Thursday Writing Prompt No. 122

I used a stamp pad, metallic gel pens, and markers to create this flower.

I used a stamp pad, metallic gel pens, and markers to create this flower.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt will have you make art in an attempt to do some creativity cross-training. I’ve come to a bit of a sticking point with my novel in that I had to go back and weave in some back story to make it work throughout the book. And then I still have to figure out exactly how some of the back story is going to come through.

I’ve taken a few days away from editing mostly because I’ve been swamped at work and I just need time away from the keyboard. But I’ve also been getting into art lately. I bought Art Journal Courage by Dina Wakley and read it through. Now I’m going back and trying some of the techniques. And guess what? Just as with National Novel Writing Month, the first thing you do with art is to shut that inner editor (painter? sculptor?) up and make a mess.

Only I’m finding that the art isn’t quite the mess I expect it to be. It’s helping me loosen up a bit, but I admit it’s not doing wonders for my wallet because, let’s face it, once you buy a stamp pad or two you simply must have all the colors!

So, back to the Thursday Writing Prompt. Find a piece of paper and pencil or pen. Doodle. Yep, that’s it. Draw some scribbly mess. When you’re done, look at it and try to imagine an image in the scribbles, much like you see shapes in clouds. Once you identify the shape, write a paragraph or two describing it. And if you can’t see a shape, then write about creating the scribble and what was going through your mind while you drew. Most of all, enjoy the process!

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 121

Dead frog, layin' on the road, layin' on the highway.

Dead frog, layin’ on the road, layin’ on the highway.

I went for a walk at lunchtime today to make myself get out of the house. These days the siren song of my keyboard is far too enticing, but it really does my creativity good to get away from the writing and editing for a few minutes. And it does my body good to soak up some of that sunshine and relax my eyes.

I came across some lovely red flowers on my walk, but my photos didn’t turn out so well. The photo of the frog was one of those oddball things you come across; if I hadn’t photographed it I would have regretted it later. Well, here it is: dessicated and well past it’s best-by date. A frog mummy without the wraps.

This isn’t the first time ex-frogs have graced my life. I owned a Subaru many years ago and my husband installed a new radio and amplifier for me. When he removed the carpet under the passenger seat he found an intact frog skeleton. Yep, I’d been driving around for years with a skeleton in my car and never knew it!

So today’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about skeletons. Write about a skeleton. It doesn’t have to be horror, and in fact it may be more useful to your writing skills to write about the subject in a way that’s totally unexpected. Have fun!

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 120


This is your stop. No matter what you are working on creatively, stop working on it right now and force yourself to do something else. Make some coffee, sweep the garage, or write some bills. You won’t believe how eager you’ll become to get back to working on what you want to work on.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about finding the drive to finish a project. I seem to have lost mine (momentarily, I hope) because I got derailed onto things I had to do for work and for the house. When I finally had some down time last night I couldn’t bring myself to look at my project. So what gives? If I want to work on it, why is there that block preventing me from doing so?

It’s because I’m angry. Work is incredibly frustrating right now and I’m letting it drag me down. I can’t. I shouldn’t. But there: I rebel against should. I don’t like being told what to do, even by myself.

When I’m so angry I turn back to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for inspiration. I can’t say I’m incredibly spiritual, but there’s something about what she writes about and the way she says it that resonates with me. It’s also the one writing book that I pick up again and again and again.

So, to get my own lazy behind back on track with my projects, and as a nod to chapter three in Julia Cameron’s book, “Recovering a Sense of Power,” this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt will address how to deal with anger and writer’s block. Cameron writes that answered prayers are scary because they imply that you have power and responsibility for what you ask for. Let’s put that to work, shall we?

Your task this week (and mine) is to write a prayer in which you ask for what you want. This is much harder than it seems, believe me. Put in as much work as it takes to get this sorted out in your mind. Then, write it up, turn it into art, and put it somewhere that you can see it every time you write and every time you feel that you’ve lost your way. We all need a road map from time to time.

Thursday Writing Prompt No. 119

These gauges looked far too much like a skull for my taste!

These gauges looked far too much like a skull for my taste!

Horrible prose. We all know it when we read it, but I bet if you try to write bad prose you’ll end up with something that isn’t too bad. So that’s this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt: create something so bad that you don’t want to put your name on it. The point of this exercise is to still the inner editor and let you just create without worrying about quality. Go for quantity, but set your own goal. This isn’t a NaNo marathon but simply a limbering-up exercise, like jumping jacks before a 5K run.

If you write prose, consider writing a silly poem and seeing just how egregious a rhyme you can make. If you want to write poetry, make yourself write prose that is bland.

How it smells,
my horrible prose!
It’s kind of putrid–
not like a rose.

The word count is up to you, but unless you’re writing a rhyme I’d recommend at least 150 words to get your (non)creative juices flowing. When you’re done, put this away so you can pull it out later and feel proud that what you’re writing is much, much better than this drivel, or burn it and let the magic smoke take bad writing away with it on the wind.