I’m not saying that any hanky panky went on between Bee and the soon-to-be president-elect, but she was mighty coy about it, at least according to my dad, and Kennedy did have a reputation. Draw your own conclusions. My dad kept the handkerchief just in case — for posterity, he says.

    • 3 stranglingmymuse August 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

      This is great, Susan! Thanks so much for taking up the challenge. I love your story, and it’s fascinating to hear about how your dad actually met JFK. Now I’m thinking I should write something including the day my dad hung out with Elvis in 1957.
      –Sandy

  3. 4 stranglingmymuse September 10, 2009 at 1:48 am

    SANDBOX CHALLENGE #4: TRANSFORM YOUR CREATIVE BLOCKS INTO CHARACTERS:

    Choose something that blocks you from creating and visualize it as a character. Then write something about him or her. It can be a description of the character, a poem, a metaphor, an action scene, a dialogue, a haiku, a 1-sentence memoir or anything else. Get creative!

    Here’s mine, in a somewhat Dr. Suessian style:

    Too-Busy has a big red book
    That tells me I have work to do.
    Too-Busy arrives and takes one look,
    Says “I’m sure glad I am not you.”

    When I say “Wait! Let me create!”
    Too-Busy stands and shakes her head.
    When I say “No! My story’s great!”
    Too-Busy points at my unmade bed.

    Too-Busy comes when I awake.
    Too-Busy comes when I unwind.
    Too-Busy comes when I take a break.
    Too-Busy won’t get out of my mind.

    Read more about this challenge here.

    • 5 stranglingmymuse September 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

      The minute she walked into my office I knew she was trouble. She had a pair of To Do lists that just wouldn’t quit. Long and persuasive like I like them. She leaned against the wall and pulled a tapered black pen out of her clutch.

      I acted surprised, but she could tell I was expecting her. Ms. Always-Too-Busy was no stranger to me. She had obstruction written all over her, written as clearly as the words she was adding to the bottom of the second list: “Groceries. Vacuum. Pay bills. Work!”

      I knew I should walk away, but there was something about this dame that always made me stay. I’d stay until she seduced me into crossing every item off her lists. I’d stay until my Muse stormed away, pouting. I’d stay until she left me spent and lying in a pool of my own neglected words.

      Like I said, the dame was trouble. Trouble with a never-ending To Do List.

  4. 6 stranglingmymuse September 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    SANDBOX CHALLENGE #5: MOOD-REFLECTING LANDSCAPES:

    Use the environment to reflect a significant change in a character’s life (or your life, if you prefer memoir to fiction). Can you do this in one sentence? One paragraph? Or make it a poem. Whatever inspires you.

    Here’s mine:

    As she watched the ocean waves, Monica remembered the feeling of her secret lover’s warm skin next to hers an hour ago. She touched the cold metal of her wedding ring. Soon, the wind kicked up, blowing sand over the driftwood resting at her feet, covering it completely.

    Read more about this challenge here.

  5. 7 stranglingmymuse December 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    SANDBOX CHALLENGE #9: MIX UP YOUR PROMPTS:

    For this challenge, I’ve combined two common writing exercises—to use an image or a random line from a book as a prompt:

    Open any book and let your finger fall on a sentence. Then open a magazine and note the first picture you see. Combine the two and write a scene, a character description, some dialogue, a poem, a freewrite, a memory or whatever else arises.

    Here’s mine (from a sentence in The Lovely Bones and a photo in National Geographic):

    Ruth would get an image and it would burn into her memory. She didn’t forget things like Jasper, who struggled to recall anything beyond the basic facts of his life 30 years ago. If he sat quietly for a while, he could conjure up vague reminiscences. But almost as soon as they arrived, the impressions floated slowly away from his mind, like glaciers drifting off the edge of a faraway alien country.

    Share your creations below!

  6. 8 Sheri January 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Sandbox Challenge 9:
    I clicked on to istockphoto.com and the featured photo was a young woman in a foggy room. This is what I created from that image:
    The heavy fog enveloped her, stealing her breath away as she fought, struggling like a bee with saturated wings, trying to move toward the window. She knew if she could only break through the glass, past the precipitation forming beads that ran toward the earth, she could once again breathe freely. She knew the force of the weight that held her back could not survive outside. The sun that shown on the other side would burn up the heaviness of the sickness that held her back. Imagining how light she would feel out there, beyond the glass, gave her strength she didn’t know she even possessed any longer. Suddenly, like a bull running free from the pen, she charged forward and without hesitation her tender, slight body moved through the glass, not breaking it into millions of shards, just sliding right through. The brightness of the sun caught her by surprise causing her to flinch at first, then turning to embrace every bold strand piercing her skin. A smile full of electricity danced across her face reflecting the emotion she felt of finally being free. She lifted her head and walked briskly away. Free from the heavy fog.

    • 9 stranglingmymuse January 20, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      Lovely, Sheri! I really feel the woman as she’s fogged in and as she breaks through to freedom. Thanks so much for sharing this here!

      ~Sandy


  1. 1 Sandbox Challenge #2: Tell a Good Lie « Strangling My Muse Trackback on August 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm
  2. 2 Sandbox Challenge #4: Transform Your Creative Blocks Into Characters « Strangling My Muse Trackback on September 10, 2009 at 1:49 am
  3. 3 Sandbox Challenge #5: Mood-Reflecting Landscapes « Strangling My Muse Trackback on September 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm
  4. 4 Sandbox Challenge #9: Mix Up Your Prompts « Strangling My Muse Trackback on December 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm
  5. 5 Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts « Strangling My Muse Trackback on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 am
  6. 6 Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts | Strangling My Muse Trackback on May 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

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