The Twelve (Plus) Prompts of Christmas 2014

Dear friends,

It’s almost Christmas, so it’s time for my gift to you, a whole promptapalooza of writing starts. Use them right now to start stories, poems, articles, songs or whatever or squirrel them away for when the muse is hiding in the closet saying, “No, I don’t want to come out.” Feel free to share the results or your own favorite prompts in the comments.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. May your words flow easily and your inbox be full of good news.

1. What do I hate most about Christmas?

2. My best/worst Christmas present ever

3. I want to go _____________________

4. I wish I were_____________________

5. He opened the door and ________________

6. As wind shook the house_________________

7. Plop, plop, plop!

8. What?????

9. Oh no!

10. When the phone rang______________

11. The stench_______________________

12. One more stitch

13. Yesterday_____________________

14. Dead battery

15. Next time________________________

16. Flashing lights

17. Ew!

18. Wet dog

19. Wrapped present on the side of the road

20. Bad Christmas cookie

21. With his wife gone__________________

22. As they waited for the ambulance___________________

23. We’re late!

24. As the car pulled into the driveway____________________

Writers, let’s be someone else for a while

Writers spend a lot of time alone, and some of us write about ourselves way too much. Today, I invite you to put yourself in the head of a stranger. He or she could be walking or driving by. She could be the waitress serving your lunch, the kid putting gas in your car, or the plumber coming to fix your sink. He could be the guy sitting alone in the next booth, the sunburned teenager sitting on  a blanket with her friends at the beach, or the homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk near the grocery store.

Use your imagination and your acting skills to become these people and write from their point of view for a poem or story. Ask yourself: What are they thinking? What are they worried about? What are they looking forward to? What are they dreading? How did they get to this place and this situation?

If you’re strictly a non-fiction writer, can you think of an essay or article idea? Homelessness, loneliness, gas vs. electric cars, summer jobs, sunburn remedies, people multi-tasking while walking, etc.

If you’re home alone, think of someone you saw recently. For example, yesterday I nearly ran over a guy lying half off the sidewalk at 6th and 101 here in Newport. Sandy beard, freckles, wild blue eyes, heavy coat on a hot day. What’s his story? And why is no one, including me, doing anything to help him?

Get out of your own head and put yourself in someone else’s for a while. I suspect you’ll be pleased at the results.

Now go write.

P is for . . . Prompts

A2Z-BADGE [2014] - Support - smallAs you may know, I’m participating in the A to Z blogging challenge this month. Each day except Sunday we blog on a different letter of the alphabet. Because I have several blogs, my posts travel from blog to blog and we have landed here today, just in time for the letter P, which inspires me to give you a page of prompts. I hope at least one of these will spark your writing. Use them for poetry, plays, essays, articles, editorials, short stories, rants, whatever you want to write. Revise them, turn them around, have fun with them.

* When the woman started crying, he ………….

* Opening the envelope with trembling hands, she unfolded the letter and screamed.

* You’re never too old to ………..

* Three days after the power went out . . . . . . . . . .

* I want . . . . . . . . .

* Pick a coin out of your pocket or purse. What year is printed on it? Write about what happened that year.

* I never thought . . . . . . .

* What have you learned that you’d like to share?

* It was the morning from hell. Everything went wrong . . . . . . . .

* If only . . . . . . . . . . . .

* When . . . . . . . . . . .

* “You’re fired,” he said.

Happy Easter. Remember, everything in life could be a prompt, from your morning oatmeal to insomnia at midnight. Visit Unleashed in Oregon tomorrow to find out what R stands for and come back here next Friday, when we’ll be on the letter V. Now go write.







The Twelve Prompts of Christmas

Whether or not you believe in Christmas, you must believe in writing or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. So here’s my gift to you after oh, 15 minutes of deep thought. Fill in the blanks to write tweets, poems, stories, articles, opinion pieces, whatever feels right. You’re welcome share the results in the comments. Unless it’s really good. Then keep it to yourself and publish it.

1. When he reached into his Christmas stocking, he never expected to find____________

2. He said, “I promise you I won’t______________________”

3. It was the first time she __________________________

4. Under the snow, she found _________________________

5. My mother’s (or father’s) idea of a good Christmas was ________________________

6. I stared at my present in disbelief. It was _______________________________

7. If I were in charge of Christmas, I would ____________________________

8. Santa’s on a special diet this year, so I’m leaving him ________________________

9. Gun in hand, he stared at the blow-up snowman and said, “_____________________”

10. Mary said to Joseph the night the Baby was born, “__________________________”

11. Wearing his old suit that was too big for him now, Bud Johnson slipped into the back pew at church on Christmas Eve. It was ________________________

12. “What have you got now?” she screamed at the dog. She reached into the canine’s mouth and pulled out __________________________

Merry Christmas to one and all, and to all, NOW GO WRITE.