Category Archives: Creative Crowbars


Hand picked topic to write your monologues – 3/3/15:

1. It’s national PANCAKE DAY today….Get your free stack at IHOP

2. Southern California beach turned white by hail from storm

3. NASCAR driver Travis Kvapil’s race car stolen before Atlanta race.CAR FOUND

4. UFC’s Ronda Rousey is okay with being called pretty. She can still kick any guy’s butt.

5. Woman fakes her own kidnapping to avoid making birthday party for her boyfriend

6. James Murdoch Buys Father Rupert’s Estate

7. Walking Dead town in Georgia for sale

8. Man and woman fall asleep in dumpster 

9. ‘Cat Island’: Felines Outnumber Humans on Japan’s Aoshima Island

10. Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

11. Life Hacks we can learn from “Fresh Off the Boat”

12. Jimmy Fallon plays EGG RUSSIAN ROULETTE

13. Kirk is missing Spock’s Funeral

14. Legendary Pictures Announces Electra Woman and Dyna Girl Remake

15. Top Conservatives are Totally Confused by Marijuana Politics

16. Brown family reportedly filming a reality show amid Bobbi Kristina tragedy

17. Dust from an ancient galaxy baffles scientist

18. No, Drinking Coffee Won’t Save Your Life Or Prevent Heart Attacks

19. Tinder PLUS is official, but pricing may annoy you

20. This guy used get-rich-quick scheme to become a millionaire in 3 weeks

21. Fugitive ex-U.S. spy Snowden in talks on returning home

22. In ATL’s airport – 1,400 airport security badges lost, stolen in a two-year period

There you go…22 topics for writing a monologue…. get to work!….




Got to finish up  deadline? Need a Crowbar?

Use one of these for your story or for your gag… Plop one right down in the middle of things….

  1.  …That’s the great thing about being a…
  2. …In life what is  for certain…
  3. …I get the feeling they are all laughing at me…
  4. …Who really wants to talk world problems on their day off…
  5. …Don’t change the channel…
  6. …I stopped trying to learn all about life the day before yesterday…
  7. …He is just too sensitive about that subject…
  8. …I need to find something to drown my sorrows..
  9. …I cannot wait until my kids get a three times a day stomach clock instead of every thirty one minutes…
  10. …Got to break the habit…

Twenty for Thursday + Some bonus Half-baked ideas

Got a deadline?  Need a Crowbar?

Use one of these for your story or for your gag.  Plop one right down in the middle of things. They can be your set-ups, your beats, part of a punchline, character’s point of view in dialogue… just about anything… Most all have an emotion tied to it.

  1.  …Help teach kids _________….
  2. …Big man in the world of___________…
  3. …Evade is my middle name  and  ___________ is my ___________…
  4. …I have always been afraid of _____________…
  5. …_____________  remains a mystery…
  6. …___________ are smiling at me, and it’s awkward_______…
  7. …_____________ appreciates what you said…
  8. …You better act like___________…
  9. …Every time I try it ends up being wrong, until _____________…
  10. …It’s my priority to teach them about germ ________________ …
  11. …__________ needs help being a better person…
  12. …Let me see if I understand what you are ___________…
  13. …We had the same dream two days in a row _________…
  14. …Shout on the phone ___________….
  15. …Is it a peace plan or a how can we profit plan ________…
  16. …____________  nervous wreck all the time….
  17. …It has to be taken care of _________…
  18. …Try to give up ____________…
  19. …It’s all your fault that we  __________…
  20. ….__________  was in a panic and froze….
Half-backed ideas….

– Regular work is for everyone else.

– A college education pays for itself only fifteen percent of the time. Suddenly I have a lot of enthusiasm.

-Jack Straw was all dressed up for the main even fight held in China. He even wore his best propaganda lapel pen so they would know.

-Social Beverage Lunches have been out for a long time! One reason: It’s not acceptable because your employer cannot get as much work out of you.

-Under enemy fire! I need help, the boss sent his doom squad to review my data.

–  Man on a beach in a lounge chair singing. “I got the tropical island blues.”

– Snowball firing squad. We’ll teach that joker who knocked over our snowman.

– I wonder if Tumor Scooper is a bad name for a surgical tool?

– A former pro-sports player stands on a street corner asking for spare change from passing fans.

– Giant city chickens from Estonia are taking over Central Park in an effort to corral the expanding bird watchers market.

Have a great productive day and prove to your audience it’s worth their time!



