Circle Round

June 1, 2014  Prompt #32


My tea dish with a tea strainer tea stain. (which washed right out.)

Let’s run around in circles for this week’s Sunday Shapes. Like last week’s square, writing about circles helps you consider language closely and link images with people, actions or memories and build upon abstract ideas.

One word of caution: Because the circle is such a ubiquitous shape in our world, be careful about falling into cliches. Keep your circular writing fresh and specific.




  1. For five minutes, jot down associations, phrases, and images that come to mind when you hear the word “circle.”
  2. Read over what you’ve written and circle (!) a phrase or sentence that stands out for you.
  3. Write that phrase on the top of a new sheet of paper.  Write for 15 minutes.

Further Writing

  • Choose one of these phrases as your springboard: Full Circle. Inner Circle. Vicious Circle. Circle the Wagons. Write for 15 minutes.
  • Draw a circle with a crayon or with a stick in the sand or the dirt. Draw a circle with lipstick on a mirror. Circle a word you don’t know in the dictionary.  Write about it for 10-minutes.

Variations for Writing Groups

  1. On individual index cards, each member writes down two things that are circular (one per card). For example, “A Peach Pie.”  “An Astrology chart.” “A bicycle tire.”
  2. On a second set of cards, each member writes down two short descriptions of a person (one per card). For example, “a balding bouncer at a dimly-lit club.”   “A grey-haired woman with a deck of cards,” “An 8-year old wearing a wig.” (Note sure how the hair theme crept in, but there you have it…)
  3. Keep the two sets of phrases in separate piles.
  4. Each member chooses one card from each pile and uses the description of the person and the round object as their prompt. For instance, ” After just a moment of hesitation, the 8-year-old tosses off the wig and digs into the peach pie.” What happened just before this? What happens next?

And Finally…

How can we talk about circles without mentioning Joni?

“And the seasons they go round and round,
And the painted ponies go up and down,
We’re all captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go ’round and ’round and ’round
In the circle game.”



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