Friday, March 18th, 2016

Writing Prompt – You Had Me at “Hello.”

Teenaged girl talking on a cell phone.Hello.

Bonjour.

Ciao.

Shalom.

Nǐ hǎo.

Cześć.

Hallo.

There are a ja-billion™ ways to say hello—and its equivalent—in a ja-billion™ different languages.

‘Sup?
Good Day.
Hey.

Greetings are a mixed bag. Formal situations call for formal greetings. (How do you do?) Early morning salutations differ between chipper folks (Good Morning!) and those who need a few more cups of coffee (unintelligible grunt). Greetings between good friends ride the scale between none at all, and hopping right into conversation (Did you see what Jenny was wearing last night? I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!) to downright insulting. (You look like shit. What happened to you?)

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a short story which begins with a single word of dialogue: “Hello.” The greeting can be in any language. What happens?
     
  • Write a poem about greetings, salutations or beginnings.
     
  • We have certain expectations for greetings. What if you were greeted differently than expected? For example, your coach shook your hand, but your pastor slapped your butt? Write what might happen if this happened to you.
     
  • If you journal, write about a time when someone greeted you in an unusual way. What happened?
     
  • Good luck!

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Writing Prompt – Dreams and Other Gifts of the Night

wooden artist manikin leaping from reflective sphere in fantastic landscapeDo you dream?

I almost never dream. I’m always excited when I do.

I had a dream about two weeks ago where I was walking across the landscape and there were black snakes all over the ground as far as I could see. I couldn’t take a step without watching closely so that I wouldn’t step on one. They weren’t stationary, but moving sinuously in all directions. The entire landscape undulated with movement.

Seriously cool. I love snakes.

(I know a bunch of you are probably creeped out about now. Sorry.)

Author Judy Reeves refers to dreams as “Gifts of the Night.” Lately, I’ve been seeing a Chinese doctor who disagrees. He says it’s bad for your health to dream. I used to agree with Ms. Reeves, but my doctor is starting to win me over…maybe dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

What do you think?

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Think back to your last dream. Pretend that what happened there actually happened in real life. Write it down as a diary entry or create a short story. Embellish it, flesh it out. Make certain it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
     
  • Think back to your last nightmare. Pretend that what happened actually happened in real life. Write it down as a diary entry or create a short story. Embellish it, flesh it out. Make certain it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
     
  • Use this as a story starter:

    Ev’n now your eyes stare wild; your hair stands up—
    Your pulses throb and flutter, reeling still
    Under the storm of such a dream—

    From “Life is a Dream,” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
     

  • What is the language of dreams?
     
  • Hemingway said, “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Write an essay or a journal entry about your thoughts.
     

Good luck!