prompts

Prompt-a-Month: Forgotten Things

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The June prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Forgotten Things

The deadline for submissions is 7/1/2017. Submissions will be published during the next 30 days.

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

Prompt: Blame and Forgiveness

The prompt today was on blame and forgiveness.

We started out with the twist on the classic quote, “To err is human, to forgive divine.”

To err is human. To blame someone else is even more human.

Other variations on this theme included:

He started it when he hit me back.
To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.
To err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics.

Prompt: The Roles We Play

Living up to roles, the things I’m “supposed” to be. Some are not welcome, some have been around so long, they are a part of us. Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond, brought in the prompt:

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
From My Fair Lady, “A Hymn to Him” sung by Henry Higgins, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

Your prompt is to address the issues of roles, be it why a woman can’t play the roles of a man, or any roles we play in life.

Prompt-a-Month: Sunshine

Writers in the Grove Prompt-a-Month badge.The May prompt-a-month for our Writers in the Grove members is:

Sunshine

The deadline for submissions is 6/1/2017. Submissions will be published during the next 30 days.

Writers in the Grove members may hand in their submissions during the workshops or use our members only submission form. Check out the guidelines and instructions for submissions in the announcement.

Prompt: Sensations Without Sight

The prompt this week was:

Think of an episode or event in life, childhood, or adulthood. Think of where it occurred, when, what season, and those involved. Think in terms of senses other than sight. If you were a sculpture, what would the texture be for the sculpture you would make of this? What are the sounds, smells, touch, sensations other than sight? Use sight minimally or not at all to tell your story.

Prompt: Humor in the Yarns

The mystery of knitting … remains a mystery” was published in April 2017 on The Christian Science Monitor by Murr Brewster. Her essay went viral and became our prompt this week.

That’s just freaky. Because knitting makes no sense at all. A knitter, by definition, creates holes by surrounding them with string, using sticks, a clickety-clickety noise, locally sourced air, and goodness.

Those of us who suspect we are not innately good can barely aspire to the art. And yet, I so aspired. I wanted a hat.

I bought a ball of string and some sticks and I found a tutorial online. After stopping the video four or five hundred times, I cast on 50 stitches. Then, staring hard, and trying to make my sticks and string match up to the video, I succeeded in making an entire knit stitch.

Then I made another one. And somehow, with great care and deliberation, I soldiered my way to the end of the row, 50 knits in a line. It was a triumph of historic proportions.

Slow, yes; challenging, sure; and yet majestic and powerful. I felt like Hannibal marching his elephants across the Alps into Italy.

I consulted the tutorial. They don’t warn you about this when you’re learning how to knit, so I’ll tell you now: You can’t just learn to knit. You have to learn to purl, also.

“Hit the boats!” I heard Hannibal shout. “We’re headed to Sardinia!”

Nuts! I studied the video again, and I manufactured a single purl stitch, and then another, and eventually rowed my way back to the beginning. According to the calm and cheerful woman in the video, that’s all there is to it. If you can make a knit stitch, and you can make a purl stitch, you’re on the road to glory. You can make cable-knit trousers for an octopus. I was beginning to be suspicious of her, but I carried on.

Our prompt, based upon this article, was first to study it and discover what made it work, and not work. We explored:

  • Storytelling structure: Does it have the right storytelling structure? What is the structure?
  • Audience: Who is the writer talking to? What does it tell us about the audience?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the article? What does it tell us about the author?
  • What tools were used: How were metaphor, simile, humor, drama, and other writing and storytelling tools used?

The next part of the prompt was to write something based upon this example and use humor.