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7/23 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Wow! Lots of terrific creativity for last week’s prompt, “Chinese restaurant.” Difficult to pick a winner. In the end I had to go with a gorgeous image from Bec Thomas (check out Breakfast with Bec as well as her blog and website if you haven’t already). Congratulations, Bec! Your $10 gift certificate is en route.


From Cathy Jennings: “The chinese restaurant got me thinking about how i would like to go out to dinner and enjoy a cup of green tea in a beautiful cup.”

From Kelly Warren, a haiku and image pairing: “I collect ACEOs (art card, editions and originals) which are an outcropping of artist trading cards. If you aren’t familiar with them, the basic rule is that they must be the size of a standard playing card, 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. I created my first one for this prompt. Also my first Haiku! The Chinese letters are ‘Joy’ and ‘Love,’ top and bottom respectively. I’m not usually attracted to Asian art, but for a first try, I’m pretty happy with this! The stamps were in a very large collection of art supplies given to me by a friend who was moving and need to clear out some supplies. I’m having so much fun going through them all.”

Two Lovers Sitting in a Chinese Restaurant
Joyful hearts take flight
Lit by the lantern of love
Forever soaring.

From Cathy Coley, a poem:

chinese restaurant

my boys away
I thought I’d take my girl
out to our chinese takeout for lunch
four black tables in four white walls
sizzling woks behind the counter
red paper fortunes dangling golden coins
grandfather cooks
smile on his steamed face
heady onions and oil and chicken
and tofu and shrimp and beef
and peapods and mushrooms and bok choy
and sweet and sour and soy sauces
giant fat green jade buddha sits on the counter
ready to trade plastic swipes or paper money
for plastic containers and paper boxes
the best veggie lo mein in town

instead I heat up left over pizza
scarf it down
grab the stroller and the leash
walk my 2 girls around the neighborhood
the shiny black one pauses
to read her pee-mail at everyone’s lawn
the one in pink smiles and drools at me
we pause by the fingerlake
watch the ducklings skate along the surface
between mallard’s green head and mama’s mottled brown
a bullfrog croaks like homer simpson, doh! doh! doh!
dog’s pink tongue droops and waves
in the sweltering air
baby drowses fitfully and
I think of my boys
anchorless swimming motherless
through rowhouses in providence and
how they’ll fare needless of me in a few short years.

From Dana Thomas (welcome to Creative Construction, Dana!):

The Chinese Restaurant

Twenty years later, the words still roll off my brain each and every time that I feel a bit woozy after too many toddies: “You like a Shanghai Moon!”

I’d asked advice from the waiter who too zealously suggested the cool pretty blue drink with an umbrella.

He grinned with that top row of yellow, fanned teeth. “You like a Shanghai Moon. Twust me. You won’t wegwet it.”

What the heck, I thought, we’re celebrating our first date in five years since the boys were born. Bring it on!

It arrived all too quickly. I chugged it down like blueberry Koolaid on a hot afternoon. I ordered another.

The meal came and went, along with a few more Shanghais. I noticed the waiter peeking from behind the thin screen in the kitchen. He was still grinning. So was I. I tried to be romantic with my husband, looking deep into his two sets of eyes.

I should never have ordered rice–but who knew? Tasty going down; rough like metal pellets coming up. I spent the next day in bed, vowing never to drink anything that color again.

Now, when I’ve had a little too much to drink, my husband throws that grin my way and says, “What’s wrong, babe? You like a Shanghai Moon!”

But his teeth are straight and white…so I know I’m safe.

From me (Miranda), a haiku and photo pairing:

Chinese restaurant
I still believe in
the soothsaying truth and hope
of fortune cookies

This week’s prompt: “Beauty”

Use the prompt however you like. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 29. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) Remember, the point here is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. cathy #

    glad to see so many wonderful entries! bec, those fish are beautiful, congratulations!

    great laugh from dana! thanks!

    i want to drink tea from that cup, too, cathy!

    i wish i’d thought of the fortunes, angle, miranda! i put too much faith in them myself. anyone remember the old addition, ‘in bed’ to your fortune reading? i still read them like that…

    kelly, are you sure that’s your 1st go with those stamps?!

    July 23, 2008
  2. these are all such fun pieces! i love seeing the variety…photography, art, poetry, prose. i love them all! and yes, cathy, i, too, like the read the forture cookies that way. makes them so much more fun.

    congratulations on your beautiful photograph, bec! and the shanghai moon story really cracked me up, dana!

    July 23, 2008
  3. LOL — I had never even heard of the “in bed” amendment until my oldest son clued me in a couple of years ago. I should give him credit anyway — the fortunes in that photo are his (he collects the ones he likes). I wanted a red background, so I used my 3-year-old’s Stokke chair. I guess he should get prop credit too 🙂

    July 23, 2008
  4. Great work everyone and thx! I have to say I really like the art card Kelly, makes me want to go decoupage right now!

    July 23, 2008

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