Thursday, October 2
According to Jewish law and tradition, this year, 5775, is a Shmita or Sabbatical year, when Jewish farmers are supposed to let the land rest. The idea of fallow fields got me thinking about what grows when you don’t actively plant seeds, either physically or metaphorically.
Prompt #1 Write about toiling, perseverance, stepping back, being receptive. Write for 15 minutes.
Prompt #2 Follow these steps to see what emerges.
- Write for 10 minutes inspired by the word “fallow.”
- Write for 5 minutes inspired by the word “follow.” Encourage connections with the “fallow” writing.
- Write for 5 minutes inspired by the word “fellow.” Again, look for connections, either thematically or aurally, with your “fallow” and “follow” writing.
- Look at all three samples. Circle phrases and words that stand out for you. Choose one word or phrase from each sample and write them on top of a new page. Write for 10 more minutes.
For Wednesday, August 13
Write a poem or prose piece inspired by a sign.
Over the next few weeks, be on the lookout for unusual, playful, or cautionary signs. Then, incorporate one of them into a written work.
1. Write from the point-of-view of someone who passes the sign frequently. What goes through their head?
2. Write a short essay (first person) about your reaction to the sign. What stands out for you? Why?
3. If the sign is a warning, write from the point of view of someone who ignores its message. What happens next?
4. Try writing a poem that includes all the words in the sign, but reworks, remixes, or re-purposes them.
for Monday, August 11, 2014
Write a piece based on a fleeting image from a dream or piecemeal memory.
- Try writing in an unfamiliar voice.
- Try writing from multiple perspectives.
- Try using two of more of the following words: Dim. Instead. Impossible. Faint. Linger. Damp. Silent. Drip. Root. Laughter. Cough.
for Wednesday, July 23, 2014 • Prompt #70
- Someone just walked out of this door.
- Write about it.
- Describe the person.
- How are they dressed?
- Are they rushing out, strolling, running, moving briskly in a wheelchair?
- What are they thinking?
- Do they live in this building?
- Where are they going? Will they be coming back?
- Write about two people walking out together or one shortly after the other.
- Write about someone walking in.
Writing Group Variations
- As a group, sit near a busy building. Create a background and story for someone walking in or out. (Don’t be stalker-ish. If people seem uncomfortable, move elsewhere.)
- Later, develop your observations and turn it into a piece of flash fiction (under 300 words.)
for Tuesday, July 22, 2014 • Prompt #79
On Monday, I listened to the Boulder Concert Band play in our local Foothills Park. My favorite moment was lying back on my blanket and looking up at the clouds as the band played Amazing Grace. It was a divine moment.
- Write about a time when you were able to put aside the horrors of the world and life’s daily problems and immerse yourself in a moment of bliss, contentment or joy.
- Use specific description and include sensory details.
- Write for 15 minutes.
- Write about attending an outdoor musical event when something — benign, odd, or slightly menancing — disrupts the concert.
- Write about a piece of music that affects you strongly.
Writing Group Variations
- Together, attend a musical event, preferable something low-key and informal. Perhaps a street performer, middle-school concert, or free event in a local part.
- Take notes.
- Listen with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
- Later, write your observations.
- Did anything surprise you? Do you connect more (or differently) to music as compared to visual arts?
Thursday, July 24, 2014 • Prompt #81
As I walked across campus tonight, I saw a yellow banner above the bridge across Varsity Pond. “Be Confident,” it read.
Write about a piece of advice, such as “Be Confident” that you heard growing up or as a young adult.
- If no single phrase jumps out at you, write six pieces of advice that you can remember and see if anything resonates.
- Or, use one of these phrases. Save for a rainy day. Turn the other cheek. Look before you leap. He who hesitates is lost. You snooze. You lose. Cheaters never prosper. Don’t slouch. If first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Fake it ’til you make it.
- Use that phrase as your first line. Write in response to it. Write for 10 minutes.
- Have one of your characters offer another character advice. How does the second character respond?
- Write a short fable for which the last line is a piece of advice.
Monday, July 21, 2014 • Prompt #78
On Sunday, I went to a pool party in Longmont’s Sunset Park,
which inspires today quick prompt:
Write about swimming.
Aspects to consider:
- The body of water.
- Your body in the water. (Or that of your character.)
- The repetition or rhythm of strokes or kicking.
- The sound of splashing, waves and breathing. Perhaps the absence of sound under the water.
- The temperature of the air or the water.
- The smell and taste of the water. Briney? Chlorine? Salty?
- The quality of light.