Writing Prompts

Wednesday writing prompt: Mark Twain and Margaret Atwood

Write for fifteen minutes on the following prompt:

meme: If Mark Twain and Margaret Atwood were to get together and write a book...
If Mark Twain and Margaret Atwood were to get together and write a book…

Post your work in the comments below or post it on your own blog and share a link to your blog post below. Continue reading “Wednesday writing prompt: Mark Twain and Margaret Atwood”

Writing Prompts

A Wednesday Writing Prompt

Write  for fifteen minutes on the following writing prompt:

Writing prompt: She refuses to admit she's not okay.
She refuses to admit she’s not okay.

Post your work in the comments below, or share them on your own blog and post a link below so we can read what you’ve written. Continue reading “A Wednesday Writing Prompt”

Writing Prompts

Writing prompt: The haunted restroom stall

A plastic female restroom sign in an office bu...
Beware: That last stall in the restroom is haunted! | A plastic female restroom sign in an office building in Palo Alto, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a stall in the basement restroom of my office building that I swear is haunted. It always sounds like there is someone in that last stall, rattling the toilet paper dispenser or shifting around on the toilet seat, even when you know for a fact that you are in the restroom alone.

Write a story about the haunted restroom stall and share your story in the comments below (or on your blog with a link to the post below.)









Continue reading “Writing prompt: The haunted restroom stall”

Bibliography, Writing Prompts

Annotated Bib: “Let Me Tell You a Story”

Glitter and Trauma
Bonus writing prompt: Write a story about this picture. | Glitter and Trauma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry comes from Rachel Spear, who argues that students may act as witnesses to trauma as enacted in trauma stories. You may view the full text here.

Annotated Bib Entry

Spear, Rachel N. “Let Me Tell You A Story.” Pedagogy 14.1 (2014): 53-79. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

In this article, Rachel Spear argues that teaching trauma narratives should not focus only on the trauma and the students’ response to the trauma. Instead, she argues that teaching trauma narratives can have a transformational effect on students as well as the teacher and the writer of the trauma narrative. Spear uses what she refers to as a “wounded healer pedagogy” which incorporates the healing of all participants. She also outlines a Writing as Healing course that she created to address these issues in the classroom. Continue reading “Annotated Bib: “Let Me Tell You a Story””

Bibliography, Book Reviews, Writing Prompts

An analysis of “Plaintext” by Nancy Mairs

The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at su...
This image has nothing to do with my post. I just think it’s pretty. And soothing. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. | The silhouette of a large saguaro stands at sunset in Saguaro National Park on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following is my third course autobiography for the course I am taking on women’s writing. I just have to write one more of these and then a 20-page final paper, and my homework will be done for the semester! In this piece, I wrote about how I would use this text to create a framework for a creative nonfiction essay assignment. I think this would also make an excellent writing prompt!

The Embodiment of Labels

In Plaintext, Nancy Mairs explores how individuals embody the labels that are placed on them by society. In her essay, “On Being a Cripple,” Mairs chooses to define herself as a “cripple” regardless of the fact that others may wince at the word. She says, “Perhaps I want them to wince. I want them to see me as a tough customer, one to whom the fates/gods/viruses have not been kind, but who can face the brutal truth of her existence squarely. As a cripple, I swagger” (9). She challenges the politically correct euphemisms that others use and would have her use to describe herself. In many ways, she refuses to meet society’s expectations of her as a cripple, even seeking to change the meaning of the word. I would like to teach this text in a writing course where I could ask students to examine their own labels, how they embody their labels, and how societal expectations based on these labels impact the individual, as well as how the individual can impact society by either meeting or shattering those expectations. Continue reading “An analysis of “Plaintext” by Nancy Mairs”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Shanghai Tower, vertical cities

Have you heard about the “vertical city” that is the new Shanghai Tower? According to a documentary I watched recently on PBS, the tower will contain everything that a person needs so residents will never have to leave the building. Can you imagine what it would be like to live like this? What if we all someday must move into these towers to escape the smog? And what will happen to the people who aren’t able to afford to move into these towers in such a future? Watch this video, and then write a story that takes place within this or a similar self-contained city.

As always, please feel free to share your work in the comments below, or post to your own blog and share a link to the post.  Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: Shanghai Tower, vertical cities”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday writing prompt: A home for elderly writers

Can you just imagine living in a community of cranky, neurotic writers? | RESIDENTS TAKE PART IN ORGANIZED DAILY EXERCISES IN ONE OF THE PUBLIC POOLS AT CENTURY VILLAGE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY – NARA – 548550 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I have this idea stuck in my head, and I can’t get rid of it. I envision it as a screenplay, even though I don’t have the slightest idea how to write one. It could be a movie or a television drama. But I am committed to finishing one of my current projects before starting another, so I just can’t allow myself to start writing on this one, no matter how badly I want to! Do you want to take a crack at it?

Writing Prompt

Setting: A retirement community for elderly writers.

Plot: The residents of this retirement community suffer all of the same ailments and need the same level of assistance as the residents of any retirement home. The only difference is, these residents are all writers! Some have written professionally for most of their lives, while others have always wanted to be writers and decided to join the community in an effort to spend their golden years doing what they always wanted to do. They have experienced varying levels of success, but not one of them has ever been a household name. Until today. Today, a bestselling author is about to join this writing community and turn the place upside-down.

Continue reading “Wednesday writing prompt: A home for elderly writers”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Whodunit?

English: Homeless man, Tokyo. Français : Un sa...
Our victim was only trying to help! | English: Homeless man, Tokyo. Français : Un sans abri à Tokyo. Español: Persona sin hogar, en las calles de Tokio. Türkçe: Evsiz adam, Tokyo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Picture it: A dead body. A seemingly open-and-shut case of robbery and murder. And then… A body camera, hidden in the victim’s lapel pin. Newly discovered video reveals that the victim was handing out blankets to the homeless on a bitter cold night. Who would kill this do-gooder? And why? Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: Whodunit?”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Food, part 2

Small fruit and vegetable market in Ventimigli...
Did someone say, “fruitful?” | Small fruit and vegetable market in Ventimiglia near the French border. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello again. In case you missed it, last week I posted part one of a writing prompt inspired by Joanne Karpinski’s essay, “Discerning Diversity in America” from Teaching Life Writing Texts (286-291). Today’s writing assignment consists of revising your original essay from last week. If you are just now joining us, please feel free to complete last week’s writing assignment prior to reading the rest of this post.

Part Two

“Revise [your] initial essay by establishing a social context for [your] personal narrative about food. How do the preparation, presentation, and consumption of food reflect larger value systems? How do attitudes toward certain foods connect to overall values—are they consistent or contradictory? How can food be used as metaphor in [your] expanded piece of life writing?” (289-290). Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: Food, part 2”