Sunday, April 12, 2020

Scene Prompt: Drama from Mama

The prompt:
Four women are stuck on an elevator. They are all moms but from four different generations.


Five Minutes: Just So That You Know

She wrapped the bandage, even though the cut was still bleeding.

"Hold that over your head," she said. "Do it now."
"For how long?"
"Until I tell you to stop. Unless I forget, then maybe ten minutes."
"That seems like a long time."
"Just hold it over your head. Have I ever been wrong?"
"I head that."
"That silence. You know I'm right so just keep holding it up."

It felt like the bleeding had stopped but his heart was still pumping rapidly. His pulse was a cadence even a marching band could hear.

She opened the window. A quick breeze blew a paper off of the table. It floated a moment and before it drifted to the floor the cat batted it around, keeping it aloft like a balloon.

"Can I put it down yet?"
"No. Did I tell you to yet?"
"I hear that..."

The cat pounced on the paper, smashing it to the floor. The cat resumed washing some essential piece of fur, over and over, over and over.

"You can put it down now."
"Thank you. I was just about to ask."
"You're not bleeding out. It was barely more than a paper cut."
"It hurt."
"You're a woosh."

Rusty the cat in a box


1. Write for exactly five minutes, then stop.
2. Find a random image to add

Improv Prompt

Improv Scene Prompt:

  1. Read the quote
  2. Reflect for one-minute
  3. Start your scene

Here's the quote (but you can use the same prompt with other quotes, too):

Do not admire famous people too much -- they could carry a sadness that would crush you.

-- doug smith

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Dig This

You don't need excuses for failing when you use the creativity to succeed.

  • art
  • business
  • music
  • education
  • governing
  • leading
  • writing
What if your MAIN ingredient is creativity? That's good news because you've got plenty of it. But, you might have to dig.


Start digging!

-- doug smith

Creative Muscles

Creativity is intellectual and emotional muscle. Exercise it to grow stronger and smarter.

-- doug smith

Choices We Almost Make

What about that choices we almost make? One time, I almost bought a Jeep Patriot very much like the one pictured here (this one's a rental car.) I really, really wanted that Jeep. I'd been day dreaming about Jeep Patriots for about a year, and when my 2002 Chevy Cavalier started making death noises and losing its accessories, I was all set to buy one.

I test drove one. It was nice. I knew I liked them because I'd rented them before. So, what's to choose? Find one at a reasonable price and buy it.

Or so I thought.

I also drove a Chevy Cruz. That car was amazing. It drove like a sports car. It was fast, quick, turbo-charged. It made me feel young and alive and daring and ready to improvise.

I bought the Cruz. And I did love that car and kept it until it also began making killer noises and motions.

But I've never stopped thinking about that Jeep Patriot. It might be that HAD I bought it that I would still have it. But I don't.

We make choices, and move on. The choices we make are perfectly acceptable choices and we live with them, we expand them, we make the best of them.

In improv, we make choices all the time. Some are great (turbo charged!) and some are not so great (where's the wifi?) and yet we make the best of them. We support the cast around us and go with the flow.

It makes life simpler. It makes comedy real. It makes the road easier and more exciting.

-- doug smith

Friday, April 10, 2020

Not My Van

1969 Ford Econoline

Growth works best with boundaries.

The picture above is (I think) of a 1969 Ford Econoline. It's not my van, or former van, but I did once own a 69 Ford Econoline (filled with holes and rust -- lyrics from a song I wrote about that truck which we (my wife at the time, Nena) and I names "Buster." We named it Buster Truck because it was always busting our chops in need of one repair or another. I paid $500 for it in 1977 and it was worth every penny.

It had some severe boundaries: no radio. Barely any heat. Manual transmission. And yes, oh how we loved that van. Not sure why I ever got rid of it (probably needed major repair...) but it helped me appreciate that tough boundaries never have to limit your joy.

Buster Truck brought me great joy. You can't keep every car you've ever owned, but if you could, I would have kept Buster. Although who knows how much of him is left these days?

Enjoy your boundaries. Enjoy your day. Create something wild and wonderful just for fun.

-- doug smith

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Some days...

Some days I miss my red Chevy Cruz...
Where were you on that day?

That day when everything changed? You have a few, don't you? Depending on how old you are, you have at least one because the world changed last month. Not for some people, but for all people.

We can still be creative. Lord knows, we need to improvise more than ever. And in our best zen-like open improv way we can accept all offers and roll with the show.

Keep rolling!

-- doug smith

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Collage: Big Fun

Big Fun, collage by doug smith
Big Fun - Collage by doug smith

The more you trust your own creativity the less someone else's harsh criticism matters.

-- doug smith

Random Quotes on Creativity

A much younger doug with the lost painting, circa 1976
Here are some random thoughts on creativity that I blathered out on the pages of my journal during a burst of enthusiasm. Some don't seem as brilliant now as when I thought of them, but here they are anyway, just in case I lose my journal the way I lost the painting pictured above.

  1. Improvising possibilities leads to better choices.
  2. Those who develop creativity discover new levels of happiness.
  3. A creative spark can light a thousand possibilities.
  4. Creativity might just be the closest thing to a fountain of youth.
  5. Appreciating the creativity in others helps develop the personal creativity inside.
  6. We barely understand why where' here, why not keep learning?
  7. You don't have to color outside the lines to appreciate the color within the lines.
  8. If you were as creative as you could be, how creative would you be? Go for that.
  9. Stay creative and you will never be bored.
  10. Creativity works with or without permission, with or without constraints.
  11. It might seem that creativity is best suited for the young but the truth is that it's right for everyone.
  12. Creativity, like love, suffers more from neglect than it does from resistance.
That's it for today. There are more of course. Maybe I'll scatter them around. Maybe I'll drop them occasionally. 

What creative thoughts do you have on this fine day?

-- doug smith