Ghosts from the Past

It’s the beginning of a new year for some of us, and as days start to get longer, these weeks sometimes feel magically timeless. Old memories visit, new memories slowly compile, and I often experience a shivering sensation of mental states long past. It’s the perfect time to examine where you want to go in […]

Science Fiction Night

Here’s a short science fiction prompt from last night’s workshop. We spent even more time than usual last night writing. We squeezed in several prompts including an x-page. PROMPT This prompt reminds me of David Marusek’s stories. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Write a story that comes from this quote: “It’s not really a […]

Dealing with Procrastination

Procrastination and writer’s block can be big challenges for writers of many experience levels. Strategies for dealing with either are topics for whole books! The reasons we conflict with procrastination and writer’s block are also complex, and, likely, those complexities could be subjects of entire psychology books, if they are not already. One suggestion that […]

Word Rotisserie

Do you ever find yourself repeating and reshaping words or phrases in your mind? I do. Quite a lot actually. I like the way certain phrases feel chewy in my mouth, like I need to tenderize them with my teeth. David Weinstock suggests there are two ways to turn a sentence. First, so that the […]

Death Does Not Silence The Voices

This prompt grows out of a Nanowrimo word sprint dare from our “Sprint to the Finish” party at the Bixby Library. As many people were finishing up their novels, I gathered a few prompts that were more focused on fiction writing (and pantsers in particular), but I also adapted them for poets writing in our […]


We often use the term addiction to exaggerate our attachment to objects or behaviors. At the same time, we also discount the ease with which we can become addicted. With opiate crisis affecting individuals and families just about everywhere we look, this underestimation could be a serious mistake. Addictive behavior is much more than chemical […]

Index Your Life

I’ve been working through a training course in indexing lately, so the organization and presentation of information has been on my mind. I have to run with it whenever I recognize that something has captured my attention in such a way, so this week’s prompt is drawn from this recent preocupation. Tables of contents and […]

Textures: Fur, Fuzz, Cold Sheet Steel

Apologies for not posting these last few weeks. The burden of planning programming at the library is heavy on my mind. Still, the workshops at the library continue to be successful. AND Nanowrimo is coming in only a few days! I had been considering either another long narrative project for November or some version of […]

Slippery “Not”

Check out Anne Michaels’s “Not.” As the title presages, the poem is structured around the word “not.” Michaels repeats the word throughout, creating a slippery elusiveness to the language. A sense of playfulness and foreboding simmers behind this repetition. But the insistence of the repetition also avoids any nihilistic sense you might expect from the negative. […]

Maps and Writing

Maps have a long history of inspiring. One of my favorite concepts comes from ancient maps. You know, the kind with sea monsters in the boarders. These undefined areas are where borders (the map-kind and the personal-kind) get blurred, and as a result, all those fascinating hybrid monsters are created. Half-snake, half-fish. Half-eagle, half-lion. Half-horse, […]