Looking to have an Ekphrastic Experience?

I will be teaching a workshop on Ekphrastic writing at the Indiana Writers Center on Monday, March 9th, from 6:30 – 9:30 PM. If you don’t know what Ekphrastic writing is, this is a chance to find out for yourself, experience some ekphrastic writing during the workshop while learning about it. If you already know ekphrastic writing this will still work for you too. Ideally, everyone will leave with a seed or two for some new poems or flash fiction. If this sounds interesting to you, the link to the workshop is found here.

After March 9th, return here for a prompt or two that you can use to do some ekphrastic writing! I also have some other writing workshops scheduled this year, so stay tuned for one near you!

Welcoming 2020! A New Year, A New Look!

I don’t know how others feel about it, but writing 2020 is pretty surreal. Of course, I’m old enough that reaching 1984 was stunning (and now we’re living it – with Big Brother everywhere, among other things), and then it was 1999 – the year we were all going to party like, because Prince was so cool (and now, Prince is no longer with us). For me, 2006 was another milestone year. It was the year I graduated with my master’s degree, and turned 50 all at once. Now, the next major year will be 2024 for me (and not because it’s an election year) because it will be 50 years since I graduated high school! 1974, where did you go? Anyway, with each year, if we’re lucky, we all get older. And, as they say, aging is not for sissy’s! However, I do feel lucky as my only complaint is my lower back pain, and it’s not every day, but some days I do feel like I must be 90…as slow as I get up out of a chair. The problem is – I don’t feel my age, and that seems to be something that happens when we all reach a certain age. So, you younguns can say “Ok, Boomer!” all you like – but it is true, and someday you will be talking about your aches and pains with friends and you’ll also begin wondering why the youth think you’re so “far out” there in la la land. LOL! Also, I am a “Boomer” and I’ll admit it. Nevertheless, I also am not as old as, say, a lot of presidential candidates who are not Boomer’s but get called that all the time. I’ll give them the president is a Boomer, but right at the very beginning. Goes to show, labels are not a way to lump everyone together. You’d think with all the technology that people could look up information and find out those facts, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

With that all said, you will notice (if you’ve followed me over the years) that my blog is not just Writing Prompt Pit Stop anymore. I have added other things to this site as my “hub” in 2020, but I will always leave you with at least one or two prompts – just for the fun of it – if that’s what you originally followed me for. I will begin blogging here about things that interest me, and of course, writing is a big interest, but also about art, and theatre. I may share things that are going on in the world, I may choose to write a book review, I may choose to interview somebody in the arts, but the main thing is – I’m changing it up. It’s a new year, it’s a new decade! I’m getting too old not to write and do what I want…which could mean I’ve finally turned into an “old codger” or it could mean that I’m keeping myself young, engaged, and hoping to do the same for others along the way.

I hope you join me as I make new discoveries this year! Don’t forget to check out the new page headings above which include: Home (where you are now), About, Contact, Plays, Poetry, Poetry Sisters, Visual Arts, and Writing Prompts. I will also add new things there as they come along. For those of you that would like a writing prompt or two (or three!), here you go:

1. No matter your age, you’re older than you were last year. Write what you like about being the age you are now. What would you tell younger people about what it’s like to be your age? What scares you about getting older? Do you fear death? Why or why not?

2. I made reference to 1984, and 1999, which are titles of the novel by Orwell and of the song by Prince. Can you write a poem or story that is devoted to a year in the future? Maybe you want to journal about something that happened to you in one of those years. Something could come of that…you know?

3. Maybe I brought up something you want to challenge or that you made a connection with. Maybe you don’t like the term “OK, Boomer!” Maybe you’re someone who says it all the time. Write your feelings down! Write for 10 minutes on whatever it is…and then see if you want to continue it into a story, a poem, or a short play. Go for it!

I hope you enjoy the new look, I hope you enjoyed the prompts, and I hope you will pay a visit again. If you feel like it, leave a comment or contact me directly.

Keep writing and creating!


