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For Wednesday, August 13

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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.

Suggestions:

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.

End of Day

For Thursday, August 7

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Write a poem or flash fiction piece that includes a sunset.

Playing off of yesterday’s post, try incorporating yesterday’s suggestions or work with some of these.

1. Write from the point of view of someone on the boat or on the island in the photo. Imagine they are eager for the sun to set. Why?

2. Write about the most dramatic sunset you’ve ever seen.

3. Write about waiting in relation to the sunset.

4. Sunsets are often symbols of conclusion or contentment.  Try writing a piece in which a sunset conjures up opposite feelings, perhaps of new beginnings, agitation, or anticipation.

 

Day Break

For Wednesday, August 6

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Write a poem or flash fiction piece that includes a sunrise.

Suggestions:

1. If there’s a person involved, write about their interior state of mind.

2. Write about the most dramatic sunrise you’ve ever seen.

3. Write about waiting in relation to a sunrise.

4. Sunrises are often signs of hope or renewal. Try writing a piece in which a sunrise conjures up opposite feelings, perhaps of frustration, disappointment, or despair.

 

Snakes in a Jar

For Tuesday, August 5

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Write a poem or flash fiction piece that revolves an unusual object, one that is particularly odd, chilling, or mildly gruesome.

Suggestions:

1. Make your opening line a clear, simple description of the object: Snakes in a jar. A rusty pile of nails. A broken marionette.

2. Are you afraid to touch it? Is your character shocked to see?

3. Does it raise concerns? Bring back memories?

The House with Porthole Window

DSCN0375 Today’s Prompt

Write a poem, flash fiction piece or the beginning of a story inspired by this photo.

Incorporate at least four of these words: rough  pie  slant  oboe smooth dirt bolt  round   home   worn   road  deserted  once must  broom

Write for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

Tick Tock

Wednesday, July 28, 2014  •  Prompt #87

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The element of time often adds suspense and welcome tension to writing. For this prompt, write about two people who agree to meet under this clock at 3 p.m.

 

 

 

Suggestions and Considerations

  • Describe the day’s weather. How does that influence the story?
  • Do the two people already know each other?
  • Is one person new to the City? Is one a long-time resident?
  • Why have they chosen the clock as a meeting place?
  • Write for 15 minutes.

More Writing Options

  • Write a piece where one person is wealthy and one is broke.
  • Write about an illegal or illicit transaction.
  • Write a piece in which the second person never arrives.
  • Write a piece in which the second person brings a third person.
  • Write a piece in which the first person is holding a box.

 

 

Rant 2.0

For Monday, July 7, 2014  Prompt #64

we the peopleToday’s prompt follows up on last week’s rant prompt. Again, hints for good rant writing.

  • Choose a topic about which you feel passionate.
  • Let yourself go off on tangents.
  • Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be funny.
  • Let yourself be both.
  • Keep your pencil moving and don’t erase or edit.
  • Write for at least ten minutes.

And now a quote from Allen Ginsberg: Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.  

Further Rant Writing: For Individuals and Groups

Manifesto: This exercise originated with my writing pal Frankie Rollins.  (You can find out more about her work here:  http://elizabethfrankierollins.com ) A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives. It can be issued by a government, community, organization, or person.

  • Here’s the beginning of one well-known manifesto: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…. do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  • And here’s part of another one: We, the Representatives of the United States of America…solemnly declare That these United Colonies are Free and Independent States
  • And the end of another one: Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Creating a Personal Manifesto in 4 Easy Steps

  1. List five communities that you identify with. For instance, I might write: East Coast Transplants. Writers. Lesbians. Birdwatchers. Collage artists.
  2. In a manifesto, you need to state your demands, desires, needs and dreams. Write down three other verbs for demand, desire, or need.
  3. Write Your Manifesto, beginning with the words:  We, the _____________________________ (fill in the group you want to represent), __________________________ (fill in a verb from step 2, then keep going…)

For example:

  • We the skateboarders require smoother asphalt.
  • We the freaks demand to be seen and heard.
  • We, your sisters and brothers, refuse to be silent.

4. Repeat your phrase, We the ______________, at least 6 times within your manifest.

My Sample: We, the writers, demand sharp pencils and open minds. Silenced too long, we demand long wooden desks and long stretches of time in which to percolate ideas, scribble out words, break apart sentences and put them together again. We, the writers, demand time to read. We seek quiet and solitude for one hour each day every day, we the writers, beseech this of our friends, neighbors and colleagues. In fact, we demand a national holiday solely and fully dedicated to the reading of books. As a first step, we the writers, demand triple funding for libraries so they can remain open 24 hours a day. While we are at it, we, the writers, insist upon new IRS tax codes, soundproof rooms, and stacks of dictionaries and legal pads in every coffeehouse. We the writers call for the end of blaring televisions in airports, loudmouth pundits at the lunch counter, discordant drummers by the creek. We the writers have to go now. We the writers have to get back to work.