Writing Prompts and Tiny Exercises
By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer
Oh Monday, you cruel mistress. Is there anyone out there who’s every really happy to see you? We know you’re arrival is preordained, and we can’t dodge you no matter how hard we try. Even a spontaneous “sick day” is inadequate armor (and the boss frowns if you take too many three-day weekends in a row).
And so I found myself at the start of the week (yet again). Facing a blank page (yet again). And feeling distracted by all the other chores and duties that require my attention before the day is done.
But I owe myself my daily writing. The page cannot be dodged and ignored forever. Best to suck it up and find a way.
The usual suspects – the various mentors and mensches I depend on to lead the way – could not be roused. Apparently they were suffering from “a case of the Mondays” as well (god, don’t you hate that phrase, and yet is there any more apt description of that Monday malaise?), and so I turned to the Internet for inspiration. A few Google pages in, I found Creative Writing Prompts. A simple idea – 300+ writing prompts (identified only by their number) – and an even simpler execution: just click on a number and write.
I picked number 343: Her Laugh Broke the Silence.
Here’s where it lead me: 300 words, and the nice beginning to a short story, or maybe a first chapter in some future novel. For now I’ll file it away and come back to it at a later date to see if there’s some fertile ground there – enough nutrients to sustain a plot, enough sunlight to cultivate some characters.
It’s definitely got some potential.
Her Laugh Broke the Silence
Her laugh broke the silence, and only then did we realize how tense the conversation had become. It was never an easy topic, and I always found it frustrating that time was unable to lessen the pain or diminish the anger. And because all the emotion stayed fresh, the memory was kept alive as well. It was something we seemed never able to forget, like a prison sentence or a poorly considered tattoo.
It was a permanent mark on our friendships and on our lives. It was one of those “BC’ “AD” moments, a demarcation that identified what had happened “before” and what came after. And it was the “after” that seemed hardest to bear – those mistakes made in the early moments of the crisis. Those missteps that we still seem to stumble over – the booby traps and minefields I can see clearly in retrospect.
And every time I remember, I feel like a spectator watching some B-Movie horror flick – fighting the urge to yell at the character on the screen, “don’t go down into the basement!” Except I’m the character, bravely holding that flashlight and edging past that creaky door and down those steps.
Again and again and again I descend. An unstoppable force pushes me forward and even though future me – bestowed with perfect 20/20 hindsight – protests and cajoles, I go down those steps every time.
There’s nothing much to do about it now except laugh. But it’s a bitter thing – a sharp edged, angry bit of forced revelry. It’s not a laugh of joy or humor or spontaneity. It’s a well-rehearsed judgment. A punch to the gut.
A declaration of war.
And it yet it’s the sanest response I can think of.
After all, what would you say if someone asked you if you still remembered?
You’d laugh too, because you’d know that it was forever burned on your skin – a shadowy specter always on the haunt.
You’d laugh too, when confronted with pain so powerful it rises to the level of surreal.
I know you don’t believe me…but you’d laugh too.
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- Begin Your Writing Week With a Laugh (goldstarwritingstudio.com)
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- Writing Notebooks (4 Freebies too!) (teacherlingo.com)
3 thoughts on “Trying to get past Monday and on to the page.”
Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment; which led me here and then showed me the way to Creative Writing Prompts which I plan on using and hope it will help inspire and unlock the creativeness within, along with motivating me to write more often. I have also become one of your followers. I’m a little pressed for time at the moment but found this to be an interesting post and will return to check out some of your older posts when I have some free time.
Always looking for ways to motivate myself as well. Every little bit helps – we’re all in this together after all. Thanks for the follow!
I’ve really enjoyed the writing prompts found here: http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts. I’ve had some very successful sessions with these.