I considered reflecting on the events of 2016, but frankly, there’s lots you really don’t want to know–honest. The above photo is from a family holiday that included visiting Seattle, WA and Victoria, BC. I have great memories of explorations in galleries, museums, rain forests and mountains–and quiet family times of reading while the sun set. I’m very grateful for that time with my family and for every morning that I wake up and know that I’m another day further into my life after last year’s cancer surgery–and feeling gratitude is not a bad way to start a new year.
But what will 2017 hold? I don’t know, but over the last couple of days I reread Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and I was reminded to “share whatever you are driven to share.” I write lots of non-fiction about writing. I enjoy it, and I’m going to keep doing it. I love motivating people to write. This year, I’m going to seek out other ways to reach new writers and help them share what they “are driven to share.” And if I find myself worrying about whether or not to take a risk, I’m going to remember this, too: “Hey, why not? Because it’s all just temporary.” Exactly, Elizabeth.
I hope that you have a 2017 filled with peace, and love, and creativity, too. To get you started on your creative goals for 2017, here are your writing prompts for January.
Use one, some, or all of the words in the following lists to inspire a story or poem:
- Slide, column, eye, remember, red, hidden
- Glass, case, door, fear, run, seal, black
- Escape, tunnel, race, battle, freedom, star
- Beam, rescue patience, delay, moment, revenge
Here are some titles that might suggest a story or two: Rate of Decay, Last Chance, Brother Why?, Indefinitely, A New Year’s Resolution, The Captain’s Son, Battle Stations, Just a Step Away, Love on New Year’s Eve, Holiday, Seeing in the Dark.
Try one of the following opening lines to start a story.
- Most people have a party or, at least, drink a toast with Anderson and Kathy on New Year’s Eve. Instead, I open my back door, a stray cat walks in, and an hour later I have a cat, four kittens and an old college sweat shirt that I will never wear again.
- The last time I saw Harry, he had that same dumb grin.
- Saying goodbye is never easy.
- If they could hear my heartbeats, I’d be found in about 30 seconds.
- Nothing made a castle colder than three days of uninterrupted rain.
- His cloak smelled of wood smoke and rain.
- Security! Report to Deck 9!
- I still haven’t told my family that I was fired.
- Helen always knew the wrong thing to say.
Here are a few snippets of dialogue. Can you write a scene using one of them?
- When was the last time you talked to Henry?
- This morning.
- Then, he told you.
- Do you want to get caught?
- Then keep up!
- I thought you weren’t coming back.
- I have something to say to you.
- Then say it.
- I’m getting cold.
- Just a little bit further.
- So, another hour?
- At least.
Happy New Year and may 2017 hold only good things for you!