Fallow

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.

  1. Write for 10 minutes inspired by the word “fallow.”
  2. Write for 5 minutes inspired by the word “follow.” Encourage connections with the “fallow” writing.
  3. Write for 5 minutes inspired by the word “fellow.” Again, look for connections, either thematically or aurally, with your “fallow” and “follow” writing.
  4. 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.

 

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The Face of Frustration

Thursday, September 18

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Art Work by David Adamo

Hey Everyone — I’m back from my summer hiatus with more prompts, recommendations and explorations of the craft of writing. Today’s prompt:

Write about frustration.

Suggestions and inspirations:

1. Writing in prose, write a series of dialogue-free actions that depicts growing frustration. Write for 15 minutes

2. Writing poetry, create pacing, word choice and sentence length that convey the energy of frustration. Write for 15 minutes.

3. Write a list poem on the theme of frustration. Write for 10 minutes.

4. Depict frustration that grows, ebbs, explodes, then…?

 

More about David Adamo’s work here.

Childhood Toys

Saturday, August 16

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Write a about a childhood toy or game.

Writing suggestions and inspirations:

1. Describe the game. What did it look like? How did it work? Did you play it with others or by yourself?

2. Do you associate any particular sounds or smells with this game? Was it a new or old game?

3. Was it a shared game? Did you own it or did it belong to a sibling, friend, or cousin?

4. Was there a time that your played with it regularly or did it disappear then reappear?

5. Describe a typical conversation between two people playing this game.

6. Did any frustrating moments arise from this game? Any tears? Any triumphs?

Sign Up

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.

Purple. Violet. Lilac. Lavender.

For Tuesday, August 12

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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?

Window Shopping

For Friday, August 8

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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.