Friday, April 02, 2021



You’ve probably heard the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Today, I’d like to look at one word and see what kind of picture you can “draw” from it. Can you turn that picture into a thousand words? But you know me. I’ll add a little twist to it. The word won’t have just one definition and I want you to show at least two of those definitions in your writing or at least have fun trying. I do want you to enjoy the creative process!

 Photo credit: pixabay

Today's Writing Prompt

Today’s writing prompt is a dictionary prompt.The word to consider is providence.

  • Meaning 1:. The protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.
  • Meaning 2: Prudence in the management of one's concerns or in private economy
  • Meaning 3: Foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation. How many of the troubles and perplexities of life proceed from want of providence!

This can be fiction or non-fiction. You don’t have to use the word but you have to show it in action. To nudge your muse (if it needs it) here is a short list of scenarios to consider.

  • The life of a person who is homeless and without hope is turned around through a series of coincidental encounters.
  • A couple who has wanted a child and been turned down at every turn ends up with a family of three children in the end.
  • A person who is crushed by loss and thinking of ending their life finds new purpose in helping others through their loss.
  • A wealthy woman who has no family learns she is going to die.


Saturday, October 26, 2019


A premonition is a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant though not always unpleasant. It can come in a dream, be based on a vision, or even a feeling. It can even come about through an ability to somehow see the future...or perhaps the past.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Today's Writing Prompt

Develop a scene based on a premonition. 

Questions to consider if you need help getting started.

What does your character see?
How do they see it?
Based on what they see, what don't they see or understand?
Can they hear sounds related to the premonition? (This can add an element of interest, a clue intended to be misleading or distracting, or it could work as a harbinger.)
Do they change the way the live based on what they see?
How does it change their life?
How is the premonition fulfilled?
Or was it? 

Image by Lothar Dieterich from Pixabay

Writing Challenge

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to incorporate a beginning, middle and end.

For the visually creative, I've added a few visual prompts for your muse to use as a springboard. Have fun. Write on.


Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

Friday, March 23, 2018

Snatching Ideas, Making Them Into Writing Prompts, and Putting Them to Work

My grandmother once accused me of having an overactive muse, and I believe she was right. But it has served me well as an writer and author. As a writer, I'm sure you can relate. The writer's mindset sees possibilities for stories in the oddest places. It's one of the reasons I enjoy writing prompts. The trick is to snatch these ideas and put them to work.

Collect Writing Prompts

For instance as I cleaned out some old files today, I found a pamphlet for a ride on a steam powered train in the mountains of Tennessee. As I continued to sort through files, I thought about how the ride on that train would differ depending on the time of year, and then I let my imagination travel back in time to when steam engines were the latest technology, but how in some ways life was so much simpler. Can you imagine going to the train depot to watch people disembark from the train for something to do! Walla, an idea is born. I jotted down two writing prompts. One to describe the same train ride in two different seasons. The other to write a historical fiction scene with a steam powered train pulling into the depot in Boca Grande, Florida.

The trick is to track the ideas you collect throughout the day. No, you won't have time to develop an entire article or story for every idea born on the same day they are inspired, but it's important that you write them down in an idea file with enough information to jog your memory. It's a perfect way to pump your muse when you feel uninspired or stifled by writer's block.

Today's Writing Prompt

Take one of the ideas you came across today (or one from your list) and write a rough draft of a story or article. Keeping an "ideas" list is a treasure, because  it's filled with your ideas and seeing it in writing will serve as a reminder that carries you back to the inspiration that called it into being.

Photo credits:  pxhere, pixabay

Friday, October 13, 2017

See What You Say

Today's writing prompt is about words. Words can hurt, but they can encourage. They can mislead, or they can guide. They can cause harm, or they can nurture. They can also be spoken without thinking! Imagine how much more you'd think before you spoke if your words showed on your skin!


Today's Writing Prompt

For today's creative writing prompt place your character in a situation where the words they use appear on their skin for all to see. Exactly how or why this works will be up to your creativity, and be sure to show the consequences.

