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11/05 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

A nice show of hands for this week’s creativity contest prompt. Our two-time defending champion is on a streak! Jen Johnson wins again. Go, Jen! (Is this like that dude on Jeopardy, or what?) Your $10 gift certificate has been sent. Jen writes: “I’d thought I knew what I wanted to write as soon as I saw the new prompt last Tuesday, but the week got in the way with no writing at all. So here we are, Election Day, and this morning I found myself scribbling lines on scrap paper while running around after the toddler. The poem below is the result of about an hour’s much-interrupted scribbling. And given my Mama’s Magic Studio motto –- ‘Where Handmade Magic Happens!’ — I just couldn’t resist sending you my ‘avatar’ photo.” Just goes to show what you can do with an hour. I appreciate that Jen used a rhyming pattern without veering into cuteness, which is difficult — and I like the timely election reference.

Hands (The Personal is Political)
Tap the keyboard,
Knead the bread,
Paint the canvas,
Make the bed,mm-avatar-square-bright-large

Knit the sweater,
Wrap the gift,
Braid the tresses,
Mend the rift,

Wield the hammer,
Sweep the rug,
Tend the bruises,
Squeeze the hug,

Push the stroller,
Mold the clay,
Burp the baby,
Show the way,

Cast the ballot,
Skip the rope,
Thread the needle,
Pray for hope.


From Cathy Coley, a lovely pairing of past and present: “A new poem and an old drawing exercise from high school: 3 views of my own hand. 25 years apart.”

mother’s hands
in many pots, but most
importantly rubbing backs,
smoothing tears,
running through
baby fine and thicker hair
lifetime source of comfort.



From Juliet Bell, a treat for everyone! “Hands -– now there’s an interesting prompt. I’m a palmist. Hands are far more than magnificent tools; they are an encapsulation of who we are, our personalities, our foibles, our talents, our ups and downs, and so much more. They are a window through which we can see our unique magnificence. I thought I would use this prompt to diagram and highlight some of the features that creative people will most likely find in their hands. As you read, please note that this is very general, and as in astrology, it is the full combination of all in your hand that fills out the picture of just who you are as a unique individual. You will want primarily to look at your dominant hand as this is the one which shows what you are doing with the talents you brought into the world with you (shown in the non-dominant hand).” [Click on the image for a larger view.]


  1. The head line will likely curve down toward the moon area (blue). The farther down it slopes, the more you draw on your unconscious, the more creative you are likely to be. The more horizontal the head line, the more you will want your creativity to have a practical application (make money, for instance).
  2. The Apollo or Sun finger (ring finger) will be significant. This is the finger of self expression, love of beauty, and artistic endeavors. It will likely extend beyond the halfway point of the top phalange of the middle finger; there may be a line or lines on the hand extending toward the mount (base) of the finger. The longer the line, the more that artistic self-expression is part of your personal destiny. Many shorter lines above the heart line indicate a lover of the arts.
  3. The Mercury finger (little finger) will show the role communication plays in your life, and the degree to which you may have commercial success. If it extends into the top phalange (top crease) of the ring finger, then it is long. This indicates that communication is a vital component of your creativity. This will often be demonstrated by a need or desire to put your work out there for the world.
  4. The Jupiter finger (index) will indicate ambition and leadership (among other things). If this finger is as long as Apollo or longer, then you are very ambitious, and will show much drive toward accomplishing your goals.
  5. The will portion of the thumb (top section) will show your ability to accomplish your goals as opposed to just thinking about them. If it is in good proportion to the rest of the thumb, or longer, then you have the will power to do what you need to make things happen.
  6. The finger tips will show the way in which you attack most of what you do. The more pointed the finger tips and nails are, the more you rely on gut feelings; your ideas and feelings come to you and you act on them. The more squared your finger tips and nails are, the more reasoning your approach will be, and the more practicality will flavor what you do.
  7. The fingers themselves indicate your orientation to the world. The smoother the fingers, the more spontaneous you will be; knotted joints will slow you down, cause you to ponder before taking action. The length of your fingers in relation to the palm is significant. Fingers longer than the length of the palm indicates a love of detail and minutia, a thinker, slow to speak and act. Short fingers indicate a talent for seeing the big picture, and a quick mind — quick in thought and action.

I hope you found this fun and validating.


From Kelly Warren: “This is my first attempt playing around with Adobe Illustrator. The words in the background are the lyrics to one of my favorite Sugarland songs. I’ll leave the rest up to interpretation.”


What I'd Give


From me (Miranda): I got so carried away with Election Day that I forgot my own advice to create a contest entry before the eleventh hour! After a moment of panic, I came up with an idea that I was able to execute on my laptop while watching the election returns last night.




This week’s prompt: “Self-portrait”

Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, November 11. 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.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. 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.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cathy #

    this was nice to see while i’m still high from the events of last night.

    go, jen! your poem was what i wanted to write but was unable to this week.

    juliet, fascinating and validating. i have been trying to figure out my wrinkled destiny my whole life thru palmists who look shocked at my hands and say things like, “why do you keep coming back?” and thru looking into palmistry a bit myself. i never really could figure which of the lacework on my palms meant which lines, then there were always the q’s of breaks and crossings and diversions seeming to go in different directions….but according to what i can suss from what you wrote, my hands indicate a balance between spirituality/creative unconscious and practicality in my creativity.

    kelly, that is sweet, and i love your collage work’s layering and how it all affects the whole.

    miranda, i hope you are making a nice big print of that and hanging it on your wall in a prominant place!

    November 5, 2008
  2. congrats AGAIN jen! fun poem.

    cathy, you need to sketch more. you have a talent there.

    juliet, i found yours most fascinating! i sat here for a while reading your descriptions and analyzing my hand. it all rang pretty true for me too! cool!

    miranda, i agree with cathy. that needs to be professionally enlarged, printed and framed on your wall.

    self portraits, huh? don’t guess my silly ones i’ve already shared here count? geez….now i have to come up with something else… 🙂

    November 5, 2008
  3. Thanks, guys! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with for next week — have already received an entry 🙂

    November 5, 2008
  4. Jen #

    Wow! I just hope I don’t start hearing the Jeopardy theme song when I sit down to respond to the next prompt!

    I was so glad to get something done this week, and it’s extra nice to have the honor once again. It’s been such a rollercoaster around here; jotting down those thoughts was incredibly therapeutic. I’m very grateful to have had the push to do so. Thank you!

    Cathy, I’m incredibly touched by your kind comment — glad I could give voice to something that rings true for you. I agree with Kelly that I’d love to see more sketching from you! I especially like the closed fist.

    Thanks, Kelly — really liked your collage. So soothing to the eye, with lots of texture and visual interest!

    And I’ll third the vote — Miranda, definitely get that lovely set of images up on your wall! Simply beautiful.

    Have to say, though, I too was most fascinated by Juliet’s engaging and informative post. So much great stuff! Definitely fun and definitely validating. And the visual was a welcome and wonderful touch!

    glad to hear you’ve got an entry already for next week, Miranda. It should be quite interesting to see what the prompt brings about for everybody!

    November 6, 2008
  5. Cathy #

    thx, jen. in a past life (before 18) i was a visual artist primarily. haven’t done much since then, although kept up clay work all thru college. my dream is to someday (see m’s post today) have a studio in the backyard with kiln and writing desk all to myself. maybe i could start my digging a fire pit for raku!

    November 6, 2008
  6. just sent you a self-portrait miranda. k

    November 11, 2008

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