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I decided to organize a weekly creative writing exercise in the office to sharpen the skills of the writing pool. Everyone takes a turn inventing an exercise or a prompt.

The only general rule we've been using is that it should be doable in an hour or so. We've also tried to keep things fun.

Please feel free to share your own exercise efforts by leaving a comment. You can do that at the end of each exercise by clicking on 'Share your own effort'. Enjoy!

Writing Exercises Quick Links
Write an Obama Speech
Wordlplay, Anagram as Inspiration
Strictly Dialogue
Character Sketch
An Article of Clothing
The Truth
Press Release
Creative Description
Paired Fiction Writing
Connecting Ideas
Writing in Persona
Point of View
Interior Monologue
Body Language
Alternate Ending
Book Cover
Horror Writing
Dialogue 3
Dialogue 2
Nanofiction Writing
Writing Without Adjectives
Love Letters
Fictional Monologue
TV Show Opening Monologue
Short Story, Object as Narrator
Speech Writing
Tongue Twister
Suspense and Emotion
Describe and Compose
Poetic Confession
Application letter
Essays of Absurdities
Dialogue with Self
Imaginative Writing
Short Story from Cartoon
Five Random Words
Letter of Complaint

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Exercise 40 - Creative Description

It's my turn this week to create a writing exercise.  What follows are the intructions I emailed.

What is your favorite dish?  Describe why you like it so much without using adjectives that are traditionally associated with food such as tasty, appetizing, mouth-watering, luscious, etc.  The challenge is to come up with a creative way of describing food.  Minimum of 300 words.  Enjoy.

Below is what I wrote: 

Soup No. 5

Lansiao they say is an aphrodisiac.  It is after all made from a bull's testicles so the association of the dish, sometimes called Soup no. 5, with horniness is too obvious if not too tempting to pass up.  

I was first introduced to the dish by college friends one time years ago after a night of serious drinking.  They intentionally waited until I had eaten several spoonfuls before telling me what the dish was made of.  I most probably would have shunned the dish had I known beforehand what the main ingredient was. 

Probably because I was half drunk and starving, I attacked the dish with rare voracity and later, intense relish.  I had discovered a new vice.  By the time my scheming friends revealed to me the secret behind the soup, it was too late.  I was hooked and couldn't care less what body part I was devouring. 

I've been spreading the gospel ever since. 

Most lansiao places, like the one in Mandaue called Lansiao.com or the one in front of Asillo church in Gorordo, are just rundown dirty eateries.  For sure the many patrons that frequent these places don't go there for the ambience so it can only be the food.

What is lansiao anyway?

For me it is steaming hot desire served on a plate.  It is the chew of carnal meat chopped just right into sinewy yet sensuous bites.  It is the slurp of thick reddish soup that looks as dirty as your deepest darkest desires.  It is a clash of flavors that toy with your senses much like perverted sex blurs the differences between pleasure and pain.

It is flirting with peril.  It is going against your trained logic.  For how can something made from an unclean piece of meat and cooked in the filthiest of kitchens be safe much less edible?  Or to-die-for? 

It is like unprotected sex, dangerous yet desired. 

If chocolate is food for the gods then lansiao is food for us imperfect mortals.  It is temptation and danger served on a cheap plastic platter in a dirty sidewalk.

Lansiao is the soup of sin.

Posted at 07:11 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 39 - Paired Fiction Writing

Pick a *writing partner and write two halves of a short story. Decide among yourselves who will write the first and second parts.

Writing prompt 

Write a story about three friends marooned on a desert island: Frank, and lovers Fred and Jenny. Writing perspective is in first person, and Fred is telling the story.

1. In the first part, bring the story elements to a crisis: 

The crisis reaches its climax when Fred finds out that Frank -- because of desperation, hunger, and growing insanity -- has killed and cooked his girlfriend Jenny for food. One of the writing partners will write the events leading to the crisis, e.g. how they were marooned on the island, why the food supply has run out, the tension growing among the three friends etc. It is your task to write a compelling starting point and run up to the climax.

2. In the second part, bring the story elements to a resolution: 

After Fred finds out about the grisly act committed by his friend toward Jenny, one of the writing partners will write the events leading to a resolution. E.g. how will Fred react? Will he seek revenge and kill Frank? Will he flee the island for fear of getting murdered and eaten next? Or will he join Frank and partake of the gruesome repast? Or do you have something more sinister in mind? It is your task to write an interesting ending for the story.

