Archive for the ‘Funny!’ Category

Amazing Animals!

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
Watch these amazing animal videos.  Then choose one of these animals.   What’s his/her secret career?  Describe this animal with specific details.  
What are his feelings and his thoughts? 
Use dialogue with other animals to show his character.  
Use your senses to draw us into his story. 
What does he/she want more than anything in the world? 
What stops him from getting it? 
What is his weakness? 
How can he overcome his weakness to get what he wants? 
An Awesome Deer Doggie Video!
 amazing parrot

Enter A 90 Second Video Contest!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Here are the rules quoted from James Kennedy’s blog:

1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s three minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)

2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book.

3. Your video must condense the plot of the book in 90 seconds or less. Again, exceptions will be made for something really ingeniously bonkers, but it has to be related to a Newbery winning book.

4. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and send me the link at kennedyjames [at] gmail [dot] com. Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY” and please tell me your name, age, where you’re from, and whatever other comments you’d like to include, including whether you’d like me to link to your personal site. You can give an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns.

5. Sending the link to me grants me (James Kennedy) the right to post it on my blog and to other websites where I sometimes post content (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to share at public readings, school visits—and hopefully the “90-Second Newbery” Film Festival at the New York Public Library in the Fall of 2011.

6. Deadline is September 15, 2011. 

Here’s his blog to see other information, and an example of a video for A WRINKLE IN TIME.

Write Funny!

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Do you like reading funny stuff?  Most people do.  Humor sells because we like to be taken away from our problems and be entertained!  

How does it work?  When you laugh at something that happens to you, write it down.  Try and figure out why you laughed.  What tickles your funny bone the most often?  Is it physical humor when someone gets hit with a pie or trips on a banana peel?  Or is it more subtle than that?  When someone says one thing and does the exact opposite?

Watch these funny animal clips.  Which ones are the most humorous to you?  Why?  

Then begin a humor story, poem or personal narrative (essay about something true that really happened to you).  Slow down the moment with details to make us feel like we’re really there.  When you’re finished, read it aloud.  Can you make it MORE funny?  Sometimes it’s all about the timing.  You have to hear the difference by reading it out loud.  It may mean cutting some details or adding others.  Have fun writing funny!

Think These Are Hysterical Voice-Overs? Use Them for Creative Motivation!

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

I laughed out loud at some of these characters.  Take them a step further along.  Choose the fighting giraffes or the silly night-time bird to motivate a story, script or poem. 

What about the little guy who says “Allen?  Allen?  Allen?”  Who is he calling?  Why does he need  him?

The dentist monkey?  What makes this improvisation so funny?  Write about this guy, his patient or both of them.

What if the rapping puffins and the neurotic owl meet?

Try your own version of voice-overs.  Make your own movie and create the sound effects and dialogue. 

Cut out magazine and newspaper photos of people and animals interacting.  Don’t cut out the captions.  Instead, write what they are saying to each other.  The funnier the photos the better!

In 2011, find humor every where you turn.  Humor wins contests and sells stories, books, magazines and newspapers.  But most of all, humor is fun to read and to write.

Your 2010 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Can you believe it’s the end of the year already?  The holidays have wooshed by and New Year’s Eve is days away.   (Do YOU ever make up words like I do?  Wooshed is only one of many of my typical words.  Maybe I should create a dictionary?)

What are your best memories of the past year?  What have been the incredible books you’ve read?  The memorable movies you’ve seen?  The most delicious meals you’ve eaten?  An interesting person you’ve met?  An animal that made an impression upon  you? A funny moment that may have made you smile?  A touching scene that brought you a sigh?

Writing Prompt: 

1.  Write for ten or twenty minutes quickly about one or any or all of the above.   Next, review what has popped into your head.  Now take time and choose the most vivid scene or anecdote of the year to recreate.  Use your emotions and senses to write a story, essay or poem. 

2.  Share your writing with a friend.  Share your other thoughts and ideas of the past year with your friend or a group of people.  Other writing projects may occur to you as words fly by.

Create a Model for a Children’s Book

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Look at this fabulous contest where kids used potatoes and created their favorite characters from children’s books!   If you are a teacher or librarian you could try it too.

Things you wish you would have said

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

You know the times when people say the darndest things to you and you want to reply but you:   1.  are shocked out of your socks 2.  struggling with yourself so you won’t be  incarcerated  for murder 3. couldn’t remember your middle name right now much less a witty retort.

Writing Prompt:

1. Here’s your chance to make it right.  Go back into your memory.  Replay that scene on paper.  Write exactly what happened.  Next, REWRITE the scene and say what you could have said to put them in their place. 

