Writing Prompt Pit Stop: Looking Back, Leaping Forward!

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s a new month, a new year, and it’s a leap year at that…so an extra day to write! It’s hard to believe that this is going into my fourth year of writing this blog. Granted, some years I’ve been more consistent with my posts than others – but every year I start out with the best intentions of writing a blog every week, and sharing a few prompts that might encourage others to write something…anything at all…in any genre. Sometimes I use a photo, that I’ve taken, as a prompt but mostly I use a few ideas that I’ve either observed, experienced, or have found to be tried and true in my own work. I try to always write the prompts in such a way that no matter if you’re a poet, fiction writer, nonfiction writer, or playwright, you’ll find something helpful. So if you’re new here, welcome aboard.

Looking back on 2015, I had challenged everyone to write something everyday at this very time of year. I did pretty well during 2015 in doing that; however, my big change was that I wrote way less poetry and wrote way more short plays. I stayed creative by teaching several creative writing workshops in the region, and I was active every month of 2015 in at least two-three small writing groups a month (I think every writer needs at least one trustworthy small writing group). Some of which I’m the “leader,” and some where I’m just a participant. I did lose a supportive poetry group, Company of Women, at least as it once was, last year with one of my cohorts, and friend, moving to the west coast, and with me moving to MI and becoming more involved with theatre. In theatre, I gained a lot of new friends and new opportunities. I directed five short plays, won two awards – one an audience choice for my play, “Frida Kahlo: Heartbreaker,” that I wrote and directed, and the other was a scholarship at Boxfest Detroit 2015; as a director I was eligible to propose a project (Portable Folio Productions), which was to create a playwriting/directing group that meets once a month, puts on staged readings, and will ultimately culminate in a major production in September of 2016. Nevertheless, I did have several poems published in 2015, participated in National Poetry Month’s, Found Poetry Review‘s Pomosco Challenge (a poem written to their supplied prompt every day) and completed it. I was a featured reader several times early in the year…so all in poetry land was not lost.

Leaping forward into 2016, I have my goals set. If you’ve read this blog before at this time of year, I always advocate setting goals rather than making resolutions…I find goals easier to keep track of and attain. It also comes with a plan instead of “wishful” thinking. I’ve already laid some ground work for this year by submitting a chapbook and a full-length poetry manuscript towards the end of last year. This year, three days in, I’ve written two new poems and have submitted another chapbook submission. I finished three short plays at the end of 2015 that I had committed to writing for 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project ; one was about Peggy Lee, one on Helen Frankenthaler, and the other on Patsy Southgate. Hopefully they will find their way to the stage somewhere. So, the goals that I have in 2016 is to keep up the writing pace of 2015 – and to bump it up. To get a poetry chapbook or manuscript published; to write more plays…I’ve again committed to three more plays for the 365 Women a Year Playwriting Project in 2016. And, yes, this is the year I vow to complete a novel that I started in 2007. So writing is going to take up a lot of 2016, and that makes me happy. What are your writing goals for 2016? I wish you the best in whatever type of writing you do and I hope you have the success that you seek.

Here are a few prompts to help get you jump started on your writing journey in 2016:

  1. I enjoy the show Downton Abbey, and tonight (in America) is the 1st show of the final season. I believe it hooked me because of the characters and the interesting story lines…and because I love history. In your daybook, write a character or a scene from another period than our own. Develop it as much as you can in 10-20 minutes.
  2. On New Year’s Day it’s been a tradition in my family to cook cabbage for good luck. Write for 10 minutes about a tradition that has been passed down through the years in your family. How did it start? What are you afraid might happen if you don’t participate? Have you ever missed the tradition and the year turned out to be a bad one…or better than ever?
  3. If you write poetry, challenge yourself to write in a different way than you normally do. If you always write free verse, try something formal such as a sonnet, a haiku, or a pantoum (my favorite). If you always rhyme, try writing free verse.
  4. Use these words in whatever genre you write: privilege/January/ scandal.

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! Happy New Year!!


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco #23 Click Trick

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! I didn’t get this one completed on the 23rd because of grading and going to auditions for a play that I’m directing, so I had to go back and do it as I plan to get all 30 poems in for the 30 days of National Poetry Month! So for this PoMoSco prompt, we were to use a computer program to create our “erasure” poem. I used Paint and Microsoft Word since I didn’t have time to play around with the free version of Photoshop…which I used to know a bit about…but that was years ago! Here is my Click Trick poem, “Reputation.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 23 prompt, Click Trick:

Start by gaining access to Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat. Free 30-day trials of both software programs can be downloaded at http://www.adobe.com/downloads.html.

You’ll also need a digital copy of your source text in an image or PDF format.

If you are using Adobe Photoshop:

Open your source text in Photoshop — when you do so, it automatically opens the image in its own layer. Add a new layer on top of your source text. Select the brush tool and choose a color swatch of your choice. You can use the eyedropper tool to select the color of your page background (for a true erasure look), or select another color of your choice. Paint over your source text, obscuring lines until only the words of your erasure poem remain.

For a video tutorial, watch Jenni B. Baker’s 8-minute demonstration of how she creates erasure poems for her Erasing Infinite project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T__RD1aDsPY.

Save your completed work as an image file (JPG or PNG preferred).