Word count is at least 200 words per half. Total word count for the whole story is 400 or more. 

My assigned partner is Tomas.  We agreed I'd write the first half.  Below is my contribution to the story and immediately following that is his other half. 

(My opening half)

This can only happen in the movies.  A plane crash in the middle of the ocean, surviving, and then being marooned on a deserted island – how cliché?   But it happened to me, to us and I still can't believe it. 

Jenny and I were on our first romantic holiday together when on our way home, the plane suddenly crashed.  We didn't know we were in trouble until the very last moments before the plane hit the water.  We slept through the trip only to wake up to a real-life nightmare. 

Everyone had died.  Knocked unconscious or trapped in the sinking plane.  Others had drowned trying to swim to safety.  The three of us though, by some miracle, had managed to escape through a smashed window and had managed to cling on to floating debris.  Somehow, Jenny, me and this guy, Frank survived. 

We had reached this deserted island, exhausted and grateful at having been spared.  I thought then search and rescue teams would eventually find us.  I imagined our only concern would be to stay alive until we were rescued in a couple of days.  I felt lucky and thought we weren't meant to die just yet.   

That was seven weeks ago to the day.

Now, I wonder if we were better off having died with the rest of the plane passengers during the crash.  No food and water save for the scraps from the few coconuts we managed to find, we had grown weak and emaciated.  Jenny contracted a fever yesterday.  It must be malaria.  I fear she won't last the week if we don't get rescued soon.

Frank had grown distant and irritable.  He has refused to help scavenging for food and supplies.  He is losing it.  We all are.  Everyday has become an ordeal worse than the day before.  I fear we will all perish, soon.  What's worse is I am beginning to welcome the thought.   

I am losing it!

What is that smell?  Burning?  No, cooking meat!  Where is it coming from?   

"Jenny?  Frank?" I call out.  No answer.  I follow the scent towards the other end of the beach.  There, a smoke trail.  I walk towards the source with caution.  Something is wrong.  Why did Frank offer to watch over Jenny earlier while I left to scavenge for food?  Then it hits me. 

Disbelief quickly overwhelmed by rage.  I break into a run and scream – "Frank, what have you done!"


(Tomas' closing half)

Killing and cooking my girlfriend. It was indeed a grisly act that Frank did to Jenny, but I just can’t help thinking that Jenny has always been an attractive and shall I say delicious woman. The thought of eating a big, juicy cheeseburger makes me wonder what Jenny might taste like. She might just taste like everything else, tastes like chicken. But of course the thought of a Jenny steak is very undeniably enticing.

I know for a fact that she has always been a physical woman being an athlete during college. That’s why every time we had an argument I always end up getting bruised black and blue. Will she still pound the crap out of me if I’ll have a bite of her? I don’t think so, might as well give me a taste of those big buns of hers.  

But she is the love of my life. I can’t just gobble her up. I wonder if after Frank eats her he might acquire some of her attributes and he becomes more like my baby. I would probably fall in love with Frank at that stage. But I’m no faggot. I can’t like a guy for reminding me of my Jenny. In an isolated island like this anything is possible though. Fred and Frank forever, sound really nice.

This kind of situation reminds me of the movie Lord of the Fly’s. Good natured and educated boys become cannibals because of survival. Same as what happened to those footballers from South America in the movie Alive. Human eating human might not be that bad after all. This is survival mode anyway. Nature has always been like this, survival of the fittest.  

Just one thought that’s been bothering me though. I’ve tasted Jenny in the flesh, scrumptious I might say. But how will I compare it to a Jenny kaldereta? One Jenny laureate for me please.

Posted at 12:05 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 38 - Connecting Ideas

How well can you connect an idea with another different idea? Below is a list of sentences.

1. It was inevitable.

2. I couldn't believe it.

3. It wasn't what I expected.

4. She came like she said she would.

5. He nodded and quietly walked away.

6. Does he suspect something?

7. She wanted to see me.

8. It's not over yet.

9. I'll never know.

10. Not really.



Pick any two sentences from the list and connect them together by writing prose in between the two sentences (250-300 words). You can use narrative (first, second or third person), dialogue, whatever -- be creative, you can even choose what genre you like. Example: 

            She came like she said she would. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. I'll never know.