The Hilarious, Embarrassing, And Bizarre Questions People Asked Librarians Before Google Existed

Here Are Some Of The Hilarious, Embarassing, And Bizarre Questions People Had To Ask Librarians Before Google Existed


“Can you get cooties from kissing?”


Creative Writing: Exercises for Story Writers – from PSU

Creative Writing: Exercises for Story Writers – from PSU

SOURCE – Jim Manis – PSU

Short Story Exercises

  1. Write the first 250 words of a short story, but write them in ONE SENTENCE. Make sure that the sentence is grammatically correct and punctuated correctly. This exercise is intended to increase your powers in sentence writing.
  2. Write a dramatic scene between two people in which each has a secret and neither of them reveals the secret to the other OR TO THE READER.
  3. Write a narrative descriptive passage in a vernacular other than your own. Listen to the way people speak in a bar, restaurant, barber shop, or some other public place where folks who speak differently (“He has an accent!”) from you, and try to capture that linguistic flavor on the page.
  4. Play with sentences and paragraph structure: Find a descriptive passage you admire, a paragraph or two or three, from published material, and revise all the sentences. Write the passage using all simple sentences (no coordination, no subordination); write the passage using all complex-compound sentences; write the passage using varying sentence structure. The more ways you can think to play with sentence structure, the more you will become aware of how sentence structure helps to create pacing, alter rhythm, offer delight.
  5. Focus on verbs: Find a passage that you admire (about a page of prose) and examine all of the verbs in each sentence. Are the “active,” “passive,” “linking?” If they are active, are they transitive or intransitive? Are they metaphorical (Mary floated across the floor.)? What effects do verbs have on your reading of the passage?
  6. Take a passage of your own writing and revise all of the verbs in it. Do this once making all the verbs active, once making all the verbs passive. Then try it by making as many verbs as possible metaphorical (embedded metaphors).

Characters: There are two types of characters: well rounded and flat.

  1. Create character sketches. This is a good exercise to perform on a regular basis in your journal. Sometimes you can just create characters as they occur to you, at other times it is good to create characters of people you see or meet. Some of the best sketches are inspired by people you don’t really know but get a brief view of, like someone sitting in a restaurant or standing by a car that has been in an accident. Ask yourself who they are, what they are about. The fact that you don’t really know the person will free you up to make some calculated guesses that ultimately have more to say about your own vision of the world than they do about the real person who inspired the description. That’s okay, you are NOT a reporter, and ultimately the story you intend to tell is YOUR story.
  2. Write a character sketch strictly as narrative description, telling your reader who the character is without having the character do or say anything.
  3. Revise the above to deliver the character to the reader strictly through the character’s actions.
  4. Revise the above to deliver the character strictly through the character’s speech to another character.
  5. Revise the above to deliver the character strictly through the words/actions of another character (the conversation at the water fountain about the boss).
  6. Often when we call a character “flat” we mean that the author has failed in some way; however, many good stories require flat characters. Humor often relies on flat characters, but often minor characters in non-humorous pieces are also flat. These characters usually appear to help move the plot along in some way or to reveal something about the main character. A flat character is one who has only ONE characteristic. You can create whole lists of these and keep them in your journal so that you can call upon them when you need a character to fit into a scene.
  7. Young writers are prone to write autobiographical pieces. Instead of writing about people like yourself, try writing about someone who is drastically different in some way from you. Writing about someone who is a good deal older or younger than you will often free up your imagination. It helps to make sure you are delivering enough information to your reader so that the reader can clearly see the character and understand the character’s motives.
  8. Write a scene of about five hundred words in which a character does something while alone in a setting that is extremely significant to that character. Have the character doing something (dishes, laundry, filing taxes, playing a computer game, building a bird house) and make sure that YOU are aware that the character has a problem or issue to work out, but do NOT tell your reader what that is. 

This is a great one…..

The T.S. Eliot/John Gardner Killer Exercise: This exercise is quite possibly the most difficult, demanding and important exercise a writer can ever do. The poet and critic, T. S. Eliot, coined the phrase “objective correlative” to designate what he believed was the most important element in writing: Rendering the description of an object so that the emotional state of the character from whose point of view we receive the description is revealed WITHOUT ever telling the reader what that emotional state is or what has motivated it.

