Category Archives: Galumphing

Writer’s Warm-Up Head Slap



Foggy Rotini with Singing Tips

Purple Cheese Sneaker Crisps

Soup or Salad

Portly Orange Chunks with Sour Glue Vinaigrette

Shower Drain Fritters with Simplistic Sparklers


Awkward Anchovy Steak

Dryer Pizza

Broasted Brazilian Perch Legs

Six Bottom Feeder Deli Pedals

Birch Slices with Sobriety Sauce


Caramelized Cement Cones

Crunchy Catalog Chews

Assorted Nutty and Cutting Remarks

 What are you serving?

A Creative Writing Challenge for You

Winslow wakes up, lying on a cement floor. He blinks, not sure where he is. The room he’s in is round, about twelve feet in diameter. The cement walls are white, and the light seems to be coming from a circular disc slightly lower than the nine foot ceiling.. He finds that he’s wearing black sweat pants and sweat shirt, white socks, and running shoes. A plastic bottle of water rests next to him, unopened, no label. His last memory is of going to bed in his own room, in his Denver apartment, after a full day working as a coder for a website company.

The only feature in the room, other than a hole the size of a pop can in the middle of the mildly slanting floor, is a five inch long, two inch tall slot about knee high on the curving wall. He sticks his finger in the slot, but cannot feel anything. It’s black inside.

What will Winslow do next?

Give Me a Story

Give me a story that includes these five elements:  a crack in the sidewalk, rat poison, rust-colored corduroy pants, leftover lasagna, and Einstein.

I could use a good story.

Your Old Car, Your Preferred Color, Your Favorite Season, and an Old Pet


I gratefully grabbed the empty parking space facing down the steep hill, curving my tires into the curb.  I’d need that hill to bump start the ‘56 Pontiac.  It ran okay, but it had a cracked block so that whenever I had to stop at a light, I had to throw it into neutral and gun the engine so it wouldn’t stall.   I needed that downhill parking spot to pop the clutch.  So far, that had worked.  I was heading for the consignment store, Clever Threads, where they’d show my home-sewn clothing and hopefully sell it.  I had made a flowing sky blue skirt with many layers and a deeper blue and black vest (the colors of deep dusk) to match.  Maybe it would catch someone’s eye.  I could use a little money.

Thanks goodness spring had arrived in Wisconsin.  I was exhausted from the chores of making wood to heat the house and heat water.  It wasn’t just that; I was pregnant.  It had seemed like such a good idea at the time—I’d decided I wanted to be a lady with babies, and Billy and I had been together over two years.  But he was traveling with the band a lot, of which I was no longer a member, and I was alone more than half the time.

We’d rented an old farm house and traded our old pickup for two baby calves.  But now I had to mix formula for them twice a day in a five-gallon paint bucket and hold my fingers underneath the surface so the calves would get the idea of sucking and then be able to drink on their own.  Problem was, I was scared of the barn.  There were spiders in there, maybe mice or other bad things.  And the calves were two more animals that pooped and pee-ed wherever and whenever they wanted, trusting me to keep things cleaned up.  Their noses were always wet, and they seemed to enjoy wiping them on my jeans leg, leaving wet stains. They were not sweet old pets, but colossally dumb and needy baby cows.

As I climbed the hill back to my car, I decided to trade them for something else.  I was going to need a washing machine.



This is Galumphing

It’s time to fit some totally unrelated people, objects, and actions together into a scene or story that makes perfect sense.  I’m stretching as far as I can to come up with the weirdest group of items, but I’m sure you can do this.

  • Raspberry jam stain
  • Weeds on the driveway
  • Walking as fast as you (he/she) can
  • Zero defects
  • Pharoah
  • Tony Bennett

Hey, this could be worse!  I left out the Nazis, the end of the universe, and purple nose cones.  Count yourself lucky.

The Un-Galumphing

Instead of assembling tricky items into a story or plot, I want you to connect a horribly predictable set of stock novel elements into a very unpredictable plot.  It’s going to take a very tricky mind to avoid the easy connections and cliches!

  • Nazis
  • Time travel
  • Attractive female doctor
  • Masculine undercover agent
  • Wise men from Tibet
  • Secret societies of mercenaries
  • Atlantis


More Galumphing for You

The Undergod

The round and round

A phobia

Stubbed toe

Mishmash Potato Head Case

Syrup and granite

Second dose of feather pillows

Mr. Grottenmeyer’s ninth period class

That window ledge

(I dare you to turn those into a story.  Double dare.)

Are You Still Able to Galumph?

Golden coins

Dental floss

Tire chains

A cabin in the Adirondacks

One squinting eye

A Night on the Town

Russleman Greefolder

Old gum underneath the café table

Underwear label

Relentless smog

Dog and a beer