Below is what I wrote:

It wasn't what I expected.   

From out of nowhere Skeeter had produced a white envelope.  Pristine except for my name hand-printed in neat lettering in the middle, he stood there in front of my desk extending it to me with one hand.  A resignation letter?  For a few awkward moments I let him wait before I swiped it from his shaking fingers.

When he had emailed me earlier if he could see me for a minute, I thought it he wanted to discuss the SuperFerry account, our biggest client.  I replied that he could come right in anytime.   

This is definitely not what I expected. 

His poker face betrayed nothing.  Had I been that hard on him these past weeks?   I can’t lose Skeeter now!  Not in the middle of our biggest and most important account pitch.  Skeeter was doing the presentation and he was my best art director. 

“What’s this?” I managed to say evenly.

Skeeter’s impish face broke into a broad grin.  “It’s a little late but…” he hesitated. 

“Listen, I’m in the middle of something right now but we should talk.”

“Sure boss.  About SuperFerry?”   

“No.”  A little surprised by his response, I casually fingered the envelope’s flap and pulled out the letter.   “About the company’s expansion plans this year.  You know.  Organizational adjustments.” 

“Great.  Anytime boss.” 

I lifted a fold.  It wasn’t a letter.  It was a birthday card!  For me! 

I held my breath and read the scribbled notes from the staff.  And then it hit me.  I had forgotten that yesterday was my birthday!  My own birthday! 

“You remembered.”  I declared in a flat tone.  I looked up at Skeeter and managed a rare smile, or a hint of one. 

“It’s belated, but we were swamped yesterday and sort of, you know, forgot.” 

“Thanks.  Let’s meet later at four.”  I looked up at him and stared him down.”  So he wasn’t resigning after all.  You turd!  Giving me a brief scare!

He nodded and quietly walked away.

Posted at 07:26 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 37 - Writing in Persona

Stir your imagination.   Put yourself in the persona of either a: Deaf, Mute, Deaf-mute, Cripple, or Blind person.  Write a piece (poetry or prose) describing an event or experience as that person.  200 words minimum.

Below is what I wrote:

Sidewalk of the blind

I stop playing my guitar and reach down.  Where is the coin?  I sweep the dirty pavement with my hand in rough circles trying to feel for the cold metal.  There, I found it.  I gingerly lift it with my fingers.  The weight – it feels like ten pesos!  I run a finger along its edge.  The band alternates between smooth and serrated.  It is ten pesos!

"Salamat," I call out to the kind soul who threw the coin in front of me. 

I find my tin can and drop the coin in.  It makes a sad clacking sound as it hits the bottom.  Empty and hollow – it is only my first coin for the day and it is almost noon already.  I should have stayed in my old spot.  This new spot I tried today is a busy sidewalk but there is little kindness here. 

The clapping of the soles against the concrete here sounds different.   Their paces are brisk and their soles sound expensive.  Sometimes, their clothing would brush past my knees and I would catch whiffs of nice smelling perfume.   Yet they never slowed down.  They are all obviously in a hurry. 

I was told this was a side street leading towards where they have tall buildings.  These must be important people on their way to important jobs.  Their strides are long and purposeful.  Their rhythm doesn't change at all even when they walk past me.  To them I am invisible.   

I guess they don't see me at all.  Fine, because I don't see them too.

I ended up writing a serious piece but not all of us did.  Guile, one of the writers here wrote a great piece that I just had to post here also.  Read it to a beat for maximum effect. 

The Blind Barber of Junquera
Rhymes by MC Guile; Beats by Timbaland 

Attention! Yo ladies, yo gents, come out—
The Barber of Junquera is in the house.
Come on now everybody, lend me your ears.
I got a nifty story that will live on for years. 

My name is Kenneth and you heard me right.
I run a pretty parlor that opens at night.
I'm good for nothing except with scissors.
I'll shave your bony head with nothing but razors. 

Why open at night? You ask me now.
I got no time for questions, leave them for now.
Just sit on my chair and don't you worry.
We got a lot of time, there's no need to hurry. 

I once had a customer you've never even heard of.
His curls, like a girl's, he wanted to get rid of!
He told me to look. He's out of his mind!
I would if I could but I'm fuckin' blind! 

Well what could I do? It's what he wanted!
This motherfucker dude's wishie wish must be granted.
So I told the guy, "Be bold and brave."
I did away with all the hair in one swift shave! 