Using Conflict to Create

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! I’ve been thinking about conflict a lot lately, it’s all around…it’s in our personal lives, it’s in our careers, and this year, especially, it seems to be everywhere on social media…because of politics and social issues. It can be quite frustrating to live with it all, I admit; however, as creatives we should welcome the conflict and use it to create. After all, for all of the bad reputations us sensitive types get for being snowflakes, we do have the advantage of being able to express ourselves in unique ways to reach others who may or may not think like us (yet!) through our art, poetry, stories, plays, and/or music.

Needless to say, not only do we have to stand up for our “art” to the outside forces who don’t understand us, we also have our own inner demons to add to our conflicted lives…the “am I good enough” thoughts that recur out of the blue,  the “can I create something better than I have” after we’ve we’ve won an award or gotten in “that” publication or won “that” role. Nevertheless, if you’re anything like me, you try to avoid conflict in our everyday lives…but I’m here to tell you we need to embrace it. Not because we want to lead tortured and tormented lives, but because we can use conflict to our advantage in our creative lives…we can create a character that can vent when we can’t, we can write a protest poem or song, or we can take a tough social issue to the stage or to the page.

So let’s use whatever is that source of your conflict to create! I have a few ideas for prompts to help get you started:

  1. Take 10 minutes and write in your daybook about some conflict in your life right this moment. It could be a relationship, your job, finances, spirituality, politics, well the list of conflicts could be endless…so, if you have more than one…make a list and then write the one that really feels that it wants to be explored. Or, write on the most difficult…remember, for our creativityconflict is good.
  2. Write about a time that you were mad at God. Then have your character take that anger and run with it…scare yourself if you need to, but remember it’s fiction, so let it all come out…or maybe you want to keep it real and make it a memoir piece.
  3. Write about a secret that you did not keep. Maybe you betrayed yourself…or someone else. What happened when the secret came out? What if you’d kept it to yourself? Again, this could be a memoir, it could lend itself to a poem, or it could be a character’s confession in a story or play.
  4. Use these words in what you write: Compliments, gaslighting, Sunflowers.

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

Keep writing!


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Week 3 No NaNoWriMo

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! So, this past week has been crazy for me as far as personal busy-ness with classes and commitments, and then I got to spend a little time away from all of that enjoying some art…but it was by driving about 10 hrs. round trip, which doesn’t get a lot of my own writing done. However, with that said, I have been inspired by seeing a lot of good art (and some not so good), and that’s never a bad thing – so during the first week I mentioned Ekphrastic writing, and that’s something that I will be doing again this coming week when I can steal a few free moments away. In addition, there were the awful events of Paris, atrocities that are not easy to write about…at least right away…but the one thing we creatives do have, that others do not…is our ability to get our feelings out…whether on paper, on canvas, on laptops, on the stage, etc…, and that helps keep us all going, I believe. So, as you can imagine – I did not get any of my plays written or worked on as I’d hoped, but I do have snippets of ideas and journal writings…and I have to be happy with that for this past week. I hope to write more this week!

Here are a few writing prompts for those of you that would like to use them:

  1. I got to see an interesting art show in Columbus, OH, this weekend called “After Picasso,” and it was a grouping of 80 artists that had been inspired by Picasso’s work…from Warhol, to Johns, to Jay Z, to unknown contemporaries. So, you might want to write in your daybook about one of your favorite Picasso pieces, or maybe he’s not your favorite artist – and you can explore that.
  2.  As those 80 artists did, they used a favorite artist to inspire a similar work. Last  week I suggested that you use a favorite author‘s lesser known character in your work, but maybe this week you can write in the same style, or in the same genre as your favorite author…maybe something a bit different than what you usually write.
  3. Maybe take 10 minutes of your day (or more) and write about the importance of the arts to you. As I mentioned above, arts are important…but, unfortunately, not everyone thinks so. In this crazy world where there’s so much violence and intolerance, maybe write an essay, or incorporate the importance of art/poetry/theatre/music in your fiction, poetry, or play.
  4. Use these words in something that you write: friendship/French/fork.