The late John Gardner, recognized in his lifetime as the leading creative writing teacher in the United States, developed the following exercise for students:

    A middle-age man is waiting at a bus stop. He has just learned that his son has died violently. Describe the setting from the man’s point of view WITHOUT telling your reader what has happened. How will the street look to this man? What are the sounds? Odors? Colors? That this man will notice? What will his clothes feel like? Write a 250 word description.


How about a couple CROWBAR KICK-STARTERS:::

Use one of these as a launching point for your story or for the exercise… Plop one right down in the middle of things….

  1.  …Stop biting your fingernails…
  2. …Its part of the foundations of society…
  3. …Missed lunch and it’s almost supper time…
  4. …It’s one thing to be talented, but add in being selfish…
  5. …We are all germ carriers…
  6. …What exactly were your expectations…
  7. …You have to take a firm stand…
  8. …Can I apologize for making such a scene…
  9. …I was smarter before the meeting…
  10. …Always saying nasty things about me…

Have a great day and keep on keeping on!……

LIFE CROWBARS – things to remix and write about…

Below are twenty things we have all thought about in some capacity. Take your character(s) and make one of them part of their story.

ChatterWhacky sketches
My son Mac and I doing some character sketches…

See if you can plug in some funny context with them.  Or take a couple and write/draw your characters having a conversation with one another.

  1. Play for keeps
  2. I like to feel needed
  3. Make us nervous
  4. Learn to be the best with what you got
  5. You think you are always right
  6. Life is full of disappointments
  7. Figure out your fears
  8. Opinions should have substance
  9. Focus your thinking
  10. I will be a good manager
  11. I create work that helps create jobs
  12. Would not want to lose it
  13. Will the emails ever stop coming
  14. You’re not listening
  15. You are always hanging around doing nothing
  16. She has a peculiar way about herself
  17. I can be pretty persuasive
  18. It takes all kinds
  19. Don’t kid yourself buddy
  20. Put them in their place

Crowbars #43 – Is your character hungry?

FOOD!… We all have our favorite things we cannot go without and so do your characters. For me it’s the belly warming, cheese infused, meat LASAGNA and TACOS. 

Is your character hungry?


Have you been writing since 4AM? Is your writing flow on fire and you cannot stop to do a search for that perfect scrumptious menu item your character needs?

Is your character hungry?  Let the Creative Crowbar Help
Is your character hungry?


  • What is your character’s obsessive craving?
  • What food is at the top of the list?  
  • Is there a fetish for Tacos or Pickles?
  • On a stake out and need a quick bite?
  • Ordering dinner at a NYC fine restaurant?

 How about a menu list to take care of that problem?

NOTE: As always it is given you are familiar with just about everything collected. The point of this is to help solve a problem while you are creating. You can always research and discover everything yourself. This is all about the SPARK and to Keep things flowing…to solve the problem quickly or even be a place holder until you can find what is perfect for you.

(Click on the foods to see  images, help write your descriptions, and get other ideas )

Spicy sausage
Scrambled Eggs
Gouda on a muffin
Country fried steak
Bagel and Coffee
Biscuit and gravy
Corned Beef Hash and Eggs
Strawberry pancakes
Country Potato Casserole
Monkey Bread
Chicken fried steak and eggs with gravy
Hash browns and toast
Vanilla yogurt with fruit and bran
Grapefruit with sugar
Fried egg on toast
Western omelet
Fresh spinach omelet
Pancakes topped with butter rum
Stove-top grits
Poached eggs
Honey dew melon
Berry blintzes

Crawfish Bisque
California Pizza
Slice of NYC Pizza
Greasy Cheeseburger
Turkey Wrap
Tuna Salad
Lemon-Pepper Vinaigrette Salad
Roast beef Sandwich
Chicken Nuggets
Deviled Eggs
Chocolate Shake
Mac n Cheese
Bean Soup
Pita and Hummus
Bologna Sandwich
French Cheese Fries
BBQ Sandwich
Chicken Sandwich

Steak and Potatoes
Fish and Chips
Fried Chicken
Burrito Rice and Beans
Baked Salmon
Roasted Basel Chicken
Prime Rib
Panfried Pork Chops
Sautéed Scallops
Spicy Beef w/Bell Peppers
Leg of Lamb
Buttermilk Fried Chicken


(want to know what they are serving? Click on them to go to menus.)

