Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Last evening while back in Hartford City, Indiana, a town that I lived in for 25 years of my adult life, and that I grew up in…at my uncle’s restaurant (I was 9 years old when he opened it, and started as a dishwasher at 13, and a waitress at 14!), I revisited a lot of memories. I was there to go to the funeral home for my ex-father-in-law’s visitation. He was the first of my two grown daughters’ grandparents to pass away. When I divorced their dad 31 years ago, it was not a pretty one (not that divorces ever are, and there was a strain and strife that someday I will write about but this is not the time). His death brought back a lot of memories, a lot of good ones that I’d had with my in-laws and that I hadn’t thought of in years, because for some reason the bad ones seem to take precedence. There was some healing and some closure, for me at least, as I talked to my daughters’ aunts and uncles – people at one time I called brothers and sisters for eight years. In addition, I spent a few hours with my elderly parents who came to the funeral home as well. And, then the three of us went to the Pizza King for supper before I headed back home to Toledo.
This also brought back memories for me, because when my uncle opened his restaurant it was a Pizza King franchise. However, about four years later he wanted to bring a few new items onto the menu and the restaurant for a time was called the Homestead-Pizza King; then eventually he broke with the franchise and it was called Homestead Keg & Kettle, and then for a time Carben’s Keg & Kettle until he and my aunt retired from the restaurant business. My uncle, Ben Hodgin, is now the mayor of Hartford City. Times do change, but just stepping into a Pizza King restaurant – the aroma of those particular pizzas, bring memories back, as do the tastes. Nothing tastes like those pizzas…and believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of pizzas all over this country! I’m rattling on about memories and pizza, so guess what your thirty-fifth writing prompt deals with?
“Memories are a Royal Feast“
1) In your daybook write about a food that whenever you smell it or taste it, you are back at a certain time in life, or a special place. Who are the people you are with? Can you describe how that food tastes? How it looks? How it smells? Remember those senses help bring your writing to life.
2) Pizza King was started in Muncie, Indiana, and it is pretty much an Indiana staple…when you don’t live in Indiana they’re pretty hard to find, if they even exist outside of the state’s borders. It’s the same with White Castle – you can’t find those all over the U.S., and around Toledo we have Tony Packo’s…so why not write about a regional restaurant or a regional food that’s not found everywhere. What about when you move and don’t even think about what restaurants or foods that you’re going to miss, that could bring out a lot of good writing.
3) Maybe as I was writing about my first jobs, or my divorce, or going to a funeral home…that brought up some ideas for you to explore. With any of these prompts, set aside 10 minutes and write as much as you can…if you find that you have more than 10 minutes worth coming out on the page, great! Keep going until you come to a natural stop.
4) With any of these prompts you can tailor them into a poem, a piece of fiction, an essay, a memoir, or even a 10 minute play. All you need to do is get your ideas down on paper, and the decide which genre you want to work in, then add/delete whatever is needed to make the best piece possible. Remember the real art of writing is being able to find the right word(s), making those good images, etc. That won’t always come in the first draft, and sometimes not even in the third…or thirty-third. It takes tenacity and a desire to write well.
As with all writing, this “Memories are a Royal Feast” writing should be fun! And I remind you that if you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.
Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!