Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Last week I wrote about a milestone for myself – it was actually 40 years ago on the 21st of May that I graduated from high school. This week, and actually 60 years ago on the 29th of May, that my parents got married. So, this week as we get into prompts we’ll think even more about milestones. This past Sunday my two daughters and I actually pulled off a surprise anniversary party for my parents…my joke about the surprise party was that it was a surprise that they made it 60 years (of course as of last Sunday they could have split in the past few days and not made it)…as I lived with them for 18 years…and I know the dynamics of the couple. I also know that I’m happy that they got together, or I wouldn’t be here. However, back in my youth, I spent many a time wondering why these two ever stayed together…now that they’re up there in years they do seem well-suited to one another…so do couples grow together against all odds? I wouldn’t know. As of now, my longest claim to a relationship has been a whopping 8 years…twice, to two different people. At this point in life, I do know that it would be sweet to be in a nice, loving relationship – but I’m still unsure that I would want to cohabitate at this stage in life…or even marry again, if I could here in the U.S. I also know that both of my daughters married young…and my oldest is coming upon 20 years in June, and my youngest will celebrate 16 years in November…and they’re all happy, and I’m happy for them. So this week for your 41st prompt we’re going to ponder those long relationship milestones in your lives or in the lives of your characters:
“Until Death Do You Part…”
1) In your daybook write about the relationship that you’re in now – what milestone year are you in the relationship, or what one are you nearest to? Is it a surprise that you’ve made it this far? What trials and tribulations have you made it through? Was this the person that you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with? Why or why not? Was it love at first sight, or did your partner/spouse grow on you over time? If you married, did you marry quickly or was it a long engagement? If you’re not married, but still with the same person…what has kept you from marrying? In your relationship, married or not, did you ever go through a patch that you didn’t think you’d make it through together? What was it? What kept you from throwing in the towel?
2) If you’re not in a relationship right now – why not? Is it by choice or by design? What was the breaking point that made you decide to stay single…at least for a while? Or is it just hard finding the right person? Why do you think that is? Is there someone that you wish that you were with at this moment? Why aren’t you? If you could, what would you do to make the relationship work this time around? If death took your partner/spouse from you, how does that make you look at relationships? Do you think you’ll ever find another or was that it? Why or why not?
3) Write about a couple you know well, perhaps parents, that you either did not know how they stayed together, or if you’re a child of divorce how you wished that they had. What sticks out to you about their relationship? How they loved one another? How they fought? How they didn’t talk to one another? Maybe it was how they held hands every night while watching TV, or maybe they played cards together, or the pet names they called each other…. How did this couple affect your expectations of a relationship? Use a photograph from their wedding day (or even your own) and write to that…knowing what you know.
4) Write on any of these prompts for 10 minutes or until you exhaust your subject. Some of the prompts may be harder to write about than others – especially if you’ve lost a spouse or had a bad break-up…; nevertheless, it’s sometimes the hardest things to write about that create some of the best writing. Remember, you don’t always have to write non-fiction/memoir…you can take some of your own experiences and fictionalize them…and give them to a character (or two). Any of these prompts will work in any of the genres: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or plays.
5) As with any writing, when you’ve written your piece…revise, revise, revise…until you’re ready to share your work with the world.
6) Once you’ve revised your piece, don’t hesitate to share it with me in the comments section or at email@example.com
See you next Wednesday! (Yes, I know today is Thursday this week…but it is the 29th…so I waited a day.)