2014 Christmas Short Story #3 | Just Right

Just Right A (Slightly-Inappropriate) 100-Word Short Story By Nate Melcher Inspired by the card’s artwork The little human girl had taught them much. That hat was too scratchy, but this hat was just right. That tree was too big, but this tree was just right. Those presents were too heavy, but these presents were just … Read more

2014 Christmas Short Story #1 | Eating Healthy

Eating Healthy A (Slightly-Inappropriate) 100-Word Short Story By Nate Melcher Inspired by the card’s artwork She’d begged the Claus to resist the elves’ sweet treat recipes for hundreds of years. Just eat healthier, she’d pleaded. This Christmas Eve, for reasons he couldn’t quite explain, the Claus thought maybe she was right. He passed the snowman, … Read more

2014 Christmas Short Stories

Eating Healthy
I created fifteen original (slightly inappropriate) 100-word short stories based on Christmas greeting cards and I’m sharing one per day between today and January 6. For this creative exercise, I chose to embrace three constraints:
1.Stories had to be based on the greeting card. Both should be able to stand on their own while also enhancing each other. I found

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A Closer Look #4 Looking Back on the First Month of The Life Mosaic.

A Closer Look
My first month writing for this new blog has been wonderful. You’ve got to love it when you learn something from what works, what doesn’t, and can still walk away feeling good about it. Here are some of my observations as I take a closer look at the first month of creating The Life Mosaic. Consider this a “journal” entry (or as Lisa Simpson would write, “Dear Log…”).
1. I’ve loved dusting off my writing chops.
Really, I don’t do all that much writing these days that isn’t for work or academic purposes. To write with passion on a project that’s all my own, something I want to share with other people without expectations on them or me, that’s been something absent for too long. Now that I gave it space for a month, it’s a lovely feeling having it back. It’s an old friend who’s familiar and fresh at the same time. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself or cringe about what I put out there. When I succeed, the writing goes better. The writing is fun.
2. Embracing the mosaic means openness and boundaries.
Many blogs are laser-focused and really, that’s the way to go. For my purposes, though, I’ve simply got too many ideas in too many areas of life buzzing around my head. I’d have to set up nearly a dozen blogs if I wanted to

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That's My Elk Story.

2013.01.29 That's My Elk Story
For me, the hard part isn’t having a story. It’s discerning when to share it and when to save it.
It’s amazing how badly we want to be part of a conversation. Someone offers an insight or an anecdote or a point and we want to find a way to relate or chime in or make our mark. And that often involves bringing a story to the mix. But is the story really all that pertinent? That’s the sort of question which demands a split-second answer.
Consider my elk story. When would you tell this?

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What Is Your Petri Dish?

2013.01.16 What's Your Petri Dish
A petri dish is a small container used by scientists, usually biologists, to discover and explore cultured cells, plants, and so on. It’s usually, but not always, 100mm in diameter and 15mm in height. In 1887, it played a key role in discovering penicillin. While petri dishes come in different sizes and other variables scientists do great work with them. They’re only so big; they’re only so small. It’s a 100mm x 15mm constraint where the world is changed. A petri dish is

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“First Thing Monday” Begins Tomorrow.

First Thing Monday

Tomorrow sees the start of “First Thing Monday.” Right now, the intention is for the feature to be three things:

  • A weekly feature at The Life Mosaic.
  • A writing prompt to get your creative juices flowing.
  • An exercise designed to require fifteen minutes of work.

This may fluctuate in the future but for now, anticipate the above recipe.

I enjoy writing prompts. I like receiving them in a class or group or seeking them out on my own and I enjoy offering them to other people in teaching, training, and other spaces like this blog. I think any writing prompt allows one to stretch his or her creative legs to walk to places he or she perhaps wouldn’t otherwise travel. Really, that’s “any” writing prompt. Even the bad ones, the cliche ones, even those can take someone to somewhere new if one is open to it. That said, here’s hoping the writing prompts I offer here aren’t “bad” and seldom dip into the “cliche” pool without intention.

One of the key reasons I enjoy writing prompts is

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