1. Pick the most depressing news story you can find and use it as a backdrop for a romantic comedy.

2. Write a list of what's wrong with everyone else.

3. Pick a feature of a famous person's face and describe it in 500 words. For example, Michele Bachmann's eyes.

4. Take a shot every time you write a sensory detail.

5. If you're right-handed, write a story with your left hand. If you're ambidextrous, try using your toes.

6. Write an ode to your credit card. For verisimilitude, include the number, 3-digit security code, and expiration date. (You may send it to me and I'll provide a free critique.)

7. Write a letter full of death threats to a celebrity. Be extra creative! (For even more fun, email it!)

8. Write a short story entirely in dialogue. Use only Pig Latin.

9. If that toilet could talk, what would it say?

10. Since there's no such thing as a new story, paraphrase your favorite work.