Friday, November 1st, 2013

Writing Prompt – National Sandwich Day

Reuben Sandwich. Photo by Ernesto Andrade.

Reuben Sandwich. Photo by Ernesto Andrade.

November 3 is National Sandwich Day!

Yay for sandwiches! I love a good ‘wet’ sandwich: soft, fresh bread, good cuts of meat–and for cold sandwiches–heavy on the pickles and hots. My favorite hot sandwich is a Reuben: corned beef and Swiss cheese on rye with lots of thousand island dressing and sauerkraut. Yum!

Novelist Lawrence Sanders in his book “The First Deadly Sin” describes his detective eating a ‘wet sandwich’ over the sink, accompanied by a bottle of beer. It’s the first time I’d heard the term.

Sanders goes into such loving detail describing the making and eating of this sandwich–taking nearly an entire page to do so, if I remember correctly–that my mouth watered the entire time I was reading.

That’s good writing. (Or maybe it’s my Pavlov response to sandwich descriptions!)

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a scene in which one of your characters eats. He doesn’t have to eat a sandwich. If you’re writing fantasy, it could be stew, or bread and cheese. If you’re writing contemporary, maybe it’s wings or tapas. The point is: spend time crafting a few sentences which will make your reader’s mouth water. Don’t spend a page doing it: that was Sanders’ schtick. Write it your way.
     
  • Write a scene where “the big reveal” is made during a meal. Don’t let the dialogue carry the scene. Bring in the setting: the tablecloth and silver salt and pepper shakers, or, the scarred wooden table and broken crockery.
     
  • Write a “long” haiku of four of five stanzas describing the perfect sandwich and building it. When you’re done, see if you can whittle it down into one stanza, but still keep the ‘flavor’ of the long poem.
     
  • If you journal, write family history, or enjoy memoir, write about a memorable meal. Don’t forget to include descriptions of the food.
     

Good Luck!

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Writing Prompt: Behind Closed Doors

Red door with green awning over top.

I got inspired by doors today.

Doors are like choices, or decisions. Prompts for action: should you open it or leave it shut? Should you step through, or remain on this side?

And there are so many doors, and an equal (if not double!) amount of choices.

What’s more, the sight of a door leaves one with the impression of what might be behind it. A set of French doors with sheer white curtains might inspire a light and airy dining area. A solid wooden door on the face of a Boston brownstone might convey upper-crust society. A green door, surrounded by ivy and flowering potted plants might imply adventure.

But the frightening aspect is that the appearance could be illusion. A giant troll could live behind the fairy door. An impoverished family — self-imploding on the fracturing nature of drug addition or alcohol abuse — might live behind the brownstone door. The French doors might conceal the dark recess of a sociopath’s hideaway.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • As you drive, or walk, down the street today, take notice of doors. Choose one which inspires you and write the story of what lies behind it.
     
  • If you’re writing a story or a novel, make a list of all the figurative doors (choices) which your character might have to walk through. Make the list long and detailed. Choose the most horrific option for your character, and write how he or she resolves the situation. Don’t just write about the scene, show the scene: let us know how the character is feeling — and thinking — about the decision. Was it the right decision to make, despite the horror of it?
     
  • If you journal, or write memoir (or even family history) write a story about when you — or someone else — literally stepped through a door. Were your expectations met or not? Were you surprised by the situation you found behind the door? How did you feel about what happened?
     
  • If you write poetry — make a list of doors. Describe them: their color, their surroundings, their ornamentation. Decide what lies behind each door. Write a poem about the most interesting one, or, write a poem about all of them.
     

Good luck!

 
 
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Photo © Colleen Coombe | Dreamstime Stock Photos