A few more writing prompts to help your muse along:

  • Start the scene without the character knowing his/her words are showing.
  • Show when he or she becomes aware that they are wearing their words. 
  • Once they become aware, how does it change their behavior?
  • Does the character try to cover up what's been said? If so how? And why?
  • Does this happen to all characters or just to one and why?
  • Is their a solution? 
  • What does the character learn through the experience?

Once you have this scene written, let it set for a day or two and then develop it into a short story with a beginning, middle and end. Then look for a writing market and submit!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This post was originally written for a the Buzz Roar Publishing Sci-fi writing contest in 2015. I don't often include writing contests, but since this one was based on writing prompts I couldn't refuse. So the following writing prompts were provided courtesy of Buzz Roar Publishing, and still make a great springboard as a fiction writing prompt. Be sure to check their website for current contest information:

Writing Prompts

1) I'd never seen him/her in so much pain.
2) The dumb thing doesn't work.
3) What color is the sky today?

Current Contest Rules:

a) Word count limit: 2,500 words.

b) At least one of the listed prompts must be used in the story as either narrative or dialogue.

c) Contest CLOSES September 30th, 2015 at 12 a.m. EST.

d) Winner/honorable mentions will be announced on October 15th, 2015.

e) No entry fee required.

f) Winner receives $50 and chance at publication as audio podcast on REDSHIFT

Photo credits: pixabay

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Writing a Scene with Movement

Today's writing prompt deals with movement. Movement is the magical element that makes your scene come to life. Think about the times you've skimmed long descriptive passages, not because they aren't well written but because they don't move the story along. Movement helps show the story unfolding. A good example is the intro to the 1997 Men in Black movie that starts out with a bug flying through the night air during the opening credits. We follow that bug with interest. It almost gets hit by a semi and you find yourself starting to care about the bug, and just like that it splats on the windshield of another moving vehicle, and now the interest is on the vehicle. That movement moved the story along.

Pumping Your Muse Writing Prompt

Just like any aspect of the craft of writing, showing movement with words takes practice . For today's writing prompt we'll use the above National Geographic video about hummingbirds or the video below that includes 10 knife fights from popular movies. I chose the hummingbird video because it slows the movement down, to give you an opportunity to really see the movement so you can better describe it. In a way, this is what you do when you show movement in your writing, although it shouldn't feel that way once its complete. The movement should "feel" natural. Your challenge is to write a paragraph of what you see and then to incorporate it into a short scene.

If you prefer to challenge yourself with an action scene, use the knife scenes video for your creative writing prompt. It's a montage of 10 movie knife scenes so pick one and use it to hone your skills in writing a fight scene (a trick I learned from stuntman and author T.J. Glenn), and as you do, pay attention to how movement works to push the story forward.

Select strong verbs that create an image in the reader's mind. For instance instead of using the verb "move" choose words that show the movement like dart or dance to paint a clearer image on that mental canvas.
Have fun! Be creative! Add some dialog.

Writing Fight Scenes

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Writing Prompt that Tells the Story of the Hands

Body language offers a great way to write in an active voice that shows our story rather than tells. And the body itself can show plenty, and for today's writing prompt we'll be focusing on what the hands can show. I remember when I was young going to a carnival where a man guessed peoples' weight and age. I was surprised by how accurate he was. Later he told me that he could tell the age of a person from their hands.
What do these hands tell you?

What about these hands? What's their story?
Or these hands?

Today's Writing Prompt

Today's writing prompt challenges you to show someone's age and part of their life through their hands. For example, hands that are well-manicured will have a different story than torn dirty nails. Hand's wearing black satin gloves will differ from Laytex gloves. If a hand is wearing a ring, the story will be different than a hand without a ring. Even the type of ring can tell a story. For instance, a Claddagh ring holds different meanings depending on how it is worn. Heart facing the body or not and which hand. Or think of a hand with a tan line marking a ring once worn and now missing. Even callouses tell a story and where they are located is part of that story. Fingertip callouses paint a picture different from calloused palms. Have fun with this.

Write the story of the hands in one of the above images as your writing prompt challenge.

Photo credit: Al Howat, pixabay, goodfreephotos

Check out Donna Sundblad's books on Kindle: Pumping Your MuseWindwalkerBeyond the Fifth GateThe Inheritance