Prompt 71

“Your first time in a foreign country”

On my recent travels (yes, the ones during which I failed to abide by my commitment to keep writing) I went to Sweden for the first time. The reason for the visit was simple. One of my very best childhood friends had been living there for a year and I had not seen her in twice as long (or more). So, without knowing much at all about the country, I landed in Stockholm on a rainy afternoon on the last day of May. I went straight to my hotel and resolved that I would spend my precious few hours the next morning exploring the old part of the city before jumping on a train to Karlstad, near where my friend was living.

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Writing Prompt Update

Hello my darling readers,

Just a little heads up on the writing prompts process. Over the next five weeks, I’m going to be traveling. I’ll be in Berlin, Sweden (Stockholm and Karlstad), London, and Toronto, and then will spend some time in my family cottage near Ottawa. As I have committed to packing light for this trip, I won’t be lugging around my book of ‘642 things to write about’. So, for the time I am away, I will, instead, obtain my prompts from things I see during my travels. For instance, if I see a funky looking person walking down the street in Berlin, I may write a story based on that person. Or, if someone I meet says something interesting that inspires me, I’ll write a piece based on that phrase.

When I return, I’ll delve back into the regular prompts from the book.

Thanks to all of you that take the time to read me!

Ali

Prompt 68

“Google search your own name. Write about the search result that is closest to your name but isn’t you.”

If I search my name, Alison Cameron, I inevitably stumble on multiple pages dedicated to one of the doctors from the famous show, House M.D. Allison Cameron is one of the first doctors to work with the controversial main character and, once she changes position in the hospital, she plays a smaller, but still influential role, in the show. Granted, her name has two Ls in it instead of one, but Google does not discern this particular difference as it expects that a number of people will mistakenly think her name has one L, having not seen it in writing before.

Even with the show having been done for five years now, she still sits at the top of the Google search pile of Al(l)ison Camerons. I can’t say I am too concerned with being ‘found’ at the moment, so I have no problem with the fictional character retaining her position there. Maybe one day, however, if my writing catches someone’s eye, I’ll at least be second?

Prompt 65

“Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock.”

He was cursed, this mouse was. His name was Remus. He lived in a hole in the wall, underneath the staircase of the Fairchild household, right across the room from the Fairchild grandfather clock that had been in the family for generations. He spent most of his time in his home glaring at the clock, hating it and the hold it had on him.

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Prompt 64

“What does writer’s block feel like?”

I think that just as much as every writer has their own process for writing, each and every one probably experiences writer’s block in different ways.

The easiest way to envisage writer’s block is a pair of clawed hands holding the writer back, rendering him or her unable to reach their pen, keyboard, or quill. It’s those hands, though, that take on different shapes.

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Prompt 63

“Making soup”

I feel like soup is more than just food, don’t you? Soup is nourishment for the soul.

Picture this: it’s a cold, damp day, and you’re feeling kind of blue because your boss yelled at you for something that wasn’t your fault. You stop at the grocery store because you know that there’s nothing but a tub of mayonnaise and a half-eaten packet of Tostitos in your kitchen. You wander around aimlessly, trying to figure out what you feel like eating. Suddenly, as you sullenly walk through the fruit and vegetable section, you spot a butternut squash sitting on its own in the basket. You’re instantly transported to a day in your childhood when you weren’t feeling too great as well, and you see your mother place a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup right in front of you. You take your first sip and swallow. It warms you to your very core. It’s a warmth that begins at your centre and spreads out across your limbs, all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes.  Continue reading “Prompt 63”

Prompt 62

“Write ten sayings for fortune cookies”

  1. A friend is one who celebrates your good fortunes as much as he or she supports you in your downfalls.
  2. Seek peace in yourself before you aim to bestow it upon others.
  3. If you are surrounded by a flock of angry pigeons…don’t look up.
  4. Don’t forget to savour the journey on the path to your goal.
  5. If adventure knocks on your door, welcome it with open arms.
  6. Seek not for all-consuming passion, but for blossoming, eternal companionship.
  7. Listen to your dreams, for they are the shadows of your desires.
  8. Do not turn your back on good fortune, or good food.
  9. Trust that your steps will take you to where you need to be.
  10. Don’t listen to everything you find in a fortune cookie.

Prompt 61

“A tree from a leaf’s perspective”

She gives me life. Did you know that? This tree that I belong to. I am here, floating in the wind, basking in the sunshine only because she gave birth to me and continues to bring me life. She endured the toils of winter for me. For all us leaves. I am safe because she—tall, robust, elegant being that she is—keeps me secure on one of her tendrils, branched out away from her body. She gives me life and I, in turn, give her life, too. I use the cells within me to give her sustenance and nourishment. It’s an exchange that will continue until the sharp tugs of Autumn’s wind carry me away, pale but brilliant in my yellow hue.

She gives me life. Did you know that? And she will continue bestowing it long after I am gone.

Prompt 60

“A piece of clothing you keep just for the memory”

There’s a dress hanging in my closet. Its colours red and gold. The bodice, sleeveless, is of red silk with golden oriental patterns splayed across it. The waist is a simple golden ribbon, sewn on by hand after the fact with clumsy and imperfect stitches of mine, contrasting those done neatly and diligently by my mother. The skirt was a matching red to the bodice, bright and seductive but plain in its lack of pattern. This was my prom dress. A dress inspired by a piece of fabric that my mom had stored away for years. This was what we used for the bodice. It’s a dress I’ll keep forever, for it keeps within it a memory of creation with my mom and the memory of sharing a wonderful night with my friends.

Prompt 59

“The way the sky looks today”

Spring seems to have finally landed in Vancouver. After months of rain and grey, today the city is graced with the bluest of skies. The sun is shining joyfully, inviting itself in through windows and caressing walls that had long forgotten its touch.  Continue reading “Prompt 59”

Prompt 58

“What can happen in a second”

In a second, her mind travelled through her version of time. She flew back to her first memory, the caress of her mother’s hand against her cheek. She experienced her first bike ride all over again; heard and felt every word of her first argument; she shivered at the feel of her first kiss. She flew into her future too, to glimpses of all it could be.

In a second, she saw her whole life, from beginning to end. And in a second—just a second—she was back.