Friday, July 28, 2023

Friday Writings #87: What Pleases You?


 Greetings, dear Wordsmiths –

I'm sure I've mentioned more than once that my favourite writer for writers is Natalie Goldberg, and my favourites of her books are the first two she wrote in that capacity: Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind. I still return to them for inspiration, and for the pleasure I take in her clear and engaging writing. (The photo below shows how well-used my copies are!)

One of the chapters in Wild Mind is called Pleasure.  It recounts the tale of someone who had a severe nervous breakdown in her twenties, and completely lost touch with who she was. She was lucky enough to find a therapist who gradually restored her to herself. This started with the therapist asking her ‘to find one thing that she liked, just for herself,’ not because anyone else, or society in general, said it was good, and not to impress other people.

‘Finally … she came up with one thing. She knew, irretrievably, just for herself, that she honestly liked the taste of chocolate. From that one pleasure, she and the therapist began the reconstruction of an authentic life.’

Goldberg goes on to talk of the ‘deep pleasure’ that not only reading but writing can be.  She finishes the chapter with a prompt, and I pass it on to you :

Your optional prompt this week is to answer the question, What pleases you?

(Yes, that sounds a bit like Rommy's 'glimmers' prompt from last week, but I don't see why we can't have two prompts in a row which accentuate the positive.)

Goldberg says to first make a list of things that please you, 'all for yourself, not because your mom, your girlfriend, your aunt likes it,' and then to write about one of the pleasures on your list. 

She adds, ‘It is a very kind act to take a friend’s hand and show him or her the pleasure you have in something. Write with this in mind, as though you were sharing it.’


Goldberg's instruction to her readers is to write for ten minutes. Here, we don't mind how long you take,  but we do ask you to limit your piece to 369 words max (excluding title). 

It can be poetry or prose, old or new. Please post it to your blog and link to that post via Mister Linky below.

(If the prompt doesn't inspire you, please feel free to share something else you've written.)

For next week, Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose, which includes a cliché used in an unusual way.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Friday Writings #86: Glimmers

Hello, Word Artists and Admirers! With all the yuck going on in the world, today I’d like to talk about glimmers. According to,

 A glimmer is the exact opposite of a trigger—it is some kind of cue, either internal or external that brings one back to a sense of joy or safety. This can be anything from catching a view of the skyline of your favorite city to seeing a picture of your pet.

When I first heard about glimmers, I knew right away that music was one of mine. I ended up making a playlist of some of my musical glimmers (so if I’m ever chased by Vecna, feel free to grab something from there to bring me back).


Maria Von Trapp knew about glimmers. 

For today’s optional prompt, I’d like you to write about glimmers, either glimmers in general or a specific glimmer of yours. Poetry and prose are welcome, as are fiction and non-fiction. Just be sure to keep it to 369 words or fewer and one entry person please.

For next week's optional prompt, Rosemary will ask you to answer the question, What pleases you?

Friday, July 14, 2023

Friday Writings #85: First Lines

Do you have a favorite opening line? I have several. But if I had to choose only one for poetry and one for prose, my choices would be T. S. Eliot’s “April is the Cruellest Month” and Diane Setterfield’s “All children mythologize their birth.” In fact, I was completely hooked by the entire first quote, which appears at the beginning of The Thirteenth Tale: “All children mythologize their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth: it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.” I mean, how could anyone resist that novel after reading those words?

For today’s optional prompt, I invite you to write poetry or prose inspired by a fantastic first line. One that hooked you. One that lingers... If you don’t have a favorite first line or can’t think of one, here are 150 of the most compelling opening lines in literature. And no, I won’t complain too much about the fact that neither of my chosen first lines appear in the list. They included the first line of One Hundred Years of Solitude and a first line about someone’s grandma exploding, I shall forgive them.

It this prompt doesn’t conjure a first line you love, go ahead and share something that does. Your contribution can be new or old, short or longish (369 words or fewer), fiction or nonfiction. Share the direct link to your post, please. One link per participant. Visit other poets and storytellers.

next week, Rommy will be asking us to write about our “glimmers”. A glimmer is the opposite of a trigger--some small thing that fills us with happiness/delight and can turn a mood around.

This isn’t an actual first line, but if it had been…
Oh, it would’ve been my favorite of them all!

Friday, July 7, 2023

Friday Writings #84: Prompts Galore

Hello, dear Wordsmiths

My online friend of many years, Canadian poet Pearl Pirie, recently co-authored an app called Writebulb, described as ‘A prompt app for iOS 15’ available from the Apple Store.

It has all sorts of useful features to help people kick-start their writing, as well as a list of detailed and unusual prompts.

Excuse me for shamelessly putting in a plug for a friend, but of course it has potential benefits for us too – well, the Apple users among us. And, for the rest of you, you’ve got me!

I won’t make a welter of it, and I’m not incorporating other features of the app, but today I’m sharing with you a prompt from Writebulb that caught my fancy.

Prompt: Please allow yourself to be inspired by the phrase, ‘Broken glass crunching under the boot steps.’

As always, one post per person please, 360 words max (excluding title). It can be poetry or prose, old or new. Post it to your blog, share the post with us via Mister Linky below, maybe leave us a comment, and do visit other people’s posts for our mutual enjoyment

Next week, our Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose inspired by a fantastic first line. Can’t think of one? Here are 150 of the most compelling opening lines in literature.




App icon, details and prompt shared with Pearl's permission.