The Weird Week in Writing: Lunar man-bats, a 6-year-old with a book deal, and Danny Glover as Captain Ahab

Publish date:

Freaky Friday—the latest from the weird and wonderful world of
writing this week (followed, as always, by a prompt). Happy weekend!

Image placeholder title

“You can’t go wrong with a good lunar man-bat”: 175 years ago, a newspaper revealed that life had been discovered on the moon. The findings? Unicorns, biped beavers, and even lunar man-bats—“four-foot-tall creatures that talked, flew, built temples, and fornicated in public.”

The Atlas can’t shrug some things off: After 10 days and 12,328 miles traversing the country with a GPS, an Ayn Rand superfan drove the words “Read Ayn Rand” into the planet—and into Google Earth, as seen from space.

The career early bird: Gets the 23-book deal. Put another way, the 6-year-old gets the 23-book deal. (Via HuffPo.)

“Call me Ishmael. Or, for that matter, Detective Murtaugh”:A new cinematic spin on Moby-Dick replaces the title whale with a white dragon, and casts Lethal Weapon’s Danny Glover as Captain Ahab.

Anti-Bucket List: In 101 Places Not to See Before You Die, Catherine Price riffs on everything from Beijing’s Museum of Tap Water to the Blarney Stone. (Who knew you could request a cleaning of the rock before you place your lips on it?)

A Gertrude Stein stein:
And a dollhouse miniature volume of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. And Albert Camus earrings. Jacket Copy whips up a hilariously great list of their 12 favorite non-book literary oddities currently for sale.

* * *

WRITING PROMPT:Last-Ditch Confessions
(Thanks to WD’s Brian A. Klems)
Feel free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece and the prompt to me at, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

The love of your life is getting married to someone else. In a
last-ditch attempt to win this person back, you bust into the wedding
and profess your love mid-ceremony. Start your story with the line,
"Don't say yes!"


Want more writing prompts and exercises? Brian Kiteley has packed more than 200 wildly original ones into his 3 A.M. Epiphany. Check it out here.


• Online webinars for writers

• Online
workshops for writers

• Get

Published with Writer’s Market

• Instantly download writing magazines, books, videos

• Sign

up for your
Writer’s Digest email newsletter & receive a FREE e-book

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Putting Off Submissions

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is putting off submissions.

The Transformative Power of a Post-First-Draft Outline

The Transformative Power of a Post-First-Draft Outline

Have you ever considered outlining after finishing your first draft? Kris Spisak walks you through the process.

Poetic Forms

The Skinny: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the skinny, a form created by Truth Thomas.

The Benefits of Writing Book Reviews

The Benefits of Writing Book Reviews

A book review is more than sharing an opinion—it's a conversation between readers. Sam Risak shares the benefits of writing books reviews, as well as best practices for getting started.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Give In

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Give In

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give in to something or someone.

Essential Versus Non-Essential Mystery

Essential Versus Non-Essential Mystery

What gets a reader to keep turning pages? Author Amanda Kabak seeks to answer that question here.

5-Minute Memoir: Anonymous Fame

5-Minute Memoir: Anonymous Fame

5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from Barbara Neal Varma.

My Writer Success Story Began With Getting Over Myself

My Writer Success Story Began With Getting Over Myself

Debut author Christina Wyman discusses how getting out of her own way led to her authorial success.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 574

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a missing poem.