Monday, December 28, 2009

Craft/Writing Prompts

At my more-or-less monthly dinner with my writer friend Julie this evening, the conversation wandered from movies we'd seen this week to Christmas celebrations with family to evolving friendships. At one point, however, I asked for Julie's thoughts on writing prompts. We met many years ago at a writing retreat and neither one of us is a stranger to the triggers that can spark a flow of words that, like the roots of a wild lily, send out tendrils into unexpected territory.

"What are your sources?" I asked her. One of her answers was intriguing--an example from a workshop leader with whom she'd written for many years. "The first line of a newspaper article," she suggested.

When I got home I pulled a copy of the front section of The New York Times from the mounting pile in a basket in my kitchen. Here are a few sentences from which to choose.

In almost every room people were sleeping, but not like babies.

Raimundo came to this sweltering Amazon outpost 15 years ago, looking for land.

Nelson would be the first to say that he has been favored with many acts of kindness in his 23 years.

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