Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Creative Writing Prompts for Autumn

Fall leaves 4 by alana sise
Fall leaves 4, a photo by alana sise on Flickr.
For today's poetry writing prompt, write an "Ode to Falling Leaves."

If you want to write a story today, start a story with two characters in this scene.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Writing Prompts with Bees

Bee on Sunflower by Nimal S
Bee on Sunflower, a photo by Nimal S on Flickr.
This time of the year, the bees are buzzing like mad on my sunflowers. For today's creative writing prompts, we will let the word "bees" be our starting point.

Write, for one minute, all the words or phrases that come to your head as you think of the word "bees".

After you free-write for one minute, make a few catchy titles (or maybe a few not so catchy titles) using at least 3 of the words from your list. The word "bee" should not be in your title, but you can add other words as needed. Just make sure you take 3 words from your list, too.
Next, pick the title you like best. 

Now take the title and write the beginning of a short story, a poem, or an essay. Enjoy!

If you would like to post just the titles you came up with, I would love to read them. And of course, you can post your writing, too.

Here are the titles I cam up with from my list:

Garden Wings Humming

Alone in the Sunflower Garden

Tell me, Honey. . .

Happy writing!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial by Saucy Salad
9/11 Memorial, a photo by Saucy Salad on Flickr.
This is for remembrance.

Are you old enough to remember?

If not, what do you know and how do you feel?

Pause and Reflect. . .

Monday, September 10, 2012

Writing Prompts Inspired by Mary Oliver

Happy Birthday to the amazing American poet Mary Oliver!

In honor of her birthday, I would like you to read the featured poem on Writer's Almanac today. It is called "In Blackwater Woods."  Our creative writing prompts for  today will be inspired by her poem.

(Note to Educators:  I have included study questions (at the bottom of the post) for the poem.  Please, if you use them, drop me a note and let me know how it went.  Thank you!)

Free-Write for 5 minutes: Write about something (or someone) that you had to let go of that was very difficult for you.

Poetry and Essay Writing Prompts:  After you free-write, spin those ideas into a poem or a short essay.

Fiction Writing Practice: Write a short scene with two characters by a pond. They can be human or nonhuman.

Study Questions for Mary Oliver’s Poem “ In Blackwater Woods”
1.  How does the poet draw you into the poem?  Is it effective for you?  If yes, why do you think so?
2.  How many stanzas are in this poem?  How many lines are in each stanza?
      3  How many adjectives are in the poem?  What are they?
        4.  How many “ly” adverbs are in the poem? 
      5.  What specific words does the poet use to give us a candle-like image without saying the word "candle”?
      6.  How does the poet use personification?
      7.  How does the the poet use repetition in this poem?  Do you think it is effective?  Why or why not?
      8.  Please write down a phrase or two from this poem that you liked.  Discuss why you think those lines stood out for you. 
      9.  Were there any parts of the poem that you did not like?  Discuss.
     10.  The ending direction of this poem is a straightforward message, which is to let go of mortal things in order “to live in this world.”  Do you agree or disagree?  Why or why not?  Reflect on this question in a short paragraph.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We Didn't Start the Fire Writing Prompts

I love this song by Billy Joel.  It is a long list of people and things that show our country's history and culture over the span of quite a few years.

For today's creative writing prompts, here are choices.  But first, enjoy the video.

1.  For Poetry:

Try making a new verse for this song using a list of things from the last year.  Make it rhyme.

OR put a verse together that is simply things from your own life.

For example, if it were me, some images that are in my surroundings that I might use are:

The 7 Dwarfs on the coffee table
bubble gum machine on my desk
the dead squirrel in my son's pool
Lemon Queen Sunflowers
Turtle ice-cream

So, first just make the list.  Then shape it and play with it to make it rhyme. It's just a fun exercise, and as always, I would love to read whatever you come up with, so please comment.

2.  For everything:  Pick one of the images from the video and use the subject in a story, essay or poem.