Friday, December 28th, 2012
Today in 1895, the first commercial movie was viewed at the Grand Cafe in Paris, France. Admission was charged.
The film was made by two professional photographers, Louis and Auguste Lumier, who were goaded into creating a movie when their father saw Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope, and told them they could do better.
(Let’s hear it for a little parental guilt!)
The movie was a series of short scenes of everyday French life.
It enthralled the public, and the rest is history.
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Write a scene as if you might be writing a movie script, rather than a novel or short story. Don’t worry about making a perfect script. Simply set the scene with a few paragraphs at the top, then write the dialogue.
- Part 2 from above: once you’ve written the movie treatment, turn around and write the scene as if for a novel or short story. Does the dialogue still work? If not, revise.
- Write a journal entry or essay on your favorite movie you’ve seen on the big screen. What about it seeing it in the theater makes it your favorite?
- In Cornhuskers, chapter, 28 Memoir of a Proud Boy, Carl Sandburg writes, “There is drama in that point: the boy and the pigs. Griffith would make a movie of it to fetch sobs…” Write about a movie bringing you to tears. What emotion stirred the tears? Why?
Friday, August 24th, 2012
I’m reading a novel right now which includes Benjamin Franklin as a character. Although he’s not truly “in the story,” he is much talked about and the novel includes exploits about many of his inventions.
He’s probably most famous for creating bifocal lenses: Franklin owned two sets of glasses, one pair to see near things and one pair to see far things.
Tiring of switching his glasses back and forth, he had the lenses of both pairs cut in half and put back together in one frame so he wouldn’t have to keep switching.
He also created the “Franklin” stove, which allowed people to heat their homes more effectively by providing more heat and less smoke. It also burned less wood.
Swim fins and the extension arm – that nifty device which lets you grab things off high shelves – are also two of Franklin’s creations.
I could go on.
Reading about Franklin’s inventions has been nearly as exciting as the story.
Serendipitously, August is National Inventor’s Month. Thus…
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Invent something which will make your life easier. Pretend you have all the tools, the knowledge and the money to make it happen.
- Write a story about an invention which is supposed to make life easy for the protagonist, and then does the complete opposite!
- Write an essay about an invention the world would be better off without. Be persuasive. Use facts to back up your opinion.
- Rather than writing about an invention, write a story about an inventor who creates something fantastic, horrible, praiseworthy, frightening, or (you fill in the blank). How does he or she do it? What are the accolades or consequences?
Said American Inventor Thomas Alva Edison: To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.