Monday, September 28, 2015

What if TREES could talk?

The Kile Oak Tree in Irvington, Indiana
(Believed to be as old as 450 years)
The Kile Oak is a bur oak, named after the Kile Family
who once owned the land where it grows.

Dear Creative Writers,

What if trees could talk? What would they say? 

Many writers have pondered this question, so let's go ahead and add ourselves to that list.

A few weeks ago I visited the Kile Oak Tree in Irvington - a neighborhood in Indianapolis. This tree is believed to be as old as 450 years. WOW! I immediately wondered what this tree has witnessed throughout its LONG life. Could it give us humans some advice?

In the Disney movie, Pocahontas, Grandmother Willow gives Pocahontas, a young Native American girl, some advice. In fact, many Native American people still believe that trees hold knowledge. Take a look at the video clip below...

When I visited the Kile Oak, I placed my hands on its trunk and was astounded that I was touching a living being that was older than our state...older than our country... older than the REAL Pocahontas. Yes, Pocahontas was a real person. She was born in 1595 and died in 1617. And the Kile Oak is believed to have sprouted from its acorn around 1565. WOW!

Speaking of acorns... Here is a photo of some acorns I picked up from beneath the Kile Oak Tree.

Could you imagine having a mom or dad that is 450 years old? That's what would happen if I planted one of these acorns.

This leads me to another question. What if acorns could talk? What would the acorns from a 450 year-old tree say?

Maybe this photo will help rev your imagination!

While these acorns do NOT come from the Kile Oak, you can still use your imagination and pretend that they do. 

Which leads us to our CREATIVE WRITING CHALLENGE! Can you tell a story through the perspective of a tree? It can be the Kile Oak or another tree from your yard or imagination.

Here are some questions to think about:

1. Did this tree witness a particular event in human history that it would like to recall?
2. Does the tree have some advice that it would like to give the human race?
3. Does the tree want something for itself? 
4. Is this tree a gateway to a different world? How does the tree take you there?


Create a world for the ACORN PEOPLE! Do they live is a town or city beneath MIGHTY OAK? What is the name of this town or city? What do the acorn people want? What are they afraid of? 

Feel free to do both challenges if you WOOD like! hehehe!

With imagination,

Professor Watermelon

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What if DINOSAURS could READ?

Dear Creative Writers,

What if dinosaurs could read? Would they have their own libraries with books the size of billboards? Or would they read the books in OUR libraries?

If they read the books in our libraries, which ones would they check-out? Comic books? Cook books? Or Romance?

Its interesting to think about, it isn't it? So, let's take these thoughts a step further with a Creative Writing Challenge!

Create a book-reading DINOSAUR character. Where does he/she live? What makes this dinosaur extraordinary (besides being able to read)? What does this dinosaur want? Who is keeping him/her from getting what they want?

Once you have an idea, begin writing your story. If you need some inspiration, read HENRY AND THE BUCCANEER BUNNIES! In this book, bunnies can read. But they aren't ordinary bunnies - they are extraordinary PIRATE bunnies!

Here's the cover:

Happy Writing!

Professor Watermelon

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monarch Mystery!

Monarch Butterfly on Zinnia
By: Debbie Long

Dear Creative Writers,

It is the end of Summer, and the Monarch Butterflies will soon make their LONG journey to Mexico.

But how do Monarchs even know where they are going? Scientists have been baffled by the Monarch migration for years! Why? Because the Monarchs who had traveled North are the Great-Great Grandparents of the Monarchs who will travel South. 

Did Grandma and Grandpa leave a secret map etched in the Milkweed?

Or is there an ancestral voice on the winds?

It is a MYSTERY! 

But where there is mystery, there is imagination. And where there is imagination, there is a STORY! 

Are you up for the challenge, Creative Writers?

With your imagination, solve this MONARCH MYSTERY in your own creative way. Write a story and weave the revelation in your tale. 

And if you need some inspiration, take a look at this video.  

Happy Writing,

Professor Watermelon

Monday, March 16, 2015

Leprechauns and FISH Tanks?

