Today I have a great deal of compassion for the harried rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland.” He ran around all chicken-without-a-head like shouting “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.” This entry was to have been done by 6 AM this morning and—I put it off until the last minute—and had a crisis and now I’m late. The crisis involved dog, eye, vet, medicine and hopefully—healing. However, it also has made me crazy as I cannot abide being tardy for anything.
So, with that in mind, let’s get to it.
A lie. A horse running past an ice cream shop in the middle of the day. A body in the hydrangeas. These are typical prompts to be found in books, magazines or leaking out of the brain of a demented friend who creates prompts.
You have your prompt. Now write. You don’t have to show anyone what you’ve written (unless you’re in my writing group and then you have to READ IT OUT LOUD). But it is a true test of your determination to write well if you can conjure up a readable prompt in a short amount of time.
We “Paddlecreekers” generally set our egg timer for 30 minutes. During that time the only sounds heard around the table are sighs, groans, “oh, no’s” and total silence as the creative process finally makes an appearance.
When the 30 minutes is up, ready or not, the fun begins. We read. Generally we read reluctantly. And what we write is usually much better than what we think it is . “Did I really say that?” Yup. “Did I really use that verb?” Yup. “Ending a sentence with a preposition isn’t going to get me arrested, is it?” Almost every time our group does this one or the other of us writes something really good/funny/sad and we are all elated at the results.
This entry was supposed to be about information. So, I am informing you that prompts are a good exercise for the writers’ brain. Try them sometime. (Check out Prompted to Write written by the Paddlecreek Writers’!). And, happily, this little artidle isn’t gong to be as late as I feared. Oh, and the dog is having surgery next week.He has a cherry eye. Don’t ask!