Prompts

I’ll say a little prayer for you . . . Prompt #574

Today’s prompt is inspired by Mavis Staples and her essay on The Isolation Journals. Mavis wrote: Many times in my life, I’ve come across someone who won’t smile, who won’t speak to me. I’ll get on an elevator and say “good morning,” and that person won’t say anything in return. My sister Yvonne—she’s different from me. When people are rude or unfriendly, Yvonne’ll tell them, “I didn’t do anything to you! Whatever is on your mind, don’t take it out on me.” But I’m wired differently. I keep a smile on my face, and I say to myself, “Alright. I’ll say a little prayer for you.” And I’ll say a prayer that whatever they’re struggling with, they’ll get through. That whatever is heavy, whatever is burdening them, they’ll find a way to lighten that load. That they’ll realize, even in the middle of great struggle, there are things to be…

Prompts

I was the kid who . . . Prompt #573

Your Deepest Core by Maggie Rogers: Throughout my life I’ve thought of vulnerability as a shield. My logic goes something like—if I tell you my whole truth, everything I’m feeling, then there’s no ammo left for you to hurt me. It’s been my default defense mechanism for as long as I can remember. I was the kid in the second grade telling everyone who I had a crush on instead of trying to keep it a secret.  Prompt: I was the kid who . . . Prompt inspired from The Isolation Journals with Suleika Jaouad, “A newsletter for people seeking to transform life’s interruptions into creative grist.”

Prompts

First Lines From Books . . . Prompt #571

First lines from books can inspire writing. Choose one, or more, and Just Write! “My name is Ruth. I grew up with . . .” — Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson: “This was probably a mistake . . .” —Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell “With wobbly knees, I stood at the edge of the three-foot diving board.” —Beyond Recovery by Shawn Langwell “Marsh is no swamp. Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky.” —Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens “The biggest irony about that night is that I was always scared to fly.” —How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Prompts

Dinner Party . . . Prompt #570

“Imagine a dinner party post-pandemic. Which humans will be with you around the table? Where will it happen? What music will you listen to? What will you serve? What stories will you tell, what toasts will be made? What truths do you want—maybe need—to share? — Carla Fernandez Prompt inspired by Carla Fernandez, a creative entrepreneur and cofounder of The Dinner Party, the nation’s first community fighting the isolation of grief and loss for 20-40 somethings.  Her work has been featured on NPR, Good Morning America, and O Magazine, and as a case study in a dozen+ books. A Senior Innovation Fellow at USC, she was named one of the city’s “most fascinating people” by L.A. Weekly. She currently lives between Accord, NY, and Joshua Tree, CA, with her partner Ivan and rescue dog, Biscotti. Originally posted in Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals.

Prompts

Hygge . . . Prompt #569

Hygge: “A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being, regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture.” I bought some pasture-raised eggs the other day and was intrigued by the little information sheet tucked inside the egg carton: Naturally Hygge Hens “Without ever stockpiling cuddly blankets or chunky candles our hens instinctively practice the Danish art of hygee all winter long. Their pasture-raised lifestyle means crisp days spent together enjoying the simple things – tasty grasses, crunchy critters and warm sunshine. As evening falls, they rest in the safety and comfort of the barn. Days with friends and cozy nights with not a screen in sight!” (Vital Farms) Since then, I learned there is a Hygge Facebook page. The following is excerpted from the February 2017 issue of Charlotte at Home. How to achieve hygge at home Because simply defining the term with words like “coziness” and…

Prompts

But Why . . . Prompt #568

I’m working on a short piece of writing about a childhood tradition to submit to an anthology. It’s done, except I feel I’m not conveying the heart of it. This afternoon, I asked myself “Why was this so special?” After this blog post, I’m going to look at my story again, and try to dig up the “but why” that made this tradition so meaningful. Writing Prompt: Using something you have written, pull out an excerpt, and answer the question, “But why?” Just write and see where this takes you. But, why?

Prompts

Writing Personal Essays

Make a list of issues and experiences, important and trivial, in your life right now. What frustrated you in the past month? What made you laugh or cry? What made you lose your temper? What was the worst thing that happened? The best? The most disturbing and weird? Write:  Choose one thing from your list and write about it. Write whatever comes to mind. Write what you would really like to say to the other people involved. Write what happened from your point of view. Prompt inspired from, “On Writing Personal Essays,” by Barbra Abercrombie, The Writer magazine, January 2003 Barbara Abercrombie teaches creative writing in the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension, and a master class in memoir and personal essays via Zoom and Canvas. “We write the book we need to read and The Language of Loss is the book I needed when my husband died six years ago. It’s an…

Prompts

Healing. Prompt #565

Write about a time you experienced a healing—physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Or, if you are in the process of pursuing healing . . . write about what you are doing. Or, what healing methods do you want to pursue? Let me count the ways . . . Aromatherapy, autogenic relaxation, art, biofeedback, deep breathing, exercise, Feldenkrais, guided imagery, hydrotherapy massage, meditation, music, prayer, progressive muscle relaxation, qi gong, tai chi, tapping, visualization, yoga. There are a number of resources listed in The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing, especially ideas about how to write about difficult events without adding trauma. Available at Amazon, print ($15) and ebook ($3.49).