Brave and Reckless ‘Moon Ate The Dark’ Creativity Prompt Challenge

Sounds like fun! Anybody else want to play?

Go Dog Go Café

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One of my favorite writing challenges I hosted on Brave and Reckless since I launched the blog was the Moon Ate the Dark Challenge back in 2017.  I still love the prompt and would love to see what new pieces of writing or art it might inspire.

The Rules

  1. Write or create an original piece that embraces the phrase “Moon Ate the Dark”.  The prompt can be used as the piece title, you can use the phrase intact or break it up however you like within the written piece
  2. I will accept poetry, prose, flash fiction, essay, creative nonfiction or art
  3. Pieces of writing should be 1,500 words or less
  4. Your submission must be sent to me by email by midnight EST on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.  It should include:
    1. your prompt response
    2. a suggested image (if submitting writing)
    3. a brief biography
    4. a link where readers can…

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SoCS Animal Sounds-2/22/20

“This post is part of SoCS:” https://alldumbpeas.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/socs-animal-sounds-2-22-20/

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Of all the animal sounds, I enjoy bird songs the most! Most avid bird watchers come to know that recognizing bird songs is a most useful tool.
I teach the kids in my care to listen to many things. Actually, my child care mission statement includes paying attention and experiencing all our senses everyday.
A few of our favorites are Chickadees, Eastern Phoebes, Nuthatches, and Cardinals. I don’t use Audubon descriptions but, instead, make up my own clues. Chickadees are easy. “Chickadee-dee-dee” is usually the very first song that we learn.
Most birds have more than one sound, though, and Chickadees often make a long forlorn “Jean-nie” sound too.
Phoebes also say their name but usually follow it with a sharp “She did it!”. At least, that’s what it sounds like to me.
Nuthatches are harder to spot. They like the tangled woods but their vocalizations always give them away. I can’t do anything but smile when I hear them because they sound like someone who has inhaled helium and is laughing. “Oops… someone’s laughing at us. Who could that be?” is my prompt for the kids. As usual, we’re able to hunt the jokester down and find him upside down on the side of a tree.
Then there are Cardinals. Their whistle is a delight at this time of year. Usually, they just make a shrill “peep, peep” at the feeder but I’ve kept track of the mating call of the males. It’s my first warning that Spring is closing in. For my area, in Massachusetts, I’ve saved the dates when it starts. Between January 25th and February 15th, I’ve always heard them. (I believe that the winter weather keeping me indoors has caused the variable in the date of my discovery.) The last week of January would be my guess for the yearly phenomenon. It sounds like a “Fa-wap, Fa-wap” whistle followed by a “gee, gee, gee, gee”.
This leads me to one of those heartwarming day care moments that made my years worthwhile and rewarding:

As a grandmother dropped off a four year old friend of mine, she filled me in on their weekend walk. “Avery and I had a beautiful walk. As we were almost home, he shouted ‘Grandma WAIT!’. ”
She giggled a little explaining that she was alarmed by his sudden outburst until he said, “Hear that? That’s Mr. Cardinal!”
The grandma winked at me. “I knew, right away, that came from you.”
🙂

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 22/2020

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Infinite Possibilities

To be a memorable child care provider, you need to have an exceptional memory of your own childhood. I didn’t know it then, but I was an odd child.

When I was a kid, there were no videos or iPods available for long car rides. My mom did a great job reading to us and starting sing-along sessions but the extra long rides still had long boring parts. I made up my own entertainment for those.

Forever“, to most kids, is the number of days it takes to get to Christmas after Halloween. But, I had an unusual relationship with time. Much later in life I’d learn that I have Spatial Sequence Synesthesia. It’s an internal 3D view of time. Quite fascinating and more evidence of my oddness.

Forever was the real deal to me. It meant “never, ever, again”. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as “forever” while moving forward in time. There’s always more to come. Forever exists where you leave things behind. It’s permanent. The past is forever… but the future holds infinite possibilities.