Eat in NYC:
Gotham Bar & Grill
Gramercy Tavern
Sea Fire Grill
Per Se
The Little Owl
Pearl Oyster Bar
Keens Steakhouse
Di Fara Pizza
The Polo Bar

Eat in Atlanta:
Food 101
Hoof & Ale
Fox Brothers
Rays on the River
No Mas Cantina
Front Page News
The Varsity
Buckhead Diner

Eat  in Philadelphia:
Little Fish
Nomad Pizza
Barclay Prime
Marigold Kitchen
Fat Ham

Eat in FARGO, ND:
Grand Junction Grilled Subs
Doolittles Woodfire Grill
Rhombus Guys
TNT’s Diner
Spitfire Bar & Grill
Jade Dragon
Boppas Bagel
HoDo Lounge
Atomic Coffee

Eat in LA:
The Ivy Restaurants
Tasting Kitchen
Osteria Mozza
Porto’s Bakery
800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria 
101 Noodle Express
Bluewater Grill
Roscoe’s House of Chicke ‘N Waffles

13 Coins
Wild Ginger
The Herbfarm
Dick’s Drive-in
Facing East Restaurant
Daniel’s Broiler
Salty’s on Alki Beach

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
The Ginger Man
Red Cat Jazz Café
Alamo Drafthouse
Mucky Duck
Backstreet Café
Front Porch Pub

Eat in San Fran:
Gary Danko
The French Laundry
Amber Café
Aqui Cal-Mex
Pacific Catch
Burma Superstar
La Ciccia

Chips an Salsa
Spoonful of peanut butter
Bag of pretzels
Chunk of Cheese
Leftover  a’La Carte

Celery Sticks w/peanut butter
Cup of fruit
Granola Bar
Cheese Crackers
Bowl of fruit
Cucumber Slices
Trail Mix
Fruit Bar
Candy Bar

Keep on reading… for a little shift in the focus in this post…. Take one of these below and add it to something from above to help you create something cool.

Solid Brick, Dark Side for the Dance Club, Liquid Sugar, Lima Beam, Grand Daddy Short Legs, Gray Sun Rocks, Thunder Shakes, Mind Joggers

BREAKER BAR  “Defined ~ Just when you thought you knew what I was going to write…”

  • Thunder Shakes
  • Ticket to no success
  • I am on top of the pincushion
  • Mass Construction
  • Breaker 1-20
  • Drop in the Barrel
  • Beating around the Giant Redwood
  • Chow Up
  • Lima Beam
  • Gut Smelling
  • Icing on the roof
  • If it is not one thing, it’s nothing
  • Kick start your bad habit
  • Don’t hold your lungs
  • Hit the spot inside the hole
  • Firing on all players
  • Granddaddy short legs
  • Dark side of the dance club


Defined ~ “A great prop properly placed builds character”…what can you build your character with?

  • Detective Robert Goren – an obnoxious size black notebook
  • Bull Durham – White and Blue stripped tighty whites
  • The Deer Hunter – The Head Wrap
  • Pulp Fiction – BMF Wallet
  • Rocky – Red, White, and Blue boxing shorts
  • Forrest Gump – To many, but the best is a box of chocolate
  • Casablanca – Piano
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Pizza
  • The Shawshank Redemption – Rock Hammer
  • Lord of the Rings – Well…You know… the ring


Quick look at the COFFEE SHOP BUSINESS:

  • Revenue from coffee shops exceed 10 Billion per year.
  • Personal income and consumer taste drive demand.
  • Baristas are trained coffeemakers.
  • Special ground coffee and pressurized hot water makes espresso.
  • The typical customer for a coffee shop is 25 to 45, affluent, and educated, which includes including college students and young adults.
  • The world’s importer of coffee is the US.
  • The temperature to take full advantage of brewing coffee must be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit
  • There is an Anti-Starbucks movement by people looking for independent shops and more unique experiences.
  • I will drink convenient store tar, but  highly prefer the good stuff.
  • Finally, yes they serve TEA too!… :)

HALF-BAKED – COFFEE SHOP MOVIE IDEA :Renee Whithall met her husband at a college bar and her lover at a coffee shop. She quickly realizes beer and coffee do not mix well. The cream and sugar is what she needs daily, but getting stiff drink every now and then is what keeps things sane.  

EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS: Some favorite foods of former presidents

They all pretty much love ICE CREAM!!!….






Money in the piggy bank
Money in the piggy bank

Ready for your comic artist remix!… Take one or all to make your next comic gag. Bend, hammer, and shape them into something cool.


