Writing Challenge: June 4, 2017
Prompt: Write about some scents you love.
Vanilla and coconut- soft, sweet, musky, and soothing. They remind me of my mother; they were always her favorite. They are like her: Blonde, light, soft, and soothing, but still strong and resilient.
Rain- heavy, musky, wet, and fresh. I think of thick drops hanging from broad, green leaves. It smells like my childhood and rejuvenation. It smells like a second chance.
Night air- it’s relaxing, clean and pure. Something about the night makes everything seem clear, peaceful, and silent. Like everything can change. Everything can be better.
Lavender- a recent scent I’ve come to appreciate. Before it always reminded me of old age and endings. Now it is relaxing and mature.
Writing Challenge: May 25, 2017
prompt: Write about having wings. What would you do?
I have dreamt of flying on the wind since I was a child. In these dreams I do not have wings- the wind simply lifts me from the ground. The first dream first time I had this dream I was 4 years old. The winds blew so hard that my feet lifted and I flew over the fence and across the streets-flying wherever I wished: just me and the wind. Wings, I feel, would be a hindrance. They would have to be large and bulky to lift my weight. The beating of wings to keep aloft would be tiring, and the sound in my ears, loud and pounding. How would I sit without hurting them? How would I hide them?
In my dreams it is just my body and the wind- streamlined into a continuous whole. I do not fight the wind- the wind takes me where I wish. We are one. I am carefree.
Writing Challenge: May 11, 2017
Prompt: Write a description of an object close up
It is accepted as a universal truth that paper is flat- a plane. But upon closer inspection this isn’t true. Looking close at a flat sheet we see small raises and pits. When the pen glides across the page it leaves a small grove where the ink is deposited. The grain of the page is made up with small fibers in various stages of laying and standing. Each piece is so small and so tightly woven that at a glance these small pieces are seen as only as a whole- just a flat sheet of paper. That is all we see when we fail to really look.
Writing Challenge: May 19, 2017
Prompt: Write about sharing something with someone.
My sister and I are used to sharing things: rooms, cans of soda, toys, large portion sizes at restaurants, clothing, friends- in short, everything. That’s just what happens when you are born less than a year apart: She on Valentine’s Day and myself on December 16th. For as long as I can remember my mother would be asked if we were twins, and she would always respond “10 months and 2 days”; it became the mantra of our sisterhood- 10 months 2 days, 10 months 2 days, 10 months 2 days… Irish Twins, born the same year and lumped together in all things. We could not have been closer if we HAD been twins. We called our connection “10-month telepathy”, modifying the common twin-condition to our own circumstances. We had our own unexplained phenomena, now non-existent in adult years, that made our relationship as sisters unique.
We were four and five years old when we both had a vivid dream on the same night- so vivid and so exact we doubted that it was a dream at all. We dreamt of a bear- a large black bear- peering through the trees of the backyard in northern Texas. We dreamt that our mother had to walk a few blocks to pick up the van from a mechanic and she left us alone for that half hour- playing in the backyard. We were playing in our turtle sandbox- emptied of sand- and hid, pulling the turtle-shell lid over us, when we saw the bear.
It must have been a dream- there are no black bears in Northern Texas, and there is no way our mother would have left us alone- yet we both recall this so vividly it seems as if it must be true.
writing challenge: May 18, 2017
Prompt: Write about a piece of mail you’ve received
In 2017 most mail you receive is either advertisements or bills- not exactly something to be excited about. Once upon a time people sent actual letters and cards to each other. There was a time before cell phones, the internet, and even landlines existed when the only viable option for long distance communication was to write a letter.
Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers and friends:
All willing to wait for days or weeks
For the latest bits of news from loved ones.
Announcements of marriage, children, and new head starts
All written on paper and sent on a journey
Down rivers, across plains, and over mountains.
One of the only ways to communicate from a distance.
The role of the postman was one of connection-
The mail they delivered linked a nation.
Writing Challenge: May 7, 2017
Prompt: Write about something you are knowledgeable about, or a favorite hobby or pass-time of yours.