I called my game “Never Again”. At some point along the trek, we’d be traveling through places I wouldn’t be returning to. I’d choose small details outside of my window. A bird in flight, or a tiny broken branch on tree, might capture my attention. The smaller the detail, the better. “Never going to see that again.” I’d whisper. There was a magical sense of wonder in my private observation. I had paid attention to something insignificant and made it a part of me. I could possibly be the only person in the whole world to see it! How special is that?!

Later on, I’d recall that collection of forevers. Did the bird survive to have offspring? Had the branch fallen right away or was it hanging there, still? What might cause it to fall? A deer escaping a hunter?

To this day, I’ve not outgrown that sense of wonder about forevers. At our camp, I’ve recently found a treasure trove of fossils. Each one gives me a thrill. Am I the first human to EVER lay eyes on this? Did a dinosaur step on it? What caused the fossil to be right where I could find it?

This is precisely the weirdness from whence my love of writing and children developed. I realized, even as a child, that everyone and everything has a story. If I didn’t know that story, I surely could imagine one.

When it comes to my day care children, I feel blessed to be a caption, maybe a chapter, in each of their stories.

The possibilities are still infinite!

Have a great day and thanks for giving this post the opportunity to be “blip” in your story. 😉

 

 

dVerse prompt: Circus

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The circus is loud
But loudest of all
Is the colorful barker
Nearly ten feet tall!

He stomps and he waves
With a megaphone shout.
His beckons unending
While cannons ring out!

His heart must be pounding
Like the breast of a bird.
Sparks of excitement
Turn out every word.

One wave of his cane,
Can quicken the pace.
“Come One and Come All!”
Lights up every face.

Neither elephant trumpets
Nor a clown raising riot,
Or thunderous clapping,
Can make him be quiet.

If he weren’t so crucial,
The crowds couldn’t know,
The marvels and magic
within that tent show.

How grand is his life
Many miles he’s won.
Dynamic booming barker
Who hollers just for fun.

Come to the Circus!

 

Subjects

This topic seemed to belong in both of my blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

Sillyfrog's Blog

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My child care days were chaotic but I found moments to practice sketching the children. Capturing them while sleeping was best but I used photos too.
Time to get my sketchpad out again. Perhaps, illustrating is in the cards for me.
This retirement deal may be fun!

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NOW!

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“Are we there yet?”
These are words that try parents’ souls.
Everything happens “in the moment” for kids. The “befores” and “afters” just don’t count.
Giving kids too many choices is dangerous but telling them something cool will happen is suicide.
“Can we do it now?”
“How ’bout now?”
“It’s now, now, can we do it?”
“You said soon. Is that now?”
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“Now” is a beautiful place to live but it comes with baggage. You can’t hang on to it and planning for it is where joy and disappointment walk hand in hand.
Growing up isn’t a bad thing but there’s no way your relationship with TIME will not change. Once Christmas Eve becomes more exciting to you than Christmas Day, “you’ll be a man, my son.”
Adulthood isn’t without “nows”. Becoming enveloped in a good book, movie or interesting activity is that very place. Kids just spend more time there. Transitioning from that place can be a bit unsettling. That’s important to remember when kids put off responding immediately to your command. It takes a moment. I try to allow a pause before I feel defied and get angry. Just don’t let them push their luck too long. 😉
Have you heard about the “Marshmallow Test”?
If you haven’t, (KABAM!) now, you will. Like that? You are being informed “now”, and you’re reading a text written “before”. If you already know about the test, bear with me ’til the later “now” happens. Take heart, I could be asking you to wait until “after later”.
That’s “forever” in kid language!
So, psychologists believe they can predict a child’s likelihood of success by measuring her ability to delay immediate gratification in favor of a larger reward. Kids are offered one marshmallow and told they can enjoy it NOW or? … they can wait, which will result in a better reward of two.
The test is very telling but there’s no reason to believe your kid, who gobbled up the first offer, will be a loser. Those kids are the “tomorrow isn’t promised” crowd and there’s a value in being spontaneous. But it would be wise to use the test result as a signal to practice more gratification delays. Kids absolutely need practice with manners, virtuousness, and delayed gratification. Be advised, the “Are we there yet?” torture will be an inevitable by-product but well worth it.
—————–
If this Time theme was a bit too much to wrap your head around, this classic movie clip may help.
Later.