2.  Rewrite the scene and instead, write what you could say to create peace between the two of you.  How can you strengthen the bond instead of destroying it?  Be the better person.

3.  Write a fictional scene with two characters who are in conflict over something humorous. 

4.  Write a fictional scene with two characters who are in conflict over something serious but they come to a mutual understanding.

5. Read the original replies below.  Can you come up with any of your own?

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:   She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

“He had delusions of adequacy.”  Walter Kerr

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”  William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”  Moses Hadas

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”  Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” Oscar Wilde

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend…. if you have one.” George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…. if there is one.”  Winston Churchill, in response.

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” John Bright

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”  Irvin S. Cobb

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.”  Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”  Paul Keating

“In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” Charles, Count Talleyrand

“He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.”  Forrest Tucker

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” Mae West

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts . . . for support rather than illumination.”  Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” Billy Wilder

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” Groucho Marx

Headline Humor

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Today on the Internet, these headlines caught my eye:

Man Once Thought Dead Arrested

Actress Criticized for Stage Debut

Time Out Problems for Super Nanny


Questions popped into my mind.   Why did they arrest the man?  Did he fake his death?  Hide out?  Disappear in a complicated scheme?  Or was it a case of mistaken identity? 

What about the actress?   What outrageous behavior on stage prompted criticism?  What made her do it?  How did she get on stage?  Was it a long and hard climb to her acting job?

Why was the nanny called a super nanny?  What kind of kids were under her care?

Each of these titles could become a movie, depending upon how the story is handled.  Each of them could be a short story or a poem or a piece of art work.  It’s your choice.   You may choose to create any piece of writing in any style or genre. 

If these titles don’t inspire you, open the newspaper, magazine, or click on your computer screen for another title.  Write your OWN version of what could follow.

Music in your writing . . . literally

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

We are at a lovely little outdoor Italian Cafe.   Plates of pizza, pasta, and fish are on tables around us.   I enjoy my favorite drink – – water with gas.  (Mineral water)   A woman walks by holding a basket with a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread.  Meanwhile, music drifts out of our restaurant. . .


“It’s fun to stay at the YYYYYYMMMMMCCCCCCAAAA.”

My husband looks like he just swallowed his tongue.  I’m sure I have a similar facial expression.  Talk about horrifying.   We’ve traveled miles to get Italian ambiance and we listen to American music from the seventies?  To make it worse, it’s this music?

I shudder.  Too bad I left my ear plugs from the airplane trip in the hotel. 

Writing Prompts:

1.  Write a scene where music is part of the plot.

2.  Write a scene where a hint of music plays in the background.

3.  In the another story you have written, check to see if adding music will enhance the story or a scene in some way.  Have you included enough sound to put your reader inside your scene?

4.  Write about your favorite music through a poem.  Or your least favorite music!

Croatia, Italy and the USA

Monday, October 18th, 2010

I’ve just arrived home from a trip to Croatia and Italy.  I’ve wanted to go to Croatia since I’ve been a little girl.  Why that country?  My mother’s parents came from Zagreb in 1901 and I know very little about their world or them, both having passed on before I came along. 

Croatia is an interesting mixture of ancient and new.  We began in the northern city of Zagreb and proceeded south where it became warmer.   In the north the language reminded me very much of Russian, and the more south we traveled it felt as though there was an Italian dialect mixed in to their communication as well as the foods. 

We’ve never eaten better fish anywhere.  In Opatija, we sat down at a restaurant and asked what they were known for in their area.  The waiter brought out a platter with a large fish, complete with an interesting head and eyes.  My husband blanched.  I stifled a laugh. 

“Let’s go for it,” I said.  After all, I never met a seafood I never liked.

Our big mistake was forgetting to take a picture of our dinner before it was grilled.  It came later and it was flakey and delicious.  No bones – – only the main one down its back I guess. 

It was a memorable meal.  And since we forgot to take a photo, I found one online for you to see.

Writing Prompts:

1.  Which place in the world would you like to visit?  Read about this place and plan your itinerary. 

2.  Find a map and discover the places I mentioned in my blog.  Research and do a nonfiction piece about the area.

3.  Write about a trip you’ve taken that has left wonderful . . . or not so wonderful impressions upon you. 

4.  Create a short story set in an area that is not a place you are familiar with.  You must read about this place in order to learn about the setting. 

5.  Write a poem inspired by a trip you have taken.  It could be a trip a town away from your home! 

6.  Have you ever gone a long time without sleep?  How did you deal with it?  Write about it in an amusing way.  You can use exaggeration to make it more funny!

7.  Write about the most interesting or different food you have ever eaten.  What was it?  What did it look like?  Taste like?