Flashbacks . . . Prompt #433

A flashback is a scene set in a time earlier than the main story. Sometimes when you are telling a story, or writing a story, you need to backtrack and tell what happened previously. A flashback is a shift in a narrative to an earlier event that interrupts the normal chronological development of a story. From Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld: “With flashback, you want to focus on action, information, and character interactions.” Flashback can also be thought of as backstory.   Use flashbacks to explain, enlighten, and inform. An example is What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg. The story takes place during a woman’s travels to meet her sister and mother. We learn what happened thirty-five years prior through flashbacks while the woman travels in space. Other examples of using flashback to tell a story: To Kill a Mockingbird: The whole story is a flashback told by Scout a…


Ouch. Prompt #434

Write about someone in your life who is consistently critical of you or what you do, and this could be yourself. I recently read a Facebook post by Prince Ea about the four letter word that ends all arguments: Ouch. Suggestion: As you write on this prompt, think of what words and actions hurt and add “ouch” to your writing. Frame your situation as experiences that had an “ouch” factor. Next, write what you wish you had said, or could have said, to lessen the hurt. Next, write a love letter to yourself. List your strengths, your qualities, your capabilities that make you uniquely you. Be generous with yourself. You deserve it.


Five minute writing exercises . . . Prompt #431

~ Write for 5 minutes about something difficult, challenging, or painful. It’s only five minutes. Go ahead. Do it now. We’ll wait. Humming in the background while writing gets done. Quiet while writing gets done. Are you still reading?  Write!  Just write. For five minutes. After five minutes . . . ~ Write for 5 minutes about something comforting, happy, or joyous. Yes, you. Now. Just write. Go ahead. We’ll wait. Waiting. Waiting. Patiently waiting. I’ll write, too. After five minutes . . . ~ Write for 5 minutes about images of nature, the natural world. Hmm . . . what will you choose from nature to write about? Feathers, rocks, trees, birds, rocks, dirt, peach blossoms, river, waterfall, penguins, geese. Write whatever comes up for you about nature. Shhh. . . Writers are working here. Doing what we do. Writing. Just writing. Keep on writing. For five minutes. Next…


An object that “speaks” to you. Prompt #430

Picture the house or apartment you grew up in. If there was more than one house or apartment, choose one to focus on for this writing. Imagine standing outside, looking at the door you usually entered. Stand outside for a moment. Walk in and wander until you see a piece of furniture that speaks to you. Describe the object. Write about the memories and feelings it brings up for you. Write until you feel done with this object. Another time write about another object from your childhood or adolescence.


Secret Anniversary. . . Prompt #429

From Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach From the June 15 page: “The Secret Anniversaries of the Heart” The holiest of all holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart, The secret anniversaries of the heart  . .  —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow This is the traditional month for orange blossoms, lace, and rice, but wedding anniversaries aren’t on my mind. Today I am thinking of singular rites of passage, the secret anniversaries of the heart. These are the anniversaries we never talk about, kept in silence and apart. You might remember a first kiss, while I can’t forget the last time I held my father’s hand. I was speaking to a good friend this morning on the telephone. She was enjoying the preparation of a special dinner for a marvelous new man in her life. Last year her marriage of twenty years ended and she says she’s grateful her…


What writing brings you joy?

“I write because I believe my words can change the world. Every paragraph, every sentence, every syllable I construct is written with the express intention of changing people and their families. I hope as you read this you are in fact changing and I hope you’ll let your families read this so they can change too. Of course I’m kidding. I write for cash and because as a child I was told I had excellent penmanship.” “What’s the writing that makes you happy? That’s the writing to do.”  Doug Ellin, Creator, Executive Producer, “Entourage” From September 2005 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine

Guest Bloggers

Cross new thresholds into being creative.

Today’s Guest Blogger, Creativity Coach, Suzanne Murray, asks: DO YOU RESIST ENGAGING YOUR CREATIVITY? Suzanne’s thoughtful answer: Recently I got a note from one of my writing students saying that she was really enjoying writing when she managed to find the time. The three top reasons that people give for not being able to fully show up, move forward or change some area of their life are, “I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money or my health isn’t good enough.” On the surface these excuses appear valid and hard to argue with. In truth they always cover up some deeper resistance. When we really want to do something and commit to it we can always manage to find the time, the resources and a way to work around any physical limitations. Robert Olen Butler who won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection of short stories A Good Scent from…