Spatial Sequence Synesthesia

Sillyfrog's Blog

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Imagine you can step from one day to the next in three-dimensional space. I can.
Not only that, but I have a three-dimensional “map” for everything that has a numerical sequence. They aren’t all the same. I didn’t copy anyone.
Since I was a child, I’d ask people (when the conversations seemed most intimate), “How do you ‘see’ numbers?”. It took me decades of blank stares and vacant expressions to find out I wasn’t crazy… I have a gift.
My mind created my own personal universe of dates and times!
The study of this phenomenon is quite new. Compiling statistics is difficult because, for many who have it, it’s natural. You may have it.
My discovery was made possible by explaining my “sight” to an online poet friend. After all, poets exist in an alternate realm and especially appreciate bizarre viewpoints, right?
So I took a chance.
She said, ”…

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Let’s Rock! project #1

Creativity with Natural Objects are not only free but freeing. This is from my other blog. Thought it could start out  suggesting summertime activities.

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Rocks have always been an interest for me. My career goal in Jr.High was to be a geologist. Have you ever really looked at them?

The shapes are interesting. I began playing with rock shapes when I started photography. I used them to create characters and taught my granddaughter shapes.

This project takes only time, paper , crayons and imagination.

The first part is collecting assorted shaped stones. I tell the kids to pick tiny ones ,as well as,some the size of an ATM card. (I would have said half dollar but I wasn’t sure they had seen one 🙂 ) Also tell them to pick up some twigs or acorns to embellish their artwork.

The second stage is to lay out their rocks on an outdoor table and to create creatures. Rocks are much more fun than blocks!…

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Bella and Raya

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Evelyn and Raya

 It’s been a long while since I spoke of Evelyn’s imaginary friends. Bella has been showing up from time to time but fairies, as you know, tend to make brief entrances.

There’s been a new friend lately. Her name is Raya and she is the same size as Evelyn.

Raya appeared at bath time a few months ago. Evelyn wanted her tiny Bella around but Bella’s size and delicate wings kept her out of rough and tumble play. Raya is the same size and age as Evelyn. She rides behind Evelyn on her tricycle and takes “tubbies”with her. Of course, Raya is the messy one and usually creates the splashes that go over the edge.

The names of Evelyn’s friends came from her. What, or who, inspired them is as mysterious as where they came from. Evelyn is posing (above) while hugging Raya.

There was one startling bit of news about Bella last week. Evelyn claims that she has lost her wings. Although she seems to have retained her 2” height, one ponders if she may be evolving in some way?
I’ll be following these three closely and add updates. 🙂

We ARE Artists

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We held our first annual art show in August. The kids and I had a blast. Family members showed up and even purchased some pieces!
All kids are artists. The hard part is keeping them artists.
My personal love comes from my own artistic ability. It came to me gradually and through much effort. I simply set my heart on being an artist.
Paisley printed ladies with untamed hair pulled back with twine used to sit painting by rural roads when I was a kid. They looked so serenely happy. Their unfinished paintings were impressive even to a 9-year-old racing by with her nose pressed to the car window. So…I drew and I drew and I drew. At recess, in 5 th and 6 th grade, I walked around with a sketch pad. Finally, an adult, or two, told me they thought I had some talent.
That gave me wings!
With my day care friends, I take that experience to them before they even start reading. Not all of them have the same level of interest but, those who do, are given every opportunity to shine.
I clearly remembered my childhood frustration over doing things “right” and my own talent never soared until I cast THAT idea away. Artists are not afraid of mistakes because there aren’t any. The work is an experience not a project.
My kids are only given plain paper and assorted tools. Our attitude is “go for it!”
The very first year (age 18 months and on) produces muddy messes. If it doesn’t, the kids are being held back in their exploration. Then, amazing things start to happen. The painted paper has separation of colors…the page goes from a scribble in one corner to a filled page…the child names her painting eventually and then decides to make a specific image before she begins. Bam!
An artist is born. No piece of artwork leaves my house unsigned after that. It is owned by its creator.
The kids who spend their formative years playing with me, don’t ever for a minute plan to become artists, they know they ARE artists.