As I've written before, staying open to possibilities all around us can trigger a creative spark and lead to interesting and satisfying results.
In going through my mother's things following her death two years ago, I came across a toy metal bank my younger brothers and I used when we were little kids. This would never pass muster with the Consumer Products Safety Commission today, but in the early 1950s, as my grandmother would say, it was "just the berries." Simple to operate, it required depressing the small lever in the middle of the clown's chest, whereupon he would stick out his tongue -- a flat piece of metal with a tiny ridge, perfect for a penny, nickel or dime. Let go the lever, and in slid the tongue and coin. Voila . . . the road to riches!
Although I'm not among them, many people find clowns not in the least amusing. More than a few of my family and friends are downright terrified. To them, in its plain state, this clown bank is scary enough.
But I thought I'd up the ante.
I started by employing close-ups, camera angles and lighting with a small flashlight, all of which are unnerving. After shooting with my iPhone, I filtered with Pixlr.
Finally, what to title the pieces? Why not use the simple prayer many children are taught to soothe them into dreamland?
Here are the results. And if clowns scare the bejeezus out of you, then you probably won't sleep tonight.
Now I Lay Me . . .
I Pray the Lord My Soul to Take
There was one more photo I worked up. As I've said before, choosing a title is important.
Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
If clowns aren't enough to get the spine tingling, try my brother's debut chiller:
"It maps the tortures of the human soul in a completely unexpected and shocking way. Read it!" CE, Illinois
"An amazing tale!" ML, Georgia
"I found myself not being able to put the book down...it just got better and better." LS, Arizona