Next was a Mom, she's 30 years old.
She wants her black hair to shimmy-shine like gold!
So I said, "Say what?" "Like gold", she replied.
"Shimmy-shine, anytime, a source of pride!" 

Oh heaven forbid — I'm stuck in a dilemma.
"What color did you holler? You tell me now, Mama."
The color of blonde was what she yearned.
But all I see is black, as far as I'm concerned. 

I thought for a minute, maybe for three.
I looked up to the ceiling even though I can't see.
And then—whapack! The perfect idea!
I dowsed the lady's head with Agua Oxinada!   

And now you're here, a word to the wise!
You look pretty dandy to my useless eyes
I'll trim your hair, and your goatee!
I'll even shave your eye brows, I'll do it for free! 

'Coz here I am, the one and only!
The Barber of Junquera, that's right you heard me!
Thanks y'all, for hearing my fable!
I'll see you later, though that's impossible! 

Word! Break it down!

Posted at 05:54 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 36 - Point of View

Today's exercise is courtesy of Charlie Anders, a fiction writer who lives in San Francisco.

Think of a scene from your own life and write a brief description of it from the point of view of someone else who was there. Try to explore how you (or a fictionalized version of you) might have appeared to this person at the time, but also how this person might have seen the entire situation. Include at least three small details that this other person could have noticed.

Knowing how weird and eccentric you all are, I don’t think you need a fictionalized version of you to make this interesting.

Write about 200 words.

- This from Evert, this week's writing exercise host.  Below is what I wrote.

The Talambaner

From out of nowhere, streaks of color rush past me on my left.  I hit the brakes just in time to avoid grazing the overtaking Sarao jeepney.  “Inahak nga driver!”  I muttered behind muted curses.  Rush hour was over and fewer people lined the jeepney stops.  The jeepney drivers plying the Colon-Talamban route competed for the thinning passengers, me included.  But I wasn’t as aggressive as most.  Rushing is wasteful on fuel consumption and besides, there was no point in tempting fate.  

The Sarao can have this stop.  I’ll drive a more leisurely pace.  I can always pick up the passengers the others miss.

There!  A waving passenger, only he’s on the wrong side of the road.  I pull over and nod to him.  He cranes his slender neck and looks both ways briefly while stepping off the curb.  Tugging at his burly backpack, he moves forward and looks at me, probably worried I had no patience to wait for him.  He’s probably late for a midday class in USC.  Another typical Talambaner.

“No need to rush boy”, I murmur to myself as the boy picks up his pace needlessly.

I finally notice a dab of red on the corner of my eye growing in size quickly.  It is a speeding car on the opposite lane just ahead.  It is too fast.  Why didn’t I see that car coming?  The Talambaner obviously missed it too.

He is still looking at me oblivious to the danger.  The car doesn’t slow down and swerves a little.  The driver was timing himself to rush past the Talambaner.

The timing was off!  The two are on a collision course!  

“Hoi!  Bantay!”  This time, I shout at the boy.

The car finally squeals from the suddenly choked tires.  It happened so fast.  At the last possible moment, the car makes a violent swerve just avoiding the Talambaner as it finally screeches to a stop.  The Talambaner, unable to catch his momentum in time, hits the cars’ passenger window.  The collision is sudden and blunt but thankfully not serious.  

The car had stopped right in front of his path.

“Yawa!”  That was one careless but lucky bastard.  

I could make out the driver through the car’s tint.  He slams a fist on the horn on his steering wheel.  The resulting high-pitched squeal pierces the air, punctuating the ending to the drama that just unfolded.  The driver, obviously shaken, makes the sign of the cross. The car finally drives away, this time on a more careful speed.

The ‘Talambaner’ comes into view and carefully treads the remaining distance to my waiting jeepney.  His walk is wobbly and his face, framed by unevenly cropped hair, expressionless.  He clambers up my jeep.  He drops awkwardly on a seat behind me and rubs the tattered knees of his jeans.  Up close, I stare at his paling countenance as he extends a shaky hand.  He drops a couple of coins into my palms.  The coins are sweaty.

He looks at me with watery eyes.   With a clearly visible quiver in his lips, he says “Talamban ra ko.”

