January 13, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt #1: Excerpt from the book The Golem And The Jinni, by Helene Wecker.
    Consider the attention to detail in the description of this scene.

The rain transformed the city. It washed the filth from the sidewalks and reflected the gas lamps in puddles of clear water. It drummed on the taut awnings, and cascaded from gutters and and overhangs into the near-empty streets. Midnight had long since come and gone, and even those with nowhere to go had taken shelter, in basement dives and the dark corners of tenement hallways.

  • Prompt #2:  Sunrise / Sunset




March 25, 2019:  The prompt for Monday’s meeting was a poem titled, Yin, by Paulann Petersen. It was just published by the Carolina Quarterly on their website.

by Paulann Petersen

You’d think water’s female aspect
would be a pond, a lake — deep,
reflective, still, taking
the sun and moon and clouds
onto its slick-shimmered skin.
Wrong. You would be
dead wrong. Being a woman, I know
at least that much about water.

One high-summer day, I stood
behind a waterfall, in a shallow cave
scooped out of the cliff’s base.
Through the cascade, I looked out and down
at the rolling pool where the water’s
falling came to its end.

Din pummeled my ears. Mist weighted
my hair. The air — smelling of
skunk cabbage, willow and mullien —
tasted fecund and wet. Deafened, mute,
I gazed through that plummet joining
a world on high to the one below,
and I knew.

The man is rock —
still, ever still, afraid to give up
his hard-won place far above the rest.
The woman sweeps right over
his prominence. In sheer free-fall,
she heads down to earth,
hellbent to reach the sea.


There are strong images and ideas here. Use whatever direction it takes you as your prompt.


November 19 Prompt – The Way of the Water Flow

The following prompt is from one of our Writers in the Grove members for our NaNoWriMo prompt-a-day project for November 2016.

Does the way your water go down the drain (right or left) determine your politics or that of your character(s)?

That should give you something interesting to think and write about.

Check out our list of prompts for even more inspiration.

The Athlete

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Susan Schmidlin, based upon the Prompt-a-Month: Water.

With the wind rippling the surface of the lake, the breeze cooled the picnic area while the throng of on-lookers watched. They were all enjoying the competition.

A jet boat towed a gangly teenager toward the ski ramp. The long arms and legs of the teen created quite a spectacle of awkward movements and uncomfortable contortions. Holding tight to the tow rope, he barely stayed upright as he bounced along the white water wake behind the boat. The look of fierce determination on his face belied his struggle, his bent knees barely able to stand on the bumpy chop of the lake surface.

The jet boat revved up as it came toward the wooden deck of the ramp. At the apex, he let go of the tow rope and became airborne before the downward arc of gravity took over. The voluminous splash of a perfected cannonball was the accomplished goal and the crowd cheered during that hot summer afternoon at the lake.

The River is Cold

The following is from Writer’s in the Grove (Vernonia Library) member Jim Buxton, inspired by our Prompt-a-Month: Water.

The river is cold, he thought, but not as cold as this time last year. The previous winter had been colder, the spring thaw had come later and the summer cooler.

This year had been different.

He thought, now, will I be able to untangle myself from these sheets? I must not panic — just move my legs gently and kick my way out.

The gust of wind that caught the sails and heeled the boat over was not unexpected. What was unexpected was the stay giving way causing the mast to snap during the capsizing of the boat. It will be an expensive repair to replace the broken mast, but that is the least of my problems at this moment. I need to surface and breathe again, he thought…

Learning to Swim

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, inspired by Prompt: Memories from a 5 Year Old.

The shock of cold exploded all air from her lungs. She sank down, suspended in a clear watery world, red stripes visible below her feet, colorful distorted shapes above. A muffled short scream and harsh tones drifted down, her ears popping as they filled with water.

Kick, her mind screamed, body not obeying. Kick!

She clamped her lips tight, blocking the flow of liquid in, and swung her arms up and down. Kick!

Reluctant legs finally gave in and started churning, matching the circular pattern of arms. She started to rise, up and up, harder and harder she pushed her body up, the water pulling her back down with every attempt. A little more, just a little more.

The warm air hit the top of her head and her mouth opened automatically, spewing water out to replace it with precious air. Coughing and splashing, through her watery vision she saw her parents, once trusted, arguing.

“You just threw her in, you bastard! She could have drown!” Her mother shrieked, pounding her father’s chest with clenched fists.

Oblivious, calmly watching the two year old struggle to stay afloat in the water, confident with the success of the lesson, he replied, “Only way to learn. Just throw them in the middle and hope they figure it out.”

“Hope they figure it out! Asshole!”

If she knew what the word meant, she would have agreed.

Dancing in Water

The following was written by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, inspired from the Prompt: Palindrome Meets Pantoum.

Giggles and grins
Droplets tinkle and fall
Sun flashes gold
Hands windmill
Droplets tinkle and fall
Splashing diamonds
Hands windmill
Dancing in water
Sun flashes gold
Dancing in water
Giggles and grins