Today’s prompt: Go someplace where people pause on their way to someplace else. The airport, the coffee shop in the mall, District Court, a fundraiser. Sit and listen to the passing parade. Fragments of conversation, laughter, a shout, the sound of running feet, a splash. Watch everything in motion. Try to figure out who’s posing and who’s just being. Let a story begin to unwind. Reach into the grab-bag of bits and pieces and pull out a handful to use for your own purposes. Go home whistling.
Write, paint, compose, photograph, weave a tale . . . Create.
I find that it is possible to spend entirely too much time in my own head. It gets boring in there. I need spiritual refreshment. A jolt of something new. A kick in the pants.
Today’s prompt: Get out of yourself. Spend the day with the radio tuned to an entirely different station. Take a different route to work or to the market. Have something for lunch that you’ve never eaten before. If you are a Visual Extremist, spend an hour at the library and borrow a book that has a lot of words in it. If you are a Verbal Extremist, spend an hour in a museum or an art gallery and put an image or two in your mind. Heck, I don’t know, wear your clothes inside out. Think of it as dusting yourself off, inside and out.
All shiny and renewed, write, paint, weave, compose, sculpt, photograph . . . Create.
Do you remember the young Chinese man standing off a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989? I do. Do you remember the Polish workers who followed Lech Walensa? I do. Do you remember the East Germans tearing down the Berlin Wall? I do. Do you remember Viola Liuzzo? I do. When I see their faces I think, they are all our children. I am an old bat and they are young. They could be my grandchildren. They could be, given a little space to grow in, themselves.
Today’s prompt: Resist fear. Write, sing, paint, dance, weave, whisper, stand still . . . it is your time. Create.
To open the mailbox and find Real Mail, the kind that must be sent in a creamy envelope addressed especially to you, feels good. Even when the message is “I’m sorry for your loss . . . ” it feels good. Hmm. OK, the exception here would be Real Mail in a creamy envelope with a return address from a law firm. That could spoil your whole day. I digress.
Today’s prompt: Find a creamy envelope and a pen. Address the envelope to someone you like. Put something nice inside it. A little note. A photograph. A cartoon. A tiny quilt block. A package of seeds. Close it up. Put a stamp on it. Mail it.
Alternative prompt: Find a creamy envelope and a pen. Address the envelope to someone you are angry with. Put your anger inside it. A little note, a photograph, a drawing of your broken heart . . . Close it up. Burn it.
Either way, I expect you might be able to make something out of this. Create.
Remember make-believe? Row a leaky boat over to the island and make trails to the pirate treasure, build a treehouse, pull out the box of dress-ups. All that stuff involved props for the characters we were trying on. Some of them were pretty sketchy: a stick, some grapevines, a ratty old towel. Others were more elaborate. The coonskin cap comes to mind. Either way, they did the job. They helped us to make our imaginary adventures more concrete. A generation later our own kids were still at it.
Today’s prompt: When you’re trying to bring a character to life on the page, on the stage, or in an image, consider the possibilities inherent in the sketchy props you used when you were a kid. What did all that stuff mean to you then? Does it mean something different now? What do you think your kid self would have pulled out of the dress-ups box to turn you into an image of the grown-up self you’ve become? What do you think your own kids would pull out of the box to make a Mom or a Dad character?
Write, paint, compose, photograph, weave, carve . . . Create.
Awhile ago I spotted these over at King Orchards and had to have two of them—one because I had a bright idea and the other in case I messed up the first one. I’ll give you a few days to play around with it in your own mind before I show you what I tried.
I have a whole box full of stuff that I’ve saved because it just seemed like it had to be good for something. Every now and then I paw through it for an odd bit of webbing or an idea.
Today’s prompt: Go stare at the junk drawer for awhile. Try to figure out where all of that stuff came from. Put it in categories. Try to make sets in matching colors or shapes. Try to imagine what you were thinking when you tossed it in there. Choose three things to throw out. This is beginning to feel like work, eh?
Oh well. Might as well go write. Or paint, compose, weave, photograph . . . Create.
Today’s prompt: Make a list of the most innocuous pieces of music you can think of—real earworms. Make another list of the most pretentious food you’ve ever stared at on a plate. Make another list of the most predictable people you’ve ever met in your life. Dress them in clothing you would expect to find in a store you would never enter. Put them all together at The Wedding Reception. Give them too much to drink. Um, you have to go to the reception, too, but you can’t have anything to drink as you are pregnant. If you are male, this may strike you as a silly condition, but I say you are simply suffering a failure of imagination. So. You’re at the reception. What happens?
Write, paint, compose, weave, design, photograph . . . whatever you have to do to get the images out of your head. Create.