Posted at 06:50 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 35 - Interior Monologue

Interior Monologue:
-expression of a character's thoughts
-an extended passage in a story or novel that expresses what a character is thinking and feeling.

Imagine yourself as a super hero. Any kind. In not less than 200 words, write an interior monologue on a particular event you have just encountered as you were saving someone or something using your "SSP" or as I would like to call it your very own "Special Super Power".

Mwahahaha :P.

- This from Maya, this week's writing exercise host.  This should be fun.  Below is what I wrote.

Batman broods

I've always liked the color black.  It helps me hide in the shadows.  Cover and concealment is a weapon.  I choose when and where I strike.  Fancy and bright colors don't work for me.  Why dress up in the gaudy colors of a flag if you only make yourself an easier target to spot.  

How can anyone miss a guy dressed in electric blue spandex with a large billowing red cape streaking across a clear blue sky?  If Superman wasn't superman, he'd have been long dead.  An anonymous crook with a good rifle and a decent shot would have killed him years ago.

Just wait till they figure out how to make kryptonite bullets.  He'll wish he had followed my advice and used urban camouflage instead.

And then there's that guy who calls himself Captain America.  Why the big white star on his chest?  Is that to help the bad guys center their aim?  And the stripes on his lower torso!  Doesn't that only mark where his vital organs are?  That big 'A' on his forehead is perfect though.  But it shouldn't stand for 'America'.  'A'-hole is more like it.  No wonder he's dead already.  

I may not have super strength and super powers, but at least I got class.  

Now if only I could get rid of my pale teenage sidekick with shaved legs.  He's getting to be too much of a liability.

Posted at 05:47 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 34 - Body Language

This week was my turn to supply the exercise.  My emailed instructions below.

 Write a "conversation" in which no words are said.  This exercise is meant to challenge you to work with gesture, body language , all the things we convey to each other without words.  We often learn more about characters in stories from the things characters do with their hands than from what they say.  There must be at least two characters involved.  Avoid describing the thoughts of the characters.  The story must be told only through the body language.  300 words at least.

Initially, I thought it would be a fun exercise, until I started writing my piece.  It took us all longer than two hours.  And we had to do our readings the following day because some of us still asked for more time and it was late in the day.

Anyway, below is my effort.

Off-topic: Let me just mention that I've recently joined Technorati and hoped it would help with the dismal numbers at my hit counter.  Who knows. Technorati Profile
The Stopover

Suddenly a car pulls over.  The tires squeal briefly then hits the shoulder.  Sun-drenched gravel is sprayed outward.  The car heaves to the front then back from the sudden deceleration.  

A door opens with a deliberate swing.  She emerges from the shade of the car's heavily tinted glass into the settling breeze of a fading afternoon.  Squinting from the sudden glare of an open sky, she rubs her eyes with bare hands.  It is not because of the sun however that she cries.  

Her steps unsure, she tramples a sparse floor of brittle leaves as she lumbers towards a shaded spot.  The tree however, offers only comfort from the sun.  Nothing more.

Another door opens, meekly though.  He slowly emerges and looks over his shoulder towards his companion.  Their eyes meet but then she quickly averts his gaze.  Farther away she trudges.  With purpose, he moves after her.

Shortly ahead, she rests.  Her shoulders heave with pained breathing.  He catches up with her.  He hesitates.  Slowly, he starts to extend an unsure hand to her shoulder.  As if on reflex, she jerks away stopping his gesture midway. Too late, he pulls back.  With clumsy movements she turns away from him and sinks her face in her delicate hands.  She shifts her weight awkwardly while masking her cries.  He pauses behind her.  His stance unsure.

The moment stretches slowly while yellow flowers dance at her feet.  Auburn leaves scramble aimlessly on the ground piercing the fragile silence with faint rustling.

From behind, he quietly leans his head on her nape, stooped like a repentant sinner which he was.  This time she allows the contact.  He extends a slow arm around her.   A lightly balled fist catches her attention.  Slowly, he unlocks his fingers to reveal yellow blossoms delicately perched within.  He lifts his head and shifts to peek over her shoulder.  

He spies the hints of a precious smile forming.

Posted at 11:35 am by bisoy
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Exercise 33 - Alternate Ending

Instructions from Mark, today's writing exercise provider.

Below is a short story by Neil Gaiman. Please take time to read it and take note of the text highlighted in blue. The challenge is to write our own ending to the story which may or may not alter the plot in any way. I think we shouldn't have a problem writing at least 150 words.   


