Can You Beat These Creative Solutions to Everyday Problems

“It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.” — Charles F. Kettering

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Today in brainstorming a blog idea, my conscience convicted me to address the title of my blog: Creative in Everything. Could I show that everyday people with everyday problems can be creative in everything?

I brainstormed the creative solutions I’ve come across over the years. Without judging their worth, because we can be creative in poor solutions, I merely report them.

How Everyday People Creatively Solve Their Everyday Problems.

Briar Patch21. How do you lighten the day of a passerby on your rural road? The photo says it all.

2. How do you bore your mind to overcome insomnia? Spell every word that comes into your overactive mind. You don’t have to spell the words correctly.

3. How do you keep the hall light from shining in your eyes while you watch TV in your room? Tear off a portion of the tissue box next to your recliner and wedge it between your face and the ear handle on your glasses.

4. How do you repair a snag in your fingernail when you’re paralyzed on one side? Have your son glue an emery board to an end table.

Drag Strip5. How do you protect 5-year-olds’ ears at a drag strip? Stuff their ears with blobs of tissue.

6. How do you manage a runny nose during allergy season? Twist two tissues and stick them up your nostrils.

7. How do you reduce headache pain? Loop a belt around your head and thread the free end through the buckle end. Then pull the free end as tight as you can, making a vice grip.

8. How do you close the trunk of your sedan when your lazy-man’s load debilitates you? Balance on one leg and lift the other high and close the trunk with your foot.

9. How do you hide the new package of cookies from your family? Put them in the dishwasher. (I’m told they’re fine after they’re forgotten and washed.)

10. How do you at age 3 entertain the neighbor’s child while your mother is occupied? Dust an entire container of baby powered over the playroom, or dump the birdseed into the dryer.

11. How do you manage a stretched-out maternity slip that won’t stay up in the store? The next time it slides down your legs step out of it and keep walking.

River Flags12. How do you remind preschoolers not to go near the river? Stick orange flags every few feet a couple of yards from the riverfront and instruct the children not to go beyond the flags. Then  watch them like a hawk.

13. How do you keep your son-in-law from juggling your fresh tomatoes you store in a bowl? Place three red rubber balls in the bowl and store your tomatoes out of sight.

14. How do you get a class of four-year-olds to listen to the story and answer questions? Tantalize them with the promise that after each correct answer, you’ll inflate more of a hippopotamus balloon that you’ll let fly after the questions are done.

These are the few I could recall in thirty minutes. So, it seems anyone can be creative anytime they see a need.

What creative everyday-life solutions have you witnessed?

How You Can Make Your Writing Idea Work

“I had a terrific idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.” — Samuel Goldwyn

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Problem: Have you searched for an idea for writing a blog post, article, or story? I have. Have you come up with nothing? I have. Or have you disliked the idea you came up with? Bingo!

Here’s what happened when I decided to practice what I preached. I used the brainstorming method I posted in: Brainstorming: Make Your Worst Idea the Most Unique Solution. I hope my experience helps you.

Finding the idea:

I jotted every phrase that popped into my head for a list of 30 ideas. After perusing the ideas, true to the method, I selected the worst idea: carved roast beef.

Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Daniel St.Pierre at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Carved roast beef? I stared at the phrase and then returned to the list, hoping I’d see a worse idea, because carved roast beef was like having no idea. But I’d said the method worked, and I had to be true to my claim.

So, I did the second step. I put aside my need and simply brainstormed things connected to carved roast beef: rare, slices, aroma, seasoned outer crust, etc.

I closed my brainstorming notebook. The challenge tired me. I needed to get downstairs to my grandchildren whom my husband and I were to babysit for a couple of days. Through the day, my stomach sunk a little more each time I thought of my challenge. I reminded myself to trust God.

MP900387863After two days babysitting, my younger grandson asked me to read Creepy Carrots!, words by Aaron Reynolds and pictures by Peter Brown. This book is a Caldecott Honor Book. I thought, what an off-the-wall idea, and it worked! No wonder it received the Caldecott honor. So fresh, so unique, and a great twist to the ending. This is what a book needs, whether a children’s book or an adult book. Pop! I had my idea for my blog post. Thank you, Lord.

A great story is like carved roast beef.

(Vegetarians and vegans, I apologize.)

I realized a Carved Roast Beef could offer a word picture for ensuring I wrote a great story:

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • The rarer the story idea the better.
  • Like the pleasing aroma and taste of seasoned crusts on either end of a roast, the story beginning and ending should delight readers to read on and to close the book satisfied.
  • The scenes between the beginning and end are like succulent slices of roast beef revealing meaty events of the plot all the way through. Each a work of art in itself.

Then, I could encourage my blog readers to pick up a book on the craft of writing to help them serve up a tasty story for their readers. I could list my favorites:

  • Hooked by Les Edgerton
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • From the Inside…Out by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck
  • Kiss and Tell by Susan May Warren

Okay, so this is the story post within the how-to-make-your-idea-work post. The question I’d like to see answers to is:

Why did the last great book you read delight you?