Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Mind Opener

Monday mornings. A time for all of us to feel the stabbing regret that the weekend is gone all the while being immersed in procrastination being we have the rest of the week to get things done.

So, to help ShakesQuillers the globe over, we'll now be featuring a Monday Mind Opener. What is this "Monday Mind Opener," you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked. This will be a chance to get your creative juices flowing. Every Monday we'll have some type of writing drill that will be both fun, as well as help make you a better writer, and, let's face it, a better human being.

Today's "Monday Mind Opener" comes via Shaker Car, who sent me this idea:

I got a weird wrong message on my answering machine a few weeks ago, and thought it would be neat to use wrong messages as writing prompts to tell the story of what was going on in the lives of those people. Some of them are so odd, they almost beg for explanation of some kind. A "Misdialed Messages" segment, perhaps. It would be something where people could leave a wrong message they received and then others could create short (500 words or less) stories about the message. Is this too weird?

The message that started me thinking about it was left on my new cell phone, a gruff, Brooklyn-sounding older man saying "Hey, don't forget, tree-tirty tomorrow. Wear deh blue shirt and deh grey pants wit deh black piping." Just the juxtaposition with the voice and accent with a description of the outfit with piping (how many people even know what that is anymore?)

(It) made me wonder. Are they in a polka band together? Was it a drug deal needing identifiers? Are they getting married? More possibilities than I can come up with myself, anyway.

It doesn't sound too weird to me at all. In fact, here is the exercise. Either present a misdialed message of your own and invent a storyline for it, or use Car's example above. You can either create a short story about it, give a plot line, develop characters or whatever you wish.

Because it's Monday. And we could all use a little mind opener.

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