Because I recently facilitated the painting of a mural on the side of my garage, I have circles on my mind. For this mural, based on a Kandinsky painting, over 20 members of my cohousing community (plus a few neighbors) pitched in to paint a circle or two. Aged 3 to 60, the painters added their unique perspectives to the mural.
Inspired by any of the circles depicted above, write about
- Orbits. Real or symbolic.
- Targets. Metaphorical and not metaphorical.
- Things that Spin.
- Enclosing and Being Enclosed.
- Write for 10 minutes without letting your pen off the paper. Write whatever comes to mind.
- When you finish, circle a favorite or a disturbing word or phrase and write it on the top of a new piece of paper.
- Write for 15 minutes more.
Stumped? Try including a conversation between two strangers, a man spinning on the ice, a woman spinning a top, or a child rolling down hill.
For Tuesday, August 12
Walking around Beach Haven, New Jersey last Wednesday, I came upon this fabulous house. Over the next week, walk around your own neighborhood (or a new one) and find a house, townhouse, or apartment building that captivates you. Stand or park in front of it for 5 to 10 minutes, writing down notes on what you see, hear, and feel.
Later, expand your writing by responding to one of these questions (or one of your own.) Let your imagination run wild on this one.
- Imagine a quarrel between two people who live there.
- Imagine a perfect day at home for one of its residents.
- Imagine how the house looked the day that the current owners moved in. What were they thinking, worrying about, anticipating?
For Friday, August 8
From small towns to big cities, window displays hold a special allure. For this prompt, stand in front of a window display for 5 to 10 minutes, writing down notes on what you see, the display’s design, who its intended audience might be, and most importantly, your emotional response to it.
Later, expand your writing by responding to one of these questions (or one of your own.)
- What emotions does the window display bring up for you (or your character)? What does the window seem to promise?
- If you could own one thing in the window, what would it be and why?
- Imagine stealing one item in the window? Who would steal it? Why?
- Is this the kind of store where you normal shop? Why or why not? If not, write about walking inside for the first time. If so, write about passing it by.
For Thursday, August 7
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.
For Wednesday, August 6
Write a poem or flash fiction piece that includes a sunrise.
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.
Sunday August 3
You are on a train. This is what you see when you look out the window.
Write in response for 15 minutes.
Imagine this is where you (or your character) lived 10, 20, or 30 years ago. You haven’t been back since. Write what goes through your mind.
This is your next stop. Write about what happens when you disembark from the train.
This is where you last saw your brother. Write about that. (Variations: This is where you last saw your father. Your best friend. Your army buddy. Your youngest child.)