I collect random knowledge like a hoarder. I love studying history and science, philosophy and religion, literature and love. I study for pleasure and for fun. I am most intrigued by human nature. Who are we and why do we do what we do? What does it mean to be human? How did we become what we are? I listen to podcasts and watch documentaries. I read books and speculate. I observe and I reason. I am no psychologist, yet I strive to understand many of the hidden desires and drives behind people’s actions. It is empathy mixed with common sense and studying that explains humanity. Humanity is my passion.
Writing Challenge: May 5, 2017
Prompt: Write about a moment you wish you could freeze forever
I stared out at the valley from the pass above the river. To the right there was a frosted mint-green field. To the left the dove-grey mountains were adorned with glittering snow-beaded trees. The sky was such a pure silver I was surprised to not see a reflection staring back at me, but instead watched as charcoal birds beat their wings on their annual journey back north. The deliciously chilled breeze danced across my face and whipped my hair into a tangled foxtrot. I could hear as that same wind blew through the trees rattling the icy branches as those birds overhead called, and the new-returned river gurgled below. The air smelt fresh and crisp as an apple. I closed my eyes and breathed in deep. A soft drop of rain kissed by hand, the first rain since the fall. I never felt more at peace. I wish it could have lasted forever.
Writing Challenge: May 4, 2017
Prompt: Fireworks- do they inspire you, or do you not like the noise and commotion?
I never understood the hype about fireworks. Every New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July we are bombarded with the bursting bombs of light that are somehow supposed to excite and entrance us. Yes, they are pretty- but hardly mesmerizing. The loud imitation of the star-spangled sky is only entertaining for a moment or two; after the first few shots you start to notice that all fireworks look the same. And the noise? The constant sizzle and boom of exploding projectiles is annoying, but luckily for me at least, easily drowned out. Honestly, I don’t mind the fireworks; I just don’t care for them either.
Writing Challenge: April 22, 2017
Prompt: Write about moving quickly or doing things fast.
I put my keys in my pocket and immediately forgot I put them there.
I put my phone in my backpack then continued to frantically search for it.
I grabbed my work clothes and threw them in a bag, then put my work shoes on and put my casual shoes in the bag with my uniform.
I left my lunch in the fridge but didn’t realize it until I was already in my car.
I tried to start the ignition with my house key for a full 15 seconds.
I was already behind when I hit the morning traffic jam.
I yelled at almost every car and traffic light on the way to school.
I was so tense by the time I made it to campus my fingers were almost to tense to unclench from the steering wheel.
I was already late for class but decided to get coffee anyway.
After spending my whole morning rushing just end up late I decided I just didn’t care about an extra five minutes.
Writing Prompt: April 19, 2017
Prompt: Write a story about a street fair
I always saw the Ferris Wheels lit-up against the brightly colored stalls and dizzying rides at every festival and fair. There is something iconic about a Ferris wheel- standing majestically against the night sky- that shouts out for all to come and enjoy. It stands as a beacon to the fairgrounds, guiding everyone to the magical place. I never got to ride the Ferris Wheel as a kid, perhaps that explained my fascination. My parents didn’t like the hustle and bustle of crowds. Now, as an adult I could do whatever I wanted. I was 18-right out of high school. No one could tell me no. It was 4th of July- a hot day followed by a steaming night. I wore jean shorts and a red and white tank top in the heat. My scuffed converse seemed to melt on the hot pavement.. Children dragged their tired parents around the fair grounds and couples strolled hand-in-hand as I jumped from booth to booth and ride to ride with my best friend. I saved the best for last. We handed the operator my ticket as he escorted us, who I had dragged along, to our seat. Slowly we rode up, stopping every few seconds for each car to get a turn on top. My excitement grew as I saw more and more of the landscape below me. I caused our car to rock wildly as I leaned over the bar taking pictures. I could hear my best friend’s amused chuckles as I exclaimed over the view. When we reached the top I realized that one of my childhood dreams had just been realized- and I wasn’t disappointed. I could see the whole fair, from the dunking booth to the kids’ craft table. I could see the men preparing for the fireworks show, and people milling around the parking lot either coming into the grounds or leaving for family barbeques. I was above of all the bustle, but a part of it too, a grand observer. As our car began to descend I continued to smile. I knew there was reason that Ferris Wheels were so iconic.