If you are using Adobe Acrobat:

Open your source PDF text in Acrobat. Navigate to the “Tools” then “Protection” Toolbar. Click “Mark for Redaction” and then drag your cursor over the sections of the text you wish to remove. Click “Apply Redaction” to remove that section permanently. By default, Adobe places a black bar over any redacted text; however, you can change this color (to white, for instance) under “Redaction Properties.”

For a video tutorial, watch How Tech.Office’s demonstration, “How to Redact in Adobe Acrobat”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71Cm4Owomlg

Save your completed work as either an image file (JPG or PNG) or a PDF.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 23. 25 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 25 Crowdsource

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Well, with today’s PoMoSco prompt # 25 there’s only five more to go! I have one more prompt to go back and post for those of you that have been following along, and that’s Day 23 – Click Trick. Nevertheless, I did get today’s done on time! This is one that took me outside of my comfort zone, as it involved me either sitting in a public place with a sign for people to come over and talk to me, or to go up to random people with my concrete noun to define…and that’s the option that I chose. There is a big art event here in Toledo, Ohio, called Artomatic 419 and so I figured that was a pretty good place to find some people that wouldn’t find my request strange. So, here is my Crowdsource poem, “Written Emotions.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 25 prompt, Crowdsource:

Pick a public place with a lot of foot traffic. Select a concrete noun (e.g. tree, wax, mouse, window). Hold or display a sign inviting the public to contribute their definitions of the word or talk about what they think about when they hear that word; alternately, walk around and ask random people to contribute.

Collect a minimum of ten definitions, and use those words to write your poem. Do not include the chosen noun anywhere in the poem’s body or title.

Cite your collection method, location and chosen word at the bottom of your post.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 25. 25 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 24 Best Laid Plan

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Today, I skipped one since I didn’t get yesterday’s done yet – so today’s PoMoSco prompt is the Best Laid Plan. I chose to do a poem from the Toledo Museum of Art’s member magazine, arTMAtters. It was taken from an article on Werner Pfeiffer, and I omitted anything that had to do with art or creativity…which would leave us with a pretty grim world, huh? Here is my poem, “The Possibilities of Harsh Realities.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 24 prompt, Best Laid Plan:

Approach a text with a plan to remove something. Think beyond just a single word and instead consider removing references to a subject or emotion, actions taken by certain characters, colors, etc.

Whatever you choose, apply your approach and, keeping as much of the remaining text intact as possible, create your poem from results.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 24. 24 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 22 Dialed In

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Well, I’m caught back up with this one to the 22nd prompt from PoMoSco for National Poetry Month. For this one we had to use a phone # (real or imagined) and use that to make our own formula to create a poem. I used John Ortberg’s book Soul Keeping for this one. I used only the first line of each page starting with Chapter 1. So, 10 numbers X 6 times through to get my word bank = 60 words (or thereabouts) to create my poem…and I can’t believe I’m talking math again two prompts in a row! Anyway, here is my poem “Your Image.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 22 prompt, Dialed In:

Start by choosing a phone number — your own, one from a business, or one you make up. Write out the full number (including any area codes) as a series of digits without dashes or parentheses.

Decide what your numbers will correspond to — words, sentences or pages.  For instance, if your first number is two (2), you could choose to grab the second word on a page, the second sentence on a page, or the second page in the book.

Do this for each digit in the phone number. You can cycle through the phone number series multiple times if necessary to generate enough text for your poem.

Post your completed poem to the site, and add a citation for your source text. Do not post the phone number you used, out of privacy considerations.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 22. 22 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 21 Pinch an Inch

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! I’m almost caught back up, one more after this one and I’m even with the days of National Poetry Month again, whew! So today’s PoMoSco prompt I chose to use was “Pinch an Inch,” and, just like it sounds it uses some math skills…or at least using a ruler and a text! I’m not big on math, but I have come to realize that a lot of poetry does use a lot of it…I just choose to ignore that fact! LOL! Anyway, I chose the novel, Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver to get the needed words for my 21st poem of the month: “Nobody Territorial.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 21 prompt, Pinch an Inch:

Begin with a source text of your choice and a ruler. Mark off a column of  text one vertical inch wide down and extending down one or more pages — you might choose, for example, to use an inch down the center of your page, or along the page’s left or right margin. Craft your poem using only words located within your vertical column inch(es).

If you decide to use multiple pages, locate your vertical column inch in the same location on each page (i.e. all center columns, all right margin columns, etc).

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 21. 22 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 20 Off the Shelf

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! So, I’m still playing catch up, but I’m getting back on track! For PoMoSco prompt 20 we were to go to a library or bookstore…and while on our way there make note of our surroundings/observe. I was still in Indianapolis when I did this prompt yesterday, so that was obvious to me. I selected my books to peruse in Barnes & Noble on Indianapolis. Here is my resulting poem, “Indianapolis: Concrete & Humanity.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 20 prompt, Off the Shelf:

Head to your local library or bookstore, making a mental note of things you see on your journey there — you might, for instance, see construction taking place, drive by a used car dealership, pass a printing shop or spot a group of birds  in the trees.

Make one of the things you saw your research topic for the day and find five books related to that topic in your library or bookstore’s stacks. Compose a poem using only the words and phrases  found on the first five pages of each text, excluding introductory matter.

Make a note of your sources and include the citations along with your completed poem.

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 20. 21 Apr 2015.