Monday Funday Short & Sweet

Hey Everyone!

Isn’t it great to be back in the swing of things?

Well, almost back in the swing… since I didn’t realize until about midnight that today was the 3rd Monday of the month already which means it’s a Short & Sweet day! 🙂

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

But since we’re all just starting into the new school year – not just as writers, but many of us as teachers and students as well – I thought it was important to have our beginning-of-the-week (and school year!) inspirational writing prompt.

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s as much as I do! 🙂

milking

Here’s what to do – and your answers can relate to yourself, one of your children, or a character in a story you’re writing… or maybe you’ll create a character for a story you haven’t written yet!  Whoever you choose to write about, hopefully it will end up inspiring story from somewhere!

Okay!  Write each of the following on a piece of paper (or a word doc or whatever)

  1.  a specific ordinary item from your childhood home (e.g. clothespins, books, embroidered doilies)
  2. two product names from your childhood/past (e.g. Clorox, vinegar, Tide)
  3. a phrase describing your childhood home (e.g. dirt under the back porch, slamming screen door, shingles red as sunset)
  4. adjective, adjective, sensory detail relating to the phrase in #3 (e.g. black, glistening, it tasted like beetles)
  5. a plant, flower, tree or natural item from your childhood home (e.g. the forsythia bush, Dutch elm)
  6. description of item in #5 (e.g. whose long gone limbs I remember as if they were my own)
  7. family tradition and family trait (e.g. fudge and eyeglasses, easter eggs and hair in braids)
  8. 2 names of family members (e.g. Imogene and Esther; can also be something like Grammy or Dad)
  9. description of family tendency and another description of family tendency (e.g. know-it-alls and pass-it-ons)
  10. something you were told as a child and something else you were told as a child (e.g. Perk up! and Pipe down!)
  11. 2 representations of religion or lack of (e.g. he restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb and ten verses I can say myself)
  12. place of birth and family ancestry (e.g. Artemus and Billie’s Branch)
  13. 2 food items that represent your family  (e.g. fried corn and strong coffee)
  14. specific family story about a specific person and detail (e.g. the finger my grandfather lost to the auger)
  15. another detail of another family member (e.g. the eye my father shut to keep his sight)
  16. location of family pictures, mementoes, archives (e.g. under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures)
  17. line explaining the importance of family items (e.g. those moments snapped before I budded, leaf fall from the family tree)

Now, take everything you wrote and turn it into an I Am From poem by filling in the blanks: (the numbers from above are in parentheses below the lines) (and don’t worry!  there are examples of finished poems below to help you get the idea! 🙂 )

I am from ______________________________
#1 (specific ordinary item)
From ________________________ and __________________________
#2  (product name)                      #2  (product name)
I am from the ______________________________________________
#3 (home description)
___________________ , _________________ , ________________________________
#4 (adjective)              #4 (adjective)           #4 (sensory detail)
I am from _________________________________________ ,
#5  (plant, flower, natural item)
________________________________________________________________________
#6   (description of above item)
I’m from ____________________________ and ______________________________
#7  (family tradition)                         #7   (family trait)
From ______________________________ and _________________________
#8  (name of family member)            #8   (another family name)
I’m from the ____________________________ and ______________________
#9 (description of family tendency)           #9 (another one)
From _________________________________ and ________________________
#10 (something you were told as a child)                #10 (another)
I’m from ___________________________ , __________________________________
#11 (representation of religion or lack of), (further description)
I’m from _______________________________________________
#12 (place of birth and family ancestry)
______________________________________ , ________________________________
#13 (a food item that represents your family)      (another one)
From the ______________________________________________________________
#14 (specific family story about a specific person and detail)
The _________________________________________________________
#15 (another detail of another family member)
_________________________________________________________________
#16 (location of family pictures, mementos, archives)
__________________________________________________________________
#17 (line explaining the importance of family items)

And for examples of finished poems:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 10.40.34 PM

So try your own!  Have fun with it!  See how poetic and evocative you can make it and share it in the comments below for all of us to enjoy!  Remember, it can be about your own self, your child, or a character from a story you’re working on!

I hope it will give you some inspiration!

(And I will try to add in my own sample this morning, but as I mentioned I wasn’t quite in the swing of things and it’s way too late for me to pull that off now!  We’re talking wee hours 🙂 )

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!

 

Monday Funday Short & Sweet – June

It’s the third Monday of the month, and you know what that means!

 

Well, no, not donuts… although that is a good guess and given the “sweet” in today’s activity maybe we should have donuts…

So, ok, donuts:

dark chocolate creme donut

But what I was actually referring to, you incorrigible donut hounds 🙂 , is Monday Funday Short & Sweets!

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

Nothing like a little warm-up writing fun to kick off the day and the week, don’t you think?  Who knows what great story idea we might spark from this!

So.

Today’s Short & Sweet will work best if you don’t peek.  I’m not quite sure how to accomplish that on a blog post, so let’s go on the honor system – no scrolling down yet!

First, pick a number from 1 – 10.  Got it?  Write it down.

Now pick a number from 1 – 10 again and write that down.

Now do it again.

And now one last time.

(BTW, it’s okay if you pick the same number more than once.  If you want to make it really random you can roll a pair of dice and just discard any 11s or 12s you get.  Or take an Ace through 10 out of a deck of cards and randomly choose cards to see what numbers you get.)

