Tag Archives: ideas

How to Start a Conversation

We’ve all experienced that awkward silence when no one knows exactly what to say. So, to help you out in these predicaments, I found a few useless facts ideas to get you going.

  • Coca-Cola was originally green. (You had to know I’d throw a Coke fact in here.)
  • The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.
  • Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.
  • City with the most Rolls Royce’s per capita:  Hong Kong
  • Percentage of Africa that is wilderness:  28%
  • Barbie’s measurements if she were life size:  39-23-33
  • Percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again:  80%
  • Percentage of American women who say they’d marry the same man:  50%
  • Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400
  • Average number of people airborne over North America any given hour: 61,000.
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.
  • Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.
  • First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
  • A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.
  • The only 15 letter English word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ candies?
  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them would burn their houses down – hence the expression “to get fired.”
  • “I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  • Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.
  • The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
  • An ostrich’s eye is bigger that it’s brain.
  • The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.
  • Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.
  • If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.
  • The first toilet ever seen on television was on “Leave It To Beaver”.
  • Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
  • J.M. Barrie made up the name Wendy for his book “Peter Pan”.

Now wasn’t that fun?

Let me know how those conversations go . . .

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Filed under Being Creative, Humor, Life, Writing

Into the USA

Sometimes we have these great spur of the moment ideas that turn out to be not so great when we actually get into the thick of implementation. That happened to us yesterday.

We thought it would be fun to go across the border into the USA for dinner and a bit of shopping. We live just a half hour drive from Washington state and we make this little trip on a sort of regular basis, so we didn’t think anything of it to jump in the car and go. Well, we didn’t factor in that it was Friday. And it was also the first nice weather evening we’ve had in weeks. If the lineup at US Customs was any indication, it seemed that everyone else had the same great spur of the moment idea we did.

So we waited for an hour. Moving at a snail’s pace. Great for gas mileage. And eventually they allowed us into their country.

We had a lovely dinner at Billy McHale’s in Bellingham, fought the crowds at Costco to get deals on dairy, and even had some quiet browsing time at Barnes & Noble bookstore.

The moral of this story? There isn’t one.

We were home by 9:45 and the lights were out by 10:15.

We really do need to get out more.


Filed under Life, Writing

Try This

One creative genius I’ve always admired is Walt Disney. He was once fired by a newspaper because they felt he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. Hard to believe someone would say that about the man who created Mickey Mouse. Mr. Disney also went bankrupt several times, but he didn’t quit. Instead, he built Disneyland.

I read recently that Walt Disney, after dreaming up his ideas, would switch to the role of a realist and try to figure out how to implement them. After working that out, he would become the critic, and try to tear those ideas and solutions apart. He spent hours looking for weaknesses and holes. The ideas that stood up best were the ones he pursued. The man not only had the ideas, but he also developed a way to test them before putting them into production.

I don’t usually have too much trouble coming up with new ideas – for writing stories, for my job, for my home – but lots of them don’t measure up when I apply the Disney method. So I am going to try this:

1. Pray!

2. Write down my ideas.

3. For each one, write as many criticisms as I can think of.

4. Look at each idea and try to develop possible solutions for overcoming every weakness.

5. Choose the ideas that have the fewest insurmountable weaknesses.

6. Pray again! Ask God to show me how to follow through.

Try this.

And let me know how it goes.


Filed under Being Creative, God, Imagination, Thinking, Writing

Don’t You Get It?

I have already admitted to you that I am a little bit out there when it comes to the way I think, so anything you read in this blog should come as no surprise. Right? I see that a few of you are still withholding your opinions. That’s okay.

Today I tried to explain to one of my co-workers the correlation between tablecloth and caber toss. He didn’t understand. (If any of my children are reading this, they will know exactly what I am talking about.) The poor young man, one whom I thought would be chock-full of imagination, looked at me with a perfectly blank stare. Don’t you get it? I asked him. He shook his head. Meanwhile, another co-worker stepped up to help me out. She had no trouble with the concept. See.

Yesterday, yet another co-worker rendered his explanation of time travel. Don’t you get it? He asked me. I nodded enthusiastically, because what he said made total sense. At least, to me.

