Thursday, December 30, 2010

Challenge Day 4: Writing Prompts and a Little Snippet


Back in October, I attended the Florida Writer's Conference which I enjoyed. Thought I’d died and went to heaven, of course. My actual wish is for heaven to be full of tablets, pens, books, writing seminars, and Post-It Notes. After I die, I’m sure there will be plenty of time to meet new characters and write their stories. I’d hate to experience hell. They probably don’t even serve coffee there or give you a pen to scribble with on one of the molten walls.

One of my classes included something on writing prompts. At 7 A.M. I’d head for the nearest coffee machine and then on over to the class. It was better than my daily spin or sculpt regimen. A lot less painful and sweaty, too.

Before I write further, let me introduce the teacher of the class, Jamie Morris of Woodstream Writers. She’s a writing coach and offers writing workshops in Maitland, Florida. You can find her at if interested in seeking her professional help after I stop babbling.

Okay. First morning I attended, Jamie  passed out post cards. Mine had a full picture of a striped cat with big yellow eyes(of course, I was thinking….sure…whatever…how am I going to get a story out of this thing?).

Words of wisdom came from her lips, “Look at your card.” I could have sworn she was my old yoga instructor from years ago. Somehow she had her voice. Soft. Gentle. Flowing. “You’ve been sent this post card by an anonymous party. There’s a single word on it. This word is a clue from the picture on the other side.”

My thoughts, your kidding me, right?

So, I studied the cat. It’s eyes got to me. I picked up my pen and wrote the following:

When I arrived back to my motel room, I plopped in an overstuffed chair, discovering something small and hard hitting my bum. The book I’d been reading. Something stuck out from between the pages and I pulled it out. A post card. How’d that get there, I thought. I studied the front before I flipped it over. The word marbles stared back at me.

Everything in life is getting trickier for me.

Marbles. What the hell does marbles have to do with anything? It’s bad enough I found cocaine in the back end of my ex-husband’s car along with guns. It’s bad enough he’s been kidnapped and I’ve been chosen to save his bony ass.

When I was a kid I played with marbles. Sometimes I refer to my brains as such. I’m surprised I haven’t lost them yet. Mom used to tell me to put my marbles away-I kept them in a black bag.

Aha! black bag-something some street person slipped me at the outside café. Damn, I threw it away in the motel dumpster. Guess this means I’ll have to dumpster dive. I’m not sure saving my ex-husband is worth all this trouble. Me in a dumpster. Gross.

I ran outside and hooked a left toward the back of the motel. From where I stood, the darned thing looked empty. That would be my luck.

So my friends, if you’ve got major writer blockage, pick up a post card. You never know what you’re brain will come up with.

Happy blog-writing ya’ll!!!



  1. You had me at "...something small and hard hitting my bum." I gobbled up your words and had a twinge of "What's next?" when I came to the end. Clever, engaging, riveting...will there be a part II?

    I had an idea for you to consider. I'd love to read more of your thoughts about your New Year's Resolutions. They would each make fantastic posts.

  2. I love writing prompts! My favorite is when the class is given the same prompt and everyone has 15 minutes to write.

    It always amazes me how different everyones stories turn out. So fun!


  3. Eve:

    Postcards make great pictures to frame, too.

  4. Nikki:

    Yes. Group prompts are great.

  5. I've never tried anything like that!

  6. William:

    You should try it, you might like it.


Let me know what you think.