October Prompt

Recently, I was visiting some friends and happened to notice a bust of the Greek goddess Aphrodite on one of their bookshelves. Like so many Classical statues, this one was missing part of its nose. I had always assumed that the damage done to these statues had been caused by the wear and tear of age, but after seeing this one of Aphrodite, I decided to do a little research on the matter. I discovered that this damage to the statues had less to do with age and more to do with vandalism. In ancient times, people believed that the spirit of a person or supernatural figure could inhabit the statue. By destroying the nose, vandals intended to destroy the spirit's ability to breathe and, therefore, its ability to survive. For this prompt, tell us about an object that you own—or perhaps one you know of—that seems to hold, at least in some small way, the spirit of a person.

September Prompt

It is September, and school is back in session. Using words, paint a portrait of one of your memorable teachers. Close in tight for the details—the way she pronounced Faulkner with a lisp, the way he pulled his comb from his pocket and ran it through his hair in the middle of lectures, or the way they were always quoting Saturday Night Live to lighten the mood before a test. Let the details of your portrait show us why you vividly remember this teacher.

In our freewriting workshops, we normally set the timer for 10 minutes, but you may wish to set yours for 15, 20, or 30—whatever feels comfortable to you.

As always, be kind to yourself as you write.

August Prompt

Summer is waning now. Where I live in the mountains of North Carolina, I can see the faint shift in light, a few more shadows across the landscape that hint of the coming fall.


For this month's prompt, reflect on this summer. Did you learn anything that you didn't know in May? Did you do anything you had never done before? If so, can you tell us about the experience, put us in your shoes as you lived it? I'm not necessarily referring to that overseas trip you always wanted to make, although that certainly works, too. Your experience, though, could be as simple as taking your first bite of a new food, visiting a local art museum and being blown away by the artist's night sky. It could be hitting your first tennis ball or catching your first foul ball at a baseball game.

You might think about why this particular experience sticks out to you. Maybe you want to give us some context for it, focusing on the environment or the surrounding culture. If other people were involved, maybe they are your focus. Maybe your personal history that brought you to this new experience is what you'd like to explore. 

In our Freewriting workshops, we normally set the timer for 10 minutes, but you may wish to set it for 15 or 20 or whatever time feels comfortable to you.

Go deep . . . and be kind to yourself.