Writing Prompts

5 Jan

My mom, Darling, has always been a writer. It’s in her heart. In her spirit. Just something she does.

For years and years my mom lead a Monday Night Writer’s Workshop. Ladies came over bearing coffee and snacks, notepads and pens, with their little quirks and stories, bursting at the seams to be creative. During the two hours they were at our house, Darling would give them writing exercises and activities to stimulate their minds and help further their novels, poetry books or whatever they were working on.

Occasionally the group would ask me to join them and to this day I can recall the pride and nervousness I felt when I pulled up a chair and sat next to these ladies, some mothers, some grandmothers, others single free spirits. I knew that my middle school (or high school, depending on when this was) writing couldn’t quite keep up or be on par with the years of experience these ladies had. But I tried. I poured my heart on paper trying to “show not tell,” and attempting to come up with poetry that didn’t always rhyme but had amazing imagery.

A few times I chose to share my stories with the group: a piece about my hairy English teacher who had a passion for all things sci-fi; cheesy love poems about the boy next door; memories about raising our dogs from puppyhood. The ladies were always nice and found something positive to say about my writing even if they found it to be complete rubbish.

The women would leave by 10ish scattering a slew of papers for my mom to “look at,” and give editorial advice on because, she is after all, a true writer, freelancing for magazines and newspapers, trade journals and short stories. Lipstick stained coffee cups littered the table and an odd scent of perfume hung in the air.

Eventually the writer’s workshop died out as the ladies expressed themselves in other ways and my mom branched out professionally but she’s always encouraged me to write. I receive a journal each birthday or Christmas because you can never have enough. When I was going through a particularly craptastic time in my life four years ago it was Darling who encouraged me to blog, to get it out there, to connect with others. 

As always, Darling was right.

Not only did the craptastic time pass, I fell in love with blogging. I spent two years with Blogger before switching to WordPress (another story for another time).

Imagine that if I hadn’t listened to Darling’s writing prompt, I’d never have experienced this community, these friends, this part of my life that is so near and dear to me.

(Stay tuned! Blogoversary Giveway Details will be posted this Friday in honor of my two years at this little corner of the internet.)

What’s one suggestion/tidbit of advice your mom or influential female in your life gave you that greatly impacted your life?


14 Responses to “Writing Prompts”

  1. SoMi's Nilsa January 5, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Happy blogoversary. That’s really exciting, my friend! I think the best piece of advice I got was from my grandmother … through a birthday card she once sent me. On the front was a sexy, shirtless guy holding a light bulb. It asked, how many sexy guys does it take to change a light bulb? On the inside was the key … if you’re in the dark with a sexy guy, who needs the lights? Advice I’ve held close to my heart to this day! =)

  2. jen January 5, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    That is a great thing your mom does/did! i would have to say the best advice came from a former co-worker of mine who passed away in april 09 she told me that life is too short to wear clunky shoes and you can always leave filing for another day…

  3. LiLu January 5, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Hmmm. Probably telling me to wear a BEIGE bra under WHITE shirts? That was a good one.

    Happy Blogoversary!

  4. birthofablog January 5, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Happy Blogoversary!
    I love how your story began – with your mother’s writing and all. I was always more of a reader than a writer – but now the writing is coming through. Slowly, but surely.

    I would also like to congratulate you. I know that you haven’t gotten your MBA yet – but 6 months isn’t all that long, and with everything you have to do – it’s going to fly by! By the time you know it, congrats will be in order! =)

  5. Kyla Roma January 5, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Ha! I’m doing a giveaway on Friday too. Happy blogoversary- I’m so glad to have found you! As for advice? My mom used to say that men like the night because their deeds are dark. But I’m not sure that counts ;)

  6. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 5, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    This was a wonderful post – so well written, obviously your mothers skill has rubbed off on you!

    I LOVE that it was your mom who encouraged you to start blogging and I’m SO GLAD she did!!!

    My mom always talks me down from the edge when I’m freaking out about something that I really should’t be freaking out about!

  7. Emily Jane January 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    I didn’t really get a lot from my mum, and most of the influential people in my life have been male, with the exception of my nan. She’s the one who taught me so many skills at such a young age – how to make the perfect fairy cakes, how to iron (even started me off on teatowels and socks, for practice), that pouring tea from a height made little bubbles you could catch on your teaspoon and make a wish with, and not to be scared of thunder “because it’s the clouds bashing together” :)

    Happy blogaversary!! I have no idea when mine is!

  8. Liz January 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Looks like writing runs in the family!

    Best advice? I guess it was “apply for that internship” which eventually led to my current job/career. And “don’t marry him.” I didn’t, and I’m glad.

  9. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns January 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Happy Blogoversary. I love your use of the word ‘craptastic’. Such a fabulous word!

    I am so thankful for discovering the world of blogging & meeting so many other fabulous women! I don’t know what I’d do w/out my bloggy friends & I can’t wait to meet some IRL in 2010!

    Best piece of advice? Hmm, that is tough. My mom put oodles of advice in that journal she gave me when I graduated from high school – mostly advice about love and relationships. She saw that I was losing myself in my relationships and cautioned me against doing that. At the time I was a stubborn, cranky teenager, so I couldn’t listen & absorp it at the time, but now i realize the importance of staying true to myself when I am in a relationship.

  10. Jessica January 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    Hmm the best advice my dad gave lately was that relationships are not about keeping score. It’s something so easy but I needed to be reminded of, especially as friends and people in my life frustrate me. It’s so important not to keep score, but also not be taken advantage of.

  11. mandy January 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Your mom sounds amazing. Being able to participate in writing groups like that must have been phenomenal. I think one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from my college French professor, who was an incredibly liberal nun (and was a font of knowledge, advice, etc), was at the end of the day, you’re the only one looking back at yourself in the mirror–if you’re ok with what you see thats all that matters, not what anyone else sees.

  12. Margarita January 6, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. You are super lucky to have someone like that in your life – someone who encourages writing.

  13. E.P. January 6, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Happy blogoversary, lady! It’s amazing how your mom saying that maybe you should have a blog has snowballed into this and brought us together. I love it! And your mom sounds absolutely amazing.

    When I was going through a particularly rough breakup, my grandmother told me, “What is meant to be will be. If it’s not, you don’t want to lead a lifetime of regrets.” She’s a smart woman.

  14. bodeloublogs January 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    happy blogoversary.

    your post was lovely.
    the writer in all of us is drawn to this community for something other than just writing to be heard. its intangible and invaluable

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