Creative Writing Session

Last week, I held a creative prompt writing session on Zoom because the place that we have been meeting at has been under renovation and there is a change of ownership. So, I thought I’d take it online like so many others are doing lately. It also opens up the group to people in other areas. It isn’t meant to replace meeting in person and I hope to have a more permanent home for it soon.

One of the things we do during our meetings is give the opportunity to share writing with others. I model this off the Brown Bag writing prompt group I used to go to in San Diego.

The prompt we worked off of last week was to write in the perspective of a city official where the town has suffered from a high tech firm causing problems in their community. The place is at an old fashioned town meeting. The prompt was inspired by an article in the May/June 2022 Writer’s Digest titled “Writing Prompts That Teach.”

I thought I’d share my writing with you. It’s in raw form–what I wrote without stopping to think or edit. It needs revisions. For one thing, I mostly haven’t attributed the quotes to a speaker, but the great thing about writing practice is, since I only wrote for 15 minutes during the timed prompt I don’t have much investment in it. I can take it or leave it. That’s what writing without thinking too much about it is. You can decide if you want to use it or toss it. Sometimes it just needs to sit for a while to percolate.

It could be considered a brave step for me to bare this raw material. Or, some might think it’s laziness to not polish it up before posting, but I think what I’m aiming to show is that everything we create has a starting point. Some of it gets to a polished end and some of it gets thrown into the trash. You decide.

And, if you’re available on Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. EST, join me for the next zoom session. Just post in the comments section and add your email address. Comments are monitored so I don’t have to show your email to the world!

Raw prompt writing sample.

“I’m here to address the issue of the high rise tech firm causing excessive traffic in the community and the offensive odors being emitted…”

“Mr. Mayor, I have a comment…”

“Please, no questions until after the issue is addressed–”

“But Mr. Radison…”

“As I said, in order to keep our meeting in the time allotted, we need to hold our questions.”

“But, …”

“As I said, so now, where were we? OK, look folks first off, I would like to apologize to the community for the trouble. We are in the process of addressing your complaints. We understand, there was a traffic jam outside just to get into this meeting.”

“Yeah, Mr. Radison, we’ve never had none, no problems like this before.”

“As I stated, we are sorry for many of you having trouble finding parking for this meeting. We have a plan being worked up for a parking structure on 6th & Stevens.”

“But, Mr. Radison.”

“We will need to adjust the budget to make room for the structure.”

“But, Mr. Radison, what about the offensive odors? My kid got sick.”

“Yeah…”

“One issue at a time. As I was saying, about the parking structure, the funds need to build it far exceed our budget. We’ll need to move budgets around to have enough. Our extra recycling services will have to go.”

“But wait, that’s my job.”

“Can we raise more money?”

“As I was saying, we’re looking at shifting around funding. You can send your questions and comments to the email address on the screen.”

Mr. Radison paused and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He wasn’t sure how to address the issue of the people that were regularly getting ill from the fumes. He coughed, then wondered if he was also getting impacted. He hoped not, took in a deep breath and dove in.

“OK, again, I am so sorry for the reporting of illnesses. We are working with the city departments to investigate the matter.”

“My kid was out of school for two weeks.”

“Yeah, mine too.”

0 comments

Vacation Packing Checklist

Growing up, every year I looked forward to summer camp. One item that was sent with the registration was a list of things to pack. There are still good memories of the shopping trip prior to traveling–little containers of shampoo, lotion and toothpaste. I would purchase snacks like Corn nuts, sunflower seeds,  and Bubble Yum that I’d share with my bunkmates. And, a pack of cards for those times I could play solitaire instead of taking a nap during the scheduled time.  

One thing I make sure of packing nowadays is an emery board and nail polish remover. Too often I would break a nail, or have chipped nail polish that I would have no remedy for unless a market was nearby. I found most hotels don’t supply those.

Another fun thing to do is to bring stationary and stamps to write and send old fashioned letters, and a journal to keep notes of everything. Think of the person that would be most happy to receive a personal note from you. You can also purchase postcards at your destination.

[Note, I am not getting affiliate compensation for the links I’m providing. I just thought I’d add interest to show some items I enjoy]

Packing Checklist

Here is a list of Items to pack on your vacation. This checklist is for traveling where there is bedding and towels already supplied like when you are staying in a hotel. Check with the place you will be at to make sure you will not need to bring your own sheets and towels or any extra items like electronic adapters if you’re going overseas.

