Tag Archives: writing prompt

I remember

downloadTo my wife:

I remember our first date.

I remember you being late and rushing in the door of the bookstore like a gust of wind.

I remember you laughing and me smiling, not really sure what to make of you but thinking I would like to know more.

I remember walking to the pizza shop that sat at the top of the hill where we ate cheesesteaks and french fries.

I remember how quickly you handed over the money for your half of the bill as if you didn’t want strings, even for a few seconds.

I remember your big, brown eyes, bright and curious like a raccoon’s.

I remember your mask, too, and wondering what was underneath it.

I remember you letting me buy you a beer at that old bar down the street.

I remember sitting on the bench back behind the shops at the end of the night. The small patch of green grass an island for two. “Can I give you a hug?” you had asked, and I said you could.

I remember how you smelled like flowers and patchouli and how hard you hugged me like you were trying to tell me one last thing before we parted and went our separate ways.

* * *

This was from an exercise in today’s writing group. W’s birthday is on Friday, so I thought I’d post today as a small pre-birthday gift. What do you remember about a first date? First love? Start with “I remember” and see where it takes you.

 

 

 

 

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Watch

Describe an object that describes you:

IMG_1192A vintage Timex wristwatch, circa 1970 with a stretchy metal band.

Dependable.

Consistent.

Comfortable.

Casual.

Plain face.

Stylish in its own way with a flash of silver like a crooked smile.

Always moving forward. Sometimes second by second, other times making bigger leaps until time is lost and I wonder how I ended up here.

At times, a know it all.

It’s 10:30 a.m.

It’s Tuesday.

It’s May 16.

The cold metal on my wrist reminding me I’m alive.

* * *

What about you? What object are you?

 

I have a desk

xx

I have a cat who naps on my old library desk where I write.  This is one of my favorite pictures.

I have an old library desk where I write.

I have words swimming in my head.  These are some of my favorites — bric-a-brac, innocuous, innuendo, ubiquitous, kismet, juxtaposition.

I have notebooks: big ones and little ones and a million scraps of paper that I use to record my thoughts.  Once when I couldn’t find something, W pointed out that I save everything.  I couldn’t tell if this was a criticism or a compliment.

I have a king-sized bed covered in flannel sheets.  It is warm and soft and inviting.

I have books and magazines and newspapers.  When I am in bed, I surround myself with them.  It is a fortress made of paper and words.

I have pens and markers that I use to make notes and jot down ideas.  At night, the paper and  pens get mixed in with the sheets and the blankets and our slumbering bodies.  I tell W this is what happens when you live with a writer.

I have dreams.  Good ones and bad ones that I remember in snippets.  I try to write them down, but I am almost always too late.

I have good intentions to empty my brain every day and transfer my thoughts to clean sheets of paper.  It never works out the way I had planned.  Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes it is not.

I have writing that I am proud of.  My pieces always seem different when they are in print.  More important and truer for some unknown reason.  When I’m alone, I read them out loud and wonder who that person was who wrote like that.

* * *

I wrote this from a prompt in my writing group.  The assignment was to write a list poem starting each line with the words “I have” similar to the poem I have a horse by Tomaž Šalamun. You can read the poem here.  Try it yourself.

Recently, I had a piece published in an LGBT anthology.  Off the Rocks, Volume 18 can be purchased here.

What’s next?

Birthday cake with one candleThat was one of the prompts at my writing group today.  We were celebrating the one-year birthday of the group, so we did a lot of reflecting about the past and projecting about the future.  Birthdays are good for that kind of thing.

Here’s what I wrote:

In the next year, I want to keep at this writing thing.  I want to work toward developing a regular writing practice.  I say work “toward” a disciplined writing practice, because I don’t know that I will ever write every single day for an hour or between the hours of 8 and 10 Monday through Friday.  For me, part of the magic of writing is allowing myself to be enchanted by my muse, who is unpredictable and spontaneous with a touch of crazy and fantastic cleavage that always wins my attention.

Book dealI will finish my memoir and sell it to a small LGBT publisher.  I don’t plan on getting rich.  I will help sell my book by organizing book signings and participating in conferences.  I will travel to cool, gay-friendly places like Rehoboth, Del., and Provincetown, Mass., and attend Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival where I will dance in the moonlight with the Indigo Girls.

W says that I will be too busy for her when all of this happens.  I tell her that she can come with me.  This will be a grand adventure for both of us.

Butch Voices logoI tell a friend that my book will be so wildly popular and successful that I will be asked to attend the Butch Voices conference in California in two years and speak on a panel.

I inform W that she can go to this, too.  She smiles real big at the thought of being in a room packed with butch women.

My public speaking experience is limited.  As a college freshman, I gave an instructional speech on flossing.  And there was the dramatic reading class that I took, reciting lines from Neil Simon plays.

“Have you ever spoken on a panel?” my friend asks.

“No,” I reply.  “But I will.”

A boy and a turtle

One reason that I get sad sometimes is because my son is 14.

Fourteen and too big and grown for a mother, or at least that’s what he tells me these days.

I see him once a week if I’m lucky.

“Mom, can we skip this week? I’m really busy,” he informs me.

I usually say it’s okay because I don’t want to ruffle his feathers anymore than they already are. These days he’s like a peacock having a really bad hair day.

I get him every other weekend, but that too is subject to the whims of a 14-year-old boy.

When he was 13, he went to live with his father. I agreed to this new arrangement, knowing that if I held onto him too hard I would lose him for good.

Turtle crossing roadHe came home this weekend. One of the highlights occurred when we spotted a turtle in the middle of the road.

“Mom, pull over!” he shouted. “I have to save him.”

It had been a long time since I had seen him this excited.

I pulled to the side of the road and put on my hazards.

“Be careful crossing the street,” I said, unable to silence my inner mother.

He was. He was 14 after all. He picked up the turtle by the shell, carried it back to the car and placed it inside an orange bucket.

I have been carrying this just-in-case bucket in the trunk of my car ever since he was a little boy. There have always been frogs and toads and turtles and other creatures that have unexpectantly come into his life. The bucket has come in handy more times than I can enumerate.

I believe in animal totems among other things and tried to explain to my son how the turtle carried a message for him, for us.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“Mom, we’ve lost you,” he said in a sarcastic voice that only a 14-year-old can master.

I knew not to protest. Not to try to explain the turtle sighting anymore.

But I also knew in my heart that the turtle was my sign to proceed cautiously and slowly and to have faith that in the end both of us would get to where we need to go.

* * *

From my writer’s group session today. Prompt: One reason that I get sad sometimes is because ________________.