Yesterday at the conference, I did my Jumpstarts class, which I thought went rather well. So I'm going to share with you the Jumpstarts I used on my class. Get your timer and write something!
Use this sentence somewhere in your piece:
Unfortunately, things fell apart almost immediately.
Write a piece that includes this combination of things (I let them choose from a couple on this list):
A wet suit and a fax machine.
Housework and a war
Movie candy and a clairvoyant
A Blackberry, a hunting knife, and dirty socks
A pumpkin pie and a flat tire
Someone wearing absolutely the wrong clothes.
The eleventh day of a journey.
Someone moving painfully slowly in a situation requiring speed
I had never tried the juxtapositions before, and the results were excellent. The writers came up with original pieces, all quite different from one another.