Writer’s Log, November 7th: Prompts!


Just this morning, I was describing to my friend Lisa the Parental Law of Averages. It’s a little known but fundamental law of maternal physics, but suffice it to say that it boils down to the fact that the one hour you choose not to check your phone is almost always the hour when someone gets a concussion, or a bloody nose, or gets sick in the most inconvenient and embarrassing location possible at school.

Clearly, someone up there was listening, because when I got home this afternoon, I intentionally set my phone aside so it wouldn’t be a distraction as I composed this writer’s log, and it was only when I got up forty-five minutes later to get a cup of tea that I noticed that the screen was lighting up like a Christmas Tree. Sure enough, as I was diligently generating ideas in the deep recesses of my imagination, I was simultaneously getting the Mother of the Year award thanks to the school’s frantic attempts to reach me while my daughter sat crying with a possibly broken wrist for upwards twenty minutes, comforted primarily — wait for it, the salt on this wound is of the finest variety — by another seventh grader.

Several hours, x-rays, and a splint later, she is just fine, but it’s been, to say the least, a day!

So instead of laboring long into the night to get some words of wisdom your way, I’m going to instead continue tending to my daughter, knowing that all the richness I give to my writing comes directly from the rich well of experience that’s filling every time I’m present for my kids when they truly need me, whether it be several hours at the doctor’s office and TLC for the rest of the night, or a moment of absolutely pure attention when they most want to be heard. As with writing, I obviously don’t always get it anywhere close to right, but it helps to know that I do these things because they are so much more important than just me.

So today, in honor of those cries for help that always, somehow, get met, I’m turning the tables on you and asking you to share your favorite writing prompts with all of us in the comments below! There’s nothing like a good prompt to get you back in the game, no matter what the sidelining might look like, and given all the wonderful comments you’ve delivered my way over the years, I have no doubt you have several up your sleeve I’ve never even heard of. Many thanks, and enjoy!


Art: Gustav Klimt, detail from Mother and Child, 1905

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