Well, I can’t say that I will miss January. Bitter cold temperatures, high winds,and too much snow shovelling, a furnace that wouldn’t work properly making for some very cold mornings and not terribly warm days, a blocked sink due to water frozen in the pipes, and in the midst of it all my husband ended up in hospital for 5 days having emergency surgery. He, the first priority in all of this, is now doing fine, though unable to do anything strenuous right now, and hopes to return to work some time next week. The sink is unblocked and the furnace is being kind, though now the pump beside it is leaking–another service call for Monday, and lots of mopping up in the meantime. And the weather? Pretty much the same. The temperatures have risen a little bit (-3 degrees Celsius actually felt warm yesterday) but we’re expecting another snow dump today. Good-bye January, and good riddance!
Do you ever have times like that when so many problems conspire to challenge you all at the same time? How do you cope? I put a lot of things on the back burner. I cancelled classes, so I could be home when my husband came home from the hospital. I asked for an extension on a freelance project deadline, and tried hard not to feel guilty. We are all still tired, but grabbing a bit more down time is necessary right now. My son’s been off school for several days because of end-of-term final exams, so we’ll all be getting back into the rhythm of work life next week. In the meantime, small bites for everything else, and some time by the fire with a good book or my journal.
Onward to a new month and a fresh start! And to get some February creativity going, here are some new writing prompts.
1. Try using one, some, or all of these words in a poem or story:
- clock, chain, grip, moon, shade, lock
- band, star, blue, fever, petal, lie
2. Here are some opening sentences to try:
- “Carly hates me.”
- Peter hid under the table.
- The jewels sparkled in the sunlight.
- Marcus pulled his cloak more tightly around his shoulders
- “When was the last time you saw Henry Marsh?”
- Margot closed the book she was reading and turned out the light.
3. See if you can come up with a story to go with one of these titles:
Night Among the Mad, Spineless. The Secret Three, The Journey Home, Walking on a Shroud, In the Mirror, The House by the River
4. Think of a memory that involves a piece of music: a popular song that you always sang along to, a lullaby, a TV show or movie theme, a melody that you or someone you knew played on an instrument, a song you sang on the way to camp, or in church. Describe the events, people, or emotions that you associate with that piece of music. Do the same exercise for the main character in your story.
5. What scene can you weave around these lines of dialogue?
- How did you get here?
- No. Really, how did you get here?
- I think I’d better explain.
- I wish it would stop raining.
- You want to get back on the road, don’t you?
- Don’t you?
- Here. Catch.
- What is it? It’s really heavy.
- That’s not all it is.