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!


Writing…When Uncovering Old Hurts

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Most former students, and poet/writing friends who know me well…especially in the past twenty years, have known me to be a cheerleader of writing and know that I dedicate myself to writing something each and every day…even if just a few lines or an idea for a poem/play/story…. That held true all the way up until the past few months. What changed? I became my mom’s sole caretaker after her physical therapy at the nursing home was discontinued and she did not want to live there, in memory care, after my dad died in June. So, being the only child I decided that I could do it for as long as I could…physically and mentally. It’s the emotionally that I wasn’t prepared for. You see, I had given myself so much space from her over my adult life that I thought I’d given myself enough time and healing to not fall back into anything toxic she handed out. Well, I was wrong. Yes, she has dementia…and it has taken away the filter that could make her thoughts and opinions (on everything) tolerable. So, I have plenty to write about…but for the first time in twenty some years of doing it to heal, to add my own twisted sense of humor, and to explore things in a different way…I find that I can’t. It’s all too close, and old wounds have re-surfaced that I thought were dead and buried. However, I am looking on the bright side. I may not be able to write about this particular situation now, but eventually I will be able to. In the meantime, I’m using my creativity wisely and I’ve reverted back to my visual art for solace…and in many ways that has been an unexpected gift. Another unexpected gift is seeing (and understanding) why I struggled for so long to find confidence in myself, never knowing how to stick up for myself, or how to state what I needed…because I was never given that chance as a child…. I also have realized that my dad had good reason to be a grouch…and now I wish I had the chance to tell him…“Wow, now I understand.” Anyway, I have hope that my ongoing writing drills and aspirations come back with a vengeance. I believe this is the resurrecting of those feelings in this brief “confession.”

The last post I touched on Conflictbut it was not getting to the heart of the matter… the Hurt.

So, here are some writing prompts to hopefully get you to share (or at least get on the page) your hurt to begin healing:

  1. In your daybook write something that scares you or makes you feel uncomfortable. Maybe it’s something about a parent, a grandparent, an ex, a current partner. Usually when things scare you…that’s where the energy is. If you can’t bring yourself to write the truth, then make it one of your character’s problems/concerns/incidents.
  2. Write about a time that you were shocked by something your parent said. Were you a child, a teenager, an adult? What made it so shocking? Was it something about you, your other parent? Something mean about someone you know or a stranger?
  3. Write about a time that you were shocked by something your parent did. Maybe you found out they were having an affair. Maybe they were abusive to you or your siblings. Maybe they were an alcoholic or an addict. If you don’t have a shocking experience, maybe you can create a character for your story or play that is based on having something like that happen to them.
  4. Use these words in what you write: Hurt, Dinner, Mirror, Lilacs.

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!



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!