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Writing prompts

          These are simply guidelines, jumping off points, sparks, inspirations. Bend them, shape them, ignore them--no wrong way to proceed, except to not proceed at all. 


​1. Write about giving directions, or receiving them, on a road trip or at anytime.

2. Write about visiting a cemetery, a gravesite, a memorial marker or touchstone of someone you knew and perhaps were close to. What is that sensation of conncecting with someone who has gone? Is it fulfilling, haunting, mystifying?

3. A most memorable meal. Sharing a meal, feast or simple snack, is such a human gift. Write about one.

4. The color red.

5. A shared fire. Fire might be a literal fire, passion, anger, inspiration, anything the word fire brings to mind.

6. The empty chair.

7. Comfort zone.

8. An incessant wind.  

9. The lay of the land.

10. Revelation, epiphany, catharsis, discovery, the aha! moment.

11. Water. A drop, an ocean, moving, sitting still. Water.

12. A sacred space.

13. An apology.

14. Take a newsworthy item and write a personal story around it. For instance, where were you for the assassination of JFK, MLK,       John Lennon; 9-11, the lunar landing, the day the Bills won the Super Bowl, etc.

15. A road trip. 

16. A night's sleep?

17. Lost, or "Get lost!"

18. The high point, zenith, apex, "It don't get no better than this."

19. The Night Journey--traveling through the darkness to emerge, hopefully, into light.

20. Pick an event from the past and write about it as if you were there.

21. Taking a mulligan, a do-over.

22. The call of the wild.

23. One hundred words. When in doubt, write one hundred words. Not 99, not 101, but exactly 100.

24. Take a common fairy tale/myth/Bible story and retell it, perhaps in a different time period.

25. Visiting the cemetery.

26. Hallucinations.

27. The prompt, perhaps facetious, was murder in/on the Scajaquada. I was amazed to find that they put the Walden Galleria right on top of Scajaquada Creek, which resurfaces in Forest Lawn Cemetery and proceeds through Delaware Park by Buff State and into the Black Rock Canal and into the Niagara River. It’s a much abused body of water that refuses to say die. In fact, it’s cleaner now than it has been in years. Perhaps that is the metaphor. Perhaps a WNY version of A River Runs Through It.

28. What would your childhood self have said if he or she could have foreseen this life?

29. A sentimental journey.

30. Pick one of the deadly sins to write about. Pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth. Have fun.

31. Think back to the first place you remember living. Take a walk through that place. Write a few hundred words about the place--what was in it, who lived there, what your role was.

32. Write about being storm-stayed, stuck smewhere because of the weather.

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