Prompt 39

“Your favourite tree”

Outside the living room window of the house I grew up in, there is a large, majestic magnolia tree.

It sits, about as tall as the house, if not taller, and is clad year-round in big, thick leaves of a deep green shade. And when it flowers, it provides huge creamy white blossoms that smell delightful. It’s one of the scents I associate with home. Each bloom was big enough fill one of the pewter bowls my Mom used for flowers, poised, elegant.

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Prompt 37

“Describe in detail an every day object – a piece of fruit, a water bottle, or your beat-up old wallet”

The teacup sat neatly on the kitchen table, catching the midmorning light and holding it warmly. Like many teacups of its time, it was small and quaint, and had a small handle that would only barely allow two slender fingers to pass through. It had a pattern of pale pink roses linked together across the surface, meeting, but not touching, at the curved, statuesque handle. The roses were accompanied by forest green vines that contrasted against the pale cream background engulfing the entire cup, including its interior. On the inside of the cup, where we usually expect nothing but the uniform lack of colour, there was a tiny butterfly painted quaintly in shades of purple, like an artist’s signature.

It once held the company of a saucer, this teacup. Alas, in an unfortunate incident that also left the smallest of chips on our cup’s lip, it was gone. Thus, our cup sits in solitary quietude, absorbing the midmorning sunshine and waiting to fulfill its purpose.

Prompt 36

“Parades”

People marching, mesmerized, all moving in the same direction, stepping at the same pace.

Corralled by banners and observers that delineate the path the marchers must follow.

Slow progress, allowing the audience to carefully absorb the celebration or the protest of those passing by.

A chant? Perhaps. Starting at the front and rippling across the procession, sometimes overflowing the boundaries and taken on by those watching intently, wanting to belong to the movement in some way.

The colours they wear have been selected specially for the day. Each garment, each symbol, each slogan representing key parts of their message. Multicoloured and multilingual pride in what they stand for. Well, walk for.

The leaders reach the end of the mapped route. Like a river unleashed into the ocean, the line collapses and disperses, spreading people outwards without a concrete sense of finality. Leaving the marchers wondering whether they should go home or circle back and start over again at the beginning.

Prompt 35

“Five things you wish you’d asked your grandmother”

When my grandmother passed away when I was 17, I was plagued by a persistent feeling that I had been robbed of so many conversations with her. In that sense, this prompt is quite appropriate.

  1. What was it about Baba (my grandfather) that drew you to him? Was it his infectious laugh or his calm demeanour? Or was it something that he grew out of all together by the time I knew him?
  2. What was your favourite place in the world to see? (You see, she and my grandfather travelled all over the place).
  3. Must it really be ‘forks ever, spoons never, or use them both together’? Why?
  4. What was it like being a mother of only boys? And four of them at that?
  5. What do you see as your greatest accomplishment? And your greatest regret?

There is so much I wished we had been able to talk about. Especially now, where I could have spoken to her as a woman, and not just as a granddaughter.

I still have plenty of conversations to remember: some imparting advice, some ridiculous, some banal. Each held in little pockets of my memory.

Prompt 34

“Why you write”

Writing, to put it very simply, is my calling. Being able to craft the right words to tell a story, to make a point, or simply to describe something and make it real for someone else is what I have loved doing for as long as I can remember.

I’ve never really stopped to think about why I do it. Why is it that we do the things we love to do, other than because we love them?

I write because it soothes me.

I write because I feel that there are stories waiting to be told – some mine, some belonging to other worlds.

I write not for the hope of recognition, but with the hope that something I create may resonate with someone, somewhere.

I write to improve upon my writing, because it only comes with practice.

I write because writing gives me access to thousands of other possible realities.

I write to uncover truths, subjective as they may be.

I write so that I can aspire to channel the brilliance of centuries of literary masters before me. We stand on the shoulders of giants after all.

I write to show you little pieces of me, if you choose to see them.

I write to honour those that inspire me.

I write because I can’t help it.

Prompt 33

“Put your iPod on random shuffle, write down the lyric of the first song that comes on, and use it as an opening line”

Letter to my love

Well, I tried to do what I thought was right, and I know I fucked it up sometimes, but you always saw through my crap to the love I had for you.

I know I was not perfect. Nobody is. But you were as close as they come for having put up with the man I had become. You were patient. You were loving. You were mine. How lucky am I?

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Prompt 31

“Write down everything you can remember about your algebra (math) teacher”

In terms of appearance, Mr. B was bald, round, of average height, and he wore glasses with a thick frame. Outside of the classroom, at least, he looked to be quite a jolly guy, as his smile would make him almost childlike in his demeanour.

His general attire tended to include a shirt with a criss-cross pattern, a pair of slacks, and leather loafers shined to perfection. Other than when the school had some sort of outdoorsy event (in rain, snow, or shine, I might add), he rarely varied from this combination.

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