There are a number of ways to keep writing when an original thought won’t come. One is to dig into the slush pile of rejects and see what’s salvageable. Another is to throw Serious out the window and invite Humor into your bed. Three is to read the paper and see what craziness is out in the world knocking on your door.
This has worked for me in the past week. First, I was overjoyed to be notified Pif magazine would publish “Play Date” in its October issue. I had worked long and hard on this 6,000-word, serious examination of loneliness and terrorism and a few other themes. Read it at http://www.pifmagazine.com/2010/10/play-date/. I hope you enjoy it because it vindicates me as a serious writer.
I also tripped over a piece I’d written some months ago about archeologists discovering the world’s oldest shoe. (Thank you, New York Times for this gem.) This subject could only be handled humorously, and it was, becoming “The World’s Oldest Shrew—er, Shoe” A little rewrite and off it went to The Short Humour Site in the U.K. (http://www.short-humour.org.uk/3writersshowcase/worldsoldestshrew.htm). As I mentioned on Facebook, I wonder what the sketch would have looked like if it had been the world’s oldest underpants.
Finally, the exercise in writing college admissions essays came to fruition when I took a subject my granddaughter was given by Temple University. But that’s not worth quoting, or linking to, or explaining. While funny, it could tip my darling grandchild the wrong way—getting her rejected before she gets her foot in the door of a university. Don't read the last post, below. And pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.