Hopefully you now have 4 numbers between 1 and 10 written down.  (For example, I have 5, 9, 3, and 2.)

Now.  Use your first number to select from this list:

Character:

  1. a boy who comes from the Land of Nod
  2. a guinea pig who always carries a lucky penny
  3. a princess who is mischievous
  4. a knight who hates to get wet
  5. a dinosaur who is forgetful
  6. a king who loves licorice
  7. a witch who loves to whistle
  8. a monster who is shy
  9. a robot who is to curious
  10. a cowboy who loves bugs

 

Use your second number to select from this list:

Setting:

  1. outer space
  2. a birthday party
  3. the shore of Lake Chaubunagungamaug
  4. a city sidewalk
  5. the edge of a meadow
  6. zoo
  7. the soda fountain
  8. lighthouse
  9. circus
  10. campsite

 

Use your third number to select from this list:

Time:

  1. nap time
  2. June twilight
  3. just after losing first tooth
  4. during a blizzard
  5. snack time
  6. after losing the big game
  7. first light of morning
  8. the day before Halloween
  9. the first really hot day of summer
  10. moments before the school play

 

Use your last number to select from this list:

Situation/Challenge:

  1. someone’s feelings have been hurt
  2. someone is having a bad day
  3. someone had a fight with a friend
  4. someone is stuck or trapped somewhere
  5. someone is lonely
  6. someone can’t climb to the treehouse
  7. someone wishes s/he were bigger
  8. someone is moving away
  9. someone is being chased by an animal
  10. someone broke his/her big toe

You should now have a randomly selected character, setting, time, and situation/challenge – everything you need to prompt a story!

In the comments below, list the 4 you got and write 50-100 words of whatever story they suggest to you!  Don’t agonize!  Don’t over-think!  We’re all among friends.  Just write!  All we’re doing here is priming the pump.  If all you can squeeze out is 50 rusty words, that’s fine!  You wrote 50 words in the middle of your hectic, busy day!  But maybe, just maybe, 25-50 more will trickle out a little less rusty, and maybe after you’ve written your 50-100 here you’ll find you’ve got a gush of clear water rushing forth and a whole  new story will well up and land on your list of accomplishments for today!

Oh, and if you find it’s too hard to include all 4, it’s okay to just use 1, 2, or 3 of the prompts you picked – the exercise is just to get ideas and words flowing 🙂

Here’s my example in case you don’t quite get it:
The numbers I chose were 5, 9, 3, and 2, so I get

Character #5 – a dinosaur who is forgetful
Setting #9 – circus
Time #3 – just after losing first tooth
and Situation/Challenge #2 – someone is having a bad day

Given these prompts, I might write the following 50-100 words:

So far, Reinhold was not having a good day.

He was last to the breakfast table so all the Frosted Flakes were gone.

His favorite blue-sequined tight-rope walking outfit was in the wash, so he had to go to practice wearing the stupid red and green striped one that made him look like a triceratops-shaped elf.

Worst of all (and the reason he had been late to breakfast) he had lost his first tooth.

This should have been a good thing.  He had been looking forward to this moment for months, ever since Jiminy had lost his first tooth…and then Alvin…and then Sparky.

He had begun to worry that maybe his baby teeth were going to stick in there forever.  Maybe he’d never lose a tooth!

But now he had.

And he hadn’t just lost it.  He had LOST it.

 

Tonight the Tooth Fairy would come to the rainbow-colored circus tent where Reinhold was supposed to be sleeping soundly.

She would look under his pillow for his first baby triceratop tooth.

And she would find . . .

NOTHING!

Because Reinhold could not remember where he had put it!

 

Okay.  So I went a little over with 188 words 🙂  But I hope you’ll get carried away too!

See how easy?

Ready, Set, WRITE!!!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone!!! 🙂

 

 

 

Monday Funday Short & Sweet

Hey, Everybody!

Do you know what day it is?

If you said the third Monday of the month, Monday Funday, the day Short & Sweets returns to a blog near you (er… this one! 🙂 ) then you win the penny prize!

SS Spring Badge Susanna Hill - Final Small

badge created by Loni Edwards

The object of Short & Sweets is to jump start our writing, whether it’s Monday morning or any other time of the week.  Short & Sweets are fun little exercises we can do together and share to get the writing sparks flying!  We will all inspire each other’s creativity.

I’ll supply a challenge.  You put your response in the comments.  Then scroll through and see how everybody else responded.  Maybe whatever you thought up won’t spark a story idea for you, but maybe someone else’s response will!  (And don’t worry – everything will be vague enough that there’s no way 2 people will ever write the same story off the same prompt.  It just doesn’t work that way :))

So are you ready?

Pull up a chair amongst your friends here, help yourself to a breakfasty snack, and let’s get writing!

coffeetea bagels

Here’s today’s challenge: (we’re going nice and simple to ease you in… 🙂 )

Write the opening sentence of a picture book.

The sentence should introduce the main character and the story problem.

For example:  Ava had a hard time falling asleep.

Easy peasy, right?!

Let’s see how many opening sentences we can generate!  Feel free to share more than one!

I’ll start.

Jasmine Bloom had the worst superhero power ever!

Now you go…!

I can’t wait to see what opening sentences you come up with!

Happy writing everyone!  Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