Thursday Writing Prompt No. 151

Writer’s Catalyst: Beach Scenes is the first in a series of writer’s journals that include writing prompts and space for journaling.

The first edition of Writer’s Catalyst has made it through the publication process and is available for purchase! Woot! You can snag it off Barnes and Noble or Amazon

In honor of the natufical theme, and as a way to celebrate the publication of Beach Scenes, here’s a new Thursday Writing Prompt featuring sea life. This is not a prompt out of the book — those are all new, and all delightful. Nor are any of the book’s prompts taken off this blog.

The ocean is a weird and wonderful place, stocked with all sorts of exotic plants and animals. Imagine that you are in a small submarine, visiting one of the deep ocean thermal vents to learn about the creatures that inhabit the depths. You shine your lights over a bevy of tube worms and notice something strange in the rock wall behind them. When you move the sub closer, you see that it’s a metal door with a wheel set in the center. What could it be? Write at least 350 words describing what lies hidden behind the door.

 

 

Prompts, Prompts, and More Prompts!

I’m working on getting the first volume of Writer’s Catalyst ready for publication in May. It’s a combination writer’s journal and book of writing prompts, and the theme for the first edition is being at the beach. The book contains all new prompts, not recycled material from past blog posts.

The artwork has proven to be more time-consuming than I had planned, and I’ve scaled down the scope of the project because of that. I had initially thought to make this a coloring book as well, but I bit off more than I could chew on that idea, so it’s been jettisoned in favor of doing what I know I can get done.

I won’t dwell on the events of this spring; we all know things suck right now, and I’m trying to avoid going down that rabbit hole of frustration. I’ve been sick with strep throat and sinus issues that just do not want to clear up. I may have to move to Tahiti after all.

In honor of the upcoming new book, here’s a fresh beach-themed prompt to get you thinking about summer. Imagine you’re at the beach and you see an upturned boat on the sand. You go to investigate, worrying that someone has been hurt, but the boat is abandoned except for one cardboard box. You open the box. What’s inside it? Can you write a backstory about how the boat came to be beached? And where are the people?

 

Thursday Writing Prompt no. 149

Hello there, fellow writers! It’s time for a Thursday Writing Prompt to help stir up those creative juices. For this week’s prompt, imagine yourself investigating an old, abandoned house. Rumors have it that the house is haunted, but you don’t believe it. You’re a collector of figurines and memorabilia, so you enter the house wondering if there might be something interesting there for your collection.

As you approach the house you notice that the windows were once boarded up, but a few of the wooden slats have been pulled loose. That isn’t a good sign, because it means other people have been here since the owners left the property. You stop for a moment, concerned that there might be someone in the house who could do you harm, but then you take a deep breath and continue walking.

You ease into the house, avoiding splintered wood and rusty nails, and enter the foyer. It’s empty. You tour the ground floor and find nothing in any of the rooms, so you go upstairs and check the bedrooms. Still nothing. Then you head to the attic. It’s pretty bare, but there is one small box shoved against the wall at the back of the house. You knock a silverfish off the box as you drag it out into the light coming in from the attic window.

Inside the box are five items: a small scrap of knit fabric printed with a kitten pattern, a plastic gold-colored button, one dried-out fountain pen, a white coffee mug with a blue interior, and an envelope containing old movie theater tickets.

Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to write a short story that uses the house as a setting and the contents of the box to inspire your plot. Happy writing!

Happy Holidays

This holiday cactus brightens up a downtown office window on a dreary day.

There’s a ton of winter holidays coming up in the northern hemisphere, so whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate, stay warm and cozy. And for the southern hemisphere folks, stay cool!

This week I’m busy finishing up an article on the Pearl Street Power Station for a forthcoming encyclopedia and doing additional research for several textbook articles. I hope to finish the year strong and get back in the groove of writing daily, although bouts of insomnia are still messing with my schedule.

I decided to mix things up a bit by rearranging my home office and clearing space for a small sofa. I often edit on paper instead of onscreen (or do a mix of both), so having a place to sit that is not at my desk is a nice break, even if I’m in the same room. In the hurricane of furniture moving, I’ve collected a nice set of bruises from carting two bookcases and a cubicle storage thing downstairs by myself. The office remains a mess for the moment, as this is definitely a process that takes time. I’m sorting papers, adding new furniture, and deciding what to get rid of or move elsewhere.

Coming up in the new year: a return to the Thursday Writing Prompts series and some articles on writing and editing. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays!