Prompts

Declutter . . . Prompt #337

“When I put my house in order I discovered what I really wanted to do.”  These are words that professional organizer, Marie Kondo, hears repeatedly from her clients. “Their awareness of what they like naturally increases and, as a result, daily life becomes more exciting.” — Marie Kondo, the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing There are a couple of ways you can use this writing prompt: Either clean something out: a drawer, the refrigerator, a file drawer or a file folder, a room, a car, a garage. Or mentally picture decluttering something in your life. Show that it’s not just physically making space, it’s also making mental space, letting go of an old self and making room for who you are now, and who you want to be. Prompt:  Write about cleaning or decluttering and the results.

Prompts

Rewrite “What I Did This Summer” . . . Prompt #336

Today’s writing prompt is excerpted from Everyday Creative Writing, Panning For Gold in the Kitchen Sink by Michael C. Smith and Suzanne Greenberg. Ben Johnson, a seventeenth-century English writer and scholar, characterized poetry as “What has been oft thought but ne’r so well expressed.” In so saying, Johnson relieves poets of the obligation of coming up with new ideas and focuses on the perhaps infinite number of ways that ideas can be expressed. To illustrate this idea, consider that most of us were required to write a “What I Did This Summer” essay at some point in our school careers. While the subject matter for these essays is largely the same among classmates – camp, swimming pools, summer jobs – the ways in which we wrote our stories those details we chose to highlight and those we chose to omit, are what gave each piece its own flavor and originality. For…

Prompts

What Got Taken Away From You?   Prompt #335

The following is from I Could Do Anything If I only knew what it was, by Barbara Sher. Once someone I cared for deeply did something very unethical, so I tried to totally revise my feelings about him. “He’s not a good person,” I said. “I don’t know how to love him anymore.” And a very wise woman told me, “Your love belongs to you. You mustn’t let anyone touch it, not even him. You can keep away from him, but don’t try to destroy your love. That love is yours. Keep it.” It won’t really break your heart to remember something that got snatched away from you, even though it may feel that way. Prompt:  What got taken away from you? New York Times Best Seller author Barbara Sher believes we each have a genius inside us, our Original Vision, and we’ve had it since birth. Our culture tends…

Prompts

Revive Your Past . . . Prompt #334

Revive Your Past Something inside you is too loyal to permit you to turn your back on everything you loved and simply walk away. No matter how many times people tell you to let the past go, it’s never possible. You’ll never move wholeheartedly into the future unless you take your beloved past with you.  And that’s exactly as it should be. There’s no reason to turn your back on a happy past. Sometimes we try to turn away from the past because we feel it somehow betrayed us. It’s as though we loved our past, but our past didn’t love us. So we go on strike and pretend we don’t care, as if to punish fate for being unkind. Fate never cares, of course, so we only hurt ourselves. Prompt:  What do you . . . or what does your character pretend to not care about? Today’s prompt is…

Prompts

Praise Your Past . . . Prompt #333

You can use these prompts to write about something that happened to you or something that happened to someone you know. You can also use these prompts to develop your fictional characters. Prompt: Praise your past. Write a few sentences about the best time in your life. What did you love about that time?  What did your work, or life, at that time, look like, smell like, taste like? Could be a big thing or small things. Letting yourself describe every lovely detail will give you back something you lost, a precious time you put out of your mind. When you remember that time by praising it, you’ll have rescued it. You’ll have pulled it out of the corner where you threw it a long time ago. Prompt: What did you, or the character you have created, throw into the corner? Inspired from I Could Do Anything If I Only…

Prompts

Go on a rant . . . Prompt #330

What are you mad about?  Write about it. Let off steam . . . Pour out your emotions on paper.  I suggest using pen and paper for this one rather than computer. Okay, use a computer if that works better for you. Plan to destroy your writing after. Crumble the paper and toss it . . . throw it into the trash. Burn it. Or, keep it, if you want. Get the angries out . . . Just write. Definition of rant:  To speak or write in an emotionally charged manner.   Source: The Free Dictionary Photo by Karen Bobier.  

Prompts

The deepest level of desire . . . Prompt #329

You have probably heard this: Stories are about a character desiring something and the things that prevent character from getting what he or she wants. This is true for both fiction and memoir. Another word for desire is yearning, suggesting the deepest level of desire. “Fiction is the art form of yearning.” “Plot is simply yearning challenged and thwarted.” — Ryan G. Van Cleave, “The Art of Yearning,” May 2017 The Writer magazine How to write fiction or memoir Give your character a problem, add some obstacles. How does the character overcome problems? Mix and stir. Get started by interviewing yourself (for memoir) or interview your fictional character by answering the following questions. You can answer every question briefly, or go into detail using one or two questions to focus on. Something most people don’t know about you. If you could change some things in your history, what would you…

Prompts

Finding Magic in the Mundane . . . Prompt #328

Today’s writing prompt and title for this post is inspired by Suzanne Murray. “I have many favorite poets but, the Nobel prize winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda tops the list in his elegant celebration of common things. These poems help me find beauty and wonder in the everyday and give me a fresh perspective in the face of the difficulties in the world. Early in his writing life wrote serious political poems . . .  One line from his poem I’m Explaining a Few Things written in 1935 during the Spanish Civil War has long stayed with me capturing the intensity of Neruda’s work, …and the blood of children ran through the streets/without fuss, like children’s blood… Later in his life, as if weary of the burden of protesting atrocities and political corruption, he began to write Odes about everyday things: salt, cat, dog, dictionary, tomato, to name a few. His Odes celebrate the ordinary…