  • Husband and wife at their wild out of control house party. “I’ll hide the toilet paper you lock up the booze and food.”
  • It is never easy trying to explain you did not do it, especially when  sharks,  fish chum, and Banana Splits are part of the evidence. 
  • Car driving along a road. Chicken in the road. Car jumps over the chicken. Caption: “Automatic Roadkill Avoidance System.”
  • Apartment lease agreement. “Not Children friendly, but pet friendly” 
  • Who can resist a good meatloaf after a cold day of work outside?
  •  “I know how to handle these people. Honey get the wedding videos”
  • I am making a list of top 100 music selections by taxi drivers.
  • Living room is a complete wreck with children’s toys everywhere. Husband and wife are sitting on the couch drinking wine. “So you remember when weekends were a time to relax?”
  • Top 3 things you can’t leave alone for 5 minutes: #1.Babies #2.Grease frying on stove #3.Facebook









Ready for your comic artist remix!… Take one or all to make your next comic gag. Bend, hammer, and shape them into something cool.


  • To help avoid traffic and road rage paint your car entirely with chameleons.
  • Joe Biden is always open for discussion about leadership. In question are his recent use photo-bomb techniques he learned watching TMZ.
  • One place you will never find me is at the starting line of a track meet. It’s all part being pantophobic.
  • OPPOSITE DAY: Man frowning while ironing cloths. A woman is sitting on the couch with a remote in her hand cheering on  TV football.
  • KID’S FEARS AFTER GROWING UP ON THE INTERNET: What’s hip today is not hip tomorrow, making it so hard to decide what to do in life.
  • Never say this on a first date. “What’s up kitty cat?”
  • During my dreams, I think I am right about, not matter what kind of dream. While I am awake, my wife has that privilege.
  • I don’t buy lottery tickets. I’m not taking a chance on having to meet the crazy family members I heard about over the years.
  • Panel one: A huge mess of ingredients, bowls and utensils on a table. Panel two: A beautiful cake.

DOUBLE WORD creative writing triggers

Dear Writers, Humorist, Gag comic artist, Bloggers –

“Halfbaked thoughts grow better when transplanted into other minds compared to the ones where they sprung up. ” These are for you! 

This  LIST THAT CAN BE USED OVER AND OVER to help you with your writing. Skim and pick a Creative Crowbar from the list.  Then start writing. If you are stuck in the middle of a novel, pick a crowbar. If you are stuck with your blog, pick a crowbar. It is not guaranteed to stir the brain, but I am positive will get you going with something….

If you like these and  would like a list of 1000 get in touch with me…

Starting Points
Take Advice
Eat Vomit
Eyes Truths
Read Bible
Attack Diet
Top Rated
Going Broke
Balls Out
Forgiving Love
Lazy Eye
Cat-Food Smell
Bank Overcharged
Sea Dogs
Silent quartet
Body Odorless
Worthy King
Sensible People
Unwoven Woman
Violent Frogs
Cricket Sounds
Guided Fool
Summer Snow
Snap Shot
Point Destruction
Yellow River
Shift Gears
Planet Alignment
Too Many
Diaper Rash
Flew Over
Weed Tree
Baked Pie
Army Ranger
Stacked Bet
Over the Top
Negative Horsepower
Gassed Up
Major Accident
Plagued Emotions
Salad Wax
Chanced Catch
Excavator Championship
Paint Out
Executive Decision
Nasty People
Gamma Burn
Express Service
Lost and Found
Chose Weapons
Pickled Pie
Taxes DUE
Race Time
Stage Pains
Jack Trader
Hideous Face
Unfortunate Clown
Dinky Boat
Share Money
User Fabrication
Critical Move
Acquired Taste
Occupied Mind
Pimples Concealed
Farmhouse Quandary
Worm Feeder
Scooter Modified
Insurance Un-adjusted
Rider Panicked
Pie Judge
Shoot Scored
Genuine Rawhide
Dolls Salvaged
Driveling Droll
Twisted Metal
Over Positive
Emotional Camouflage
Astonishing Lights
Noble Breed
Frigid Womb
Neighborhood Trash
Atomize Fears
Tiresome Wars
Sinister Cat
Scrumptious Jello
Gallant Steed
Business Reviewed
One  Anniversary
Solar Explosion
Catastrophic Whimper
Omnipotent Itself
Top Shelf Speed
Back Breaker
Double Shot
Serious Money
Crappy Tuesday
Over Topped
Plumbed Pipes
Dull Razor
Raspberry Crush
Alarms Set off
Tailgates  Party
Alpha Bigfoot
Away Home
Single Pipe