Neil Gaiman

A few years back all the animals went away.
We woke up one morning, and they just weren't there anymore. They didn't even leave us a note, or say good-bye. We never figured out quite where they'd gone.

We missed them.

Some of us thought that the world had ended, but it hadn't. There just weren't any more animals. No cats or rabbits, no dogs or whales, no fish in the seas, no birds in the skies.

We were all alone.

We didn't know what to do.

We wandered around lost, for a time, and then someone pointed out that just because we didn't have any animals anymore, that was no reason to change our lives. No reason to change our diets or to cease testing products that might cause us harm.

After all, there were still babies.

Babies can't talk. They can hardly move. A baby is not a rational thinking creature.

We made babies.

And we used them.

Some of them we ate. Baby flesh is tender and succulent.

We flayed their skin and decorated ourselves in it. Baby leather is soft and comfortable.

Some of them we tested.

We taped open their eyes, dripped detergents and shampoos in, a drop at a time.

We scarred them and scalded them. We burnt them. We clamped them and planted electrodes in their brains. We grafted, and we froze, and we irradiated.

The babies breathed our smoke, and the babies' veins flowed with our medicines and drugs, until they stopped breathing or until their blood ceased to flow.

It was hard, of course, but it was necessary.

No one could deny that.

With the animals gone, what else could we do?

Some people complained, of course. But then, they always do.

And everything went back to normal.


Yesterday, all the babies were gone.

We don't know where they went. We didn't even see them go.

We don't know what we're going to do without them.

But we'll think of something. Humans are smart. It's what makes us superior to the animals and the babies.

We'll figure something out.

Below is my alternate ending.



Yesterday, all the babies were gone.  

We don't know where they went.  We didn't even see them go.

We don't know what we're going to do without them.

But we'll think of something.  Humans are smart.  It's what makes us superior to the animals.  

We'll figure something out.  

True enough, someone pointed out we could always make more babies.  

At first only a few thought it was a great idea.  A few stopped working and then started making babies everywhere they could.  It was hard, of course, but it was necessary.  Soon everyone was doing it.  In the streets, in buses, in schools, on rooftops, anywhere it could be done.  It didn't matter who you we're with, it had to be done for humanity.

Pretty soon all our labors bore fruit and we had a lot more babies for all our needs.

More babies for testing, more babies for leather and more babies for food.  Now we had everything we needed.  And everything went back to normal.  

Then, as suddenly as they had left years ago, all the animals came back.  We we're so surprised.  It turns out, the animals never left.  They only hid themselves away from view and had been observing us secretly all these years.  When someone asked them what prompted them to come out from hiding, the animals responded that there was no reason to hide anymore.  

All the humans had disappeared.

Posted at 05:33 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 32 - Book cover

According to Jim Kochenburger, VP-Townhall Press, a research shows that most people spend less than 15 seconds reading the back cover of a book before deciding to purchase.


The book's back cover is a sales pitch and nothing else – it's about engaging a potential reader's interest to cross the threshold of the book. You want action. You want to get people to look inside your book—or better yet, to buy it. Your back cover is the last piece of promotional material that hits potential purchasers on their way to pay. 

Today's exercise is an attempt to writing a back cover copy. Select one from the titles and explore. And from the story that plays around on your head, you may come up with a back cover copy. A good goal for cover copy is 150 words, 200 if you must.

1.        The Last Outrage

2.        Strangers in Paradise

3.        The Year of Yes

4.        The Devil in the White City

5.        A Life in Two Genders

6.        Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café

7.        Sleeping with the Fishes


The Year of Yes


    "Out there on the track, the muscle that will matter the most will be my heart"

                                                                                                – Frederick Yes


Frederick Yes was born with a leg deformity, a devastating genetic accident for the celebrated Yes clan.   For three generations, the Yes family have collectively earned all of the eleven Olympic gold medals in track and field for their small country of Esplania, an African third world holdover suffering from a history of ethnic strife and political instability. 


The reign of the almost mythic "Yes Olympians", as their country called them, had seemingly come to an end with the diminutive Frederick.  Yet Frederick knew he had a winner's heart pumping champion's blood throughout his frail body.    


This is a story of one person's epic struggle that will rouse a divided family and galvanize a country on the brink of ruin.  This is the inspiring tale of a true champion and hero to an emerging nation.

