Friday, May 20, 2011

Creative Writing Prompts with Michael Giorgio

First of all, I want to thank all the guest prompters who have helped me so far:  Kathie Giorgio, Kelli Russell Agodon, Diane Lockward, Barbara Crooker, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Nancy Canyon and Michael Giorgio .  This blog is still quite new, but I'm very pleased in the direction it is going, and I know that part of its success is the writers who are contributing to offer a nice variety of prompts and perspectives.  I'm also grateful for those who lent poems and artwork for special features.  If anyone out there is interested in being featured as a guest prompter, please see the "Be A Guest Prompter" page.  We are also on the lookout for interesting art work to inspire our writers. 
I would also like to say thank you to the readers and especially those who post.  I wish you all the best in your writing and I hope you will come back and find more inspiration in the future. 

For this weekend's creative writing prompts, I'm pleased to introduce a fantastic writer who is also a good friend.  His name is Michael Giorgio and I met him through Kathie Giorgio, his wife and my teacher.  Today Michael offers some serious and insightful prompts that should keep you busy with your writing time this weekend.  Ladies and gentlemen, I now turn the blog over to Michael Giorgio.

As a writer who started his career writing for audio productions, I am most interested in the power of the spoken word and how that power can be translated to the printed page.  I’m also interested in how the same spoken words can have different meanings to different listeners.  Because of this, I find myself pondering quotations as a source for creative inspiration.  Not necessarily the most famous quotations—anyone can work with those—but the more personal, somewhat obscure utterances.

Recently, I heard a story regarding William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice from 1939 to 1975.  When Douglas was six, his father, who had been sick several times in young William’s life, was going to have surgery.  He knew his outlook was grim and his last words to his wife, which William overheard, were “If I die, it will be with glory; if I live, it will be with grace.”

I’ve been pondering this quote for a while now, thinking of all the different situations in which it could be applied, and of the situations in which the opposite could be applied.  So now it’s your turn.  This is actually a multiple prompt, because there’s more here than just the quotation.  Think about the creative possibilities.  There’s the quotation, of course.  There are plenty of themes to play with—deathbed promises, purpose of or purposeful lives, last words to loved ones.  Overheard words not necessarily intended for one to hear.  Then there’s the whole issue of eternity, which has inspired and will continue to inspire volumes of writings.

For another, related prompt, think for a moment about the idea of last words.  What would you (or a character) want your last words to be?  Who would be the person or people to hear them?  Who wouldn’t you (or the character) want to hear them?  If time were short, what would go unsaid?  What would be that last thought, that last emotion, that last visual, that last smell, or touch…

Or, turn it around.  What about the person who hears those last words, provides that last touch….

Michael Giorgio lives in Waukesha with his wife, fellow writer Kathie Giorgio, and daughter Olivia.  He teaches creative writing for AllWriters’ Workplace and Workshop ( and online for Writers’ Digest University.  Though primarily a mystery writer, he has published short stories in many genres, as well as poetry and creative nonfiction, and has had audio dramas produced on radio stations from coast-to-coast and rebroadcast in England and Australia.  His short fiction has appeared in over a dozen anthologies, including the upcoming Pot Luck Flash Fiction; Comes the Night; and Twisted Love, as well as in magazines such as The Strand (the original home of Sherlock Holmes).  He is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I only ask that all comments be polite and constructive.