It’s along the same lines as the people who live in the trees, but not quite. (This is the point where my children throw up their hands and walk away. Even they aren’t that accepting of their mother’s rather bizarre thought processes.)

What’s the moral of this blog post? Hmm. Not sure there is one. Oh wait! Maybe there is.

Sometimes you have to look beyond what you know to be normal because after all, what is normal to you may not be normal to someone else.

Don’t you get it?


Filed under Being Creative, Imagination, Thinking, Writing

Ideas from Ideas from Ideas

Do you ever get ideas from ideas from ideas? I do.

I try to carry a little notebook with me all the time because I get ideas from watching a TV show, or from reading a book, or from seeing a billboard on the side of the road. It never stops.

Sometimes I’ll hear an infrequently used word that will spark the most brilliant thought for whatever story I am working on. Like pother or sudorific or besot. Aren’t those just wonderfully delicious words? I can see you furrowing your brow and scrambling for a dictionary about now.

There are those the ideas that come from other ideas which have come from ideas before that. It makes you wonder how far back you have to go to find the original idea, which was probably nothing like the idea you just had. So does that make your idea yours? Being as bombarded by media as we are, it’s a question that begs to be asked. You know, plagiarism and intellectual property and all that.

The Bible says, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT)

This would indicate that there are no truly brand new ideas. But . . .

When it’s one you’ve thought of, dreamed about, planned out – well – then it’s yours. Your very own. And it doesn’t matter if someone down in Zimbabwe or Argentina had the very same idea. Because they won’t do the very same thing with it as you will.

Let the ideas keep on coming.


Filed under Being Creative, Bible, Imagination, Writing


I love wireless technology. Especially when it works. But until I have several thousand dollars to spend on new stuff, what you see in the picture is the way it will be. Yes, folks, that is actually my home office. Get over the shock and listen up.

Your brain is wireless. You don’t even need a modem or a router or a cable to get it connected to the Source. You are always online. I’m talking about God here. The Almighty, the Father, the Lord. His battery never dies. His connection is always perfect. No static or high traffic times. You can access Him from anywhere in the world and it’s free.

Get connected to Him. He’ll let you know what to do to get your ideas out there.


Filed under God, Writing

The Idea Bucket

Ideas come to me from everywhere – conversations, dreams, observation, TV commercials, the news, etc. I try to get the good ones written down so I don’t forget, but I know many have slipped away. I keep little notebooks in strategic places like my night stand, the bathroom, the glove compartment in the car, and every now I then I transfer all those little bits of creativity to my idea bucket.

My bucket usually takes the form of a journal (like my favorite Moleskine), where notes are crammed, stapled, taped into submission.

Whatever form your idea bucket takes, the most important thing to remember is don’t lose the ideas! You never know where you’ll need them. And maybe, just maybe, one of them will change the world.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

The Work of Inspiration

I’m writing a novel – two, actually – and as much as I would love to be able to sit down and let inspiration do its thing through my fingers on the keyboard, that’s not how it works. One thing I’ve discovered: inspiration is only an idea. And that idea won’t become something tangible until after you start writing. That’s the hard part.

Isn’t it the same in every area of our lives? We can have the greatest ideas in the world, but they remain ideas until we act on them.

I used to say that I was an idea person. I was pretty proud of the way I could come up with all kinds of grand and lofty things. But the follow-through was not for me, I’d say, and I’d leave those ideas for other people to carry out. I’d take the credit, of course. How dumb. How arrogant. How take-the-easy-way-out.

It wasn’t until I had my own business that I realized that if I had an inspirational moment, there was nobody to do the work but me. I would have to take that idea, plan its execution, and do it myself. A very sobering lesson.

Life as a writer requires the same evaluation. While the ideas are endless and everything is a possibility, the actual writing can be a disaster. Or a stroke of genius. The bottom line is that in order to be a writer, you have to write. All the time. Even when you don’t feel like it, and especially when that moment of inspiration takes you to places you’d never thought of before.

There’s a spiritual lesson here as well, but I’ll leave that for another day . . .

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Filed under Writing