One of the best things about planning your packing is that you can spend time thinking about how much fun you’ll have, and sort of experience your trip before you go.  Most hotels supply shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I suggest keeping jewelry to a minimum.

__ Nightclothes

__ Outfits for the total number of days and a few extra items just in case

__ Shoes and sandals

__ Underwear

__ Swimsuit

__ Exercise/special activity clothes

__ Extra items like hiking boots or wet suit depending on your destination

__ Evening wear for special outings

__ Sunscreen

__ Deodorant

__ Hairspray/gel

__ Makeup

__ Razor

__ Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Dental Floss

__ Facial cleanser

__ Hairbrush/comb

__ Socks

__ Prescriptions/vitamins

Extras

__ Deck of playing cards

__ Snacks

__ Novel

__ Sunglasses

__ Emery board

__ Nail polish and remover

__ [What else do you need?] __________________________________________

0 comments

Summer 2022 Fashion

After two summers of lockdowns, the 2022 Summer fashion trend will focus on sparkles to celebrate life according to Instyle.com. For women, even during the daytime, expect to see brightness from rhinestones, sequins, beading to other flashy items. In addition, handmade accents will be on display. A return to Regencycore, a trend that focuses on floral and feminine dresses, will also appear inspired by the show Bridgerton.

For men, Bermuda shorts are back and pink and green colors are the trend. Sandals, cardigan and sleeveless sweaters should make the scene. There’s also the Varsity jacket but does that ever go out of style? For more, visit the French Vogue site. Click here.

0 comments

Happy Memorial Day

How many people spend memorial day thinking about the U.S. military officers who have died in service? Most, are glad to have a day off to celebrate. It’s good to spend time with family and friends, but the hope is that a few minutes would be spent thinking about those people who sacrificed themselves.

Being in a military town, there is greater awareness but as I drove down a street named Memorial Drive the other day, the thought came to mind about those that are still alive but have sacrificed themselves in different ways to be of service to other people.

How about this Memorial Day, taking a moment to think about them and reflect on how they have positively impacted your life?  Why not thank the ones who are still around.

Happy Memorial Day.  Thank you for being a part of my community.

0 comments

Doors and Gates

North Carolina Museum of Art

At first glance of the exhibit of Doors of Jerusalem, perched high on the ceiling of the North Carolina Museum of Art near the stairs, it’s hard to tell what the ghost-like images are trying to say. An arch of the head reveals scripture on the face and arms. A somewhat hidden plaque explains what it means. There are three images that represent the doors of Jerusalem from the Song of Songs. The above image’s mouth has Lions across it. The Lion’s gate is one of seven openings in the Old Walls of Jerusalem.

Here’s a link to their site: Click Here

0 comments

Writing Prompts

I thought I’d share a couple of writing prompts that my writing group is working on. I’ve posted some before, but just a quick recap on the process. When you write from prompts, just write continuously for the whole time without editing, reading what you’re writing or stopping for a while to think. Just keep writing, then see what comes out. Have fun. You can always go back afterward and edit and change it if you like what you wrote. I would love to see what you wrote. Feel free to add your writing in the comments.

Here are the prompts. [write for 10 minutes]

•The tunnel was dark and bleak…

•The little children were huddled together with no parent….

[These starts came from writings in the book Once Upon a Time, by Debbie Macomber]

0 comments

Public Art Displays

I guess my love for public art displays started in second or third grade when I was picked to paint one of the fire hydrants near the elementary school I went to. I’ve noticed, at times in San Diego and other places I’ve lived and visited, that public art displays pop up at various times. Did you ever wonder who the artists were that created the pieces? Most of the time their art is the only thing people get to know about them. Next time you notice, think about who the creator behind the scenes was. What do you think caused them to make the project? How does their work impact you?

0 comments

Merry Christmas

0 comments

Just Sing

In the middle of heavy persecution from many sources, I recorded this audio on my phone about why I stopped writing blog posts about love. I hope it will speak to you and encourage you to sing in the midst of anything you are going through.

0 comments

The Whole Armor of God

When the spiritual battle gets tiring, be reminded of standing. Stand with the Whole Armor of God that you will be able to withstand all.

Watch video of a chant version of Ephesians 6:10-18

0 comments