Dear Creative Writers!

I went to feed my goldfish this morning, and look at what I found! A LEPRECHAUN!

What is he doing in my fish tank? Is he hiding his gold? Is he talking to the GOLDfish? What are they talking about?

I bet your imagination is going WILD! Can you take it from here and write a story?

Here are some more things to think about: Who is the main character in your story? The leprechaun? The goldfish?

What is your main character's name, and what do they want more than anything? Who is trying to keep him/her from getting it?

Good luck,

Professor Watermelon

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The KEY tooooooooo.........

Dear Creative Writers,

LOOK at what I found in the MUSEBOX! This is already no ordinary key. First of all, look at the quarter. Now, look at the key. It's HUGE compared to that little coin.

As a professor of MUSEOLOGY, I love to help creative writers turn these MUSES into stories. Below you will find a series of questions that are sure to help you uncover some fascinating ideas.

What is this key's value? You can think of this in at least three ways:
1. What is the key's monetary (money) value? 
2. What is the key's sentimental value? 
3. What is the key's magical value? 

If your imagination is not satisfied, try imagining this MUSE in a different size, color or formation? For example, maybe the key is teeny-tiny. Or maybe the key is GOLD. Or maybe the key is alive and can walk and talk.

Did this help you uncover a more exciting idea? 

Great! Now, start building your story. Let's say your idea is this: What if there are giant keys that are alive and can walk and talk? 

How does this idea lend to the setting of the story? 

My example: I imagine a haunted castle with a cupboard of giant keys.  

How does this idea lend itself to the characters of the story? 

My example: This is no ordinary cupboard of keys. A giant lives in this castle, and he commands his walking-talking giant keys to open and close doors for him.  

How does the idea lend itself to the plot of the story?

My example: The keys are upset with how they are treated by the giant. He never polishes them or treats them with respect. So, one evening when the giant is sleeping in his bedroom, the keys lock him inside. How will the giant get out? Will he make a mends with the keys? Or is he locked inside FOREVER???

This idea still needs a lot of work, but I have a direction for my story. Re-imagining the first three questions will help with this, too? 

Now, it's your turn!  

Happy Writing!

Professor Watermelon

Monday, February 23, 2015


Dear Creative Writers,

We all know that Earth is our home, and we share this planet with billions of people, plants and animals. When we write stories, we often chose Earth as our setting, and we create an imaginary human or animal as the main character of our story.

But what if our story does not take place on Earth. Can we create a new planet? In fact, can we create new creatures to live on this planet - creatures completely  different from human beings or dogs or cats or rabbits or jelly fish or... well, you get the point! Yes, of course we can.

And let's try it today! Here is your creative writing challenge:

1. Create a new planet, and give it a name. What makes this planet different than Earth? How is it similar?
2. Create creatures that call this planet home. How are they different than the creatures on Earth? How are they similar?
3. Choose one of these creatures as a main character for your story? What does the character want more than anything? And who or what is keeping them from getting it.

If you need some inspiration, use this cute little guy below!

Happy Writing,

Professor Watermelon

Monday, February 9, 2015

Story Starter: A Chocolate Owl...

Dear Creative Writers,

Are you looking for the MUSE? Here is a STORY STATER to help you!

"A chocolate owl lived in a castle..."

Happy Writing!

Professor Watermelon

P.S. Here are some things to think about... Who is the main character? The Chocolate Owl? Where is this castle? What other characters live there? Are they ALL made of chocolate? What is the conflict in this story? 

P.S.S If you need some CASTLE inspiration, watch the video below. Any of these castles could be used to build your story's setting

Monday, January 26, 2015

Here, Goldie, Goldie, Goldie...

Dear Creative Writers,

I am incredibly excited to report that I got a FISH AQUARIUM for my BIRTHDAY! And I am extremely excited to find some new fish friends to live at my home!

My favorite aquarium fish are GOLDFISH. I love all of their shapes and colors. (No, they are not ALL gold.)

