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Monday Sparks Writing Prompts

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What Are Your Guilty-Pleasure Movies?

cinemaw-4213751_1280As I prepared the heading for this post, my youngest read it and ask if it meant you felt like it was a movie shouldn’t have watched. I explained that a person felt guilty for liking some movies because they aren’t considered “good”, or they are so strange or off-beat that not many people like them. As a classic movie fan, most of my movie-viewing might be considered guilty-pleasure. But in an effort to give others the courage to admit that they like movies critics and/or audiences have rejected, I am listing a few of my guilty-pleasure movies.

Abbott & Costello Movies 

On Sunday mornings, when I was growing up, a TV station out of Pittsburgh would run the movies from the 1940’s and 1950’s starring the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. If for some reason I didn’t go to church, I could watch one of their movies. The team cranked out a lot of film, and some of it is unwatchable, even for a dedicated fan. But some are still sidesplittingly funny. My favorites are Hold That Ghost, The Time of Their Livesand Abbott and Costello Meet Frankensteinin which Bud and Lou don’t meet the scientist but the monster,

Many agree that Meet Frankenstein is Bud and Lou’s funniest movie. It’s as if Universal Pictures took their usual horror script and told all the other actors to play it like a straight movie. But Bud and Lou react and make comments that the audience has been thinking, sending up the conventions of the genre. For example, when Lou figures out Dracula is a genuine threat, he wants to clear out because, as a fat guy, he figures he’s got more blood and will attract the vampire’s attention.

The Incredibles and Incredibles 2

Is it okay for an adult to like kids’ movies? I recently watched The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 with my youngest, and we both thoroughly enjoyed them. That’s part of the reason I like them, because I got to share it with my kid. But I find the super-parents’ dilemma with their kids hilarious.

So what are your guilty-pleasure movies?

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Who Are Your Favorite Movie Villains?

canvasw-3001164_1280A hero looks even better matched with a worthy villain. Would Sherlock Holmes have near the enduring popularity if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle hadn’t invented Professor Moriarity to combat him? A couple of my favorites are:

Supreme Chancellor Palpatine from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the SithThe Chancellor is a wonderful villain before he becomes the evil Emperor. I wish the writers had given him more scenes because actor Ian McDiarmid does such a marvelous job of conveying the character’s insidious campaign of seducing Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side. His scene with Anakin in a theater lets you figure out just how evil the Chancellor is.

Harry Lime from The Third ManIn this film noir, American Holly Martins comes to Vienna right after WWII to meet his friend Harry Lime only to learn that his friend has died in a car accident. Martins suspects murder and conducts his own investigation. The character of Harry Lime is discussed throughout the investigation, and the audience gets to know him from the various descriptions from different characters. It all builds to a intriguing picture of a charming rogue, who, at some point, abandoned the charm, and is now a murderous rogue. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but Harry Lime is one of the all time great villains of movie history.

Who are your favorite movie villains?

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Poetry Everywhere and Anywhere

fantasyw-3792552_1280Where do you find inspiration for poetry? Nature ignites my creative spark as well as holidays and season. Also, things that annoy me. My poem for July was born from the way extreme summer weather seems to exist just to test humans.

If you find you are running out of inspiration, check these ideas in a post from Almost an Author. Two ideas that snagged my attention are describing a color — one of my favorite books on poetry is Red Sings from the Treetops, which describes the season in color — and personifying a disease. I can picture a cold as a guest who drops in unexpectedly and won’t leave.

What sparks ignite your poetry?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Idiom Renovation

fingerw-3653374_1280The English language is thick with idioms, and we use them in conversations every day. But as writers, we need to avoid the well-worn ones, unless it’s a key to a character’s dialogue, or we risking looking unimaginative.

Putting twists on old idioms is a lot of fun. Take “shoot yourself in the foot.” If I have a character, who’s a fashionista, inadvertently damage herself, another characters can say, “She just shot herself in the Choo.”

When I was a teenager, my younger sister invented two ways to freshen “whatever floats your boat.” She started with “whatever cranks your tank” and then added “whatever skins your skunk.” I love the second one and might have a rural characters use it.

Your turn. What new spin can you put on old idioms?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?

thanksgivingw-2911503_1280At Thanksgiving dinner, is the turkey the most important part of the meal for you, or is it the sides? Although my husband has roast the juiciest turkey I’ve ever eaten, I have to admit the side dishes are what I crave at Thanksgiving, which, by the way, my husband also does a fabulous job with. Being a bread-a–vore, as my oldest says, I love stuffing. I have to watch my intake of it so I don’t beach myself. My sister bakes a drool-worthy broccoli casserole. I never liked cranberry sauce until my husband made it from scratch, and it’s so good, I eat the leftovers for breakfast.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

 

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