If you get anything that you want to share, you can always share it in comments below, or contact me: lylanne[at]lylanne.com

See you in a week! Don’t forget to keep writing!


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 18 Open Book

Welcome to Writing Stop Pit Stop! Here we are at day 18 of National Poetry Month already! Today was the prompt where we find a book, open it to two pages and then select words and phrases that we want to use, but as with all PoMoSco prompts, there’s a constraint with that! So, the prompt is found below. In the meantime, I had a great time with this as I opened up a book I own about Georgia O’Keefe and the words that jumped out were pretty racy…and fun to work with. I went with it and let the words and phrases I found lead me. I enjoyed writing this poem, and I guess we’ll see if anyone else likes it. Here’s my poem, “Bare Abstract.” Enjoy!

Here is the day 18 prompt, Open Book:

Choose a book or magazine as your source text. Select a two-page spread, scan through the text, and copy down any interesting words and phrases in the order you encounter them on the page.

When you’ve finished, write a poem using only these words and phrases without changing their order. No non-found words may be included in your poem. Poems should be presented in type, similar to a standard poem, and not contain additional visual elements or emphasis (you’ll do that for other badges).

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 18. 18 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco #13 Picture It!

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Today’s PoMoSco prompt # 13 was right up my alley as it combined two of my loves, art and poetry! It was to make an erasure poem…using art in any way you wanted…. So, here is my Picture It poem, “Extraordinary Common Birds.” Enjoy!


Here is the Day 13 prompt, Picture It!:

Take your inspiration from Tom Phillips’ A Humument  (http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/humument/slideshow/1-50) and create a poem that’s part erasure, part art.

Instead of simply marking out the text you don’t need, use markers, crayons, paint and other materials to turn it into a picture. Not a strong artist? Experiment with collage, using cutouts from magazines and other sources to obscure your unused text.

Scan your completed work — or take a picture of it — and upload it to the site.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 13. 13 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Time-Out from the Rat Race

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It certainly is a joyful time of year (for most people) and there’s a lot of hustle and bustle, planning, family, friends, gift wrapping, last minute shopping, daily commitments, meetings of all kinds… and we get so bogged down in everything that we’re doing that we forget to take time out…not for the season, (that was last week’s prompt topic)…but for ourselves; especially as writers and artists we get caught up in doing everything that we’re “supposed” to do, that we don’t relax…reflect…and create. It may not seem like there’s time with the “to do” lists we all have the rest of the year, let alone around or during the holidays. However, I’m here to tell you that to keep your sanity you need to take some time to yourself – even if it’s only 10 minutes a day to jot something in your daybook, or to draw or paint in your art journal or on a canvas. I think you’ll find that if you tell yourself – 10 minutes – it takes the pressure off, and once you are into whatever you choose to create…you’ll find that you’re relaxed, you’re enjoying yourself, and you might just allow that 10 minutes to turn into an hour or two. After which, you will feel refreshed, inspired, and ready to go on with all of your other obligations. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get a poem out of it, an idea for a new story, novel, or play, or for a new painting series. The point is, you’ll never know until you take a few minutes to yourself…and create. So my 57th prompt is to challenge you to do something creative for yourself:

“Time-Out from the Rat Race”

1) In your daybook write whatever comes to mind. Maybe you need to get something off of your chest that’s been bothering you, maybe you just want to write a letter to someone who’ll never see it, or maybe you have an idea that you’ve mulled in your mind for a while – get it down on the page or the canvas. Commit to 10 minutes, and stop there if you need to, but if you have the urge to keep going – do it.

2) As the holidays draw nearer…write a poem about how hectic they are. Or, how much you love the busy-ness. Or, how lonely you feel. Or, what makes all of the hustle worth it.

3) Try your hand at making a new “Scrooge” or “Grinch” character without infringing on them.

4) Just write or draw for the mere joy of it. Have Happy Holidays!

5) If you feel up to it, I’m always open to any sharing of your work, or comments on the blog…or you can contact me at lylanne@lylanne.com

I plan on being back here next week! 🙂