Take a look at the video below to see some of these marvelous beauties!

Here is your creative writing challenge... Can you create a story where a goldfish is the main character? What is the goldfish's name? What does he/she want? Who is keeping him/her from getting it? What is the setting of your story? A goldfish bowl in a castle? A fish tank at a pet store? 

The possibilities are ENDLESS! I look forward to seeing the stories you write!

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What about HER perspective? The Statue of Liberty!

Dear Creative Writers,

Watch the video above about the iconic Statue of Liberty, and when you are finished, imagine a story through the eyes of Lady Liberty.

If she could talk, what would she say? If she could walk, where would she go? Does she want something? Does she NEED something?

Let your imagination take charge! I look forward to reading what you come up with.

Happy Writing!

Professor Watermelon

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly MUSE: The Empire State Building

This month we are going to take a little trip to a city that has captivated the minds of billions. Some believe it is truly the Center of the Universe. They call it the Big Apple or the City that Never Sleeps!

It is home to America’s beloved Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING!

What city is this? You’ve got it!

New York, New York!

Okay, Frank, take it from here!

That was Frank Sinatra – one of the world’s most famous singers, singing one of the world’s most famous songs about the world’s most famous city – New York.

Did you see the building shaped like a pencil? Yep, that’s the Empire State Building? When it opened in May of 1931, it was the tallest building in the world. Let’s take a closer look at this incredible structure. In fact, let’s make it this week’s MUSE!

The 1930’s was a difficult time here in the United States. Millions of Americans were without jobs. This meant they had no money for shelter or food.

At this time, New York City was home to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who had left their homelands to grab a piece of the American Dream. Sadly, they were met with poverty and despair on this side of the ocean too.

A few rich men decided to give New York and the rest of the United States a beacon of hope – a sign of better days to come. How? They would erect the largest building in the world and employ hundreds of immigrant workers to construct it.

Al Smith

Al Smith, who had once been the governor of New York, was placed in charge of the construction project. He hired William F. Lamb to design the building with one question in mind, “How big can you build it so it won’t fall down?”

Ground was broken on March 17, 1930 – St Patrick’s Day. The construction took a little over a year and the Empire State Building opened on May Day of 1931. Al Smith’s grandchildren cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Take a look at the video below to find out all kinds of interesting facts about the Empire State Building.

And did you know that Indiana has an important connection to the Empire State Building. The 30 million pounds of limestone that it took to erect this famous building ALL came from a quarry near Bedford, Indiana. A gigantic hole was left behind after all of this stone was taken. Can you guess what this hole is called?

The Empire Hole!

Empire Hole 

New York got the building, and Indiana got the hole. HAHA!

Now that the Empire State Building was open for business, it was nearly impossible to rent out all the space inside. Remember, the 1930’s was NOT a good time for business, especially small business in the United States.

Once again, Al Smith went to work trying to fill the building with renters. He traveled all over the United States trying to lure companies to move to the Empire State Building. But it just didn’t happen.


Hollywood saved the day in 1933! The Empire State Building was the setting for the climactic scene of KING KONG! Take a look.

This movie made the Empire State Building the most famous building in the world. And the fame brought renters too. Ta-da!

Before you take all this new knowledge and weave your own creative story with it, I have one more interesting fact to tell you.

The Empire State Building would not have been built without the help of the Native American tribe known as the Mohawk Tribe. Groups of men from this tribe were conditioned to have no fear of heights. They would walk the beams of steel with agility and speed without fearing a fall that would mean certain death. Many of New York’s skyscrapers were built with the help of these men.

Mohawk Ironworkers

With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these what if questions will help you get started.

WHAT IF the Empire State Building was the setting of your story? What if you told the story through an unlikely perspective? A bird? A mouse?

WHAT IF your main character had was a mad scientist who lived in the basement of the Empire State Building? What is his/her plan to take  over the building?

WHAT IF your main character was one of the Mohawk iron workers? What if this character was a kid?

The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.

So, grab a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.

With Imagination,

Professor Watermelon