Posted at 05:13 pm by bisoy
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Exercise 31 - Superproduct

This week's exercise was provided by Guile.  His instructions below:


Writing copy for a flyer is tricky. You have to come up with something quick and snappy. That means you have to cram loads of information in one small piece of paper and still manage to keep it in interesting even though the product you're selling is pitifully boring. Well, what if you're given a chance to write copy for a SuperProduct that's infinitely more interesting than the usual products you have to sell? Kinda like this one:





Introducing the new MONGOL X SUPERPENCIL 2099 PROFESSIONAL EDITION*--the definitive pencil for the new millennium! Straight from the genius minds of the creators of the SuperEraser and SuperYellowPad comes this groundbreaking SuperPencil that will make you the Brainstorming King of your team! Check out these fancy features:


Ö          Embedded AMD X44 MicroChip that records every character you wrote. Just press INSTANT REWRITE to, well, rewrite the last word you erased.

Ö          MP3 Player (accessories are available upon request) - chill out with some music while you're brainstorming!

Ö          Built-in Automatic Sharpener** - you won't need to sharpen your pencil anymore because it does it all by itself!

Ö          Ultraviolet Lead - you might not see what you wrote in normal light but under UV illumination, your scribbles appear in full display!

Ö          Licorice Eraser, which comes in different flavors like humba, paksiw, inun-unan and tabliya! Perfect for chewing when you're racking your brains for new ideas!


The new MONGOL X SUPERPENCIL 2099 PROFESSIONAL EDITION is available in different funky colors (blue, azure, beryl, cerulean, cobalt, indigo, navy, royal, sapphire, teal, turquoise and ultramarine) and if you decide to order 12 pieces before Friday, we'll give you a dozen! GET YOUR OWN MONGOL X SUPERPENCIL 2099 PROFESSIONAL EDITION NOW! Call 415-8200 to order (look for Thea)!



**9 Volt Battery not included.



This week's exercise is to come up with something like this. Just follow these steps: 1) You must base it on a real product (no laser pistols or stuff like that), 2) Endow that real product with Super Features (sky is the limit so use your imagination), and 3) Keep it under 300 words. Fire away. 


I decided to write a product based on my RayBan Aviator Sunglasses. 


RayBan Astronaut

The Starglasses for the final frontier.


In the legendary tradition of the classic RayBan Aviators of 1930’s. 

The rebirth of cool for Space Travellers.



(Violator Box)

[Logo of NASA, with Jupiter Mission Astronauts]


Technology Perfected in Space. 




Ø      Made of space grade adamantium composites for maximum strength and near zero mass.  So light, you’ll forget you have them on even launch after launch.

Ø      Rated for 7G and above accelerations.  Designed for the frequent space flyer of the new age.

Ø      Certified by the NASA Space Tourism Commission.  Battle-tested, Civilian-safe.



Ø      GPS (Galactic Positioning System) covering the 12 major space sectors.  Never again will you ever need to ask for directions from alien space stragglers.

Ø      72 Zegabyte memory with hard-coded Universal Library of all known Bio-Organisms.  Is that ectoplasm virulent or just bioluminescent?  Wonder no more!

Ø      Universal emergency beacon – compatible with the Milky Way Inter-System Protocols.  Never be marooned again, space tows are within femto-seconds away.  Guaranteed!



Ø      Grade 7 Radiation Meter and Combat Grade Deflectors.  Ultraviolets, Gammas and Zulu Rays Resistant.  SPF 94 Starblock Lotions made obsolete.  Get the perfect tan all the time.

Ø      BioCircuitry for Biometric Monitoring.  Never worry about getting exotic or extra-terrestrial diseases anymore.  Recognized by Spaceport authorities so you save time at spaceport processing.

Ø      Extra-Muscular Stimulator.  Sonically links with your neuropathways to allow you to stimulate muscles for physical exercise simulations.  Beats space atrophy, and if you want, you can even build abs while you sleep!



(Endorsement Box)

[Photo of Michael Jackson]


I finally found the perfect shades to replace my aviators that didn’t survive my cryo-regeneration.  This one will definitely last me through my next lifetime!  Now I’ve got equipment I can use for my real moonwalks this time.

- Michael Jackson




Posted at 10:23 am by bisoy
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