Friday, July 6th, 2012

Writing Prompt – Woof! The Dog Days are Here

Sliced tomatoes - photo from the ARS Image Gallery, USDAIt’s not even mid-July and the dog days have arrived. The weatherman predicts triple-digit heat today and even hotter triple-digit heat tomorrow.

Makes me wish I were floating on a raft, catching some rays, reading a really good book.

(To be sure, I’d also be wearing a hat and sunglasses and be slathered from head to toe in sunscreen. I don’t tend to burn, but I don’t want shoe-leather skin by the time I’m 50….) 🙂

What do you think of when someone says dog days of summer?

I think of high school summers: lazy days on the hammock, sunning myself on the deck, crazy corn-field parties at night, loud music, driving with the windows down, dancing.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about what you like to do when it’s too hot too move outside. Or, write about hot-summer memories.
  • Are you completing a character sheet for a work in progress? Write about what your character does/likes/did during long, hot summers.
  • Write about a summer job.
  • A prompt just for today, July 6: On July 6 the first picture post card was made. If you could make a postcard, what picture would you put on it? Who would you send it to? What would you say?
  • The real foundlings, the children of the gutter that are picked up by the police, are the city’s wards. In midwinter, when the poor shiver in their homes, and in the dog-days when the fierce heat and foul air of the tenements smother their babies by thousands, they are found, sometimes three and four in a night, in hallways, in areas and on the doorsteps of the rich, with whose comfort in luxurious homes the wretched mother somehow connects her own misery.

    ~ From: Waifs of the City’s Slums in How the Other Half Lives, Jacob A. Riis, 1890.

  • Dog-days of summer word association. Write whatever comes to mind when you hear one or any of the following words or phrases:
    • lazy days
    • ice cream
    • steamed crabs
    • street festivals
    • swimming
    • water balloon fights
    • tree houses
    • bullfrogs
    • home-grown tomatoes
    • on the beach
    • car washes
    • roller coasters
    • ice cold watermelon
    • open-air concerts
    • berries plucked and eaten off the vine
    • lightning bugs, fireflies, glow worms, dragonflies, June bugs, Japanese beetles, moths, mosquitoes, chiggers, deer flies, hover flies, see-me-nots, bumble bees, ladybugs

  • There in the morning, still, while the fierce strange scent comes yet
    Stronger, hot and red; till you thirst for the daffodillies
    With an anguished, husky thirst that you cannot assuage,
    When the daffodillies are dead, and a woman of the dog-days holds you in gage.

    ~ Epilogue, from Amores. D.H. Lawrence, 1916.

  • Uses your senses. Choose one sense: sight, smell, touch, sound, or taste…and only write about that:
    • The smells of summer
    • The sights of summer
    • The sounds of summer
    • The touch of summer
    • The tastes of summer

  • Let not experience disqualify or excellence impeach him. There is no third term in the case, and the pretense will die with the political dog-days which engendered it.

    ~ From Roscoe Conkling’s speech nominating Grant for Third Term for President, 1880

Good Luck!