Welcoming 2019, Bidding 2018 Farewell

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Well, it’s been a while since I posted and I don’t have any super excuses, except being busy: teaching, writing, and drawing. In addition, since my dad died in 2017, I’ve been my mom’s caregiver…which since she has dementia, is time-consuming and oftentimes, frustrating. So, I gave myself permission to miss a few months of posting blogs and now I’m re-surfacing. However, I know that is not a good commitment to this blog spot, so one of my goals this year is to post at least one blog every month, if not more, throughout 2019.

As has been noted, 2017 was an awful year, but 2018 was a bit of a relief. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic, even though I lost an aunt, and several cousins…which is something that some of us of a certain age, unfortunately, have to grow accustom to. Nevertheless, loss is never easy whether expected or not. On the other hand, I have much to be thankful for in 2018. I had my first trip to Arizona, with my friend, Ann. I had never been to New Mexico or Arizona, so by driving out there in January I was able to cross two more states off my “been to” list. Now, California is the lone state out west (and Hawaii and Alaska) that I’ve not ventured to. I’m only missing New Hampshire and Maine out east – so goals! I don’t know whether I’ll make those this year, but I’m always open to travel when it presents itself. In addition, speaking of traveling, I spent a week in Florida and one in Atlantic City with my daughters and grandchildren, so I loved 2018 just for those trips, if nothing else! But there was something else. My creative ventures saw a good year as well. I ended up having my visual art accepted into 11 juried shows, and winning an HM at Art Association of Madison County’s show at the Anderson Museum of Art and a Judge’s Choice at the Northern Indiana Pastel Society’s Annual Exhibit. I also exhibited at other venues throughout the year, was the Muncie Artist’s Guild Artist of the Month in July; I took part in the 31 pastels in 31 day challenge in October (and successfully completed 31), and I had some nice sales of my work throughout the year. In 2019, I’d love to double those juried shows, sales, and maybe shoot for getting some art published in some lit journals. I’ll never know until I try!

I took part in the 365 Women a Year Playwrights Project again – my 3rd time in the 4 years it’s existed. So, by the end of 2018, I wrote three new plays, and two monologues. Also, one of my plays, “Frida Kahlo: Heartbreaker,” from a previous year was produced at NoPlays’ Herstory 3: Journeywomen in New Haven, CT in March (of which I was able to attend!), and that same play was produced at the 365 Women a Year Play Festival at FSU, produced by White Mouse Theatre Productions in November. So, I keep on keeping on with my playwriting goals in 2019. I hope to get more productions, and be even more prolific in writing plays.

Finally, poetry is where a lot of my writing flows and I guess there must be something about the number 11, because I was published 11 times (which for me is not a good average…meaning I didn’t write as much or submit as much to up my odds), but the major news: two books! My full-length collection, It’s Not Love, Unfortunately, was published in July by Chatter House Press, and Red Mare 16, my chapbook collection of Paparazzi for the Birds was published by Red Mare Press in November. I had several opportunities to read poetry this year, twice as a featured reader, once in Fishers and once in Toledo, OH. And, towards the end of 2018, my friend, Mary Sexson and I, formed Poetry Sisters…which you’ll hear more about during 2019. So, my goals for poetry in 2019: write more and submit more. I will also be officially launching It’s Not Love, Unfortunately, at Poetry on Brick Street in February. So, along with my books, and Poetry Sisters, I hope to be reading a lot more across the region in the coming year.

If that were not enough for 2018. I did become a great-grandma again in May, and I was selected to be on the board of the Midwest Writers Workshop, of which I’m quite honored. So, 2018 was a darn good year for me, personally. You notice I didn’t mention politics…all these good things happened despite what is playing constantly in the background.

So, I call this blog Writing Prompt Pit Stop, so I guess I should post a few prompts!

  1. In your daybook, write about a time that you’ve given yourself permission to take a break from something important to you, perhaps a blog, writing, painting, family, a person, and then picked up later better (or worse) than before. Take about 10 minutes and see what surfaces.
  2. Unfortunately,  a lot of us don’t get through any year without suffering some loss of some kind. It might be a loss of a loved one, a job, a friendship, a dream… So, make a list of losses – maybe from one year, or maybe a compilation. Then from that list pick the one that is either the hardest, or that comes easiest…and write. Maybe, have one of your characters suffer the loss(es), if that makes it easier.
  3. Write about traveling someplace that you’ve never been. Maybe you finally got to go, when you never thought you would. Was it as wonderful as you hoped? What was the most surprising thing about the destination? What is something that happened on this trip that you will never forget? Is it memoir worthy?
  4. Use these words in what you write: Fresh start, trigger warnings, Cactus.

As always, if you get anything that you want to share – post it below or you can always contact me at lylanne@lylanne.com

Bring on 2019, and keep writing!

Lylanne