Prompts

Welcome – first prompt

Welcome! I’m so excited for you to be here. . . a place to learn about writing, use prompts to inspire your writing, and places to submit your writing. We’re all about writing.

BookReady? Pen and paper nearby? Computer warming up? Flex hands, fingers poised . . .

Today’s writing prompt: I remember. . .

Go! Write!

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15 comments

  1. jamesseamarsh

    I remember this prompt!

    1. mcullen Post author

      Hi Jim, I remember is an oldie but goodie! Thanks for the inspiration to get this blog going! I look forward to reading and commenting on your writing. Marlene

  2. DSB

    This is gonna be fun. Thanks for another opportunity to write. Donna

    1. mcullen Post author

      You are welcome, Donna. Glad to have you here. 🙂 Marlene

  3. Kathy Myers

    Marlene gave birth to a bouncing baby blog! Congrats

    1. mcullen Post author

      Aw,gee, thanks, Kathy. The bouncing baby is a challenge! It’s a learning curve, for sure. Marlene

    1. mcullen Post author

      Thanks for your patience, James. Glad to have you here. Marlene

  4. James Seamarsh

    I remember…

    There is so much I remember as a child. But my parents and siblings don’t. They say it’s my vivid imagination. I am just about 60, and there are too many things I don’t even remember that I don’t remember. The older I get, the more I wonder, too, if I have imagined those memories. But how could I make up so many details?

    Of all the members of my family, my father has the worst memory. He doesn’t remember anything from the time I was born until a few memories of me as a teenager.

    “Don’t you remember staying up past bedtime to help me memorize the times table when I was seven? I was crying because I couldn’t do it and you helped me.”

    “Nope.”

    He doesn’t look at me with disbelief or belief. He is okay with not remembering. Why does it bother me?

    “You had to come up with little tricks to get me to learn some of the answers. Like multiples of nine: take one away from the number you are multiplying by nine. This is the first digit. The second digit is the difference between the first digit and nine. So, 9×2 is going to have “1” as the first digit and “8” as the second = 18.”

    “I don’t remember.”

    “And the hardest one for me to learn was 7×7. You finally invented a story about the two old men with canes going to the California gold rush in ’49.”

    “Really?”

    Why did I have such a hard time remembering 7×7 when I remember so much about how he taught me? I don’t know, but I do remember more than most. I also admit that I can imagine more than most, too. Does it really matter if it all happened? Good memory, vivid imagination, sounds to me like the recipe for a good storyteller.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Hi Jim, Love your last line. Also love the way you built this story. . . I was interested and intrigued from beginning to end. Thanks for sharing this. Marlene

  5. CFalcon

    I remember watching shafts of light shifting on my closet doors, shadows cast in through long, slender branches of the weeping willow tree in our backyard. I remember how those shifting shapes both terrified and mesmerized me, alive as they seemed to be, dancing and twirling to a music all their own.

    I remember how immense that weeping willow seemed to me then, a virtual cascade of curly green leaves that I would part with my hands like a Japanese curtain, duck below and find myself inside, an enormous cavern at the center of which stood a thick tree trunk, solid and unmoving. It was into that childhood cave I would disappear for hours – or maybe just minutes; time didn’t exist for me then. I would hang on the tree’s flowing tresses like I was Tarzan or Jane, braid them as if the hair of a girlfriend.

    I remember the fuzzy black and yellow caterpillars I would find clinging to the vines, how soft they felt, how their seemingly endless number of legs tickled my arm as they shuffled their way up past my elbow trying to lose themselves in the tangles of my long, curly hair.

    I remember how my brother and I held several of those caterpillars, what we called “fuzzie-wuzzies”, captive in empty jam jars, then how the jars rested on the window sill in the family room, the one by the bird cage, so if they got lonely, they could look out. I remember how excited we were to find a fuzzy-wuzzy had magically become a cocoon, and in a matter of days, emerged from that veiled solitude, transformed: a black and yellow butterfly, fluttering wildly until we took it out in the backyard, unscrewed the punctured lid, and released them to the big blue sky.
    Christine Falcon, Petaluma, CA

    1. mcullen Post author

      Oh Christine, your writing brings me to a safe haven, where children enjoy the moment, without worries of “the next thing.” I remember fuzzy-wuzzies, those amazing creatures that could be pets in a jar for a little while. Thank you for this sweet trip down childhood-memory lane.

  6. mcullen Post author

    I remember waking up and getting ready for school. There was a ritual about it. Put on underwear, robe over that. Go to the kitchen for breakfast. Cold cereal and orange juice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Hot oatmeal and hot chocolate on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I don’t know why it was so regimented. My mother’s way of being organized, I guess.

    I remember the chill of the early mornings. I remember the feeling of comfort and safety in a world full of sure things, like breakfast always ready and predictable. Bag lunches were also predictable. Bologna or cheese (never together, though) on white bread, carrot sticks or an apple and cookies or cupcake for dessert. Very little variation. I remember trading. My homemade cupcake for my friend Margie’s Hostess Twinkies.

    After school also had a routine. Always, first thing, change from school clothes to play clothes. Like I said, my mother was very regimented and pretty strict. Fair, but strict. I remember another of my mother’s routines – kissing everyone good night. Grandfather, Nana and Mom. Hmmm, seemed like so many more people at the time.

    I remember being very young, around four-years-old, and watching the I Love Lucy Show in my little red rocking chair, sitting squarely in front of the TV. I remember feeling very clean. I remember feeling safe and secure in a world full of certainties. When did this feeling go away/vanish?

    The first memory of when this safe feeling disappeared was on a Christmas Eve, almost sixty years ago, going to Grandmother’s house. It was raining. My father wanted to drive. He was drunk. It was the scariest ride of my life. I remember my mother pleading with him to let her drive. I remember looking out the car window, from the backseat, watching the raindrops form a pattern on the window. Red traffic lights were blurred. The windshield wipers were a horrible ominous reminder of the precarious situation we were in as we drove across town.

    We arrived safely and got home okay, but I still have a fear of driving, especially at night in the rain.

  7. Kathy Myers

    This piece takes me on a journey; from small picture to big picture, from control to chaos, from safety to fear, and it’s all in the details. The narrator reports the facts, but they reveal much about the character’s nature. I like the image of raindrops blurring the scene. I assume the narrator’s panties had the days of the week embroidered on them.

    1. mcullen Post author

      I think, if the narrator had days of the week underpants, she (we assume narrator is a she) probably didn’t wear them on the correct days. Perhaps this was her personal rebellion.

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